News highlights from the last 7 days


East Lansing High School
East Lansing High School

East Lansing High School will get safety improvements, including returning security officers to the school, limiting entry and exit and giving out harsher punishments for students who engage in violent behavior. This follows a walkout by students and parents held a walkout to protest incidents of violence and demand the East Lansing Board of Education provide more protection.

On Jan.19, a fight outside of a school basketball game ended with one of the participants accidentally dropping a gun in front of a teacher who stepped in to quell the argument. According to the Lansing State Journal, another fight occurred the next day after two students who were being guided to the office attacked a group sitting outside the school’s media center. Then, on Jan. 24, the school was locked down for two hours after a report there was a gun on campus. The school was found to be all clear. At the walkout, students called for metal detectors, a school resource officer and additional mental health support, among other requests. At a later meeting with Mayor Ron Bacon, more than 200 community members gathered to voice concerns. Following all of this, School Board President Kath Edsall resigned over accusations of bullying and hindering safety efforts.

The City of Lansing is looking at whether to build a 24/7, year-round homeless shelter. Overnight, privately operated shelters are full or exceeding capacity and require guests to leave during the day, except in extreme weather. The People’s Council of Lansing, formed to demand transparency and accountability from the city, has received more than 200 signatures on its petition for a city-run shelter. “A public facility would have the resources and ability to offer a wide range of services to those using the space. This, in a long-term sense, could include access to transportation, healthcare and social services, in addition to basic shelter,” the petition reads. “A non-profit or religious organization, with less proximity and accountability to existing government institutions, may not be able to offer the same level of support.” Mayor Andy Schor classified the project as a citizen priority and asked Human Relations and Community Services to compile a potential budget, spokesperson Scott Bean said.

Former Lansing police officer Yansel Lopez was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of domestic assault. He resigned after working for the department for one year. Further details are yet to be released, but his next court date is set for Feb. 6.

The Ingham County law and courts committee will meet Thursday to consider whether the county jail will receive a Narcan vending machine, according to WILX. The Jackson County jail has a similar machine up and running. Anyone, not just inmates, would be able to use the machine to treat people suffering from opioid overdoses. In 2018, there were 2,599 drug overdose deaths in Michigan, including 2,036 opioid overdoses, with drugs killing more people than car crashes, according to the state’s website.

The investigation into the Okemos Knob Hill apartment complex fire could not find a cause. The fire, which took place on Dec. 21, left one man, 52-year-old Raymond Naseef, dead and many families displaced. Officials say the cause is undetermined, but they still believe it started on a couch on the ground floor of one of the buildings.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave her 2023 State of the State address. She announced “Lowering MI Costs,” geared toward cutting costs in the wake of inflation and supply chain issues. The plan has three parts: repealing the retirement tax, which will save seniors an average of $1,000 per year; expanding the Working Families Tax Credit, which will give around 700,000 families tax refunds of at least $3,000; and offering free pre-k for all, which saves parents an average of $10,000 per year. She also announced “Make it in Michigan,” which aims to keep newly graduated college students in the state. Under the plan, the state will fund efforts to bring in more manufacturing projects, creating more jobs; continue working to have 60% of residents earn a degree or skills certificate by 2030; continue funding the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, lowering the cost of higher education; fund apprenticeships so more people are working in trades; and lower the age for Michigan Reconnect, a program that offers people tuition-free associates degrees and skills training, from 25 to 21. Later, she stated her intentions to repeal the state’s 1931 anti-abortion law as well as other laws that limit reproductive freedom and marriage rights and expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, sex and other factors. Finally, she proposed investments in public safety and education, including gun safety measures like universal background checks and safe storage laws and funding for MI Kids Back on Track, which offers personalized learning supplements such as tutoring and afterschool programs to fill gaps created by COVID-19.


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