They're back! East Lansing is preparing for its population to double by the end of this week. As Michigan State University students start moving into the dorms on Wednesday, city officials, police officers and local businesses are preparing for the crowds.
Police officers say they've increased patrols. During the school year, the number of traffic accidents rises along with the population. Officials reported about 50 more traffic accidents per month during last year's school year compared to last year's summer months.
East Lansing business managers say they're looking forward to the increased activity downtown. Managers at Coldstone Creamery, a new ice cream shop on the corner of Grand River and M.A.C. Avenue, say they know this school year will bring them success. The shop is popular in west coast college towns.
Managers at Steve and Barry's University Sportswear are planning for parents and students to come shopping for Michigan State University apparel. One manager, Joe Orlowski, has worked in East Lansing for more than six years. He advises parents and students to slow down and enjoy the time they are spending moving students back to East Lansing.
East Lansing volunteers filled 4,000 "welcome bags" - which include coupons and discounts for incoming East Lansing residents - at Harper's bar and restaurant on Monday afternoon. Officials say they hope the welcome bags will remove tension between long time East Lansing residents and incoming students.