Who has been benefiting from this program? A Freedom of Information Act request brings the answer.
Who has been benefiting from this program? A Freedom of Information Act request brings the answer.
Did the deer cull result in meat being delivered to local food banks? What’s up with parking at Bailey Park? What will happen with the Biggby lot on Grand River Ave? We bring some updates.
While the City Manager has said he sees “great news” in the big financial picture, a close look at the numbers suggests there is a great deal of uncertainty ahead. The City’s Finance Director says the income tax gives her heartburn in terms of unpredictability.
The extraordinary request by ELPD Sergeant Jeff Thomas seeks to find out what Council members, the City Manager, and the Police Chief were saying as a police awards ceremony was cancelled. Concerns related to who was going to be honored at the event.
The plan for bringing students back changed in January. Some look forward to the return, particularly as students feel the effects of isolation. But some families feel frustrated with communication and fear increased community spread. Emily Joan Elliott takes a look at what various stakeholders have to say.
A deal that looked closed has been opened back up after DDA Vice Chair Jim Croom, an attorney, questioned the wording Council approved in a 4-1 vote on Tuesday.
If the City loses this class action suit, the implications for its finances could be huge. And East Lansing BWL customers could be refunded the franchise fees they’ve paid since 2017.
“I am personally dismayed and appalled at the behavior of this developer,” senior advocate Nell Kuhnmuench told the Council. She was not alone in expressing those sentiments.
Some ELPS students will return to in-person learning on Mar. 1. The Board provides some details on safety protocols, and Curriculum Director Glenn Mitcham reviewed the district’s professional development focused on social and racial justice.
The idea of changing the Center City District agreements in the way proposed has some roiled. But not everyone thinks it’s a bad idea. ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.
The East Lansing Public Library will allow building entry for up to one hour to patrons starting Mar. 1. Library Director Kristin Shelley hopes the reopening will help those who rely on the library to file taxes and apply for benefits.
The New Year’s Eve spill turns out to have involved about 55 gallons of hydraulic oil. On Tuesday, Council approved two contracts for the clean-up.
Elementary school children were set to return on Feb. 22 and middle and high school students on Mar. 1. Vaccine distribution delays due to snow have reset the start date to Mar. 1 for all students returning to school.
East Lansing’s City Council on Tuesday discussed approaches that could be used to convert a handful of older houses with rental licenses to owner-occupied houses. Andrew Graham reports for ELi.
The Ingham County Health Department canceled vaccination appointments today due to the snowstorm overnight. Those with appointments on Feb. 16 will be contacted by either phone or email to reschedule over the next three days.
The library is expecting to spend about $800,000 to do some “desperately needed” maintenance on various facilities. Why is this happening just a few years after $1.5M in renovations?
The building was searched by K9s from ELPD, the Michigan State University Police Department, and the Michigan State Police Department. A bomb was not found, Andrew Graham reports.
Checking for appointments and waiting for emails has begun to feel like a full-time job, filled with anxiety and confusion. Emily Joan Elliott reports on what seniors have to say what has caused some of the confusion.
Looking to celebrate this weekend? ELi’s Sarah Spohn brings you a variety of ideas from delicious takeout meals to sweet treats to painting to yoga.
The five members of East Lansing’s City Council don’t all agree on what should be done five months after the illegal rentals at Newman Lofts came to light.
In the last four years, ELPD has used force against more Black people than white people, while whites in the population well outnumber Blacks. The City Manager’s call for expert analysis was met with harsh criticism Monday night.
The 15 complaints include instances of employees cheating on time cards, an off-duty officer driving drunk, an officer with uncontrolled rage, an officer joking around with pepper spray, and a case of excessive use of force that involved an officer tasing a suspect, leaving the suspect with a broken collarbone and broken rib. Police investigators found some other complaints unfounded.
The City’s parking system and some of the businesses that rent retail space from the City have been hit hard by pandemic-related shut-downs. A Freedom of Information Act response gives a window to some of the numbers.
East Lansing Info is making publicly available the register of all payments made by the City of East Lansing in fiscal years 2019 ad 2020. Tell us what you would like us to examine further.
ELPD Chief Kim Johnson calls the situation “unacceptable” and says he is determined to “take all necessary corrective actions within our agency” if further review of the data bears out the apparent pattern.
The library has tentative plans to reopen on Mar. 1. In the meantime, staff are implementing public health protocols and conducting a cultural diversity audit on the library’s collections. Heather Brothers reports.
The changes come as part of improvements to White Park and the Northern Tier Trail and have pedestrian safety in mind. Andrew Graham provides the details.
The HRC’s discussion on Wednesday evening will likely involve ongoing concerns about police use of force, ELPD policies, racial bias in policing, and policing transparency. ELi’s Alice Dreger explains the context.
Did Charlotte Brontë vote in the November 2020 election in East Lansing while residing at the Dublin Square pub? ELi’s Andrew Graham brings the answer and explains what it tells us about how Michigan’s voting system works.
Ingham County’s top two prosecutors spoke with East Lansing’s Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission about what they’re trying to achieve when they review complaints made against police officers. The discussion involved how an oversight commission could advance transparency and policy-making.
Starting at midnight, on-campus MSU students will be required to stay in their dorm rooms with few exceptions for at least two weeks. What’s the context for the new decision?
Affordable housing for artists, the latest on the eBay-auctioned land, Dunkin Donuts’ and Walgreens’ openings, and lots more news in ELi’s latest East Lansing redevelopment update.
The anchor tenant backed out. The developers want MSU as a partner. And it’s City staff, not the developers, that’s been holding up the sale agreement. Here’s what we learned at today’s DDA meeting, where the vote went 8-2 to extend the exclusive talks another 6 months.
Ordinance 1496, which makes violations of public health orders punishable by a fine from the City of East Lansing, expired on Dec. 31, 2020, and Council forgot to renew it. They met today to fix that.
Managing Editor Emily Joan Elliott sits down with Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, discussing the pandemic and more. Listen on.
Those eligible may soon receive links to register for appointments in February, but vaccine supply is still low. ELi provides details on the process.
The new plan has several key differences from the one improved in December. Emily Joan Elliott reports on the changes, the safety measures being put in place, and various input provided by the public and the Board during the meeting.
Area restaurant owners and managers are appealing to Gov. Whitmer, who is from East Lansing, to consider how to better mitigate the spread of Covid-19 without putting restaurants in dire financial straits.
We bring answers to lots of questions about East Lansing’s income tax, including how working from home may change what you owe.
The City and school district held several important meetings this week. The ELi team brings you the updates.
The City announced that the cull has been completed, resulting in the removal of 65 deer over the course of two evenings.
ELi’s Alice Dreger brings you the latest in the redevelopment deal on the DDA’s debt-ridden Evergreen properties. What’s up with “The CITADEL” now?
We bring information on how you can register and what the vaccination process through Sparrow will look like.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Mid-Michigan will host an event on television this evening. This morning, ELi reflects on covering news related to racial equity and justice.
We explain what’s happening at two spots on Burcham Drive and two spots on Grand River Avenue in East Lansing in our latest “Ask ELi to Investigate” column.
City Council members discussed the issue at their Tuesday meeting. They didn’t take any action on the cull, but asked City Manager George Lahanas to push out information to address questions and concerns.
Ingham County Health Department is vaccinating 2,000 people a week and could increase this number if it were to receive more vaccines. Emily Joan Elliott reports on the initial rollout of vaccinating Phase 1B and what to expect next.
The library faces financial trouble, calls for ambulances are way down, the mayor asks that mug shots be withheld from press releases, and Council members say what’s on their minds. Read all about it.
We get this question every now and then, so here’s the answer with the investigative backstory.
What’s been going on with police activity on Loree Drive? ELPD has provided some information and more is expected soon.
Find out from ELi’s Andrew Graham what’s happening in Ranney Park, next to Marshall Music, and see drone photography from ELi’s Gary Caldwell.
From January 11 to March 1, people should lookout for barricades and notices at park entrances giving altered hours as contracted sharpshooters do their work. ELi’s Andrew Graham has the story from City Council.
ELi gives you a two-minute rundown on what to expect in terms of East Lansing government decisions this week.
Our staff compiles the top stories we expect to cover in 2021. But we can never know all that will happen — like, a pandemic — and that’s why we need your financial support.
What were the biggest stories in East Lansing for 2020? ELi’s Publisher and Managing Editor bring you the top 10 list.
The City’s use of CDBG funds has been controversial, which might explain holding a public hearing disassociated with any regular body’s meeting and sandwiched between Christmas and New Year’s.
From ELHS closing due to Covid-19, to volunteers sewing masks to donate, to the Harbor Bay dealings, our reporters highlight stories they enjoyed bringing you in 2020. At this page, you can click on “play” buttons to hear individual recordings of the articles read by their own reporters!
Bollman, the Chair of East Lansing’s Planning Commission, goes deep with Alice Dreger on the ‘Shaping the Avenue’ plan and what form-based code could mean. Listen on.
Quick hits on the various stories Alice Dreger has been keeping tabs on, from the Center City District bonds to a mysterious public hearing. Read on.
Andrew Graham and Emily Joan Elliott are joined by ELi reporter Heather Brothers to discuss the work of the Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission.
Committee members were concerned about the ultimate powers the Oversight Commission might hold and if the community would view it as independent. Heather Brothers reports.
The abatement will cost a little more than $200,000 over the course of 10 years — the maximum allowed period. Andrew Graham reports.
ELPD sent the media release on Monday, after the suspect was arraigned on several charges. Andrew Graham reports.
The School Board voted 5-2 to approve a plan that will permit elementary school kids to return in February and middle and high school students in March. But space may be limited. Emily Joan Elliott explains.
Planning Commission is currently reviewing the latest draft of a plan that would create a new zoning district, with a form-based code, called the Avenue Form District. Andrew Graham explains.
Along with School Board and City Council, there are meetings of Planning Commission, Arts Commission, Downtown Development Authority and Police Study Committee. Andrew Graham unpacks it.
The Commission also denied two separate applications seeking replace exterior wood with vinyl. Andrew Graham reports.
Ingham County now has more than 10,000 recorded cases of Covid-19. How is the pandemic playing out in East Lansing? What might we expect in the upcoming weeks?
The team at ELi brings you the regular weekly pod and a special edition from Alice Dreger and Emily Joan Elliott on the refinancing of the Center City District bonds. Listen on.
Spoiler alert: the developers benefited. And now, with yet another of the deal’s financial protections for the City seeming to fall away, former mayor Mark Meadows is saying that “injunctive relief should be sought.”
Presentations from Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez and Human Rights Commissioner Liz Miller helped the Study Committee get a better grasp on the challenges ahead. Heather Brothers reports.
The clear consensus is that remote learning is difficult, and 60 percent of families would like to return in January if it is safe to do so. Several parents share their hopes for both virtual and in-person learning come January.
Following questions from readers about when the deer cull begins, if it hasn’t already, Andrew Graham got back in touch with the City to find out the precise dates.
An ELi reader shared a legal notice indicating that a cell tower is proposed to be built on the south end of the Bailey Neighborhood. So what would be going where, exactly? Andrew Graham finds out.
MSU Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Mark Largent tells ELi that the move will help students “persist” in college and not drop out. Andrew Graham brings an update.
Andrew Graham, Alice Dreger and Emily Joan Elliott talk shop and decompress while discussing a whirlwind few days in East Lansing.
Social distancing has been a key component of keeping safe during the pandemic, but ELPD and ELFD personnel often work in groups and interact with the public. What precautions have they been taking?
Council member Dana Watson successfully removed sexist language from part of the proposed ordinance. Andrew Graham reports on that and the rest from Council.
Several factors contribute to the difference in costs, but one main factor is the differing ages of infrastructure. Andrew Graham explains further.
The move, motivated by academic and financial concerns, is likely to have a major impact on the economy of East Lansing.
Who is the investor for the refinancing bonds? Mark Bell’s father. Again. And any chance of saving that $6 million in taxes appears to be evaporating.
In October, Residential and Hospitality Services at MSU furloughed student employees, who then looked across Grand River Ave. for employment. Jack Timothy Harrison reports for ELi.
Expect public discussions and decisions on pensions, policing, a radically new zoning code, and Georgio’s Pizza’s lease — but probably not on those controversial bonds.
The usual trio of Andrew Graham, Emily Joan Elliott and Alice Dreger break down the latest news from East Lansing and bring an interview from an ELi donor.
After hearing about the resolution from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administrator Elaine Hardy, Council voted to approve the resolution. Emily Joan Elliott reports.
The Study Committee was given a presentation by Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez on use of force with ELPD, and dealt with several other matters. Andrew Graham reports.
The robbery took place at the 1000 block of Trowbridge Avenue just before 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Andrew Graham reports.
One week away from a $2.4 million shortfall for the payment due to the bondholder, many questions remain unanswered. Not least, the $6 million question. ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.
The City told ELi that its efforts to “go green” involved the use of GPS for route optimization. Documents received through the Freedom of Information Act suggest the GPS units were also used to monitor worker performance. Emily Joan Elliott reports.
Despite Thanksgiving being on Thursday, there’s a slew of meetings over the first half of the week. Andrew Graham breaks down what’s to come.
How does ELi cover taxes and finances in East Lansing? Publisher Alice Dreger explains.
Watson joins the podcast for an interview with Andrew Graham, where they discuss a number of pressing topics in East Lansing. Listen for more.
Covid-19 cases are surging locally. What does this mean for hospital capacity, testing, and contact tracing? Who is most vulnerable? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
ELi has frequently encountered issues with Freedom of Information requests, finding that requests are often incomplete and are answered at the last possible moment. Andrew Graham explains.
A long-planned project will improve sewer infrastructure and change the amount of parking in the area, leaving some displeased. Alice Dreger reports.
During a discussion-only meeting, Council members seemed open to the idea of a tax exemption for TechSmith and briefly workshopped parking solutions, among other things. Andrew Graham reports.
New restrictions go into effect on Wednesday to curb the spread of Covid-19. Andrew Graham and Emily Joan Elliott explain what this means for East Lansing.
Want to weigh in on cultural arts grants, a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, money problems in Parks & Rec and in the parking system, and traffic on Highland Ave.? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott tells you which East Lansing City meetings will cover what this week.
The Dublin Square property owners are warning MSUFCU to stay off their property during construction that involves building all the way to the property line. What could this mean for the future of the proposed office building?
TechSmith is considering building its new headquarters at Spartan Village and is calling on Council for a personal property tax exemption. Alice Dreger explains what this means.
The lone dissenter, Council member Lisa Babcock, objected to the developers’ “hostage-taking” tactics and “the pigeon driving the bus.” But she was outvoted as the rest of Council found it problematic to insist the under-55 tenants be evicted.
The trio of Alice Dreger, Emily Joan Elliott and Andrew Graham break down the latest happenings in East Lansing. Read on to listen.
Tuesday night’s Council meeting confirmed a lot of what ELi has been reporting about the Center City District bonds. What did we learn?
The discussion about transparency comes days after the Human Rights Commission had a similar discussion about police transparency. Heather Brothers reports.
Members of the use of force subcommittee expressed their frustration with ELPD’s handling of a request for body camera footage and case reports. Andrew Graham unpacks the discussion.
A stacked City Council agenda, another meeting of the Police Oversight Study Committee, School Board, and more. Alice Dreger reports.
Andrew Graham, Emily Joan Elliott and Alice Dreger break down the latest news and happenings in East Lansing. Listen for more.
An ELi reader wanted to know what the City is doing about potential lead contamination in service lines. Andrew Graham brings answers.
The Human Rights Commission will consider the disorderly conduct ordinance again this Wednesday, coming on the heels of couch burnings and mass gatherings during the pandemic. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott recaps the HRC’s concerns and this weekend’s events.
After a presentation on Oct. 26, several members of the Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission expressed concern about the rate at which ELPD officers interacted with African Americans. Heather Brothers reports.
Curious where ELPD is issuing citations for alleged violations of public health orders? ELi’s Nathan Andrus helps you visualize it.
The group is going to see a proposed resolution in November after getting a presentation on coal tar sealants from EGLE’s Christie Alwin.
Confused about what’s legal where in the various parts of East Lansing when it comes to Covid-19? We have you covered!
Ingham County further restricted the size of outdoor gatherings to 10 in student-heavy parts of East Lansing ahead of Halloween and the MSU-UM showdown. Emily Joan Elliott reports.
The meeting also featured a data presentation by Deputy Police Chief Steve Gonzalez and discussion of the police union’s role in the eventual oversight commission. Heather Brothers reports.
Earlier in October, ELi asked what laws in East Lansing you, the readers, would like to see changed. Andrew Graham brings you the responses.
The East Lansing School Board approved the proposed plan that allows for students to return to in-person learning as early as January, but the return is not a guarantee. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott explains.
A new and scorching message from Mark Meadows and a response from Miller Canfield to his claims: the latest in the Center City District bond scene.
What did game day look like in East Lansing look like on Saturday? And what will happen to students who violated public health orders? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott and Heather Brothers report.
The City will host a closed-to-the-public meeting this week to teach members of the City’s boards and commissions about the public’s right to open government.
A new review by ELi of prior meetings on the subject finds yet more evidence that this matter won’t be simple to sort out. See the key video clips now.
Alice Dreger takes you through the news and notes from a (very) brief City Council meeting on Tuesday night.
Big Ten football comes backs to East Lansing this Saturday, Oct. 24. The return is bringing on a mix of excitement and apprehension. ELi’s Andrew Graham reports on what is expected and what it all means.
With Election Day just two weeks away, the City Clerk’s satellite office at the Hannah Community Center is open. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott outlines what services they offer.
The letter asks for the conference to work with local health officials to monitor community positivity prior to games and to play games earlier in the day. Andrew Graham has the details.
ELPS Superintendent Dori Leyko and Director of Curriculum Glen Mitcham presented a plan for students to return to in-person learning in January. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott provides the details ahead of the Board’s vote next week.
Several bodies, including City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Commission on the Environment, meet next week. Andrew Graham takes you through the agendas.
Check out our interactive map of downtown commercial properties in downtown East Lansing, and read our analysis of the information provided by City staff.
The building has been described as “bold architecture” and previously housed an Arby’s. In a few weeks, it will be gone.
Experts are describing the Center City District bonds as “hairy” and having “sharp edges.” What’s so weird about them? Alice Dreger unpacks it for you.
One woman received mail saying her Aug. 4 ballot hadn’t been counted, but the City Clerk was able to confirm that it had. So why did she receive the notice? The possible answers are surprisingly simple.
After one meeting, it’s clear the task the group is charged with is a major one — and they have a six month period to get it done.
Council passed an ordinance that makes it a civil infraction to violate state and county public health orders. The City’s attitude toward enforcement is much different than its approach to the mask ordinance. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
Once a cash cow, parking fines and citations have fallen dramatically in 2020. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott takes a look at how those numbers have changed, now costing the City more money than it makes in fines.
A Freedom of Information Act request from ELi yielded a cache of informative documents regarding the Center City District and Newman Lofts. Andrew Graham unpacks them.
Which companies in East Lansing got big bucks from the federal Paycheck Protection Program? ELi’s Andrew Graham takes a look.
Interested in voting in the Nov. 3 election ahead of time? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings you some helpful tips from poll inspectors.
Has the Michigan Supreme Court decision really changed COVID-19 requirements here? Are hospitalizations on the rise? Is testing down? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott turned to Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail for answers to our readers’ questions.
Why is East Lansing’s government poised to take on as much as $4.4M in debt when it doesn’t have to? The execution of the Center City District deal continues to baffle even experts.
Last weekend, four bars were observed by ELPD and officials from the Ingham County Health Department possibly breaking Covid-19 public health orders. No citations were issues. Read on to find out why.
The cull is expected to occur soon and will be conducted by government-employed sharpshooters working in East Lansing parks.
Now debates over the Center City Bond are heating up, as staff say the BRA is in danger of default, and Mark Meadows says it’s the developers who owe the shortfall, not the public.
The main feature of the new contract is a $500,000 annual cost cap. But the City could end up paying more than that to Foster Swift in any given year — Andrew Graham reports on how that works.
The new contract comes after two weeks of closed-door performance reviews between City Manager George Lahanas and Council. Andrew Graham has the details.
ELPD will have a new police chief, Kim Johnson, starting October 5. Find out more about Johnson and last night’s discussion at Council on policing in East Lansing.
Enthusiasm for the project is high, even as Council members expressed concerns about some elements of the design and about what more construction could mean for downtown businesses.
The project has generated excitement, but a long-time Planning Commissioner tells ELi, “I’m tremendously disappointed that my Credit Union is taking shortcuts on this project, rather than going for a truly first-class presence downtown.” What are his concerns?
City Manager George Lahanas chose 24 employees to rate his job performance, and they rated him highly. Now he’s a finalist for the City Manager position in Mankato, Minnesota. Emily Joan Elliott reports for ELi.
“They need to abide by the terms of this agreement,” twenty-two tenants tell City Council about the Center City developers. Popular opinion appears aligned with the tenants.
While many Michigan cities and schools are slashing budgets in response to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, East Lansing’s City Manager tells Council he has “actually some pretty good news.”
Four Council members voted to offer a one-year contract with a $500K cap. Jessy Gregg voted against. Now contract negotiations will begin.
In 2017, the developers were confident they had a viable project. Now they say they need Council’s help. Andrew Graham reports for ELi.
“I’ve heard the complaints from Harbor Bay,” Council member Lisa Babcock tells ELi. “It looks like they’re having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”
The Abbot has received clearance to open, and move-in will start tomorrow.
Mask enforcement in East Lansing is turning out to be tricky. Emily Joan Elliott brings the details.
Outdoor parties will be limited to 25 people under a new County Health rule applied to part of East Lansing. How will this work in practice?
East Lansing’s Council took up many issues of equity and racism at last week’s five-hour meeting, including passing an anti-bias law and authorizing the use of $153K for anti-racism training.
Following unanimous votes by the new Council, adults 21 and up will be able to buy marijuana for non-medical use at three East Lansing locations. What happened with “social equity”?
School Board Member Chris Martin is looking at other districts’ plans and thinks that ELPS is too far behind. ELi asked the rest of the School Board and the Superintendent to respond.
“We are hearing over and over about how tight the site is,” Planning Commissioner Chris Wolf said before voting against the proposal. “What I’m getting from that is that the building is too large for the site.” The rest of the commission supported it.
Readers have written in asking why ELi did not provide in-depth reporting about the August 4th election. Publisher Natalie Rose explains why we don’t cover every local election the same way.
Planning Commission will likely vote on a recommendation for the MSUFCU proposal tonight. ELi brings you the details with images and maps.
Now we know: Younger people infected older people. The outbreak reached 18 counties in Michigan. And many were infected before the cluster was identified.
With Harper’s still closed after the COVID-19 outbreak, the owners are now defending themselves against recent accusations of unsafe conditions and failure to fully compensate workers.
Bacon tells ELi he had been thinking of running for Council in 2021. Now appointed to a seat, he hopes to represent new voices, prioritize a smart Covid response, and continue work on racial equity.
Mark Meadows had been encouraging Watson to run for Council. His resignation gave her a chance to step in, and now she tells ELI about what she’d like to tackle in the next year.
City Manager George Lahanas’s contract is worth over $200,000 per year. Mayor Aaron Stephens wants to extend it now, without a performance review.
Expect to see signage around town encouraging students to be personally responsible in order to “stay safe to stay open.” ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
River Caddis Development has put together a draft agreement that would shift yet more of The CITADEL project costs onto the public ledger. For now, East Lansing’s DDA has agreed to more talks.
Harper’s owner Pat Riley warned today that COVID-19 is “a silent invisible thief” who steals your business’s reputation. He made his case to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for reopening Harper’s.
Here’s what to expect as the three remaining City Council members move to appoint people to the two vacant seats.
East Lansing’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority learned a lot more this week about the $25M existing bond and voted to get a financial advisor before committing to a refinancing proposal.
Aaron Stephens will become the Mayor of East Lansing, and the remaining members will decide who will fill the two vacant seats. The City Attorney’s contract will end October 1.
Instead of the Jackson County prosecutor – a Republican – functioning as the Special Prosecutor – now the case will be reviewed by the Washtenaw County prosecutor – a Democrat. Stephenson’s lawyer is concerned “that a fix is in.”
Is East Lansing’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) about to accidentally issue over $2 million in essentially worthless bonds?
It appears possible that there is now a City Council majority willing to revise or even end the City Attorney’s contract. But Tuesday’s agenda doesn’t tell us much.
The developer came well armed with representatives, but the City went in with no financial advisor to this deal. Its usual advisor is actually being paid with public money to represent the developers.
East Lansing’s civil rights commission is pushing to learn more about use of force incidents by ELPD officers. This and other policing issues were discussed at the group’s recent meeting.
Jackson County prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka will act as the special prosecutor to review a Black man’s complaint of alleged excessive use of force by ELPD Officer Andrew Stephenson, who is white.
The Bell family of developers is back. What new Center City District public financing deal will be made with them this time? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports what we know.
At the City of East Lansing, men hold two-thirds of the full-time jobs, and five departments employ only white people. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
Many restaurants and bars downtown will now refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask. What else is happening to prepare for fall?
Council member Lisa Babcock strongly objected to handing over to the Mayor wide and unspecified powers during declared States of Emergency.
ELi’s Alice Dreger explains how Big Marijuana came to dominate East Lansing’s business scene and why some think it’s high time to pursue “Social Equity.”
ELi’s Alice Dreger and Chris Root tell you what stands out in the submitted plans and what comes next in the review process.
The new order will reduce capacity in 19 East Lansing establishments. We tell you which and bring reactions from City Council members and one restaurant owner.
Ever wondered why the shops in Coolidge Court aren’t open on Sundays? That restriction dates back to 1986, and now the developer-owner wants it removed. Many neighbors aren’t happy.
East Lansing made national headlines thanks to the outbreak at Harper’s. Now businesses downtown are trying to manage the problem.
As the Harper’s cluster count hits 85 (with no hospitalizations), graduate Teaching Assistants are questioning the wisdom of on-campus teaching this fall. Emily Joan Elliott reports for ELi.
Cases of the coronavirus tied to people who visited Harper’s are now up to 76. None of those people have been hospitalized.
Following up on proposals pitched by Council member Lisa Babcock, City Council is looking at a law criminalizing “weaponizing police” and at making complaints against police officers more public. Andrew Graham reports.
Officer Andrew Stephenson’s defense attorney has strongly criticized Mayor Ruth Beier’s remarks about his client. Citizens came forward this week to join him in his criticisms.
The East Lansing City Clerk’s Office needs election workers for the upcoming August Michigan primary and the November presidential election. ELi’s Ken Sperber tells you what the job entails.
What happened at School Board this week? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings you the story.
Free parking ends June 30. Georgio’s has asked the City for rent forgiveness, but the parking system can’t afford it. The finances look bad.
According to Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, the 22 cases include one employee. What can government officials do to compel masks and other interventions?
Consumers Energy is on the scene working to fix the problem. Roads and the picnic area are expected to be closed the rest of the day.
As Harper’s closes for cleaning, ELi hears from the owners about what they say the City has done wrong. What’s going to happen here come fall?
“There was one arrest made,” ELPD Captain Chad Connelly tells ELi.
Readers are asking what we can expect when MSU starts in-person classes back up in the fall. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports what we know so far.
This week, a majority of Council okayed new vests in spite of concerns they might appear too militaristic. What was the reasoning, and why are ELPD officers firing guns when they do?
Attorney Mike Nichols says Mayor Ruth Beier is out of line with her comments about his client, ELPD Officer Andrew Stephenson. He explains for ELi what he sees on the tapes.
The DDA voted unanimously to seek expert independent legal counsel. The most immediate need is representation in any deal made over the Evergreen properties. Andrew Graham reports for ELi.
Lisa Babcock has proposed East Lansing’s Council quickly pass five measures to deal with possible excessive use of force by police and possible bias in the City Attorney’s prosecution. ELi’s Andrew Graham spoke with her and Human Relations Commissioner Chuck Grigsby.
Is big new office space viable? What tax incentives will the developers want? And what does the new “stakeholders” team think of it all?
Slotkin said she favors police reform, not defunding police, and that she hopes to see MSU and East Lansing’s leaders work together on the COVID-19 public health emergency.
During June and July, 97 full- and part-time City of East Lansing employees are working reduced hours, but with little impact on their income.
The commission discussed redevelopment along Coolidge and West Roads, whether DTN should be allowed to use part of the first floor of “300 Grand” for a private fitness room, and more.
Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon has informed ELi that she is taking a major step in the ongoing investigation into the actions of ELPD Officer Andrew Stephenson, accused by two African American men of brutality.
Until now, East Lansing’s DDA has relied on City Attorney Tom Yeadon. Now it is moving to hire independent counsel.
Why did everything about the investigation into the two excessive force complaints against Stephenson stop in early May and suddenly restart in early June?
Beier declared herself “fully woke,” Stephens wants social workers in the police department, Meadows defended his claim “good cops don’t protect bad cops,” Babcock was largely silent, and Gregg wants to look at defunding the police.
The district’s seventeen employed administrators, almost all of them white, are committing to changes. How did School Board members react?
The stunning reversal is said to be the result of the City and County Prosecutor realizing there had been a communication mishap, due partly to the State Police.
ELi’s Alice Dreger reports on what video from Sunday seems to show and how East Lansing Interim Police Chief Steve Gonzalez is seeing the protests.
For years, citizen watchdogs warned the City of East Lansing not to continue partnering with Chappelle. If convicted on the bank fraud charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
ELi’s staff has been spending a lot of energy trying to find out when and where the East Lansing School Board and its committees are meeting.
A reader wondered why one ELPD car was left in the middle of the parking lot as protestors approached on Sunday.
Protestors called for the firing of an ELPD officer and dropping of charges against a black man who that officer injured and then held down with his knee.
As protestors prepare to gather again at ELPD at noon, East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier tells ELi that she wants big changes in policing here.
Three members of East Lansing’s School Board pushed for movement on a fall plan at a meeting with the Superintendent last week. What’s happening now?
About a thousand people came to protest at East Lansing Police headquarters today as part of nationwide protests against racist police brutality. In a tense stand-off, a police vehicle’s windows were smashed.
As we have another round of “free” yard-waste pick-up coming, we answer a reader’s question about what this is costing.
ELi brings you the latest news on this project, including about the design, timing, and environmental contamination at the site.
What’s it like getting tested? Where can you get tested? And why does everyone we hear from in our area seem to come back negative?
Just about the only people not eligible to serve on the study committee are those who are active-duty police officers.
“It’s going to be scarier for the city than I think it is for campus,” Beier said about MSU’s decision to reopen in the fall.
The vote happened in the shadow of the police killing of George Floyd and amidst more calls for firing ELPD Officer Andrew Stephenson.
East Lansing’s City Government is getting busy. What’s up?
Chris Martin wants open conversations about what to do with regard to the start of the next school year. The entire School Board will talk about the superintendent’s evaluation on Tuesday.
Housing Administrator Annette Irwin told a city commission last night that all bets are off in terms of when we might see that long-awaited housing study.
Representatives of the police unions say “the City Council shows an obvious disdain for our law enforcement officers” as talks continue on policing in East Lansing.
Parking revenues have taken a steep dive. Fees and fines are way down. The shortfall in the Parks & Rec budget looks to be $300,000. And with MSU shuttered, the income tax can’t save us now.
The impact of the pandemic on MSU is shaping the individual and collective lives of the greater East Lansing community.
The Policy Committee of the East Lansing School Board met on Friday to consider recommendations to the full Board about the districts’ policies.
Following release of police body cam video, citizens and at least one Human Relations Commissioner are demanding more action by ELPD, the East Lansing City Manager, and City Council.
Only 57 applicants were deemed eligible for the 100 grants. Now, those who have been late on tax payments will be able to try again.
Who will work with the developers to try to hammer out a deal this time? And why did the vote split 5-4?
New developments in the shake-up at ELPD: videos from December are released, and changes are in the works.
A lot of worrisome news from Monday’s East Lansing School Board meeting.
East Lansing’s City Council is taking steps toward the ultimate creation of a Police Oversight Commission. What are the sticking points?
The ELPS School Board unanimously passed a resolution not on the agenda, encouraging the banning of weapons at the Michigan State Capitol.
We bring news on construction at all six elementary schools, including what we know so far about the finances.
What’s fair to charge bars and restaurants in East Lansing? And should liquor licenses be more heavily regulated here?
Erin Graham thinks ELPS students may be left at a serious disadvantage under the district’s policy. The administration believes equity is at stake.
Here’s how you can help keep your favorite East Lansing-area coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries alive!
City Council will pursue a Citizen Oversight Panel for complaints, and ELPD will look anew at “head stabilization” in light of injuries to two black men.
What’s happening with Newman Lofts, police oversight, big downtown construction, and more? ELi brings you up to speed.
It’s a good thing the East Lansing Public Schools district has saved millions of dollars to prepare for economic declines.
How did the Downtown Development Authority ultimately decide to judge applications for one hundred grants of $2,500 each?
Gotcha says scooters can be helpful during a pandemic. The City replies, “Wash your hands!”
The DDA will meet Thursday to decide on criteria for $250K in grants to local businesses. We explain what’s been decided so far.
Schools of choice numbers, graduation cancelled, ELHS ranking, elementary school construction delays, and much more in our School Board report.
The DDA is diverting $250,000 to help 100 local businesses, as City Council will discuss other possible aid mechanisms.
MSU’s Dr. Nigel Paneth gives an update on the project he’s leading to bring antibodies from recovered people to those who might be saved.
ELi is working to help you figure out when important local government meetings are happening.
City staff are looking into whether East Lansing’s market could follow the style of the Allen neighborhood market in Lansing.
The mayor doesn’t want to be led with an offer of an office building and told later the developers want to construct towering student housing.
The credit union is going ahead. But the City’s Planning Director says they’ve put the housing study on hold. Why?
With the only active proposal for the DDA’s properties, River Caddis Development wants an exclusive agreement. But do they have a viable concept?
Trustees of the East Lansing Public Library met to talk about the tough times now and the tough times ahead.
Mayor Ruth Beier says virtual meetings are not a good way to conduct the public’s business. The other four members of Council say the show must go on.
Internal emails give a glimpse into what led up to the Continuity of Learning plan that begins Week 1 today for East Lansing Public Schools.
East Lansing’s Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem are willing to consider converting the senior housing to some other uses.
We bring the latest data from Ingham County, including about age, race, and geographic distribution.
A resident and an employee have tested positive for COVID-19, but the cases are unrelated.
Many predicted this would happen, but few expected it so soon. What now?
East Lansing’s public health during COVID-19 is being shaped by our demographics and complex health insurance system.
With work halted under the governor’s orders, it’s unclear what East Lansing’s elementary schools’ populations will be facing next year.
Emergency federal legislation means the City of East Lansing will soon receive almost $300K in funding. What can it be used for?
Superintendent Dori Leyko gave more details last night on the district’s plan to restart teaching, and announced free meal distribution would start again.
Every month MSU employees work from home means significant lost revenue for the City of East Lansing’s new income tax.
Haslett Public Schools have geared back up. But East Lansing’s still haven’t. The School Board meets tonight.
Our publisher pauses to answer the question, “How is ELi doing?”
No more recreational fire permits for now. This and numerous other measures are being taken to protect police and firefighter-paramedics in East Lansing.
Health concerns for those working on meal distribution are significant, and the number of people being fed through the system suddenly doubled.
Tenants for The Abbot signed leases expecting a summer move-in. The developer thinks work should be allowed to continue.
When will life in East Lansing return to normal? And what’s happening to faculty and international students?
What could earn you a thousand-dollar fine in East Lansing under the stay-at-home order? ELi explains.
The City of East Lansing has issued a new list of cancellations and closures, including the 2020 Art Festival, the 2020 Aquatic Center season, and the softball and soccer complexes. Mark Meyer files this report for ELi.
Under a new executive order, school buildings will remain closed for the rest of this school year. But what about the education of East Lansing Public Schools’ kids? Emily Joan Elliott reports.
What to do – if anything – about there being no parks in East Lansing named after women or people of color? The debate continues.
What African Americans have been saying for years has now been shown conclusively: stops made by East Lansing Police Department officers evidence a cumulative racial bias.
Today, ELi brings answers to readers’ medical questions about the coronavirus: Are our area hospitals ready? What if they are overwhelmed? Will donated blood be safe? And more.
Various groups in this region, including the Capital Area Housing Partnership, are working to help people avoid eviction, foreclosure, and homelessness.
A group called “EL Neighbors and Communities Help Each Other” has been working to serve the needs of vulnerable populations during the pandemic.
A local nurse tells ELi she is afraid “that people are not taking this seriously and putting our lives at risk” as healthcare providers. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
Data are showing conclusively that coronavirus has been spreading in Ingham County. Local experts say the real numbers are definitely above the official counts.
Should you get tested if you have symptoms of the coronavirus? And if so, how do you go about it here? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott explains.
The crane is no longer moving at The Abbot. But there’s some good news from the project. ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.
What’s it like being an international student at MSU during the rapid changes caused by the pandemic? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott spoke with Ramya Swayamprakash and Liao Zhang to find out.
What’s it like reporting during a pandemic? ELi reporter Emily Joan Elliott and photographer Gary Caldwell share their experiences.
The East Lansing schools-based system for emergency food distribution is changing starting now, and meals will be available for seniors on Wednesday.
Why do death rates tell us more than test results can? What will save lives as the virus spreads? ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings you the latest important information from MSU epidemiologist Nigel Paneth.
East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier is angry that the federal, state, and county governments did not act much sooner on COVID-19. ELi spoke with her just after the Governor’s stay-at-home order.
People who owe the City of East Lansing an income tax return for 2019 now have until July 31 to file. But what’s the outlook for the City’s finances now?
Doubling of state’s coronavirus cases prompts Whitmer to take decisive action. ELi’s Chris Root provides an update.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer isn’t the only East Lansing Public Schools parent who wishes kids could keep learning for credit during the public health emergency. What’s going on?
Organizer Jessy Gregg calls this community of sewing volunteer ‘crisis crafters.’ They are now making fabric masks to help with the worsening COVID-19 crisis. ELi’s Sarah Spohn reports.
The shift to online learning happened with little warning at MSU. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings this inside look at the rapid and monumental change at East Lansing’s core institution.
Greg Ballein, owner of East Lansing’s Student Book Store (SBS), has closed the store for COVID-19. He tells Eli’s Noa Kuszai why he thinks the City should be giving small businesses financial assistance.
East Lansing’s emergency services providers are now taking special measures to reduce the odds that they will be exposed to COVID-19. ELi spoke with the police and fire chiefs to learn more.
MSU has confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 in the university community. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott brings the latest numbers.
Many businesses are offering by-appointment help but make sure to call ahead. There are college students willing to help, if you need it. ELi’s Alice Dreger helps by filing this rundown.
Friday morning 3/20/20 at 10 a.m., East Lansing’s City Council will meet partly electronically to vote whether to extend our local State of Emergency.
The Census Bureau is saying students who normally attend school here should be counted as living here for the census. But will they be?
In observance of federal, state and local orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many businesses have scaled back their hours and services. ELi’s Sarah Spohn provides the details.
With one developer pulling out, leaving only one left, this isn’t what East Lansing’s DDA had in mind when it sent out a call to developers about the Evergreen properties.
Mayor Ruth Beier has declared a state of emergency in East Lansing. We tell you in practical terms what that means.
ELi is getting lots of “small” questions related to life in the East Lansing area under the public health emergency. Send us your questions and we will keep answering them at this page.
MSU is taking further action to try to get its undergraduate population in particular to stop hanging out in large groups that might spread the coronavirus. ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott reports.
This page is designed to help readers find ELi reporting on various issues related to policing in East Lansing, including philosophy and policies of ELPD administrators, complaints made against officers since 2016, discussions of creating a civilian police oversight commission, and more.
East Lansing City leaders are working steadily to try to figure out a way to reduce or eliminate bar crowds in East Lansing to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.
The East Lansing Public Schools administration has announced plans for feeding children during the public health emergency now ongoing. Here are the details.
Michigan Flyer will suspend its service to DTW for a month starting Monday, March 16. The decision will alter the plans of MSU students who use airplane travel to get home. Emily Joan Elliott reports.
“Social distancing even one day sooner will save lives,” says the dean of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. What does that look like for people in East Lansing?
UPDATE (4:30 p.m. Thursday 3/24/20): Tonight’s MHSAA girls basketball regional championship game between East Lansing and Holt has been postponed indefinitely, as has Friday’s boys district championship game between East Lansing and Grand Ledge. The boys state swimming and diving finals, as well as the girls gymnastics finals, and state hockey finals, have also been suspended.
Superintendent Dori Leyko explains the latest delay in the completion of building projects at both Donley and Glencairn elementary schools.
ELi’s Emily Joan Elliott spoke with East Lansing’s deputy police chief and an MSU epidemiologist to help you prepare, in case you’re stuck at home.