- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A proposal to rename Interstate 496 in Lansing city limits after a firefighter killed while collecting donations for charity would mean removing a designation for the namesake of Oldsmobile.

State Rep. Tom Cochran has filed a bill to rename the stretch of I-496 for fallen firefighter Dennis Rodeman, who authorities say died after he was intentionally hit by a pickup Sept. 9. The current memorial designation for that part of the interstate is Olds Highway for Ransom E. Olds.

Cochran told the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/1LOMwic ) that he wanted to honor both men, but learned that the state would allow just one designation. Cochran is a former Lansing fire chief who hired Rodeman into the department, and said he proposed renaming the highway because it won’t require address changes.

Daniel Thelen, president of a Lansing club for General Motors retirees, said the Olds name is critical to Lansing’s automotive heritage. He said the name took a hit when the Oldsmobile division of GM folded in 2004.

“We’ve got to preserve that name,” Thelen said.

Cochran’s bill is currently in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He said he has gotten numerous calls from constituents on his proposal, and that many support changing the highway’s name.

“While I appreciate what Mr. Olds has done for Lansing, this is one way we could honor Dennis,” Cochran said. “This was no disrespect to Mr. Olds or his family.”

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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