Rewind: News Highlights From The Last 7 Days


About 2,300 union workers from GM’s Delta Township Assembly Plant officially joined the UAW strike Friday. They were among 7,000 total workers added to the strike between that plant and Ford Motor Co.’s Chicago Assembly Plant. UAW Local 602, representing the Delta Township workers, declared that all members must participate in a strike activity to be eligible for strike assistance. The plant also employs 200 non-union workers. 25,000 total workers are participating in the strike nationwide.

Michigan State University officially fired its head football coach, Mel Tucker, for inappropriate conduct Wednesday. The university said it terminated Tucker’s contract “for his admitted and undisputed behaviors, which have brought public disrespect, contempt and ridicule upon the university.” Tucker was suspended without pay Sept. 10 and notified Sept. 18 of MSU’s intent to fire him for cause following an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint from rape survivor Brenda Tracy. Tucker’s attorney, Jennifer Belveal, said she intends to sue the school for wrongful termination. Tucker had nearly $79 million remaining of the 10-year, $95 million contract he signed less than two years ago. MSU has said investigations into the matter will continue. 

Logan Square Plaza has agreed on a two-year settlement with the City of Lansing following a July 29 parking lot shooting that wounded five people. The agreement requires more security cameras onsite, regular meetings between city leaders and business owners, a full-time security guard and greater restrictions on who can become a tenant. The City Attorney’s Office had requested an Ingham County Circuit judge declare the shopping center a “public nuisance” and place it under a court-appointed receiver in August, which was not accepted. The settlement provides law enforcement  access to footage from 36 cameras, with the stipulation that a live person will monitor that footage from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily. Roughly half of the shopping center’s 50 spaces are vacant.

Downtown Lansing Inc. was named one of eight semifinalists for the 2024 Great American Main Street Award. Lansing will compete with Camas, Washington; Denison, Texas; Macon, Georgia; Madison, Indiana; Monroeville, Alabama; Mount Vernon, Iowa; and New Bern, North Carolina, for the prize. The winner will be announced May 6, 2024, at the Main Street Now Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The award’s website said semifinalists have “generated over $1.48 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 881 new businesses, facilitated the creation of 3,827 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 2,164 historic buildings and leveraged 306,986 volunteer hours.” The site praised Downtown Lansing Inc. for promoting “walkability, sustainability and accessibility to create a main street that welcomes everyone” through streetscape improvements; public art installations; business recruitment; diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility planning; and the addition of 900 new housing units.

The first mile of a 6.75-mile trail connecting MSU to Lake Lansing could open by the end of the month, the Lansing State Journal reported. The next few miles of the trail could be open to the public by mid-summer 2024, according to Dan Opsommer, Meridian Township’s deputy township manager and director of public works. The third and final portion is expected to be ready in fall 2024 or early 2025. The concept for the trail began to take shape in 2014, when Ingham County voters approved a millage for trails and parks. In 2016, the trail was mapped out by city planners. 

A Windsor Township man who was charged with killing his family in 2021 was found incompetent to stand trial. Prosecutors dropped murder and weapon charges against Daniel James Sougstad, 25, after finding him unable to assist in his own defense. Previously hospitalized for mental health treatment, he was initially found competent to stand trial and sat through a preliminary examination in January 2022. When the case moved to circuit court, the Center for Forensic Psychiatry ruled against his competency. Prosecutors later determined he could not be restored to competency within 15 months and petitioned him into Eaton County Probate Court for mental health treatment. If or when Sougstad is restored to competency, the charges may be refiled. The murders occurred at the family’s home on Bishop Highway on Sept. 24, 2021. The victims were Sougstad’s parents, John and Barbara, and his brother, Ryan. 

Prosecutors dropped charges against one of two men accused of killing a Lansing hunter at Rose Lake State Wildlife Area in 2018. The decision was made to relieve Robert Rodway of a murder charge connected to the death of Chong Mua Yang due to evidentiary issues after Rodway’s attorney, Matt Newburg, made an emergency bond motion claiming he had discovered evidence that police had wrongly ruled out another suspect. The St. Johns resident had been held without bond at the Clinton County jail since he was arrested in December 2022 and was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 27. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could still choose to refile them in the future. 


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