News Briefs 6-13

Local Church Hosts Free Focusing on Life Skills

     LANSING, MI — Prince of Peace Baptist Church located at 3125 West Miller Road, Lansing MI 48910, will be hosting a Free Youth and Adult Seminar, the seminar theme "Focusing on Life Skills" will be held on August 18, 2007 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm a continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. This one day event will provide an interactive forum for participants to learn new ideas/concepts from experts.
    The agenda will feature several sessions including: Christian Education, Respect, Responsibility, Proper Dress, and the consequences of choices we make. The presenters will lead the sessions and demonstrate advance knowledge of development skills.
    If additional information is required please contact Ella Ford, 882-3654 or

MSU board votes to raise tuition by 9.6 percent

     EAST LANSING, MI — The Michigan State University Board of Trustees today adopted a budget for fiscal 2007-08 that is designed to preserve and build upon MSU’s strength and stature as one of the top 100 universities in the world.
     As part of the new budget, there will be a general, across-the-board tuition increase of 9.6 percent, covering both undergraduate and graduate students.
     Under this budget, an in-state, undergraduate lower division student (freshman or sophomore) will pay an average of $798 more for tuition and fees compared to last year.
     MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said the tuition increase was necessary in the face of reduced support from the state of Michigan.
     “We’re trying to preserve the reality of being one of the top 100 universities in the world,” Simon said. “This is not an aspirational budget that has added money because we want to be something different than who we are. This is trying to sustain our own reality. It’s evidence based and values based.”
     In addition, the board voted to give the president the authority to make tuition and fee adjustments in response to the level of state appropriations the university receives.
     Should appropriation support exceed anticipated levels, students would receive a refund. Alternately, if appropriations are less than anticipated, some increase in tuition and fees would be expected.
     Also included in the budget is continuation of the Spartan Advantage, a program that ensures grant aid and work study equal to the average tuition, fees, room and board, and books.
     Initiated last year, the program is for students whose family income is at or below the federal poverty level. To be eligible, the student also must be a first-time incoming freshman from Michigan, enrolled full time in a baccalaureate program and be eligible for federal Pell grants.
     Nearly 200 students took advantage of the program last year. In 2007-08 it’s expected that as many as 600 students could be eligible for the Spartan Advantage, with an average award of about $1,600.
     Over the past four years, MSU’s financial aid increases have exceeded tuition hikes by an average of 4.5 percent.
     In April, the MSU board approved a 5.25 percent increase in housing rates for returning students for the 2007-08 fiscal year. Through years of cost control, MSU has significantly kept down its housing rates and has the lowest residence hall rates among Michigan’s public colleges and universities.
     “This is viewed as a long-term sustainable financial framework,” Simon said. “What this budget does not include is what I would call a lot of short-term gimmicks.”
     Updated information will be available later today at

July 24 – It’s a Grand River Connection Anniversary Party!
 4th Tuesday celebration at Old Town’s Turner Dodge House helps us mark two years in existence

     Relax and enjoy a majestic summer’s eve on the Grand River with the GRC from 6pm to 8pm on Tuesday, July 24th. Be a part of history in the making as they commemorate GRC’s Two-Year Anniversary at the historic Turner-Dodge House in Old Town (100 E. North St).
     Gracefully situated high on the banks of the Grand River, the Turner-Dodge House is a National Historic Place and a fine example of Classical Revival style architecture. It is noted for its exceptional hand-crafted oak woodwork, French leaded glass windows, classical entrances, elegant Ionic columns, five fireplaces, and 12 foot embossed, tin ceilings. It was authentically restored in 2002 to reflect its character from 1903.
     Stroll the grounds of Turner-Dodge during this indoor and outdoor event featuring fine catering from Mama Bears Cafe and champagne and wine aplenty. Thanks to Turner-Dodge and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing for helping make this event possible.

Overcoming Violence with Faith
     LANSING,MI — The Community of Faith subcommittee of the Capital Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinating Council will host a breakfast for faith leaders in the Lansing area on July 31 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at Union Missionary Baptist Church at 500 N. Martin Luther King Ave in Lansing. The event, entitled Faith Overcoming Violence: Equipping Churches to Take Action will encourage dialogue and cooperation between churches and community organizations about domestic violence, help churches promote healthy families by addressing the issue of domestic violence and provide information about resources available in the community. To RSVP to this event, please call Wanda Price at 517-887-2287 or email at


     LANSING,MI– Lansing Police Chief Mark Alley today announced that a settlement has been reached in the matter of Lakiesha Allen v. City of Lansing.
    "The City’s insurance company has reached a settlement in Ms. Allen’s workers’ compensation and civil cases," said Chief Alley. "This brings to close a matter that has been ongoing for several years."
    A former Detention employee of the Lansing Police Department. Lakiesha Allen was hired on May 7,2001 and separated from employment on September 1, 2006. Ms. Allen filed a workers’ compensation claim in 2004 and a lawsuit in 2006 alleging discrimination based on race in the department’s disciplinary process.
    City Attorney Brigham Smith said the insurer settled the cases to avoid the cost of further litigation and that the argument does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by the Lansing Police Department. "To mitigate the cost of a protracted legal battle, under the agreement Ms. Allen will receive $170,000 as a comprehensive settlement an all claims in both cases." Smith said.
    "The Lansing Police Department has always moved quickly and decisively to address any concerns, whether real or perceived, regarding racial disparities in any aspect of the operation of our department." Chief Alley said. "We are proud of our track record and glad to have this matter behind us."

Detroit Writer’s Conference & Awards – Cobo Hall – Detroit Fri. August 17- Sat. August 18, 2007
7:30am both days.

   DETROIT, MI — Come learn the skill, technique, art and business of writing and publishing books. Develop and produce a film. You will learn all you need to know from A-Z from correct grammar and writing styles to starting your publishing company and venturing off into other forms of media. Don’t be afraid to step out on faith and see your dreams come true. Don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not possible, including yourself. Don’t keep making excuses.  Only $169. Can’t attend both days? Friday Only & Saturday Only available at $99. per day. Don’t forget the mini writer’s conference for ages 8-18-  Only $65. includes lunch & book.  "Great Minds Create Great Literature" is not just a theme- it is an attitude. What legacy will you leave? For more information e-mail or call (248)763-2254.

Source: Press releases