Meridian Township Board works to revitalize downtown Okemos

Revamped position works to revamp downtown Okemos

The Meridian Township Board announced Amber Clark as the new Director of Neighborhoods and Economic Development during its last meeting on Oct. 5. 

Clark proposed the position be restructured to serve neighborhoods, as most of Okemos and Haslett residents live in suburban areas. Keeping neighborhoods in the loop

As Clark moved into the director position, she told the city manager and team about her plans to reinvigorate the role. “Upon taking the position, I told the team I was interested in drawing in the neighborhoods of such a residential-heavy township,” Clark said. “The core areas looking to develop immediately touch the residents in these neighborhoods, and economic development isn’t just about bringing in new businesses.”

If redevelopment funding is secured, the development team plans to complete demolition and asbestos abatement of buildings on the west side of the community by Dec.

The 24th Annual Michigan Solar Home Tour goes virtual amidst pandemic

The 2020 Michigan Solar Home tour hosted by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association took place Saturday, October 3, over Zoom instead of the traditional walkthrough home tour. The annual event is in its 24th year.  

In previous years, people would showcase their home or businesses’ solar systems throughout Michigan. Due to the virtual nature of the event, guests were able to see every solar system. The tour, which went from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., allowed guests to understand how solar energy can reduce your monthly energy bill while promoting a clean environment. A typical “tour” used Zoom’s screen-sharing tool in which speakers showed pictures and statistics of their solar systems.

Twelve people showcased their solar system, including MSU Professor David Arnosti.

Lyssa Kay Adams’ latest book inspires fans to read more romance

Once a journalist and now a full-time romance novel writer, meet Lyssa Kay Adams. Photo by Julian Stainback. Lyssa Kay Adams wasn’t always into romance novels until she read her first one in the eighth grade. She was inspired to create more romance novels on her own ever since.  

Adams was an award-winning journalist of nearly 20 years who gave up the world of telling true stories to write her own romance novels. 

Some of her novels have gotten nominations by the RWA, or Romance Writers of America, like “Wild in Rio” and “Seventh Inning Heat.” Since then, she has been a full-time writer for romance. 

Her latest book, “The Bromance Book Club,” made its debut at Schuler Books in Okemos on Nov. 6.   

With romance and a little comedy, Adams expects her latest book to give everyone an important lesson to learn.

Meridian Twp. prepares adventures for trick-or-treaters

Still looking for a way to celebrate Halloween with the little ones? Look no further. Show off your cool costumes during Meridian Township’s weekend full of three free Halloween Adventures. All of these events take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Meridian Police Department located at  5151 Marsh Road. 

The first event of the weekend will be at the Meridian Police Department where visitors will be able to tour the Public Safety Building.

Meridian Township adds an -s to Family Winter Sport Weekend

Meridian Township’s Parks and Recreation department expanded this winter its schedule of Family Winter Sports Weekends. What once was a program held in one weekend spans multiple weekends.

“When we first started out 18 years ago, we try to do just one big weekend,” said Mike Devlin, one of Meridian Township Parks and Recreation team specialists, “Now, every weekend we have something going on.”

FCC rule changes and senate bill threaten to cut funding for HOMTV and other stations

When Deborah Guthrie and Brandie Yates started the communications department in Meridian Township in 2012, they predicted that cable companies were going to switch their model from cable to satellite. This model would mean stations like theirs, HOMTV (Haslett, Okemos and Meridian television) were going to lose money. Now it looks like their prediction is coming true. The dark future they saw is coming true due to the legislation that has been passed and is on its way to being passed that will have a large effect on their funding. The FCC is working to push through rule changes that will affect the relationship between local access stations and cable companies.

Harris Nature Center puts focus on educating the community

The sound of leaves crunching under your feet, the Red Cedar River flowing right beside you and birds chirping: The sounds and sights of nature are an experience, the Harris Nature Center staff is hoping all visitors can have. “Basically the biggest thing is, that we like people to understand that a nature center is not just the building it’s like the entire park is the nature center that’s where you’re going to have your experience,” said Kit Rich, coordinator of the nature center.  “We want you to come into the building say hello and see what we have in here, but then get outside, kind of create your own experiences.”

The center is tucked away in the woods lining Van Atta Road and is just off the bank of the Red Cedar. First opening its doors in 1997, the center has proclaimed itself as a place for recreation and education. “The nature center means a lot to us,” said Liza Potts, an associate professor at Michigan State who frequents the park.

Okemos School Board of Education welcomes two new members

Following the midterm election, Okemos residents will welcome two new faces to its Board of Education. Voters elected newcomers Mary Gebara and Katie Cavanaugh, while also re-electing Dean Bolton and Vincent Lyon-Gallo. Both newcomers said they are excited to join the board and serve their respective terms. Gebara beat out candidates Adam Candeub and Michael Kieliszewski for one of the three, four-year term positions. According to WILX, the NBC affiliate in Lansing, Gebara received the most votes in the race with 4,419 or 30 percent of all votes. “I’m very excited (to join the board), I worked hard, so I’m really happy that I won and I’m anxious to get started,” said Gebara.