Public Safety and Crime

Monday's "Secure in Place" Order Shows Need for Improving Emergency Communication

Friday, November 28, 2014

Image: ELPD's Captain Jeff Murphy, courtesy of ELPD

On Monday, an online threat to schools triggered a “secure in place” order at the East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS). ELi Twitter follower Ross Fort asked us to find out why the order went only to the public schools and not the private schools in East Lansing.

The answer has been provided to us by Captain Jeff Murphy of the East Lansing Police Department (ELPD).

East Lansing Schools Experience Brief "Secure in Place"

Monday, November 24, 2014

Parents of children in the East Lansing Public Schools were notified by email today of a "secure in place" order occurring throughout the district. Residents subscribed to the local emergency notification system, NIXLE, were also alerted. The order began at 11:45 am and lasted for about 45 minutes.

ELi ON EARTH: De-Icing Solutions

Monday, November 24, 2014

In response to the recent snows and freezing rain, East Lansing residents brought out shovels and de-icing agents to clear their walks and driveways. ELi on Earth (EoE) has already covered the creation of ice in the form of hail, and this week EoE is going to look at using salt to melt ice on your sidewalk and driveway, including which product to choose if you’re conscious of the environment in East Lansing.

COUNCIL CAPSULE: November 18, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Each week, ELi provides a "capsule" of what happened at City Council.

Present: Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Absent: Mayor Nathan Triplett.

COUNCIL CAPSULE: October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ELi’s weekly Wednesday feature, “Council Capsule,” gives you a quick run-down of happenings of note at City Council the night before.

Last night's meeting was a work session. Next week’s meeting will be on Wednesday because Tuesday is Election Day.

Roll Call: All five Council members were present: Mayor Nathan Triplett , Mayor Pro Tem Diane Goddeeris, Ruth Beier, Kathy Boyle, and Susan Woods.

Urban EL Neighborhood Landlords and Homeowners Meeting

Sunday, October 26, 2014

On Monday, October 27, at 7 pm, homeowners from five East Lansing urban neighborhoods and landlords who rent out houses in those neighborhoods will meet officially for the second time to discuss possible changes to property regulation in those neighborhoods. They will discuss a draft list of recommendations that may then be revised and sent “up” for discussion and approval by City government.

Mercury Contamination Investigation at Hannah Community Center Leads to Selective Notification of Citizens

Friday, October 24, 2014

The City is selectively notifying some East Lansing residents of an investigation at Hannah Community Center related to a mishap involving a mercury spill. An email message has gone out from the City addressed to “East Lansing Hannah Community Center Visitors.” The letter advises recipients that a vacuum hose that had previously been wrongly used to clean up a mercury spill at the water treatment plant was then also wrongly used at Hannah Community Center.

Enterovirus Is Here

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Enterovirus is sweeping across the Midwest – and according to a local pediatrician, it may now have reached the East Lansing area. We are in the middle of enterovirus season, which runs largely unnoticed each year from July through October despite millions of infections, but the presentation of one particular strain of enterovirus has been garnering the attention of many East Lansing-area experts and laypersons alike for the volume of cases and severity of symptoms being attributed to it.

BWL Changes Approach to East Lansing

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apparently in response to numerous complaints by East Lansing homeowners, the Lansing Board of Water and Light (BWL) has decided to change its approach to tree-cutting along its wires in East Lansing's Glencairn, Chesterfield Hills, and Oakwood neighborhoods. BWL is the electric utility provider to these neighborhoods.

With Deer Come Tick-Borne Diseases

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
A field team associated with Dr. Hickling collects and analyzes ticks

This is an interview between Alice Dreger for ELi and Dr. Graham Hickling, an ecologist at the University of Tennessee who specializes in emerging wildlife diseases and their interface with humans and domestic animals. Hickling is a former resident of East Lansing and he continues to collaborate with faculty and students from Michigan State University to conduct annual fieldwork in Michigan. This interview, conducted by email, has been lightly edited for clarity with the final version approved by the interviewee.

Sunset Lane Traffic Study: A Work in Progress

Monday, November 26, 2012

Residents of Sunset Lane between Clarendon and Marshall streets have been working with Todd Sneathen, the City’s Director of Public Works, and his staff, to address neighborhood concerns about cut-through traffic, speeding, and safety. Concerns regarding Sunset Lane traffic were first expressed during the public comment period at a Transportation Commission meeting in Summer 2011 and further analyzed and discussed in subsequent meetings with Mr. Sneathen in 2011 and 2012.

One set of Sunset Lane traffic count and speed data has already been gathered, and additional traffic monitoring on Sunset Lane is expected to start soon. A comparative set of data will also be gathered for Northlawn Avenue between Abbot and Harrison roads. Results will be evaluated, in part, by applying the guidelines developed by the Transportation Commission titled “Action Plan for Addressing Neighborhood Speeding & Non-Resident Traffic Issues.” Once the data are analyzed, an update and announcement of a meeting date with City staff will be provided in the near future.

Duck Walks Off; Mate Wants It Back

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have you seen this duck? Lately? If so, call the East Lansing Police Department to report your sighting.

The duck, which had been located in Fountain Square  in the Children's Sculpture Garden (just outside the Marriott), has gone missing. Made of bronze, the sculpture is worth $2500. The remaining duck is said to be missing its mate. ELi has been unable to confirm whether the bronze frog, turtle, and young girl also miss the errant bird.

Unfortunately the fowl of interest left no tracks upon departure, leading police to assume it had foul human assistance. Presumably someone pretty buff, because it weighs a lot.

According to a press release from the City, East Lansing Arts Commission Chairperson Kevin Epling has said, “It would be considered an act of good faith for the person who stole this treasured public art piece to return it safely to the sculpture garden enjoyed by children - young and old."

Veterans' Court at 54-B

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shown in photo: Judge David Jordon, who will soon be retiring from 54-B District Court.

Earlier this month, I began my second year as a veteran mentor in the Matt Brundage Ingham County Veterans Treatment Court, here in the City of East Lansing. Veterans Treatment Court results from the collaborative effort of the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), Ingham County, 54-B District Court, the Honorable David L. Jordon, and many local veterans and veterans' organizations. My mentee is an Iraq veteran, a paratrooper, and one of those guys we ground pounders called an . . . well, never mind.

As my mentee and I recently sat quietly in the courtroom awaiting our appearance before Judge Jordon and listening to other cases, I couldn't help but reflect back over the past twelve months and the success stories I've been privileged to observe. Veterans Court was established to assist those men and women who, after having voluntarily given up part of their lives to serve our country, need to overcome adjustment challenges upon their return to civilian life. The veterans who appear at this court are fellow citizens who, unfortunately, upon their return, ran afoul of society's expectations. Some of the infractions are more egregious than others.

City Council Adopts Fireworks Ban; Little Movement at the State Level

Friday, October 5, 2012

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, East Lansing City Council voted unanimously to ban discharge of the loud "consumer" fireworks that have plagued residents since early spring. The ban, which is effective October 10, 2012, applies to 335 days of the year -- all those except national holidays and the days before and after each, which the state's "Fireworks Safety Act" does not allow municipalities to regulate.

City staff have a comprehensive communications plan ready to go, so that East Lansing residents will know about the ban and not be taken by surprise. The One-Pager Plus about the new ordinance also notes the provision in state law that prohibits discharge of fireworks on public property, including streets and sidewalks. (Click on the PDF link above to see the One Pager Plus.) Under this provision, all the neighborhood fireworks displays I saw in Bailey this past summer would have been illegal.

To enforce the state and now the local law, police will need our help. In my conversations with them about this issue, they have been clear about the importance of calling in complaints, a point reinforced by Councilmember Kevin Beard at the Tuesday Council meeting. Calling 517-351-4220, extension 2, reaches East Lansing police dispatch 24/7.

At the state level, Representative Richard LeBlanc (D-Westland) has introduced one bill and plans to introduce two more that would address some of the problems with the state law. On Wednesday, I spoke with a staff member from LeBlanc's office, who said the bills together would allow municipalities to regulate sales, to extend bans to more days of the year (protecting only Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day), and to ban discharge late at night on the remaining protected days. He could not say whether or when the bills would get votes in the House.  Representative Harold Haugh (D-Roseville), sponsor of the current state law, opposes the changes.

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