Two police forces in East Lansing work together to ensure public safety

Like many college towns, East Lansing is home to two police forces: the East Lansing Police Department and the Michigan State University Police Department. With MSU’s police force focused primarily on events occurring on campus, East Lansing residents receive the majority of the attention of ELPD. “Really there’s personalities to every neighborhood, and the more that you could localize the police to be sensitive and human the less violence that would happen during an arrest,” said Robin Lee Berry, an East Lansing resident. Since both police forces have been around for a long period of time, many people don’t think much of there being two police departments in the city of East Lansing. “I don’t know what happened at the beginning of time, (Michigan State has) always had their own police department as long as I’ve been paying attention,” said East Lansing City Council Member Ruth Beier.

Roadkill apparent on Ingham County roadsides

Streets in Ingham County are seeing plentiful amounts of roadkill throughout. Some residents are tired of having to deal with the lifeless animals. “One, I don’t like it, because if I’m walking down any of those streets, using the park facility or whatever, you can smell the dead animals and I have a weak stomach,” said Ingham County resident Quantez Bell. Bell has noticed a high volume of road kill and has himself almost run into deer, possums, and raccoons. He mentioned that one of the highly affected areas he has noticed is by the library in Okemos, and all along Okemos Road.

Williamston’s 304 River Edge Lofts has 17 apartments ready for lease

It’s not hard to find 304 River Edge Lofts while strolling through downtown Williamston. The four-story brick building stands out in the mix of old-fashioned buildings because of its newness and modern aesthetic. The apartment complex was built last summer and opened in October 2017. With 30 apartments, 17 are sitting empty. With one-bedroom floor plans for $1,250 a month and two-bedroom floor plans for $1,510 a month, property manager Katelyn Franklin said this has some residents concerned.

Williamston City Council sees ‘spirited’ back-and-forth, developments in city manager search

What was once a calm Williamston City Council meeting turned into a heated debate within the city hall chambers, pitting the Farmers’ Market Ad Hoc Committee and the Williamston City Council. A “spirited back-and-forth” is how the newly-minted council member Daniel Rhines described it. The Williamston Farmers’ Market is set to run for May 20 to Oct. 14. It’s an annual tradition many residents are fond of — including a number of council members.

East Lansing, neighboring cities, partner with CATA to re-develop parts of downtowns

In downtown East Lansing, a major land redevelopment project is in the works that will affect land and street regulation. This project is known as Shaping the Avenue, and is a new initiative funded by the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) that will focus on analyzing and evolving how land is used in Lansing, East Lansing, Lansing Township, and Meridian Township, particularly on Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue. One important aspect of this project will be the use of form-based codes that will help dictate how buildings, walkways and roads will look in the future. “(This project) will address transit-oriented development, zoning ordinances, how buildings and streets would look, and really kind of more consistently, you’ll see development more consistently be implemented along the corridor,” said Laurie Robison, the director of marketing for CATA. Robison also explained the role that CATA is playing in this project.

Violent crime in Ingham County still prevalent

Violent crime totals have remained consistent in Ingham County, fluctuating higher and lower since 1998. According to a crime analysis report conducted by the Criminal Justice Information center, Ingham County was number seven on highest reported violent crime rates in Michigan compared to all 83 counties. “When we talk about violent crime, you’re often talking about persons who do it over and over again, so it’s not like it’s a bunch of different people who are committing violent crime,” said Dr. David Carter, a criminal justice professor at Michigan State University. Violent crime is defined by the FBI as “aggressive acts causing serious harm to an individuals and include aggravated assault, rape, robbery and homicide,” according to an Ingham County Health Department document. Since 1998, the totals have risen in violent crime offenses within the county to 2014, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics.

Downtown Mason continues to grow. Parking spaces? Not so much

Parking in downtown Mason can be a struggle at times, especially in the summer with festivals the city holds. But mayor of Mason Russell Whipple said, “The best problem you can have is not enough parking.” The downtown square has been a top attraction for Mason residents and as the city continues to grow, more people will be making their way downtown. Mason resident Roger Arend said, “It’s busier than it was 50 years ago … more houses, more people, the streets are the same length, parks the same amount of cars with twice as many people so what’re you gonna do.”

Neighborhood tour addresses citizen’s concerns about roads

On March 19, the City of Lansing held their first Road Map Neighborhood Tour meeting at Letts Community Center. The goal of this meeting was to provide citizens information about road repair, deliver news about upcoming projects and let members of the community provide input on how road dollars should be spent. Andy Kilpatrick, Lansing’s Director of Public Service, presented an overview of Lansing’s roads. “This is the first time I’m aware that we’ve had meetings specifically around roads in this type of setting,” Kilpatrick said. According to research done by the Public Service Department, over 75 percent of Lansing’s roads are in a poor state.