Lansing

The next election in Lansing is not until August, but city officials always want to instill the importance of voting in their citizens. Tomorrow, they’ll try a fun new approach. During Lansing’s annual Be A Tourist in Your Own Town event, the Lansing city clerk’s office will set up three polling sites for people of all ages to cast their votes on some pressing issues such as chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?

WKAR Photo

After a marathon session, the Lansing City Council last night approved Mayor Virg Bernero’s proposed 2015-16 budget, but it was not a complete victory for the mayor. The council also rejected his plan to create a new layer of oversight to regulate the Lansing Board of Water and Light. Bernero proposed establishing the position of inspector general to review the BWL’s procedures to ensure greater accountability, but after hours of debate and several failed attempts to pass amendments, the city council instead decided to fund an audit of the BWL by an independent agency.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

Vincent Delgado was appointed to the Lansing city council in February to fill the remaining term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who left the post after his selection as Ingham County Register of Deeds. Delgado has decided not to run for re-election in the August 4 primary. His term will end January 1.

WKAR File Photo

Lansing's elected officials have begun discussions over the city's fiscal 2016 budget.  

Among other items, Mayor Virg Bernero's proposed spending plan calls for the creation new, high-ranking position at the Lansing Board of Water & Light.  

There's also ongoing discussion over pay raises for the mayor, city clerk and city council set to take effect on July 1.

Lansing city councilmember Carol Wood talks about budget issues...and about a recent ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) operation at City Hall.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Anyone who’s ever bought or lived in an older home knows there is always something to fix. In an ideal situation, it’s a patch here, some paint there, but older homes are sometimes plagued with environmental problems that can threaten the health of their occupants. These issues run the gamut from lead paint chips to mold to leaky stoves and furnaces. A new program in Lansing is now training assessors to not only document those defects, but to help improve residents’ health.

Manuel Doesn’t Follow Hometown Hero Route, but Strives for Greatness | Current Sports | WKAR

Mar 4, 2015
Chris Hauler

LANSING--- Lansing Everett’s gym echoes with the sound of sneakers squeaking across the hardwood. The energy level was high, matching a fresh team, not one at the end of a grinding regular season.

Forward Trevor Manuel sweated profusely as he raced up and down the court, barking out defensive assignments and swatting shots. Manuel was working hard, under the banner of Everett’s most famous alumni, Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

Manuel competes like an athlete fighting for minutes, rather than a star player for a team that already won its conference championship.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Developers are about to become the owners of 30 acres of city land straddling Lansing and East Lansing. Monday evening, the Lansing City Council approved the sale of the former Red Cedar Golf Course property to Ferguson/Continental Lansing LLC. Developer Joel Ferguson and his partner Frank Kass want to build a $276-million complex at the site that could include a ten-story hotel, restaurant and housing. Part of the site would remain green space.

MSU men's basketball player Keenan Wetzel has been working on his film, "The Cager," for quite some time and finally was ready to reveal it to the public. 

The young director premiered the 25-minute short film in a private gala at NCG theatre in Lansing, MI. The movie stars his former MSU teammate, Delvon Roe. Wetzel wrote the script and began directing the film last summer.

WKAR's Al Martin made the trip to NCG to talk with Keenan, and others, about the remarkable accomplishment.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

The Lansing City Council will officially be back at full strength tonight, when it swears in its newest member.  Vincent Delgado was appointed to the council Thursday night in a 6 to 1 vote.  He’ll finish the current term vacated by Derrick Quinney, who stepped down after becoming the new Ingham County Register of Deeds.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Tomorrow evening at Lansing Community College, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero makes his tenth State of the City address. In the speech, which has the theme "Lansing 3.0", the Mayor will review developments of the past year and share his agenda for 2015.

Kevin Lavery/WKAR

Now that we’re into the new year, you might be thinking ”I’m ready to give myself a makeover.” It’s not just people who have that impulse. Entire communities plan what they’ll look like in the future, and that often means getting rid of outdated eyesores. That’s a polite description of what cities large and small deal constantly deal with: urban blight. The city of Lansing has recently received a federal grant to eliminate blighted properties.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

The Turner-Dodge House in north Lansing is one of the city’s most historic structures. It’s almost 160 years old, and over the years, it has hosted hundreds of events ranging from tours and music events to wedding receptions. Last January, a burst pipe caused extensive water damage at the Turner-Dodge House, and things are only now getting back to normal.

WKAR file photo

Stakeholders in the Lansing School District are looking over an interesting and potentially important new study. A national real estate firm, Jones Lang Lasalle, has just submitted an analysis of key buildings in the district. It will be used to determine how to right-size and modernize school facilities in Lansing.

Courtesy - Greater Lansing Housing Coalition

Federal officials define housing as affordable when it costs 30 percent or less of a household’s income. By that measure, more than 60,000 families in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties do not live in affordable housing, according to recent MSU research.

Courtesy City of Lansing

A’Lynne Boles is currently serving as president of the Lansing City Council.  It’s her third tenure as president, and she's in her seventh year on the council.

Boles represents the city’s third ward, which covers the southwest part of Lansing.

Lately, the city council has been more frequently involved in changes at the city-owned Board of Water and Light.

On Friday, A'Lynne Boles joined us to talk about those changes and other city issues.  Voters will decide whether to expand the board by three non-voting members.  That proposal could be approved in November.

WKAR/Peter Whorf

On last April’s Earth Day, the Lansing company Go Green Trikes launched its all-electric vehicle local delivery service. Go Green Trikes is the brainchild of Yvonne LeFave. She joined us on Current State’s Neighbors in Action segment this past spring to talk about her Earth-friendly service.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

This week, Lansing area residents had an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening at the large vacant tracts of land along West Saginaw where General Motors factory buildings once stood. The three sites were torn down in 2005 and in the last 18 months, officials have found chemical contamination on the grounds including 1,4 Dioxane.  

Flickr - Jay-P

Last Thursday, an oil spill was discovered in the Grand River near Old Town in Lansing. As crews continue to clean it up, city officials are planning their next moves. Yesterday, Lansing mayor Virg Bernero held a news conference to give an update on the spill.

www.shabazzlearning.com

Juneteenth is a celebration marking the anniversary of the ending of slavery in America. In Lansing, the Juneteenth Freedom Festival is in its 21st year.

LISTEN NOW: Grand American Fish Rodeo

Jun 14, 2014
2014 Grand American Fish Rodeo
courtesy

Current State broadcast live on Saturday, June 14, from the inaugural Grand American Fish Rodeo at Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing. Listen to the full two-hour special here.

Fish Rodeo takes over the Grand River

Jun 12, 2014
grandamericanfishrodeo.com

Dr. Kirk Heinze is host of the regular feature “Greening of the Great Lakes” on WKAR’s MSU Today. Some of those conversations make their way to Current State. In a recent segment, Heinze spoke with Terry Terry, co-founder and president of the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art and organizer of the new Grand American Fish Rodeo. The Lansing event takes place this today through Saturday at Adado Riverfront Park.

WKAR/Kevin Lavery

If you’ve found yourself passing through Lansing City Hall these past couple of days, you may have noticed a treasured piece of the city’s past. In the lobby now sits a 1901 Curved Dash Olds Runabout. It will be on display there through October as part of a new exhibit entitled “Made in Lansing.”

Courtesy of Danny Shay

Before the International Ring of Grapplers (IROG) was founded in Lansing two years ago, the best chance of seeing moves like a piledriver and a Double Chickenwing, and the high-flying wrestlers who perform them, was likely on TV.

Flickr - Michigan State Historical Preservation Office

The Lansing City Council approved a 2015 fiscal year budget totaling $118 million on Monday night. The budget debate was less intense than in recent years since the city did not face a deficit. The document was essentially the same one proposed by Mayor Virg Bernero back in March.

Michigan has just over 13,000 children in its foster care system.  Most are living in  licensed homes, but many live with relatives who are either licensed or unlicensed to provide care.  Still others are in child caring institutions.

May is National Foster Care Month and as part of that observance, one mid-Michigan agency is sponsoring an exhibition of artwork made by foster care children in search of adoption.

Flickr - matthileo


After close to 10 years in office, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero enjoyed a first last night:  The chance to submit a city budget plan with a surplus. Despite being slightly in the black for fiscal year 2015, Bernero describes his $18 million spending plan as conservative and cautious.

Flickr - mwlguide

It’s hard to tell with all the new snow, but we’re three weeks away from  the “Crosstown Showdown” home opener between the Lansing Lugnuts and the MSU Spartans. Yesterday, Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson and city leaders announced plans for a $22-million development at Cooley Law School Stadium.

Courtesy of Potter Park Zoo

A baby moose has moved into Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo. Willow the moose was orphaned in Alaska when her mother died after being hit by a car. When that sort of thing happens, wildlife officials in Alaska arrange to send the orphaned animal to a zoo. Lansing has been hoping to get a baby moose for about a year, and when the call came in, the zoo was ready to act.

Frustrated BWL customers vent, demand answers

Dec 31, 2013
WKAR/Joe Linstroth

Last night more than 50 Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) customers who lost power over the last 9 days vented their anger and frustration during a special council session at Lansing City Hall. Residents complained of BWL’s slow response and poor communication. Some who spoke were still without power since an ice storm hit the region on December 22.  There were also calls for resignations, demands of an independent review board, and safety concerns that some said went unaddressed by city and BWL leaders. 

WKAR File Photo

The Lansing City Council will convene a special session Monday evening to review efforts by the city’s Board of Water and Light and other personnel since Sunday’s crippling ice storm.  

The BWL says that of the 40,000 customers who were originally without power about 2,600 were still waiting for it early Friday morning. 

Council President Carol Wood says residents are upset the utility’s website does not include estimates of when power might be restored. 

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