Ingham County ISD heard a presentation from the Early On program at their April meeting, which also happens to be National Month of the Young Child. The Early On program works with children ages three and under with developmental disabilities and other situations impacting their learning.
Ingham County’s Human Services Committee has recommended a candidate for the Racial Equity Task Force.
The committee unanimously moved to recommend Amirika Richardson to the task force at the Human Services meeting in Lansing on April 3.
Richardson was interviewed by Ingham County Commissioner and Human Services Committee Chairperson Todd Tennis during the meeting. Richardson said she wishes to bring the community together and collaborate with different organizations.
With the calendar turning to April and temperatures slowly rising, golf is returning to mid-Michigan. East Lansing’s Forest Akers opened their east course on March 22, and the west course opened April 4.
Michigan voters have more ways than ever to cast their ballots. Last November, they passed Proposal 2, a constitutional amendment that mandates early voting be offered at all polling locations. Voting accessibility was also expanded in 2018 when Proposal 3 allowed carte blanche absentee voting.
These new laws change how township and county clerks prepare for elections. Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark says these changes are positive because it is the clerk’s duty to ensure every voter can make it to the polls. “It’s all good because clerks are committed to people voting.
Schools should be places where students feel safe and parents feel their children are being protected. The increasing number of school threats and incidents has caused many to feel less safe on school properties. The sheriff’s office of Ingham County and school resource officers such as Deputy Megan Jordan work to combat that.
The most valuable protection that the sheriff’s department has for schools is a dedicated school resource officer. The officer’s main duty is to maintain safety and security while building relationships with students.
The position is funded by Delhi Township and is in charge of the buildings in the Holt school district, as well as other parts of the county, with about 5,600 students and 800 faculty and staff. “It’s really like a small city, for one cop,” said County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth.
Ingham Intermediate School District director of facilities and safety, Steve Rusnock, said the school resource officer is a significant benefit for the district.
“Coordinating with the sheriff’s office and school resource officers helps to give that extra feeling of security for all the students and parents, not to mention the faculty,” said Rusnock.
The Ingham County Intermediate School District considered the new post-COVID normal as t took up attendance and mask mandates Feb. 15. Most public schools rely on attendance-based funding. Until now, even throughout the pandemic, schools lose funding when attendance falls below 75%. Since the return to in-person learning, schools across the country have seen attendance fluctuate because of exposure-induced quarantines.
As controversy continues to form around the 2020 Presidential Election, many local residents seem to have opted to vote absentee for the recent primary, and the numbers show similar trends for the general election in the fall. According to a July Detroit Free Press article by Paul Egan, over 22,000 voters have requested absentee ballots of which 60% have been returned. The total number of absentee ballots sent out for the 2016 Presidential election was 5,500. Michigan State student and Ingham County resident Cassy Landes said she knew “no matter what I wanted to vote in this election” so voting absentee was the only choice. “I thought about it (voting absentee), but I never seriously considered it until COVID reared its ugly head,” Landes said.
Starting this month, new legislation in Michigan will more than double the penalty for heinous crimes involving animals. “We do have a lot of cases where an animal is either strangled to the point of defecating on itself or passing out or severely maned so their ears are cut, or they’re beaten with a bat… maybe tied up by their leash,” said Ingham County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nattalie Macomber. The state of Michigan is taking a stand against these types of crimes with stricter penalties and Macomber believes this is a good time to start changing the narrative. “The culture is really changing and the education about what animal abuse actually is has really evolved in the last few years,” she said.
When Meridian Township voters opened their absentee ballot marking instructions, they were presented with directions on how to vote straight party even though straight ticket voting is banned for the Nov. 6 general election in Michigan. “I was contacted by a voter last week who was confused because the instructions that are included with the absentee ballot that was mailed to them included instructions on how to mark a straight party ballot,” said Ingham County Clerk, Barb Byrum. Although the instructions were incorrect, voters do not need to worry because the ballot is accurate. Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus said that there is no need for voter confusion because there is no straight party option on the ballot.