Lansing residents evacuated after historic floods

A State of Emergency was declared this week by Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes after several street closures and resident evacuations. Those living in Urbandale, Sycamore Park, Knollwood Willow, Baker, Cherry Hill, Riverpoint, Tecumseh River and Ravenswood neighborhoods were all encouraged to temporarily leave their home. Michael Tobin, Lansing Emergency Management Division Chief, said that volunteers were sent out Wednesday evening to go door to door and  alert residents. “What we’re really gearing up for now is the floods from the Red Cedar River and the Grand River,” Tobin said. “When the water hits crest levels, it can take a few days minimum for the water to recede.”

The Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross set up a shelter at Letts Community Center for residents who have been temporarily displaced.

Bear was recently adopted and will be going home soon with his family. The Catfe Lounge pairs cats from the Ferndale Cat Shelter with potential owners.

Photo gallery: Ferndale Catfe aims to pair felines with new owners

Cats curl on up the chairs, lounge in corners and patrol his shelves as they roam freely in Catfe Lounge in Ferndale. Founded in 2015, and believed to be the first of its kind in Michigan, the cafe functions as a cozy place for potential pet parents to adopt cats. Catfe is a part of the Ferndale Cat Shelter, a nonprofit cat rescue organization.

Understanding demographics help Old Town restaurants succeed

Old Town Lansing has an abundance of local restaurants and owners have to understand the market, said the owner of Meat Southern BBQ, Sean Johnson. With 19 restaurants in Old Town, each owner had to start from the beginning in gaining their own customers. Tamiko Richard, owner of JN Press Juice, said she wanted to educate the market about being more health-conscious with what they put in their bodies. “We (her family) want to be healthy ourselves. You are able to tell more people about it once you start with yourself,” she said.

Lansing sexual assault centers reflect on Nassar scandal

The Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal has been directly associated with Michigan State University, but the impact of Nassar’s crimes goes further than MSU’s campus. End Violent Encounters Inc. (EVE) and the Firecracker Foundation are Lansing-based non-profit organizations that provide support services to victims of sexual assault.

“It’s mainly all about support and empowerment,” said Leah Davidson, volunteer coordinator at EVE. “We do lots of things for healing such as support groups and one-on-one counseling, just so they can heal from the trauma they experienced.”

Since it was founded in 1977, EVE’s central focus has been to aid victims of violence, but its services didn’t always extend to survivors of sexual abuse. EVE used to solely center its assistance towards victims of domestic violence, hence its former name, Council Against Domestic Assault, until sexual assault-related services were formally added to the organization in 2015. EVE utilizes a variety of methods to help survivors, including therapy, which Executive Director Erin Roberts said is contingent on the experiences of the victim.

Grand Ledge bakery wins “Best Bakery in Lansing Area”

It’s a cold, snowy day in a small, tight-knit town. Downtown Grand Ledge is dead, apart from one business that still has its doors open an hour after their marked closing time. It may be only 1 p.m, but business-owner Beth Augustine has been there since 2:30 in the morning, baking fresh pastries and bagels, the same way she does every single day. Their Flour Child bakery opened its doors on the streets of downtown Grand Ledge on Oct. 4, 2016.

Female athletes battle body image portrayals in media

Michigan State University track and field athlete Denise Spann focuses a lot of time and energy on her body. That’s because she’s focused on trying to perform her best on the track, said Spann, a junior from Coconut Creek, Florida. Muscle structure and body weight can play a significant role in how an athlete performs.

But, Spann said, media portrayals of female athletes seem too focused almost entirely on how women look and not on how athletic they are. “Most of the time they just want to see a beautiful girl play a sport, because there’s a stigma in certain sports that you can’t be beautiful and be one of the best,” Spann said. “I think that the focus should be on the skill, because female athletes do work so hard to be good at their craft, only for it be overshadowed by the way they look, or how their body looks.”

Increased anxiety

Michigan State kinesiology professor Dan Gould studies sports psychology for all age levels of athletes and said having insecurities about your body can lead to increased anxiety and worry.