Here’s how we did it

Our team of Michigan State University journalism students recently analyzed 2017 campaign finance reports filed by Michigan state lawmakers.

Watch: Lou Anna K. Simon’s resignation and more

Here are today’s headlines from the Spartan Newsroom:

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon resigns after the sentencing of Larry Nassar
Professor Sue Carter resigns as chair of MSU’s Athletic Council
Oscars nominations
Dan Gilbert’s response to Amazon’s rejection of Detroit for its second headquarters.

Williamston schools stand firm against firearms in educational environment

In the wake of previous mass shootings that have occurred around the U.S, a Michigan senate committee have approved bills that would allow concealed weapons in gun-free zones, such as a public school or church. The legislation would allow schools to prohibit students from carrying concealed weapons, along with employees, which may or may not help a life-threatening situation. The Williamston community is one of many who have not faced the challenge of a mass shooting, but they still stand strong against the proposed statewide bill. Superintendent of Williamston Schools Adam Spina completely disagrees with the proposed legislation and he said the Ingham County stands firmly in opposition. “If you are asking the people who do this for a living every day and are here in schools, there is no one of my knowledge who is an advocate,” Spina said.

Michigan bill would allow sports wagering

Dozens of people gather around a large TV, betting slips in hand, to watch the end of the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots football game in a sports book at a Las Vegas casino. Cam Newton sets Graham Gano and the Panthers up in field goal range with time about to expire. The score, 30-30. Everyone around the TV starts yelling. “I can make this in my sleep!” “You better not miss this!” “I knew I shouldn’t have bet this game.” And so on and so on.

The Satanic Temple an unlikely fighter for free speech, religious freedom

The Satanic Temple and its message of opposition to the merging of church and state appears to be growing, along with its membership. “The Trump-Pence administration looks like it will provide us more and more opportunities to have our voice heard and establish our place in America,” said Shiva Honey, a member of The Satanic Temple and a resident of metro Detroit, in an email. According to Honey, the Temple will continue to advance its message regardless of the administration in office, however, membership has certainly increased since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but could not quote specific numbers. Contrary to popular belief, the Satanic Temple does not worship the devil, instead describing themselves as a non-theistic religion whose mission is to “facilitate communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty.”

Members of the Temple are well-known for their intricate presentations and consistent protesting of religious displays on public grounds. This was one of the reasons why Honey was interested in joining.

What Will the Senate Tax Bill Do to Graduate Students?

In a series of shocking twists and turns, Senate Republicans were able to pass their tax bill, their first legislative victory of the year. The Senate Tax bill calls for a mass overhaul of the American tax code. Everything from tax brackets, health care to graduate student loan rates were touched upon.