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Design For America works with North School to teach 5th grade class about alternative energy, apart from standardized tests

 The organization is attending Sarah Laurens’ fifth grade class at North School in Lansing in May to teach them how to use alternative energy.


The organization is attending Sarah Laurens’ fifth grade class at North School in Lansing in May to teach them how to use alternative energy.

By Jamie Brewer
Ingham County Chronicle

The East Lansing Design For America division is working to find a way to help elementary students at low-income schools in Lansing learn about alternative energy in an interactive and fun way.

DFA is a national organization that uses design to create social impact, according to East Lansing DFA President Evan Fried.

The question the group came up with was, “How can we assist teachers in low-income schools in teaching alternative energy in an attractive way?” DFA member Hannah Hunter said.

Low-income schools’ main focus is raising standardized tests scores, according to Sarah Laurens, a fifth grade teacher at Lansing’s North School. Therefore the teachers at North School were excited to have DFA step in and help encourage alternative ways of learning to the students.

“In particular, I enjoyed their open-mindedness and flexibility towards working with my students who are predominantly non-native English speakers,” Laurens said.

North School is a kindergarten through sixth grade elementary school with over 600 students. A majority of these students are English learners. Many of the students have come from war-torn countries with interruptions in their education or from refugee camps in Lansing. North School also has an autism program, a deaf and hard-of-hearing program and a cognitively impaired program, according to Laurens.

Laurens said there is a lot of stress for teachers to focus on raising standardized test scores which may be hurting teachers and students.

“I feel a haunting sense of sadness, as my gut tells me that we are sliding backwards into an atlas-style teaching model of the 1950s while paying lip service to cutting-edge, research-based teaching models,” Laurens said.
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Lower Michigan Horse Association Horse Show meets Ingham County

By Darien Velasquez
Ingham County Chronicle

horse

INGHAM COUNTY – The Lower Michigan Horse Association Horse Show will make its return April 17-19. The association will be hosting the show at the Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center. In the week before, the association will be onsite to prep the fairgrounds as well as further horse and horse exhibitor recruitment. According to the association, it can assist to prepare the necessary stall equipment if you do not know the necessary preparations.

The focus for this year’s show is to promote interest in all breeds of horses. According to organizer Karol Holzhei, this covers a wide rage of horses such as american quarter horse, arabians, and even draft breeds. Someone can expect to show or see horses like thoroughbreds, ponies, warmbloods, appaloosa, the morgan horse, grade horses, gaited breeds and many more. “Our mission is to support family based activities in the equine field.” said Holzhei. There will be a series of performances, also known as classes, for prizes in different categories.

According to Secretary Leroy Aune, you can still be involved in the event by still entering your horse or by sponsoring. This show provides opportunities to view and show horses as well as meet and socialize with others in the community. Aune said “We’re promoting more horse shows, plus we introduce awesome competition to the other horse show members in the greater lansing area.”

The show is open for all to attend. There is a membership offered to participants who choose, they also receive the perks of using the blanket fee as well as other benefits.

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Volunteerism is celebrated at the Humanitarian Awards Banquet

By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

 

Roxann Wilkinson was the recipient of one out of the three Outstanding Foster Awards given in 2015.

Roxann Wilkinson was the recipient of one out of the three Outstanding Foster Awards given in 2015.

The Kellogg Center was alive with excitement on March 26 as Ingham County Animal Shelter volunteers, employees and pet-owners gathered for the annual Humanitarian Awards Banquet. The event is designed to celebrate the work of shelter volunteers as well as raise money for the Animal Care Fund. At the 2015 banquet there were silent and live auctions, a photo booth and appearances by two recently adopted shelter dogs.

According to shelter volunteer coordinator Ashley Hayes, 220 people attended this year’s event, an increase from the 160 who attended in 2014. In addition, more than $11,000 was raised for the Animal Care Fund between ticket sales, donations and auction proceeds.

However, the success of the night was measured by more than the number of people and money made.

“The coolest part is getting to see people when they’re not in their scrubs or their jeans and their T-shirts,” said Hayes. “You almost don’t recognize everybody.”

Guests at the awards banquet enjoyed opportunities to have their picture taken with mascot Chippy.

Guests at the awards banquet enjoyed opportunities to have their picture taken with mascot Chippy.

Shelter volunteer and 2015 Outstanding Foster Award recipient Roxann Wilkinson said the chance to visit with her friends and fellow volunteers away from the shelter is the best part of the evening.

Wilkinson has been fostering dogs from the animal shelter for almost six years. She also said she has fostered about 80 dogs, and that her favorite part is seeing the healing in the dogs she cares for.

“It’s nice to see them come out of their shell and become a completely different dog,” said Wilkinson. “All of the volunteers really bond over the sad cases.”

For teen volunteer Dory Gaughran, the 2015 Humanitarian Awards Banquet was her first. Gaughran said she enjoyed spending time with people she has bonded with at the shelter, and celebrating the work she has done in the past year.

“It’s really good to know that you’re doing something for these animals,” said Gaughran.

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Opportunities in insurance come to the Capital Area Career Center

By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

Ingham Intermediate Board members listen as the Insurance Leadership Academy program is announced.

Ingham Intermediate Board members listen as the Insurance Leadership Academy program is announced.

The new Insurance Leadership Academy program was announced at the March 17 Ingham County Intermediate Board of Education meeting. The program, run through the Capital Area Career Center, will provide high school juniors and seniors with opportunities to get experience in the insurance field. Earning college credit is also possible with this program as the Career Center has partnered with Olivet College and Ferris State University. Students will gain hands-on experience by working at Accident Fund Insurance three days a week.

Students in the Insurance Leadership academy will spend approximately half of each school day in the program classes. Three days a week will be devoted to learning about insurance in a class room environment and the other two days will be spent at Accident Fund to gain field experience. There will be morning and afternoon sections. Students in the morning session will go to Lansing Eastern High School for their class days. Those in the afternoon session will go to the Capital Area Career Center.

The Insurance Leadership Academy in Ingham County is modeled after a program in Eaton County. Olivet College student Leah Lupu attended the Eaton County program in its second year. Lupu said she felt far more prepared than her peers as a college freshman because of her participation in the program. She also said that, because she had a basic knowledge of the field before attending college, she was able to obtain two licenses to sell insurance.

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Cindy Anderson said the insurance program is one of four being brought to the Capital Area Career Center for next year because insurance will soon be a career with very high demand. According to Communications Director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan Lori Conarton, 40 percent of the insurance industry’s workforce is age 55 or older and will be retiring soon.

While students are able to earn nine college credits in the program, Lansing School District Superintendent for Instruction Mark Coscarella said the aim of the program is to give students enough experience to get an entry level job in insurance immediately after high school graduation. It will also prepare those who are college bound to excel in college programs that are relative to insurance.

Students who wish to enroll in the program for the 2015 to 2016 school year must send in an application. The program is open only to high school juniors and seniors, and there is room for 22 students in each section. Transportation will be provided to students to and from the program. Informational meetings will be held on April 22 and May 20 from 6-7 p.m. at the Capital Area Career Center. In addition, more information about the program and insurance careers can be found at insuringmifuture.org.

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CATA’s $145 million Bus Rapid Transit looks to transform bus system on Grand River and Michigan Avenue

By Kellie Van Maele
The Ingham County Chronicle

Every morning, Michigan State University freshman Krista Dunger gathers her belongings and heads to the CATA route one station outside of her apartment complex. Being a frequent rider, Dunger is aware of an upcoming change that would transform Michigan Avenue and Grand River Avenue before she graduates.

The revitalization promises faster, easier and more efficient rides to its 1.8 million riders per year, which is very pleasing to Dunger because, compared to other students, she has some extra baggage to carry.

A new BRT bus courtesy of CATA's website.

A new BRT bus courtesy of CATA’s website.

“Having a baby and trying to juggle school is definitely not easy, but route one has been so reliable,” Dunger said, “Hearing of the upcoming changes to route one is exciting because it will make my commutes to campus and work so much easier.”

Laurie Robison, director of marketing at CATA, said that the new bus system will be more accommodating to riders.

“Right now at peak times, CATA is unable to accommodate all customers who want to ride because the busses are too crowded,” Robison said. “It is proposed that new buses along the new route would operate every six minutes using 60-foot buses, compared to the current 40-foot busses operating every 10 minutes, which adds capacity and improves the frequency without negatively impacting automobile traffic.”
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County commissioners amend a 2014 resolution

By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle

Ingham County commissioners talk before the start of the meeting.

Ingham County commissioners talk before the start of the meeting.

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners has voted to authorize a subcontract with the South Lansing Community Development Association for $25,952. The resolution for the subcontract passed unanimously and was discussed at the March 10 meeting. It amends a resolution that was passed in October 2014 to subcontract with several other nonprofit organizations in Ingham County. The contracts were authorized for the period of Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015.

According to Commissioner Brian McGrain, the subcontract with the South Lansing Community Development Association was accidentally omitted from the original resolution.

“Contracts can essentially only be authorized by board action, and it was discovered after the fact that we hadn’t officially authorized their inclusion,” said McGrain. “I believe it was discovered when contracts were being written.”

McGrain also said the Association was included in original resolution, and that there will be no additional costs.
According to Commissioner Todd Tennis, the association has been subcontracting since 2008, as well as several other nonprofit organizations.

“Agencies provide quarterly reports, including programmatic and financial data, on their activities and services,” said Tennis. “Currently, we only use the information to ensure that sites are holding up to their contractual agreements.”

According to McGrain, the organizations included in the resolution act as liaisons between the board and the communities in Ingham County.

Kathie Dunbar is the executive director of the South Lansing Community Development Association. She said one of the biggest functions of the association is to provide neighborhoods access to community gardens and healthy food.
According to the Association’s website, southlansing.org, other goals include advocating for policies that benefit the community, connecting residents to community resources and encouraging local commerce.

Some of the other organizations under contract with the Board of Commissioners include the Allen Neighborhood Center, North West Initiative and the South Side Community Coalition.

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Lake Lansing South summer concert series promises free family fun

By Kellie Van Maele
The Ingham County Chronicle

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.10.41 AM
INGHAM COUNTY— The Lake Lansing South Band Shell committee recently announced the concert lineup for the 2015 summer concert series. Starting on June 5, there will be a free concert every Friday for 13 weeks. All performances start at 7 p.m. and will last approximately two hours. The bandshell is located at 1621 Pike Street in Haslett.

The committee’s goals are to keep the concerts free, as well as bring in a variety of bands.

“Most importantly we want our community members to be able to enjoy a free night of entertainment,” said Pat Witte, park manager. “It’s a great way to spend a Friday night, especially because it is so family-oriented.”

The goal of the concert series is to bring the community together, but also allow give local bands and businesses exposure.

“Monthly meetings begin in October of each year to start planning,” said Angus McIntosh, committee chairman. “We begin listening to demos of groups in November and December, and narrow down the near 40 entries to 13.”

Committee members bring in a wide variety of bands, from oldies to soul this series.
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Veterans affairs programs serve throughout Ingham County

By Kellie Van Maele
The Ingham County Chronicle

The Michigan Veteran Education Initiative program continues to spread to colleges and universities throughout Michigan.

The Michigan Veteran Education Initiative program continues to spread to colleges and universities throughout Michigan.


INGHAM COUNTY– The Veterans Resource Center at Michigan State University has recently welcomed a new representative, Sarah Mellon, to the Michigan Veteran Education Initiative. The new program, located in room eight of the Student Services building, is in partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, as well as the Michigan College Access Network. The goal of the program is to provide services and assistance to veterans that are transitioning from the military to college.

“As of right now I am working on getting staff for the office, as well as gauging the needs of the veterans on campus,” Mellon said. “In the fall we hope to host more events to introduce the program to veterans on campus.”

The program is located at colleges across Michigan such as Western Michigan University, Ferris State University and Grand Valley State University with the intention to connect college veterans to higher learning and support.

Ingham County also has a program that serves veterans in the area.

“My first responsibility is to ensure that our department as a whole is providing adequate and competent services to our areas veterans and their dependents,” said Randy Marwede, director of the Ingham County Veteran’s Affairs office. “Another hat that I wear is one that is to ensure that area veterans and service providers are aware of the services that we provide.”

The Ingham County Veterans Affairs office files nearly 500 disability claims per year, which serves only a fraction of the 20,000 veterans and survivors in the area.
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Sport Shows Promotions of Michigan brings Gun and Knife Show to Ingham County

By Darien Velasquez
Ingham County Chronicle

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 10.24.41 PM

Starting at 2 p.m. April 10, Sport Shows Promotions of Michigan will be hosting the Lansing and Mason gun and knife show at the Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center. Starting this week, Sport Shows Promotions will be accepting dealer reservation forms as well as searching for potential buyers. According to Sport Show Promotions of Michigan, when bringing firearms into the show there are proper guidelines you must follow.

According to owner Sally Carl, this covers a wide range of items such as shotguns, rifles, handguns, scopes, shooting supplies, knives, military surplus, and even some collector items. Someone can expect to sell or purchase gun cases, archery items, knives, most firearms and many more. There will also be wild game jerky inside. Sally Carl says that “This is the biggest and best gun show in Michigan with some pretty awesome dealers.” She continued to say “This is the most popular time for guns.” This is due to the extreme popularity due to the upcoming season.

According to owner Doug Carl “This is a way to find vendors for your own gun show especially for startup promoters who are out there looking.” This show provides opportunities to sell and find specialty items as well as meet and mingle with others in the community with the same interests. All private collectors are welcome.
All items must be purchased the day of the show. Discounts apply to seniors 62 or older and anyone with a Military ID, active or non-active. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be followed and obeyed.

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Ingham County Consignment Auction 2015

By Darien Velasquez
Ingham County Chronicle

John Deere 640B tractor

INGHAM COUNTY – It’s almost that time! At 10 a.m. March 28, Sheridan Realty and Auction Co. will be hosting the Sheridan equipment and consignment auction at the Ingham County Fairgrounds and Exposition Center. Starting this week, Sheridan Realty will be onsite to consign items as well as scouting potential buyers for these valuables. According to Sheridan Realty, it can assist in finding a general figure for the value of the items if you do not know how much they are worth.

The focus for this year’s auction is on construction and farming equipment. According to Auction Coordinator Doug Sheridan, this covers a wide range of items such as most power tools, motor graders and even excavators. Someone can expect to consign or purchase things like front-end loaders, tractors, combines, trailers, King Corn Bushhog mowers and many more. There will also be a 2,000-gallon Poly Fertilizer Tank stored inside. Sheridan said that if you want to sell, Sheridan Realty can find a spot at the auction.

According to organizer Jason Buher, you can still be involved in the event by sponsoring. This auction provides opportunities to consign and find items as well as meet and socialize with others in the community. Larger companies also have sponsorship opportunities as well.

All items must be purchased the day of the auction. MasterCard, Visa, personal checks and cash will be accepted. There may be hold and reserves on some equipment beforehand and all equipment is sold as is without warranty. All sales are final with no refunds.

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