okemos-bullying

Divisions in presidential election spills over into school hallways

An Okemos freshman bullied by a group of boys — in the heat of a divisive national election year. Okemos Superintendent Doctor Catherine Ash says the district followed its normal bullying procedures, which encourage students to have “civil discourse” when discussing politics. But the national conversation about the election may not have done young minds any favors — and may encourage this type of behavior.

Meridian Mall

Meridian Mall closed on Thanksgiving, open late for Black Friday

Early Black Friday shoppers will have to look outside of Meridian Township to find the best deals this year. The Meridian Mall will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, with doors opening Friday at 6 a.m. Only some of the mall’s outside retailers will open early, like Macy’s at 5 p.m. on Thursday, and will stay open all night leading up to the mall’s opening in the morning. “We wanted our employees and our retail partner employees to have the holiday back to celebrate with their families,” said Todd Huhn, the mall’s general manager. “That was the biggest driving factor in our decision. Everyone is very happy that we’re giving Thanksgiving back and respecting the holiday.”

Huhn said the mall has only received positive remarks and comments regarding the switch.

The store front of Monticello’s market, a local market in Haslett just minutes away from the new Costco site. (Photo Credit: Michael Epps)

No concern for local businesses as Costco enters Meridian

Monticello’s is a family-run market in Haslett branded as the local, fresh market and butcher of the community. With a new Costco store coming to Meridian in Fall 2017, local businesses like Monticello’s understand how different their stores are from the big corporations. “Us and Costco attract two different types of shoppers,” said a manager at Monticello’s, who wished her name to not be made public. “If you want a 4-inch steak, I’ll cut you a 4-inch steak. If you want a half-inch steak, I’ll cut you a half-inch steak.

Meridian voters visit polls early

The majority of precincts in Meridian saw high voter turnout during the first hour that polls were open. In Precinct 1, there was a 40-45 minute wait during the first hour, and in Precinct 5 nearly 10 percent of registered voters turned out then. “During that period, we had about a minute per voter,” said Precinct 1 chairwoman Beverly Stephens. “Right now, we have 697 ballots.”

“In the first 50 minutes, 160 people came in,” said Precinct 5 chairman Jim Brazier. “We are approaching about 700 votes.”

One challenge during early hours voting was the ballot tabulator jamming and saying the ballot was defective.

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Early computer crash challenges Meridian precinct

Meridian’s second voting precinct at Haslett High School tried to get ahead of the game by taking two hours Monday night to set up and prepare for the big day. Despite the effort, an early crash in the voting booth computers brought a rough start to Election Day. A glitch in the booth computers halted the operation just minutes after the doors opened, which made an already long line get even worse. “Oh yeah, it caused a jam,” said precinct co-chair Ginger Petty. “The line snaked all around inside the gym and even started outside the door at one point.

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Meridian Township City Hall expects historic turnout

Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said that, based on the morning voter turnout, this election could have the largest voter participation ever in the township. “The largest (turnout) we’ve ever had was in 2008. (In) 2012 it dropped off because it was a re-election campaign, but this year it might actually surpass 2008,” Dreyfus said. “We had a 73 percent voter turnout in 2012 and so we were told by the state to expect upwards of 80 percent turnout,” Dreyfus said. First-time voter Leonardo Abbrescia said his experience at his poll was exciting.

CATA will offer free rides to anyone showing a voter registration card on Nov. 8.

CATA offers free rides to voters on Election Day

Capital Area Transportation Authority, or CATA, will offer free rides on Election Day, Nov. 8. A bus pass will not be required. CATA Director of Marketing Laurie Robison wrote in an email that “a valid voter registration card is all that’s required for a free ride aboard CATA on Election Day.”

meridian-park

New Towner Park coming to Meridian

The former Applegate Driving Range in Meridian Township will become a 23-acre park, with the start of construction planned for early 2017 and the debut expected in 2019. Located in the northern Haslett area off Lake Lansing, Towner Road Park aims to attract as many residents as possible.