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outside of SCOTUS building
user dbking / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, we discussed how two recent Supreme Court decisions may impact cases in Michigan. Plus, last night, Lansing City Council heard public comments on a proposal to cut police funding in the city by 50 percent over the next several years.

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Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, the Lansing city council may take a step toward considering slashing the city’s police department budget by 50%.

Councilman Brandon Betz says his proposal is about “re-envisioning public safety”.

a police car focused on the illuminated light bar
pixabay

The Lansing Police Department says it will no longer stop drivers for traffic violations that don’t pose a threat to public safety. 

The new policy means Lansing police won’t pull drivers over for so-called secondary violations.  Those include things like cracked windshields, loud exhaust and broken tail lights.  Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green says it’s an effort to protect the constitutional rights of citizens and eliminate bias-based policing. 

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched from the Lansing Center to the state Capitol on Wednesday as part of a march against police brutality.

The words "Black Lives Matter" echoed across the Capitol lawn at the NAACP’s “We are Done Dying” march.

Nathanael Jefferson has been to several protests in Detroit and Lansing. He says he has personally been profiled in Lansing and sees police profiling all the time.

Protesters have staged nightly protests in Lansing against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. Now, those protests have turned into calls to defund the Lansing Police and for Mayor Andy Schor to resign.
Abigail Censky / WKAR

More than one hundred protesters gathered on the state capitol steps Sunday marking a week of protests in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man, by a white police officer.

Discussion during a Black Lives Matter Lansing webinar Wednesday night was dominated by criticism over the city’s police budget and a call for Lansing Mayor Andy Schor’s resignation.


protesters in front of state capitol
Abigail Censky / WKAR

This post was last updated Sunday, May 31st at 11:10 p.m.

Hundreds gathered at the Michigan State Capitol Sunday to protest the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis who was killed after White Police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for minutes.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, local and county clerks are raising concerns about their ability to deal with an influx of absentee ballots in November’s presidential election. Plus, the woman who turned the University of Michigan into a softball powerhouse talks about the yawning gender equity gap in college sports coaching. 

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

About 100 gun rights supporters rallied on the steps of the state Capitol building in solidarity with Virginia, as a lineup of speakers warned the heavily-armed crowd that the gun control measures proposed in that state could happen in Michigan, too.

“They could literally be at our doorstep tomorrow here in Michigan with those same bills,” said DeeDee Dubose, one of the event’s organizers from Jackson. “That’s why we’re here to stand with Virginia, and our people saying, 'No, no, no, that’s not right.’”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s Catholic bishop has responded to an internal review into complaints the diocese’s schools were racially insensitive.

The diocese was criticized after several African-American Lansing Catholic High School football players were benched after kneeling during the national anthem in 2017.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Preparations are expected to begin this week for a quarter billion dollar mixed-use development on the border of Lansing and East Lansing.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says workers will be begin clearing the 36 acre site of the $270 million Red Cedar Development Project. A ground breaking is expected next month.

Jasmine Tamimi

 

Local student organizer, Khadega Mohammed, has been working on raising awareness about the current turbulence in Sudan by helping organize rallies across the state and sharing information through awareness campaigns on social media.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit and Lansing are among ten U.S. cities picked to be part of an effort to improve economic mobility.

Foundations linked to billionaires Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer are behind the effort to improve the future of America’s children.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing held a ceremony this week to celebrate an end to veteran homelessness in the Capitol City.

The Lansing, East Lansing and Ingham County Continuum of Care, the Capitol Region Housing Collaborative (CRHC), was recently recognized by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as “effectively ending” homelessness among veterans.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The mayor of Lansing wants to power all city buildings with 100% renewable energy starting with the city's new fiscal year.

Mayor Andy Schor is including the switch to primarily wind and solar power in the budget he’s introducing this week.

“We will be the first city in the state of Michigan, as far as we can tell, that will be 100% renewable energy,” says Schor. “And I think that’s really important; we have to lead by example.”

A Lansing Board of Water & Light official says roughly 99% of the power would come from solar and wind sources. 

The opening of the I-496 expressway in 1970.
Michigan Department of Transportation

During the 1950s and 1960s, the federal government funded the construction of highways in cities across the country. To build the new infrastructure, many cities seized land from existing neighborhoods in a process that came to be known as "urban renewal.” Many of those neighborhoods had predominantly African-American or immigrant residents. 

A Lansing project called “Paving the Way” wants to digitally preserve the history of one such black neighborhood demolished during the construction of I-496.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A company angling to be Michigan’s largest cannabis business harvested its first crop this week.

At Green Peak Innovations' south Lansing grow operation, hair-net wearing workers are spending this week harvesting 600 to 800 pounds of marijuana.

“We are bringing a tremendous amount of production to the market. And some of it's ready to go to the market in the next couple of weeks,” says CEO Jeff Radway.   

Radway says 50% of Michigan’s medical marijuana dispensaries have committed to carrying Green Peak’s Skymint brand. The company is also planning on opening 19 retail stores.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

In the middle of a tight re-election campaign, Michigan Congressman Mike Bishop took time Thursday to escort a top Trump administration official around a Lansing development project.

A recent poll showed Republican Mike Bishop holding a slim lead over Democratic challenger Elissa Slotkin.  Slotkin has raised more money than Bishop in the traditionally Republican district.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There are plans to turn a run-down Lansing golf course into a $100 million mixed used development.

The rough on the old Waverly golf course has been growing wild for years. The city closed the golf course in 2007. City voters agreed to sell it in 2012. 

michigan state university sign
Branislav Ondrasik / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


Michigan State University has stopped payments to sexual abuse victims because of suspicion of possible fraudulent claims.

The $10 million fund was set up earlier this year to pay for counseling services for the survivors of abuse by former MSU sports physician Larry Nassar. 

Matt Mencarini is with a reporter with Lansing State Journal. He broke the story of the halted funds earlier this week. Mencarini joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to explain why exactly MSU suspended these funds. 

Temperatures that topped 90 degrees over the weekend caused a section of highway outside Lansing to close twice when the road buckled.

Michigan Department of Transportation crews broke up concrete Sunday along northbound I-69 in Charlotte in Eaton County and filled gaps with quick-drying asphalt.

In extreme heat concrete isn't able to expand, so it starts to break up, MDOT told the Lansing State Journal.

Road buckling also closed southbound lanes of I-69 in the same location on Saturday night.

city council room
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City prosecutors in Lansing recently dropped 50 misdemeanor cases after the city council accidentally let hundreds of ordinances expire last year.

The Lansing State Journal reports that as a result, the defendants in those cases won't be prosecuted at any level.

According to city officials, the alleged crimes were non-violent. The most common charges were trespassing and providing false information to a police officer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a new tool that Michigan cities can use to better understand their health care needs.

The NYU School of Medicine has developed what they call the City Health Dashboard, which looks at 36 key measures and drivers of health.   

Marc Gourevitch is the Dashboard’s principal architect. He says health problems like opioid abuse and obesity are tracked on the dashboard.

“Not only looking at health itself,” says Gourevitch, “but some of the things that cause health, like housing and transportation and air quality. So we try to bring all that together.”

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 

It's time to put people over party. 

That's the idea driving young legislators across the country to group together in a bipartisan way, forming caucuses as a part of the Millennial Action Project's State Future Caucus Network for lawmakers under age 40 who want to govern in a different way. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is putting the sale of city hall “on hold”.

Last year, former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero picked Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services over three other developers, to turn Lansing city hall into a new hotel. 

Lansing officials settled on the idea of selling city hall, since the estimated $55 million cost of renovating the aging building would be cost prohibitive.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This past week, Lansing’s Catholic bishop introduced a special panel that will examine issues of race in the diocese.  

flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

Gov. Rick Snyder wants a federal disaster declaration for eight Michigan counties affected by severe flooding last month. He's asking the federal Small Business Administration to study the damage caused by heavy rainfall and snow melt Feb. 19-21.

If approved, the disaster assistance program would provide money and low-interest loans to repair homes and businesses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is not ruling out some “pain” as the city deals with a rising legacy costs.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor sat down with his Financial Health Team for the first time today to discuss ways of dealing with the capitol city’s long-term liabilities.

aeiral view of flooded Grand River
City of Grand Rapids / Facebook

Most of West Michigan and Mid-Michigan are still under a flood warning after last week’s heavy rains and warm temperatures that melted snow on the ground. 

A street pole in the middle of flood water
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lansing is one of several cities throughout the state dealing with flooding.

Mayor Andy Schor declared a state of emergency Wednesday. Several streets are still blocked off, making it tougher to navigate sections of the city.

John Estill lives right along the Grand River. Flood water covers his entire backyard and has made its way to his basement.

“We’ve got sandbags around the outside of the house, but it’s still seeping in, and we’re trying to keep ahead of it with pumps,” Estill said.

Estill says the drywall in his basement took the most damage.

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