News highlights from the last 7 days

City Pulse News Rewind: $46 eighths for 46th prexy

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Racial equity efforts under fire
 
Some activists are still skeptical of Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s Racial Justice and Equity Alliance, a 40-member task force that was created in July and has yet to produce any recommendations to combat systemic racism in the city. Details on what issues the alliance will address won’t be shared until May, reports the Lansing State Journal. Meanwhile, activists like Angela Waters Austin, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Lansing, have reportedly questioned the purpose of duplicating work already set in motion by other grassroots organizations.
 
Former MSU dean loses appeal 
 
William Strampel, a former dean at Michigan State University convicted of misconduct in office in a case tied to the Larry Nassar scandal, lost a bid last week to have his conviction set aside. The Court of Appeals rejected Stampel’s argument that he couldn’t be found guilty of misconduct in office because his position as a dean didn’t meet the definition of a public official.
 
LEAP enrolls 23 entrepreneurs in inclusion initiative 
 
Twenty-three entrepreneurs from across the Greater Lansing region enrolled last week in the second round of Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s “One and All” inclusive entrepreneurship initiative. The immersive, two-month program offers business coaching and mentoring, including access to professional networking and a seed investment for underrepresented populations.
 
Walk for Warmth fundraiser moves online
 
Capital Area Community Services’ annual Walk for Warmth fundraiser will be held virtually on Feb. 27. Registrants will receive a t-shirt for participating, and 100% of funds raised will help individuals and families struggling to pay utility bills. Search for the event online for more details, including a runsignup.com link to get registered.
 
Lansing moves back to four-day work weeks
 
The city of Lansing has shifted most of its employees back to four-day work weeks through at least March 14. Through an Unemployment Insurance Agency work share program, staff will work four days each week while recouping one day’s pay in state unemployment benefits. Like in the summer, the reduced work week is designed to save the city on payroll costs during the pandemic — totaling about $650,000 in this round — without shrinking paychecks for its staff.
 
County honors local history efforts 
 
Five local residents were honored for their exemplary work in promoting the history of Ingham County this week. The latest recipients of the Ingham County Heritage Award are genealogist Lille Foster; educator Mitch Lutzke; author Jim MacLean; former museum executive Jane Rose, and cemetery preservationist Loretta Stanaway. Stanaway also routinely shares right-wing conspiracy theories — like reports of China interfering with the 2020 election — on Facebook.
 
Meridian Twp. thinning deer
 
Police in Meridian Township are preparing to shoot and kill 150 deer in local parks, land preserves and on private property (with consent) through March 31. The deer culling efforts are set for evening and overnight hours when parks are closed. Warning signs will be posted. Township officials said the goal is exclusively to protect residents from car-deer traffic crashes. The venison will be donated to local food banks. Call 517-853-4800 with questions or concerns.
 
Lansing celebrates MLK Jr. Day
 
The Martin Luther King. Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan moved its annual event online this year — which can be now viewed anytime on WILX TV 10’s Facebook page. Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King’s youngest daughter, Dr. Bernice King, was the featured guest. The hour-long special, themed “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope,” also included electric performances from the MLK Jr. Dream Orchestra and Michigan violinist Rodney Page. Delta Township trustees Beth Bowen and Fonda Brewer also participated on Monday in a “Day of Service” event at the Lansing Mall, preparing kits for local kids struggling with food insecurity. 
 
2 former county execs charged
 
Jerry Ambrose and Darnell Early, who worked respectively as controller and deputy controller in Ingham County for a combined 30 years, were charged last week in connection with the Flint water crisis. Ambrose — who also served as chief of staff for former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero — faces four counts of misconduct in office. Earley faces three misconduct charges.
 
LCC rips down ramp 
 
Lansing Community College started tearing down its parking ramp along Grand Avenue last week to make way for its replacement, a five-story ramp that is set to be built over the summer. College officials killed early plans to build a second garage on the corner of Capitol Avenue and Shiawassee Street after local residents voiced concerns about that project. 
 
Michigan honors former state senator  
 
Flags were lowered to half-staff Saturday to honor former state Sen. Willis “Bill” Clare Bullard Jr. The Oakland County Republican was a state legislator over three decades. Bullard, 77, died from complications tied to COVID-19.
 
$46 eighths for 46th prexy
 
Eighths of premium strains of DNA x Skymint cannabis will be available at Skymint locations for $46 today (Jan. 20) — a promotional nod to the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States. Those dank eighters typically sell for $60. Flower to the people.
 

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