Meridian Township invests in renewable energy by installing a solar panel array

When a group of Okemos high schoolers raised funds to install solar panels at their school, they had no idea they would inspire Meridian Township to follow in their footsteps. The Okemos project caught the attention of Meridian Township Board Supervisor Ron Styka and ultimately led to a new solar panel array being constructed in front of the township Municipal Building in October. “I happened to be driving by the high school and noticed the panels on the roof,” Styka said. “I contacted the current president of the Okemos School Board and he told me how the students led the movement to get it up there.”

According to a WLIX article from Mar. 10, 2017, the Okemos students raised more than $70,000 for their school to have this renewable energy source.

Haslett teachers demonstrate the advantage of technology in the classroom


When Christopher Luea, a middle school Spanish and robotics instructor, teaches a lesson, a robotic device, called a SWIVL, records him while rotating to follow his movements. “Our Spanish language instructional theory is based heavily on comprehensible input and focused immersion,” he said. “Therefore, when students are absent or would do well to revisit lessons, these recordings offer a high-quality audio and video recording for them.”

During a Haslett School Board Meeting on Nov. 12, teachers from Haslett Middle School and Haslett High School showcased how they are incorporating modern technology into the classroom. Chelsea Pennington, a high school math teacher, records her algebra outlines using a different kind of device.

Meridian Township Fire Department hosts fire prevention open house

Due to recent fire statistics, Fire Inspector Tom Millerov is concerned about the safety of the community. He said: “The numbers currently are above average for the number of fire fatalities per year in Michigan. So there is a really big push right now to remind people to make sure that they have a working smoke alarm in their home and to make sure that they are practicing fire safety and know how to get out of their home in case of an emergency.”

On Oct. 13, the Meridian Township Fire Department had its fire prevention open house where community members had the opportunity to visit the fire station and learn about fire prevention techniques. Millerov said that this event is important because it allows kids to interact with the fire department in a nonemergency setting so that they can know what to do when an emergency does arise.

Lansing-area townships clarify instructions for absentee voters

When Meridian Township voters opened their absentee ballot marking instructions, they were presented with directions on how to vote straight party even though straight ticket voting is banned for the Nov. 6 general election in Michigan. “I was contacted by a voter last week who was confused because the instructions that are included with the absentee ballot that was mailed to them included instructions on how to mark a straight party ballot,” said Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. Although the instructions were incorrect, voters do not need to worry because the ballot is accurate. Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said that there is no need for voter confusion because there is no straight party option on the ballot.

Meridian Township board votes against rezoning

On Oct. 2, the Meridian Township Board voted 6-1 denying Jim Giguere’s request to rezone approximately 7.36 acres of residential property. Their decision means that no more than seven homes can be built off Hulett Road, near the Sanctuary Neighborhood. 

Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said that her vote against the rezoning request was not a difficult decision to make. “The current zoning on the land is consistent with our future land use map,” said Brixie. “The requested zoning would not serve the best interests of the community.”

Alina Gorlick, a 10-year Meridian Township resident, said she felt extremely happy about the board’s decision.

Dancy Pantz Boutique waltzes into Okemos

Megan Villasurda, 26, had a longtime dream of opening up her own dance store but realized the community already had Bottoms Up as their go-to dance supply store. “I really wanted to do this for like five years,” Villasurda said. “but I did not want to compete with them because they had all the contacts and over 40 years of business.”

When Bottoms Up closed in May, she was encouraged by her friend and boss to make her dream a reality so in August, Villasurda opened her store at 2395 Jolly Road. “I gave her a call when I heard Bottoms Up was closing and said, ‘this is your sign,’” said Kick It Out Dance Studio owner, Denise Krumm. Villasurda had been teaching at Kick It Out Dance Studio for six years.