Meridian Township Police Department Holds Award Ceremony

By Spencer Impellizzeri
Meridian Times staff writer

Officer Lana Howell accepts her Officer of the Year Award

Officer Lana Howell accepts her Officer of the Year Award

Ever since high school, Lana Howell wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the police force.

After doing just that for 19 years, Howell received the top honor at the Meridian Township Police Department Awards Ceremony on March 19, as she was named Officer of the Year.

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Meridian Township Ice Fishing Derby Big Hit

By Spencer Impellizzeri
Meridian Times staff writer

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The Parks and Recreation of Meridian Township hosted the annual Ice Fishing Derby for children on Saturday, Feb. 15.

The event was held at the Central Park South Pond from 9 a.m.-noon and was open to children ages 5 through 16.

“The idea is to just get people out participating in an outdoor sport, especially in the winter time,” said Nick Sanchez, Meridian Township’s assistant park naturalist. “We’re trying to get kids involved with fishing, especially in the winter, and it’s a big goal of ours.”

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Parks Commission Discusses Tax Increase at Meeting

By Spencer Impellizzeri
Meridian Times Staff Writer

The Parks Commission is looking to make a tax increase to support a new Park Millage Ballot Proposal that is designed to help with park improvements, renovations, maintenance and operations.

The proposal will be on the ballot on Aug. 5 and would be for 12 years if approved.

The inclusion of the proposal on the ballot was approved unanimously the Meridian Township Board on April 16, 2013.

The millage has been the same since the park millage was first supported in 1984, despite the fact that the park system has grown over the years.
Mark Stephens, a park commissioner, described this growth.
“The parks system from its original millage was 325 acres when we first started,” Stephens said. “We have over 904 acres that we manage now with the same millage that it used to be.”

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CRC’s “Strike Out for a Cause” raised more than $1,000 for emergency needs

By Madeline Carino
Meridian Times staff writer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG8ekNI3q7Q

Human Services Specialist Darla Jackson said the goal was to raise $1,000. Three hours and 40 bowlers later, “Strike Out for a Cause” raised $1,132. The proceeds will be added to the Community Resources Commission (CRC) Emergency Needs Fund. City Limits East Bowling Center hosted the fundraiser on Saturday, March 29.

The CRC Emergency Needs Fund helps Meridian Residents in financial crisis. In 2013, the CRC served 475 households and helped prevent 40 families from becoming homeless. This is the first year the CRC has held an additional fundraiser along with the annual GolfFest. In recent years, there has been a higher demand for emergency financial assistance in Meridian Township. As a result, the Emergency Needs Fund is low and the CRC decides to hold the additional “Strike Out for a Cause” Fundraiser.

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Curbside brush and limb pick-up program to launch April 14

By Sara Konkel
Meridian Times staff writer

After a winter of severe ice storms and bitter cold, Meridian Township Board members were left to pick up the pieces.

Severe ice storms and bitter cold of the past winter left broken branches and debris  throughout Meridian Township.

Severe ice storms and bitter cold of the past winter left broken tree branches and debris throughout Meridian Township.

The township plans to launch a curbside brush and limb pick-up program April 14 to clear debris from the ice storm that struck Meridian Township from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2, township Manager Frank Walsh said. The storm left some residents out of power for 11 days.

“Instead of just leaving it up to every homeowner to fend for themselves, the township board decided that they would implement a program on this one-time basis because of the state of emergency that was declared by the township,” Walsh said.

Meridian Township is asking residents who are interested in having debris removed for free to drag the sticks and brush to the sidewalk or the edge of the street to be picked up. Each street will be visited only once.

 

Meridian Township residents dragged fallen branches from their yard to the side of the road to be picked up.

Meridian Township residents dragged fallen branches from their yard to the side of the road to be picked up.

Brush and limbs bigger than eight inches in diameter and six feet in length will not be accepted.

All brush from roads in Meridian Township north of Grand River Avenue will be collected starting April 14. All brush laid out on the south side will be collected starting May 5. The cleanup project is expected to be finished by the end of May.

Michigan Demolition and Redwood Landscaping are the wood-chipping companies the township hired to collect the debris.

Meridian Township resident Zack Fletcher said this project is a weight lifted off his chest because he feared that the piles of debris would kill his grass.

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Okemos School District approves funding for new amenities

By Sara Konkel
Meridian Times staff writer

The Okemos School District is on its way to having wireless routers in every useable room in the high school and two new school buses.

Okemos School District plans to purchase two new school buses to replace two buses they rented in the beginning of the year.

Okemos School District plans to purchase two new school buses to replace two buses they rented in the beginning of the year.

The Okemos Board of Education committee approved the amenities at its meeting March 24.

The committee approved the bid of $115,316.10 submitted by the Center for Business Innovation for 170 internet access devices.

Director of Media & Technology Errin Chapman said the addition is simple yet necessary.

“The project is simply to add more wireless coverage in the buildings to prepare for the one-to-one personal learning devices that are coming our way next year for the students and staff,” he said.

The devices are Wi-Fi boxes that will be fixed to the ceiling. Chapman said he plans to have all 170 devices installed before the students are out of school.

The access points have a lifetime warranty and are supposed to support up to 120 connected devices at a time.

Director of transportation Todd Sharp proposed the bid of $182,600 for two 77-passenger conventional buses submitted by Holland Bus Sales.

The new buses would replace two buses that were leased at the beginning of the school year, Sharp said.

The committee approved the bid in a unanimous vote.
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Whole Foods brings its seventh location to Meridian

By Whitney Burney
Meridian Times staff writer

The Whole Foods Grocery franchise plans to open its seventh Michigan location here in Meridian Township.

The store was originally expected to open by 2015 but representatives now hope to finish the project by later this year.

The store will have 35,000 square feet and will create 150 new jobs including customer service and store leadership positions.

Although the location is still under site review, it is expected to be at 2758 E. Grand River Ave. and almost directly across the street from employee-owned health food store Foods For Living.

Although still under review, demolition is expected to begin soon.

Although still under review, demolition is expected to begin soon.

Store director Kirk Marrison says that he was not surprised to hear that Whole Foods was coming to Meridian Township. He said that he actually thought it would happen somewhere around 2007, before the recession. The only thing he was surprised about was the location.

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