Rewind: News from the last 7 days


U of M Health-Sparrow president Margaret Dimond agreed to meet with a group of residents and elected officials who support saving old Eastern High School, which the health system wants to tear down for a 120-bed, $97.2 million mental-health facility. Dimond said U of M rejected reusing the landmark building because it would cost “tens of millions more” than a new one. Meanwhile, Lansing City Council unanimously approved a resolution calling on U of M to preserve the building and auditorium on Pennsylvania Avenue as well as build the facility. 

Shelbi Frayer resigned as Lansing’s deputy mayor to consult and spend more time with her children, the city said. The city’s information technology director, Christopher Mumby, will serve in the same role but with the title of chief administrative officer, while continuing in his current job. Frayer was chief strategy officer in 2019 and 2020, left for two years, then returned to work as deputy mayor in 2022.

Joseph Ketchum, 26, of Lansing, was charged Monday with 48 felony counts, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct, child pornographic activity and felony firearm possession. He is being held without bond after arraignment in 54A District Court, following an investigation by the Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force based on cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. An evidence hearing was tentatively set for July 26.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer elevated Eaton County District Judge Kelly Morton to the circuit court and named and Adrianne Van Langevelde to replace her. Morton replaces retiring Circuit Judge John Maurer Their partial terms expire Jan. 1, 2027. Both were prosecutors who once specialized in domestic violence cases and received law degrees from MSU. Van Langevelde has been a member of the Michigan Parole Board since 2020 and worked as an assistant prosecutor in Eaton and Mecosta counties.

Amber Nicole Sperbeck, 26, and Michael James Craig, 42, were arraigned on 39 counts each of mail theft and one count each of improper possession of an absentee ballot. Sperbeck is charged as a second-time mail theft offender. Both are facing a maximum of five years. A $50,000 cash bond was set for both. Responding to a larceny-of-mail complaint, Eaton County sheriff’s deputies claimed they found more than 1,000 pieces of mail in the suspects’ vehicle.

The Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office has filed juvenile petitions against four minors for aggravated assault against two gay students at the MSU library. The minors were unnamed because of their ages. The State News reported that the two alleged victims, who were boyfriends, said they were studying when the youths insulted their appearance before assaulting them. The two men said they spent nine hours in the emergency room for a fractured finger and other injuries. One said his earring was pushed into his ear.

Avelo Airlines has discontinued flights from Capital Regional International Airport after two years. It flew winter flights to Orlando and Fort Myers, Fla., but the routes were unprofitable, Avelo’s spokesman told the Lansing State Journal. Breeze Airways, however, will begin nonstop wintertime service to the same Florida cities, said Nicole Noll-Williams, president and CEO of Capital Region Airport Authority.

Six small Greater Lansing communities are receiving $11,000 to $25,000 from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) Small Town Enhancement Grant Program. Dimondale, Leslie, Maple Rapids, Ovid, Stockbridge and Vermontville were chosen based on creativity, community impact, cost, letters of support and collaboration.

A 92-year-old Lansing man has won $434,105 in the Michigan Lottery’s Lucky 7s Fast Cash game. The player, who remained anonymous, bought the winning tickets at the Sunoco station on Migaldi Lane in Delta Township. He said he won $50 on one ticket and matched number 59 with the “Jackpot” underneath on the other. He said he knew he’d won the jackpot when he was instructed to file a claim at the Lottery office.

Public safety:

A 51-year-old Lansing man and a 45-year-old Delhi Township woman were seriously injured after the truck he was driving struck two parked vehicles Friday on Dell Road between Aurelius Road and Brigantine Drive. The injuries were not life-threatening, and neither of the parked vehicles were occupied. … An Ingham County sheriff’s deputy was struck by a firework intentionally launched at him while responding to a fireworks complaint in Delhi Township Wednesday. The projectile bounced off the deputy’s chest before it exploded, and he escaped serious injury.


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