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.

Transportation engineer of AECOM Sean Kelsch addresses the crowd during the CATA Bus Rapid Transit presentation on Oct. 4, 2016 at Allen Neighborhood Center at 1611 E. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, Mich.

Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian review CATA’s rapid transit plan

Capital Area Transportation Authority held three meetings to present modifications of its Bus Rapid Transport project to the public during the first week of October. The ideas are in response to community input at meetings in August. “The purpose of these meetings is for us to respond to the public. They raised a number of concerns with the current design, and said ‘we don’t like the way it is currently designed,’” CATA Assistant Executive Director Debbie Alexander said. “So we came back with some preliminary thinking to address those concerns.”

Current plan
The current BRT plan runs from the capital to Meijer and the Meridian Mall in Okemos.

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.

Okemos High is cracking down on athletic concussions

By Tamar Davis
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — With girls’ soccer season getting ready to start and football just months away, Okemos High School is trying to prevent and control concussions like never before. Okemos High School Football Head Coach Jack Wallace tries his hardest to make sure his players don’t get concussions during the game and also during practice. “The level of concern is very high for concussions in todays society,” Said Wallace. “My personal level of concern is very high for concussions because they happen so much in contact sports. There are times when players get concussions and were never aware of it before the symptoms let them know they had a concussion.

Okemos High School guiding students to college through its guidance department

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

OKEMOS — Every year, thousands of students apply to colleges with the assistance of numerous people. Okemos High School has instituted an assistance program that allows students to have all the tools necessary for applying to their colleges, as well as finding the colleges that fit for them. Hedlun Walton, the director of guidance services at Okemos High School, said the process begins in the spring of a student’s junior year. The school hosts an evening presentation, where they invite an admissions representative from Michigan State University or the University of Michigan to come and give general advice on completing applications and writing essays. “Our assistance begins with helping students position themselves to have a competitive application and to do the appropriate amount of college exploration to make sure they are selecting schools that would be a good fit for them,” Walton said.

What are Meridian schools doing to keep student obesity at bay?

By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Writer

It can be quite alarming to hear the statistics with obesity in the United States, but Michigan is one state to be especially worried about. From the year 1990 to 2014, the obesity rate in Michigan jumped from 13 percent of overweight people to an alarming 32.6 percent. What is most concerning about this last number is that the age group of 10 to 17 years old occupies almost half of this number. This number is 14.8 percent, which happens to almost the same number of obese people of all ages in Hawaii. This is something to notice and not ignore.