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Wednesday, May 18,2011

The mayor on dispensaries

How Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero envisions commercial medical marijuana activity

by Andy Balaskovitz
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, who spoke out last week against a proposed ordinance that would make most of Lansing’s medical marijuana dispensaries move, has offered an ordinance of his own that would allow dispensaries to open in various commercially and industrially zoned areas of the city as long as they are at least 500 feet apart.
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Wednesday, May 18,2011

The shape they're in

An audit of Lansing sidewalks to provide extensive data for city, be a catalyst for grants

by Andy Balaskovitz
James, a 32-year-old auditor for Jackson National Life, and Lavigne, a 27-yearold University of Michigan urban planning student, were walking the Genesee Neighborhood just north of downtown Lansing Saturday. A “heave with a tree” means a portion of sidewalk is distorted likely because of the roots underneath.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

A dispensary shuffle?

What will happen to the 41 operating medical marijuana dispensaries in Lansing? A draft regulation ordinance that would force most of them to move surfaces, raising questions

by Andy Balaskovitz
The draft ordinance, written by City Attorney Brig Smith with input from Lansing City Councilwoman Carol Wood, has raised the eyebrows of some dispensary owners and local attorneys because it would restrict new dispensaries to industrially zoned areas of the city and force those not in those zones to move if they want to stay open.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

What's next for Dr. Wiggins?

The Meridian Township Board of Trustees schedules an election on a controversial property rezoning, but it may not be needed. Meanwhile, state allegations of a local doctor’s overprescribing pharmaceuticals may have implications for medical marijuan

by Andy Balaskovitz
The Meridian Township Board of Trustees schedules an election on a controversial property rezoning, but it may not be needed. Meanwhile, state allegations of a local doctor’s overprescribing pharmaceuticals may have implications for medical marijuana patients.
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Wednesday, May 11,2011

Last-minute budget talks

Union leaders want to see the Lansing City Council levy 3.7 mills in light of the failed millage. Three Council members suggest $5.3 million in new revenue and cuts, which the Bernero administration calls a “pipe dream.”

by Andy Balaskovitz
Because of the failure last week of the special election to raise property taxes by 4 mills to generate revenue for police, fire and roads services, union officials are hoping the Council will raise taxes unilaterally to help maintain those services, said Bryan Epling, president of the Lansing Fire Fighters union.
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Wednesday, May 4,2011

Serious allegations

A Lansing doctor who is in a controversy in Meridian Township faces allegations by the state that she overprescribes pharmaceuticals

by Andy Balaskovitz
Shannon Wiggins, an osteopathic doctor, faces eight counts of “negligence,” “incompetence” and “selling, prescribing, giving away or administering drugs for other than lawful diagnostic or therapeutic purposes,” documents obtained by City Pulse through a Freedom of Information request show.
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Wednesday, April 27,2011

Public safety and the vote to raise taxes

What will be the effects if the millage fails? It’s anybody’s guess

by Andy Balaskovitz
In the front of the room, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, Fire Chief Tom Cochran and Police Chief Teresa Szymanski fielded questions from about 15 city residents. The topic? What will happen if 149 police and fire positions and basically all local road and sidewalk projects are eliminated in the next fiscal year?.
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Wednesday, April 20,2011

Tough call

The outcome of the May 3 ballot proposal to increase Lansing’s property tax millage by 4 mills is anybody’s guess. Opposition appears strong on the south side.

by Andy Balaskovitz
On May 3, Lansing voters will decide if the city should raise the operating millage rate by 4 mills, generating an estimated $8.5 million of new revenue for police, fire and roads services.
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Wednesday, April 20,2011

Sparrow to stop hiring smokers?

An announcement on its website said so Monday, but it’s been taken down with no explanation

by Andy Balaskovitz
It also said: “Individuals whose pre-employment physical results are verified positive for tobacco/nicotine use will be disqualified from employment, their job offer will be rescinded, and they will be disqualified from applying for employment for ninety (90) days from the date of the health screening ' .
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Wednesday, April 13,2011

Incentives cut short

A tiny building shall lead the way — if the governor gets his way. Snyder’s proposal to reduce development tax incentives by more than $160 million derails plans for Old Town’s Comfort Station — and that’s just the first stop

by Andy Balaskovitz
The city has agreed to sell the Comfort Station, 313 E. Grand River Ave., to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network for $60,000, but the development agreement hinged on obtaining historic and brownfield tax credits from the state.
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