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Wednesday, March 4,2015

Seat at the table

Lansing, CATA and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission at odds over representation

by Todd Heywood
The region’s largest planning body has been drawn into a conflict between the Capital Area Transportation Authority and the City of Lansing. At the heart of the debate: how CATA should be represented on the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission?
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Wednesday, March 4,2015

Mercury spill

East Lansing halted investigation at wastewater treatment plant

by Todd Heywood
When city of East Lansing officials learned of a mercury spill at its wastewater treatment plant, it launched an internal investigation to find out what happened. But four months into it the city pulled the plug on its own investigation altogether, after receiving a MIOSHA report about unsafe practices for employees. The spill resulted in thousands of dollars in fines from state safety regulators.
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Wednesday, February 25,2015

Arrested development

Man arrested after speaking at MSU Trustees meeting

by Todd Heywood
It’s Dec. 12, the day before controversial speaker George Will is scheduled to address the winter graduating class. The Michigan State University Board of Trustees meeting is packed with people who registered to speak in opposition to Will. Later in the meeting the board takes up a proposal to increase President Lou Anna K. Simon’s salary from $520,000 a year to $750,000 a year.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Check and balance

Clerk wants criminal investigation over county commissioner campaign finance fees, bounced check

by Todd Heywood
Late campaign finance reports and a bounced check may have Ingham County Commissioner Bryan Crenshaw facing a criminal investigation and charges. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, a Democrat, has asked state officials to investigate whether Crenshaw, also a Democrat, may have committed perjury when he signed his campaign finance compliance affidavit on Jan. 2. The requests for investigation were made by letter on Jan. 20 to the Michigan State Police and the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.
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Wednesday, February 18,2015

Wasted efforts

Did East Lansing jeopardize employee and public health in improper mercury cleanup?

by Todd Heywood
It began when a pressure gauge in the Waste Water Treatment Plant in East Lansing broke the day after Thanksgiving 2013. Somewhere between one and half and three pounds of the mercury — a toxic heavy metal — spilled onto the facility floors. A maintenance supervisor used shop vacuums to clean up the spilled liquid metal. According to documents released by the city of East Lansing, he poured the collected mercury down a drain located in a sink in the facility’s shop. He didn’t report the spill to supervisors.
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Wednesday, February 4,2015

BWL control, and questions

Bernero´s inspector general proposal a ´midway measure´

by Todd Heywood
Mayor Virg Bernero’s struggle with governing the Lansing Board of Water & Light is on slow motion repeat — a "Groundhog Day" measured in years, rather than hours. In July 2006, the BWL was on the hunt for a new general manager (eventually resulting in the choice of Bernero’s candidate, J. Peter Lark). First-term Mayor Virg Bernero had clear ideas about whom that new leader should report to: him, according to an op-ed piece by then BWL Commissioner Joseph Graves Jr. in the Lansing State Journal. He alleged the independence of the board was “under assault” by Bernero.
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Wednesday, February 4,2015

Register of deeds race

Koenig transferred tax debts two weeks before primary election

by Todd Heywood
Carol Koenig, one of three finalists to be Ingham County register of deeds, was ramping up for the final two weeks of her primary campaign to retain her seat as a county commissioner last July when she transferred responsibility for overdue taxes through property transfers, records show. She did so by selling the properties to James Boucher, co-resident and co-owner with her of a home in East Lansing.
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Wednesday, January 28,2015

State of the City

Criticism mounts even before Bernero has spelled out his plans for the Lansing Board of Water & Light

by Todd Heywood
When Virg Bernero takes the stage Thursday night at Lansing Community College, it will be to deliver perhaps the most anticipated State of the City address in his 10-year tenure as mayor. Folks will be waiting for details on how he plans to fix issues with the Lansing Board of Water & Light.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

The hoarse whisperer

Dysphonia quiets Derrick Quinney’s voice but can’t keep him silent

by Todd Heywood
Anyone paying attention to Lansing City Council meetings for the past eight or nine months has likely noticed atlarge Councilmember Derrick Quinney’s voice has turned into a hoarse whisper.
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Wednesday, December 3,2014

The way of the HIV warrior

Ingham County’s Gulick defined caregiving on the frontlines of AIDS battle

by Todd Heywood
Over a year ago, I was struggling with pneumonia. It was a persistent pneumonia. I would take antibiotics, it would clear up briefly, only to come raging back with serious fever. I would be left gasping for air. I was weak, and my lips were blue almost all the time. When I was not overcome with fevers, I was freezing, even in the oppressive heat.
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