OKEMOS- On Monday, Feb. 27, the Meridian planning commission meeting received one of the largest turnouts that they’ve had in months. The reason why: The Walnut Hill Golf Club property is being rezoned. The golf club was privatized by a company that is planning on building commercial and luxury apartments. Residents of Walnut Hills and the neighboring property, Carriage felt strongly about the rezoning of the country club and showed up in high numbers of about 30 people at the meeting to express those feelings to the city’s elected officials.
The Old Chicago restaurant chain has been around since 1976 and has catered to families in Michigan from its three different locations: Southgate, Trenton, Portage and Okemos. “The Okemos location has been here since 2004,” said service manager Cassie Sanderson, “I’ve been working here for 12 years and the environment and everything, it feels just like a family.”
Old Chicago features specialty pizzas such as the spaghetti pie. The pizza has spaghetti tossed in Alfredo sauce and baked with Romano and Provolone cheeses then topped with Alfredo sauce. “The Spaghetti Pie is my favorite thing on the menu,” said Sanderson. “It sounds gross
because it’s hard to explain but it’s so good.”
With a welcoming atmosphere the restaurant has a small arcade area, as well as a large bar which allows it to cater to just about everyone in the family.
In the nearly 21 years since the Springfield Sultans packed their bags, moved to Downtown Lansing, and became the Lugnuts, the team has seen plenty of ups and downs. This is expected, as their existence as a Single-A team means they must deal with endless roster changes as players get shuffled from level to level as they attempt to make the big leagues. From an abysmal 54-84 season in 2009 to their two Midwest League championships in 1997 and 2003, the team’s on-field success has been unpredictable. It’s been much easier to track the Lugnuts’ success in a different area: community development. Since the former Oldsmobile Park was constructed in 1996, locals and team officials alike believe the team has brought more than the game of baseball to the city of Lansing.
The city of Lansing is best known for being the capital of Michigan, and just a stone’s throw away from Michigan State’s campus. If you live in the area, then you know many of the people that work downtown typically leave the city once work gets out. “A lot of times I think the Greater Lansing area has a hard time making sure that Michigan is a great place to live,” said Bill Kimble, president of C2AE architecture and engineering company in downtown Lansing. “A lot of us have families here, but sometimes that’s not enough.”
Locals like William Davis believe that bringing in more young people will rejuvenate the city helping it bloom into something great. “It’s so quiet during the winter, there’s times where I want to scream because it’s so quiet!” Davis went on to question how Lansing’s ability to maintain relevancy.
Three years ago the Holt Public Schools made a building switch and had the seniors move from the high school main campus building over to what used to be the ninth grade campus building across the street, referred to now as the North Campus building. This change in buildings became notoriously known as “the switch.” According to Holt High School Principle Michael Willard, the campus switch caused a lot of distrust from the community, and made people question a lot of other policies and rules set in place by the school. Time has given way for the rearranging to settle down and become the norm for the current Holt senior students and staff. “Three years later and our data from surveys and focus groups indicates that the students love the new configuration of our high school, and the teachers support the change,” said Holt Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hornak.
By Alana Easterling
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter
Some things are just not adding up: when it comes to crime, Lansing residents are saying one thing, while data is saying another. Crime rate data for Lansing displays a decrease in some crime rates, but some Lansing residents feel that crimes rates haven’t decreased, but have gotten worse. Lansing crime rate data shows that the crime rates in Lansing have fluctuated since 2002, but they have indeed decreased since then as well. In 2007 there were 14.1 murders for every 100,000 residents, and just six years later in 2013, that rated decreased by half to 7 murders for every 100,000 residents. Though statistics and those behind the scenes say crime has decreased, some Lansing residents feel otherwise.
By Shane Jones
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — Buildings in downtown DeWitt have been standing for many years, but the businesses have changed greatly. One building for example was once an old car dealership, now it is a restaurant. What was once a church, will now be a brewery. As time goes on, the city of DeWitt is trying to change from the small city that it is known for into more of a modern city. Each year, the city and township management are constantly trying to help the city grow.
By Holly Osmer
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — The City of DeWitt, with its local businesses, pleasant parks, and quality schools, has seen a large increase in the amount of residential growth in the past 10 to 15 years, and their economy is expected to continue growing, despite Michigan’s overall slowed pace. According to the “City of DeWitt Master Plan The Big Picture DeWitt 2010 to 2020,” this growth pressure is expected to continue to impact DeWitt, the DeWitt School District and other public services during the life of this Master Plan and beyond. “The Master Plan is a document that depicts how the city would like the land to be used and developed over the course of time covered,” said DeWitt City Administrator Dan Coss. “The Planning Commission and City Council worked on the Master Plan for approximately 12 months and then by State Statute it is reviewed every five years,” said Coss. “The time it takes [to finish a Master Plan] really depends on if there are any amendments to the plan, typically 6-12 months.”
Since its creation, there are several aspects of DeWitt that have been either added or improved.
By Emily Elconin
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
From the beginning, the neighborhood of Old Town has been a creative, kooky, and eccentric place that vibrates with a colorful and inviting energy. From the moment you walk down Turner Street, it is evident there is a new chapter being written here in Old Town. There is a story to be shared on every corner. As Old Town continues to grow, so do the people who are helping Old Town come back stronger than ever before. Old Town is in the process of planning exciting summer festivals and a new event called Arts Night Out, where four neighborhoods in Lansing including Old Town, East Lansing,REO Town, and Downtown Lansing will feature all different kinds of art to draw in the younger community and help the arts community thrive all over Lansing, beginning in Old Town.
The south Lansing neighborhood area is undergoing a “rejuvenation” headed by a team of facilitators and representatives, and backed by community members like Elaine Wombolt. She is the official facilitator and founder of the initiative. As stated on the group’s website, “Our goal is to connect neighbors to each other and to resources so we can improve the quality of life in south Lansing for those who live and work here.”
Wombolt also said that this group helps and brainstorms with other Lansing neighborhoods that have similar issues, such as the eastside neighborhood. Some of these issues include a huge, unregulated number of medical marijuana dispensaries, and unregulated donation bins that are easily taken advantage of as garbage furniture dumps. This group started several years ago, with hopes to promote growth of the South Lansing community and stop crime. “In October 2014, a group of citizens came together and decided we needed to do something for south Lansing because it was deteriorating,” said Wombolt. “I was designated as the facilitator of this group.”
Wombolt talked about how this is a growing and expanding group, explaining that there are no dues, no bylaws, and anyone can attend the meetings.