Local veterans organization provides needed support for community

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

For U.S. veterans, finding information about important issues like veterans care and benefits can be challenging. But for the 666 veterans living in Lansing Township, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post, Post 701, provides a vital support system. “There are so many organizations now that no one person could name them all, but many veterans are not aware that they even exist or that there are benefits available for them,” Vice President of the veterans organization Honor for All Kent Hall said. “There is no veterans phone book or lists available for us to contact a veteran in need. It is usually word of mouth.

Plans for Walmart extension delayed by township planning commission


The grassy area beside the Walmart store in Eastwood Towne Center may be a construction site for an extension to the Walmart, but only if the site plan can make it past the Lansing Township Planning and Development Commission. Video by Rachel Beard. By Rachel Beard and Ana Williams
Lansing Township News Reporters

Walmart has been planning an extension to their store in Eastwood Towne Center since 2003, and although the plan was scheduled to be complete in January 2015, recent setbacks have put their plans on hold once again. “We are always looking for ways to better serve our customers in Lansing, but we have no news to announce at this time,” Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield said. Walmart originally started working on a plan for the extension with the Lansing Township planning commission back in 2003, but the economic recession in 2008 delayed their plans for construction to 2015.

Voter turnout in township ‘mirrors trends that we see around the country’

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

The March 8, 2016 presidential primary resulted in a record-breaking voter turnout in Michigan, and, while perhaps not record-breaking, Lansing Township also experienced a higher turnout than usual. “Well, [voter turnout] was double what it was four years ago,” Lansing Township Clerk Susan Aten said. “It was higher than it normally is, for that particular election.”

The average turnout here was 35 percent. “Our precincts ranged from 25 to 43 percent,” Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said. “Information comes from the clerk’s office and [is] also posted on Ingham County’s website.”

Christopher Larimer, Professor of American Politics at the University of Northern Iowa, attributes this increase in turnout to the large number of Republican candidates running for office.

Lansing Township: ‘business as usual’ following arrest of Stuart Dunnings III

By Rachel Beard, Hannah Brenner, Grant Essenmacher and Ana Williams
Lansing Township News Staff Reporters

Lansing Township citizens and leadership turned on their televisions on March 14 and were shocked to hear Attorney General Bill Schuette announce that Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III had been arrested and faced with 15 separate charges related to prostitution. “I have worked with Stuart Dunnings while I have served as Attorney General,” Schuette said. “I am saddened that an elected official who holds a special trust from voters and is the chief prosecutor in our capital city would allegedly engage in conduct causing felony and misdemeanor charges to be filed.”

But for Lansing Township officials, it’s been business as usual since Dunnings’ arrest. Lansing Township Police Chief Kay Hoffman realizes that the necessary reaction is to keep moving forward, operating and protecting citizens as if everything is normal. “We are moving on and operating as we normally do,” Hoffman said.

Interim supervisor looks to township’s future

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

This November, Lansing Township voters will be voting for more than just a new president of the United States. They’ll also be voting for a new supervisor for the township. On Feb. 26, Kathleen Rodgers served her last day as the Lansing Township supervisor after more than 27 years in township government. Former board of trustees member Diontrae Hayes took her place on Feb.

Eastwood Downtown Development Authority bond payments add up

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

In order to develop commercial areas to their fullest potential, it is common for governments to rely on bonds to pay for these developments. Lansing Township is no exception. But at the end of the day – or fiscal year – who is responsible for paying off these bonds? “The DDA (Downtown Development Authority) pays all of the bond payments,” Lansing Township Treasurer Leo Rodgers said. “No bond payments are made from Lansing Township’s operating budget.”

What exactly does this mean?

Abandoned homes still persistent, but ebbing in Lansing Township

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

According to the Lansing Charter Township 2009 Master Plan, there are a significant number of vacant homes in Lansing Township. Although vacancies were 1.30 percent of total homeowner housing stock in Lansing Township in 2000, Urbandale, a neighborhood south of Kalamazoo Street, had a vacancy rate of 10 percent that year, according to the Lansing Township Master Plan. That’s nearly 10 times the township average, and that was well before the Great Recession of 2008 which sent foreclosure rates skyrocketing across the country. It only takes a quick drive around the township to notice that quite a few homes have been abandoned. So why are there so many vacant homes in Lansing Township?