Will you vote yes for your roads

By DeAnna Sanders
The Holt Journal

Rick Knop, co-owner of American Asphalt Lansing

Rick Knop, co-owner of American Asphalt Lansing

In this year’s May election, the ballot will have a proposal on raising the sales tax on the roads from 6 percent to 7 percent.

Rick Knop, co-owner of American Asphalt in Lansing, works in office bidding, estimations, asphalt paving/patching, asphalt sealing, drain repair and hot pour rubber crack filling in both Lansing and Holt.

“I just wish they wouldn’t have tangled up the two issues. I mean the sales tax to account for the road funding, education funding and long-term debt,” Knop said.  “I wish they would have kept the road bill entirely separate and the money that is raised for the roads go directly to the roads.” Continue reading

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St. Patrick’s Day

By DeAnna Sanders
The Holt Journal

Diane Darber

Diane Darber

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner

Jibril Cunningham, Holt resident, said, “March is a holiday known for fun, drinks and leprechauns. … I’m looking for a friendly environment to go this year. I’m not into the partying, loud, drunken mood this year.”

Darb’s Crystal Bar, a family owned business, will be open and ready for customers.

Bob Darber, former co-owner, now manager, runs the business with his family.

Darber said, “I run the bar with my daughter Diane, brother Ted and father Harold who owns it.” Continue reading

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Schools meeting highlights STEM programs, millage

By Andrew Merkle
The Holt Journal 

There were a couple of key issues that highlighted the last Holt Public Schools Board of Education meeting, which took place in March.

The first was an updated curriculum in the district. At Dimondale and Elliott Elementary Schools, a new STEM Program has been instituted and is having much success.

Last year Holt applied for and received a STEM grant of more than $12,000 to be able to implement a STEM program. STEM focuses on science and mathematics, which is made clear by its full name: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The program is Lego-based said Josh Cooper, Dimondale Elementary principal, and currently 245 students from kindergarten through fourth grade are enrolled in the program. The five year goal is for the program to impact more than 3,000 students.

There are currently 10 people trained by STEM professionals, including two administrators and one parent in the district, Cooper said.
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Chad Pipkens competes in Bassmaster Classic

By Haley Kluge
The Holt Journal

With blond spiky hair that rivals a ‘90s boy band, Chad Pipkens, 31, is not the stereotypical professional fisherman.

The Holt native competed in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic in Greensville, South Carolina, where he challenged 54 of the best bass fishermen in the world. After qualifying with his first-place Bass Pro Shops Northern open event on Lake St. Clair, his win brought him eligibility for the Bassmaster to compete for $300,000.

Pipkens Graph

“It’s the Superbowl of fishing,” Chad Pipkens said, after his 41st-place finish. “It’s an honor to even be able to compete in it at all.”

With thousands of spectators, competitors from around the world and live broadcasts from ESPN2, the competition was the first of its kind for Chad Pipkens.

“This is my first Classic, my first competition at this scale and my first time at this caliber,” Pipkens said. “I am proud of how I did and I’m hoping that this isn’t a one-time thing.”

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Easter egg hunt unites generations

By DeAnna Sanders
The Holt Journal

Holt’s Annual Easter egg hunt is approaching and grandchildren and grandparents alike are getting ready to take part.

The hunt is sponsored by the Holt Kiwanis Club and Delhi Parks and Recreation.

John Hayhoe, overseer of event said, “The Holt Kiwanis have been holding an Easter egg hunt for at least 50 years now.”

“All of the communities years ago had Easter egg hunts and the Kiwanis, a civic organization here in Holt, felt it was one of the projects they could take on amongst other projects,” said Hayhoe. “They enjoy doing it and people have come to expect it now.”

According to Hayhoe, he and some volunteers put out about 5,000 eggs and make sure the candy is age appropriate.

“There are about 800 kids that show up, include their parents. That’s about 1,600 people,” said Hayhoe. “It is the largest non-school event that kids go to.”
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With Michigan roads deteriorating, something must be done

sewer hole

By Andrew Merkle
The Holt Journal

They say there are two things guaranteed in life: death and taxes. In Michigan it might be safe toadd a third: deteriorating roads. The condition of roads continues to worsen across the state, and lawmakers have pondered ways to fix the problem.

In Michigan, the current proposed method is an increased retail sales tax increase that will be for the purpose of increasing transportation and infrastructure funding, as well as allowing for increased education spending.

Michigan voters will take to the polls to decide on this issue – Proposal 1 – May 5.

Michigan State University economics professor Kenneth Boyer spoke with the Holt Journal regarding an increased retail sales tax.

“There is nothing to recommend a sales tax as a replacement for fuel taxes since they distort decisions on where and when and how much to drive,” Boyer said. “This makes drivers think, for example, that there is no cost to the public by using a road.”

Proposal 1 would increase the state’s retail sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, and would also eliminate the sales tax on gasoline.

According to an analysis of Proposal 1 conducted by the House Fiscal Agency, if the bill were passed it would lead to increased spending for education as well as increase the earned income tax credit.

The passing of Proposal 1 would increase the amount of sales tax dollars allocated to the School Aid Fund. This fund would also be used solely for the funding of public community colleges, public career and technical education programs, as well as scholarships for students attending either of these institution options.

The School Aid Fund would no longer fund public institutions of higher education.

Another option is a mileage tax. Mileage taxes are similar to a toll and would send more correct signals to drivers regarding the cost of their decisions of driving and where to live and work, Boyer said.

holes

Michigan State senior Kevin Rosenbrook is a Holt native and comes across tens of potholes during his drives to and from class.

“It’s awful,” Rosenbrook said. “I needed a front end alignment last weekend because of a huge pothole near my neighborhood.”

The incident occurred at night, and Rosenbrook was not able to see the pothole in time to be able to avoid it he said.

Regarding an increased sales tax, Rosenbrook is on the fence.

“I’m not so sure (an increased sales tax) is the right way to go, but something has to be done, and it would be better than nothing,” Rosenbrook said. “These roads are just awful. It happens every winter, so you’d think there would be a plan in place to fix the roads in spring.”

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Kidabaloo attracts crowds despite weather

By Haley Kluge
The Holt Journal

Freezing temperatures did not stop 1,000 spectators from coming to Holt High School on Feb. 15 for Townsquare Media’s Kidabaloo event.

Thirty-five vendors featured events and activities during the five-hour expo, in addition to special guest Joey Bragg from Disney’s Liv and Maddie.

“Parents are not coming for themselves, they are coming to give their kids, something fun to do on a cold day,” Jennifer Taylor, Townsquare Media’s live events manager said. “We’re really happy to see such a great turn-out.”

Events included bounce houses, Disney princess look-a-likes, autographs with Bragg, mini golf, face painting, prize booths and more.

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Register to vote

By DeAnna Sanders
The Holt Journal

Amy D. Finch CMC, Delhi Charter Township Assistant Clerk

The May election is less than three months away, but you have less than two months to register, according to Delhi Charter Township Assistant Clerk Amy D. Finch.

“The deadline to register to vote for the May election is April 6,” F inch said. “The actual day to vote is May 5.”

Armon Sims, a Lansing Community College student from Detroit, has never voted and wondered how to register. “My vote isn’t important, said Sims.” “Besides I don’t even know where to vote at or how to register.”

“It’s important to vote in every election, not just the May election, Finch said. “Just to get your voice heard to have your voice count.”
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Kidabaloo helps bust wintery blues

By Haley Kluge
The Holt Journal

Holt High School’s typical student population was replaced with younger children, inflatable bounce houses, face painting and clowns at Kidabaloo on Sunday, Feb. 15.

Kidabaloo, an event sponsored by Townsquare Media, is hosted across the country and was created to break up the winter with entertaining indoor activities.

“With two step-daughters myself, it spurred from the fact that my family is constantly looking for fun things to do that won’t break the bank,” said Jennifer Taylor, Townsquare Media’s live events manager. “In the middle of the winter, it’s nice to have something for kids and parents to do on a cold day.”

But before children and parents ever arrived, Townsquare Media had been prepping for longer than half a year.
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Local fire departments begin working together

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

The initiative is headlined by a Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, a Joint Arson Task Force, and Blue Card training, which have all been set in place within the past year.

The automatic mutual aid system spans political and geographical borders by sending the closest unit to emergencies.

“MABAS is a closest-unit response system. It provides all personnel needed and is pre-scripted throughout the entire county to be efficient and safe,” said Delhi Township Fire Chief Brian Ball.

“MABAS organizes the response by what resources are available and it sets the game plan for public safety,” said Delta Township Fire Chief John Clark.

“To achieve automatic mutual aid we must look more alike,” said East Lansing City Clerk Marie Wicks. “We must work on the same shifts and speak the same language. We are not completely there, but blue card training is designed to achieve this continuity.”

Blue card training has been a huge asset to the shared service municipalities, and is a large part of the mutual aid system’s success.
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