It’s not every day that the world watches East Lansing, Mich. However, the spotlight was on East Lansing High School when Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address on Feb. 4, 2020.
NOVI, Mich.-Growing up as the daughter of two educators, teaching was something Jenifer Michos became familiar with very quickly in her life, and the challenges that came with it proved to be too hard to resist. “I loved the challenge of a student that might have been struggling,” said Michos. “When I went to Hope College, I had exceptional teachers and I ate up all of their strategies, and it helped me become empowered to work with kids that had special needs, which is what I did first.”
Now after having been principal of Parkview Elementary in Novi for 16 years before her retirement at the end of this past school year, Michos has meet those challenges and many changes along the way, whether it’d be with students, staff or even the education system itself. “I would say there was a looseness to the system,” said Michos. “Over the years we have become more structured with the laws that have been put in place like No Child Left Behind, and they’ve helped us align with what the current needs are for our students.”
“I think we’ve also made huge improvements in regards to how we look at mental health. That was maybe the most challenging part of being a principle was understanding those complicated issues, but now I think we’re more in tuned with them than ever before.”
No matter what, though, one thing that hadn’t ever changed, according to those who worked with her, was the way the trust and empowerment that she instilled in everyone at Parkview.
NOVI, Mich.- Sustaining a business for nearly 30 years in one of the continually fastest growing cities in the state of Michigan could be seen as a challenge. For Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro Bar owner Mary Brady, it couldn’t be seen as anything other than positive. “I would have to say that it’s all been a very positive experience,” said Brady. “It’s been an incredible journey as far the amount of industry and businesses that have come into the city and also the population has just exploded. It all makes it a wonderful place to do business.”
Originally opening in Detroit in 1954, Diamond Jim Brady’s initially opened a second restaurant in Southfield in 1980, a year after Brady was first hired by her eventual husband Tom Brady.
Okemos Public Schools was closed due to Tuesday’s midterm election, but many Meridian Township parents still found themselves on school grounds. A total of 18 children came along with their parents as they cast their votes around noon at Murphy Elementary School. Stacy Liddick brought her children Nicholas and Allison. “We have to make decisions as people who want change,” 9-year-old Alison said. “They need to know that in order to see change, voices need to be heard,” said Liddick.
Due to recent fire statistics, Fire Inspector Tom Millerov is concerned about the safety of the community. He said: “The numbers currently are above average for the number of fire fatalities per year in Michigan. So there is a really big push right now to remind people to make sure that they have a working smoke alarm in their home and to make sure that they are practicing fire safety and know how to get out of their home in case of an emergency.”
On Oct. 13, the Meridian Township Fire Department had its fire prevention open house where community members had the opportunity to visit the fire station and learn about fire prevention techniques. Millerov said that this event is important because it allows kids to interact with the fire department in a nonemergency setting so that they can know what to do when an emergency does arise.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the city of Lansing chose to go the distance and think pink. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk was held at the State Capitol building. The walk is a noncompetitive 3 to 5-mile walk that brings people together to make a difference for everyone who has been touched by the disease. What started as volunteering turned into a mission for Katie Jones. “I am a senior manager for community development at the American Cancer Society which means I get to work with thousands of volunteers across the mid-Michigan Lansing and Flint markets,” Jones 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.
It’s sad how Michigan State knew about the sexual misconduct of Larry Nassar but didn’t do anything, said David Mittleman, attorney who represents 37 victims of Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in prison, three counts of 20 years each, for child pornography. He has seven counts against him and is waiting for trail to hear his sentencing for the other counts that he has not been charged for. Nassar sexually assaulted and abused members of the Michigan State University gymnastics team and members of the USA Olympic gymnastics team. “This is the biggest institutional sexual assault scandal in modern day history,” said Mittleman.