Michigan has officially legalized marijuana, but what comes next?

When voters approved Proposal 1 on Nov. 6, they made Michigan the 10th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana. The proposal, which officially went into effect on Dec. 6, allows individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess, grow and use marijuana recreationally. The proposal also imposes a 10-ounce limit at residences, and permits a retail sales tax of 10 percent to marijuana products dedicated to the implementation costs of schools, roads, clinical trials and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

The battle for marijuana legalization reaches the ballot box

After years of lobbying for a referendum, Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana will appear on the ballot Nov. 6

After years of lobbying and legal battles, voters will have a say on allowing Michigan residents 21 years and older to possess, sell, grow or use marijuana. Organizations across the state have taken a stance on ballot Proposal 1, which will have a powerful impact on laws, economics and public health. Groups including Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action, Marijuana Policy and Project Foundation and MI Legalize have weighed in on the pros and cons of the proposal. Nick Zettell, co-founder and CEO for MI Legalize, has been working on this campaign since 2015, when the group was unsuccessful in placing the legalization of marijuana on the ballot.

Vanquishing election regret: The key to student voting success

For Michigan State University nursing senior Claire Farrington, memories of the 2016 election still linger, and she can only describe her decision two years ago in one word: regret. “Every time I listen to the news I’m sad about my decision to avoid the polls,” Farrington said. “At 18 years old, I didn’t realize the impact my single vote could have on an election.”

In the 2016 presidential election, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton lost to President Donald Trump by about 10,000 votes, and only 11 percent of all voters were young votes ranging from 18 to 24 years old. Farrington’s decision to steer clear from voting derived from her lack of education on candidates and policies. Although she explains that many policies have since affected her life as student, she was unaware of their impact until it was too late.

Williamston Board of Education approves 8011 Policy

WILLIAMSTON- Williamston public school parent Sandy Dufrin walked up to the microphone. Nearly 200 people crowded in the Williamston Middle School cafeteria. All eyes are on Dufrin as her hands shake beneath the paper that declares her opposition to the 8011 policy, a topic that has catalyzed conflict in the school district. Tension fills the room as she asks, “If this policy is approved are you seriously going to look at an elementary student who can barely tie their shoes and affirm that he has the capacity to choose what gender he wants to be?”

Through months of deliberation, emotional unrest and controversial debates between opposing sides, the Williamston Board of Education has approved the 8011 Equal Protection of Transgender and Non-Conforming Students Policy at their meeting on Nov. 6.

Williamston Pub & Grill expands promotions, community involvement and unique menu

From the Williamston Hornet décor, to the prime location right in downtown Williamston, the Williamston Pub & Grill continues to be a popular restaurant to Williamston residents and beyond. Through continuous community involvement, new promotions and a unique menu, the Williamston Pub & Grill has found new ways to attract customers and strengthen its relationships with pre-existing consumers. Prior to the opening of the Williamston Pub & Grill two-years ago, the restaurant was known as the Bucket. “The old owner was in between chefs and staff when we got here,” Executive Chef and Co-Owner Luciano Loredo said. “We tweaked the menu a bit at first and then I got out here and we started working on it to create what we have now.”

According to Loredo, a driving component to their success lies in their continual community involvement.

Groovy Donuts promotes fresh products and customer relations

From retro décor, to old-school records lining the walls, the Groovy Donut shop enters its third year in business while continuing to strengthen customer relations and their reputation for their distinct brand of freshly baked donuts. Groovy Donuts manager Rachel Craner said since being established in 2015, Groovy Donuts has found success through strengthening their relationship with regular customers. “Most of the employees here are from Williamston, which helps with knowing familiar faces that come in,” Craner said. “Our success relies heavily on our regulars. Some come in every week for a dozen donuts, and others come in every morning for a donut and a coffee, but either way we find ways to strengthen those relationships.”

According to Craner, Groovy Donuts finds success through promotions and their ability to produce fresh and unique products.

Williamston City Council learns more on perks of beekeeping during usual meeting

WILLIAMSTON- With the winter season approaching, the Williamston City Council met Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. to listen to Michigan Pollinator Initiative representative Meghan Milbrath discuss the city’s current policy on beekeeping.  

According to Williamston Mayor Tammy Gilroy, the current ordinance in Williamston does not allow for beekeeping, but the board is interested in changing that ordinance to teach skills to the community and educate citizens on the importance of honeybees. “I think it could be a good thing and I would like to see it happen in the future, especially for next growing season,” Gilroy said. “I think it would be a great idea for children to learn that type of skill and teach them where their food comes from.

Williamston Board of Education meets to discuss Transgender Policy 8011

WILLIAMSTON- From students and staff, to city residents and LGBTQ advocates, the Williamston Board of Education met Oct. 16 as people crowded the halls and filled nearly every seat in the room to discuss the 8011 Transgender and Non-Conforming Student Policy that will reach its final decision on Nov. 6. The meeting began promptly at 7:30 p.m. with citizens’ comments where many members of the community took a stance on the suggested proposal regarding equal protection of transgender and non-conforming students. According to the 8011 Proposal, “WCS shall accept the gender identity that each student asserts reflecting the students’ legitimately held belief once the student or his or her parent/guardian, as appropriate, notifies District administration that the student intends to assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records.”

The tension in the room began during the Pledge of Allegiance, as many members of the community did not stand up.

The Williamston 2017 Homecoming Parade advances community involvement

WILLIAMSTON- From student groups and athletes, to community members and ministries, this year’s Williamston Homecoming parade had something for everyone.The parade took place Oct. 6 before Williamston High School competed against the Fowlerville Gladiators at their home field. The parade route began at St. Mary’s Church on North Cedar Street at 6 p.m. and finished at the gates of the Larkin-Nortman Memorial Field right before the game began. The parade featured many important teams and organizations within the community.

The Williamston Sun Theatre renews traditions, focuses on digitalization

WILLIAMSTON- The Williamston Sun Theatre renews its traditions of the past while focusing on a future of digitalization and continued community involvement through the efforts of Owner Dan Robitaille. According to Robitaille, with big box office declines in mainstream theatres, the Sun Theatre has found new ways to appeal to the local demographic and keep their audiences beyond on the Williamston community. “There were originally 250 of these single-screen theatres in lower Michigan,” owner Dan Robitaille said. “Now we are down to about a dozen.”

With the support of their past fan base, the Sun Theatre was able to move forward through new ideas and relationships in the community. “One popular thing is our dinner and a flick with restaurants.