Cera PowellProtesters march down Capitol Avenue for justice for the murder of George Floyd and police reform on Sunday, March 31. Sharron Reed-Davis wants the protest in Lansing and around the country to continue. Davis, 21, a member of the Black Student Alliance at Michigan State University, is protesting in Lansing fighting for justice of black people who have been a victim of police brutality. She can’t stop, she says, protesting means fighting for her rights and the rights of her people, she knows that protesting has brought awareness like never before. Police brutality hasn’t stopped but has shown clear racism and brutality from the police to the world.
Thousands of cars pass along I-496 everyday to get to downtown Lansing. However, few truly know the history of what was once where the sprawling interstate now stands. Over 840 homes and businesses were destroyed in the very center of an African American community, leaving people like Ken Turner, Adolf Burton and Sam Sinicropi to recount distant memories of what used to be a home for so many. In an area formerly teeming with sporting events and family, the three provide a unique perspective into life before the highway.
In this Spartan News Update, a Penn State fraternity is facing charges in a hazing case and Georgia Tech has a data breach. Teens in California were electrocuted on a bridge, meth was found in a daycare center, a milk tanker crashes and in Lansing, off-road enthusiasts visit the Lansing Center.
It’s been five weeks since Michigan votes decided to legalize recreational marijuana, but Williamston City Manager Corey Schmidt said he does not expect a huge change for community residents. “To the extent that is, if it’s occurring in public, there could be some ramifications there,” said Schmidt. “But as of right now, when I talked to our police chiefs and whatnot, we just don’t expect a huge change.”
With the passing of Proposal 1, all communities who are against it still have the opportunity to opt-out of dispensaries within their city limits. Communities had this ability to opt-out when medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan. The Williamston City Council has been debating this issue for months.
Allen Farmers Market vendors have moved indoors to sell their products. Because of this shift, residents can continue to access fresh produce and other products during the cold months. The market on Lansing’s east side operates outdoors through Oct. 31.
A 100-year-old industrial complex near Lansing’s REO Town could soon become a mix of apartments and offices. Lansing City Council on Oct. 8 approved a brownfield tax incentive plan to reimburse the developer for environmental cleanup costs related to the site at 735 Hazel St. Project developers expect the first phase of the project to cost about $14.5 million. The incentive package would reimburse the developer about $5.8 million over 30 years for costs associated with cleaning up the property.
The Lansing School Board appointed two new members to the board at a regular meeting on Feb. 1. After a 4-3 vote, Michigan State University Senior Research Associate Nathan Burroughs and CEO/Leader Physician at Care Free Medical Clinic, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, were chosen as the new members of the board. Burroughs, who interviewed for the position at the previous meeting via Skype, said he knows it will be a while until he feels confident with the dynamics of a school board. “Despite having some expertise I’m fully aware that I have a steep learning curve,” Burroughs said.
Local representatives have been working together on an initiative called “Shaping the Avenue” to spark economic development across four mid-Michigan cities. This is a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the City of East Lansing, City of Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township and the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA).
Instead of the harsh white light of the fluorescents, the light pouring from Alexa Weatherwax’s second grade classroom is the soft glow of old-fashioned incandescent string lights and paper lanterns she purchased for her classroom. This year, the only money Weatherwax spent out of pocket was on a travel Q-tip container for her students’ vocabulary words.
Weatherwax’s experience, however, is atypical and illustrates the starkness in realities between suburban and urban public schools, mostly White versus mostly Black school districts. According to the non-profit AdoptAClassroom.org’s national survey, 91 percent of teachers purchase school supplies for their students. The report goes on to say, on average, teachers in the United States spend $600 out of pocket each year on classroom supplies.