Rewind: News Highlights From The Last 7 Days


The City of Lansing on Friday announced a new overnight family warming center set to open Nov. 27 at the Letts Community Center. The facility, at 1220 W. Kalamazoo St., is a pilot program that will emphasize families with children who do not have a primary residence, according to the press release from the city’s Department of Human Relations and Community Services. It will operate seven days a week, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and remain open through April 30. The State of Michigan approved $800,000 in their latest budget to allow the city to contract with a vendor to operate the warming center. The city selected Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, which currently operates eight shelters in four Michigan counties: Wayne, Macomb, St. Clair and Livingston.

Hometown hero Earvin “Magic” Johnson returned to Lansing and volunteered at the Holiday Hope for Families event Saturday at Union Missionary Baptist Church. The program provided 800 Lansing-area families with food, personal care items and other necessities via donations from organizations that included Feed the Children, Kroger and Avon. Over 120 volunteers participated in the event at 500 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, which was co-organized by the Magic Johnson Foundation and Concord Hospitality. Johnson and his wife, Cookie, were married at the church in 1991.

Lamar Kemp, the 15-year-old who allegedly shot and killed Ted Lawson in Lansing on Oct. 8, is facing additional penalties for intimidating witnesses. Prosecutors filed a petition against Kemp in juvenile court on Thursday and will try to have that charge moved to adult court where his murder charge was filed. Kemp is being held at the Ingham County Jail, from where he allegedly threatened to harm or kill those witnesses. In Thursday’s hearing, 54A District Judge Stacia Buchanan ruled that Kemp will remain in that facility but stripped him of communication privileges aside from his legal representation at the county’s Public Defender’s Office.

The city of East Lansing said Thursday that an independent review found no merit to an anonymous complaint filed against the city this year. The complaint claimed that Mayor Ron Bacon and other City Council members and city staff behaved unethically and violated the City Charter, allegedly prompting several city staff members to resignation. Further details were not provided. The report was conducted by attorney J. Randall Secontine, to whom the city paid $259 per hour, according to the Lansing State Journal.

Thousands of pro-life activists gathered at the Capitol Building lawn Wednesday for a “March for Life” event. The rally was organized in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the passage of Proposal 3, which enshrined abortion rights in Michigan’s state constitution. Many in attendance were members of Right to Life of Michigan, an organization which presented a lawsuit to the state the same day over the proposal, claiming it violates federal constitutional protections. Ohio passed a similar ballot proposal Nov. 7.

 A Lansing Community College representative told federal court officials there’s no evidence that personal information exposed in a data breach has been used or sold. The breach in question occurred between Dec. 25, 2022, and March 15, 2023, when “an unauthorized actor may have had access to certain systems,” according to a June 29 statement from LCC administrators. Several former students filed lawsuits following the announcement.

 Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill, and the city of East Lansing, have agreed on a settlement six years after the city denied the farm a vendor’s license for its farmers market. The long-running lawsuit began in 2017, when Country Mill owner Stephen Tennes publicly stated he would not hold same-sex weddings at the farm and orchard. Tennes claimed his religious freedoms were being violated and won a preliminary injunction that same year. Since then, the farm has been permitted as a vendor at the market, but the legal battle continued. In August, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney ruled for Tennes and against the City of East Lansing, leading to the current, undisclosed settlement.

Seann Pietila, 19, pleaded guilty Monday to a federal charge of transmitting a threatening communication after he was accused of threatening a mass shooting at a Lansing synagogue.
 … A mother and her 1-year-old son were rescued after their van sank into the Red Cedar River Friday afternoon. LPD Sgt. Randall Hon said it “appears” the vehicle was driving southbound on Beech prior to falling into the river, and that an investigation is underway. … A power outage at Lansing Community College’s downtown campus Wednesday spurred class cancellations through Friday morning, when power was finally restored. BWL’s outage map failed to show an outage in the downtown area. … Fire crews put out a fire at a Lansing home on Hillsdale Street around 9 a.m. Friday. No one was harmed.


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