The Meridian Township Planning Commission discussed plans for a new bank that if approved for rezoning will be located at the Meridian Mall in front of Macy’s. The proposal states the building will encompass 2,500 square feet, feature two drive-thru tellers and one ATM lane. The bank will also include 25 parking spots and two access driveways that will connect to the southside of Mall Drive. Construction will begin in 2021.
The proposed location at 1982 Grand River Ave. Okemos, Michigan.
On this edition of Focal Point, we break down the results of the 2020 Election as of Friday, November 6. The MSU swim team makes its last dive, IM West reopens for the first time since the pandemic, and MSU’s football win against U-M results in a spike in COVID cases in Ingham County.
Thomas Gorman graduated in the spring from Okemos High School. After spending four years there, he knew there were some changes he wanted to see. So, he decided to do something about it. Gorman ran for the Okemos School Board in this election. Not only was this his first time on the ballot, but this was also the first general election he was eligible to vote in.
The entrance of Cheezy D’s Deli and Dogs located on the corner of Marsh and Lake Lansing. Credit: Brea Crawford
Cheezy D’s Deli and Dogs in Haslett, Michigan was robbed just months after their grand opening on June 15, a few months later than originally planned. Owners Denny and Michelle Emmer tried to make the best out of the situation.
“I knew who did it, that’s why I didn’t press charges,” said Denny. “No matter what their issue was, they needed help. We tried to make a positive out of it. The window can be replaced, and no one was hurt.”
The robbery influenced Denny to take his business to the next level and help the community.
On this edition of Focal Point, President Donald Trump visits Lansing for the first time ever. Our team meets supporters and protestors at the rally. With admissions down at MSU, Jacob Lothamer investigates how the school is handling a $54 million loss in revenue. We preview MSU football’s massive matchup with Michigan and catch up with Jalen Watts-Jackson. Those stories and more on Focal Point.
Shade Moore investigates a ghost at Saddleback Barbecue in Okemos. During this halloween season, there was more than brisket, ribs and pulled pork on the menu. See how the customers and employees benefit from the “ghost” before it leaves for good!
Photo of 4700 South Hagadorn Rd. in Meridian Township where Wayfair planned to set up its call center. Credit: Asya Lawrence
Although Wayfair, an online store for furniture, decor, housewares and more, was not clear about why exactly they changed their minds about opening a call center in Meridian Township on South Hagadorn Road, city officials speculate it was due to COVID-19.
“They did not say exactly what the reason was, but they let us know as soon as they knew that they were not looking for long-term locations,” said Amber Clark, Meridian Township’s Neighborhood and Economic Development Director.
“Like other organizations due to the Covid-19 crisis they aren’t looking for in person locations, that’s our speculation,” said Frank Walsh, Township Manager, who explained that though this decision came as a surprise, it was expected. “We were surprised, but we also had our doubts once Covid-19 hit five or six months ago. We could see that it was going to be easier and safer for people to work out of their homes rather than putting 500 people in the building.”
“Although the news is devastating, we certainly understand it’s a safety and health issue here,” Walsh said.
Absentee voter putting his ballot in the Election Drop Box outside Lansing City Hall. Credit: Asya Lawrence
Because absentee ballots doubled compared to the 2016 presidential election, Ingham County’s counting board is critical to this election. This county board is made up of county residents who will process and account for each ballot.
Absent Voter Counting Board
An absent voter counting board or AVCB is a separate group of inspectors who process absentee ballots in designated locations with their own tabulators.
The AVCB handles large numbers of absentee ballots said Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. She said changes have been made this year in terms of operating the counting boards.
Typically, absentee counting boards usually occur at the local level at the city and township clerk’s office; however, the Governor signed Public Act 95 of 2020 that allows for a consolidated county absentee counting board, said Byrum.
Need for an AVCB due to high volume of absentee ballots
Michiganders are choosing to avoid physically going to the polls and are voting via absentee ballot instead.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson recently announced that over 2.7 million voters have requested an absentee ballot. Compared to the 2016 presidential race, there has been a 145% increase in requests of mail-in ballots, according to The Detroit News.
Clerk Byrum explained the county has received 60,771 absentee ballots.