Amendments Regarding Police Oversight Commission Approved by East Lansing City Council

A series of revisions to the legislation governing the East Lansing Independent Police Oversight Commission (ELIPOC) were enacted during a recent City Council meeting in East Lansing, Michigan. The measures sparked debates and concerns from residents and officials. The March 19 meeting featured a flurry of discussions ranging from police oversight to rent control regulations and legal conflicts. The revisions to the ELIPOC legislation were suddenly introduced during a prior meeting on March 5, taking both commissioners and Council liaisons off guard. The modifications sought to define the commission’s responsibilities, notably its disciplinary authority over individual East Lansing Police Department (ELPD) officers.

MSU’s Annual ‘Painting at the Planetarium’ Shines at Abrams 

Michigan State’s Abrams Planetarium ensures students can always see a sky full of stars, even on a cloudy day, with magic around every corner. Hosting several events in the first week of February,this planetarium was quite a busy place.  

“We have a lot of events that we do, we do birthday parties and we’ve had people’s weddings here and proposals and stuff like that, so it’s great,” said Kylie Hunter, a third-year student studying environmental geography and a cashier at the Planetarium. “We see more and more numbers, after COVID we took a hit so we’re happy to have all these different events and many people coming in.” 

The University Activities Board also hosts its annual “Painting at the Planetarium” event, allowing students to take a break and paint their own night sky.  

Picture credits: Instagram, @uabatmsu

“This event is essentially just a session to watch a star show and paint,” said Simran Sompore, the outreach and inclusion coordinator at UAB. It’s a great way for people to learn more about the Abrams Planetarium, engage students in astronomy, and bring the culture together.”  

The planetarium hosts several different shows. Each lasts approximately 30 minutes and is followed by a 30-minute live presentation of the current evening sky.  

“The shows are pretty popular, sometimes we fill out and hit our max [180 seats] and have to stop selling tickets, those are good nights,” Hunter said.

Students at risk: Lead levels increase in Okemos public school classrooms

Okemos Public Schools have increased lead levels in their classrooms. The situation puts students and teachers at risk and disappoints parents. Several people expressed disheartenment about the situation at a school board meeting with the Okemos Public Schools Board of Education.  

“I am concerned for the safety of my students with the mold and lead that has been found in the classroom. They are only three and four years old,” said Haley Blake, the lead teacher of the younger enrichment program at Okemos Public School. According to Michigan Advance, initial water testing at the Okemos Public Montessori (OPM) building, located at 4406 Okemos Road in Meridian Township, revealed lead levels of five parts per billion (ppb) in one area and nine ppb in another. However, subsequent testing on Dec 5, 2023 , verified that one room in the building tested at 49 ppb. 

While this matter should have been the topmost priority of the school, it has been going on for more than three months now. 

“They tested for the mold originally back in October and I got my carpets replaced over winter break, but they found more mold and did more cleaning,” said Blake. 

Parents and Teachers are scared and cannot stop worrying about their three-year-olds who have been directly exposed to mold and lead and their health has been compromised.  Blake said she had to speak up after a much-anticipated change, attending her first meeting and confronting the board herself.  “This is the first meeting I attended; these kids don’t have a voice to speak up for themselves.