FCC rule changes and senate bill threaten to cut funding for HOMTV and other stations

When Deborah Guthrie and Brandie Yates started the communications department in Meridian Township in 2012, they predicted that cable companies were going to switch their model from cable to satellite. This model would mean stations like theirs, HOMTV (Haslett, Okemos and Meridian television) were going to lose money. Now it looks like their prediction is coming true. The dark future they saw is coming true due to the legislation that has been passed and is on its way to being passed that will have a large effect on their funding. The FCC is working to push through rule changes that will affect the relationship between local access stations and cable companies.

Okemos School Board of Education welcomes two new members

Following the midterm election, Okemos residents will welcome two new faces to its Board of Education. Voters elected newcomers Mary Gebara and Katie Cavanaugh, while also re-electing Dean Bolton and Vincent Lyon-Gallo. Both newcomers said they are excited to join the board and serve their respective terms. Gebara beat out candidates Adam Candeub and Michael Kieliszewski for one of the three, four-year term positions. According to WILX, the NBC affiliate in Lansing, Gebara received the most votes in the race with 4,419 or 30 percent of all votes. “I’m very excited (to join the board), I worked hard, so I’m really happy that I won and I’m anxious to get started,” said Gebara.

Building a community with Matt Mulford’s ‘artists of Keller’s upstairs’

Williamston has all the markings of an American small town: historic buildings comprising its downtown section, local family owned restaurants, a bridal shop, a glass blowing studio and the local hardware store. Nestled above the affairs of the main Williamston strip on Grand River is a somewhat unknown plaza that even local Williamston residents may pass by: Keller’s Plaza, home to “Williamston’s hidden gem” as nearly all of the Plaza’s shop owners called their little hideaway. Keller’s Plaza is home to a small candle shop Mud Country Candles, a small party store, a glass engravings shop called the Glass Fox, a dance studio, and Peculiar Perspective’s. Matt Mulford runs Peculiar Perspectives, a studio and art gallery at the top of the landing on the second floor of the plaza, along with Tony Steele. Mulford and Steele’s friendship and passion for art goes back years Mulford says.

Meridian Township Planning Commission examines 2018 goals

On a day where there were no public remarks, no new business to attend to, and no old business to come back and discuss, the Meridian Township Planning Commission used the time during its monthly meeting on Sept. 24 to review each of their goals for this year. “I think it’s very important, it’s something we should have tackled earlier and it’s easy to get away from that mission because throughout the rest of the year we had projects, we have somebody coming in for a special use permit or a planning unit development or what rezoning or whatever,” said Peter Menser, the principal planner at Meridian Township. “So, you get caught up in all your official business and sometimes you don’t get a chance, or you know it’s hard to hold a volunteer group here until now, its 10 p.m, just to talk about policy stuff, but on a day like this when the agenda is pretty empty it’s a perfect opportunity to start tackling stuff.”

The commission went through each of the goals it adopted on Jan. 8, 2018, spending time discussing the steps it might need to take, to accomplish its goals.

English language learners find resources at East Lansing library

Rosana Souza was searching for a place to help her Brazilian sister-in-law to improve her English. Souza’s sister-in-law, Hilda Pamplona, moved here to visit and to communicate with more people. Pamplona is not alone. According to a report from DATA USA, in 2015, 8,206 (16.9%) of East Lansing citizens are non-English speakers, which is lower than the national average of 21.1%. Such a small group is not ignored by the city.

East Lansing community votes on income tax

The City of East Lansing held its meeting for the 2018 East Lansing Income Tax Ballot Proposal on June 20 at the East Lansing Public Library. City Manager stressed the urgent need for this tax because of multiple financial difficulties the city is experiencing. Some community members expressed worries about the proposed tax, and city official highlighted the need for more community input and turnout at the voting booth. Voting for the policy begins Aug. 7.