Grand Ledge teachers still without a contract; frustrations mounting for parents of students

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

Six years ago when deciding where to raise a family, Bri Dennis had no doubts when choosing Grand Ledge. Her father and her husband’s parents all graduated from Grand Ledge High School and she believed her four children would receive the same quality education that they had, however in the last few years she has become frustrated with how Grand Ledge Public Schools has been treating its teachers. Since the last contract expired in June 2015, the teachers union and administration have been negotiating a new contract for Grand Ledge Public School teachers. Dennis was the first of several parents who stood in front of the Grand Ledge School Board at the school board meeting on March 28 to voice her specific concerns about one of the teachers’ main points of negotiation: planning periods. “It pains me to see the direction our district has taken.

Grand Ledge Library undergoing renovations to help fit community needs

By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

After years of saving and carefully well-thought-out plans based on community needs, The Grand Ledge Area District Library will be undergoing a massive renovation to start this spring. “By very prudently saving we saved a percentage that was over our working capital that we needed for many, many years, said Grand Ledge Library Board of Trustees President Joan Kane. “Back in ’08 we tried to do this and had our same architect then realized we didn’t have enough money to do what we needed to do.”

“With the new renovation we will be pushing the entrance out. There will be an elevator that will go up to the club room which is the old 1931 building,” said Kane. “There will be a bathroom upstairs now, which there never has been.

Who wants $3 million back? Grand Ledge Public Schools taxpayers to benefit from bond refinancing

By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

After paying for a School Building and Sites bond issue since it was approved in 2007, the taxpayers of Grand Ledge Public Schools are soon getting a bit of a refund. Superintendent of Grand Ledge Public Schools Brian Metcalf announced in a press release that taxpayers will see a savings of approximately $3 million over the next 20 years. The money stems from the refinancing the 2007 bond passed for school improvements and will bring a 12 percent savings on interest rates. “The benefit of refunding or refinancing the bond is that after 10 years we have the opportunity to go back and see where interest rates are. Can we finance any better interest rate that we can save our taxpayers a whole lot of money?” said Metcalf.

Grand Ledge residents support local businesses

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

When Grand Ledge resident Jordan Stevens needs to go shopping, she has a decision to make. She is faced with the choice of spending her money at the local Walmart or one of the local shops downtown. Because she sees an importance in supporting small businesses, she usually chooses the latter. Whether residents need a haircut or cup of coffee, Grand Ledge has them covered. Grand Ledge has a greater percentage of local, mom and pop businesses than most communities in Michigan, said Bob Haddad Jr., owner of Haddad’s Agency and member of the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce.

The mystique behind Grand Ledge

By Kaitlin Petrillo
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

Grand Ledge has been known for its long history. The buildings and architecture dating back over 100 years adds character and mystery to the downtown area. CLICK FOR FULL VIDEO STORY on the mystique that lies behind Grand Ledge. Take a tour with Kaitlin! The Historical Society has done an awesome job of laying out the years of history behind GL, make sure to check it out here.

Is this the end of the Grand Ledge Community Facebook group?

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

When Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith created a community Facebook group, he expected it would be an efficient way for members of the community to discuss Grand Ledge issues and to transport the town’s strong sense of community online. However, he did not expect the group to become a place for useless information, vulgarity and personal attacks. According to Smith, the Grand Ledge Community Facebook group has lost its original purpose and is now filled with information that does not pertain to the community. He also dedicates time to deleting disrespectful members and comments that do not encourage a positive community environment. Smith said he still thinks the bad outweighs the good and is thinking about giving up on the Facebook group all together.

L.A. composer makes big move to Michigan to help musicians in the community.

By Madison Morse
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter 

Twenty-two-year music veteran Brian Roth has made his work known around the world by composing music for over 10,000 commercials and having his work appear on FOX, ABC, MTV, plus many more outlets. However, this composer is making a big change. In late 2014 Roth moved back to his roots in Michigan to settle down with his family, but this did not slow down Roth’s career. He decided to opened up The Roth Academy of Music in Grand Ledge which features nine teachers, 40 students and lessons for 14 different instruments. “We realized that as our kids are getting older we wanted them to be around family.

Small town + big hearts = social capital in Grand Ledge

By Kaitlin Petrillo
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

“I’ve worked in Grand Ledge for almost 30 years,” said Lynne Vermillion, a hairstylist at Talk of Town Hair Care. “Everyone is really close, and very supportive.”

That’s not an unusual assessment of Grand Ledge, primarily known for its long-time, small-town feel. Whether it is hosting several different parades each year, organizing community events for all ages, rooting on the Grand Ledge Comets, or just grabbing a bite with a neighbor; Grand Ledge is all about its community relationships. And that matters more than you’d think. “When people know each other they have a greater sense of what is called collectivism,” said Joel Stillerman, Professor of Sociology at Grand Valley State University.

Who still rents movie videos? We do, apparently

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

There is arguably nothing better after a long week than melting into the couch and wasting a few hours binge watching Netflix. There are thousands of titles available as fast as the video can buffer. This convenience has surely made it tough for video stores to say open, though there are survivors. According to the Entertainment Merchant Association, Family Video still operates 775 stores in 19 states, including one in Grand Ledge at 615 S. Clinton St. Grand Ledge Family Video employee Andrea Parks said Grand Ledge’s small-town feel allows for a movie rental business to succeed even with the existence of video streaming companies.