District reports north campus is working; objections remain

By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

The Holt Board of Education discussed the status of the district’s new north campus during Tuesday’s meeting. The concept of a separate building for 12th-graders generated controversy when it was introduced earlier this year.

High School Principal Mike Willard told the Board that, while he knows not everyone agrees with the idea, a “north campus culture” has developed. The students are taking ownership of self-directed learning, he said.

“The teachers told me out of 25 years of teaching, this is the best year they’ve ever had,” Willard said, adding that the students have also started their own coffee business.

Superintendent Johnny Scott said the senior campus operates on a bell-less schedule and promotes a collaborative work environment.

“The whole premise that the north campus experience is designed around is creating an environment that would prepare kids for life beyond high school that would be similar to a college-like atmosphere,” Scott said.

Since the beginning of the year, the district has been working out the logistical issues associated with the north campus. Holt residents were concerned about students’ ability to get to class on time and cross the road safely. Scott said a shuttle system runs students among the campuses three times a day and students are also able to drive their cars.

“We had to work some logistics out and synchronize times on how classes would begin and end, so there were some nuances we had to work through,” Scott said. The superintendent added that he is currently pleased with the way the north campus is working.

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Third annual Ruth’s Race raises thousands for Holt community and beyond

Ruth's Race participants

By Laniesha Evans
Holt Journal

“In the past, the Ruth Race fundraiser has donated over 5,000 dollars to the H.O.L.T. Scholarship fund. And there are currently ten H.O.L.T. scholarship recipients,” said Holt Schools Superintendent Dr. Johnny Scott.”

On October 4th the Delhi/Holt community came together to participate in the third annual multi-cause 5k walk and run fundraiser, known as Ruth’s Race. The race is in memory of former Holt High School track coordinator, Ruth Pridgeon who passed away from pancreatic cancer.
The race is coordinated annually by Holt High School Varsity Track Coach and Ruth’s Race Director, Ross Malatinsky and volunteer committee to raise awareness and to donate to help fight pancreatic cancer, multiple sclerosis, and H.O.L.T Scholarship fund.

Malatinsky said, “We donate to each cause Pancan, MS Society, H.O.L.T. Scholarship Program. A combination of the funds we raised from the race along with the revenue that we generate  from Holt track club Summer Program, which is another program that Ruth and I started over five years ago to promote the sport of track and field and healthy living. We should be able to donate a couple thousand dollars to each of the three causes.”

A large crowd of high school students, parents and members of the community participated in this race despite the rainy weather conditions.

“The weather does not bother me because I love running, plus this event is benefiting multiple causes and giving multiple students a chance to have higher education with scholarships,” said Board of Trustee candidate Rick Brooks.

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Delhi trails now entirely non-motorized pathways

A sign in between Sycamore and Valhalla trails informing the non-motorized  pathway ordinance on Oct 16, 2014.

A sign in between Sycamore and Valhalla trails informing the non-motorized
pathway ordinance on Oct 16, 2014.

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

The Delhi Trails are now entirely non-motorized pathways through Delhi Township’s latest addition to the Sycamore trail.

The Delhi Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the motor-free provision at its meeting on Oct. 7, 2014.

The Sycamore trail located between Jolly and Willoughby roads provides the community with the luxury of having all of its trails connected and motor-free.

Township Supervisor C.J. Davis said the trail did not cost taxpayers any money and the board is looking into ways to further provide the trails with inexpensive bike racks that double as art.

Increased biking opportunities are one of the Sycamore Trail connection’s benefits.

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Posted in Budget, Business, Delhi Township government, Education, Holt schools, Meetings, Parks & recreation, Roads, Town Hall Meetings, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Holt schools count day down 87 students from 2013

Students at Holt High School walking to class on Wednesday Oct. 8, 2014.

Students at Holt High School walking to class on Wednesday Oct. 8.

By Ryan Kryska
The Holt Journal

Holt Public School District’s student count was down 87 students from last fall’s 5,811 students said Jan Dodge, pupil accounting and data coordinator of the Holt Public School District’s curriculum office.

Michigan school districts statewide underwent count day on Wednesday Oct. 1, 2014, through which Holt Public Schools counted 5,724 students.

Because of the count drop, the Holt Public School District will receive less state aid than last year. However, the district will not have to cut resources and services because of accurate budget estimates and financial planning, said Dodge.

Dodge said the reason for the 1.5 percent decrease in attendance was fewer school-of-choice opportunities being offered by the district, resulting in lower overall enrollment.
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Fire Prevention Week activities culminate Saturday

By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

As part of Fire Prevention Week, the Delhi Charter Township Fire Department hosted its annual open house Thursday. The department opened its doors to residents from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Twins Kya and Keegan were excited to see Sparty at the Delhi Charter Township Fire Department's open house. Amanda Heinrich, the twins’ mother, says Kya wants to be a firefighter when she grows up.

Twins Kya and Keegan were excited to see Sparty at the Delhi Charter Township Fire Department’s open house. Amanda Heinrich, the twins’ mother, says Kya wants to be a firefighter when she grows up.

Visitors to the station on Aurelius Road could look at the firefighters’ equipment and ask questions about fire safety and prevention. Children participated in activities that taught them how to handle fire extinguishers and how to be safe at home in case of an emergency.

The department also provided safety information for adults. The department gave smoke alarms and pamphlets to township residents. Also available were items like the “vial of life,” a magnetic list where residents can write down their medical information to assist emergency personnel.
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Nonprofit to replace DDA by 2024

By Kelsey Block
The Holt Journal

A nonprofit is getting its start in Holt. Holt Community Connect was created to continue the work of the Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, which is set to expire in 2024.

“We’ve reinvested more than $100 million in this community. There are lots of things that wouldn’t be here without us,” DDA Executive Director Carl Howard Haas said. Throughout its history, the DDA has been involved in projects such as the construction of the trail system, the senior center and the industrial park.

The DDA is supported by taxes from Ingham County and Delhi Charter Township. According to Haas, the original charter expired in 2001. After that, Haas said it was rewritten to state that every five years, the DDA would give back 20 percent more of its funding to the organizations from which it collects taxes. “Every five years, our financial ability shrinks 20 percent,” Haas said, adding that funds will be completely exhausted in the next 10 years.

Haas said that Holt Community Connect is currently running parallel to the DDA and that the two organizations are working together closely.
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Register by Oct. 6 to vote in November

By Laniesha Evans
The Holt Journal

Delhi Township Clerk Evan Hope

The deadline for voter registration is Oct. 6, and the Delhi Charter Township Clerk’s Office recommends residents quickly register online at the Michigan Secretary of State, or at the clerk’s office.

Township Clerk Evan Hope also advocates absentee voting because he has seen that it is effective.

“We get back 90 percent of absentee ballots that are sent out to residents,” said Hope.

Holt may not have a big student population like East Lansing, but for students who are away from their registered county and who wish to vote where they live, they are able to register for absentee voting online.

“We encourage anybody to get absentee ballots if there is any doubt about being able to make it to the election polls on Election Day,” said Hope.

The absentee ballot deadline is the Saturday before election day at 2 p.m. The day before the election, Monday, Nov. 3, residents are allowed to vote until 4 p.m. in the clerk’s office. On Election Day, absentee voting will be available on an emergency basis only. residents with severe emergencies may call the clerk’s office and a ballot will be delivered to them.

Currently, voter registration is high in Delhi and the clerk’s office hopes that remains. “Non- registered residents need to register now,” said Hope. “Do not wait until the last week because there is a possibility your registration won’t be processed in time for the election.”

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Farmers’ market to be open year round

Rowe Family Farmers' assisting customers at the Farmers' Market

Rowe Farmers’ assisting customers at the Farmers’ Market

By Laniesha Evans
The Holt Journal

Holt Farmers’ Market is located in the building that was the fire station in 2007. The farmers’ market normally shuts down for winter but due to customer demand, Market Director Chuck Grinnell has agreed to keep the business open year round. The market brings the community together every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“This is the first year the Farmers’ Market will be opened year round. Starting the first Saturday of November the business hours will change to 10  a.m. to 2 p.m.,” said Grinnell.

“I never realized how important it would become for the community to socialize. The farmers’ market is volunteer based and it is our community hub to meet people and even some officials in politics and throughout the community,” said Grinnell.
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New trail connects Holt to Lansing

By Kelsey Block
Holt Journal

The Trailhead Park is located on Holt Road and provides parking, grills and picnic tables for public use.

The Trailhead Park is located on Holt Road and provides parking, grills and picnic tables for public use.

Construction is nearly complete on Holt’s Sycamore Trail. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at 4184 Willoughby Road.

The trail, which starts at the intersection of Jolly and Aurelius roads and ends on Willoughby Road, connects the existing Valhalla Trail with the Lansing River Trail. No motorized traffic is allowed, but Sycamore Trail welcomes pedestrians, bikers and pets.

Tracy Miller, director of community development for Delhi Township, says the project has been planned for more than ten years and cost approximately $3 million. The project was paid for with grants from the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Delhi Township.

“It took that long to figure out all the moving pieces,” Miller said. “The goal was to create regional connectivity. People love trails and having one that connects to a regional trail system is really important to the quality of life here in Delhi Township.”
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Is a facelift in store for Cedar Street?

Map Of Delhi Charter Township Downtown Triangle

By Miranda Chavez
Holt Journal staff writer

Reduced speed limits, roundabouts and changes to the street landscape are just a few of the rumors surrounding the changes that will be coming to Cedar Street in Delhi Charter Township.

The question on most community members’ minds is “What is really happening to Cedar Street?”

According to Director of Community Development Tracy L.C. Miller, the township is working on updating and improving what is called the downtown triangle.

“It has been in the community’s master plan to sort of create this downtown, for a community that doesn’t really have a downtown,” said Miller.

The downtown triangle is the area between the intersections of Holt Road and Aurelius Road, Cedar Street and Holt Road, and Cedar Street and Aurelius Road.

Miller said that the township has already changed the street on Holt Road. It has also updated some infrastructure on Aurelius Road. The senior center, the township office and library are just a few buildings that have been updated recently.
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