At the Southern Michigan Prison near Jackson, Cell Block 7 housed thousands of inmates beginning in the 1930s. Prisoners had been convicted of crimes ranging from liquor law violations to murder. Soon, that same cell block will be transformed into a museum that tells Jackson’s story as perhaps Michigan’s best known correctional center, which at one time was the largest walled prison in the world.
In Jackson, conflict is escalating between public housing residents and the local housing commission board. This week, the Jackson Housing Commission board appointed its fourth interim executive director since March. One former interim resigned, accusing the board of creating a hostile work environment. Another was terminated after less than three months on the job, and still another was released from his contract this week after just eight days. The residents say instability on the board makes them fearful for their homes. The issue has even caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which threatened to pull the commission’s funding.
Dozens of anxious military families filled Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson Thursday to welcome home their soldiers from Afghanistan. The 1461st Transportation Company is back home after a 10-month tour of duty. Current State’s Kevin Lavery and Becky McKendry witnessed the joyful reunion in Jackson and filed an audio postcard.
Michigan has made huge investments to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. But like the rest of the country, Michigan is still a primarily fossil fuel-driven economy. Crude oil is big business in Michigan, especially in Jackson County. In 2012, more than 1.2 million barrels were produced there, which is three times more than any other county.