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Wednesday, June 15,2011

Shortfall

The Bernero administration needs $1 million in reserves to pay for increased health care, insurance and overtime costs, and the May 3 election as the fiscal year wraps up

by Andy Balaskovitz
“Sometimes those projections are right on the mark, sometimes they come in above or below (what we anticipated),” Bernero said to the Council. “The FY11 budget will come up short by as much as $1 million. To remedy this shortfall, I am required to use the Budget Stabilization Fund.
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Wednesday, June 15,2011

That's how they roll

A new tobacco shop in Lansing offers a speedy way to roll your own that is drawing the state’s attention. Is it manufacturing cigarettes? The state Treasury Department says yes — and wants a bite.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Rob Bitz stands next to two $32,500, 790-pound cigarette rolling machines in his Frandor tobacco shop. He shows where customers pour eight ounces of tobacco into the complicated machine run on an air compressor. Then he shows how to load the empty rolling tubes.
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Wednesday, June 15,2011

Off the board

An Ingham County commissioner serving on the city’s Public Service Board claims he wasn’t notified his seat was filled by someone else

by Andy Balaskovitz
Did someone forget to tell Copedge he was replaced on the city’s Public Service Board, which he served on for nearly 15 years? That responsibility falls on the Bernero administration, which recommends appointments and reappointments to various boards and authorities.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Can they move?

A Lansing dispensary owner is standing her ground after moving to a new location during the moratorium, even after a warning from Lansing police. Meanwhile, the city attorney is silent.

by Andy Balaskovitz
Medical marijuana dispensary owner Sharess Witherell has a lot of questions for the city of Lansing ...
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Eyesore of the week

J.W. Sexton High School, east entrance

by Andy Balaskovitz
Beyond the broken steps is a strange mow-job that Lansing District Schools spokesman Steve Serkaian said is due to heavy rain from a few weeks back, causing the maintenance staff to be “stretched thin” on such jobs.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Casino falters

A petition drive to encourage bringing a casino to Lansing fails. Next stop: City Council

by Andy Balaskovitz
The Lansing Jobs Coalition, which announced in December a petition drive that would have gauged Lansing residents’ support for selling or entrusting city land to a Native American tribe for the purpose of opening a casino, came up well short by Sunday’s deadline of the necessary 4,101 signatures to place it on the Aug.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Brownfield giving

The feds announce $1 million for cleaning Lansing’s dirty properties. The elephant in the room? Michigan’s restructured brownfield program

by Andy Balaskovitz
Behind U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was a compliment to brownfield redevelopment grants and tax incentives: the former Ottawa Power Station.
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Wednesday, June 8,2011

Temperature change

With added security, one entrepreneur is set to revive an infamous nightclub spot as — another nightclub

by Andy Balaskovitz
Assaults, shootings, destruction of property, underage drinking.That’s part of the illustrative history of 6810 S. Cedar St. on Lansing’s south side, the site of a 15,000 square-foot, two-story nightclub riddled with crime and party-fueled violence.
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Wednesday, June 1,2011

Cannabis sausage-making

Council members buck Carol Wood on her plan to confine new medical marijuana dispensaries to industrial areas.

by Andy Balaskovitz
A’Lynne Robinson and Tina Houghton said they don’t agree with a provision in the draft ordinance that would limit new businesses to industrially zoned properties. They are two of the three members of the Public Safety Committee, which is crafting the ordinance.
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Wednesday, May 25,2011

Two pastors, one church

The divide at Friendship Baptist Church is as apparent as ever

by Andy Balaskovitz
Stone was pastor of Friendship Baptist for 27 years. He led a “march for justice” in Lansing protesting the 1996 death of Edward Swans while in custody of the Lansing Police Department. Stone opposed the movement within Friendship Baptist that split away from the majority.
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