Lansing, Mich.- Michael Lynn III, Matthew Abdullah, Kabbash Richards and Roje Williams created controversy earlier this year when they took a knee during the national anthem at one of their Lansing Catholic football games. All four players received some kind of discipline from the school and were benched during the football game. The Lansing Catholic students did it to protest social injustice and it caught Colin Kaepernick’s attention. Last weekend, the boys skyped Kaepernick for 20 minutes and talked about their actions.
“He showed me to be courageous and to stand up for what I believe in,” Richards said.
Kaepernick came under scrutiny last year when he didn’t stand for the national anthem during an NFL game, a protest for what he says is police brutality against young African Americans. This caused a nation-wide protest, some saying it was blatant disrespect for the flag, but it also sparked a movement by others, including these four students.
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.
The board of trustees at Delhi awarded long-term resident Rex Simmons with a certificate of appreciation for his dedication to the community during its meeting on Oct.4. Simmons has worked in plumbing, aided the fire department, was a mechanical inspector and went above and beyond for the township. Evan Hope, Delhi Charter Township Clerk, delivered the award and talked about Simmons’ dedication and passion for the community. “Delhi township was a great place for me, It’s been a great 19 years, and I really mean it,” said Simmons after receiving the award. After the award ceremony, the board discussed the postponement of construction for a required sidewalk, a grant application to the Ingham County Trails and Parks Millage Program, and an issuance purchase agreement between Delhi Township and Honeywell International, Inc. Energy Savings Project.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality introduced Janet Michaluk as their new coordinator during the Downtown Development Authority meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Michaluk will act as a resource to the authority and the community, providing information and environmental developments within the Delhi township. The regions that Michaluk has been assigned to are Gratiot County, Lapeer County, Genesse County, Shiawassee County, South Central Prosperity Region and Livingston County.
“I’m here to get out to the community and be a resource,” said Michaluk during the meeting.
Delhi Township’s home values and population continue to rise thanks to the reputation of Holt’s Public Schools and the great recreation options that are available in the area. According to U.S. Census data, Delhi Township increased its house occupancy by 19 percent from 2000 to 2010. That was the biggest change of any township in Ingham County during that time span. Not only does the population continue to go up, but the median value of owner-occupied housing units is higher in Holt than the state as a whole, according to Census data from 2010 to 2014. “Its location, schools and then the amenities like trails are a big draw,” said C.J. Davis, Delhi Township Supervisor.
Water quality has been brought to the forefront of issues in Michigan as a result of the Flint water crisis. Delhi Township is looking to better understand the water chemistry of its local wells to maintain a high quality of water. At the Delhi Township Board meeting on April 5, the proposal for a groundwater analysis program headed by the United States Geological Survey was approved by the board. “All of the water in Delhi Township, and throughout most of our region, comes from the Saginaw Aquifer, which is a groundwater source. It is important to monitor the quality of that water source overtime to ensure that it is being protected,” said Tracy Miller, Director of Community Development for Delhi Township.
The idea of making Holt a more energy efficient city was brought up at Delhi Township’s April 5 board meeting. Dick Williams from Honeywell, a contracting company, wants to make Delhi more energy-efficient by modifying furnaces, air conditioning units, and hot water tanks in city-owned buildings so that they use less energy. They also want to put in LED light bulbs in streetlights. With these changes Williams has estimated that the city of Holt will save thousands of dollars annually with these new improvements. “We want to make Delhi more energy-efficient, and cut the township back on unnecessary spending on energy that’s not being used,” said Williams.
No vote happened for this proposal at this meeting.
The Holt Community Food Bank has been helping families in need for over 20 years now, with the help of local volunteers and organizations leading the way. The local food bank relies heavily on grants, food and cash donations year -ound, but also holds fundraisers. Other local organizations donate food or money as well. The Holt Kroger is extremely supportive of the food bank giving bread, baked goods, produce and frozen meats. Bonnie Mahieu, Holt Community Food Bank Coordinator, estimates that Kroger donates hundreds of pounds of food every week.
Bank robberies are pretty rare in Mid-Michigan in the first place. Last month, that rare event happened twice. And on the same day. The two banks were the FirstMerit Bank in Delhi Township and Comerica Bank in Lansing, both on Cedar Road and both robbed on the morning of Feb. 20.
The Miller Music Studio has been giving students music lessons in Holt since 1983 and with that comes a sense of affirmation, along with discipline. “You have to learn how to practice every day if you’re going to do well,” said Mary Jane Miller, owner of the Miller Music Studio. Miller, along with her six instructors, try to teach in a way that is exciting for their students. “Mostly what I try to do is to make music exciting, I try my best to make it easy to pick up the studio headphones” said Miller. “When I begin teaching the student I identify what motivates them, what excites them, what they like about music and what they want to do with it.