Biden gets Michigan’s electoral votes
The Board of State Canvassers voted 3-0, with one abstention — by Norm Shinkle, of Wiliamston — to certify the results of the General Election this week, formally handing Michigan’s 16 electoral votes to President-Elect Joe Biden, who won the state in November by 154,000 votes, or about 2.8 percentage points. Trump supporters and Republican wannabe Senator John James urged the board to delay the certification. The move was a major setback in President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the election results.
Escaped county jail inmate caught
An inmate who dismantled a window and escaped this month from Ingham County’s jail is back behind bars after he was spotted shopping in Eaton Rapids and arrested Saturday. Michael David McKerchie, 32, reportedly fled the scene, crashed his truck, stole another vehicle and was later caught by Ingham County sheriff’s deputies. McKerchie’s capture follows a $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward for any information leading to his arrest.
Lansing hires first diversity officer
Lansing Mayor Andy Schor hired its first designated diversity officer last week to help lead efforts to bolster racial justice and social equity. Guadalupe Ayala, 29, has served as an equal employment opportunity specialist for the city since 2015. In her new role, Ayala will collect an annual salary of $74,000 — up from about $70,000 — and will help next year to implement a forthcoming Racial Justice and Equity Alliance Community Action Plan.
2nd recreational pot shop in East Lansing
Last Thursday marked the grand opening of Skymint’s newest medical and recreational marijuana dispensary, at 3315 Coolidge Road — just three miles from Michigan State University. It’s the third retail location to plant roots in Greater Lansing and the 11th to open statewide. It’s also the second marijuana retailer, after Pleasantrees, to open in East Lansing.
Three suspended officers identified
The Lansing Police Department released the names of three officers who were placed on paid administrative leave this month after being involved in the violent arrest of an unarmed Black man on Baker Street. They are Alex Rojas, Morgan Schafer and Alec Slobin. The Michigan State Police is investigating the incident for potential charges.
Tax incentives lure Techsmith to East Lansing
Software developer Techsmith plans to relocate its headquarters from Alaiedon Township to East Lansing — if it gets a tax break. The technology company reportedly plans to invest $18.3 million in three years to build and furnish a 62,500-square-foot facility as its international headquarters on a five-acre parcel in Spartan Village. Once complete, the move is expected to bring 300 jobs and $1.6 million in tax revenue a year by 2030. To offset costs, developers are requesting a 10-year personal property tax exemption for computers, equipment, machinery and similar items.