From the outside looking in, an economist might look at Haslett as a “bedroom community” compared to its neighbor and seemingly-always-growing Okemos. But to Emily Drummelsmith, who grew up in the Haslett area, the two communities are not all that different to her. And that’s just the way Meridian Township officials want residents of both communities to feel.
“Honestly I kind of grew up in both so they’re not that different to me truly,” said Drummelsmith, who has been a resident of Haslett for 20 years. “I always spent my time shopping in Okemos and walking around in Haslett. It’s just honestly not different to me.”
Haslett and Okemos are both unincorporated communities governed by Meridian Charter Township.
Zachary Barnes explores the roots of segregation during the early part of the 20th century in Lansing area schools, and how it compares to modern-day segregation — meaning those who have the privilege to, can transfer to another school, leaving a larger number of minority and economically disadvantaged without funding for resources. Segregation — “the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means.” — Merriam Webster
Although it may not be segregation in the traditional sense, policies such as “red lining,” where minority neighborhoods were outlined in red on a city’s master plan meaning “high-risk” under rules laid out by the Federal Housing Administration. Both direct and indirect racism has lead to major inequities in the classroom. According to MSU education professors and non-profits that work to better education for minority students, these inequities have lead to resource gaps and unequal opportunity. A main reason for this, “Schools of Choice,” the process where families can choose to apply to another school district within the same region. It could be time to revisit the 1994 legislation as schools become increasingly segregated.
For most seafood consumers, where their fish comes from may be a mystery. Russell Allen, a small business owner in Okemos, is on a mission to end the mystery for consumers. Ideally fish would come from a supplier who catches them naturally, by fishing. But more often than not, commercially sold fish are grown on fish farms, an industry known as aquaculture. Check the internet today and you will find many people against this practice, but ask someone who knows and you may get some totally different answers.
Alena Zachery-Ross is the Superintendent of Okemos Public Schools, hired just this year. She explains that Okemos Public Schools, while serving school of choice students, primarily focuses on serving the Okemos community. School of choice is a district optional program that allows students from one school district to chose another. This allows students and their families the option to choose what education they’re receiving, regardless of residency. “Our philosophy regarding school of choice is that there will be limited seating opportunities for non resident students,” Zachery-Ross said.
Local representatives have been working together on an initiative called “Shaping the Avenue” to spark economic development across four mid-Michigan cities. This is a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township and the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA).
Coming into the year, the Okemos Chiefs football team was looking to make a big turnaround from their previous season, which ended with a 2-7 record. With returning senior leaders like Jason Pridgeon, Drew McGaughy and Patrick Nugent backed by plenty of talent on the depth chart, it seemed very possible. After a strong start to the year going 4-0, where the contests were far from close, Coach Jack Wallace and his Chiefs went on a three-game losing streak. “It was a tough. We went on the road and played some really talented teams,” Wallace said.
Saddleback Barbeque is now open for business at its second location in Okemos (1754 Central Park Drive). Soft opening events for invited guests were held last Monday and Tuesday night, followed by the grand opening on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tabitha Mpamira was at work scrolling through social media when she suddenly thought, “here we go again”. It has happened again. Another mass shooting in the United States has captured the media’s attention and some citizens of Meridian Township are not surprised. “I’ve seriously grown cynical,” said Tabitha Mpamira, who is a citizen of Okemos. “ I figured here we go again, and nothing is going to be done and something else is going to come up and take over the news.”
On Sunday, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, grabbed his AR-556 rifle, and opened fire
in First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
Our reporters tackle how students who suffer with anxiety overcome the issues that come with it. We have a recap of the recent Lansing election and a preview of the upcoming firearms season. MSU held its 45th annual Black Power Rally. How is different this year? The Spartan Marching band has a special global performance planned for Saturday’s football game halftime show.
Here are today’s headlines from the Spartan Newsroom:
Two athletes were hit by a truck and injured riding mopeds on North Shaw Lane. Four people killed and two people were injured when a gunman opened fire in Northern California. Are you ready for some ribs or some brisket? A new BBQ joint opens in Okemos. Australia legalizes same-sex marriage resulting in a huge celebration.
Mitten Raised (4661 Okemos Road) opened on May 19. Since then, Katie Anne Lambert and Leah Fabian have been baking to bring “world class, handcrafted, baked goods to the Mitten State,” as promoted in their website. Born out of Lambert’s love for baking and Fabian’s contributing work, Mitten Raised is said to have baked goods and an experience customers won’t forget. A world traveler, Lambert gained experience working in Vail, Colorado, with top pastry chefs. She also spent time in Maui working at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, located inside the Four Seasons resort in Wailea but something about Michigan brought her back.