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Offbeat

Offbeat

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Students at Michigan State University can no longer have message whiteboards mounted on their dorm doors, starting this fall. Misuse of the whiteboards has made them more trouble than they're worth.

Kat Cooper is Director of Communications for Residential Services at MSU.  She says too often, students would scrawl offensive comments on the whiteboards. 

"Racist, sexist, anything in that category. Those have happened. There's been issues with them for a long time," says Cooper. "People write things on them that really aren't not part of our value set at MSU."

David Mertl / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

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Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

“In flux.”

“Dynamic.”

“Amazing.”

“Blurry.”

That’s how Monday night’s Issues & Ale panelists described journalism in today’s ecosystem.

The Dispatch Blotter from the Leelanau Enterprise.
Mary Winowiecki

Some local newspapers print police dispatches. These are usually pretty basic, detailing the time and reason for dispatch.

But one Northern Michigan newspaper takes its dispatch report a step further - and the results can be hilarious.

The Leelanau Enterprise covers news in Leelanau County, and is popular among locals and tourists alike.

The real gem in the Enterprise can be found in the “Courts” section, where one can find descriptions of 911 calls made by concerned citizens.

user earl53 / MorgueFile.com

Get your binoculars ready! A full moon, an eclipse, and a comet will all be passing through the night sky late Friday night and early Saturday morning. 

A "penumbral" eclipse isn't a full lunar eclipse, and is more subtle, but still visible to the human eye. It occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth's shadow. In North America, this will be most visible at moonrise, at 7:43 p.m.

Why aren't they listening to me?!
user Ayana T. Miller / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Discussing politics can be a tenuous activity these days. Whether at school, work, home, or (and I know you won't believe this) on Facebook, many people have seen political discussions melt down into yelling or name-calling.

We asked you to tell us your stories about successful conversations you have experienced, and heard some interesting responses.

Some people found that having a calm, rational discussion to be impossible. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A year ago, a Flint man walked free from an Iranian prison cell after being held for four years on spying charges.

Amir Hekmati continues to move on with his life.

He posted a note on his Facebook page thanking everyone who’s helped him and his family get through the “difficult times” they’ve faced in the last five years.

These days, Hekmati is taking college courses near his home in Flint.  

Walter P. Ruether Library / Wayne State University

Two months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers down Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Rev. King famously called the March “the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States.”

Over 125,000 people participated in the “Detroit Walk to Freedom” on June 23, 1963. The March was partially a practice run for the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

a bison in Detroit Zoo enclosure
Courtesy of the Detroit Zoo / https://detroitzoo.org/

You made it to the end of the first week of 2017! And that means you deserve a treat. 

If you're swearing off cookies and cake (at least for a couple of weeks), how about indulging in a cute animal video?  

Luckily for you, the Detroit Zoo gave some of their animals recycled Christmas trees to play with, and the result is adorable.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lake Superior State University’s annual list of "banned words and phrases" is heavy with contributions linked to the 2016 presidential campaign.    

LSSU has been turning out its year-end tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for 42 years.

University spokesman John Shibley says it’s not surprising people from across the country turned to bruising election rhetoric for words and phrases that have been so overused they should be banned. 

FRASER, Mich. (AP) - More than a dozen homes north of Detroit have been evacuated after a sinkhole opened in the ground nearby.

A homeowner in Fraser called police about 6 a.m. Saturday and told them his house was sinking.

Public Safety Director George Rouhib tells  The Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens that the home's basement walls could be heard cracking, bricks were falling from the exterior and the sidewalk outside was rising.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan and Google have teamed up to create an app and website aimed at helping Flint residents and officials deal with the lead-contaminated water crisis.

  Mywater-Flint was developed by computer science researchers at the university's Flint and Ann Arbor campuses with Google's technical and financial support.

CREDIT VIC REYES

Ah, the autumn time change. We love the extra hour of sleep but hate that the sun sets so early, leaving many of us with little or no time to experience what little sun there is to be enjoyed.

But instead of looking at the situation as a glass half full, I say there are many reasons why the long nights are a blessing for all Michiganders.

Courtesy of Ed Terebus

To many in southeast Michigan, it just wouldn’t be Halloween without taking a trip to a haunted house. One estimate figures this corner of Michigan boasts 70 to 100 haunts within a 50-mile radius.

The granddaddy of them all – the biggest in Michigan and one of the biggest in the world – is Erebus. It’s a four-story building in downtown Pontiac and it’s been scary people silly for 17 years.

The Baltia 747 at Willow Run Airport in 2014.
user veisha / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Until last year, there was a Boeing 747 parked at Willow Run Airport, in Ypsilanti. It looked comically out of place—most the other planes are two-seaters used by the flight school, or small jets available for charter.

Here's a video of the plane at the Thunder Over Michigan Airshow at Willow Run in 2014:

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Times are changing for the funeral industry. And a Traverse City company is right at the forefront of those changes.

In 1960, about 3.5% of Americans were cremated. But in 2015, for the first time, more Americans were cremated than buried. And by 2030, that percentage is expected to hit seventy percent. That’s a big shift.

The Bigfoot (not pictured) captured by the trail camera turned out to be a black bear.
flickr user Robert Emperley / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A recent photo from Michigan flew around the internet: a trail cam photo showing the rear end of a big, dark-furred "something or another."

See it below:

Some believed the big critter was a Bigfoot, until a second photo from the same trail cam showed it was in fact a bear.

But that is not deterring the quest to find and photograph a Bigfoot - or, if you will, Sasquatch.

Rylee, a 10 month Belgian Malinois made her way back to her family.
screen grab from Associated Press video / Associated Press

These stories always amaze me. They're like a little window into a world we barely understand: how animals interpret and navigate the world around us.

Word of Rylee's feat is making the rounds as news agencies pick up on what happened over the weekend.

Rylee, a 10-month-old Belgian Malinois, was lost overboard in Lake Michigan this past Sunday.

I’ve been covering politics for a long time, and inevitably, in every election year, amid the high drama and low insults, something happens that is just plain silly.

This year, as you may have noticed, has not been a typical presidential election in any way, shape or form. But what you might call the "Trumpville Follies" is not the only contender for what you might call the "Eugene Ionesco Prize for Best Real Example of the Theater of the Absurd."

Brett Masserant
Courtesy of Brett Masserant

What's the most number of push-ups you've ever done?

No matter what your answer, you're got nothing on Brett Masserant of Utica.

Last Sunday, Masserant attempted to set two Guinness World Records: one for the most push-ups in one hour, and then for the most push-ups in eight hours.

Masserant pounded out 2,268 push-ups in the first hour, and in the following seven hours brought that total to 13,186.

In 2008, the American Dialect Society voted the "recombobulation area" in the Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee as the most creative word of the year.
http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Are there words in your vocabulary that make you wonder how they got there? We posed that question on social media and asked our listeners what strange words and phrases they would like to know the origin of.

Luckily for us, University of Michigan English Professor Anne Curzan was nearby to help. She studies linguistics and the history of the English language and is the host of That's What They Say.

Some of the submissions from our listeners include cattywampus, kitty corner, the whole nine yards and more. Some of our listeners have gone through the award-winning "recombobulation area" in Milwaukee

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

I was still getting my bearings after arriving in Havana, when I spotted a chicken wandering the street. Nobody was chasing it with a frying pan. It seemed sure of itself, as if it considered itself no different from the human passersby. 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When President Obama announced a resumption of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba in the fall of 2014, we kept our eyes and ears open for possible Michigan-Cuban stories to tell.

It didn’t take long to discover there are quite a few.  The Michigan Agribusiness Association has been wooing Cuban officials for years now, hoping to sell Michigan-grown produce in a new market.  You want black beans, Cuba?  We got your black beans in Michigan.

A Minute with Mike
Vic Reyes

 

Although Old Man Winter is still huffing some gray skies and cold air at us, for many of us Michiganeers this week marks the official start of summer.

Why?

(sound of bat cracking and crowd)

That’s right, the start of the Detroit Tigers 2016 season.  I’m willing to bet,most of you might make at least one annual pilgrimage to a Tigers’ game. And given that this state is known for its motor vehicles, you’ll need to find a place to park.

Which leads me to my warning: Unlike baseball, the rule book for street parking in Detroit isn’t quite clear.

Workers in Holland applying a special ice to the tulip beds.
YouTube screen grab / City of Holland

Early tulip blooms have hampered the annual Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan in past years.

Sometimes it gets so bad that locals simply call it "Stemfest."

This year's festival is being held from May 7 through May 14, and the city of Holland has come up with a way to guarantee that visitors will be greeted with vibrant petals.

Watch below:

Jeff Daniels and Stephen Colbert on "Community Calendar."
YouTube - screenshot

It wasn't quite Between Two Ferns, but Jeff Daniels and Stephen Colbert did sit beside a fern-like plant when delivering Chelsea, Michigan's "Community Calendar."

Check out a rundown of Chelsea's March events below:

Tattoo artist Carrie Metz-Caporusso applies her first Flint tattoo of the day.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Carrie Metz-Caporusso had an idea: Use her skills to create a one-day fundraiser for the people in Flint.

She came up with a tattoo design to represent the drinking water crisis in Flint, posted her plan on Facebook, and waited for folks to show up.

Watch what happened below:

Mike Perini / Michigan Radio

As people across the nation celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday, many a Michigander will celebrate what some folks endearingly call Pączki (poonch-KEY) Day by eating a mega-calorie packing deep-fried Polish doughnut.

Over the past few decades, Michigan lost more residents than any other state. That means thousands of our kind relocated to a metro-area which may be lacking a Polish-American population, and therefore, lacking places to purchase a precious Pączki.

Community Vibe: A visit to Hell (Michigan)

Jan 13, 2016
Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

Go to Hell.

Michigan Radio's Emily Fox did, as part of our Community Vibe series, where we're exploring one interesting thing about different towns across the state.

Emily takes us now to Hell Michigan, to meet the leading hellion of the village. 


All Things Considered host Jennifer White is leaving Michigan Radio for WBEZ.
Michigan Radio

Changes are coming to what you hear on Michigan Radio later this month.  

Host Changes

Jennifer White, Michigan Radio’s All Things Considered  host, has announced that she will be leaving the station later this month.

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