Same-sex marriage in Michigan

Gay Marriage Michigan

photo by Jason McIntosh

By Sydney Ford
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Grand Ledge, MI—On March 21, 2014 the Michigan gay marriage ban was lifted. The voter approved amendment was established in.

This ban being overturned was a major sign of progression in favor of the LGBT community. The US District Court Judge Bernard Friedman went against the majority of voters choice and overturned the ban in favor of plaintiffs, April DeBour and Jayne Rowe said media spokesperson Rod Hansen. Judge Friedman deemed the ban unconstitutional.

About 300 couples made their way to be wed the very next day. Some ceremonies were even performed with multiple couples as a large group.

Despite the fact that the case was won by DeBour and Rowe, this did not begin as a case for marital rights. It began as  a case for second parent adoption. The couple has been living together in Hazel Park, Michigan for 8 years.

They are both foster parents. DeBour being the mother of 2 children and Rowse parenting one. DeBour and Rowse wanted the ability to adopt each other’s children legally.

Initially when they  filed against the state defendants to request the ability to be joint parents, they were dismissed by the defendants because of the lack of standing to bring a suit.

The couple then changed their complaint to also challenge the MMA. The court found that the law discriminates against same-sex couples.

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Renewing contract with City of Grand Ledge

By Jiabin Liu
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE – Olson Farm renewed its leasing contract with City of Grand Ledge to rent tillable acreage at the Grand Ledge Abrams Municipal Airport.

Olsan Farm's Location on Google Map Photo by Jiabin Liu

Olsan Farm’s Location on Google Map
Photo by Jiabin Liu

Agreement

The Abrams Municipal Airport is on the edge of the City and has tillable vacant airport land.

Olson Farms has rented this tillable acreage at the Grand Ledge airport for the past three years and the Council renewed the contract for three more years on 14 April 2014.

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Network would support more technology at Grand Ledge High School

A teacher at GLHS helps a student set her schedule for the next school year.

A teacher at GLHS helps a student set her schedule for the next school year.

By Mayara Sanches
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Technology in schools video

GRAND LEDGE — Grand Ledge High School is working on its network system to expand the use of technology in classrooms.

While the high school’s network is not yet able to support a system, it offers many Apple products, like iPads and Macs, that rotate between the classes that need it.

“When the students are using the school network, we have to be careful so they don’t bring virus into our network,” said Brody Boucher, Grand Ledge School Board president. “We have the ability to block some content.”

Innovations

Since new cellphones and portable technological gadgets became popular, school officials believe that students should be able to find information quickly and have it at their fingertips.

Boucher said the high school wants to partly implement the “flipped classroom” model, in which the students find the information they need, and the teachers assist them in that area.

“We’re not there yet and we don’t know if we want to be like that all the time, but it’s a way for teachers to facilitate the learning,” he said.

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Grand Ledge residents believe in the Second Amendment

By Mayara Sanches
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Gun control video

GRAND LEDGE — Although no major issues have happened in the city of Grand Ledge, the city’s police department continues to enforce the state laws about gun ownership and control.

The police chief together with the police officers patrol the city to make sure every resident is abiding to the laws when they are dealing with drugs. When citizens want to buy guns, background checks are conducted at the department building as well.

“The state laws are the state laws, there’s nothing special about firearms laws — they’ve been on the works for years, they’ve changed,” said Police Chief Martin Underhill.

History

The state laws are the local laws, Underhill said, and the police does its job to keep the citizens safe and out of harm from an object that is a lethal weapon — a gun.

“If people are abiding by the laws, then it’s not an issue for us, and if they’re breaking the laws then we’ll take action — perhaps their actions are inappropriate for arrest if the law requires,” he said.

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Green infrastructure projects improve Grand Ledge recreation and quality of life

By Hannah Watts
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE — Green infrastructure is increasingly relevant to Michigan, the region and the country. With five Great Lakes and two peninsulas, Michigan represents connectivity.

“Many people think green infrastructure has to do with just energy, but really green infrastructure is any infrastructure that is sensitive to the environment,” said Jon Bayless, Grand Ledge city administrator.

With green infrastructure improvements well underway in Grand Ledge, such as possible dam deconstruction, recreational trail extensions and rain gardens, community support is essential.

“The community has been very supportive of locally-initiated and state-mandated efforts to build and maintain a green infrastructure,” said Kalmin Smith, mayor of Grand Ledge. “The primary green interest of Grand Ledgers is to protect and improve the quality of water in the Grand River which flows through the city.”

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Grand Ledge: Not your typical small town

By Melissa Delekta
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE – When Mayor Kalmin Smith and his wife moved in 1996 from Okemos to Grand Ledge, they were looking for a small town feel. They found exactly what suited their style, and so have many others.

Grand Ledge residents enjoy Lick-ity Split on a spring day. Photo by: Melissa Delekta

Grand Ledge residents enjoy Lick-ity Split on a spring day. Photo by: Melissa Delekta

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Same sex married couples will remain ineligible for state benefits

By Halie Woody
Grande Ledge Gazette staff writer

When Ann Arbor resident Paula Weber got legally married in March, along with 300 plus couples, her celebration was quickly met with despair when a stay was issued.

Washtenaw County is just one of the counties that opened up to marry same sex couples

Washtenaw County is just one of the counties that opened up to marry same sex couple

The immediate stay placed Weber and her partner in a legal limbo. The couple was now eligible for federal benefits but no state. Both of the two are self-employed and this put the future of their business in jeopardy.

“Our home is the location of our business, and is our primary investment for the last 18 years as homeowners,” Weber said. “Even though we have joint ownership of our home, if one of us dies our share would not pass to the surviving owner (spouse) without an inheritance tax.”

Despite being legally married the couple would not be treated the same way a heterosexual couple would under the circumstances of death.

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Mental health in teens at Grand Ledge High School

By Ariel Rogers
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Students at Grand Ledge High School often are not aware of the counseling options available. Photo by Ariel Rogers

Students at Grand Ledge High School are often unaware of the counseling options available. Photo by Ariel Rogers

GRAND LEDGE — Grand Ledge High School has a student population nearing 1,800 ninth through 12th graders. Students are often overwhelmed with the stress of becoming an adult and planning the future.

Kathy Coscarelli is a licensed counselor in the Grand Ledge area. She receives referrals from GLHS for further counseling options for the students.

“Kids are so stressed about the future,” Coscarelli said. “They have no hope. Mom and dad are fighting.”

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration surveyed people ages 12 through 17 if they experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. (In 2011, 8.2% of the people interviewed) experienced a depressed mood or loss in interest in daily activities that lasted more than two weeks in the past year.

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Grand Ledge to vote on bond proposal

By Melissa Delekta
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE- On May 6, a $59 million bond proposition, which goes toward school improvements, will be voted on by the Grand Ledge community.

Literature available to learn more about the bond proposal. Photo by Melissa Delekta

Literature available to learn more about the bond proposal. Photo by Melissa Delekta

The bond has six main targets; safety and security, technology, busing, traffic safety, building efficiency, and the high school campus.

Superintendent Brian Metcalf thinks that this bond will correct some fundamental issues with school district.

“We have had classes that were 50 degrees in the winter,” Metcalf said. “That is not the appropriate temperature for a sixth-grade student.”

Positive feedback

Metcalf has held about 15 town hall meetings where he presents the details of the proposed bond.

“We have gotten pretty good feedback on all the presentations so far,” Metcalf said.

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Going back to work after retiring

By Jiabin Liu
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Lansing State Journal logo founded online

Lansing State Journal logo founded online

GRAND LEDGE – Alan Miller works as a part-time reporter at Lansing State Journal after twice of his retirements.

Alan Miller covers Grand Ledge City government for the weekly newspaper ̶ Grand Ledge Independent and sometimes the Lansing State Journal.

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