Rates of child abuse, neglect remain high in Ingham County

By Kevyn Collier-Roberts
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Rates of child abuse and neglect remain high in Ingham County. And over the past few years, Michigan has seen a rise in statistics related to child neglect and poverty.

According to a 2014 Michigan League for Public Policy map 22.6 percent of children between the ages of 0-17 are in poverty within the state of Michigan, with 23.7 percent of those children living in poverty in Ingham County.

A study conducted by the Michigan League for Public Policy shows the statistics of confirmed victims of abuse and/or neglect in 2013.

A study conducted by the Michigan League for Public Policy shows the statistics of confirmed victims of abuse and/or neglect in 2013.

Cases of confirmed victims of child abuse increased from 927 in 2006 to 1,612 in 2012. There was a sudden decrease in confirmed victims during the year 2014 but the rate was still rather high compared to other counties including Clinton and Eaton. Both of their child abuse and/or neglect cases were lower than 400.

Studies provided by the Michigan League for Public Policy revealed that blacks including Hispanics had the highest rate of 42.7 percent of confirmed victims who had been neglected and/or abused between the ages 0-17 in the year 2013. Whites followed behind blacks with 23.8 percent of abused and/or neglected children under the age of 18.

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Candidates vie to restore voter’s trust in Ingham County prosecutor’s office

The Ingham County Courthouse. Photo by Max Johnston.

The Ingham County Courthouse. Photo by Max Johnston.

By Max Johnston
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

When it was announced that Stuart Dunnings was charged with 15 criminal counts including soliciting the services of prostitutes, it shook Lansing to its core. Dunnings’ controversial departure from the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office left many, like Lansing resident Nate Enstrom, with a sour taste in their mouth.

“I think it shows how important integrity is. What are they doing if they’re not honest and open with their voters?” Enstrom said.

The mug shot of Stuart Dunnings III, taken shortly after his recent arrest for prostitution-related charges. Photo courtesy the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

The mug shot of Stuart Dunnings III, taken shortly after his recent arrest for prostitution-related charges. Photo courtesy the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.

Enstrom may have a point. A recent poll done by Harvard University found that integrity was the most valued attribute in a candidate according to millennial voters. Now that a special election is scheduled for August, the next prosecutor must regain the public’s trust, which according to Public Policy Consultant Tucker Eskew, could be very difficult.

“Rebuilding trust nationally, something driven by the mood regarding crime and punishment, is far more difficult than doing so locally,” said Eskew, who served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Media Affairs and Global Communications under President George W. Bush.

“If elected, a respected individual with a clean record in public and financial life could win the support of voters and take confidence building measures that overcome negatives left by her or his predecessor and begin restoring trust,” Eskew said. “So much will depend on the quality of candidates who choose to run, and the caliber of the ultimate winner.”

The candidates for Ingham County Prosecutor come from a variety of legal backgrounds and experience. What they all have in common is a desire to restore trust in the prosecutor’s office, yet they all have different plans to do so.

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Board of Water and Light tests Lansing homes for lead

By Jaylyn Galloway
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Photo by : Jaylyn Galloway

Photo by : Jaylyn Galloway

It seems like a reasonable request: promise that tap water is clean.

“I don’t know about everyone. I want healthier water,” Crystal Lewis, a Lansing resident, said.

Lewis is just one of the Lansing residents that receive their water from The Saginaw Aquifer that is owned by the Board of Water and Light.The water is pumped from 125 wells that reach 400 feet below the ground. However, following the Flint crisis many were worried about lead being in their water.

“About three months after the Flint crisis broke out we have seen an 100 percent increase in customers calling for lead testing,” a representative of BWL who declined to provide his full name said.

BWL will now be periodically testing the water of homes for both copper and lead.

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Audio: Landlocked Lansing can have fun on the water

Photo by Eve Kucharski.

The Michigan Princess. Photo by Eve Kucharski.

By Eve Kucharski
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Link to audio story: https://soundcloud.com/eve-kucharski/michigan-princess

Photo by Eve Kucharski.

The Grand Princess. Photo by Eve Kucharski.

Located in Grand River Park in Lansing, the Michigan Princess is a riverboat that has been there since the 1990s.

It is owned by the J & K Steamboat Company, which is located in Grand Ledge, Michigan. It is there that another riverboat of theirs, The Grand Princess, is currently waiting to be put back in the water.

The company also owns the Detroit Princess.

Lansing lacking in giving domestic abuse victims a place to sleep

By Ella Kovacs
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Domestic violence and relationship abuse happens all over the world, the United States, and Michigan. In big cities like Lansing, where there are many people in a concentrated area, it is vital for victims and survivors to have access–preferably easy access–to resources that will help and support them.

For many women, the first resource they would think of is the police. But victims also need a place to sleep.

Ruth Sternaman, a counselor at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, said that in the Lansing area, housing assistance for victims could be improved as well as child protective services.

There is one shelter in Lansing specifically for victims of domestic abuse and violence. EVE’s House provides free and confidential resources to survivors, according to Kimberly Kaiser, EVE’s House Community Relations Coordinator. Some of these resources include counseling, a team of advocates to help with legal matters, and free childcare during support groups. They also run the Personal Protection Office for Ingham County, which provides Personal Protection Orders for victims.

EVE’s House is a very multi-dimensional resource for victims and survivors, but “we meet people every day who don’t know who we are,” said Kaiser.

Being the only shelter for victims of this cause in the entire city of Lansing, and holding only 35 people, seems lacking.

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Local brewing another draw to downtown Lansing …

By Alexander Smith
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

Lansing billboard on the corner of Cedar St. and E Michigan Ave. Photo by Alex Smith.

Lansing billboard on the corner of Cedar St. and E Michigan Ave. Photo by Alex Smith.

Craft beer sales are growing, and so is the customer base. According to a recent Nielsen study, 35 percent of adults 21 and older are more likely to try a craft beverage. To 56 percent of those surveyed, “craft” means coming from a small, independent company such as a local brewery.

Michigan has plenty in cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, and Lansing is starting to follow suit. However, Lansing has trouble keeping people downtown after the workday is over.

“Downtown is definitely trying to draw more people. Living here, I’ll go down to get Jimmy John’s or go to the ATM or something, and after 5 p.m. downtown is dead,” said Lansing resident Chad Hester. “It’s funny, because they just put that billboard above the Nuthouse that says ‘Lansing: Alive After 5.’”

The city has been making an effort to build up downtown, especially the Stadium District. The Lansing City Market reconstruction in 2010, Marketplace Apartments in 2014 and the soon-to-be-completed Outfield Apartments overlooking Cooley Law School Stadium are only a few of the recent developments. October 2015 brought a new local brewery and revived a century-old name: Lansing Brewing Company.

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… and that’s bringing young professionals to downtown

By Max Johnston
Listen Up, Lansing staff Reporter

Michigan’s craft beer industry is booming, with the number of breweries in the state doubling since 2010. Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Detroit and Ann Arbor have all been densely populated with breweries and craft beers for years. However, according to owner of Ellison Brewery & Spirits Eric Elliott, Lansing trailed behind the rest of the state when it came to craft beer.

The Lansing Brewing Company in downtown Lansing. Photo by Max Johnston.

The Lansing Brewing Company in downtown Lansing. Photo by Max Johnston.

“After spending some time away from Lansing and coming back, I could just tell we were lacking in this up and coming brewery scene,” Elliot said. “Lansing was like a desert, you could go to Detroit, you could go to Grand Rapids, you could go to Traverse City to get cool handcrafted beers, but you come to Lansing and there’s wasn’t anything.”

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The doctor prescribed addiction: prescription drugs take on illicit roles in Lansing, nationwide

By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

When you go to the doctor, you hope to leave with a cure. However, some leave with an addiction, or a new job as a drug dealer.

More and more, people are using prescription drugs like antidepressants or pain medication as a way one would use hardcore drugs. They are using them for recreation or even selling them which is not what these medications are for.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug addiction is becoming a big issue killing more people from accidental overdoses.

Some of the most popular prescriptions that people tend to abuse are Zanax, an anti anxiety medicine, Codeine, an ingredient in most cough syrups, Vicodin, a pain reliever, and Adderral, a mood stabilizer for patients with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There are several other mood stabilizers and pain relievers that other people are abusing, yet these are some of the most popular.

With music being a big outlet, people look to their favorite artists as inspiration, yet these people are glorifying these drugs.

Jacob Steed, a 23-year-old Lansing resident, said that he would use Codeine all the time “because all of the rappers did it.”

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Lansing summer programs offer variety for area youth

By Krista Wilson
Listen Up Lansing Staff Writer

Vernon Miller, Lansing resident and dad of two said his 6-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter participate in different programs through the Lansing Parks and Recreation camps.

A poll from Lansing students ages 13-17 show how they plan on spending their summer vacation. The poll is based on 2o students. Graph by Krista Wilson.

A poll from Lansing students ages 13-17 show how they plan on spending their summer vacation. The poll is based on 30 students. Graph by Krista Wilson.

“It really is amazing to see how much my kids learn through activities that they find fun, while also gaining some type of learning experience,” said Miller.

They are not alone, as the Lansing area is offering a number of programs to keep kids from having a dull summer.

“We all remember our summers growing up and the camps are made to expose kids to things they may not usually do, like canoeing or kayaking on the river,” said Brett Kaschinske, Director of Parks and Rec of Lansing. “That’s what our programming is about, giving new opportunities.”

Jason Helman, Senior Program Director of Westside Community YMCA said, “The summer programs at YMCA give the youth an opportunity to achieve new milestones in their lives, build friendships, and learn core values.”

Brian Pingel, associate professor of Youth Studies at North Central University in Minnesota said, “Summer camp can be an absolute benefit to kids when it is relational-based and they have access to positive mentors.”

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Hunger is not a stranger in Lansing

Photo by: Jaylyn Galloway Lansing Catholic Central High School

Photo by: Jaylyn Galloway
A recent food bank distribution at Lansing Catholic Central High School

By Jaylyn Galloway
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

For some in Lansing, food banks aren’t an option; they are a necessity.

“The local food bank is how I afforded to keep my house fed,” Brenda Smith, a Lansing resident, said.

Photo by: Jaylyn Galloway

Photo by: Jaylyn Galloway

At the time Smith and her husband were not only trying to feed themselves, but also the senior citizens that they took care of, she said. She had to get on assistance in order to keep everyone fed, because the money that their families provided wasn’t going to be enough.

Like the local food bank Smith used to help her to feed her household the Greater Lansing Food Bank is up to take the challenge to feed as many people as they can. The Greater Lansing Food Bank (GLFB) is a non-profit organization that provides emergency food to individuals and families in need in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Clare, Isabella and Gratiot counties.

“We estimated 1 in 5 people are at risk of food insecurity,”  Justin Rumenapp the marketing and communications coordinator of Greater Lansing Food Bank said.

Some people lose their jobs, or are single parents and can’t afford to get food by themselves Rumenapp said. Through networks of churches and kitchens food is distributed throughout the community to citizens that need it, he said.  

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