Building a community with Matt Mulford’s ‘artists of Keller’s upstairs’

Williamston has all the markings of an American small town: historic buildings comprising its downtown section, local family owned restaurants, a bridal shop, a glass blowing studio and the local hardware store. Nestled above the affairs of the main Williamston strip on Grand River is a somewhat unknown plaza that even local Williamston residents may pass by: Keller’s Plaza, home to “Williamston’s hidden gem” as nearly all of the Plaza’s shop owners called their little hideaway. Keller’s Plaza is home to a small candle shop Mud Country Candles, a small party store, a glass engravings shop called the Glass Fox, a dance studio, and Peculiar Perspective’s. Matt Mulford runs Peculiar Perspectives, a studio and art gallery at the top of the landing on the second floor of the plaza, along with Tony Steele. Mulford and Steele’s friendship and passion for art goes back years Mulford says.

Businesses are all hands on deck for MSU homecoming

A dragon marched in Friday’s Michigan State University homecoming parade, bobbing above handlers from the Chinese Undergraduate Students Association. People lined the streets for the annual parade and, at noon Saturday, about 30,000 extra people were expected for the football game against Northwestern. East Lansing bars, restaurants, hotels and police put on extra people and brought in supplies for the busy weekend.

Mackerel Sky helps customers find art as unique as its name

East Lansing has a unique art gallery store that’s been around for 30 years. The Mackerel Sky is more than a catchy name, though; it’s also a long story. A mackerel sky is a cloud formation that sailors talk about. It’s well-known on the coasts, and it looks like the scales on a mackerel fish. To sailors, it means a great change in atmosphere pressure is coming, which means a big shift is coming.

A depiction of Fort Mackinac from the 1890 book, "A lake tour to picturesque Mackinac via the D & C."

Remembering the soldiers of Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island bustles with 850,000 to a million visitors annually. But for British and American soldiers stationed there from 1780 through 1895, the strategic but remote outpost could be a place of loneliness, spectacular beauty, harsh discipline, even death. A new book tells the stories of those who served there until 1895 when the only remaining squad “marched out of Fort Mackinac for the last time,” victims of Army skepticism about its military value and a national cost-cutting movement that closed many forts.

Schools of choice: Change & challenge

It’s been about two decades since Michigan adopted Schools of Choice. The program is one of several responses to funding and quality issues. See how Schools of Choice decisions are made in Ingham County, and how choices over 20 years have affected the county’s 12 public school districts.

The benefits of summer camps for kids

School is out and the children are free, but parents still have to go to work. Keeping your kids busy doesn’t have to be stressful. Camps that offer activities like field trips, sports and art classes are a great way to keep your child occupied this summer. Becky Raden, coordinator at Pinckney Pirate Camp, says that getting your child involved in a summer camp can be a great opportunity for them. “Our goal is that the kids stay active, are having fun and are well supervised because this is their summer vacation,” Raden said.

Who’s teaching our kids about Independence Day?

Next week, the country will celebrate Independence Day. The day is usually filled with lots of red, white and blue shirts, small waving flags and spectacular fireworks, but is the meaning of the day still known and appreciated? A study by the American National Election Studies showed that the level of patriotism in the United States has in fact gone down, most commonly in millennials. Some believe this trend is because of social institutions, however, others believe the decline in American patriotism is because of our education system. Debbie Loukotka, an elementary school teacher who is known for taking her American pride seriously, says that teaching patriotism is more by choice.

The end of the year for an elementary school teacher: a picture story

The end of the school year brings a lot of emotions for any age student. For students, there are feelings of excitement because summer is just around the corner, and feelings of sadness because they are going to miss their favorite teacher. Teachers also have a lot of the same emotions; excitement because summer is just around the corner and feelings of sadness because they’re going to miss their favorite students. Mrs. Golin, a third-grade teacher at Farley Hill Elementary School, said she is one of those teachers. This picture story shows a glimpse of what it’s like as an elementary school teacher on the final days of the year.

When locals speak: Top-rated restaurants in Lansing and what makes them finger-licking good

Between Google reviews, Trip Advisor, Yelp and more, it’s not hard to find out what people think about restaurants in the area, but if you ever find yourself wondering what’s good to eat in the Capitol City, a word from the locals might just help. Here, we explore four Lansing-based restaurants with 4.6 stars or higher on Google reviews to find out what makes people keep coming back for more. The restaurants include Naing Myanmar Family Restaurant, Meat BBQ, El Oasis, and Soup Spoon Cafe. See the images below to find out more about the restaurants and read what restaurant-goers had to say about them.