Ann Arbor

Politics & Government
12:48 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Detroit's mayoral primary isn't the only race on the ballot in Michigan on Tuesday

Voters in more than 50 Michigan counties will be casting ballots on Tuesday (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A lot of attention has been paid to Detroit’s mayoral primary on Tuesday. But that’s not the only election in which Michigan voters will be casting ballots this week.

Voters in more than 50 Michigan counties will be casting ballots on Tuesday.

There’s the usual mix of school and library millages.

There are also numerous local primary elections.

Voters in parts of Ann Arbor, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Lansing and other cities will be voting for local city council seats.

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Offbeat
1:08 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Why is Michigan so humid? Boring? Poor? - Google searches reveal popular questions

Want to know more about what the masses think of your region? A Google search could reveal predominant stereotypes of your area.

If you're not already familiar with it, Google’s autocomplete function makes search suggestions as you type in a search term.

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Arts & Culture
12:04 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Ann Arbor approves skatepark, shredding will commence before 'snow flies'

A conceptual drawing of the Ann Arbor skatepark. The park will be built in Veterans Memorial Park later this year.
Ann Arbor Skatepark Facebook

After a long campaign to get it built, the Ann Arbor city council voted to approve a $1 million contract to build a skatepark at last night's meeting.

From the Ann Arbor Skatepark Facebook Page:

Passed unanimously. As soon as contracts are signed, & other details finalized, construction will begin. We skate before the snow flies.

And here's more from the Ann Arbor Chronicle

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Arts & Culture
4:21 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

First Listen: Mayer Hawthorne, 'Where Does This Door Go'

Mayer Hawthorne's new album, Where Does This Door Go, comes out July 16.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 7:46 am

In the course of three studio albums, Michigan-bred soul singer Mayer Hawthorne has refined his gift for songs that emulate and update his home state's Motown sound.

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Arts & Culture
5:12 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Snap Judgment brings 'storytelling with a beat' to Ann Arbor

Glynn Washington is the creator, executive producer, and host of Snap Judgment, as well as a Michigan native.
Twitter

An interview with Glynn Washington of Snap Judgment.

Saturday night, Michigan Radio and the Ann Arbor Summer Festival welcome Snap Judgment to the Power Center. Snap Judgment is one of the newer additions to the public radio lineup and its creator calls it storytelling with a beat.

“I’m a big, big public radio head from a long time ago,” said Glynn Washington, the creator, executive producer, and host of the show. “But sometimes public radio can get a little bit boring. And I was trying to come up with an idea to get rid of the boring stuff and leave everything that I loved. What we try to do at Snap is get rid of the exposition, drop people right into the heart of the story, and the way that we do that is through soundscaping.”

Many of Washington’s personal stories and experiences have made it onto the show, sometimes even stories his family members have never heard. His mother often appears as a character in his stories.

"Sometimes Mommy doesn’t appreciate it too much," he confessed. 

Washington explained that while it has been difficult to maintain such a level of transparency on the air, it has also been very rewarding.

“It’s been interesting getting used to sort of bleeding into the microphone every week, but I do find it very, very cathartic in the end. I find that storytelling is kind of the way that I process my own issues. And, you know, stories have a beginning, middle, and end, but life doesn’t really have an end, and so putting these stops on things is helpful for me at least.”

The show on Saturday will feature some of the world’s best storytellers, and they have all been asked to tell a tale that will move the audience. Accompanying the storytellers is a live band directed by Alex Mandel. Washington expects that everyone who attends will not be disappointed.

“It’s a duet between the storytellers and the musician that really creates a new art form, and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it. You’re going to be blown away.”

Recently, The Atlantic wrote an article about Washington hailing him as “NPR’s Great Black Hope.” Washington said that while he loved the article, he felt that it was an unfortunate headline.

“I see what they were doing. ‘Let’s get the most clicks we can for our headline, let’s put something provocative out there.’ And I understand because I do it myself all the time,” he said. “I think what they were trying to say was that what Snap Judgment is doing is reaching out to audiences that public radio has traditionally left behind. If I wanted to be provocative, I would have called it This New American Life, but Ira would really be upset if I did so.”

Glynn Washington and Snap Judgment will be here Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Power Center. Tickets are on sale now. 

-Michelle Nelson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Listen to the full interview above.

Environment & Science
9:36 am
Fri June 28, 2013

And then it rained... Crews work to clean up after storms hit Michigan

Flooding in Ann Arbor after last night's rain.
Credit user gerbsumich / Twitter

Southeast Michigan was hit with torrential downpours last night and social media was abuzz with photos and videos.

In Ann Arbor, the city turned into a bit of a water park:

Other people water skiied behind cars.

Roads basically turned into rivers for a time:

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Arts & Culture
2:06 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Michigan alum in the top three on 'The Voice'

Chamuel is on Team Usher
Michelle Chamuel fan page Facebook

Last week, Michelle Chamuel was one of five remaining contestants on NBC's The Voice

Now, she's in the top three.

Chamuel was in two Ann Arbor bands, My Dear Disco and Ella Riot. She also is a graduate of the University of Michigan. 

If she wins, she'll get a record deal with Universal Music Group and $100,000. 

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Education
8:21 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Ann Arbor to cut 30 teachers from district

A parent expresses concerns as one of over 45 people who spoke during public comment
Alana Holland, Michigan Radio Newsroom

At a meeting that lasted until almost 2 a.m., the Ann Arbor School Board voted to cut 27 full-time teachers from schools across the district. The school board also voted to eliminate three teachers from Ann Arbor's reading intervention program.

The board had to make some tough decisions for the 2013-14 school year, according to Board President Deb Mexicotte.

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Arts & Culture
6:01 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Restaurant Week is back in Ann Arbor

Crab and avocado parfait that Logan offered during Restaurant Week in January 2013
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week Facebook

"One price dining, one week, several options."

It may not be the catchiest slogan, but Restaurant Week offers some enticing deals for foodies who frequent downtown Ann Arbor.

From June 9-14, participating restaurants offer lunch specials priced at two meals for $15, or $15 each, depending on the venue. Many lunches include the option of a soup or salad, as well as a main course. 

Dinner deals are $28 for a three-course menu. Similarly, some restaurants offer two dinners for $28.

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Politics & Government
4:58 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Watch Michigan change over time using Google's 'Earth Engine'

Images from Google's Earth Machine.
Google

My kids love using Google Earth. With the push of a button they "fly" from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Newfoundland, the Panama Canal, the Great Barrier Reef, or some other place they're curious about.

Now Google has mined satellite images from the U.S. government that allow us to fly back in time.

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Stateside
5:23 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The intergenerational 'Legacies Project' shares stories you'll want to hear

Jimmy Rhoades is one of the cofounders of The Legacies Project
LinkedIn

When Jimmy Rhoades was 26-years-old, his father was diagnosed with cancer. Rhoades was told he would have between six months and a year left with his dad. He went home, and really got to know his father.

"I found out more about his biography in the last six months of his life than in the previous 26 years," Rhoades said.

With the loss of another family member after his father passed away, Rhoades realized the therapeutic value in having your story heard. 

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Economy
10:31 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Old Borders flagship store in Ann Arbor to be new location for local steakhouse

Knight's Steakhouse will be moving downtown.
Knight's Facebook

The shell of one old Ann Arbor institution will become a new home for another, still thriving, Ann Arbor institution.

The owners of a local butcher and steakhouse, Knight's, plan to open another restaurant downtown. The new restaurant will be in the space once occupied by the Borders flagship store.

After Borders went bankrupt, the downtown space has been empty - a hole in the middle of an otherwise busy downtown.

AnnArbor.com's Lizzy Alfs has more:

“We’ve been looking for the right location for about five years,” said Don Knight, who runs the restaurant on Dexter Avenue. “When we saw this spot become available, we thought it could be really cool.”

The move comes 61 years after Ray Knight opened Knight’s Market at 420 Miller Ave., and nearly 30 years after he purchased Annie’s Dugout at 2324 Dexter Ave., opening the now-iconic Knight’s Steakhouse. Ray’s five children run the family businesses after Ray died in February.

You wouldn't know Knight's Steakhouse on Dexter Ave. is there unless you looked for the sign - a black knight chess piece. With a location downtown, you won't miss it.

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Arts & Culture
3:58 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

U of M grad is one of six singers left on NBC's 'The Voice'

Michelle Chamuel, of Ann Arbor, is one of six remaining contestants on NBC's show, The Voice. Chamuel is originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

This is her most recent performance:

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Transportation
11:19 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Commission puts brakes on money for expanded bus service between Lansing and Detroit Metro Airport

The owner of the Michigan Flyer bus company says he's frustrated by the commission's split vote on federal grant money to expand service linking East Lansing to Detroit Metro Airport
Michigan Flyer facebook page

A federal grant to expand bus service between Lansing and Detroit Metro Airport is stalled.



The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission split nine to nine on authorizing a $600,000 grant to help the Michigan Flyer expand its daily trips from eight to twelve.    The commissioner with the potential tie-breaking vote did not attend Wednesday night’s meeting.


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Marijuana in Michigan
11:10 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Sorting out the confusion over local marijuana laws, Ann Arbor's experience

Poet and activist John Sinclair was arrested and jailed for giving marijuana to an undercover police officer. The controversy over his arrest led to decriminalizing marijuana in Ann Arbor in 1972.
courtesy of Leni Sinclair

It starts this week in Grand Rapids.

As of May 1st, 2013, if you celebrate 4:20, you’re less likely to get jail time.

Instead, you’re subject to a $25 fine for your first offense ($50 for your second, and $100 for three or more).

WKZO reports Grand Rapids police have issued tickets already:

The first tickets were issued Wednesday when the voter-approved ordinance took effect.  The first one went to a 28-year-old man from the northwest side of Grand Rapids, who was cited around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The marijuana law in Grand Rapids mirrors the one in Ann Arbor.

The only difference is “selling marijuana” is not listed as a potential civil infraction in Grand Rapids as it is in Ann Arbor (organizers felt Grand Rapids voters wouldn’t be THAT lax).

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Offbeat
2:00 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Ann Arbor nuns going to finals on 'American Bible Challenge' game show

Sisters Evangeline, Maria Suso, and Peter Joseph appearing on GSN's 'American Bible Challenge.'
Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist Facebook

Sure, the three sisters from Ann Arbor's Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are probably going to beat you in a game of trivia about the Bible.

But you wouldn't expect them to take you on the physical challenges as well.

It turns out Sister Evangeline, Sister Peter Joseph and Sister Maria Suso are pretty darn good at flipping forks into glasses:

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Education
7:49 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Green retiring

Dr. Patricia Green
AAPS

Ann Arbor Public Schools' Superintendent has resigned.  

Patricia Green has been on the job in Ann Arbor since 2011.

In her letter of resignation, Green cited her 43 years in education.  Green’s resignation becomes effective in three months.  

The Ann Arbor Board of Education president praised Green’s service to the community as well as her advocacy for public education.

Sports
12:22 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Michigan Stadium will host the NHL's Winter Classic next year

Professional hockey is coming to Ann Arbor after all.

The National Hockey League announced today that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings will play next year at Michigan Stadium.

The NHL's Winter Classic was scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor this past January.  But the game was canceled due to a contract dispute between team owners and the players.

When this year's event was canceled, the league had said it would schedule the next Winter Classic at the stadium, which holds more than 100,000 people.

Arts & Culture
1:02 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Ann Arbor high school orchestra named 'Grand Champions' of National Orchestra Festival

A student-run and conductorless 20 piece orchestra from Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School was named Grand Champion of the 2013 National Orchestra Festival in Rhode Island.

The group started just this year.

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Economy
12:42 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Silicon Valley entrepreneur says go to Ann Arbor to start your company

This photo has been making the rounds on Facebook.

The photo was pushed out on Ann Arbor SPARK's Facebook page - a group dedicated to building business expansion in the area.

Just two years ago, Blank published an article about the venture capital climate in Ann Arbor.

In a post he wrote in 2011, "What's Missing For Entrepreneurs In Ann Arbor, Mich.," he described the climate as the sound of 'one hand clapping.'

He felt there was plenty of talent, but money and a risk-taking culture were missing in the city (below he mentions VCs - 'venture capitalists').

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