Tag Archives: grand ledge

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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Debating on amending the Zoning District Map

By Jiabin Liu

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

The City Council Meeting at Grand Ledge City Hall by Jiabin Liu

The City Council Meeting at Grand Ledge City Hall
by Jiabin Liu

GRAND LEDGE – the Grand Ledge City Council held a public hearing about an ordinance amending the Zoning District Map on March 24.

The Planning Commission did not approve the rezoning because they were concerned about traffic entering M-100 along the driveway and M-43 (Saginaw Highway) through the parking lot of the existing Doty Professional Building that faces Saginaw Highway.

The majority people in the Planning Commission voted in opposition to the rezoning plan on building 30 apartments in three building.

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May 3 Victorian Days event preparations are almost complete

By Mayara Sanches

Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter

GRAND LEDGE — The preparation for the Victorian Days, a cultural event in Grand Ledge, is underway, and many performers, venues — all around the city’s downtown street — and activities are reserved and set for the festival’s May 3 date.

Shatzie Lee (left) and Sylvania Dye dress in Victorian dresses at one of the committee's fundraising events.

Shatzie Lee (left) and Sylvania Dye dress in Victorian dresses at one of the committee’s fundraising events. Photo by Mayara Sanches

Since the committee who puts on the event uses it to show residents the city’s historical background, many of the activities are the same as the previous years, but they always find something different that could bring more audience into the all-day event, like the Victorian Ball — a 2013s creation.

“It’s a historical festival, so when you come, you learned who lived in the era and their tradition,” said Shatzie Lee, a planning committee member.

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Possible grant puts Grand Ledge family’s home in question

by Ariel Rogers

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE – The Grand Ledge City Council held a public hearing on Monday about the city’s application for a Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant. The city is submitting the grant application for more boat launch improvements and for the purchase of lot 49.

Lot 49 includes the home and land belonging to Sara and Ralph Rounds. The house has been in Ralph’s family since the 1950s when his father and Louis Dible built the home.

Council member Thomas Sowle said in 2013, the city was awarded a grant of $150,000 along with a $50,000 match from the city for redesigning the boat launch. City administrator John Bayless said it is now necessary for additional parking to accomodate the boat launch.

The parking lot for the Jaycee Park boat launch. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

The parking lot for the Jaycee Park boat launch. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

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City council seeks new city administrator

By: Halie Woody

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

Lead executive recruiter from the Michigan Municipal League, Kathie Grinzinger pitches what the MML will do as a recruiter.

Lead executive recruiter from the Michigan Municipal League, Kathie Grinzinger pitches what the MML will do as a recruiter.

GRAND LEDGE- The city council met Monday night with the Michigan Municipal League to discuss recruitment options for a new city administrator.

 

After serving as city administrator for 15 years, Jon Bayless has announced his retirement. With Bayless, leaving the search for his replacement has begun.

 

The lead executive recruiter, Kathie Grinzinger, gave an in depth presentation as to how the recruiting process will go if the council chooses to hire the MML to find a replacement.

 

“Choosing an administrator is one of the most important things you can do during your time on city council,” said Grinzinger.

 

The recruitment process generally takes up to 90 days and the most basic package costs $8,000. The council will work with Grinzinger to create a profile in which they would like to see the next administrator fit that incudes, skills, knowledge and attributes.

 

Challenges of choosing a new administrator

 

While the recruiting process has proven to be beneficial for local governments there are some challenges in keeping the customer satisfied.

 

“Sometimes folks think it should happen so quickly,” Grinzinger said. “People make a list of all these things they want in a candidate and expect to get all of them.”

 

Grinzinger says, “Keeping expectations realistic,” is the most difficult part to the process.

 

The council has not confirmed whether they will be going through with the MML for the recruitment, but all council members seem to be in favor of doing so.

 

MML beneficial to council’s organization

City council members met at city hall to discuss how they will choose the new city administrator

City council members met at city hall to discuss how they will choose the new city administrator

Council member, Sue Roberts, went through a recruiting process about 20 years ago in Mason to choose a new super intendant. During this time, a recruiting agency wasn’t hired and the outcome was very messy.

 

“The screening process wasn’t there and there wasn’t enough background check,” Roberts said. “It was gruesome.”

 

The council has used the MML 15 years ago when they hired Bayless, which proved to be successful.

 

“15 years ago we went through the MML and it came down to Jon and some other guy,” Mayor Kalmin Smith said. “We were so close to picking the other guy but went for Jon and it’s been a great decision.”

 

Furthermore, Bayless agrees that the best option for finding his replacement is through the MML. He says that it’s more organized and will take less time.

 

“It kind of takes the politics out of it,” Bayless said.

 

The council’s final decision is looking to be pursuing recruitment through the MML.

 

 

 

You can contact the reporter for more information at woodyhal@msu.edu

 

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Introducing the new and improved SAT

By Hannah Watts – Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter

Introducing: the new and improved SAT

GLhighschool

 Pictured: Grand Ledge High School  Photo Credit: Hannah Watts

The ACT  makes up the majority of the market for standardized testing in the United States. Starting in 2016, high school students around the country will face a newly refurbished version of the SAT.

College Board officials announced that the new SAT would be a “more accurate” assessment of college readiness for high school students.

“They also say it will be more evidence-based and less subjective, putting emphasis on the types of knowledge that students will actually need in college and in the workplace,” explained Linda Wacyk, director of communications at Michigan Association of School Administrators and trustee on the Grand Ledge High School Board of Education.

A market scramble  

Whether students take the ACT or the SAT is contingent on the requirements of the college or university they wish to attend.

The ACT  dominates the market for college-preparatory testing, especially in Michigan, but this has not always reigned true. In fact, SAT test-takers historically outnumbered ACT test-takers until 2012.

 

satVSactPictured: The number of ACT test-takers versus SAT test-takers.
[Graph Courtesy of Huffington Post]

“This is Coke versus Pepsi trying to hold onto, or in this case trying to regain, market share,” Bob Schaeffer, director of public education at FairTest told the Huffington Post.

Transition period

College freshmen often experience difficulty in adjusting to college level expectations. Linda Forward, director of the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation at the Michigan Department of Education, explained that a main reason for the changes is to help students transition between high school and college expectations.

“We want kids to go somewhere and do something after high school without experiencing a lot of remediation,” Forward said. “The first year is often taken up trying to catch up on expectations between high school and college.”

Student and community impact 

Though standardized test scores are an increasingly important benchmark for institutions to admit students, they are not the single determining factor.

“If I were a college administrator, test scores would be just one thing I would look at when admitting potential students,” said Brody Boucher, president of the Board of Education at Grand Ledge High School. “That [the test] is one day– three hours. They [the scores] are our indicator, as education officials, that we are making the right choices in educating our children.”

In addition to test scores, institutions admit students based on factors like cumulative GPA, the rigor of the high school curriculum, quality extracurricular involvement, community service and solid admissions essays.

“Education testing is a big business,” Wacyk said. “The College Board has every right to try to improve its product and gain a bigger market share but I hope that by having access to a better test, students will be the ones to win in the end.”

Contact reporter Hannah Watts at wattsha2@msu.edu. 

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“Rocky Horror” draws business from all over state to Grand Ledge

by Ariel Rogers

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE- The small town of Grand Ledge is relatively conservative during the day, but on some Saturdays at midnight, fans of all ages come out to the Sun Theatre for a night of fun.

The Grand Ledge Sun Theatre draws people from all over the state to see the cult classic movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Photo by Ariel Rogers.

Dylan Sowle organizes the showings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the theater with the help of his friends.

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Pothole season is in full effect

by Ariel Rogers

Grand Ledge Gazette Staff Writer

GRAND LEDGE – The weather warming up brings a bigger problem than just slushy shoes – potholes. Michigan is well known for roads in poor condition. Jenne Street, the Meijer parking lot and the Quality Dairy parking lot are major problem areas for potholes in Grand Ledge. Blair Ballou of the Eaton County Road Commission said it  is easier to talk about roads in good condition since there are so many that are not. The two Grand Ledge roads Ballou said that were the least problematic in Grand Ledge are Willow Highway and Broadbent Road due to recent resurfacing.

“There used to be a sink hole that would need to be patched often on Willow Highway,” Grand Ledge resident Eric Beadle said. “It was not remedied until the recent repaving of Willow Highway.”

Grand Ledge resident Nic Houle was driving down Willow Highway last winter when he unknowingly drove over a large snow covered pothole.Willow Highway in Grand Ledge used to be riddled with dangerous potholes before it was recently resurfaced. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

Willow Highway in Grand Ledge used to be riddled with dangerous potholes before the city resurfaced it. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

“It jarred me enough that I didn’t realize anything was wrong, but about a quarter of a mile later I could tell my car was messed up,” Houle said. “I pulled over at the GoLo [gas station] and realized that I had ruined the rim because it was so shredded.”A large number of big potholes in the Quality Dairy parking lot are dangerous obstacles to drivers. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

A large number of big potholes in the Quality Dairy parking lot are dangerous obstacles to drivers. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

Government funding

“The state government funds road repair, and I’m sure with Michigan weather being what it is, that is not cheap,” said Grand Ledge resident Austin Gullett.

Gullett is right. The Michigan Senate just approved $100 million to go toward road repairs, and the House is looking to get more.

“Michigan weather is awful for roads, but it’s a part of life here,” Gullett said. “Imagine having chronic back pain for your entire life. Eventually you learn to live with it. It still hurts and is still a major inconvenience, and the brief periods of relief do not go unnoticed. You accept it as a part of your life that just always needs to be dealt with.”

To provide residents with information, the Michigan Transportation Team created a website to encourage Michigan residents to contact legislators to increase funding for damaged roads. There is also a contest on the website for four $500 prizes that will go toward car repairs caused by potholes.

Repairing the damage

Contrary to popular belief, potholes are not a major cause of car damage. Tony Ciaramella is a customer manager in the service department at Sundance Chevrolet in Grand Ledge and sees usual winter repairs.

“Our influx of repairs just because of potholes is not tremendous,” Ciaramella said. “Repairs we see more of are suspension work and ball joints breaking. These problems are often caused by speed bumps. ”

Ballou said that the Eaton County Road Commission is going to focus more on repairing high-speed roads, as they pose higher safety risks.

“Residential areas are less likely to have a safety problem due to lower volumes of traffic and slower speeds,” Ballou said. “In the past week, and for the next three weeks, we’re going to concentrate on the large holes and the 45 and 55 mph roadways.”

Ciaramella said a lot of the damages that cars undergo are due to poor maintenance and upkeep by the owners.

“If you take care of your car, your car will take care of you,” Ciaramella said.

For more information, contact Ariel Rogers at roger219@msu.edu

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Garage sale season lasts yearlong in Grand Ledge

By Ariel Rogers

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

GRAND LEDGE – Garage sale season is alive and well even during the winter months on the Grand Ledge Area Garage Sale Facebook group. The group was started by Holly Jenks in October 2012 and currently has more than 3,300 members.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that in just 15 months we’d have nearly 4,000 members,” Jenks said.

Jenks started the page in 2012 after seeing garage sale groups on Facebook and saw that there was not one for Grand Ledge. Members of the group post advertisements looking for used items to buy, or post their used items to sell. Items are typically sold on a first-come first-served basis, but sometimes are bought by the person with the best offer. The Meijer parking lot and McDonald’s are common places for members to meet to carry out the sale.

The Grand Ledge Area Garage Sale Facebook page is ran by Holly Jenks and has over 3,000 members. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

The Grand Ledge Area Garage Sale Facebook page is ran by Holly Jenks and has over 3,000 members. Photo by Ariel Rogers.

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