News Highlights from the Last 7 Days


Lansing Mayor Andy Schor vetoed portions of the fiscal 2023-’24 city budget that the Council had approved, but the Council overcame his veto on a 6-1 vote. He tried unsuccessfully to restore funds to his office and to give $1.8 million to departments that he said was left unallocated when the Council reduced his proposed budget. At-large member Peter Spadafore was the only vote against the veto, and President Carol Wood abstained because she said she has contracts with the Human Resources and Community Relations departments.  


A teacher at East Lansing’s MacDonald Middle School was placed on paid administrative leave after allegedly using a racial slur. Dennis Petrowitz, a gym teacher, allegedly used an anti-Black slur in class two weeks ago. He sent an apology letter to families, stating, “There were students using the ‘N-word’ interchangeably amongst themselves. In my haste to redirect the behavior, I addressed the students by stating that they shouldn’t use that word, and in doing so, I used the actual word itself. I immediately felt terrible and regretted using it.” He stated in the letter that he will undergo racial justice, anti-racism and implicit bias training this summer. His will be on paid leave until East Lansing Public Schools concludes its investigation of the situation.


Michigan State University filed a motion to dismiss former business school Sanjay Gupta’s lawsuit, the Lansing State Journal reported. Gupta, whom Interim President Teresa Woodruff forced to resign after he reportedly didn’t notify the school of alleged sexual misconduct at a business school event, sued the school in February, claiming Woodruff forced him out to ensure he wouldn’t become the school’s next president and make herself a more likely candidate for the presidency. The Board of Trustees hired a third-party firm to investigate the resignation, and it found that Woodruff may not have had then-President Samuel Stanley Jr.’s approval, even though university policy required it. Attorneys for Woodruff and six other current and former MSU officials asked the court to dismiss the suit, saying it’s a “desperate, last-ditch plea” to have a judge act as a “super-personnel department” for the school and that Gupta has failed to bring forward any litigable claims. 


Skymint relinquished ownership of the former Summit Sports and Ice Complex in Dimondale. Dimondale-based cannabis company Green Peak Industries, which sells its products under the Skymint name, has been under a court-ordered receivership since March after one of its investors, Canada-based Tropics LP, sued the company for allegedly owing more than $127 million. Green Peak has also allegedly failed to pay rent at multiple retail dispensaries and other locations, including the Dimondale complex, which it ceded in March to San Diego-based Innovative Industrial Properties, the company it was leasing the property from, the Lansing State Journal reported. Summit Sports and Ice Complex closed in February 2021, and Green Peak began using the space later that year, planning to turn it into a warehouse and distribution center, commercial kitchen, cannabis grow operation and genetic testing area, according to the State Journal. 


Michigan Women Forward is accepting nominations for 2023 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductees. Those who are interested in making a nomination should submit an electronic form at by July 15. Candidates can be either historical (dead) or contemporary (living) but must have either been born in Michigan, achieved prominence within the state or been a resident of the state for an extended period. Candidates can be either one person or a group of women who are jointly associated. Nominations will be judged based on whether the candidate made distinctive accomplishments that are enduring and further the wellbeing of the community state or nation, whether they significantly advanced the status of women in society and the ways in which they changed the course of history for residents of Michigan and/or global citizens.


Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum announced the winner of the “I Voted” sticker art contest. Myrah Fletcher from Leslie Public Schools created the winning design, which states, “Voice Heard and Recorded #iVoted.” The sticker will be presented to voters in future Ingham County elections. “The sticker encapsulates everything that is important about voting, ensuring that the voices of the people are heard and counted,” Byrum said. “I also like the reference to the #iVoted, which I hope will remind young voters to share with their social media circles their excitement to have voted!”


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