Offbeat

Offbeat
10:34 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Schools shut down after man appears in camouflage

Credit Google Maps

Just in case you were thinking about it, you might want to reconsider walking into a school at 6 a.m. dressed in camouflage, a flak jacket, and a holster.

When a 21-year-old airman from the Selfridge Air National Guard appeared at L'Anse Creuse High School in Harrison Twp. this morning, he caused several schools to shutdown.

From the Port Huron Times Herald:

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Offbeat
10:51 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Downtown Grand Rapids to see an increase in bike racks

Folks in Grand Rapids could find it easier to ride their bikes if they plan to be downtown this summer.

Eric Pratt is with the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. He says a proposal to install more than 200 off-street bicycle racks and six on-street racks is being finalized for the upcoming season.

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Offbeat
4:04 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Lock-picking horse 'Houdini' making waves on YouTube

Bob Johnson of The Saginaw News posted a piece on Sandy and Don Bonem's lock-picking horse this morning.

The Bonem's shot video of their horse last year and were hoping it would wind up on America's Funniest Videos.

But when that didn't happen, the decided to post it on YouTube:

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Offbeat
12:05 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Lansing will hold a gun buyback event this week

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week, Lansing will conduct its second gun buyback program in six months.

Violent crime declined in Lansing in 2012, according to the FBI.   But still the capital city recorded a dozen homicides last year.

The gun buyback taking place Saturday is intended to take a few weapons off the streets that might otherwise be used in violent crimes.

People who turn in firearms will receive gift cards worth between $50 to $150, depending on what kind of weapon is surrendered.

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Offbeat
2:07 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Michigan museum selling historic ship despite protests

USCG Cutter Bramble
Port Huron Museum

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) - A U.S. Coast Guard ship that participated in early tests of the atomic bomb has been sold by the Port Huron Museum.

The museum said it couldn't afford to keep the Bramble and had to sell it, despite protests by a Detroit-area man who tried to rally the public to the ship's defense.

Offbeat
1:38 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Ingham county considers having urban goats

Riet Schumack with her milking goats in northwest Detroit
Ed Morykwas River of Time Photography

Ingham county is considering a proposal that would allow people to keep goats in urban areas.

The proposal would allow up to three miniature dairy goats on residential properties.

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Offbeat
5:48 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Stateside: University of Michigan honors Raoul Wallenberg in new exhibition

Passport photo of Wallenberg from 1944.
wikimedia commons

Ingrid Carlberg spoke with Cyndy about Wallenberg's history.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish humanitarian credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews during World War II.

To Me There’s No Other Choice,” the exhibition currently at the University of Michigan, celebrates Wallenberg’s achievements and spirit.

Ingrid Carlberg will be among the presenters at the exhibition. Carlberg is the author of “There is a room  waiting for you here.”

Today Carlberg spoke with Cyndy about Wallenberg’s history.

“It was some kind of a coincidence. He was a businessman; he was importing groceries from Hungary. When the Germans marched into Hungary in the spring of 1944, Raoul Wallenberg was alarmed by what was going on. But actually the initiative to go to Budapest and lead a rescue mission came from the American government,” said Carlberg.

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Offbeat
6:02 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Stateside: An app for that ancient manuscript

Three gods in an 18th century Icelandic manuscript.
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Professor Arthur Verhoogt discusses a new iPhone app.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

There is now an app for reading an ancient text.

The Papyrus App “Picture it: EP” allows one to browse the pages of the oldest existing manuscript of the letters of St. Paul.

Professor Arthur Verhoogt, Associate Professor of Papyrology and Greek at the University of Michigan helped design the app.

“The text is the most ancient manuscript of the letters of Saint Paul that exist. It dates to about [the year] 200,” said Verhoogt.

The texts are kept in a secure vault.

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Offbeat
11:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Superhero window washers swoop down to cheer up patients

Spidey cleans the windows at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL.
All Children's Hospital mymodernmet.com

This post from Katie Hosmer on MyModernMet.com caught my eye. 

You've got to clean the windows, so why not do it with a little flair?

The photo to the right is from All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL.

Window washers from Clearwater's High Rise Window Cleaners got dressed up in Spider-Man costumes and then made several trips from the top of the building to the ground, washing windows and waving at ecstatic patients along the way...As the hospital states, "There were actually three Spider-Men on the job and their high-rise moves were the hands-down hit of the day."

And here's a video of superhero window washers descending on Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

H/T to Zach Feinstein

Offbeat
1:10 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Pure Michigan: President Obama's Petoskey stone

Pete Souza The White House

Jennifer Granholm might not have found a place in Obama's second-term Cabinet, but at least there is a Petoskey stone in the Oval Office.

A photo of Obama tapping the stone on his desk was posted by White House photographer Pete Souza last week.

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Newsmaker Interviews
4:16 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

The Jemima Code uncovers real life of African-American cooks

Author and journalist, Toni Tipton-Martin visits Ann Arbor.
Website screen shot. http://tonitiptonmartin.com/

For many people, the name Aunt Jemima immediately brings a certain image to mind - pancakes anyone? The image -- with the broad smile, round face, and hair wrapped in a bandana -- is powerful, and often controversial.

Author Toni Tipton-Martin examines the image of Aunt Jemima through the recipes and histories of real-life African-American cooks. The Jemima Code is a blog, book project, and traveling art exhibition that looks beyond the bandana.

Tipton-Martin will be a special guest at Zingerman’s 8th Annual African-American dinner tonight. She will also present a special talk on food and diversity on Wednesday January 23rd at 7:00pm. You can visit this link for more information.

Offbeat
4:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Getting the public involved in fighting blight in Flint

Blighted home in Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint plans to use a $25 thousand grant to get the public involved in efforts to reduce blight in the city.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says blight is a multi-faceted challenge that includes demolishing abandoned homes and reclaiming neighborhoods.    He says volunteers are critically important to solving Flint's problem with blight.

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Offbeat
4:43 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Stateside: Author Kevin Hofmann on growing up as a biracial child

Kevin Hofmann's book, "Growing up Black in White"
http://www.kevinhofmann.com/

Author Kevin Hofmann spoke today with Cyndy.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

One very clear aspect of President Barack Obama's story is that he grew up biracial in America.

His mother was from Kansas. His father was Kenyan.

Author Kevin Hofmann grew up in a similar environment.  

He was born in 1967 to a white mother and a black father, just two and a half weeks after the Detroit riots.

He lived in foster care before being adopted by a white family, where he became the fourth of their three children.

Hofmann’s memoir is entitled "Growing Up Black in White."

On “Stateside” today he recalled his adoption experience.

“They had approached the adoption agency and said we want to adopt. They only qualified at that time for what was called ‘hard-to-place’ kids. Back in 1967 and in some places today, biracial children are considered hard-to-place.  So that’s how I came to them. My dad was an associate pastor at a large Lutheran church in Dearborn. Much to our dismay, the church was very vocal about disapproving of having this biracial child in their congregation."

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Offbeat
3:51 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Stateside: Military spouses march in today's inaugural parade

Military Spouses of Michigan Facebook

Jocelyn Benson spoke with Cyndy about the Inauguration Parade.

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Among the groups that represented Michigan in today's inaugural parade was the Military Spouses of Michigan.

Jocelyn Benson, who also serves as dean of Wayne State University's Law School, is the president of the group.

The group is about a year old and provides support for spouses of service members throughout the state.

Benson spoke with Cyndy from the parade.

"It's so exciting because we honor our veterans but too often our military families are on the sidelines. To be able to recognize their sacrifices today is incredible," said Benson.

Every child marching with the group seemed to have enjoyed the experience, she noted.

"Instead of feeling isolated, we're able to provide that camaraderie for each other," said Benson.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

Crime
3:38 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

People in Grand Rapids working on ways to curb spike in homicide rate

HeatherHeatherHeather Creative Commons

There have been nine murders in the last thirty days in Grand Rapids. That’s almost as many as the state’s second largest city sees during an average year. But the community is working on a game plan to fight the violence.

Friday morning about a thousand people gathered at Messiah Missionary Baptist Church. They prayed and they made plans for many smaller meetings over the next 60 days.

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Offbeat
6:44 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Fights shut down low-income housing voucher event

TAYLOR, Mich. (AP) - Fights in a line of several thousand people seeking applications to get on a waiting list for housing vouchers in a Detroit area community forced police to cancel the event.

The Taylor Housing Commission says Saturday in a release that upward of 4,000 people arrived ahead of the 9 a.m. start to get Section 8 voucher applications.

Some people began lining up Friday evening at the Taylor Human Services Building, southwest of Detroit.

The Detroit Free Press reports that four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.

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Offbeat
11:57 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Hand grenades found at Salvation Army

Mk 2 Grenade from World War II

If you dropped off three hand grenades at the Shelby Township Salvation Army last week, the police would like a word.

On Monday, a store employee stumbled upon the grenades in a donation box. She called the police, who then evacuated nearby businesses as a precaution.

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Offbeat
2:30 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Video: Highland Park firefighter lights up YouTube with helmet cam footage

HPZ1442 YouTube

Scott Ziegler has a more interesting job than the rest of us, and he knows it.

The Highland Park firefighter recently posted a montage of footage that he took using a camera mounted to his helmet. 

The YouTube video, "2012 a year on my lid"  has become an Internet sensation with nearly 1,000,000 views.

It highlights some of the more harrowing moments of fighting fire in the Detroit area.

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Offbeat
12:03 am
Mon December 31, 2012

"Fiscal Cliff" & "Job Creators" top annual banned words list

What word or phrase would you like to see banned from further use?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste Marie is out with its annual year-end list of words and phrases that should be banned for overuse.

As you may expect, words and phrases popular with politicians top this year’s banned list, with one getting a lot of use right now leading them all:  Fiscal Cliff. 

Banned Words list co-creator John Shibley says the phrase used to describe the combination of looming federal tax increases and spending cuts was overused by the news media.

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Offbeat
2:54 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Santa's helpers sometimes dress like firefighters in Michigan

Santa's not the only one bringing presents this year
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Most Michigan children believe Santa Claus brings them presents for Christmas. 

But children in Charlotte KNOW local firefighters are handling the delivery.  Starting about five o'clock, fire engines will start rolling down local streets, delivering presents.  

The Christmas Kiddies program has been providing needy children with presents in Eaton County for more than a hundred years.   This year, more than 400 children will be receiving Christmas presents.

Tyger Fullerton is the deputy fire chief.   He’s the third generation of his family to be part of the program

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