Offbeat

Offbeat
2:33 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

With winter caps, Michiganders celebrate the tapping of a summer beer

Oberon beer. A summer favorite in Michigan.
Steven Depolo Flickr

It might not feel like it outside, but warmer temperatures are around the corner.

MLive has A LOT (including live coverage from Bell's Brewery) on the release of one of Michigan's favorite brews:

At least 64 Oberon kegs are ready to be tapped at Bell’s and at least four ‘Oberon Kings and Queens’ were crowned at midnight keg-tapping parties across the state. The brewery opened early on Monday for the event. 

Oberon is a seasonal ale in most markets, but is sold year-round in Florida, Arizona and Puerto Rico. The summer beer is fermented with Bell's yeast, spicy hops and fruity aromas, giving it a light malty taste, most commonly complemented with an orange peel.

The opening day is held at the end of March every year, to coincide with the start of the baseball season and more sunshine.

Offbeat
11:48 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Play Michigan Radio's Pledge Drive Bracket Challenge

Our thanks to everyone that participated in our Spring, 2013 Pledge Drive Bracket Challenge to guess the shows they thought would perform best during Michigan Radio's Spring 2013 pledge drive (April 3-10),  based on average number of pledges per hour. Everyone that correctly picked the top performing show  won a Michigan Radio keychain flashlight.

Here were the top performing shows.

#1) Car Talk (124 pledges per hour)

#2) All Things Considered (123 pledges per hour)

#3) Morning Edition (112 pledges per hour)

#4) Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me (111 pledges per hour)

 

Offbeat
4:18 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Spring? What spring? Michigan's official groundhog issues apology for bad call

An embarrassed Woody, Michigan's official woodchuck, offers an apology for her way-off-the-mark prediction of an early spring.
Credit Howell Conference & Nature Center

Woody says she's sorry.

She got it wrong.

Woody lives at the Howell Conference & Nature Center and is Michigan's official groundhog. She predicted an early spring back on Groundhog Day. Spring arrived today -- with snow flurries and temperatures in the 20s.

Dick Grant is Woody's interpreter.

"It takes a big woodchuck to admit that she's wrong," says Woody's interpreter, Dick Grant. "And Woody came out today and said 'I'm sorry. I missed it. We all make mistakes.' And it looks like we have gone through six more weeks of winter."

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Offbeat
1:17 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Rapper sparks up a deal with medical marijuana dispensary in Flint

Stanley "Flesh N Bone" Howes
hiphoplaw.blogspot.com

A Michigan medical marijuana facility is partnering with a member of the Grammy-winning rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to cultivate and distribute a new strain of medical marijuana.

The Flint-based medical marijuana dispensary "The Green Oasis" and Stanley "Flesh-N-Bone" Howse say their new strain, "Phifty Caliber Kush," has a noticeable floral taste and is an effective pain reliever.

The Flint Journal's Gary Ridley broke the story and has covered this unique agreement between the rapper and Flint-area dispensary over the last few days.

The Flint-area dispensary's owner, Anthony Butler, calls the new pot strain "the best of the best."

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Offbeat
3:50 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Letter from boot camp in 1953 returned to sender

Credit Jean & Bob Rodgers

An ex-soldier living in southwestern Michigan says the U.S. Postal Service has returned a letter he wrote to his wife from boot camp 60 years ago.

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Offbeat
12:12 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Oakland University sued for suspending writing student

Oakland University

ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) - A man suspended from a Detroit-area university for writing about his attraction to teachers has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $2 million and four credits for the class.

Joseph Corlett says his First Amendment rights were violated by Oakland University officials. The school suspended him last year after saying he violated a policy against intimidating people on campus.

The 57-year-old Corlett was enrolled in a writing class. He titled his journal entries "Hot For Teacher," a song by the rock band Van Halen.

Corlett compared his instructor to Ginger, an attractive woman on the 1960s TV show "Gilligan's Island." He also wrote about other teachers. His lawsuit, filed Friday, calls the writings "whimsical exaggeration."

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Offbeat
11:20 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Girl brought $20,000 in cash to school, hands it out to friends

A roll of cash (not THE cash that turned up in Taylor).
user psychonaught Wikimedia

A 6th grader in Taylor brought $20,000 in cash in her backpack to school on Monday, school officials told the Taylor police. 

Taylor Police Chief Mary Sclabassi told the Detroit News that the 12-year-old girl said she received the money from another girl who lives across the street from her. 

"The school district called us and said a 12-year-old student had a backpack full of money," Sclabassi told the News. "The principal became aware of it when she heard the student was giving money away to friends. They brought in the student, secured the backpack and retrieved the money she had given away. This is a real first for me."

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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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