Feb. 13, Haslett High School on a cloudy Monday afternoon.

Student unions celebrate Black History Month

On Tuesday Feb. 7, the Meridian Township board passed a resolution in support of Black History Month. As a district, Meridian Township is very diverse and is proud of the black heritage in its community. “Our district is also frequently looking for ways to further educate students on the importance of acceptance,” said Brixie. Brixie, is the treasurer of Meridian Township.

Volunteers of America provide shelter to homeless in Lansing

Winter time: Ice skating, hot chocolate and for some folks a struggle. “I became homeless for a year and a half now. [I was] Shelter to shelter, struggling and not having a place and feeling lost,” said Diana Ramey of Lansing. Ramey lives now lives at the Volunteers of America shelter, her fourth move since she became homeless over a year ago. She says that she has met a lot of families in need at the shelter.

Campus incidents spur debate about guns

On a chilly February morning in 2014, a man with a gun walked into Bessey Hall, a classroom building near the center of Michigan State University’s campus. The incident was quickly reported to police, who sent an alert to every cellphone on campus warning of a possible shooter. “We were all so ill-prepared,” said Jack Ritchey, an MSU student inside Bessey that day. “The only thing we thought to do was barricade the door. Some people were genuinely afraid, others weren’t taking the threat seriously.”

The incident turned out to be a misunderstanding — an ROTC student had carried an exposed training weapon into the building — but it highlights a problem facing college campuses.

Monica Jahner at her comic book shop. Jahner works with A.R.R.O., re-entry program helping ex-offenders transition into the workplace.

A box hinders ex-offenders from moving on from their past

The box was holding her back.

It was on every job application form: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Monica Jahner had to answer yes.

About 650,000 people are released from prison or jail each year, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. About two-thirds will likely be re-arrested. But re-entry programs are working to decrease the number of ex-offenders go back to prison. For many ex-offenders, that work starts with getting a job.