Sparrow Hospital entrance in Lansing
Allen Neighborhood Center / Creative Commons

The Michigan Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor complaint against Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

It stems from the hospital's recent decision to close its substance abuse intake unit and move services to the hospital's main campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly two years ago, a massive ice storm knocked out power for more than a week to thousands of people in Lansing.  The utility company is promising in a new report it won’t happen again.

Just before Christmas, 2013, an ice storm knocked out power to 40,000 Lansing Board of Water &Light customers.  Many were still without power on New Year’s Eve.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The recent wave of terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East have police reviewing their security plans for big events, including a major holiday event this Friday in downtown Lansing.

Up to 80,000 people are expected to head to Lansing Friday night for the annual Silver Bells event, which includes a parade and lighting of the state Christmas tree on the Capitol grounds. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


A pair of Lansing city council members won their re-election bids, as a third fell to a political newcomer.

Incumbent Carol Wood picked up the most votes for an at-large city council seat. Patricia Spitzley picked up the other at-large seat. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s not much on the ballot in Michigan tomorrow, but what is there is sparking controversy.

There are primaries for three state house seats.

The vacancies came as a result of a retirement, a resignation, and an expulsion. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing voters may do away with “golden parachutes” for top city appointees.

A charter amendment on next week’s ballot would limit executive contracts to one year and prevent large payouts. The proposal would allow the mayor and city council to make exceptions. 

The proposal was prompted by the more than $600,000 payout to the city’s former utility director after he was fired earlier this year.   

The "Holy Quintet" in Detroit.
Kevin Fox / Fox Photography

Halloween is Saturday, but that won’t stop people from dressing up early.

Youmacon kicks off in Detroit today.

It’s the biggest anime, gaming, and comic convention in the state. The event is in its 11th year, and – along with a lot of other “cons” around the state – it continue to grow.

The popularity of these conventions piqued Lorraine Schleter’s curiosity, so she posted her question to MI Curious:

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time’s running out faster than you may think to mail an absentee ballot for next week’s election.     

Roughly half of the votes in some of next week’s elections are predicted to be cast absentee.  But some absentee votes won’t be counted.

Lansing city clerk Chris Swope says changes in the way the post office processes the mail is adding a day to the delivery of absentee ballots. 

Michigan State Capitol Commission

Future state Capitol historic preservation projects will benefit from a unique lottery next Monday. 

One hundred pieces of decorative stonework that have adorned the Michigan state Capitol for more than a hundred years are destined to become conversation pieces on people’s bookshelves and breakfast nooks.

The ornamental brackets, called modillions, were removed as part of a recent renovation at the Capitol. The decorative pieces have suffered significant damage from the weather during their century on the Capitol building.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The federal government is being asked to investigate a city council election in Lansing. 

Voters in two city wards up for election next month have been getting robo-calls making strong accusations against two candidates. 

The robo-calls do not identify who’s behind them.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s Oliver Towers will get a multi-million dollar makeover.

A fire in 2000 made the apartment building, a block from the state capitol, unlivable. 

For more than a decade, political squabbles stalled several efforts to rehab the eight story building leaving it to decay.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Back-to-school events are taking place around Michigan this week.

Thousands turned out at an event in Lansing today.  Along with school supplies and back packs, students could also get their required immunizations.

“Many of them are ones without a primary care doctor … to make sure the families are following up on that,” says Joan Jackson Johnson, Human Relations director for the city of Lansing.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing schoolchildren can sleep in on Wednesdays starting this fall.

Classes will start two hours later than the rest of the week. The one-day-a-week late start will give teachers time for training, eliminating the need for sporadic half days and full days used for that purpose now. 

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The top four will advance to the general election

Carol Wood 4771 votes (40.5%)

Patricia A. Spitzley 2190 votes (18.6%)

Harold J. Leeman Jr. 2171 votes (18.4%)

Emily Dievendorf 1589 votes (13.5%)

Mary Ann Prince will not advance, with 1068 votes (9.1%)

Historical Society of Greater Lansing

When the Historical Society of Greater Lansing hosted an oral history with the owner of Lansing's longstanding Jim's Tiffany restaurant, more than 80 people showed up to listen.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A union-sponsored poll shows little support for the city of Lansing to sell its electric utility.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero suggested studying the idea of selling the Lansing Board of Water & Light as part of a potential solution to the capitol city’s hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded health care and pension liabilities. The idea was first raised by a commission formed by the mayor to examine the city’s financial issues.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group pushing a major revamp of the city of Lansing’s ethics rules has run into a problem.

Lansing Citizens for Ethics Reform submitted enough signatures to put its ethics reform plan on the ballot.

But Lansing’s city attorney says the proposal has "a multitude of conflicts with the Michigan Constitution, state law and the City Charter.”

user cedarbenddrive / Flickr

Our state’s Capitol has seen quite a bit of change over the past couple decades, and virtually no one has seen more of it than Chris Benson.

Benson is getting ready to retire after serving almost 20 years as a tour guide at the Capitol. During that time, Chris has seen the building restored, he’s educated thousands of guests about the Capitol’s history and even heard a ghost story or two.

Listen to Chris Benson talk about his time as a tour guide in our interview above.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says the city council is “flirting with disaster."

The council voted tonight to override Bernero’s veto of a change the council made to his city budget plan. 

The council rejected the mayor’s desire to hire an inspector general to oversee Lansing’s utility. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council has rejected the mayor’s plan to keep a closer eye on the city’s utility. 

The Lansing Board of Water and Light’s management has been making changes since it was heavily criticized for its handling of a major winter snow storm and power outage in 2013.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two mid-Michigan mayors are trying to lure convention planners looking to move their events out of Indiana. 

The controversy over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration law has many groups rethinking their convention plans in the Hoosier state.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero and East Lansing Mayor Nathan Triplett have posted an open letter encouraging convention planners to look to mid-Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing city council is getting a 20% pay raise, despite protests from some council members. 

Five of the eight council members voted to reject the pay raise. But they fell short of the super-majority needed to block the raise. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s political junkie Zoe Clark and Michigan Public Radio Network’s Bureau Chief Rick Pluta – who together host “It’s Just Politics” – say Democrats are asking that state government be a bit more transparent. They’re talking Freedom of Information Act reforms.


It's been a busy month in Lansing.

Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau reporter Kathy Gray has compiled a list of the bills and resolutions introduced so far in March.

“There were 113 bills introduced, and if history repeats itself, about 40 of those will become law,” Gray said. “And, you know, there’s some pretty controversial bills that have been introduced and some pretty mundane ones too."

Take House Bill 4279, for example.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council will take up a proposed 20% pay increase for top city officials later this month.

The proposal by an independent panel was introduced at last night’s meeting. The proposal is now scheduled to be discussed at the council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on March 23rd. The pay hike will take effect in July, unless the city council votes it down.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing city council members will consider a pay increase tonight for themselves. 

Lansing’s mayor and city clerk would also get a pay hike too.

Last week, an independent panel proposed the 20 percent pay hike. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new campaign to get people in greater Lansing to live healthier is underway.

During his State of the City address this week, Mayor Virg Bernero stepped on a scale.  

As people in the audience let out surprised giggles, a doctor from Lansing’s Sparrow hospital announced the mayor tipped the scales at 198 pounds. Then the doctor added, “That’s a BMI of 30. That makes you clinically obese.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero saved the biggest news in his tenth State of the City address tonight until the end. 

The mayor proposed three city charter changes that would make Lansing's electric utility more accountable to city hall.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light has been under fire for more than a year.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor is expected to call for a major restructuring of the city’s electric utility tonight.

When Mayor Virg Bernero takes to the podium tonight to deliver his tenth State of the City address, who will run the Lansing Board of Water & Light will top of the agenda.

Former BWL GM, Peter Lark.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing Board of Water & Light fired its general manager yesterday. The commission voted five-to-three to terminate J. Peter Lark's contract. Lark took a barrage of criticism because of BWL's response to a huge ice storm just before Christmas 2013.