Walking into Okemos High School you see the typical high school culture, students exiting the gymnasium, faculty clearing the hallways and lockers closing, but conversation is much more complex than some could ever imagine in class room A207. A diverse group of seniors take their seats, just before the bell rang. Bookbags are settled and lips are sealed. This is the fourth hour AP government senior classroom taught by Danielle Ives. Ives classroom walls is covered by campaign signs from elections decades ago and others that took place last month.
Okemos Public Schools was closed due to Tuesday’s midterm election, but many Meridian Township parents still found themselves on school grounds. A total of 18 children came along with their parents as they cast their votes around noon at Murphy Elementary School. Stacy Liddick brought her children Nicholas and Allison. “We have to make decisions as people who want change,” 9-year-old Alison said. “They need to know that in order to see change, voices need to be heard,” said Liddick.
Purchasing locally grown produce can be done every year at the Meridian Township Farmers’ market. The market hosts over 20 vendors every Saturday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Some vendors have been partnering with Meridian selling products for years, and other vendors include new entrepreneurs like Bri Makaric, MSU student and founder of Brite Bites. “My company is not over a year old yet and so growing customer base is very important,” said Makaric. “Meridian Township Farmers’ Market has allowed me to sell my products and grow customers from the local area.”
The Meridian Township farmers’ market is not limited to vendors who live in Meridian, but is also open to vendors outside of Meridian Township as well. They come from towns as far as Grand Rapids and as close as Lansing.
The abbreviation MI commonly represents Michigan, but a family in East Lansing gave the symbol another meaning as Mi Sushi & Noodles restaurant was born. Mi Sushi & Noodles (Mi) is a family-owned, Japanese-style restaurant located at 3340 E. Lake Lansing Road. It’s operated by Eddy Liang and his family and serves mainly sushi and noodles. Liang used to work in Jackson, which was an hour away from his East Lansing home. During snowy days, he said his family would get worried.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12 percent of Meridian Township residents are living below the poverty level. For those who are struggling, Meridian Township has many resources and programs for families in need. One is Meridian Cares. Darla Jackson is a human services specialist for the Meridian Cares program. Jackson helps families with finding shelter, covering utilities, rent to avoid eviction and even help with medications and furniture.
On March 20, the Meridian Township Board along with citizens of the township gathered for the township’s board meeting. New police officers were sworn in and road funding were just a couple of topics covered in the meeting. There was also the honoring of LuAnn Maisner, a long-time park supervisor for the township. Maisner was given the Commitment to Excellence Award and there was much praise from her peers and people in the county. Maisner attended and graduated from Grand Valley State University.