Ingham County health officer receives Inspirational Woman of the Year Award

Every year, the Michigan State University Center for Gender in Global Context honors staff, faculty, and student women on campus and Ingham County with the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award. The Inspiration Awards highlight women’s abilities in several categories. Linda Vail, health officer of the Ingham County Health Department, was awarded the Community Engagement award. 

Linda Vail

Women who receive the Community Engagement award demonstrate a commitment to engaging and advancing communities and organizations at MSU and in the greater Lansing community through service and leadership, per the MSU GenCen website. Vail is CEO of the Ingham County Health Department where she oversees the operations and leads the entire department, which includes public health services, federally qualified health centers and correctional health. Vail also holds a small responsibility related to the medical examiner’s office. Vail received her Bachelor of Science in microbiology from The University of Georgia in 1982 when she was 20.

Portrait of Debbie Walton

East Lansing School Board, like students, plans to get back to in-person work

East Lansing’s school board might follow students’ example and resume in-person meetings.

Trustee Debbie Walton proposed at the board’s Feb. 22 meeting that, with students heading back to school, board members head back to live meetings. She noted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s string recommendation that school open by March 1. It was Whitmer who, in March 2020, issued an order exempting school boards from the Michigan’s Open Meetings Act’s requirement that they meet in person.

Andrew Wells

East Lansing plans return to in-person learning March 1

East Lansing schools return to in-person learning March 1 after almost a year of remote classes.

East Lansing High School Principal Andrew Wells said, “the learning plan entails an opportunity for students to return to school starting March 1 in a hybrid setting, meaning some of our students will be taught in person and the others who have chosen to do so will remain learning remote.”

East Lansing City Councilman Ron Bacon

Black History Month is personal for East Lansing councilmember

East Lansing City Councilman Ron Bacon said, “There’s not an area, as far as supporting civil rights education, that East Lansing hasn’t touched. It’s my job to listen and try to execute a future that the youth can occupy.”

The City Council acknowledged Black History Month Feb. 9 at the prompting of a memo by the city’s diversity, equity and inclusion administrator, Elaine Hardy, who noted the unique and valuable contributions of Black Americans.

East Lansing Police Department faces oversight commission amid significant policy changes

After many months of increased scrutiny and renewed conversations about the role of law enforcement in American society, the City of East Lansing has formed a study committee to put in place a permanent oversight board to work with the East Lansing Police Department on better serving their community.

The Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission, which began in October following the summer’s mass protests over police brutality and misconduct, is working with East Lansing community members, officials and law enforcement to form a board to provide guidance to the police department.

“It’s the same education in a different space.” East Lansing prepares for in-person instruction

As East Lansing prepares to bring students back for in-person learning for the first time, students and teachers alike are anxious to return to normal — but many recognize that it won’t quite be the same.

After nearly a full year of remote learning, East Lansing secondary schools are planning to return to in-person instruction on March 1. Elementary schools are returning Feb. 22.

Michigan State Theatre Department returns to in-person learning

The Theatre Department at Michigan State has allowed classes to return to in-person learning with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Theatre isn’t the only department to bring students back into classrooms, but with acting, singing and dance classes, it makes sense that it would be one of the first departments to do this. Normally, drama and singing classes would take place in the MSU Auditorium, but the Wharton Center for Performing Arts is allowing students to do their theatrics in its various theaters and spaces this semester. While the Wharton isn’t the typical classroom for the students, they were excited to be able to practice on stages that professional actors normally use. Students with in-person classes are required to participate in the Michigan State “COVID-19 Early Detection Program” and fill out a health screening prior to vising campus.

The Start of the East Lansing Winter Farmers Market

In the heart of East Lansing, along M.A.C. Avenue, the “down” in downtown no longer just means going downtown, but going underground, inside the M.A.C parking garage. Past the fields of empty spaces and random cars into a basement plowed over with the new East Lansing winter farmer’s market. Part of the Daytime. Nighttime. Anytime.