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Wednesday, February 25,2015

A house divided

The movement in East Lansing to open housing for blacks

by Bill Castanier
Two years of smolder built to a roar. Then it cooled down but the fire was just under the surface. It started with the only visit to Michigan State University by the young pastor, Martin Luther King, Jr. on Feb. 11, 1965. Civil law prevented blacks from owning homes or renting in Eas...
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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Eye candy of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Built in 1924, this building originally served as the headquarters for training the 1st Battalion, 119th Field Artillery. It accounts for one of the five armories designed by Ann Arbor architect Lynn W. Fry, who had coincidently served as an artilleryman in World War I.
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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Arrested development

Man arrested after speaking at MSU Trustees meeting

by Todd Heywood
It’s Dec. 12, the day before controversial speaker George Will is scheduled to address the winter graduating class. The Michigan State University Board of Trustees meeting is packed with people who registered to speak in opposition to Will. Later in the meeting the board takes up a proposal to increase President Lou Anna K. Simon’s salary from $520,000 a year to $750,000 a year.
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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Animal cruelty

Bath Township police at a loss to find person who left puppy to freeze to death

by Belinda Thurston
The nightmare doesn’t leave her head: the puppy shivering, whimpering, maybe barking till it was voiceless in below-freezing temperatures, sitting in its own feces and trapped in a crate. It can’t fend for itself, feed itself or free itself. “I couldn’t sleep the first two nights thinking about this dog crying in the woods,” said Kristine Gilbert-Gigante, 34, of Lansing.
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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Fair share

East Lansing Food Co-Op increases share price to stay afloat

by Belinda Thurston
It was 1976. Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby” was on the Top 40 charts. The Oldsmobile Cutlass was the hottest selling car. And food co-operatives were popping up around the country, including mid- Michigan. It was in that atmosphere the East Lansing Food Co-Op was incorporated as a buying club for those who wanted healthy, organic food and eventually grew to the store we know today on Northwind Drive in Meridian Township. The system is supported by owners who buy shares. Over the years that price leveled to $60 per share per vote.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Eyesore of the week

by Daniel Bollman, AIA
Property: 734 W. Grand River Ave., Okemos Owner: Lansing Mobile Homes LTD PTS, Southfield Assessed value: $253,000 The recently improved crosswalk in front of this building seems slightly absurd along this busy stretch of Grand River. However, if this building was connected with its n...
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Open government

Leveling the price of the freedom of information

by Mickey Hirten
Starting this summer, most public bodies in Michigan will be somewhat more accountable, a bit more transparent, in allowing people to discover what they do and how they do it. The so-called Freedom of Information Act — so-called because it’s studded with exceptions and doesn´t apply to the legislature or courts — was modified during the just-ended legislative session to give people a bit more leverage to press government for information.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Check and balance

Clerk wants criminal investigation over county commissioner campaign finance fees, bounced check

by Todd Heywood
Late campaign finance reports and a bounced check may have Ingham County Commissioner Bryan Crenshaw facing a criminal investigation and charges. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, a Democrat, has asked state officials to investigate whether Crenshaw, also a Democrat, may have committed perjury when he signed his campaign finance compliance affidavit on Jan. 2. The requests for investigation were made by letter on Jan. 20 to the Michigan State Police and the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Wasted efforts

Did East Lansing jeopardize employee and public health in improper mercury cleanup?

by Todd Heywood
It began when a pressure gauge in the Waste Water Treatment Plant in East Lansing broke the day after Thanksgiving 2013. Somewhere between one and half and three pounds of the mercury — a toxic heavy metal — spilled onto the facility floors. A maintenance supervisor used shop vacuums to clean up the spilled liquid metal. According to documents released by the city of East Lansing, he poured the collected mercury down a drain located in a sink in the facility’s shop. He didn’t report the spill to supervisors.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Being in Lansing

Duane Stoolmaker, barber of the greats

by Andrew Gauthier
I studied finance at Michigan State University and took a job on Wall Street with Wells Fargo Securities Investment Banking. I worked two years of 80 hour weeks out in the “big city” and decided perhaps it wasn’t for me. Each time I would visit campus, I had a hard time returning to NYC. I missed the area, the people, and MSU. It was summer 2013, when I finally came home. Upon returning to the area, I established a financial advisory/insurance business. I needed a new barber, dry cleaner, etc. It was nearly a whole year before I took my father’s suggestion and headed to Arkie’s to get a haircut. Why had I been so stubborn? After one cut from Duane Stoolmaker, I realized that I had found my barber. Needless to say, I am not planning on finding a different barbershop any time soon.
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