Park, shop and nest in new downtown buildings

Capital News Service
LANSING—Medium-sized cities looking for ways to expand parking in cramped downtowns are turning to mixed-use structures that combine retail and housing with parking. The Holland City Council is considering a proposal from Burton Katzman, an Ann Arbor developer, and Rockford Construction of Grand Rapids, to buy a surface parking lot and replace it with a parking ramp wrapped by apartments. The council agreed to take the proposal under advisement. The city council hosted an open house recently for 10 to 15 developers, residents and merchants to gauge the public’s reaction, said Joel Dye, the director of community and neighborhood services. “Millennials, empty nesters, single people and young professionals without kids” make up the list of potential users, Dye said.

Bill reducing penalties for underage drinking one step closer to becoming reality

Capital News Service
LANSING — A bill to lessen penalties on minors caught with alcohol will get a hearing in the House Criminal Justice Committee next Tuesday. . The bill, which passed almost unanimously in the Senate this March, states that a Minor in Possession (MIP) charge would be reduced from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction on the first offense. Currently, people under 21 who are caught drinking are charged with a misdemeanor that can sometimes be expunged from their record if they complete probation. Probation includes random testing, substance abuse counseling, monthly reporting, a $100 fine, court and probation costs and costs for testing and treatment.

Housing plan stalled; future uncertain

By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

The city of Lansing is at odds with a proposed new housing development project that will create affordable housing for some families. Over the past two years, there has been a building, located at 1113 N. Washington Ave, that has been waiting to be turned in to a new low-income housing development. There has been a standstill because of the fact that council members feel that there might be some discrimination within the regulations for this housing project. The head of the project, Dr. Sam Saboury, has been trying to find ways to get the project underway. In March, the Lansing City Council rejected Saboury’s request for a 4 percent Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT, which would have enhanced the prospect of securing the tax credit and being able to start the development.

The doctor prescribed addiction: prescription drugs take on illicit roles in Lansing, nationwide

By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

When you go to the doctor, you hope to leave with a cure. However, some leave with an addiction, or a new job as a drug dealer. More and more, people are using prescription drugs like antidepressants or pain medication as a way one would use hardcore drugs. They are using them for recreation or even selling them which is not what these medications are for. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug addiction is becoming a big issue killing more people from accidental overdoses.

To adopt, or to buy? That is a pet question

By Nakea Paige
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

More people are looking more to having an animal to snuggle with at night instead of some annoying person. The only thing people have to decide is whether to adopt or to purchase a puppy from either a breeder or owner. With all of the animal shelters and abandoned animals, one would think that adoption would be an easy go to for animal lovers. Even though there are abandoned animals in shelters, people still stray to websites like Craigslist or Facebook looking to buy an animal. According to the, it normally costs a person about $220 just to adopt an already ready animal.

Lansing Township keeping a wary eye on neighboring Lansing’s crime rate

By Grant Essenmacher
Lansing Township News Staff Reporter

Lansing Township has been affected by the high crime rates of neighboring Lansing for years. That continues to be the case nowadays, and is a problem that the township must deal with. In 2014, the crime rate in Lansing was 44 percent higher than the national average according to areavibes, a service that provides demographics for cities. For Lansing Township citizen Brian Watkins, the crimes surrounding the area is a major issue. “I think anytime you are discussing crime, especially in a suburb of a bigger city it’s an issue.” Watkins said.

Old Town could see the effects of the shift back into the urban core

By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

Old Town is subject to the population shift of millennials moving back into the urban core, after so many years of sprawl, because of its walkability and number of things to do. “What we seem to be observing is that young millennials seem to have different interests and life style choices,” said Rex LaMore, a member of Michigan State University’s Urban and Regional Planning faculty. “They want to be in interesting places where there are a lot of opportunity and things to do. So they are moving back into central cities.” Old Town offers an array of unique festivals, an assortment of different styles of restaurants, and many niche shops as well as shops for basic necessities.

Bus Rapid Transit could replace CATA's Route 1 bus

By Griffin Wasik
Ingham County Chronicle Staff Reporter

A $143 million proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system could be finished as soon as 2018. The BRT would run from the Capitol to Meridian Mall via Michigan and Grand River avenues. It would also add a designated bus lane, remove current bus stops, and add traffic signals, according to Meridian Township documents. “The total cost of the BRT is not $133 million,” John R. Veenstra, a Trustee member on the Meridian Township Board of Commissioners, said. “Many people are getting this confused.

MSU student, 23, running for state representative in 67th district

By Alexandra Donlin
MI First Election

Most college students typically don’t think about running for a political office, at least while they’re still in school. However, Alec Findlay, despite being a senior at Michigan State University and only 23, has decided to run for state representative in the 67th District, which includes Mason, Williamston, Leslie and part of Lansing. “Alec’s work-ethic, intelligence and social skills will serve him and the district well,” said Patrick McAran, friend and supporter of Findlay. “There is much disapproval of the incumbent candidate and it seems it is time for a change.”

Findlay, a Democrat, is running against Tom Cochran, also a Democrat, who is running for this third and final term, due to term limits. Aside from being a full-time political science student, Findlay also works part-time – all while he is building up his campaign.

Elderly Instruments helps develop sense of community and arts culture in Old Town

By Emily Elconin
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter

The arts play an important role in small neighborhood of Old Town. Elderly Instruments located at 1100 N. Washington Ave., plays a significant role in the development of the arts culture in Old Town. The power of art and music has helped create a sense of community for people in Old Town and people who are just visiting or passing through. “Elderly has been a staple and anchor here in Old Town which has been really important because they’ve been here for a really long time,” Program Director for Michigan Institute of Contemporary Art Katrina Daniels said. “They are a really important cornerstone here in Old Town.