Sarah Russell stands outside of the Mason Chamber of Commerces

Mason names new Chamber of Commerce executive director

Sarah Russell, who grew up in Mason, is the new executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. Russell has degrees in entrepreneurship and small-business management and a certificate in counseling. A reception for outgoing director Doug Klein will be held Nov. 7.

Sexual violence on college campuses

The number of sex crimes reported on U.S. college campuses increased by 50 percent over the last decade, according to the latest Indicators of School Crime and Safety survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. While sexual violence is difficult to measure, factors such as grade level, gender and rates of campus crime reporting can help determine the prevalence of sexual violence.

Seats without candidates cause problems for schools, cities

By KAREN HOPPER USHER
Capital News Service
LANSING — In Michigan more than 150 local government, school and library seats lack candidates for this November’s election, according to a preliminary document from the  Department of State. State officials are in the early stages of tallying uncontested seats and that number could change. “It looks like a long list, but it’s actually a small proportion,” said Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University. The United States has more elections than any country in the world, Grossmann said. The vacancies do, however, create problems for cities.

Hotel plan rejected in St. Johns

By Rachel Bidock
Clinton County Staff Reporter

ST.JOHNS — A hotel may not be coming to the City of St. Johns after all. At the St. Johns City Commission meeting on March 28, commissioners accepted the planning commission’s recommendation to deny the petition for transitional district use, or hotel use, for the first floor of 116 and 118 N. Clinton Ave. During the meeting the Community Development Director and Deputy City Manager Dave Kudwa explained the plans that the applicant for the petition and owner of the building, Ken Harris, had in mind.

House clarifies Michigan ‘gag order’ law on clerks

By Rene Kiss
MI First Election

The state House approved House Bill 5219 on Feb. 23, which aims to fix a provision of a recently approved law that prohibits public bodies from distributing information 60 days before an election. The law, an amendment to Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act, was stopped by an injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara on Feb. 5. Democrats and local government officials were critical of Senate Bill 571, not only for its content but for the manner in which it was approved through a late night-session in December when 12 pages were replaced with 53.

Woman in DeWitt Township arrested for alleged drugged driving

By Cydni Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Driving under the influence doesn’t simply mean drunk driving. Prescription drugs can also impair a driver, something a 27-year-old woman allegedly learned the hard way earlier this month. The woman was arrested by DeWitt Township police for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs after an alleged hit-and-run with a mailbox on March 5, police officials said. Driving under the influence doesn’t only deal with illegal drugs and alcohol, it includes any mood or mind-altering substance, says Diana Julian, substance abuse/program manager and counselor at McAlister Institute. Julian says being aware that driving under the influence involves prescription drug abuse is very important.

DeWitt District Library, after years of financial troubles, now on a stable path of continued improvement

By Laina Stebbins
Bath-DeWitt Connection Reporter

DEWITT — Keeping the DeWitt District Library afloat has long been a topic of debate for the DeWitt Charter Board of Trustees, the DeWitt District Library Board, and several more township boards involved. For far too long, many argued, the library was forced to run on an insufficient allotment of 0.5 mill. The township’s shrinking budget further aggravated this problem; because of increased cuts in funding by the state, DeWitt Township had little to work with as it was. A proposed millage increase in this situation, along with a proposal for a new library building large enough to sufficiently serve the needs of its community, would likely prove challenging to gain public support for. This was indeed the case.

2016 Clinton County budget spends more on public safety and recreation, less on administration and economic development

By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

Clinton County’s 2016 administrative budget contains reductions to administrative service expenditures and community & economic development, as well as increases in funding to recreation and public safety. Public safety expenditures are gaining $200,000 more funding than they did in 2014, increasing to $7,354,104 from $7,154,290. Recreation funding was increased to $165,368 from $149,939 in 2014. Clinton County Clerk’s office administrator Jenny Schmidt explains, “The increases to recreation funding are intended to help towns that thrive on out-of-town visitors such as St. Johns continue to do so.

Grand Ledge officials pushing for revising 53-year-old city charter

By Rachael Daniel
Living in the Ledge Staff Reporter

The Grand Ledge City Charter is stuck in the sixties. It has not been updated since 1963, but the mayor and other city officials have a plan to bring it up to speed with the times. On Aug. 2 Grand Ledge voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether they want to see the charter revised, which will authorize registered voters to run for nine seats on the Charter Commission, the board that will ultimately make the changes to the charter. “The way the charter is written now, it gives the council a very strong say in the day-to-day running of the city instead of the council being a policy and directing board,” said Gregory Newman, the city clerk.

Interim supervisor looks to township’s future

By Rachel Beard
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

This November, Lansing Township voters will be voting for more than just a new president of the United States. They’ll also be voting for a new supervisor for the township. On Feb. 26, Kathleen Rodgers served her last day as the Lansing Township supervisor after more than 27 years in township government. Former board of trustees member Diontrae Hayes took her place on Feb.