Ingham County appoints new commissioner for District 10

MASON — The newest member for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners was announced on Tuesday this week. Democrat Dennis Louney was the applicant voted in to serve district 10 for the county. Prior to Louney, district 10 used to be occupied by former commissioner Brian McGrain. His resignation came as a disappointment to board members, including Chairperson Carol Koenig who admitted that “[board members] are sad to lose him,” according to the Ingham County website. McGrain is leaving the board, but still staying local as he currently serves as the Director of Economic Development and Urban Planning for the city of Lansing.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Day hopes to raise knowledge in Ingham County

LANSING — February 7 was the National Black AIDS/HIV Awareness Day in the United States. Every year individuals and organizations across the nation participate in National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day to promote HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment in black communities. Many people with STIs have no symptoms. Without treatment these infections can lead to major health problems such as not being able to get pregnant (infertility), permanent brain damage, heart disease, cancer and even death. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is a virus that causes defects in the human immune system. The Ingham County Health Department held free HIV testing for someone who needed help on February 7.

Schools partner with Lansing Police Department for trauma relief

Lansing Public School District is in the process of implementing a program called Handle with Care to provide assistance to students of all grades who have experienced trouble with the law in the past 24 hours. “The goal ultimately is to create trauma-informed school districts, environments and communities,” said Karlin Tichenor the Executive Director for School Culture department. Tichenor said that the program will offer counseling if the student wants it and will open the door to other resources. The program is part of a growing national movement that started in West Virginia. Jackson Public Schools piloted the program in February and had a lot of success with it so far, said Tichenor

One of Jackson’s partners for their Handle with Care program is LifeWays Community Mental Health.

The war on opium in Lansing

The opioid epidemic in America is a major problem that has only gotten worse over the past several decades, affecting countless people and families. In October, President Trump officially declared opiate addiction a public health emergency. Former opiate addict Matthew Kronner said that the worst part for him was the stigma of being an addict. “When your friends and family find out it’s one of two ways,” Kronner said. “He’s a junkie, burnout and loser or let’s get him help.”

Kronner also said he believes that the stigma gave him a different perspective on drug addicts, seeing them people who lost their way rather than just losers with poor self-control.

Photo by Alexa Seeger

Pioneering place- and project-based learning

The lights from the Mackinac bridge winked through the haze. The drizzle coursed down the students’ plastic ponchos as they walked Lake Michigan’s shore with one of their teachers, Charlotte Hagerman. Hagerman showed a group how to skip stones, since many had never done so before.

“Then this little guy, now he was a tough kid,” Hagerman said. “He comes up to me, ‘Ms. Hagerman, Ms. Hagerman,’ and he holds a shell up. And he says, ‘my first shell.’”

In order to build community and reach students at multiple grade and ability levels, Hagerman and Bobo looked to supplement lecture style teaching. After attending conferences and a chance meeting with another teacher pioneering place-based learning in Frankfort, the two teachers implemented project-based and place-based learning in their classroom.