The State – 01/10/23

Rachel Fulton

Today’s weather forecast is predicting cloudy with showers of rain and wet snow in the morning with a high of 38 degrees and a low of 34 degrees.

Meet MSU’s newest trustee Sandy Pierce

Following the resignation of former Michigan State University Trustee Pat O’Keefe, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer selected Huntington Bank’s executive vice president Sandy Pierce to serve the remainder of his eight-year term.

Detroit Economic Club CEO Steve Grigorian, who recently appointed Pierce as president of the club’s board, said her ability to listen has made her an effective steward of his organization.

While Pierce’s experience with education is limited – she served on a Detroit Public Schools committee to oversee the district’s $500 million facilities program where her experience as a Michigan executive and corporate board member is vast.

Before her time at Huntington, Pierce worked as the Chairman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, CEO and president of Charter One Michigan and a Midwest regional executive of JPMorgan Chase. She also sat on the board of many other organizations.

As for her personal politics, Pierce said she doesn’t identify with either major political party.

Pierce’s term will expire in January 2029, but she doesn’t see her time with the board ending there.

“It is a great institution,” Pierce said. “And I’m really looking forward to the next six years, and then hopefully after that as an elected official.”

Lansing business, The Record Lounge, is the only female-owned record store in Michigan

Lansing-born owner of The Record Lounge, Heather Frarey, started her business with a partner during the 2008 recession. Against all odds of the national financial crisis, Frarey became the only female record store owner in Michigan. Her partner later left the business, and though a few women in Michigan own record stores with their husbands, Frarey is the only woman doing it all on her own.

Frarey does have the support of a close-knit staff and a loyal customer base. Employee Annie Dillard spoke about the shop, its customer base and the culture of The Record Lounge, while Frarey spoke of her business’ history and goals for the future.

A video news story and specific interviews from Frarey and Dillard can be found on the Impact WDBM website.

Two Okemos teachers helped fellow residents escape Knob Hill Apartments fire

On the morning of Dec. 21 of 2022, Okemos High School teachers and roommates Trisha Funk and Olivia Becker had just started watching “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” They were sitting on the couch and drinking a cup of coffee when they heard what sounded like a gunshot.

They looked out their window to see a police car driving by, assuming it was following the direction of the supposed gunshot. They quickly realized it wasn’t a gunshot they heard, but the sound of breaking glass. The apartment building attached to theirs was on fire.

Still in their pajamas, Funk and Becker put on their boots and coats and grabbed their purses, keys, wallets and dog.

While the building next door became engulfed in flames, the hallway of their third-floor apartment building was quiet. They said there was no noise of other residents escaping the building and no fire alarms to alert people.

Funk and Becker woke up residents who were sleeping, helped an older resident grab needed medication and even carried pets outside to safety.

After about ten minutes, Funk, Becker and the rest of the residents from their building had made it outside to watch the firefighters connect their hoses, begin putting out the fire and rescue people from the other building.

Funk said that while she and Becker have a huge community of supporters to help them through this time, they want to make sure that the other people who lost everything also feel supported.

Becker said she has learned not to take anything for granted – anything can happen without a moment’s notice.

Based 0n original reporting by Alex Walters, Taylor Truszowski, Brendan Schabath and Hannah Woehrle.