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Wednesday, March 28,2012

Ifs, ands and butts

If a casino comes to Lansing and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians owns it, smoking will be permitted inside the facility

by Andy Balaskovitz
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians would have felt singled out and at a disadvantage with the only smoke-free casino in Michigan, those close to the negotiations said.
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Wednesday, March 21,2012

Ottawa Butler is back … again

The other Gillespie says rentals, not owner-occupied, is key to success in developing a prime city block near downtown and across the street from the Capitol Complex

by Andy Balaskovitz
Development plans were being floated for the mostly green space one block south from this living room, which was packed with about 20 neighbors. It’s the second major development announcement in four years (and the third in eight years) for the 5.3 acres bounded by Ottawa, Sycamore and Ionia streets and Butler Boulevard. And it’s the second Gillespie brother who’s announcing plans for it.
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Wednesday, March 21,2012

Will a music venue follow a casino?

To compete for acts with other cities, promoters say, concerts should be part of proposed Kewadin Lansing

by Andy Balaskovitz
With the prospect of such a casino in Lansing working its way through the legislative process, could it also set the stage for a mid-size entertainment venue downtown? For those steadfastly opposed to gambling on its face, could the possibility of a...
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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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