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Ann Arbor

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When you buy a bouquet of flowers for your loved one, do you know where those flowers are grown? Colombia? The Netherlands? What about right in your own community?

A new group based in Ann Arbor has expanded upon the burgeoning local food movement to include locally grown flowers. It’s called the Michigan Flower Growers Cooperative.

Once a week from spring to fall, the co-op allows growers to sell wholesale to floral designers, florists and distributors.

City of Ann Arbor Public Services Administration

Ann Arborites can rest easy that they will not be asked to volunteer to limit their water consumption over the Thanksgiving weekend, according to Robert Kellar, spokesman for the Ann Arbor Public Services Administration.

Kellar said a leak that might have led to a temporary shutdown of Ann Arbor's water treatment plant has been isolated and is getting fixed. 

Kellar said the leak was discovered last weekend in one of two intake pipes to Ann Arbor's treatment plant. 

"The staff did an excellent job. There's not a threat at this point to the quality or the use of people's water," said Kellar. "So everybody should enjoy their holiday."

According to Kellar, the possibility had always been remote that the leak might lead to temporary voluntary water restrictions. He said they were presented to Ann Arbor City Council on Monday night as part of considering a worst case scenario.

actors on stage
Lisa Gavan

 


Each time a show opened at the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Alexandra Berneis would send an email. As the theater's executive director, Berneis had a strong relationship with Jen McKee, the local critic at The Ann Arbor News. It was a symbiotic one: invitation, access, coverage, repeat.

Then one day in January 2016, she didn’t get an email back. The critic and other colleagues lost their jobs. Mainstream arts coverage in Ann Arbor was gone.

Michigan communities have been experiencing this with increasing frequency over several years. As the internet changed how people got their news, media entities shifted and consolidated, and arts communities across the state are feeling the loss.

mollyali / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Former AOL CEO and Revolution LLC founder Steve Case's "Rise of the Rest" will make its second pit stop in Ann Arbor on Wednesday.

“It’s really emerging as a strong startup city," Case said. "It’s sort of the center of gravity in terms of a lot of the innovation in Michigan and a lot of people are beginning to understand there are great startups there.”

Suicides prompt Ann Arbor to consider safety fencing

Oct 3, 2017
Jamie / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Ann Arbor city officials want the Downtown Development Authority to fast-track authorization to install safety fences on the top deck of city-owned parking structures. The goal is to prevent more suicides or falls from those parking garages.

The DDA is expected to vote tomorrow on the authorization.

Efforts to obtain information from the DDA about estimated costs were unsuccessful.

Google to celebrate official opening of Ann Arbor space

Sep 21, 2017
outside of building
Virginia Gordan / Michigan Radio

Google will host the grand opening of its new Ann Arbor facility tomorrow. U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are expected to be there, along with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and state and local officials.

More than 450 Google employees will soon be under one roof in the tech giant's new Ann Arbor space. That's out of 600 total statewide, up from about a dozen employees when the company opened its first Michigan office in 2006.

Office of Public Affairs / FLICKR - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Unabomber was one of America's most notorious outlaws of the 20th Century. And he may have never been caught if it weren't for a little help from here in Michigan.

Premiering this past August on the Discovery Channel, the new show "Manhunt: Unabomber" recreates the efforts by law enforcement to apprehend one of the country's most wanted men at the time.

From 1978 to 1995, someone mailed or hand-delivered a series of bombs. Three people were killed and 23 others were hurt.

18 years of fear ended on April 3, 1996. That’s when FBI agents swarmed a remote cabin in Montana and arrested Theodore Kaczynski.

UPDATED version
Scio Residents for Safe Water

More than 130 people who live in Ann Arbor and neighboring townships attended a town hall about the city's dioxane-tainted groundwater Wednesday night.

The plume of contaminated water has been spreading from the former Pall Gelman plant on Wagner Road for decades. 

Over the years, Ann Arbor has had to shut down one of its city wells after detectable levels of the suspected carcinogen was found in them, and a number of homes in Scio Township had to be taken off well water and connected to Ann Arbor's water system because dioxane got into their wells. 

attorney and sons talking
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor resident and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo is hoping to be released while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to reopen his immigration case.

Supporters and family members of Sanchez-Ronquillo rallied outside of the ICE field office in Detroit on Tuesday as his attorney submitted a request for his release.

Ann Arbor skyline
Gsgeorge / goodfreephotos / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The primary election Tuesday could make a big difference in Ann Arbor's skyline — as well as its future.

The election pits two kinds of Democrats against each other: those who want to slow down the city's growth, especially when it comes to new high-rise development, and those who say continued growth is necessary.

Pamela, Lourdes and Bryan Quintana-Salazar.
Kate Wells

Lourdes Salazar Bautista says even though her kids are U.S. citizens and one of them has a scholarship at Michigan State University, she just can’t go back to Mexico next month without them.

John Holk & the Sequins in performance
Stateside Staff

It’s might not be a musical genre you’re familiar with,  but "psychedelic country rock" is how front man and founder John Holkeboer likes to describe John Holk & the Sequins.

The honky-tonk inspiration was all about timing. Around the time Holkeboer gathered a group of talented musicians to play together, he was was dabbling in “country-sounding stuff.” But today’s sound emerged organically, he says, over the course of two full-length albums. Their latest is “Where You Going?” released in 2016.

Person on bicycle riding in an urban area.
Thomas Hawk / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Tomorrow marks the anniversary of the crash in Kalamazoo County that left five bicyclists dead and four others seriously injured. The riders were all members of the Chain Gang, a group that organizes weekly rides in and around Kalamazoo. 

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested three workers at an Ann Arbor restaurant Wednesday morning.

The owner of Sava's Restaurant says the ICE agents had breakfast before they went into the kitchen to arrest an employee who wasn't on duty at the time.

Instead, Sava Lelcaj Farah says they began questioning other employees before taking three into custody.

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor is approaching a milestone of sorts. The city is replacing the last of its lead connections in the water system.

Ann Arbor city officials say they never allowed full lead service lines, the water pipes buried underground that connect homes to the water main.

Where are lead water pipes in Michigan? Here’s our best guess

Courtesy of Theo Katzman

 


Theo Katzman is coming back to Ann Arbor for a one night open air concert featuring a few of the area’s beloved musicians. While Katzman is still the drummer and guitarist with the funk/fusion band Vulfpeck, he’s been promoting his latest solo album, "Heartbreak Hits."

Ann Arbor or Paris?
FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Not too long ago, Upper Peninsula native Dawn Verbrigghe had a career humming along in super-cool Brooklyn.

Then, out of the blue, came two job offers. One, in Paris, which promised a rooftop apartment in the City of Light. The other offer: Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ann Arbor city hall.
Heritage Media / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

A resolution spelling out more protections for undocumented immigrants is expected to be addressed on May 1 by the Ann Arbor City Council. 

Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor says the proposed resolution's goal is to make city policies clear so undocumented immigrants will not be afraid to get help from police or to interact with other city officials.

Supporters rally for Yousef Ajin and family ahead of his deportation hearing in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Cheers of joy and relief erupted outside a Detroit immigration courtroom Tuesday, when a judge granted a waiver sparing an Ann Arbor man from deportation.

Yousef Ajin is a Jordanian national, and has been a legal permanent U.S. resident since 1999. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, a naturalized U.S. citizen, and four U.S.-born children

Yousef Ajin stands with his family. His wife and kids are U.S. citizens. He has been working toward citizenship, but now faces the possibility of being deported.
screen shot from Donal Harrison's Vimeo video.

Update Feb. 28, 4:21 p.m.:

Our reporter Sarah Cwiek attended Yousef Ajin's hearing today. 

Police
J J / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Several reports of possible hate crimes in Ann Arbor made headlines shortly after the election. But now police say two of the reports were false, and  investigation into a third report has hit a wall.

The first incident involved a woman who claimed that a man had threatened to set her hijab on fire if she didn't take it off. Police later determined the report was false.

Deer in the underbrush.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials have approved Ann Arbor's plan to kill as many as 100 deer and to sterilize up to 80 more. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources signed off on the plan, which allows the city to bring in sharpshooters from White Buffalo, Inc. for the cull and sterilization. 

Daniel Goodwin / Flicker https://flic.kr/p/8HGMDv

The city joins a growing movement aimed at improving public health.

A local law banning retailers in Ann Arbor from selling cigarettes to those under age 21 takes effect January 1. The local law restricts retailers from selling tobacco to people under 21 but it doesn’t target 18 to 21 year olds for possessing cigarettes.

Map shows the extent of the underground 1,4 dioxane plume under Ann Arbor.
SCIO RESIDENTS FOR SAFE WATER

A lawsuit to force a cleanup of Ann Arbor's contaminated water appears to have set a new precedent. The judge allowed a watershed advocacy group to become one of the plaintiffs. That's despite both the polluter and the state attorney general arguing against it.

The Huron River Watershed Council says no one in the lawsuit was advocating for the river itself, including aquatic life and the risk to people swimming, fishing and boating.

Courtesy Jeff Mermelstein

In 2002, Jonathan Safran Foer made his literary debut with the novel “Everything is Illuminated,” which quickly became a bestseller. His next novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” was also widely praised. Both books were made into Hollywood films. His new novel “Here I Am,” is a study of things falling apart: a marriage and a family, plans for a bar mitzvah and, on a more global scale, the nation of Israel. But it’s also an examination of how people hold it together as they struggle with the real, and imagined, pressures of everyday life.

the plume, 1,4 dioxane
http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/environmental_health/card / Washtenaw County

The state Department of Environmental Quality has issued an emergency rule establishing a stricter cleanup criteria for 1,4 dioxane, a highly carcinogenic chemical that has polluted Ann Arbor's groundwater for decades.

The plume of contaminated water has been slowly moving in all directions, including towards the Huron River.  It's feared that eventually the contamination could reach Barton Pond, the source of the city's drinking water.

Chloroform was detected in the groundwater at about 5 parts per billion in some tests in Waterworks Park in Ann Arbor.
user UnagiUnagi / Google Maps

State officials have a new water contamination investigation on their hands: what is the source of newly-discovered contaminants found in the groundwater near Slauson Middle School in Ann Arbor?

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality discovered the chemicals trichloroethane and chloroform there after conducting tests for a different chemical - 1,4 dioxane. 

The 1,4 dioxane is a known contaminant from the chemical company Pall-Gelman. The plume of 1,4 dioxane is slowly moving underneath Ann Arbor towards the Huron River.

jim harbaugh at podium
Courtesy MGoBlog / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan has seen particularly warm weather the past few days, and one person taking notice is the University of Michigan's head football coach Jim Harbaugh. 

On his weekly radio show, Harbaugh talked about recruiting prospective candidates and why he loves living in Michigan. He also joked that global warming could help the football team's recruitment efforts, according to MLive's Nick Baumgardner:

Ann Arbor water bills might increase. Here's why.

Oct 4, 2016
water faucet
Laura Nawrocik / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ann Arbor residents might see an increase in their water bills over the next few years to fund a project that will help continue disinfecting and filtering water. 

In conjunction with Ann Arbor's capital improvement plan, the city will recommend replacing pre-treatment basins, which help disinfect, filter and soften drinking water.

Laith Al-Saadi performing on The Voice.
screen grab / YouTube

 

In March, Laith Al-Saadi rocked American audiences on NBC’s The Voice with his audition.

And it didn’t stop there. As a member of Team Adam, the Michigan native continued to a fourth place finish.

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