Officials say “zombie” deer are not affecting Greater Lansing Food Bank

Meridian Township officials and food bank directors said deer infected by chronic wasting disease is not being donated to food banks as venison. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It causes a degeneration of the brain resulting in exceptionally thin, abnormal behaviour, loss of bodily functions and death. There is a popular name for the infected animals: zombie deer. 

Meridian Township is in a management zone where there is a chance the deer still have the disease because it was found there before. Kelsey Dillon, Park Naturalist and Stewardship Coordinator in Meridian Township’s Parks and Recreation Department, said part of venison donations to food banks comes from hunters who are members of the Meridian Township Deer Management Program.

Is a new Lake Lansing trail to MSU worth the one million-plus dollars cost? Township officials think so

By Ally Hamzey
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Diahann Curtis, a Shiawassee County resident, walks on trails frequently in Meridian Township when the sun is shining and the weather is cooperative. The avid trail walker says she appreciates the feeling of safety from motor vehicles when walking on a non-motorized trail. Curtis believes the upcoming trail connecting Lake Lansing in Haslett to Michigan State University in East Lansing will be beneficial, but she is not sold that the trail would be the most practical use of taxpayer dollars. “One of the downsides would be that the Lansing area already has a nice trail,” Curtis said. “The amount of the money that will go into [this trail] I think could be better spent in other areas.”

But township officials differ on that viewpoint.

Winter birds are something to see in Meridian Township

By Lauren Captain
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

One drive through Meridian Township and it is not hard to notice the barrier of woods and the character of the trees that surround the area. During the winter, this wooded township hosts many events to the families of Okemos and Haslett. Each winter weekend through the months of January and February, they host “Family Winter Fun Weekends.” This is a time when lots of families come out to attend each event and stay connected in their township and roots of Michigan. With families of all ages to experience this day with the outdoors of winter birds around, even people from outside the community of Meridian came to listen in on the bird calling. Maci Laurel Robinson, 21, of East Lansing took the children she nannies for; Gwen, Sophia and Carson to this event as well.

DeWitt’s pride is in its parks

By Brittany Flowers
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter

DEWITT — According to the Charter Township of DeWitt website, surveys show that the excellent park system makes DeWitt Township a great place to live, work, and play. The township has nine park properties which total 200 acres. The city of DeWitt in particular has six major parks which include a memorial park and a sports park. refers to the city as a peaceful historic community and the city’s parks are a main reason DeWitt is seen as peaceful. The park system contributes to the overall commitment to the city’s community forest which has earned the DeWitt recognition from the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA for 17 years in a row.

Despite Setbacks, Michigan Tourism Remains Pure

By Ian Wendrow
Listen Up, Lansing

LANSING-As news of Wayne County’s financial trouble spreads across Michigan and Detroit continues to pick up the pieces from its historic bankruptcy case, one would be fair in believing that the spirit of travel had fallen in recent years. Looking at basic economic figures, the future for Michigan’s vast tourism industry looked dire even before the recession or the bankruptcy hit. “Things started to bottom out near the end of [Former Governor Jennifer] Granholm’s term,” said David Lorenz, Manager of Industry Relations and International Marketing for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The economic draw-down overall hit Michigan harder than most, since much of the state’s finances derives from manufacturing, specifically cars. “We weren’t diversified well enough, so under our philosophy under the Granholm administration we really started taking this diversification thing seriously,” said Lorenz.

Oak wilt is killing Michigan oak trees

By: Lia Kananipuamaeole Kamana
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

Michigan oak trees don’t have to worry just about getting cleared out for the construction of neighborhoods, homes, businesses and schools anymore. These days an oak tree’s biggest concern is a fungus known as oak wilt that constricts the water-conducting vessels. According to Steve Martinko of Michigan Organic Tree Care, the first kind of infection occurs in the leaves and spreads through the branches, trunks and roots.  

“The roots take the pathogen and disperse the infection like cancer,” said Martinko. Once oak wilt infects a tree, there is no cure and the best thing to do is start protecting nearby trees from getting infected.