Williamston advances toward RRC certification

The Williamston City Council met on Feb. 10 to discuss the results of their Redevelopment Ready Communities evaluation. RRC Planner Brett Hanlon presented to the council about his findings and what they have to proceed to do to reach certification. Williamston will continue on the path to becoming a certified RRC community in the coming month.

Absentee ballots are in high demand in Williamston

The consolidation of precincts  

The Bureau of Elections offered the option of consolidating two precincts into one to allow for the creation of an AV Counting Board.  The consolidation would free up one of the tabulators to be able to have an AV Counting Board at no cost. City Clerk of Williamston Holly Thompson also mentioned how a mass mailing was sent out to citizens of Williamston, offering the option to be placed on a permanent AV list to “vote from home” which, she added, has been positively received by the community. 

The new consolidation of one precinct (via city of Williamston website). “I do feel the option of ‘no reason AV voting’ will increase voting participation by reminding voters there is an upcoming election and getting the ballots directly into their hands,” Thompson said when asked if voting participation will change. With people living very busy lives, voting from home ensures one to have plenty of time to vote and get in the ballot before the deadline. 

Proposal 18-3 allowed anyone to vote no matter the reason. The impact on local residents 

Even from a non-elected officials’ point of view, the ballots are a big deal.

Williamston City Hall hosts biweekly City Council meetings.

Williamston City Council discusses new economic development policy

The Williamston City Council met on Jan. 27 to discuss initiating an economic development policy. City Manager Corey Schmidt asked for guidance on the policy regarding tax abatements with businesses in the industrial park and downtown district. Action will be taken at an upcoming city council meeting when the draft of the proposed policy is finalized.

Williamston Art Committee applies for grant to construct murals

The Williamston Art Committee has applied for a grant in the hopes of commissioning four welcome murals for the city. The city has wanted to execute an art project for a long time and may finally get their chance to do so. The city has already selected one of the four sites the murals will go. It will hear back on the awarding of the grant by March.

New indoor farmers market brings local products to Williamston

            Dan Kostecke keeps busy with his business, Guiding Light Garlic Farm, but felt like he wanted to do more to help local farmers. Over a year ago, he decided to open his first indoor farmers market, LFA Farmers Market, in Mason. Then in December, LFA Farmers Market & Micro Cafe came to Keller’s Plaza in Williamston. The LFA sells only locally sourced goods and products in this store in Williamston as well as its original location in Mason. Photo by Gia Mariano

LFA stands for Local Farm Alliance.

Williamston High School fights the vaping epidemic

Michigan made history as the first state to move toward a flavored nicotine vaping ban on Sept. 4, with other states like New York, Massachusetts and Oregon following shortly after. 

With an increase in vape-related deaths being reported across the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the help of her Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun concluded that underage vaping constitutes as a public health emergency. 

Under Whitmer’s orders, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued rules detailing the ban, including the prohibition of flavored nicotine products in stores and online and misleading marketing strategies claiming the products are “safe.” Whitmer also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to outlaw vape advertisements on state billboards. 

Timeline of the 2019 Michigan vape ban. Graphic by Claire Heise. “As a governor, my No. 1 priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Whitmer in a statement on Sept.

Strength put to the test for Pancreatic cancer

Athletes went through a circuit of exercises including push ups, pull ups, deadlifts, and the rowing machine. Photo by Eli Atzenhoffer

Push ups, pull ups, deadlifts, and a trip on the rowing machine were in store for participants in the Push/Pull for Pancreatic Cancer event at Williamston Crossfit on Nov. 16. With music echoing through the building and the constant sound of weights hitting the ground, men and women of all ages went through rigorous circuits of exercise for a good cause. Twenty-eight athletes took their turn doing as many reps as possible for Project Purple, a nonprofit organization “created to raise awareness, support patients and families affected by the disease, and fund research efforts to defeat pancreatic cancer,” according to the organization’s website.