Michigan residents weigh pros/cons of self-isolation and social distancing

LaDonna Floyd, a Southfield resident and Senior Domestic Relations Specialist at the Third Judicial Circuit Court, works from home. Floyd is not alone. Three-fourths of the employees in Michigan work in industries deemed “non-essential” according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order on March 23 to close “non-essential” businesses until mid-April. Bridge Magazine’s analysis of data from the U. Bureau of Labor showed essential businesses represent only 1 million of the state’s 4.3 million jobs. 

“I really miss my network and support system,” said Floyd in a text. “Talking on the phone and texting isn’t the same.”

This time away from work has been a hard time for Floyd and her family.

Southfield, Michigan college and high school students voice challenges

Florida A&M University student Kalin Newsom, like thousands of students throughout the country, found herself home weeks before expected because of COVID-19. Her trek home though meant traveling 900 miles to get back home, Southfield, Michigan. 

In the meantime, parents and high school students in the city stay optimistic as they adjust to the state’s mandates. For Newsom, FAMU decided to move classes online while the school was on spring break, encouraging students to stay home with their families after break rather than come back to campus to be alone in their apartment. The university, she said, is keeping its residence halls open. “I do feel like they are great with supporting the students that live on campus by not forcing them out of dorms like other universities,” Newsom said.

Meridian Township wants a president to be a change agent

With the 2020 presidential election top of mind, some Meridian Township residents said they want a leader with a strong moral compass and who will improve the health care system. 

Sarah Howard, a Meridian Township resident, said even though she doesn’t keep up with the candidates’ positions, she wants to see a huge change. “I don’t think our healthcare system makes any sense,” said Howard. “I appreciate that we are trying to move toward a socialized health care system, but I do not think the current system makes financial sense.” 

Howard is also concerned that social media may become a greater issue with the next leader elected in office. She wishes media would report on more real issues instead of hot topics. Howard said: “I think most of the other changes I want to see are more social than something that has to do directly with the presidency.

Township officials upset about mailing absentee ballots out late

Meridian Township Board members blasted the township’s clerk at its most recent meeting for mailing absentee ballots out late. The rest of the agenda included updates on the new marihuana dispensaries and Michigan State University’s solar panel project.

Medical marijuana dispensaries in Meridian Township may open this year

Board of Commissioners at Feb.10 meeting discussing medical marihuana provisioning centers. Credit: Demetria Bias

The Meridian Township Planning Commission voted last Monday 8 to 0 to continue the groundwork for two medical marijuana provisioning centers, citing the businesses would benefit more than harm  the community. “I think it is going to have a positive effect,” said Ken Lane, chair of the township’s planning commission. “If it doesn’t have a positive effect, we have ordinance provisions in place to take care of that.”

Both marijuana provisioning centers are located in Okemos. Board Commissioners said they see the two dispensaries as useful resources.