Rewind: News Highlights From The Last 7 Days


Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum and her husband filed a motion to dismiss a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming they used “political influence” when petitioning for their son’s readmittance to Mason High School last fall after he had been expelled for sexual assault as an 8th-grader in May 2022. The motion states their conduct was “perfectly legal and reasonable” under Michigan law. The mother of the alleged victim filed a lawsuit on Feb. 2, claiming his presence at the school violated her daughter’s civil rights. Byrum announced on Feb. 1 that she has filed to run in the Democratic primary for a fourth term.

Mason High School students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the administration’s lack of transparency regarding the lawsuit filed against the reinstatement of Barb Byrum’s son and another incident where a former Mason Police officer left his firearm and gun belt unattended there. The issues were raised after community members spoke up during a Feb. 8 board meeting and students wondered why they weren’t informed of them. Superintendent Gary Kinzer issued a statement trying to assure that student and staff safety is a top priority.

Sparrow announced the opening of an MSUFCU branch at its hospital, which will feature a digital teller and space for in-person meetings by appointment. MSUFCU president and CEO April Clobes said they are considering offering loans for EMT students, caregivers wanting a higher degree and doctors who wish to expand into their own practices. More than half of the health system’s 10,000 members are MSUFCU members.

The Associated Students of Michigan State University passed a resolution advocating for the Board of Trustees to divest from a U.S. Treasury bond marked for aid to Israel and stock portfolios they tied to weapons manufacturers, The State News reported. Student organizers had discovered details about the investments in MSU’s financial disclosures. The bill passed with the support of all present save for one member who abstained. Representatives from MSU’s Jewish Student Union, who had opposed the bill, weren’t present for the formal discussion. ASMSU also passed a measure measure asking the East Lansing City Council to adopt a ceasefire resolution in Gaza.

About 100 MSU students and supporters rallied against gun violence at the state Capitol Thursday, two days after the anniversary of the mass shooting that killed three students and injured five others. Saylor Reinders, co-leader of Students Demand Action, applauded the work of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislators who supported the four gun-violence prevention laws Whitmer signed last year but urged legislators to continue pushing for more regulation. Others offered reflections and memories of those killed and expressed their ongoing grief and determination to continue to push back against legislative inaction.

The Nokomis Cultural Heritage Center was vandalized when someone spraypainted a message that read “Apple Indian, white-washed, Christianized, American, Capitalist,” according to WILX. The derogatory term “Apple Indian” refers to someone who is Indigenous on the outside and white on the inside, said John Ostrander, the center’s executive director. The vandalism occurred on the eve of a Pow Wow cultural celebration event. The center is working with a company to have the hate message removed, Ostrander added

The City of Lansing planned this week to start soliciting bids to build or renovate structures to house homeless residents. Structures could include insulated tents, tiny homes or renovations to existing buildings, the city said during a community meeting at Foster Community Center Thursday. Funding for the new structures would come from a $800,000 state budget allocation. Moderators with Resolution Services Center read ideas from 40 people in attendance, including some shelter representatives.

Three North American river otter pups were born Feb. 2 at Potter Park Zoo, the second set of triplets birthed by the 10-year-old mother otter, Nkeke. The otter family will be visible to the public this summer and a naming contest will be held for the pups.


Public Safety:

Lansing police are investigating the armed robbery of a Subway restaurant in the 1800 block of South Pennsylvania Avenue. There were no injuries, and no arrests have yet been made. … An unidentified 30-year-old man is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle at the corner of Cedar and Saginaw streets in Lansing. … A 23-year-old was arrested by Michigan State Police Sunday when they discovered several guns and ammunition in his car during a stop for assistance. The driver, who did not have a CPL license, had run out of gas south of Charlotte in Eaton County.


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