Offbeat

Offbeat
6:17 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Stateside: A good city for a drink

A taste of Detroit's hard-drinking beginning.
Laserbrain

Imagine going to your pharmacy to fill a keg of hard cider.

Such was reality in 19th century Detroit.

Stateside’s Cyndy Canty spoke with Bill Loomis, writer for the Detroit News, about the city’s history of dedicated drinking.

“You could get liquor almost anywhere. Pharmacies sold liquor. You would bring in your container and they would fill it up and charge you,” said Loomis.

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Offbeat
3:44 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

A Hoffa-themed scam in Roseville, Michigan

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (AP) - Authorities say someone's trying to scam residents of a Detroit suburb into believing that missing Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa could be buried on their property.

Roseville police are warning city residents about a letter that purports to be from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The letter says a recent dig at a Roseville home for Hoffa was a ruse to keep the media away from the real site.

The letter's author implies the true Hoffa dig site is at the recipient's home.

Several residents received a copy of the fake letter as a lure to get them outside while thieves go inside their homes.

Roseville police investigated a claim last month that Hoffa was buried in a backyard, but testing on soil samples showed no traces of human decomposition.

Offbeat
11:31 am
Fri October 5, 2012

VIDEO: Petoskey Batman explains his side of the story to local news

Mark Williams, a.k.a. Petoskey Batman, was recently arrested and charged with a felony for obstructing a police investigation.

7&4 News got Williams' side of the story:

Offbeat
12:38 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Petoskey Batman back in action, faces felony charges

A photo of 'Petoskey Batman' on the Michigan Protectors website.
Michigan Protectors

When I posted last April that 'Petoskey Batman' was 'hanging it up,' I was quickly corrected:

Your information is false. The Petoskey Batman is selling off the suit, but he is FAR from hanging it up. He has constructed a new suit, and plans to go back on patrol in a few weeks.

Now we hear news that sure enough, Mark Wayne Williams was at it again.

The Petoskey News reports Williams was arrested last Saturday night for interfering with a police investigation.

Sgt. Jeff Gorno told the News the incident happened in Bear Creek Township:

Troopers were responding to the scene of a personal injury accident in which the driver had left the scene.

“When we arrived, (Williams) was at the scene in his Batman outfit. He wouldn’t clear the scene and we had a canine out there and he kept screwing up the scent,” Gorno said. “He said he wanted to help us look for the driver.”

“We didn’t want the dog to track Batman instead of the accident scene and he was getting in the way of officers who had a job to do.”

Williams’ Batman costume and gear were confiscated. Gorno said he was not carrying any dangerous weapons.

Williams posted bond and was released from the Emmet County Jail.

Williams faces felony changes for "resisting and obstructing police in an investigation."

He was arrested last year after he was spotted on a rooftop in downtown Petoskey. He was ordered not to don his costume while on six months of probation.

'Petoskey Batman' is listed as one of the members of the 'real-life-superhero' group "The Michigan Protectors."

No word on the whereabouts of the bat cave yet:

Offbeat
4:57 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Latest search for Hoffa comes up empty

Jimmy Hoffa with Bernard Spindel in 1957.
Roger Higgins wiki commons

The search for Jimmy Hoffa has hit a dead end--again. The AP has the story:

Tests on soil samples gathered last week from a backyard in suburban Detroit showed no traces that Hoffa — or anyone else — was buried there, Roseville police announced Tuesday.

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Offbeat
11:25 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Police digging under driveway for Hoffa, search is a 'circus' for one neighbor

Jimmy Hoffa on WESW-TV's Morning Exchange program sometime between 1971 and 1975.
WEWS-TV YouTube

Police are digging under a driveway in Roseville, Michigan this morning to see if they can come up with evidence of a body.

Ground penetrating radar indicated an "anomaly" under the driveway earlier in the week.

There's wide speculation the body could be former Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa, but that appears to be a long-shot. From CNN:

Police Chief James Berlin told CNN on Thursday that while the tipster's information seems credible, he's not convinced the body is Hoffa's because of the timeline. He spoke with the tipster on August 22 and says he believes the person did see a burial.

Police will send soil samples from the dirt under the driveway to MSU for analysis.

The samples will be sent to a forensic anthropologist and tested for human decomposition. Results aren't expected before next week.

In the meantime, one homeowner tells the Associated Press that the search for Hoffa has turned her neighborhood into a "circus."

Szpunar tells The Associated Press Friday that the Roseville home she's lived in for 24 years has been turned into a "three-ring circus" by onlookers and media members who gawk and take photos.

Szpunar told the AP she just wants to be left alone.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Search for Jimmy Hoffa leads to driveway near Detroit

Jimmy Hoffa on July 24, 1975. He disappeared six days later.
Tony Spina MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 10:34 am

The 37-year-old search for Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa moves to a driveway in Roseville, Mich., on Friday.

"Police will be taking soil core samples," the Detroit Free Press reports, after receiving what they say is a "credible" tip that around the time of Hoffa's 1975 disappearance someone was buried under what's now a driveway in a Roseville residential neighborhood.

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Offbeat
11:11 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Legitimate membership into the 'mile high club'? Michigan business wants to help

Inside the Piper Cherokee Six. Their website reads "Plenty of room for your romantic encounter."
Courtesy milehightc.com

Not surprisingly, there are online, how-to instructions for joining the 'mile high club,' but to join might set off a security alert.

That's where someone like Traverse City pilot Scott Conaway steps in.

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Offbeat
12:30 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

Michigan Christmas tree, pumpkin crops doing well

HOLLY, Mich. (AP) - Despite a few hiccups due to some wild weather, Michigan's holiday crops are looking good.

The Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that the state's Christmas tree growers say that while some trees were victims of the weather, it's unlikely to affect consumers.

Pumpkin growers say they're doing well after the drought and heat of the summer.

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Offbeat
5:07 am
Sat September 22, 2012

Win the lottery, lose your privacy?

file photo
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Multistate lottery winners in Michigan could remain anonymous under a measure being considered by the Michigan Senate.

The bill would prohibit the disclosure unless the winner agrees to it in writing. Lottery officials are authorized to disclose a multistate game winner's identity.

Sterling Heights Republican and bill sponsor Tory Rocca says winners should be allowed keep their privacy, particularly for their own safety.

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Offbeat
12:27 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Ann Arbor man wins Marketplace's 'plastic pig' for financial savvy

The MGoPatio in Ann Arbor.
Martin Vloet Facebook

Marketplace's Tess Vigeland handed out their "Piggy Bank Award" to Ann Arbor's Martin Vloet.

Vloet and his wife bought a house in Ann Arbor a few years ago near Michigan Stadium.

They knew the garage needed some work, so when they re-built, they decided to make the space big enough for tailgaiting events.

"I found through some of the people that I worked with and through some of my connections in town, that there was a lot of interest in a space like that, because it was so close to Michigan football. "

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Offbeat
9:31 am
Fri September 14, 2012

'Cute and curvaceous Jennifer Granholm' resurfaces on YouTube

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on the Dating Game.
YouTube

The buzz began yesterday afternoon and continues this morning, so what the heck - let's post it.

It started when the Detroit Free Press posted a part of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's past - an appearance on the Dating Game.

She's acknowledged her appearance on the show in the past, but now we get to see it.

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Offbeat
11:39 am
Thu September 13, 2012

VIDEO: An 'apex hunter' rides to the rescue in Asian carp battle

A Carp Hunter in action near Peoria, IL.
YouTube

Shark Week, schmark week.

It's Asian Carp Week here at Michigan Radio!

All week long, The Environment Report has been bringing us stories about Asian Carp & the Great Lakes.

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Offbeat
2:26 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Belle Isle to be overtaken by Photoshopped people?

A glimpse of the disturbing Belle Isle to come - from today's press materials about the proposed Belle Isle agreement.
State of Michigan/City of Detroit

Many Detroiters have long been suspicious of outsiders coming in to control their city, but once they lay their eyes on what Mayor Dave Bing and Gov. Rick Snyder have in store for the city's crown jewel, Belle Isle Park, they finally have real reasons to be afraid.

Belle Isle, it appears, will soon be overtaken by Photoshopped people from Pleasantville.

Only Detroiters won't have the pleasure of romping around their Utopia with Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon. They'll have to share the park with out-of-proportion picnickers, a cardboard blue heron, and a dancing DNR park ranger.

Offbeat
3:46 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Stateside: Howard Cooper, world's most generous boss?

Let's give a shout-out to a man who may have set the new "gold standard" for generous bosses.

Long-time Ann Arbor auto dealer Howard Cooper is retiring this month.

As his employees reported for work this week, they got an unexpected "expression" of Mr. Cooper's appreciation: a check for $1,000 for every year of service.

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Offbeat
12:04 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Navy Week sails into Detroit to celebrate War of 1812 bicentennial

The USS De Wert approaches Detroit.
US Navy via ourflagwasstillthere.org

The US Navy’s past and present is on display in Detroit this week.

Detroit is just one “Navy Week” stop on a Great Lakes tour commemorating the War of 1812.

The war pitting the newly-independent US against Great Britain was more or less a draw—though it’s seen very differently just across the border in Windsor, Ontario.

But everyone agrees that the war gave birth to the modern US Navy.

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safety
5:08 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Michigan gets federal grant to prevent damage to underground pipes, power lines

Michigan will get $90,000 from the US Department of Transportation to help prevent damage to underground pipelines. The federal agency announced the grant today. It's granting $1.5 million total to 22 states. The money will support advertising efforts for MISS DIG.

"The number one cause of pipeline damage is people excavating on their own property without knowing what’s underground," said Judy Palnau, a Michigan Public Service Commission spokeswoman. The MPSC applied for the grant.

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Seeking Change
10:02 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Spotlighting the good in Benton Harbor

Benton Harbor
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Dawn Yarbrough is from Benton Harbor. These days she lives part time in Milan, Italy. But, she has been spending more time in her hometown lately to start a new public television show called Harbor Lights. It will focus on positive things happening in Benton Harbor. Some of the programs  Dawn highlights include the local boys and girls club, a group that teaches teens how to make and allows them to sell their work at an art fair and a school program that brings students from St. Joseph and Benton Harbor together to discuss issues of race.

Offbeat
10:37 am
Fri August 24, 2012

With no trace of bedbugs, Detroit court back in session

The much pilloried bedbug.
Piotr Naskrecki CDC/Harvard University

Yesterday, 36th District Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller cleared her courtroom after bedbugs were reportedly seen on a man sitting in the courtroom.

Today, the Associated Press reports the court is back in session:

Court officials say a pest control company was called in to investigate and found no evidence of the presence of bedbugs. A release called it a "false alarm."

The man was accompanying a witness to a hearing before Miller. His daughter later said she knew there were bedbugs in her father's house.

Miller said Thursday the evacuation was "for everybody's well-being." Her staff was sent home after Miller was unable to move her cases to another courtroom.

Offbeat
6:13 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

How hard is it to sell hot dogs? 13-year old didn’t think it would be “such a big deal”

13-year old Nathan Duszynski grills hot dogs in downtown Holland Thursday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

A 13-year-old entrepreneur from Holland finally opened what’s become a controversial hot dog stand Thursday after several weeks of going through red tape.

Nathan Duszynski wanted to make some money. So he bought a hot dog cart and set it up in downtown Holland. But he didn’t realize the cart it went against zoning laws that restrict where and when food vendors can operate.

“I didn’t think the hot dog cart would be such a big deal,” Duszynski said.

Holland city officials shut the cart down.

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