REWIND

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE LAST 7 DAYS: December 1, 2021

Posted

Schor set to pick next police chief

The search for the next chief of the Lansing Police Department is down to two candidates. And with Mayor Andy Schor having already conducted his final interviews, a permanent successor to former Police Chief Daryl Green could be announced any time. The finalists — Interim Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee and Jason Matson, a captain at the Bakersfield Police Department in Bakersfield, California — spent about 90 minutes at a virtual public forum to explain why they should be picked to become the Capital City’s next top cop. Read more at lansingcitypulse.com.

Deputies search for driver in crash

Local authorities are on the lookout for the driver of a red van or utility truck that was reportedly involved in a two-car crash at about 10 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 24) on southbound US-127 near Covert Road. The crash landed one driver — a 26-year-old Horton man — in the hospital with “serious” injuries. The other vehicle left the scene. Those with any information about the crash have been asked to contact the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department at 517-676-8202.

Frances Park lands state grant cash

A grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for $150,000 was awarded to the city of Lansing to make various accessibility improvements and shade structure upgrades at Frances Park. The state’s “Recreation Passport” grant program started in 2010 with the goal of boosting traffic to local parks and has since awarded more than $14.6 million statewide to date.

Sparrow faces unfair labor complaint

The Michigan Nurses Association filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board that claims the hospital repeatedly violated federal law by abandoning legal processes, interrogating staff about union activity and refusing to share financial information with the union amid ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, reports the Lansing State Journal. A union representing 2,200 employees there voted last month to authorize a strike if necessary. Meanwhile, the hospital has reportedly paused elective surgeries amid rising COVID-19 cases.

Lansing loses community icons

Longtime community activist Dayle Benjamin, who died Nov. 20, was remembered in a moment of silence at a Lansing City Council meeting on Monday. City Councilwoman Carol Wood labeled him as a tireless advocate for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents, who also always ensured that local first responders on duty for the holidays had a meal to eat.

The City Council also paid its respects to Don Rakowski, the father of Old Town businessman Bradly Rakowski and father-in-law of City Clerk Chris Swope, who died on Thanksgiving Day. 

Graduation rates climb at MSU

The latest graduation rate posted by Michigan State University report 82.1% last year — up from 81.3% in 2019 and the seventh straight year that those rates have increased, according to reports in the Lansing State Journal. Notably, graduation rates among students identifying as two or more races climbed the most, by 3% to 77% in the latest reports.

Council blasts state voter petition

The Lansing City Council unanimously passed a resolution to oppose the Secure MI Vote ballot initiative, a petition being circulated to amend Michigan’s election law that threatens to bolster costs for elections and shutter polling locations — including churches that have been used for generations of local voters in Lansing. City Clerk Chris Swope told the Council that the proposal would “hurt” local voters and could lead to an increase in identity theft among voters.

Lansing settles lawsuit with ex-cop

Former Lansing Police Department officer Charles Funk received $21,000 in a settlement agreement last month following a lengthy lawsuit against the city in which he alleged that he was retaliated against for raising concerns about white officers wrongfully arresting Black men, reports the Lansing State Journal. Funk reportedly raised concerns about racism and wrongful arrests to his superiors but, as a result, was rejected for a promotion and repeatedly disciplined.

Free HIV testing for World AIDS Day

In recognition of World AIDS Day, the Ingham County Health Department is offering free, walk-in, finger-prick HIV tests from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today Forest Community Health Center, 2316 S. Cedar St. in Lansing. Data shows that about 450 people were known to be living with HIV last year in Ingham County. Testing is the only way for people to know their status and take the necessary steps to stop the spread of HIV. Research shows that an early diagnosis can lead to better medical outcomes. Medications are available that have been shown to be up to 99% effective in preventing transmission. Testing appointments are also available on weekdays all year round at low or no cost. Call 517-887-4424 for more information.

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