Tag Archives: grand ledge

Grand Ledge warns drivers to prepare for winter traffic conditions

By DeVinnia Moore
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

Quiet streets of Downtown Grand Ledge Photo Credit : DeVinnia Moore

Quiet streets of Downtown Grand Ledge
Photo Credit : DeVinnia Moore

With winter approaching, bringing icy roads, gloomy skies and crazy winds, traffic experts are reminding Grand ledge commuters to drive safely.

“The average traffic issue will vary with the time of year,” said Chris Blievernicht, a Grand Ledge police lieutenant.

Experts say drivers need to calibrate their habits for the changing conditions.

“In the beginning of winter, drivers mindsets have to adjust to conditions,” said David Kack, the mobility and public transportation program manager at the Western Transportation Institute.

“In the winter time people tend drive too fast for the weather conditions and this causes them to run lights or slide through stop signs,” said Kack.

Grand Ledge city officials are friends as well as colleagues

By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

On Oct. 26, the city of Grand Ledge was having its last city council meeting with current elected officials, ahead of elections that were occurring within the next week.

Everyone sat in their typical spots and went about their business and normal conversations, while the chairs in the audience for Grand Ledge residents were all empty.

According to The City of Grand Ledge, the agenda for the meetings are posted every week for the public to go over topic of conversation if they want to join.

Conversations such as downtown development, tree board and planning commission were all topics of conversations, but nonetheless, behind those suits was a typical everyday guy who loved what they do.

Adam Smith, city administrator for the city of Grand Ledge said, “I enjoy what I do and the people I work with.”

Is anyone here? Low citizen turnout at City Council meetings common

Members of Grand Ledge's city council during Nov. 9 City Council meeting. Photo Credit: Peter Nuttall

Members of Grand Ledge’s city council during the Nov. 9 city council meeting. Photo Credit: Peter Nuttall

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

On Nov. 9, the city of Grand Ledge held their first city council meeting, since the recent Election Day, at the Grand Ledge City Hall. The newly-elected city council members were sworn in and then they got right to work.

Business ran as usual as the mayor, ward representatives, department heads, city clerk, and city administrator all sat down.

Other than them, no one else from the city of Grand Ledge attended the meeting. That fact that didn’t seem to shock anybody on the city council.

“We actually see more students from Michigan State and the local community colleges come down to these meetings than we do our citizens,” Representative of Ward 1, Keith Mulder, joked.

Small business survive, thrive in Grand Ledge

DeVinnia Moore
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

Big Purple Bloomers located at 304 S Bridge Street 48837 Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

Big Purple Bloomers located at 304 S. Bridge St.
Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

As Michigan continues its economic recovery, small businesses still struggle to survive. Grand Ledge offers many businesses that have managed to survive some of the toughest economic times.

Some of the local businesses in Grand Ledge such as MacDowell’s, About the Home, Sophia’s House of Pancakes and more have managed to stay in business even after Michigan’s big economic issues back in 2008 and 2009.

This upcoming June will be five years in business for the women’s clothing store Big Purple Bloomers. The shop in downtown Grand Ledge is owned by Marilyn Sample. Sample’s granddaughter, Cassey Stornat, said Sample loves being in Grand Ledge.

“My grandmother would not relocate because she loves the small-town feeling,” said Stornat.

Diane Smith said it is important for businesses in a small town to follow certain patterns. Smith is a Michigan State University Extension educator who has expert roles in sustainable community, business development and economic development. Smith said local businesses should be relatable to the community.

“Staying in touch with the community is important for businesses in small towns,” said Smith. “Showing their support for the community.”

Grand Ledge households are doing well financially, on average

By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

According to Grand Ledge, MI Profile, Grand Ledge is above the Michigan and the U.S. annual median household income average.

The website reports that the annual household income of Grand Ledge in the year 2015 was at $69,192 and has been rising each year.


Median household income. Photo by Paige Wester

Karen Tabor, a Grand Ledge resident, said that most families live very comfortably in this town.

“I know a lot of the people in this town and many of my friends and family live a very good life being able to take vacations when they want and take time off work when they feel like they should,” Tabor said. “It is nice living in city where a majority of the people and families are financially stable.”

Tabor, who has been a stay-at-home mom for almost 10 years, has had the privilege to raise her children while her husband brings home the bacon. She said most of her friends are also stay at home like her and she feels as if it is something not most mothers get to do as often nowadays.

“Living in a smaller town instead of a big city really helps financially for my family and many others,” Tabor said. “We aren’t struggling to spend time with our children or living pay check to pay check.”

No competition means not many voters in this year’s civic election

A "Vote Here" stand outside of the precinct hall. Photo by Peter Nuttall

A “Vote Here” stands outside of a precinct location. Photo by Peter Nuttall

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

This past Election Day in Grand Ledge resulted in a poor turnout of voters. According to Grand Ledge City Clerk Gregory Newman, only 10 percent of the registered voters in the city of Grand Ledge came out to the polls to vote on Nov. 3.

“Ten percent is a very disappointing number,” Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith said.

This year was a non-presidential election year where only city council spots were up for election. Newman said that in the past, whenever the city council is the only one on the ballot, it’s usually a low turnout.

Also, according to Smith all four candidates on the local ballot were running unopposed, something that he believes may have aided in the low voter turnout this year.

“When none of the candidates have any competition, there’s no incentive for citizens to come out and vote,” Smith said.

Grand Ledge’s ballot included the position of mayor and also three Grand Ledge City Council representatives, which each individually represents one of Grand Ledge’s three wards.

Graduation rates are sky-high at Grand Ledge High School

By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

According to Public School Review, Grand Ledge can’t get any better at graduating its high school students.

The Web site reports that the graduation rate at Grand Ledge High School is a perfect 100 percent.

Steve Stoll, a Grand Ledge resident, said that the schools here are such a huge focal point of this town.

“With Grand Ledge being such a small town, we as parents really get involved with our kids schooling and athletics,” Stoll said. “I always know what is happening with most of the kids because all of the parents are friends as well.”

Stoll, who has had two kids graduate from Grand Ledge High School recently, has seen the success and the few failures the school has had in the last decade. He said parents are constantly pushing their kids to be the best and trying to hold them to a higher standard than the surrounding schools in the area.

“With a smaller community, it is easier to keep an eye on the kids and watch who is going down the right or wrong path,” Stoll said. “When we see certain kids choosing a bad path we know immediately and are able to try and fix the problem compared to a larger school where some kids can just fly under the radar.”

Grand Ledge is the place to be for rock climbing in Lower Peninsula

By Paige Wester
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

When people think of rock climbing, outsiders may think of the Rocky or Appalachian mountains. But in Grand Ledge, natives know right here is a place for people to flock to for rock walls.

According to rockclimbing.com, Grand Ledge has one of only a few places to climb on rock in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula at Oak Park, which is owned by the city of Grand Ledge.

Keith Martin, a resident of Grand Ledge, said that Oak Park is definitely the biggest attraction Grand Ledge has to offer.

Grand Ledge citizens and people from out of town don’t have to drive hours and hours to do something they love. “We are proud of what this town has to offer and our rock climbing makes a great place to climb or even just for the scenery,” said Martin. “People find real happiness when they can do what they love and not have to travel too far to do it.”

Peter Prowl, a resident of the Eaton County area for many years, said that rock climbing has been his escape from reality for many years and he is so thankful that Oak Park is so close to his home.

climbing season

Best months to climb in Grand Ledge. Photo by Paige Wester.

“Climbing season is much longer in the Lower Peninsula compared to the UP because the weather stays warmer longer,” said Prowl.

Police making rounds at Grand Ledge High School

Students outside of Grand Ledge High School. Photo by Peter Nuttall

Students outside of Grand Ledge High School. Photo by Peter Nuttall

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge staff reporter

From Columbine, Colo., to Newtown, Conn., and just recently Roseburg, Ore., the unexpected gun violence that occurs at schools, a place where children should be learning, makes the situations that occur almost always a tragic one. And it’s a tragedy that seems to be happening far too often in the United States.

Officer Chris Chester, of the Grand Ledge Police Department, is stationed at Grand Ledge High School to make sure Grand Ledge isn’t added to these lists of towns. He monitors and maintains the safety of the students/faculty. Not just at the high school, but also the middle schools, and the elementary schools. He’s the school resource officer for Grand Ledge Public Schools.

“He is the school resource officer, but he’s not the school security guard,” Police Chief Martin Underhill said. “He’s a community policing officer, placed in a community of almost 2,000 people during the day.”

Chester, is currently in his fourth school year as the school resource officer. He’s been with the Grand Ledge police force for 13 years. He said they’ve been consistently updating their safety protocols that they’ve been doing for years. They seem to be working. Grand Ledge hasn’t had any recent major problems in their schools when it comes to gun violence or crime.

“We’re a pretty stable community,” Mayor Kalmin Smith said. “We don’t have a lot of the detentions that you might have in an urban school district, for example.”

Since 2013, according to everytownresearch.org, there have been 152 school shootings in the United States. Lansing Community College criminology professor Mark Stevens believes a lot of the reasons schools are such a common place for these mass shootings are because schools are weapon-free zones.

The number of school shootings in the US since 2013, broken down by the number of school shootings each year.

The number of school shootings in the U.S. since 2013, broken down by the number of school shootings each year.

“For somebody who is anticipating in doing school violence, part of the attraction to schools is they’re all weapon free zones,” Stevens said. “So they know, that they’re (the students/faculty) sitting ducks. It’s unfortunate.”

Grand Ledge Emergency Services will be training in old scout building

By DeVinnia Moore
Living in the Ledge staff reporter

City Council meeting room. Picture taken right before Oct. 12, 2015 meeting began. Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

City Council meeting room. Picture taken right before the Oct. 12, 2015 meeting.
Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

A motion to authorize the Grand Ledge Area Emergency Services Authority to conduct training exercises at the so-called old scout building was approved during a city council meeting on Oct. 12.

“The building was used most recently as a community center, senior center, reception hall and during community festivals,” said Fire Chief Casey Godlewski. “It got its name because it was used as a meeting place for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts in years past.”

Back in July, the city council approved the decision to demolish the old scout building located in Jaycee Park.

Map of where the old scout building is located. 525 E River St, Grand Ledge, MI 48837 Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

Map of where the old scout building is located.
525 E. River St., Grand Leddge, MI 48837
Photo Credit: DeVinnia Moore

“There were concerns regarding its structural integrity,” City Administrator Adam Smith said.

In a letter of commission, building inspector Michael Mowery suggested the building be demolished for safety and maintenance purposes.

Godlewski said Emergency Services has limited opportunities to train on real structures, this is why they take the opportunity to practice on houses or buildings before they are demolished.

“The DEQ (state Department of Environmental Quality) regulations have pretty much eliminated live burning training, so that portion of real world training isn’t offered as much,” Godlewski said.