Feb. 13, Haslett High School on a cloudy Monday afternoon.

Student unions celebrate Black History Month

On Tuesday Feb. 7, the Meridian Township board passed a resolution in support of Black History Month. As a district, Meridian Township is very diverse and is proud of the black heritage in its community. “Our district is also frequently looking for ways to further educate students on the importance of acceptance,” said Brixie. Brixie, is the treasurer of Meridian Township.

Al-Lin's Floral & Gifts truck, parked and ready to deliver flowers for the Holiday.

Roses are red, but increased floral sales bring the green

Although they may not have time to stop and smell the roses themselves, local Meridian Township florists are optimistically awaiting this year’s Cupid’s Day sales. Al Vogl, owner of Al-Lin’s Floral & Gifts in Okemos, MI is one of the many owners preparing for the biggest floral holiday of the year. “When Valentine’s Day falls on Tuesday or Wednesday it is the biggest challenge a florist can have, because the weekend before is too soon to celebrate it — and the weekend after is too late to celebrate it, so everybody wants to celebrate it the day of,” said Vogl. “Therefore, the only way they really can do it is send flowers to the office or home, or workplace.”

Vogl is preparing for the extra business by bringing on more staff. Other florists in the Okemos and Haslett area, such as Petal & Forrest, owned by Dawn Hall, and B/A Florist have taken advantage of the upcoming holiday in their own unique ways.

Meridian, Delhi Townships celebrate 175th anniversary with Enactment Day

In her 17 years working for Meridian Township, treasurer Julie Brixie said the township has “never done” anything like the 175th anniversary celebration it has planned for 2017. Enactment Day will be Meridian’s first anniversary event of 2017. It will be a commemoration of Feb. 16, 1842, the day Meridian Township and Delhi Township were officially incorporated. “Feb.

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.

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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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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.

Schools of choice option gains popularity in Michigan, benefits Meridian

By Katie Dudlets
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

In Michigan, the number of students in schools of choice increased from 66,560 in 2005-06 to 115,209 in 2012-13, an upsurge of 73 percent. Schools of choice enrollment also made up a larger percentage of the state’s overall student population, rising from 3.7 percent of 1.8 million students in 2005-06, to 7.1 percent of 1.6 million students in 2012-13. Administrators in Meridian Township are seeing a similar trend. “We do have many students that are interested and go ahead and make applications for schools of choice for Haslett [High School], and not only Haslett, but for Haslett Public Schools,” said Haslett High School Principal Bart Wegenke. “I think we’re probably about 18 to 20 percent schools of choice [students] for this district.”

According to Joshua Cowen, an associate professor in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University, this increase in the program’s popularity is not only a trend in Michigan, but in the nation as well.

Haslett Public Schools will miss Duda, but confident success will continue

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

HASLETT — Earlier this year, Mike Duda, the superintendent of Haslett Public Schools announced he would be retiring at the end of the school year. Duda has acted as superintendent for 12 years and has worked in Haslett Public Schools for 40.The Haslett Public School Board is currently in the process of hiring their next superintendent. “Haslett Public Schools doesn’t do this often,” President of the Haslett Public School Board Kristin Beltzer said. “Duda has been superintendent for 12 years and the superintendent before him held his position for 14 years.”

Beltzer said the process began as soon as Duda announced his retirement. “Mike Duda announced [his retirement] in September, so we spent a little time to figure out the process and what we wanted it to look like,” Beltzer said.