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Wednesday, March 14,2012

Does #lovelansing #hatecasino?

Will the young, "creative class" build opposition to the downtown Lansing casino proposal? It already is.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Turns out the people behind some organized opposition to Lansing’s downtown casino proposal are young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs who think a casino does nothing to bring more people like themselves to Lansing.
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Wednesday, March 7,2012

Up North with the tribe that wants to adopt Lansing

A look inside the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians: How tribal gaming is modernizing the Sault Tribe and how politics is tearing it apart

by Andy Balaskovitz
Sault Ste. Marie — Outside the historic Chippewa County Court House, a statue depicting a Roman legend greets visitors near the north entrance. Two small children, Romulus and Remus, are feeding off a she-wolf, which raises the children who were abandoned by their mother. As the legend goes, Romulus later killed his brother and founded the city of Rome.
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Wednesday, February 29,2012

Casino referendum brewing

Could Sault Tribe members put a stop to the downtown casino deal?

by Andy Balaskovitz
The chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is worried his members will overturn the tribe’s vote to support a downtown Lansing casino, putting an end to over a year’s worth of confidential negotiations and month-long buzz over Kewadin Lansing Casino.
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Wednesday, February 29,2012

It's personal

Facts are subjective in the political saga between Virg Bernero and Kelly Rossman-McKinney

by Andy Balaskovitz
Last week’s political theater staged by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was the latest act in a professional relationship with PR executive Kelly Rossman-McKinney that shows things are getting personal.
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Wednesday, February 22,2012

Eyesore of the week

by Andy Balaskovitz
Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It’s easy to dismiss simple houses as not having a specific style, but the fact is, nearly all buildings fall into a stylistic category. Case in point: 1112 Bensch St. is a variation of American folk architecture known as “Gable-front”
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Wednesday, February 22,2012

Budget 'challenge'

Is it time to reopen the defined benefits/defined contributions debate as pension and retiree health care costs add to deficit? The Bernero administration says yes.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Randy Hannan, chief of staff for Mayor Virg Bernero, said while "time will tell" if the city’s pension and retiree health care systems are unsustainable, "everything is on the table" when asked about reconfiguring those systems to look more like the private sector.
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Wednesday, February 15,2012

Husband and wife

Why is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigating Shannon Wiggins? Her husband's probation violation hearing may offer some clues.

by Andy Balaskovitz
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed a federal search warrant late last month at her eastside clinic. A spokesman for the federal agency could “neither confirm nor deny” that her second clinic on the north side and her Okemos home are also part of the investigation.
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Monday, February 13,2012

Recovering from the loss

Coping with the loss of a daughter, Lori Black opens up about the final hours of Shayla Johnson’s life and why she thinks the media haven’t accurately portrayed her family

by Andy Balaskovitz
“This is pretty much what my life has become,” Lori Black says while walking into the dining room of her west Lansing home. She’s carrying two stacks of paper. The first is about 3 1/2 inches thick with court hearing notifications. The second stack, of Lansing State Journal newspapers dating back to July 2010, is a little thicker.
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Wednesday, February 8,2012

Eyesore of the week

by Andy Balaskovitz
Property: 1020 Trowbridge Road, East Lansing Owner: CCPL Real Estate Group Assessed value: $286,000 Owner says: Could not be reached for comment Architecture critic Amanda Harrell-Seyburn says: It is highly likely that this vacant building is the victim of low visibility.
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Thursday, February 2,2012

Foot-in-mouth disease

The mayor’s loose cannon strikes again, and other memorable Bernero blow-ups

by Andy Balaskovitz
“I was stunned,” Rossman-McKinney said Monday. “The way he specifically referred to Jim Nye in front of hundreds of people. You know our mayor. He gets pretty worked up — and he was really worked up about the thing. It was undignified and uncalled for.”
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