Lansing's Life O'Riley Mobile Home Park was torn down last week, much to the delight of those who live around the area.

Demolition of Lansing mobile home park brings hope to surrounding residents

John Croffe stands on his porch in Lansing, looking across South Washington Avenue at the army of bulldozers and workers destroying what once stood there. “This neighborhood has waited a long time for this to happen,” Croffe says with a smile. “It was a tough thing to look at.”

What once stood there was the Life O’Riley Mobile Park, and after almost three years of being condemned and vacant, it was torn down recently. The mobile park was the subject of much controversy over the past few years, even when it was being used. According to the Ingham County Health Department’s 2014 Annual Health Report, the 14-acre area was condemned during February of that year due to unsanitary conditions, forcing over 200 people off the property.

Doppsee cooling off in the mud on a particularly warm day. Photo taken by Zach Sgro

Potter Park Zoo rhino about to get a new boyfriend

The South African black rhino has faced large-scale poaching since 1970 making them a critically endangered species. Recently only 458 rhinos were poached in 2016 dropping the rate to 7.9 percent, according to the South African Department of Environmental Affairs. The current population is up to just over 5,000, between captivity and conservation parks, and the black rhino is making a comeback but, it still has a long way to go before they can make it off of the endangered species list. Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo is hoping to make a difference in the rhino’s comeback, with plans to unite one of the zoo’s resident rhinos, Doppsee, with a suitor from Texas named Phineas, according to the Lansing State Journal. “We’re really excited because we love the rhino we have over here,” Pat Fountain, head keeper at Potter Park Zoo, told Spartan Newsroom.

Aspiring Barbers

East Lansing – The City of spartans are filled with growing entrepreneurs such as Demario Bell and Andre Mosley. One being a MSU alum and the other graduating in May, these two men turned a hobby into a business for minority students who needed a barber away from home. The lack of minority barbers in the area make is difficult for different ethnicity groups to get a hair cut. “That’s one of the biggest obstacles they face as a black man coming to a predominantly white neighborhood or area, finding a barber,” Bell said.

A truck containing meals to be delivered to senior citizens pulls away from the Tri-County Office on Aging in Lansing.

Meals on Wheels offers more than just a plate

Casey Copp loads boxes of pre-made meals into the back of a truck outside Lansing’s Tri-County Office on Aging. It’s a weekly thing for him, as he says he enjoys giving back to his community. “I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now,” Copp said. “It’s nice to know that you’re helping to put a smile on someone’s face and some food in their stomach.”

The only problem is, who knows how long Copp will be able to keep doing this. President Donald Trump’s recent budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year includes increased investments in defense programs. However, these investments will be paid for through cuts to community service programs, such as Meals on Wheels.

Fiscal Budget for 2016-2017 for the City of Lansing based on a $199.7 million dollars

Public safety, public works dominate Lansing’s city budget

Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.

Image of Stevie Wonder's plaque on the Michigan Walk of Fame. Photo taken by Andy Chmura

Michigan Walk of Fame brings a hint of Hollywood to Lansing

From coast to coast, every American has heard of the famous Walk of Fame in Hollywood. You have seen pictures on social media of people crouching down next to the star-studded engravement in the sidewalk with the name of their favorite movie star or musician embedded in the center. But what many people do not know is that there is a Michigan Walk of Fame in downtown Lansing that honors past and present residents of the state of Michigan. Located on Washington Square in downtown Lansing, the Michigan Walk of Fame consists of 23 bronze plates inserted into the sidewalk, commemorating some of the most famous Michiganders of all time, such as Henry Ford, Rosa Parks and Stevie Wonder. Sandra Clark, the director of the Michigan History Center, said that the idea came from Lansing economic development leaders.

Entrance to Soup Spoon Café located on 1419 E Michigan Ave. on March 27, 2017.  Photo by Taylor Skelton

Building relationships with the community is what makes restaurants thrive in Lansing

Whether it be for a locally brewed beer, a leisurely brunch or just a quick trip through a drive-thru, Lansing accommodates restaurant enthusiasts. Local favorites like The Soup Spoon Café located on 1419 E. Michigan Ave., offer the area a casual fine dining experience with an extensive menu of brunch, breakfast, lunch, dinner and a variety of drink options. Manager at The Soup Spoon Café Angela Mills says that restaurant began about 10 years ago in just the center room of the restaurant. Now, the dinning experience has expanded onto the west and east sides of the original venue, offering more space throughout three distinct rooms.

Mills says the popularity of The Soup Spoon Café comes from the relationship they have built with the surrounding population. “I think because we have grown up with the community,” Mills said.