Large silver-colored pipes run just off the ground amid greenery.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Western Michigan University’s Robert M. Beam Power Plant is easy to miss in the summer when leaves obscure the view from Kalamazoo’s Stadium Drive. But earlier this year, when the trees were bare, Paul Toth of Kalamazoo noticed something curious about big metal pipes that come out of the plant near the road.

File photo of Kalamazoo Promise sign

Kalamazoo Superintendent Michael Rice will soon be Michigan’s state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier, says Rice is taking the job at a time when the position of state superintendent “has increased in terms of visibility and power over the last decade or so.”

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When Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice takes on the job of State Superintendent he will tasked with the job of improving education in the state. Western Michigan University Professor of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology Brett Geier says Rice is up to the challenge. 

Geier was a teacher, principal and Superintendent of Bloomingdale Public Schools, before he became a professor. He says Rice is very intelligent, a good listener and understands the challenges and dynamics of public education. Geier says Rice will be a champion and advocate for marginalized student populations.

In Unblinking (Wayne State University Press, 2019), her new collection of stories, Lisa Lenzo writes about her native Detroit as well as race, class, disability, aging, and family. Her earlier novel-in-stories, Strange Love, was a 2015 Michigan Notable Book Award winner. Unblinking is part of the Made in Michigan Writers Series.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The cost of room and board at Western Michigan University, as well as how to handle conflicts of interest among employees were on the university Trustees’ agenda Wednesday. Members voted to raise some room and board rates by a little more than three percent for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Trustees also agreed to new meal plans at some residences, which makes those room and board rates tougher to compare to previous years.