News Highlights From the Last Seven Days

City Pulse News Rewind: New chief hired at Lansing Fire Department

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New chief hired at Lansing Fire Department

Battle Creek Fire Department Chief Brian Sturdivant has been hired to take the reins at the Fire Department. Beginning May 2, he will become the sixth chief. Mayor Andy Schor said that Sturdivant “stood out” for his history of diverse leadership experience that spans three decades, four departments and four states.

Lansing cops may face federal lawsuit

Attorney Brendon Basiga is considering quitting the Lansing Ethics Board because he may soon bring federal litigation on behalf of an unnamed client against the city’s Police Department over “potential constitutional violations,” according to an affidavit filed with the City Council. He’s worried that his continued presence on a board that oversees ethical standards for city employees may pose a conflict of interest.
Read more at lansingcitypulse.com.

Mason McDonald’s settles $1.5 million lawsuit

Former employees who filed a class action lawsuit against McDonald’s in Mason alleging sexual harassment by a former manager have reached a $1.5 million settlement with the franchise owner, reports FOX 47 News. The class action suit reportedly involved about 100 women and teenage girls who allege that a single manager had repeatedly groped and propositioned them for sex over four years while company officials ignored the issue.

Lansing plans to sell portion of cemetery

Voters could decide in August whether the city can sell off the vacant slice of land that abuts the western end of North Cemetery, possibly enabling a two-story apartment to be built at the site along Miller Road in South Lansing. The City Charter requires voter approval before the city-owned land can be sold. A recent request from Mayor Andy Schor for a ballot proposal is for City Council review this month.

Gillespie plans new Stadium District project

Developer Pat Gillespie has offered $125,000 to purchase a city-owned parking lot on the southwest corner of Shiawassee Street and Pere Marquette Drive that he hopes will help enable the development of a new corporate headquarters for an unnamed company on Larch Street. Early plans call for renovating the old meatpacking plant at 300 N. Larch St. into a two-story office building with a private rooftop bar for its employees.
Read more at lansingcitypulse.com.

‘Luxury’ apartments vacant at Red Cedar

About 70% of the 181 “luxury” apartments at the Gateway Lofts inside the Red Cedar development — which start at a whopping $1,150 a month for a studio unit — are still vacant about two months after leasing began in February, reports the Lansing State Journal. The adjacent student housing portion is about 86% leased for the upcoming fall semester. Developers attributed the slow start, in part, to poor visibility during the ongoing construction.

Interim president named at Sparrow Hospital

Chief Medical Officer Denny Martin has been promoted to the role of interim president following last month’s abrupt yet “amicable” departure of former President Dr. Alan Vierling. Martin, an MSU graduate, has served as the hospital’s chief medical officer since the pandemic arrived.

GM idles Grand River Assembly plant

The production facility on Townsend Road, which produces the Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac CT4 and CT5, will be shut until Monday (April 11) due to a temporary parts shortage, reports the Lansing State Journal. The specific reason for the shutdown is a secret, but officials said the shortage is not related to a semiconductor chip shortage or the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Strange Matter applies for booze licenses

The popular coffee shop is set to apply for a state liquor license this month, setting course for the cafe to expand to three locations, stay open six hours later and incorporate some boozier options into its menu — all within the next six months.

Cops: Dewitt woman stole $300K from vet clinic

Jennifer Miller, 44, a Dewitt resident and former employee at the Abbott Road Animal Clinic, has been accused of embezzling more than $300,000 from the clinic over three years, the Lansing State Journal reported. Miller’s attorney proclaims she is innocent and that there is “another side” to the story that will be revealed as court proceedings continue.

East Lansing may reimburse illegal BWL fees

East Lansing could be forced to pay back about $6.6 million in “franchise fees” that were charged to its residents over the last six years by the Lansing Board of Water & Light following a recent ruling in a class action lawsuit, the Lansing State Journal reports. Since 2017, the additional 5% surcharge was billed to consumers and passed onto the city to put in its general fund. An Ingham County judge found that represented unlawful tax on residents. If the city doesn’t stop collecting the fee, the amount owed could rise by about $1.4 million annually.

Schor pitches bonuses for frontliners

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor has proposed sending out $2 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to offer hazard pay to city workers who reported to work during the pandemic, reports FOX 47 News. The details haven’t been finalized, but about 300 workers could split the cash.

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