A life without plastic straws

Plastic straws are everywhere and there’s talk of getting rid of them. Recycling Center Operations Manager, Sean Barton, thinks its a good first step. “They’re designed for single use,” Barton said. “It ends up on the side of the road or on the land fill and we don’t really know how long it takes to break down.” 

But that one single use might be important to people who live in retirement communities such as Burcham Hills. 

Burcham Hills dining room attendant, Chama Maweja, says this facility definitely needs straws. “I don’t think we can work efficiently without them,” she said.

Rodeo World changes a life

A city girl trades dirt for concrete and asphalt every chance she gets. “Everyone wants to know how did I get into this sport because I am black,” Animal Science junior, Khalilah Smith, said. 

Smith said she got into the Rodeo World because her mom was trying to find something to suppress her ADHD. “And that actually brought my grades up, my attitude skyrocketed, and in class, I was more attentive,” she said. Smith has grown to love the sport and her horse so much, she’s a little bit of herself within. “Blue is kind of like my hungry fat self, he’s like I see food, I’m gonna go get food,” Smith said.

Living as a minority in Grand Ledge

Grand Ledge is a city where the predominant race is white. With only 5.56% of the population being minorities, Grand Ledge senior Desirae Storball said she doesn’t really fit in. “I’ll go to events, and I’ll feel like I’m apart of the picture of it but then when I think about it, I’m like oh, I’m not really standing and talking with all these people,” Storball, who is African-American and Caucasian, said. “But, you can feel that your presence isn’t really wanted sometimes.”

Storball said she has encountered uncomfortable experiences in class. “It just made me feel really uncomfortable because the way the people were talking about racism in the past, they were making jokes about it, and then I said something,” Storball said.

Free aviation program offered in Grand Ledge

Local business Grand Air Aviation Inc. is offering free opportunities and a low-cost program for youth interested in exploring aviation. Corporate Sponsor of ExploringPeter J. Kamarainen said the Young Eagles program also allows children eight-17 to take a free airplane ride. “Then, they will be allowed to have a free ground school which is a $200 value,” Kamarainen said. “Their first flight lesson is free as well.”

Kamarainen said the program is designed to get kids excited about aviation. “This program is designed to introduce the next generation of aviators, the next generation of aerospace engineers, or drone operators,” Kamarainen said.

Meridian voters visit polls early

The majority of precincts in Meridian saw high voter turnout during the first hour that polls were open. In Precinct 1, there was a 40-45 minute wait during the first hour, and in Precinct 5 nearly 10 percent of registered voters turned out then. “During that period, we had about a minute per voter,” said Precinct 1 chairwoman Beverly Stephens. “Right now, we have 697 ballots.”

“In the first 50 minutes, 160 people came in,” said Precinct 5 chairman Jim Brazier. “We are approaching about 700 votes.”

One challenge during early hours voting was the ballot tabulator jamming and saying the ballot was defective.

Negatives giving back to the community

Ernst Floeter took interest in photography after he was repatriated. “He was caught by the Americans,” Floeter’s daughter, Dorothea Martin, said. “He was a POW over here for two years and sent back to Germany. He was treated very well. He loved America and he wanted to come back.”

Martin said she does not know what led Floeter into photography.