“Schools of Choice” and modern segregation

Zachary Barnes explores the roots of segregation during the early part of the 20th century in Lansing area schools, and how it compares to modern-day segregation — meaning those who have the privilege to, can transfer to another school, leaving a larger number of minority and economically disadvantaged without funding for resources. Segregation — “the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means.” — Merriam Webster

Although it may not be segregation in the traditional sense, policies such as “red lining,” where minority neighborhoods were outlined in red on a city’s master plan meaning “high-risk” under rules laid out by the Federal Housing Administration. Both direct and indirect racism has lead to major inequities in the classroom. According to MSU education professors and non-profits that work to better education for minority students, these inequities have lead to resource gaps and unequal opportunity. A main reason for this, “Schools of Choice,” the process where families can choose to apply to another school district within the same region. It could be time to revisit the 1994 legislation as schools become increasingly segregated.

School sports programs focus on safety as participation in football dips

Spurred in part by fears about contact sports and concussions, state and national youth sports programs are pushing new strategies to protect student-athletes from injury. Those strategies include encourage athletes to participate in more than one sport and putting new rules in place to reduce contact between students and better respond to athletes who suffer concussions. Officials from the Michigan High School Athletic Association are among those advocating for students to play multiple sports. Advocates say that can reduce the chance of repetitive injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 45 percent of all athletes specialize in just one sport.

Aquaculture is growing more common in Michigan

 

For most seafood consumers, where their fish comes from may be a mystery. Russell Allen, a small business owner in Okemos, is on a mission to end the mystery for consumers. Ideally fish would come from a supplier who catches them naturally, by fishing. But more often than not, commercially sold fish are grown on fish farms, an industry known as aquaculture. Check the internet today and you will find many people against this practice, but ask someone who knows and you may get some totally different answers.

Drug addiction: Resources are available for Bath, DeWitt residents

Drug abuse in Michigan is an immense problem surrounding the entire state. In 2015, Michigan had the seventh-most drug overdoses in the nation, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even small areas such as Bath and DeWitt Townships have seen drug use within its borders. While these townships are small, they have managed to make statewide news with their drug issues over the last few years, including an August meth lab raid in a DeWitt motel that sent two people into custody. Clinton County, which the townships of Bath and DeWitt fall under, suffered one death from a heroin overdose and three others died from opiate-related causes in 2013, according to Stopping Addiction with Family Education (SAFE).

DeWitt plans on bringing new infrastructure and home development to the area

DeWitt wants future citizens to move into its community, and its developing multi-use housing to make it happen.  

“The whole objective is to have the community that is here enjoy what’s here, talk to their neighbors, and feel good about their community so that they will stay,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce.  “That translates to more people wanting to live here.”

According to Daniel Coss, DeWitt city administrator, and township manager, Rod Taylor, a huge part of growing the township and city is providing housing for all demographics of people.  So, this means that creating all types of housing developments is crucial to success heading forward. The City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township are planning for growth in the future and planning on accommodating more citizens.

Bath and DeWitt downtowns anticipate, experience development

The neighboring communities of Bath and DeWitt differ greatly: DeWitt Township has a higher population in a smaller area than Bath Township, and the same is true for their central enclaves. Downtown DeWitt prepares for the opening of Looking Glass Brewing Company, a new business highly anticipated by DeWitt officials and residents. The Bath Village Diner opened its doors in early 2016. A few months later, it purchased a neighboring bar and expanded into it. Later in the year, the diner had closed down.

Okemos Public Schools serve school of choice students, but focus locally

Alena Zachery-Ross is the Superintendent of Okemos Public Schools, hired just this year. She explains that Okemos Public Schools, while serving school of choice students, primarily focuses on serving the Okemos community. School of choice is a district optional program that allows students from one school district to chose another. This allows students and their families the option to choose what education they’re receiving, regardless of residency. “Our philosophy regarding school of choice is that there will be limited seating opportunities for non resident students,” Zachery-Ross said.