Offbeat

Generosity
8:38 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Anonymous donor brightens red kettle campaign

Photo by Zieak/Flickr

An anonymous donor put a  gold coin worth an estimated $1,400 into a Salvation Army worker's red kettle in northern Michigan.

The Associated Press reports:

Maj. Craig Stoker of the Salvation Army in Alpena tells The Alpena News that he received a call about 9 a.m. Saturday from a man who said he wanted to give something special to bell ringer Jackalyn Skiba. Stoker said the man declined to disclose the nature of the gift or why he had singled Skiba out... the money will be put into the Christmas fund, which to date has collected $129,000. This year's goal was $159,000.

The coin is reportedly in good condition.

Holiday giving
11:24 pm
Sun December 19, 2010

Non-profit gives away more than 1,000 bikes

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Christmas came early for hundreds of kids in one Grand Rapids neighborhood this weekend. West Michigan Elves and More is a non-profit that gives away bikes and other gifts to a different neighborhood each year.

Dozens of kids watch Grand Rapids Police escort three semis down a snow covered residential street. The trailers contain a little more than one-thousand brand new bikes for kids in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood.

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Offbeat
1:05 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Abramoff wraps up his prison term at a pizzeria

Video capture of Jack Abramoff testifying at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee Hearing in 2004.
U.S. Senate

Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who bilked millions from several Indian tribes including Michigan's Saginaw Chippewas, has officially been released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons

The Associated Press reports Abramoff spent the last several months of his four-year prison sentence on home confinement with an electronic monitoring bracelet. The halfway house he was assigned to set Abramoff up with a job at a kosher pizzeria in Baltimore.

The AP reports that Abramoff worked at Tov Pizza, "a modest kosher pizzeria in a heavily Jewish section of northwest Baltimore. Abramoff, 51, is an Orthodox Jew and wore a yarmulke to work."

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Awards
9:22 am
Wed December 15, 2010

Two Michigan libraries to receive prestigious award

Let Ideas Compete/Flickr

Two public libraries in Michigan will be honored Friday at the White House. Peter White Public Library in Marquette and West Bloomfield Township Public Library will be awarded the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

First Lady Michelle Obama will present the awards. As the Associated Press explains, "winners are chosen based on their innovative approaches to public service and improving communities.

Offbeat
5:07 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

High Court rules on "bizarre" toilet paper dispenser case

The Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court court.mi.gov

The Associated Press reports "the Michigan Supreme Court, in a 4-3 order, has refused to throw out Sheri Schooley's lawsuit against Texas Roadhouse in suburban Detroit."

Schooley sued the restaurant after a mishap with a toilet paper dispenser.  Schooley said she was injured in the restroom at the Texas Roadhouse.

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Offbeat
11:32 am
Mon December 6, 2010

Cartoon from The New Yorker hits close to home

A stack of The New Yorker magazines
Tsmall/Flickr

If you're a habitual reader of The New Yorker magazine or you just browse the latest issue's cartoons then you may have noticed a recent cartoon that made you think of home... home that is, if you live in the Ann Arbor or metro-Detroit areas.

As AnnArbor.com puts it:

Without spoiling the joke, we'll just say the cartoon — by Ann Arbor's Dave Coverly — makes reference to shopping malls — and specifically, several we're very familiar with, including Briarwood Mall, Westgate Plaza and Jackson Plaza. Troy's Somerset Mall and Oakland Mall also get a shout-out.

You can see the cartoon at The New Yorker's website.

Offbeat
1:51 pm
Thu November 25, 2010

Thousands in need served hot Thanksgiving meal in Grand Rapids

Volunteers serve Thanksgiving at DeVos Place
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

More than 600 volunteers served people in need a hot Thanksgiving meal today in Grand Rapids. Thousands of homeless, elderly, sick and downtrodden came for the feast.

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Business
3:09 pm
Mon November 22, 2010

Grand Rapids bar owner wants to 'monetize' the Titanic

RMS Titanic at the docks
author unknown creative commons

Chris Knape has a piece in the Grand Rapids Press about hedge fund manager and bar owner, Mark Sellers.

Sellers moved back to Grand Rapids around three years ago where he owns the bars Hopcat, Stella’s Lounge and Viceroy.

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Daylight Saving Time
12:27 pm
Fri November 5, 2010

Don't forget to "fall back"

Alarm Clock
Photo by Evil Saltine/Creative Commons

It's that time of year again... time to turn back the clocks.  We'll gain an hour this Sunday, November 7th when we change back to Standard Time at 2 a.m.  Dayight Saving Time officially returns on the second Sunday in March when we jump forward an hour. 

RACE RELATIONS
9:10 am
Tue September 21, 2010

Mapped: Racial Integration in Detroit

A color-coded map of racial integration in Detroit.
Eric Fischer

By using U.S. Census data, Eric Fischer has created a map that shows the racial integration of Detroit.  As Gawker.com explains, "one dot equals 25 people. The dots are then color-coded based on race: White is pink; Black is blue; Hispanic is orange, and Asian is green."   You can find the racial integration of other large U.S. cities here.

Offbeat
12:02 pm
Thu September 16, 2010

Hearses in Hell

Chris Chan

The Associated Press reports, 

A Hell-based car club will try to set a world record for the longest procession of hearses.  Just Hearse'N Around will try to set a new Guinness World records mark... Saturday.  Club member Steve Frey says to qualify for the record, each of the expected 50-plus hearses must be driven in procession for just over two miles.

Cuisine
2:51 pm
Wed September 15, 2010

Chocolate chirp cookies and entomophagy gaining ground

A cricket in Tanzania.
Philip Creative Commons

Some of us have accidentally made a meal of a bug while riding a bike or going on a boat ride.

But there are some people who say by not eating bugs on purpose, we're ignoring an entire food group.

The Wall Street Journal has the latest on entomophagy, or bug eating.

I think it's what sushi was 20 or 30 years ago. Now it's time for bugs.

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