News Highlights from the last 7 days: Oct. 5th


The two-way conversion of downtown Lansing streets continued this past weekend with Pine and Walnut. The remaining portions of Capitol Avenue, which had been southbound only, and Grand Avenue, which was only northbound, will also be converted.  Ottawa and Allegan streets will be converted before the project is complete. 

As the General Election approaches, the untimely discovery of asbestos has closed the Ingham County Clerk’s Office until further notice. While working on renovations to the Historical Courthouse Office, workers found asbestos tiles beneath carpet scheduled to be replaced. “It is my hope that this temporary closure is resolved quickly and will allow the Mason office to open again soon,” Clerk Barb Byrum told the Lansing State Journal. “I appreciate the public’s patience as we work through this unexpected delay.” Byrum’s Mason office staff will continue to operate, completing normal functions via mail, fax, email and phones.  

A Lansing man is facing multiple charges in connection with the recent fatal shooting of a 24-year-old Jackson County woman. Gabriel Dixon, 28, of Lansing, has been charged with open murder, unlawful imprisonment, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and three counts of having a firearm while committing a felony, according to a press release. As reported by the Lansing State Journal, police said they encountered Dixon in a field moments before they found the shooting victim, Arianna Reed, in a nearby vehicle. Police said the shooting was not a random incident; the two people knew each other. 

An audit has found that embattled Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Jr. certified the school’s Title IX reports for 2021 and 2022, and said they were correctly monitored. However, as reported by the Lansing State Journal, the MSU Board of Trustees. Michigan State University’s embattled president has recertified that the school’s Title IX reports for 2021 were correctly reviewed according to state law and did the same for the 2022 reports, but an audit identified numerous concerns with the university’s review process.  

Sparrow Health System and a top union official confirmed Thursday that the hospital system will lay off hundreds of employees. As reported by the Lansing State Journal, Kevin Glaza, vice president of the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital – Michigan Nurses Association, said in an email to the state that Sparrow officials notified the union its members will be affected by job cuts. “PECSH-MNA has been informed of hundreds of job cuts being rolled out across Sparrow Health System. Some of these cuts will affect the (union), which represents about 2,200 registered nurses and health care professionals,” Glaza wrote. Sparrow spokesperson Corey Alexander confirmed this in an email and said the job cuts would impact “several hundred roles.” Most reductions, he wrote, will target leadership and nonpatient care roles.  

A Haslett native now living in Holt pleaded guilty Sept. 28 in federal court in Washington to assaulting a police officer while attacking the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Logan James Barnhart, 41, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and possible fines for his role in the insurrection, which disrupted a joint session of Congress gathered to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Authorities arrested Barnhart in August 2021. A federal district court judge will determine his sentencing on March 9. Barnhart was also charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct and disruptive conduct in a restricted area and engaging in physical violence in a restricted place. The court dismissed the remaining charges as part of a plea agreement. 

One of Lansing’s two election unit sites has extended its hours ahead of November’s midterm elections. The 2500 S. Washington Ave. elections office, in the northernmost portion of the city’s south side, will stay open until 7 p.m. Wednesdays until Nov. 8. “By expanding our hours, we are more accessible for Lansing city voters who are so busy with work, children and life obligations,” City Clerk Chris Swope said. “I want Lansing voters to know they can count on me for a safe, secure and accurate election.” The office offers full service for voters, such as voter registration, and early voting by absentee ballots, while also functioning as a location for dropping off filled-out absentee ballots. 

Sexton High School will be getting a new mascot. After more than a half-century of using the “Big Reds” mascot, a term considered derogatory toward Native Americans, Sexton officials unveiled six student-chosen alternatives Wednesday. They also said the wider community will have the opportunity to select other finalists for consideration. During a community input session, Principal Dan Boggan, fighting back tears, said the school he leads has “offended a culture for 80-plus years” and it’s time to move on. Lansing School District unveiled the first six mascot finalists, all chosen by students: Big Dawgs, Cardinals, J-Dubbs, Saints, Scorpions and Vipers. 


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