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Wednesday, November 6,2013

Private sector benefits

The growing tide of private-sector businesses offering same-sex partner benefits, and those in Lansing that still don’t

by Andy Balaskovitz
Fourth Ward Lansing City Councilwoman Jessica Yorko said publicly at the end of an Oct. 28 Council meeting that she finds it “somewhat appalling” that insurance company Jackson National Life does not offer its Michigan employees same-sex partner benefits.
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Wednesday, November 6,2013

Brown Clarke: ‘All options are open’

Councilwoman-elect Judi Brown Clarke is not dispelling rumors about a future run for mayor, other higher office

by Andy Balaskovitz
Wednesday, Nov. 6 — Lansing City Councilwoman-elect Judi Brown Clarke made a big splash in the local political scene Tuesday when she placed first in a field of four candidates and ousted 10-year veteran Brian Jeffries from the Council. It appears the ripple effect may be felt for years to come. On a taping of “City Pulse on the Air” this afternoon, Brown Clarke said she has “all options open” when asked to respond to speculation that higher political office is in her future, including the Mayor’s Office.
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Tuesday, November 5,2013

Kids in the Hall

Council considers another church’s request to move to commercial corridor after Planning Department recommends denial

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tuesday, Nov. 5 — For the second time in a month, the Lansing City Council is considering a request from a local church to relocate into a commercial corridor in the city. In both cases, the city’s Planning Department recommended denying a special land use permit because such a use in commercial space is not compatible with the city’s Master Plan.
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Thursday, October 31,2013

Be here now

A closer look at City Council attendance records from 2010 to present

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Oct. 31 — Fourth Ward City Councilwoman Jessica Yorko has the worst meeting attendance record among her peers going back to 2010, but it was that first year in office that’s brought her numbers down. After 2010, her record is comparable to the other seven Council members.
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Wednesday, October 30,2013

'Lack of cooperation'

Lansing’s internal auditor scrounges for information about city’s contract with information technology company, but finds nothing

by Andy Balaskovitz
The city of Lansing paid nearly $200,000 to a local information technology company on July 5, but the city’s internal auditor doesn’t know what for.
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Wednesday, October 30,2013

Campaign pay

Bernero campaign under investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office over contributions, though a resolution may not be reached till 2014

by Andy Balaskovitz
Mayor Virg Bernero’s reelection campaign has been mum since allegations surfaced last week that two aides funneled a portion of their contractual pay to the reelection campaigns of Council members Kathie Dunbar and Jessica Yorko.
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Friday, October 25,2013

Bree Green comes home

In high-profile medical marijuana and child custody case, parents win

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, Oct. 25 — After a six-week battle with the state Department of Human Services, Lansing parents Steve and Maria Green regained custody of their 7-month-old daughter,Brielle, today.
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Friday, October 25,2013

‘Boy, what a blunder’

East Lansing City Council candidate admits wrongdoing, apologizes for using nonprofit resources to promote campaign

by Andy Balaskovitz
Friday, Oct. 25 — An East Lansing City Council candidate who founded the East Lansing Film Festival has admitted wrongdoing and apologized for using film festival resources to promote her campaign.
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Thursday, October 24,2013

Update: Bernero denies directing contributions to Dunbar campaign

Campaign finance expert says allegations would be hard to prove without direct evidence

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Oct. 24 — Updated 3:35 p.m.: Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero denies having told his campaign staff to direct their payments as contract employees to Councilwoman Kathie Dunbar's campaign.
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Thursday, October 24,2013

Questionable campaign contributions

Two of Bernero's campaign staffers make big donations to Dunbar, Yorko days after getting paid big for work on Bernero’s campaign

by Andy Balaskovitz
Thursday, Oct. 24 — On a Friday in June, two of Mayor Virg Bernero’s campaign staffers were paid significantly more as contract workers than they had been previously for helping run his reelection. By Tuesday the following week, campaign manager Christopher Breznau and staffer Elizabeth Hart donated $1,000 each and $500 each to the reelection campaigns of City Council members Kathie Dunbar and Jessica Yorko, respectively, county campaign finance records show.
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