Journalism at Michigan State University

After Nassar: A community responds to a local face shrouded in national scandal

Ex-Michigan State University doctor and former Holt resident Larry Nassar is facing over 80 sexual abuse allegations, and that number seems to grow every week. Holt, a small and tight-knit community of just under 24,000 people watched as the headlines of court cases and accusations piled up. Nassar was a long-time resident and, at one point, an active member of the community. The reports began last summer, when allegations began to surface through the news media. One victim, Rachael Denhollander, alleged that Nassar — ungloved and without proper explanation — digitally penetrated her vagina during what was then explained to her as a “medical treatment.”

Denhollander learned later, as many of Nassar’s other patients, this was not a legitimate medical procedure—at the very least, not a commonly used and unexplained one.

After months of dispute, Lansing is declared a sanctuary city

It is official; the Lansing City Council has unanimously voted and declared Lansing a sanctuary city. Prior to the meeting on April 3 where the vote took place, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero released an executive order that clarified policies in place for city officials and law enforcement to more effectively protect immigrant and refugees in the community. In Bernero’s executive order, he stated the following:

“We are confident these new policies do not violate federal law, but we are also prepared to take legal action to protect the prerogatives and powers of local government and local law enforcement,” Bernero said. “We do not want our local police to become de facto immigration agents— especially under the divisive and draconian direction of the Trump administration.”

The council agreed. “I think is one time that the city of Lansing has got it right; we are aligned and I think this addressed all the things we are getting in our emails, within our phone calls, within our conversations,” Council Member Judi Brown Clarke said at the meeting Monday.

Accidents happen. Even in Lansing Township

With the further advancement of technology, drivers behind the wheel are now more distracted than ever and even in the small community of Lansing Charter Township, accidents happen. According to the Lansing Township’s Citizens Guide and Performance Dashboard, in 2014, there was a total of 469 non-injury crashes, 128 injury crashes and zero fatal crashes. However, Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said township roads for the most part don’t see a lot of hazardous driving. “In the Lansing area I haven’t seen much of that,” Hayes said in regards to crazy driving. “We do have accidents like every other place but I can’t say with certainty that consistently on x amount of roads here, there are people speeding or driving reckless.

Public safety, public works dominate Lansing’s city budget

Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.