DeWitt Public Schools approve new gun restrictions

By Connor Clark
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

The DeWitt Public School's Board of Education meeting approves new gun policy.

The DeWitt Public School’s Board of Education meeting approves new gun policy.

DeWitt Public School’s Board of Education unanimously approved a new gun policy that bans administrators from carrying a firearm on school grounds.

“Right now we have a policy for students and faculty, but not administrators,” board member Sarah Hartman said.

Superintendent of Dewitt Public Schools, Dr. John Deiter believes that guns in school provide a false sense of security and may cause more problems than solve.

“Administrators haven’t had the same level of training of police personnel,” Deiter said.

“Lock it down… how do you expect to confront an armed subject for something you are not trained to do, and win?” City of DeWitt Police Chief Bruce Ferguson said.

According to Deiter, weapons that are brought into school by administrators may be misplaced and could fall into the hands of a student.

“I’m in favor of guns in schools if they are in the hands of trained law enforcement,” Deiter said. “But having a teacher or administrator try and take down an armed suspect is a low possibility.”

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Road repairs coming to DeWitt

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.10.36 PM copy

Dill Road in DeWitt, one of the roads to be repaired.

By Skyler Ashley
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — The Nov. 10 DeWitt City Council meeting saw the approval of a new initiative to make several repairs to local roads over the next five years.

With the help of a Lansing engineering and architecture company, C2AE, DeWitt will create a plan for several improvements by 2016 at a cost not to exceed the amount of $51,290.30.

Some of the targeted streets include Schavey and Panther between Howe and Herbison, among others.

Talking with those involved creates a breakdown about a process many never question — how the yearly repairs that keep a city running are done.

TIP Map Engineering RFP

A map of the road repairs.

DeWitt City Administrator, Daniel Coss, explained how it happens.

“They [C2AE] design it and we clear it,” Coss said.

The City Council gives C2AE a rundown of what they need done and C2AE’s engineers create the blueprints, which are later handed off to another contractor who will complete the construction.

“The engineering is completed and then the project is advertised for bidding. Road Construction companies bid on the project and once we have the bids back, City Staff makes a recommendation to council on which construction company should do the work. City Council then awards the project to a construction company. The bidding itself will not happen until January or February 2016.” Coss said.

The project is currently still in the beginning stages of the design process.

Once finished and approved by DeWitt, another bid begins to find a construction company that will bring the blueprints into reality.

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A trio of downtown DeWitt restaurants could be combining trash bins

The dumpsters in the Relli's Restaurant

The trash bins by Relli’s Restaurant

By Kamen Kessler
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — With the opening of a new business, Bridge Street Social, in downtown DeWitt, its development requirements have led to a discussion of shared trash bin use among three businesses.

When buildings in DeWitt change use, like Bridge Street Social changing 107 S. Bridge St. from an office building to a restaurant, they must complete two development requirements: accommodating parking and trash bin disposal, according to Dan Coss, DeWitt city administrator.

To meet requirements for adequate trash bin access, Coss met with Fonz Toma, the owner of Terranova’s Market, to discuss the possibility of sharing his trash bin.

Toma then suggested the possibility of combining a few of the businesses’ trash bins into one location.

Coss said, “The planning committee liked the idea of making the area a little more aesthetically-pleasing.”

The suggestion led to the idea of a three-business trash bin with Bridge Street Social, Relli’s Restaurant and Terranova’s Market.

John Coscarelli, owner of Relli’s Restaurant, has heard about the idea, but doesn’t see how it benefits him.

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DeWitt gives back on Veteran’s Day

By Connor Clark
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Once upon a time, soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War were badly mistreated when they arrived back home, according to Vietnam War veteran David Laycock.

“When I came home I was beaten three days later in the streets of Lansing,” Laycock said. “They ripped up my uniform and would spit on me.”

Although the widely-unsupported war maybe an extreme example, DeWitt Public Schools and businesses paid tribute to all veterans with ceremonies and donations on Nov. 11.

Christy Stehouwer was in attendance for the ceremony. Veteran’s Day is very important to her because she has family members that served in the military, according to Stehouwer.

“It is a great way for today’s youth to see and experience the past,” Stehouwer said.

Bagpipe player leads veterans into the DeWitt High School gymnasium.

Bagpipe player leads veterans into the DeWitt High School gymnasium.

In the gymnasium of DeWitt High School, students from the high school, middle school, and elementary school, filled the stands. The sea of students showed support while the veterans walked into the gymnasium behind a bagpipe player.

Many tributes were made including: playing the song of each military branch, songs sung by the Herbison Woods School choir and the DeWitt High School choir, military salute for those who have fallen, and even a diploma for a former veteran.

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DeWitt hopes to make safer a school zone crosswalk


DeWitt Junior High School

By Skyler Ashley
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — A new proposal is in the works to increase the safety of DeWitt School District students on Herbison Road.

Herbison is the road the DeWitt Junior High School’s entrance lies on; the concern raises from a lack of a crosswalk that student’s have immediate access too.


The far off cross walk in question

The nearest crosswalk is relatively close on the left, but Dave Hunsaker of DeWitt Area Recreation Authority worries that certain students will not take the time to walk the extra distance.


Map of DeWitt schools, Herbison marked in red.

“They don’t take the time, because they’re kids.” said Hunsaker, who is also a member of the DeWitt City Council. The issue was discussed during the council’s Nov. 10 meeting.

Hunsaker said that the idea has been floating around the City Council for years, but a recent incident at the Lansing School District has brought the issue back.

While walking to school, a Waverly High School ninth-grader was killed after being struck by a car while crossing the street on her way to school.

The issue is making sure this never happens in DeWitt.

“These kids are shooting across at that busy time frame in heavy traffic, similar to where the young child was killed two weeks ago,” Hunsaker said.

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Vote approves another year of mining at the Clark Road pit

By Kamen Kessler
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

Clark Road Pit. Courtesy of DeWitt Township.

Clark Road Pit. Courtesy of DeWitt Township.

DEWITT — A recent 8-0 vote at the DeWitt Charter Township Board of Trustees Meeting gave the ET MacKenzie Company renewal for their five-year special use permit grant.

The ET MacKenzie Company had a renewal of their special use permit up for debate at the Oct. 26 meeting. The renewal, which is required to be approved every year of the five-year grant, was in the second year, according to Ron Clark, an ET MacKenzie project manager.

The grant is for use of the Clark Road Pit located between Old U.S. Route 27 and Wood Road, where the company uses heavy construction equipment to extract sand and gravel, mostly used for roads in the Midwest area, according to Clark.

Lois Baumer, a DeWitt resident, was at the meeting and said, “My screen porch is unusable, and has been for a number of years now because of the heavy dust that is produced by the company at the site.”

Baumer said, “I live on Boichot Road near the site, and I understand that there will be loud noises and debris, but I am really just upset I have to thoroughly clean my porch every time I want to use it.”

DeWitt Charter Township Manager Rod Taylor said, “Unfortunately there is not a lot we can do about the issue at this time. It would have been better for us to be contacted in advance about the issue to see if we could look into it more before the vote at the meeting took place.”

DeWitt Township Supervisor Rick Galardi heard the claims, but when a vote was motioned, the renewal was approved. “We want to be open and honest with our residents and to tell them the truth, but right now we do not have the ability for the denial of this grant.”

Galardi said, “It is tough business, messy, loud, and they have the backing of the courts.”

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Trash, recycling pickup rates raise in DeWitt

City Council meeting on Oct.27, 2015

City Council meeting on Oct.27, 2015

By Diamond Henry
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — At the city of DeWitt’s City Council meeting on Oct. 27, the Granger company was present as part of an annual review of its trash-hauling services for the city.

Granger has been partnered with the city for recycling and waste management for three years via a public competitive bid, according to city administrator Daniel Coss.

Granger services is a Lansing-based company and provides services throughout Michigan and other states. The energy they collect from the waste around mid-Michigan, according to the review, provides 14,000 homes with electricity.

According to Granger’s annual review, the amount of DeWitt households using Granger services has increased from 1,540 to 1,585.

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