Lansing locals share tourism suggestions for non-residents

The City of Lansing is home to more than 50 tourist attractions including small businesses, recreational activities and political education. How do visitors determine where to start? Lansing residents have several ideas of their own. Madison Stapels, a student strategist at Piper & Gold Public Relations, has lived in the area for several years. Stapels is a Michigan State University student and enjoys kayaking by the Lansing City Market in her free time.

Lansing’s struggle for better roads

 

The poor road conditions have made commuting in Lansing difficult for many residents and employees who drive in the city. City Chief Operating Officer and Director of Public Service Chad Gamble is very aware of the road conditions affecting these residents and employees. “Certainly commuting affects their vehicle, the quality of the vehicle, the life of the vehicle, the safety of their trip, the time it takes them to get there; it’s something we’ve been working on for decades,” Gamble said. The slow maintenance of roads in the area is due to the lack of funding and high cost of maintaining roads, particularly in the state of Michigan. The annual street funding for the City of Lansing dropped significantly between 2009 and 2010 and has yet to make a comeback 7 years later.

Big threat to first responders: traffic accidents

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — According to the Federal Highway Administration, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for emergency responders and law enforcement personnel in the U.S. Just a few weeks ago, on Wednesday June 14, Fire Chief Edward Switalski with the Comstock Township Fire and Rescue team was responding to a roadside emergency when he was struck and killed on I-94 by a distracted driver. Tragedies like this are happening across the country and beg the question why are first responders so vulnerable on roadsides? Commander Scott Grewe has been with the Birmingham Police Department for the past 18 years. During this time, he has had a chance to notice the evolution of safety procedures for first responders and make amends to some of the problems he thought existed.

How many is too many? Lansing’s abundance of medical marijuana dispensaries worries some residents

Dispensary owners and Lansing residents have been disputing a recent medical marijuana ordinance during biweekly City Council meetings. Some people in Lansing believe the flooded medical marijuana market results from poor marijuana dispensary regulations. “The purpose of the ordinance is to have realistic dispensaries available to people that really have a medical marijuana need,” said Marylin Ebaugh, resident of South Lansing. “What we have now is an over abundance of businesses.” A study conducted by Melissa Huber, Ph.D, estimates the number of patients spiked from 937 in 2011, to 2,866 in 2015. Some believe the process to obtain a medical marijuana card can be easily abused.

Greater Lansing animal shelters help homeless animals find homes

In 2016, there were around 12,000 animals licensed in and around Lansing. During the same period, 7,381 animals were taken into the two biggest animal shelters in the Greater Lansing Area: 3,139 of the animals went to Ingham County Animal Shelter, and 4,242 of them went to the Capital Area Humane Society. Some of the animals were abandoned by their owners, who could not care for their pets anymore for different reasons, some of them were rescued from unsafe places, and some of them were stray and became an animal shelter’s property. “They are usually just being dropped off at the door like sometimes the leash is tied to the door knob or they’re roaming around,” said Kelsee Horrom, a former volunteer at the animal shelter. “If they’re older the dogs won’t get adopted as quickly as younger ones, sadly.

To rent or buy? It’s a never-ending question for City of Lansing residents

The City of Lansing is home to dozens of small businesses, college students and several of the most important landmarks in Michigan history. It isn’t, however, a permanent home to many people. The Greater Lansing Area, defined as the East Lansing and Lansing areas combined, holds more than 400,000 residents. The City of Lansing is home to just over 100,000 of them. “Honestly a lot of people are trying not to own a home in the City of Lansing,” Nichole McCollum, a Lansing Realtor, said.

Mason ice cream and candy store remains unfazed by technology

MASON — While data shows less and less people have time to go out shopping these days, family-owned ice cream and candy shops remain flourishing with customers and life. “Until they figure out a way to have a drone deliver a handcrafted chocolate malt, I think we’re going to be all right,” joked Shawn Sodman, owner of The Daily Scoop. Sodman and his wife Kathy have been owning and operating the ice cream parlor for seven years and offer a wide variety of ice cream, milkshakes, malts, sundaes and even grilled cheese. All of the ice cream and cheese is provided courtesy of the MSU Dairy Store. “Me and my softball team try to go to the Daily Scoop after every game,” said 11-year-old Samantha Bennett.

Lansing setting a foundation for startup businesses

Economic growth has expanded in the city of Lansing and the city has become a prime location for entrepreneurship. The community has set a foundation of resources for startup companies in order to help new businesses thrive in the Lansing area. Neil Kane is an expert in entrepreneurship and startup companies as he is the director of undergraduate entrepreneurship at Michigan State University. In regards to the economic growth in Lansing, Kane said, “There’s a lot of development going on in the area, a lot of real estate development, new apartments going up. That’s got to be good news.”

In fact,  the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors market data shows that the number of active single-family, condominium and town home listings at the end of each month has increased in the last year.

Lansing business owners share their secrets to success

Owning a business is far from easy, even under perfect circumstances. Success is hard-won and results from months (or years) of effort and dedication. What, then, is the secret to success in the capital of the state, where organized events, politics and tourism make a significant difference in traffic? Chad Jordan, the owner of Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, believes in being genuine. “I think what helped us stay in business for 10 years was authenticity,” Jordan said.

Traverse City has some special things to offer entrepreneurs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.