Investigative News

A Year in Review: What ELi Covered in 2023

A Year in Review: What ELi Covered in 2023

With the year coming to an end, we look back at top stories and issues in the City of East Lansing.

Special ELi Investigation: Church Attendance is Down Nationwide; What About in East Lansing?

Special ELi Investigation: Church Attendance is Down Nationwide; What About in East Lansing?

ELi spoke with nine ministers and pastors about what they are experiencing in their churches.

The Numbers: Analysis of Data From Nov. 7 Election

The Numbers: Analysis of Data From Nov. 7 Election

Kerry Ebersole Singh ran well ahead of other candidates in a City Council election that saw a strong turnout.

Sadness, Fear, Anger Linger After Oct. 7 Attack and Ongoing Violence

Sadness, Fear, Anger Linger After Oct. 7 Attack and Ongoing Violence

Local faith leaders have come together to show their “support and love for local Jewish and Muslim communities.”

Mysteriously Delivered Packet Tells Story of City Raises and Promotions

Mysteriously Delivered Packet Tells Story of City Raises and Promotions

Councilmember George Brookover expressed discomfort with the actions taken by the outgoing interim city manager. Randy Talifarro, the new city manager and finance director respond.

Campaign Expenses Reveal Big Differences in Resources Available to Candidates
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Campaign Expenses Reveal Big Differences in Resources Available to Candidates

ELi analyzes and breaks down financial records from the Ingham County Clerk.

Middle School PE Teacher Who Used Racial Slur Suspended Again for ‘Unprofessional Verbal Interaction’

Middle School PE Teacher Who Used Racial Slur Suspended Again for ‘Unprofessional Verbal Interaction’

ELPS community has been responding to the recent five-day suspension of Dennis Petrowitz and is planning a “No More Harm” demonstration on Friday.

Special ELi Investigation: Why Have So Many Senior Personnel Quit the City of East Lansing?

Special ELi Investigation: Why Have So Many Senior Personnel Quit the City of East Lansing?

Divisions within East Lansing’s City Hall have led to complaints and resignations.

Council Expected to Vote Next Tuesday on Belleman Contract for City Manager

Council Expected to Vote Next Tuesday on Belleman Contract for City Manager

Investigation by ELi shows it’s been a rocky road to hiring a new city manager for East Lansing.

Documents Released Shed Light on Decision to Redevelop Bailey St. Parking Lot
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Documents Released Shed Light on Decision to Redevelop Bailey St. Parking Lot

Material just released under the Freedom of Information Act shows the Metzger/Fabian family chose to redevelop their portion of Parking Lot #11 after being told the city would not continue to rent it for parking.

Trader Joe’s Is ‘Taking Over the Project to Finish It’; May Open Next Summer

Trader Joe’s Is ‘Taking Over the Project to Finish It’; May Open Next Summer

Internal communications reveal what’s been happening with the long-awaited Trader Joe’s store set to be built across Grand River Avenue from Whole Foods in East Lansing.

ELi Readers Show Strong Support for Investigative Journalism

ELi Readers Show Strong Support for Investigative Journalism

The seed donor for ELi’s new Investigative News Fund has let us know we can release his name. The fund has reached almost $5,000 in two weeks.

Ask ELi: Digging in Glencairn Neighborhood Disrupts Water/Sewer Lines

Ask ELi: Digging in Glencairn Neighborhood Disrupts Water/Sewer Lines

DPW interim director confirms city workers had responded to incidents associated with the digging in Glencairn

Help ELi Sustain its Investigative News Endeavors

Help ELi Sustain its Investigative News Endeavors

Your local team of reporters and editors have been in overdrive recently working to keep the community informed with deep and time-consuming investigative work.

Keeping Belleman ‘Would Have Paralyzed Saginaw County,’ Commissioner Says
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Keeping Belleman ‘Would Have Paralyzed Saginaw County,’ Commissioner Says

The meeting where Robert Belleman was fired from his job as Saginaw County’s controller included strong public statements for and against his termination, a recording obtained by ELi shows. Two commissioners who voted for termination spoke with ELi.

FOIA Shows Landlord DTN’s Side of Ongoing Public Dispute
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FOIA Shows Landlord DTN’s Side of Ongoing Public Dispute

DTN’s attorney told the EL city attorney this was never about discrimination – it was always just about the money.

Finalist for EL City Manager Was Removed from Post as Cincinnati’s Director of Economic Inclusion

Finalist for EL City Manager Was Removed from Post as Cincinnati’s Director of Economic Inclusion

Cincinnati’s City Manager removed Collin Mays from his directorship following an HR investigation, documents show. Mays denied wrongdoing and subsequently resigned.

Albert Ave. Affordable Housing Project Heads for Public Hearing with Opposition Organized

Albert Ave. Affordable Housing Project Heads for Public Hearing with Opposition Organized

What’s the plan for 530 Albert Ave.? ELi explains the proposal, the opposition and the backstory.

Questions Arise about East Lansing City Manager Semi-Finalists, Vetting Process 

Questions Arise about East Lansing City Manager Semi-Finalists, Vetting Process 

The five semi-finalists’ applications raise a host of questions following investigative research by ELi.

Released Records Show City of East Lansing’s Employment Losses Have Been Management-Heavy
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Released Records Show City of East Lansing’s Employment Losses Have Been Management-Heavy

Some departments have been hit harder than others after numerous key employees leave for other jobs or retire.

Big Stories Simmering in the City of East Lansing
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Big Stories Simmering in the City of East Lansing

Who has and hasn’t applied to be city manager? Why the chatter about moving city operations? And what’s going on with the independent investigation into the anonymous complaint? ELi brings you up to speed on these stories and more.

How Interim City Clerk Marie Wicks Thinks about the Charter Amendment Proposals

How Interim City Clerk Marie Wicks Thinks about the Charter Amendment Proposals

As East Lansing’s Council decides whether to put three charter amendments to voters, we asked one experienced local official to articulate the pros and cons.

ELi Investigation Shows Unusual Uses of East Lansing Taxes for ‘Nongovernmental’ Charities
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ELi Investigation Shows Unusual Uses of East Lansing Taxes for ‘Nongovernmental’ Charities

Weeks after being advised by Lansing’s deputy mayor that giving cash away to a local charity violates state law, East Lansing’s mayor supported another $5,000 donation by his city. And why did former city manager George Lahanas start two “nongovernmental” charities from City Hall?

A Tale of Two Lawsuits (against East Lansing)

A Tale of Two Lawsuits (against East Lansing)

Twin cases provide insight into the risks and costs of suits against the city from large, national groups.

Mayor Signed Letter to Support Low-Income Project on Bailey Lot; Developer Answers Questions
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Mayor Signed Letter to Support Low-Income Project on Bailey Lot; Developer Answers Questions

A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request turns up a surprising letter, and the vice president for developer ACD explains how a project would restrict who can rent there.

Your ELi: Why ELi Sometimes Necessarily Makes Local Officials Uncomfortable

Your ELi: Why ELi Sometimes Necessarily Makes Local Officials Uncomfortable

We’re not (just) working from an anonymous complaint, and this is not the first time we’ve looked very closely at local officials’ actions.

FOIA Shows Bacon Brought Government-Reorganization Draft to Lahanas

FOIA Shows Bacon Brought Government-Reorganization Draft to Lahanas

Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg has said the matter is being overblown in importance, while records show Interim Planning Director Tim Dempsey has seen it as critical to understanding low staff morale.

Author of Eight-Page Memo Comes Forward, Challenging Anonymous Complaint

Author of Eight-Page Memo Comes Forward, Challenging Anonymous Complaint

Former employees of the City of East Lansing are shedding more light on the tensions that have existed within the government for months.

Jarred by Surprise Plan to Reshape the City, DDA Moves to Get Its Own Director
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Jarred by Surprise Plan to Reshape the City, DDA Moves to Get Its Own Director

The conversation was tense as Interim City Manager Randy Talifarro spoke to the eight-page draft reorganization plan that’s been rattling East Lansing’s government.

Just-Released 8-Page Memo Shows Plan to Remake East Lansing Government; Sheds Light on Resignations

Just-Released 8-Page Memo Shows Plan to Remake East Lansing Government; Sheds Light on Resignations

The plan called for a substantial remaking of the city government, amassing power in the hands of DEI Director Elaine Hardy.

East Lansing Council Looking for “Independent” Legal Review of Anonymous Complaint

East Lansing Council Looking for “Independent” Legal Review of Anonymous Complaint

ELi connects the dots on a surprise pair of agenda items.

Mother’s Narrative, Police Reports Paint Detailed Picture of Confrontation at ELPL
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Mother’s Narrative, Police Reports Paint Detailed Picture of Confrontation at ELPL

Incident has led to a special investigation by the library board and complaint to the EL Human Rights Commission.

Housing Insecurity Worries Falcon Pointe Residents, East Lansing Planning Commissioners

Housing Insecurity Worries Falcon Pointe Residents, East Lansing Planning Commissioners

Residents have been granted one-year land leases as the developers, FP Investors, are seeking a final decision from Council for further development.

East Lansing Homeowners Can Now Formally Disavow Racist Property Covenants

East Lansing Homeowners Can Now Formally Disavow Racist Property Covenants

The Brookfield neighborhood’s covenant still includes discriminatory language.

Ask ELi: Did ELPS’ Administration Fact-Check the Ex-Principal’s Application?
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Ask ELi: Did ELPS’ Administration Fact-Check the Ex-Principal’s Application?

FOIA response shows fact-checking notes taken by Superintendent Dori Leyko.

Housing Complaint Against DTN Takes a Strange Turn
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Housing Complaint Against DTN Takes a Strange Turn

The city attorney said the investigation was stalled because he couldn’t reach a key person involved. ELi reached her by phone last night.

To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)
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To Avoid a ‘Catastrophic Situation,’ East Lansing Refinances the DDA’s Debt (Again)

Why was “catastrophe” looming? ELi explains and tells you what happened with the latest refinance of the Evergreen Properties debt.

Superintendent Defends Vetting of Ex-Principal Following Discovery of “Fraudulent” Degree
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Superintendent Defends Vetting of Ex-Principal Following Discovery of “Fraudulent” Degree

Superintendent Dori Leyko has provided ELi more information about the hiring process that was used.

Ask ELi: What Happened with Yesterday’s Three Emergency Alert Threads?
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Ask ELi: What Happened with Yesterday’s Three Emergency Alert Threads?

A single threat of violence led to the emergency closure of EL schools and locking of City Hall doors.

The Latest on the City of East Lansing’s Finances

The Latest on the City of East Lansing’s Finances

What’s going on with the city’s pension debt, property values, the cost of staffing and the income tax? And why might a single lawsuit throw everything out of whack this year?

Michigan Court of Appeals Rules in ELi’s Favor, Against Scott Chappelle

Michigan Court of Appeals Rules in ELi’s Favor, Against Scott Chappelle

“This decision should put an end to [Chappelle’s] vindictive crusade,” ELi’s attorney Brian Wassom said about the decision, “and serve as a reassurance to journalists across the state that freedom of the press is still alive and well in Michigan.”

Ask ELi: What We Found Out About The Uvalde Foundation for Kids
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Ask ELi: What We Found Out About The Uvalde Foundation for Kids

In-depth digging (and lots of capitalizations) raise concerns about this foundation.

Police Pushed to Do More about Menacing Masked Man
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Police Pushed to Do More about Menacing Masked Man

Photos and videos of the individual have appeared across social media.

East Lansing Police First Heard about High School Lockdown from a Parent Who Called 911
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East Lansing Police First Heard about High School Lockdown from a Parent Who Called 911

ELPD called the school to confirm it was, in fact, in lockdown.

Answers to Your Questions about the EL City Manager’s Contract Termination

Answers to Your Questions about the EL City Manager’s Contract Termination

You’ve got questions about why East Lansing’s Council just did what it did. We’ve got answers.

In Chappelle’s Suit Against ELi, Appeals Court Judge Says There’s No Glimmer of a Case

In Chappelle’s Suit Against ELi, Appeals Court Judge Says There’s No Glimmer of a Case

“From the beginning, your honors, in the circuit court and before this court, this case has been a farce,” ELi’sattorney Brian Wassom said. “This is an exercise of Mr. Chapelle’s vanity and vendetta parading as a defamation claim.”

East Lansing’s Population Has Declined and Morphed Per Latest Census
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East Lansing’s Population Has Declined and Morphed Per Latest Census

More units of housing, but fewer residents. And a more diverse populace. What else changed about East Lansing from 2010 to 2020?

Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?
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Three New Buildings Will Mean $1 Million More in Taxes Diverted to the DDA. What Is Going On?

ELi brings you a special “follow the money” report. Find out how captured taxes are and aren’t being used in East Lansing today and how East Lansing homeowners are carrying the burden of public services for big new buildings downtown.

Downtown Condo Owners Demand Solutions after Bullet Pierces Resident’s Window
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Downtown Condo Owners Demand Solutions after Bullet Pierces Resident’s Window

Plus: ELi brings you a video taken just after the Sept. 11 downtown shooting showing some fleeing the scene while police rush in.

Public Funds Will Now Go to Pop-Up Festivals Beyond Mayor Pro Tem’s
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Public Funds Will Now Go to Pop-Up Festivals Beyond Mayor Pro Tem’s

Only this week did the source of tension over a street-closure policy become apparent. The measure passed, 3-2, after much discussion.

Chappelle Sentencing Postponed Again; Fairness of Prison Time Debated
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Chappelle Sentencing Postponed Again; Fairness of Prison Time Debated

New documents released by the court show dueling visions of a longtime area real estate developer.

East Lansing Announces $1M Grant for Downtown Park. Is Big Redevelopment Coming Nearby?
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East Lansing Announces $1M Grant for Downtown Park. Is Big Redevelopment Coming Nearby?

The farmers market will likely get a new pavilion. What about other big changes potentially coming to that part of town?

Two Years After Pledging to Increase DEI Efforts, Here’s Where ELPS Stands

Two Years After Pledging to Increase DEI Efforts, Here’s Where ELPS Stands

Following the murder of George Floyd, ELPS administrators vowed to undertake new efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Where does the district stand on meeting those goals?

Ask ELi: How Does East Lansing’s Geography Affect Home Maintenance?
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Ask ELi: How Does East Lansing’s Geography Affect Home Maintenance?

In the latest Ask ELi to Investigate, Emily Joan Elliott explores how the marshy environment of East Lansing can affect local homes.

More Women Among City’s Highest Paid Employees Due to Promotions, Retirements of Men
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More Women Among City’s Highest Paid Employees Due to Promotions, Retirements of Men

A series of Freedom of Information Act requests from ELi show how some changes in the City’s workforce mean women are more represented as the highest earners. Emily Joan Elliott reports.

How MSU Plans To Keep Tabs And Hold Accountable Those Exempted From Its Sophomores-On Rule
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How MSU Plans To Keep Tabs And Hold Accountable Those Exempted From Its Sophomores-On Rule

As MSU prepares for requiring sophomores to live on campus this upcoming academic year, University officials consider how they might exercise greater control over the behavior of registered student organizations and associated individual students. What might this process, including collaboration with City authorities, look like?

What Artspace’s Feasibility Report Tells Us About Downtown East Lansing
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What Artspace’s Feasibility Report Tells Us About Downtown East Lansing

One of the proposed locations for a development of affordable housing geared toward creatives is Valley Court Park. Emily Joan Elliott digs in to what else is in the feasibility report and what we can learn.

The City’s Workforce Shrunk In the Last 2 Years, With Notable Attrition of Black Employees

The City’s Workforce Shrunk In the Last 2 Years, With Notable Attrition of Black Employees

The City currently has 64 fewer employees than it did on Dec. 31, 2019 — and the departures have been most prevalent among Black employees. What else did ELi find out about changes in the City’s workforce?

As Pandemic Drags Out, ELPS Grapples with Balancing Student Emotional Wellbeing and Physical Health
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As Pandemic Drags Out, ELPS Grapples with Balancing Student Emotional Wellbeing and Physical Health

With the arrival of Omicron, how will the district balance protecting students from both Omicron and the detrimental effects of social isolation, just as students were adjusting to in-person learning?

How Well Funded Is East Lansing’s Pension System? It Depends on the Numbers You Pull

How Well Funded Is East Lansing’s Pension System? It Depends on the Numbers You Pull

Why is Council being told the City’s pension system is 56% funded when the State believes it’s at 51%? We go beyond the graphs presented by the City’s auditors to explain this and a whole lot more.

East Lansing Insider: The Uphill Climb For Transparency In East Lansing
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East Lansing Insider: The Uphill Climb For Transparency In East Lansing

Andrew and Chuck are joined by ELi’s Executive Director and Publisher Alice Dreger to delve into the overall issues of transparency in the City of East Lansing. Listen in!

South Chesterfield Hills Residents Are Fed Up With The Smell of Poop
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South Chesterfield Hills Residents Are Fed Up With The Smell of Poop

“For the amount of money we pay in taxes each year, in comparison to similar houses in other cities, this situation is unacceptable,” wrote one couple to the City of East Lansing, echoing the feelings of their Chesterfield Hills neighbors.

What Has East Lansing’s “Percent for Art” Law Cost and Brought to the City?
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What Has East Lansing’s “Percent for Art” Law Cost and Brought to the City?

East Lansing’s ordinance compelling some real estate developers to contribute art has not been without controversy. Seven years in, what effects has it had?

Candidate Financial Reports Show Big Differences in Raising, Spending Money
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Candidate Financial Reports Show Big Differences in Raising, Spending Money

ELi looked through 118 pages of financial reports from candidates for the East Lansing City Council so you don’t have to. What do they reveal?

ELPS Grapples with Student Misconduct, Masking

ELPS Grapples with Student Misconduct, Masking

According to teachers’, administrators’, and families’ anecdotal reports, aggressive behavior among students has been on the rise. What has caused this uptick? How is it being handled?

Caught Between Local Governments, Flooded Homeowners Struggle for Answers
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Caught Between Local Governments, Flooded Homeowners Struggle for Answers

On the eastern edge of East Lansing, five homeowners have spent weeks trying to figure out why the Aug. 12 rains flooded their basements with sewage. Weeks later, like most residents, they still haven’t gotten satisfying answers. Andrew Graham reports.

East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem
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East Lansing Insider: East Lansing’s Evergreen Development Problem

The Downtown Development Authority purchased the properties in 2009, hoping to sell them for downtown development projects, but over a decade later, the DDA still owns the properties. Alice Dreger shares the long history with Emily Joan Elliott.

As Friday’s Dedications Near, We’re Learning More about East Lansing’s History of Racial Integration
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As Friday’s Dedications Near, We’re Learning More about East Lansing’s History of Racial Integration

Get details on Friday’s celebrations and find out what we’ve learned thanks to ELi readers about the history of racial integration in East Lansing.

What’s Happening Administratively at the EL Public Library?
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What’s Happening Administratively at the EL Public Library?

What renovations are coming to the East Lansing Public Library? What programs are being offered? What is happening with contract negotiations with non-supervisory workers? Emily Joan Elliott reports.

Sewer Construction On Northlawn Avenue Didn’t Factor Into Localized Flooding, Says the City
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Sewer Construction On Northlawn Avenue Didn’t Factor Into Localized Flooding, Says the City

ELi’s Andrew Graham investigates what happened on Aug. 12 along Northlawn Avenue, and brings information about what you can do to help protect your home and belongings.

East Lansing Insider: What We’ve Learned about The Big Flood of Aug. 11-12
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East Lansing Insider: What We’ve Learned about The Big Flood of Aug. 11-12

On this episode, Alice Dreger and Andrew Graham discuss the aftermath of the heavy rains on Aug. 11-12, and resulting floods. How are the residents who were hardest hit doing? What else did the duo discuss?

Report on ELi’s Income and Expenses in the Last Fiscal Year

Report on ELi’s Income and Expenses in the Last Fiscal Year

You may be hearing about local news operations closing all over America. How come we are still here, 7 years in? Find out in our report on ELi’s income and expenses.

Has EL’s Tree Canopy Shrunk? We Might Find Out This Year
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Has EL’s Tree Canopy Shrunk? We Might Find Out This Year

“Tree planting in East Lansing is not keeping up with the tree cutting,” wrote one ELi reader. Is that true? Brooklyn Peppo reports for ELi.

East Lansing Insider: Freedom of the Press
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East Lansing Insider: Freedom of the Press

Emily Joan Elliott and Alice Dreger talk to Brian Wassom about freedom of the press. Elliott and Dreger then discuss how Dreger used the Freedom of Information Act to report on a major gas leak that occurred near her home.

What ever happened following that open letter from the ELHS newspaper? And will Pinecrest be renamed?

What ever happened following that open letter from the ELHS newspaper? And will Pinecrest be renamed?

The staff of the ELHS newspaper called for a more inclusive and equitable district, but the town hall they called for didn’t happen. So what did? How might renaming Pinecrest Elementary honor local civil rights history?

East Lansing Insider: Neighbors and Noise in East Lansing
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East Lansing Insider: Neighbors and Noise in East Lansing

ELi’s Publisher and Executive Director Alice Dreger and Managing Editor Emily Joan Elliott discuss complaints made to East Lansing’s City Council about noise created by cars and motorcycles. Elliott also interviews ELPD’s Neighborhood Resource Specialist Tonya Williams.

Major East Lansing Emergency Occurred Because Consumers Energy Contractor Failed to Mark Gas Line
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Major East Lansing Emergency Occurred Because Consumers Energy Contractor Failed to Mark Gas Line

Hear the 911 call and learn what went wrong and right when a major gas leak erupted in a residential East Lansing neighborhood on June 3. Are the safety systems working?

Emails Reveal Prosecutors and Police Struggled With Technology and Schedules as Now-Exonerated Man Sat in Jail

Emails Reveal Prosecutors and Police Struggled With Technology and Schedules as Now-Exonerated Man Sat in Jail

East Lansing Council member Lisa Babcock says she obtained the same set of emails via FOIA and “found them deeply disturbing.” What do they show? ELi’s Andrew Graham reports.

ELi Hears from Readers about Big Medical Bills – and Investigates Help for Those Suffering

ELi Hears from Readers about Big Medical Bills – and Investigates Help for Those Suffering

MSU switched the insurance it provides for its retirees, causing some to face serious billing issues. International students are left to navigate a healthcare system very different from the ones that they are familiar with. What can those in our area do if they are facing large medical bills?

Islamic Center Trustee and Others React to ELi Report, While Deputy Police Chief Promises More Reforms
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Islamic Center Trustee and Others React to ELi Report, While Deputy Police Chief Promises More Reforms

Thasin Sardar, an Islamic Center Trustee, and Kelli Ellsworth-Etchison, a member of the Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission, responded to ELi’s report, while ELPD Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez promised some reform.

Council Member Babcock Demanded ELPD Investigate “News Release That Condemned a Resident as a Rapist”
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Council Member Babcock Demanded ELPD Investigate “News Release That Condemned a Resident as a Rapist”

After prosecutors dropped all the charges, Babcock questioned the “truthfulness” of one police officer’s report, the press release, and whether racial, ethnic, religious, or other biases played a role in this case. ELPD investigation found her complaint to be “sustained.” ELi’s Andrew Graham reports.

ELHS Students Eager to Get Vaccinated, Face Age Restrictions

ELHS Students Eager to Get Vaccinated, Face Age Restrictions

Some students at ELHS have already received a vaccine, and more plan on it. What is preventing some from receiving a vaccine? ELi’s Adan Tomas Quan reports.

“Twisted Explanations from the 800-Pound Gorilla”? MSUFCU Begs to Differ.

“Twisted Explanations from the 800-Pound Gorilla”? MSUFCU Begs to Differ.

Asked to reply to Dublin Square owner Paul Vlahakis’ complaints about how MSUFCU has treated him, the head of the credit union dropped something of a bombshell revelation. And now the building will be shrunk by 3 feet. ELI’s Andrew Graham and Alice Dreger report.

Tensions Rise Over City Manager’s Office Withholding Results of Survey on East Lansing Policing

Tensions Rise Over City Manager’s Office Withholding Results of Survey on East Lansing Policing

“The posture that is being taken tonight from the City Manager, to me, seems indicative of what’s to come for an oversight commission in how difficult things might be in this transparency quest,” said Study Committee member Kelli Ellsworth-Etchison. What’s going on?

“Lessons Learned” from City’s Botched Handling of 55-Gallon Oil Spill on Private Property
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“Lessons Learned” from City’s Botched Handling of 55-Gallon Oil Spill on Private Property

Why did it take a month for the City of East Lansing to investigate a spill of at least 55 gallons of hydraulic oil, an unknown quantity of which went into a private storm drain? And what now?

DDA May Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Construct Offices
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DDA May Demolish Publicly-Owned Buildings to Help MSUFCU Construct Offices

Why do City staff and the head of MSUFCU think this is a good plan? And what don’t we know? ELi’s Alice Dreger reports.

Council Increases Down-Payment Assistance Program for City Employees
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Council Increases Down-Payment Assistance Program for City Employees

Who has been benefiting from this program? A Freedom of Information Act request brings the answer.

School Board Member Calls East Lansing “A Sundown Town” as New Data Shows High Use of Force by Police Against Blacks

School Board Member Calls East Lansing “A Sundown Town” as New Data Shows High Use of Force by Police Against Blacks

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.

As Parking System Revenues Plummet, Lease with Georgio’s Pizza Amended (Again)

As Parking System Revenues Plummet, Lease with Georgio’s Pizza Amended (Again)

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.

How is the City of East Lansing Spending Money?
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How is the City of East Lansing Spending Money?

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.

No, A Dead Poet Did Not Vote In East Lansing’s Most Recent Election
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No, A Dead Poet Did Not Vote In East Lansing’s Most Recent Election

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.

Council Goofed on Covid-Related Law – But Now They’ve Reinstated a $500 Party Fine

Council Goofed on Covid-Related Law – But Now They’ve Reinstated a $500 Party Fine

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.

Your ELi: It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in East Lansing
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Your ELi: It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in East Lansing

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.

Ask ELi: Why is there a giant cross downtown?
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Ask ELi: Why is there a giant cross downtown?

We get this question every now and then, so here’s the answer with the investigative backstory.

Timeline of East Lansing’s Center City District Project

Timeline of East Lansing’s Center City District Project

Here’s a comprehensive timeline of East Lansing’s Center City District redevelopment, beginning with the press conference where it was announced.

What Will Be the Big East Lansing Stories of 2021?
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What Will Be the Big East Lansing Stories of 2021?

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.

The Top Ten East Lansing Stories of 2020
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The Top Ten East Lansing Stories of 2020

What were the biggest stories in East Lansing for 2020? ELi’s Publisher and Managing Editor bring you the top 10 list.

The Ten Stories That Meant the Most to Your ELi Reporters in 2020
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The Ten Stories That Meant the Most to Your ELi Reporters in 2020

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!

Episode 8 and A Special Edition of The ‘East Lansing Insider’ Are Now Live
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Episode 8 and A Special Edition of The ‘East Lansing Insider’ Are Now Live

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.

Who Really Benefited from the Center City Bonds’ Refinancing?
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Who Really Benefited from the Center City Bonds’ Refinancing?

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.”

Ask ELi: When, Exactly, is the Deer Cull?
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Ask ELi: When, Exactly, is the Deer Cull?

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.

Ask ELi: Will a Cell Tower Be Built Near Kedzie Street?
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Ask ELi: Will a Cell Tower Be Built Near Kedzie Street?

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.

Episode 7 of the ‘Insider’ is Live
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Episode 7 of the ‘Insider’ is Live

Andrew Graham, Alice Dreger and Emily Joan Elliott talk shop and decompress while discussing a whirlwind few days in East Lansing.

Why Are East Lansing’s Water and Sewer Rates Higher Than Meridian Township’s?
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Why Are East Lansing’s Water and Sewer Rates Higher Than Meridian Township’s?

Several factors contribute to the difference in costs, but one main factor is the differing ages of infrastructure. Andrew Graham explains further.

East Lansing BRA Advised to Refinance Bonds to Avoid “Considerable Headline and Reputational Risk”
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East Lansing BRA Advised to Refinance Bonds to Avoid “Considerable Headline and Reputational Risk”

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.

We Still Don’t Know What’s Happening With The Center City Bonds
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We Still Don’t Know What’s Happening With The Center City Bonds

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.