OKEMOS — A couple of years ago, Okemos High School changed their logo and focused on moving on from the Native American symbol that they have had as a mascot for many years. Okemos had changed the logo from a chieftain’s head to their letter “O” that represents Okemos. Some may say the Native American logo might have impacted people in a positive way, and some may say it might have impacted people in a negative way. It all depends on who you are talking to. Superintendent Catherine Ash said logos can be positive it just depends on how schools and the public are portraying that figure and that schools should be very cautious about using logos that can be offensive to people.
By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
OKEMOS — The year of 2016 seems like the year of Meridian Township building and changing the way their township is seen, from new roads, a new fire station and potential new paths that connect the township together. And they haven’t stopped at just that: an old park is getting a make-over. The latest round of improvements in Meridian Township parks have just begun off Okemos Road. Wonch Park is the first to be discovered that needs new renovations, which lies along the bend of the Red Cedar River. Lots of projects began in late 2015, but now are able to come to a close now that the snow is out of the way.
With Michigan still trailing behind other Great Lakes states in recycling rates, plans in Meridian Township are in place to ensure it does not get left behind. An estimate projects that $435 million of recyclable material annually goes to the landfill, instead of recycling facilities in Michigan. “Michigan is not stellar at recycling,” Recycling and Energy Coordinator LeRoy Harvey explained. “Meridian is no exception, but efforts are in place to expand our recycling program.”
A current, updated goal is in place to bring Michigan’s rate of recycling up to 30 percent, to compete with neighboring states. While Michiganders recycle up to 90 percent of all their bottles and cans, it only makes up about 2 percent of all waste.
Imagine living without a form of transportation. Many people in Meridian Township rely on the CATA bus system to get them to and from destinations within the town. “[Without the CATA bus system] we would have a couple of different types of problems,” said Julie Brixie, treasurer and CATA board member of Meridian Township. “One would be that traffic congestion would be remarkably higher than it is today. [Secondly,] I believe that some of our bigger employers in the area, including Meridian Mall and Meijer, would have difficulty getting some of their employees to work, and they might have a harder time filling some of the positions that they have.
A 9-month-old male deer was found in Meridian Township with a disease known as CWD. CWD stands for Chronic Wasting Disease, a fatal disease that affect white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. Deer in Meridian Township have been on close watch by the citizens, as it’s important that the township keeps track of the prevalence rates and spread. “The township parks department, police, and administration are cooperating with the DNR to monitor the spread and attempt to control the disease,” said Capt. Greg Frenger of the Meridian Township Police Department. “It is unclear how the disease came to Michigan.
When Mike McCurdy received the notice from the Meridian Township staff that he had to get rid of his five pygmy goats or pay $820 to send a request to rezone his property, he had no idea what to do. “It started with us getting a 30-day notice saying that we had to get rid of our goats in 30 days or we would be fined and face ongoing fines,” said McCurdy. McCurdy fought the law and McCurdy won, gaining a zoning change allowing him to keep his goats. But that end result came after a fight that cost time and money, and that McCurdy believes was swayed by public sentiment in his favor. “I think it was pretty clear to people that the animals weren’t a problem.
OKEMOS — March in Okemos can be a month full of gifts. Traffic is heavy, bars can be crowded, floors are sticky from beer being wasted, all because of March Madness. March Madness is the month students, alums and townspeople alike represent their school with pride. This is the time for fans travel to their favorite bar, buy a cold beverage, alongside a nice light meal and cheer for their favorite college basketball team to win as many games possible. Owner of Buddies Pub and Grill Terry Lynn explained why March Madness is so important for the people of the community and her business.
By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
Your preference of transportation mode matters on a normal day, but this past St. Patrick’s Day CATA buses overpowered the inclinations of some to use their own motor vehicle. CATA’s Entertainment Express, that runs every week Thursday to Sunday to offer a primary mode of sober transportation, was helping the cause to promote against drinking and driving. The Entertainment Express is used in hopes of consumers helping themselves and other pedestrians from drunk driving accidents, not only this day, but every time the trolley rolls around. “Keep in mind that with or without the free-sober ride offer, CATA was already scheduled to operate Entertainment Express between the Capitol and East Lansing, and that the majority of those riders own a Student Semester pass, giving them unlimited rides aboard all fixed-route services, meaning they wouldn’t have had to pay any more to ride on St.
In Meridian Township’s ongoing effort to become a more environmentally-friendly community, the township is investigating the solar alternative for energy production. With numbers provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association, almost 784,000 residents and businesses in the United States have switched to the usage of solar energy in some degree during the first half of 2015 alone. Meridian Township is among those considering the growing trend of alternative energy usage. In early February, David Gard, a senior consultant with 5 Lakes Energy, gave a presentation at the township’s board meeting about the Lansing Board of Water and Light’s plan to implement more solar energy options for electricity customers in the form of community solar parks. Customers will be able to lease solar panels in these parks to contribute in their energy usage.
On March 8, Meridian Township voters hit the polling booths and cast their votes in the 2016 presidential primary election, along with the rest of Michigan. Those booths were a bit busier than usual. According to the township clerk’s office, of the 29,554 registered voters in Meridian, 13,115 submitted either a ballot or an absentee ballot for the primary. It was also reported that at least 3,500 absentee ballots were submitted for this election, compared to only about 1,200 absentee ballots submitted in 2012’s primary. This year’s voter turnout for the primary toppled 2012’s statistic in general, when only 5,917 Meridian voters of 27,377 registered voters submitted a ballot.