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AnnArbor.com's News section covers government, crime, education, health and the environment across Washtenaw County.

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    Another record fell on Day 2 of the Washtenaw Interclub Swim Conference championships, as the 9-10 age group took to the Skyline High School pool.

    Daniel Brenner is a photographer for AnnArbor.com


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    Charges are pending against a 53-year-old Ypsilanti Township man who owned the child pornography found by a Southfield couple Saturday after they won an auction for a Ypsilanti storage unit, according to police.

    Ypsilanti police released a statement Tuesday night detailing the strange incident, which reads like an episode of the TV show Storage Wars gone wrong. Police first responded Saturday to National Storage Center, 521 Tyler Road, after being alerted of a discovery of child pornography.

    A couple had won an auction for the storage unit and found child pornography while searching through the items. Police said Tyreek Wilkerson, 30, of Southfield, was the man who officially purchased the unit, which was auctioned off because the owner became delinquent on payments.

    According to police, Wilkerson told employees at National Storage Center “he had discovered what appeared to be a small room set up for the production of child pornography,” police said.

    Wilkerson removed the vast majority of the suspected child pornography and did not call police, according to investigators.

    “Detectives were able to track this subject down and recovered a portion of the evidence from a dumpster and from inside the purchaser’s home,” police said in the statement.

    Wilkerson was arraigned Tuesday on charges of possession of child pornography and lying during a police investigation, Detective Sgt. Thomas Eberts said. He posted a 10 percent of $10,000 bond and will return to court for a preliminary exam at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 1.

    Wilkerson also had a detainer hold from another police agency in Wayne County, such as for an outstanding warrant, probation violation or parole violation, records show.

    According to the Michigan Offender Tracking Information System, Wilkerson was discharged from state supervision in February. He has previous convictions for possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, receiving and concealing a stolen motor vehicle, possession of marijuana and attempted manufacture and delivery of marijuana, records show.

    Eberts said earlier Tuesday that Wilkerson’s charges stem from his actions after discovering the child pornography.

    On Tuesday, detectives also arrested the 53-year-old man who was the previous user of the storage unit.

    Police searched the man’s home and discovered more evidence of child pornography, according to investigators. He was arrested and lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail.

    “Detectives will be seeking charges of manufacturing/publishing child pornography,” the statement read.

    The victim in the case is listed as an unknown preteen girl. It’s unknown at this point if the girl is known to the 53-year-old man.

    The identity of the 53-year-old man is not known at this point — there was no criminal warrant filed in Washtenaw County court records for him Tuesday.

    The investigation into the incident continues. Attempts to reach a spokesman for National Storage Center and Wilkerson's fiance, Shavon Henry, were not successful Tuesday.

    Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call Eberts at 734-482-9878 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Davison Township and Davison City police officers search inside a Ford F-150 pickup truck after the vehicle knocked down a tree Friday, July 19 in the backyard of a Lapeer Road home.

    Roberto Acosta | MLive.com

    A 27-year-old Manchester man could face charges after police said a 9-year-old boy to sit on his lap behind the wheel of a pick-up truck and causing a roll-over crash in Davison Township near Flint last week, MLive reported.

    Police said the "bizarre" crash occurred around 11:50 p.m. Friday in the 10000 block of Lapeer Road near M-15. The Ford F-150 was found resting on a 20-foot-tall pine tree after traveling through a yard, striking a ditch and knocking down a fence.

    The Manchester man and other adult occupants of the truck — a 25-year-old Davison Township man, 28-year-old Davison Township woman and 24-year-old Davison Township woman — had been drinking alcohol at a backyard bonfire across the street prior to the crash, police said.

    The 9-year-old boy was allowed to sit on the Manchester man's lap in the driver's seat when they started to leave, police said.

    "The 9-year-old boy (decided) to mash the accelerator down to the floor," Davison Township police Chief Rick Freeman told MLive.

    The truck careened through the yard, across the street, into a ditch and through a neighbor’s yard before coming to rest on the tree, MLive reported.

    When authorities arrived, they found the rolled-over truck, which had blood stains in it, but no occupants. Police said the group went back across the street to the bonfire for about 30 minutes before calling paramedics because the 24-year-old woman had a leg injury that was bleeding uncontrollably.

    Read the MLive story.

    John Counts covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at johncounts@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    The Ross School of Business announced Monday that Stewart Thornhill will take over in September as the executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

    Before coming to the University of Michigan, Thornhill was involved in developing entrepreneurship in academic settings across the globe.

    Stewart_Thornhill_ZLI.jpg

    Stewart Thornhill will take over as executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies in September.

    Courtesy University of Michigan

    He has lectured as an adjunct as a professor in Germany, Slovenia and France, was a chair in entrepreneurship at the Universidad de San Andreas in Argentina and, most recently, was the director of the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Ivey Business School at Western University in London, Ontario.

    As part of his work as chair of the entrepreneurship institute at Western University, Thornhill also directs the QuantumShift executive development program that works with high-growth entrepreneurs.

    Outgoing director Tom Kinnear said that he was extremely pleased with the school’s selection for his successor.

    “He is really first rate and will bring great things to the institute,” he said.

    “The hard part was shaking him loose from where he was. We are very fortunate to have him.”

    Kinnear, who helped found the institute in 1999 and has been its only executive director, said that he felt the timing was right for a change in leadership.

    “I wanted to do the transition now while everything was in good shape so there’s no crisis going on,” Kinnear said.

    “It felt like a good time after 14 years to bring in new ideas and perspectives. It was also important for someone to takes over in a stable situation where they can build off of the strong foundation.”

    In a press release from the University of Michigan, Thornhill said that the prestige of the institute, which ranked No. 2 in the nation among graduate entrepreneurship programs, according to Entrepreneur Magazine and the Princeton Review, was a major draw.

    “The Zell Lurie Institute is an incredible institution and highly respected as the premier location for the very best entrepreneurial learning,” he said in a statement.

    “I am excited to be a part of it and know that becoming its executive director is an incredible opportunity. I’m eager to continue the tremendous efforts of Tom Kinnear and others at the Institute who have created an action-based approach to teaching entrepreneurship that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.”

    The ‘action-based’ approach has led to the formation and development of the two programs that Kinnear said he is most proud of overseeing as director of the institute.

    “We have two fantastic programs that I think anyone who works here would say are the top of what we do,” he said.

    “On the company-building side we have the Dare to Dream program, and on the financing side we have our three venture funds.”

    The Dare to Dream program provides students with small amounts of capital to explore potential business ideas and then provides larger grants and office space if those ideas come to fruition. Kinnear said the program is unique in offering the money without taking an equity stake in the students’ companies.

    “Unlike a lot of other schools, we don’t take a piece of their business because we think that would be a conflict of interest,” he said. “We’re all about the students and helping them get their companies off of the ground.”

    The three venture funds operated by students in the ZLI are similarly unique. The institute is home to the $5.5 million Wolverine Venture Fund, which invests in companies alongside established venture capital firms, and two smaller funds that invest in early stage and socially beneficial companies.

    “I get calls every other week from schools trying to start funds, mostly like our Wolverine Venture Fund, but nobody has all three like we do,” Kinnear said. “We just have great students who want to be a part of this, great staff to assist them and fantastic donors that make it possible with their funding.”

    Kinnear will remain at the university as a professor of business administration and marketing and will also continue his involvement in the university’s Office of Technology Transfer.

    “It’s just a great time to transition to someone who will come up with things I never could have even dreamed of and make the institute even better,” he said. “This is a happy moment for me, even though it’s bittersweet.”

    The appointment came on the same day that U-M Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the College of Engineering, announced that entrepreneur Tom Frank will take over as its executive director before the end of July.

    Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at benfreed@annarbor.com. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


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    The second annual Beatles tribute comes to the Blind Pig this Saturday.

    AP Photo

    The road to the Blind Pig may not be long and winding, but it is the quickest way to the second and now-annual “The Beatles Extravaganza,” Saturday night.

    Among the musicians mining The Beatles’ gold-filled songbook are Laith Al-Saadi, George Bedard & the Kingpins, Anna Lee’s Company, The White Ravens, Specher Michaud, David Nefesh, Orpheum Bell, Wolfie Complex, Gwynyth Hayes and Nicole P’Simer.

    “Two new angles on this year’s show are that we have Laith Al-Saadi, a walking Beatles songbook, and also many female performers,” said musician-singer-songwriter Alejandra O’Leary, who organizes the event. “It will make for a really cool interpretive night of music.”

    Like last year, there will be special discounts at the door for people with Beatles song names (Rita, Prudence, Sadie, Michelle, etc. ID required.)

    So don’t be left waiting for Maxwell’s silver hammer to come down on your head (or something like that). Last year’s show sold out, so get your tickets early.

    “The Beatles Extravaganza” will be at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St, on Saturday, July 27. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$13. Details at blindpigmusic.com or 734-996-8555.


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    Washtenaw Community College's commencement ceremony for the class of 2013 held at the Convocation Center Saturday, May 18.

    Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com

    The Washtenaw Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved changes to the school's residency guidelines that make it cheaper for certain unauthorized immigrants and veterans to attend the school.

    The change allow individuals living in Washtenaw County or Michigan and who qualify for the federal government's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to receive in-district or in-state tuition rates, as opposed to out-of-country rates such students currently pay.

    It also allows active military, veterans and their dependents to receive in-district rates as soon as they move to Washtenaw County or in-state rates as soon as they move to Michigan. Previously, military and their families had to wait six months after moving before receiving the reduced rate.

    Six of the seven trustees were present during a Tuesday evening trustees' meeting, and all approved the change. Trustee Diana McKnight-Morton was absent. About five people spoke publicly in support of the change.

    "It was probably one of the most emotional sets of public presentations that we've had. This is clearly an issue that affects people. It affects their lives in a very direct way. For some of these students, it's going to mean they don't have to work two or three jobs to put themselves through college," said Patrick McLean, vice chair of the board. "It's an issue of fundamental fairness."

    Three months ago McLean was approached by Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and asked to consider lobbying administrators and fellow board members for reduced tuition for unauthorized immigrants. McLean, a board member of Community Refugee Immigration Services in Columbus, Ohio, agreed to help the group and asked administrators to look into a change. Administrators brought the board a proposal in June. A month later, trustees approved the change.

    Unauthorized immigrants who reside in Washtenaw County paid the highest per-credit tuition rate prior to the change —the out-of-state rate of $194 a credit— and now they can pay $96 per credit if they have DACA status.

    Unauthorized youth must meet several requirements to be granted DACA status, including:

    • Under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
    • Came to the U.S. before reaching 16th birthday
    • Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
    • Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making a request for DACA status
    • Entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
    • Currently in school, has graduated, obtained a certificate of completion from high school, a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran.
    • Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors

    DACA status defers deportation for qualifying individuals for up to four years and provides them with a social security number, but does not provide them lawful status in the U.S. Individuals with DACA status can apply for permanent residency.

    Tuesday's vote at WCC comes on the heels of University of Michigan's Board of Regents approving in-state tuition rates for all unauthorized immigrants who attended Michigan middle and high school. Regents voted 6-2 to approve that measure on Thursday. They also approved in-state tuition rates for all military and veterans.

    The U-M residency change is more broad than the proposed WCC change, which applies to only those unauthorized immigrants who have been granted DACA status.

    McLean says he wants WCC to explore broader policies that would allow more unauthorized immigrants in-district tuition rates.

    "I am pleased with what we've done. I think it will be worth exploring whether or not something more expansive, like what U-M has done, would be appropriate for WCC," he said. "This is a very good first step."

    Linda Blakey, WCC vice president for student and academic services, says the school already enrolls a small amount of unauthorized immigrants, although she said she didn't know the exact number.

    Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at kelliewoodhouse@annarbor.com or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


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    After several drownings around Michigan, MLive is holding a live chat about water safety Wednesday with officials and reporters from around the state.

    The chat begins at noon and features Bob Pratt, director of education for the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project. According to the GLSRP, 31 people have drowned so far this year in the Great Lakes, including seven in the last week in Lake Michigan.

    In the last month in Washtenaw County, Donovan Hyter died in the Huron River and Anthony Zellars died in Ford Lake.

    Hyter drowned after jumping from a Superior Township bridge into the Huron River early on June 31. Zellars was found floating in Ford Lake Friday after being reported missing Thursday. The investigation into his death continues.

    Raybeon Jenkins, a 15-year-old girl from Ypsilanti, drowned in Lake Michigan Friday and Stephen Osler Easter, an 8-year-old Ann Arbor boy, died of hypothermia after the canoe he was in with his father was capsized by a rogue wave in Sleeping Bear Bay in Lake Michigan on July 1.

    • Participate in the live chat or follow along on MLive.

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Courtesy of Ann Arbor police

    A 27-year-old Whitmore Lake man accused of attacking an Ann Arbor teenager with a blunt object was arrested Tuesday, police said.

    Brae McKee was arrested at South Ashley and West William streets by uniformed officers, Ann Arbor police Lt. Robert Pfannes said.

    McKee has been arraigned on one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and one count of assault with a dangerous weapon, jail records indicate.

    He remains at the Washtenaw County Jail on a $25,000 cash bond.

    Police said McKee attacked an Ann Arbor teen while he was listening to a band play at Liberty Plaza Sunday night. The 17-year-old was sitting down in the area around 8:25 p.m. when he was struck in the head with a blunt object, witnesses told police. The two had an altercation earlier in the day over money and cigarettes, police said.

    The assailant fled and the 17-year-old was taken to University of Michigan Hospital with head injuries. An update on his medical condition was not immediately available.

    McKee's booking picture was not available Wednesday because the jail's computer system was down.


    View Larger Map

    John Counts covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at johncounts@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    University of Michigan's campus

    Forbes ranked the University of Michigan as the No. 30 college in nation in its 2013 list of America's Top Colleges.

    The Ann Arbor school ranked third among non-military public colleges —topped by the University of California at Berkley and the University of Virginia— and fourth among Midwestern colleges.

    The top college on the list is Stanford University. The U.S. Military Academy ranked seventh.

    Last year U-M ranked 57th on Forbes' list.

    Forbes partners with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for College Affordability and Productivity to compile the ranking, which uses measures of student satisfaction, post-graduate success, graduation rates, student debt levels and national recognition to score colleges.

    Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at kelliewoodhouse@annarbor.com or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


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    Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies investigated three home invasions in Scio Township early Tuesday morning, including one incident in which residents woke up as they heard people breaking into the home.

    Deputies responded at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday to a home in the 1600 block of Abigail Way for after the residents heard noises coming from a lower level.

    When they went downstairs, the residents found a window had been forced open and electronics were stolen.

    An Ann Arbor Police Department dog eventually led investigators to items in the 2700 block of Scio Church Road that was related to the Abigail Way home invasion.

    Other items recovered were related to two other home invasions and an attempted home invasion, deputies said.

    One of the other incidents also took place in the 1600 block of Abigail Way. The thief or thieves entered through unlocked window, deputies said, and a computer was reported stolen.

    Another break-in was reported in 1700 block of Harley Drive, where a window was forced open. A purse, money, computer and keys were reported stolen.

    The final incident was reported in the 1500 block of Scio Ridge Road. Screens had been tampered with but the home was not accessed and nothing was reported stolen.

    All of of the incidents occurred Tuesday, police said.

    Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said deputies are still searching for suspects.

    Anyone with information on these incidents is encouraged to call the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office anonymous tip line at 734-973-7711 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).


    View 1600 Abigail Way in a larger map

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    The Ann Arbor area has been the launching pad for a number of biomedical companies and now it's attracting West Coast entrepreneurs looking to break into the industry.

    According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, Steve Everist moved his company, Everist Genomics, from California to Michigan to capitalize on the talent and technology available in the area.

    Everist-Genomics-logo.jpg
    According to the company’s website, Everist Genomics is developing a number of diagnostic devices that can help with early-stage disease detection and drug selection for specific patients. The company’s most recent development was a device known as the AngioDefender that tests the strength and resiliency of a patient’s blood vessels.

    Before turning his attention to medical devices, Everist made his first big splash in the entrepreneurial world when MongoMusic, a music-sharing site that he founded with college friends, sold to Microsoft for $65 million. According to the Free Press story, Everist said he moved to the offices in Pittsfield Township just south of Ann Arbor because he would have access to former Pfizer workers and technology developed at the University of Michgian.

    Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at benfreed@annarbor.com. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


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    The Dexter Community Schools Board of Education late last month approved a three-year contract with its new superintendent that could allow him to earn up to $169,000. That's a $39,000 pay bump from former Superintendent Mary Marshall's salary.

    timmis.jpg

    Christopher Timmis

    Courtesy photo

    Marshall left Dexter schools in December to take a position as superintendent of Pentwater Public Schools on the west side of the state. Since then, Dexter has been engaged in a search to find a new superintendent.

    The board voted on June 12 to hire Christopher Timmis, the superintendent of Adrian Public Schools, as the district's next leader. Timmis will start with Dexter schools on Aug. 19.

    School board President Larry Cobler told AnnArbor.com that Timmis' contract was ratified unanimously by the board during a special meeting on June 28.

    Timmis' base pay was set at $140,000. Marshall's base salary was $130,000.

    Cobler said among the reasons for the increase was that Marshall had no previous experience as superintendent prior to being hired, whereas Timmis has been the superintendent of Adrian for five years.

    In addition, Timmis will receive an extra $10,000 on top of his base pay for each fiscal year of his contract for an "education stipend" in recognition of his doctoral degree.

    Cobler said Marshall did not have a doctoral degree. The board felt it was appropriate to reward Timmis for having his doctorate, similar to how teachers with a master's and doctoral degrees receive more pay than their bachelor's degree-holding colleagues.

    Lastly, the Board of Education approved three opportunities for Timmis to earn performance-based incentives. The contract allows Timmis to receive a $3,000 bonus for accomplishing each of the following goals:

    • Completion and board adoption of a district strategic plan.
    • Creation of an action plan designed to improve district mathematics scores.
    • Creation of an action plan designed to generate additional revenue for the district.

    Cobler said the board will create new goals with incentives attached each year, giving Timmis the opportunity to earn additional pay. Those are the goals for the 2013-14 academic year, Cobler said.

    Cobler described Timmis' benefits and insurance package as being the same as other district administrators. He said there are no benefits tied to cellphone coverage or travel, outside of the typical mileage reimbursements.

    According to the district's most recent salary and compensation report, in addition to a $130,000 base salary, Marshall received $14,295 in health care coverage, $32,500 in pension costs and $7,000 in supplemental pay. At Adrian, Timmis earned a salary of $115,000 in 2011, along with a travel stipend of $6,000, a pension of $28,367 and $11,138.04 in health care coverage.

    Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at daniellearndt@annarbor.com.


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    South State Street at the intersection of Morgan Road on Tuesday, July 23. Under a plan developed by the Washtenaw County Road Commission and Pittsfield Township, the road would be widened to four lanes with a narrow median to make it a boulevard-style configuration. The intersection of State and Morgan would be converted into a roundabout.

    Daniel Brenner I AnnArbor.com

    Pittsfield Township trustees voted 4-0 in a special meeting Wednesday morning to create a tax-capturing authority to help fund a future $30 million improvement to its industrial South State Road corridor.

    The township's plan is similar to but independent of the city of Ann Arbor’s master planning efforts approved July 16 that determined a vision for its own South State corridor.

    Anticipating a continued trend in rising property values in 2014 and the possibility of new development along the road, the creation of the corridor improvement authority is the first step for Pittsfield Township to capture a portion of the proceeds from property value increases due to inflation and new development in a tax-increment finance plan.

    Funds captured in the TIF will be used to provide a local match to federal grant funds the township is pursuing to pay for a projected $30 million overhaul to South State Road south of Ellsworth to just north of West Michigan Avenue. The project will include the addition of two roundabouts, widening the road to four lanes, adding bike lanes and constructing pedestrian walkways.

    Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the improvement is necessary to accommodate the changing demands of the industrial businesses in the corridor when it comes to transportation options. Widening South State Road would allow for express bus service to the area.

    For both Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township, State — street or road, depending on which side of Interstate 94 you’re on — serves as a major north-south route. Industrial and office parks are predominant on State both north and south of I-94.

    The city’s new master plan for South State includes turning it into a boulevard configuration between Eisenhower and I-94 — which is the same recommendation the road commission gave to the township for South State between Ellsworth and West Michigan Avenue.

    Evaluating traffic patterns in the Ann Arbor portion of the corridor to see if roundabouts are an option is listed in the city's master plan — an item the township is pursuing in its own overhaul of South State.

    Goals in the city’s master plan also include making the corridor more friendly to alternative modes of transportation, which is also part of the township’s motivation for change.

    The city's master plan also recommends exploring the development of a district on South State in which the businesses would pay special fees to fund improvements, which is the main difference between Ann Arbor's vision and Pittsfield Township's approach. The TIF plan the township is pursuing would not add to the costs that the businesses pay.

    Grewal said she views South State Road differently than Washtenaw Avenue, where Pittsfield is a part of the four-jurisdiction entity ReImagine Washtenaw that is taking a regional approach to planning parameters for future developments so they work congruently.

    “We haven’t had those multi-jurisdictional visions for State Street,” Grewal said.

    Between I-94 and Ellsworth Road, South State serves as a dividing line: to the east, Ann Arbor; to the west, Pittsfield Township.

    The township wants to improve the road south of Ellsworth Road in a section that shares no borders with Ann Arbor, which is why Grewal said she did not engage Ann Arbor officials in a dialogue regarding the township’s plans for State Road.

    The Washtenaw County Road Commission has been working with the township to develop the redevelopment plan for State Road. Road Commission officials made it abundantly clear to the township that it did not have funding available to help make the overhaul a reality, leaving the township up to its own devices, Grewal said.

    Grewal was one of four votes to unanimously approve creating the corridor improvement authority at the township’s special meeting Wednesday morning.

    Trustees Frank Lotfian, Gerald Krone and Patricia Tupacz Scribner voted for the resolution as well with little discussion. The three trustees absent were Michael Yi, Alan Israel and Stephanie Hunt.

    The board also voted 4-0 to appoint five individuals to a board that will oversee the corridor improvement authority. That board will first meet Aug. 7 to begin developing a TIF plan that will have to be reviewed by the other seven jurisdictions that collect tax revenue from the properties within the zone of the corridor improvement authority.

    A corridor improvement authority is similar to a downtown development authority but not identical. A DDA has the ability to ask for a dedicated millage, whereas a corridor improvement authority cannot collect its own taxes.

    The corridor improvement authority is under the direct supervision of the township board, whereas a DDA’s board has more jurisdictional authority to work independently, township officials said.

    Pittsfield Township will be pursuing a TIF that will capture 50 percent of increasing property value due to inflation or new development on properties within the corridor improvement authority. The taxable value of the properties in the authority is about $130 million this year.

    Officials are taking care to place a 20-year sunset on the TIF, as well pursuing language to ensure that the funds captured by the TIF will only be used to fund the State Road Improvements.

    The township has the ability to leverage up to 100 percent of the increased property value, but officials said they’re be pursuing 50 percent because they want to work in partnership with other entities that collect taxes from Pittsfield Township - including Washtenaw Community College, County Parks and Recreation and the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority.

    Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at (734) 623-2552, amybiolchini@annarbor.com or on Twitter.


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    The Black Sheep Tavern, 115 E. Main St., closed Saturday after three years of business in downtown Manchester, according to The Manchester Enterprise.

    Kellie Englund told The Manchester Enterprise that the tavern wasn’t getting enough business to stay open.

    Coffee Mill Cafe, which is run out of the same building and owned by the same owner, will continue to operate.

    The cafe will maintain its usual hours, seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will continue to serve liquor because the alcohol permit was for the whole building, not just the tavern, The Manchester Enterprise said.

    Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at choedl@mlive.com.


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    Authorities investigated the death of a man at an Ann Arbor home Wednesday afternoon.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Police were investigating after a man was found dead Wednesday at a home in Ann Arbor.

    An investigation into the death got underway just after noon at the house of the Phi Rho Sigma fraternity, a co-educational society of University of Michigan medical students, at 220 North Ingalls St.

    Police said they believe the man was a student. It wasn't immediately clear how he died, however.

    Ann Arbor police Detective Sgt. Pat Hughes said investigators were conducting a preliminary investigation and that every death that occurs outside of a hospital is considered suspicious.

    Uniformed officers, plainclothes detectives and the Ann Arbor Police Department Crime Scene Unit were at the scene Wednesday afternoon. Police taped off the parking lot of the home and were interviewing other residents of the home, one of whom was wearing hospital scrubs.

    Authorities from the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner's office were expected later in the afternoon. Investigators could not immediately release any other information.


    View Larger Map

    John Counts covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at johncounts@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    The 24-year-old Ypsilanti man arrested for attempting to rob two men Monday faces four felonies and is being held on a $300,000 cash bond, according to court records.

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    Graham Fackler

    Courtesy of WCSo

    Graham Fackler, 24, faces two counts each of armed robbery and assault with intent to commit robbery while armed. Fackler was arraigned Tuesday on the charges, records show.

    Ypsilanti police responded at 10:40 p.m. Monday to the area of Jarvis and Lowell streets for two different robbery reports. A 37-year-old man and a 19-year-old man were both held up at knifepoint while walking in the area by Fackler, according to police.

    Fackler did not know the men and the victims appeared to be random.

    According to police, one of the men refused to give Fackler anything and the other did not actually have anything to give him during the robbery.

    Ypsilanti police used a K-9 unit to track Fackler to a nearby apartment, where he was arrested.

    Fackler has previous convictions for larceny in a building in Livingston County, assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property worth more than $200 but less than $1,000 in Washtenaw County and stealing a financial transaction device in Livingston, according to state records.

    He also pleaded no contest to delivery or manufacture of marijuana in Isabella County, state records show.

    Fackler was discharged from state supervision on March 15, 2011, records show.

    Court records show Fackler will return to court for a preliminary exam at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. He’s being represented by the Washtenaw County Public Defender’s Office.

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Ann Arbor police investigate a robbery at Fifth Third Bank on West Stadium Boulevard Wednesday.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Ann Arbor police are looking for a man who robbed the Fifth Third Bank on the city’s west side Wednesday afternoon.

    Ann Arbor police Sgt. Craig Flocken said police arrived about 4 p.m. Wednesday to Fifth Third Bank, 2090 W. Stadium Blvd. for a report of a robbery. It’s unknown at this point how much money was stolen.

    072413_NEWS_BankRObbery_MRM_01.jpg

    Officers look for evidence near Grotto Club of Ann Arbor following a bank robbery Wednesday.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Flocken said police just arrived on scene at 4 p.m. and were setting up their investigation into the incident. It's not immediately known if a weapon was seen or implied during the robbery.

    The man is described as white, in his 40s, heavy set, 6-feet-3 inches tall, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a camouflage baseball hat, Flocken said. He was last seen on foot heading south on West Stadium.

    Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Ann Arbor police anonymous tip line at 734-794-6939 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587).


    View Larger Map

    Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kylefeldscher@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.


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    Actor Jeff Daniels after hitting a hole-in-one.

    Twitter

    The odds of the average golfer hitting a hole-in-one are approximately 12,500 to one.

    So you're telling me there's a chance!

    Actor Jeff Daniels hit a hole-in-one at the Polo Fields Golf and Country Club in Ann Arbor on Tuesday. The Chelsea native—famous for roles in "Dumb and Dumber," "Arachnophobia," and HBO's "The Newsroom," who is also founder/executive director of the Purple Rose Theatre Co.—hit the ace at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and took to Twitter soon after.

    Daniels tweeted, "133yds. 8 iron into a stiff wind. Power Draw. No roll up and trickle in; a slam dunk. Two witnesses. #9 @ Polo Fields."

    A spokesperson at Polo Fields Golf and Country Club confirmed that Daniels hit a hole-in-one on No. 9, a 133-yard par 3, with an 8-iron and that there were two witnesses. According to the spokesperson, Daniels and his group started their round on the back-nine, making No. 9 their final hole.

    Now that's a happy ending.

    Pete Cunningham covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at petercunningham@annarbor.com. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


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    Haley F. jumps off the board during the 15 and over diving portion of the WISC championships, at the Huron Valley Swim Club in Ann Arbor, Wednesday, July 24.

    Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com

    Note: Diving results will be posted when they become available

    This is supposed to be summer vacation for Ann Arbor's youth. But at least one young competitor at the Washtenaw Interclub Swim Conference championships put in quite a workday Wednesday.

    Eight-year-old Lucy Mehraban of the Huron Valley Swim Club competed in the first four events of Wednesday's swim session at Skyline High School.

    Mehraban took home wins in the 100-meter freestyle, 25 butterfly and 50 freestyle, and was the only three-event winner from Day 3 of WISC. She also contributed to a third-place 100 medley relay team, as Huron Valley remained in first place in the girls standings with one day left in the event.

    On the boys side, Ethan Sung of Huron Valley won a pair of events, the 25 and 50 freestyle races. Huron Valley won four of the eight boys events.

    The 2013 WISC championships conclude Thursday with swimming for 11-12 year-olds and diving for 9-10 year-olds.

    WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS
    Complete Swimming Results (PDF) | Complete Diving Results (PDF)

    Boys 8-and-under Swimming
    100 Medley Relay
    1. Huron Valley (Drew Kemp, Joshua Brunty, Ethan Sung, Owen Schadler), 1:19.05
    2. Milan (Zachary Heikka, Ethan Budd, Robert Adams, Evan Budd), 1:28.87
    3. Huron Valley 'B' (Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Sam Koelling, Tyler Wilkins, Kaleb Schlecht), 1:29.65

    100 Freestyle
    1. Sam Miller, Travis Pointe, 1:18.26
    2. Ethan Sung, Huron Valley, 1:19.49
    3. Matthew DeBona, Buhr Park, 1:19.96

    25 Butterfly
    1. Kyler Heise, Georgetown, 18.19
    2. Drew Kemp, Huron Valley, 18.28
    3. Jack Wilkening, Racquet Club, 19.47

    50 Freestyle
    1. Ethan Sung, Huron Valley, 35.59
    2. Matthew DeBona, Buhr Park, 35.91
    3. Alec Simon, Racquet Club, 37.53

    25 Backstroke
    1. Drew Kemp, Huron Valley, 17.89
    2. Jack Wilkening, Racquet Club, 18.69
    3. Ozan Uyular, Buhr Park, 22.37

    25 Freestyle
    1. Ethan Sung, Huron Valley, 15.72
    2. Alec Simon, Racquet Club, 16.50
    3. Benjamin Stille, Liberty, 16.63

    25 Breastroke
    1. Ethan Budd, Milan, 22.03
    2. Kyler Heise, Georgetown, 22.72
    3. Joshua Brunty, Huron Valley, 22.73

    100 Freestyle Relay
    1. Milan (Ethan Budd, Robert Adams, Zachary Heikka, Evan Budd), 1:11.38
    2. Racquet Club (Alec Simon, Michael Bailey, Zade Shamma, Jack Wilkening), 1:13.85
    3. Huron Valley (Tyler Wilkins, Drew Kemp, Owen Schadler, Sam Koelling), 1:19.78

    Girls 8-and-under Swimming
    100 Medley Relay
    1. Racquet Club (Clare Fox, Samantha Ketslakh, Alexis Greenhawt, Ruthie Mills), 1:19.23
    2. Travis Pointe (Bella Arbaugh, Megan Socha, Carolyn Klein, Amanda Lin), 1:21.51
    3. Huron Valley (Ronnie Armstrong, Emmy Chung, Lucy Mehraban, Dawsen Mercer), 1:21.88

    100 Freestyle
    1. Lucy Mehraban, Huron Valley, 1:16.47
    2. Bella Lamb, Chelsea, 1:18.07
    3. Gina Sadler, Georgetown, 1:21.91

    25 Butterfly
    1. Lucy Mehraban, Huron Valley, 16.35
    2. Alexis Greenhawt, Racquet Club, 16.53
    3. Emma May, Barton Hills, 17.34

    50 Freestyle
    1. Lucy Mehraban, Huron Valley, 33.42
    2. Emma May, Barton Hills, 33.62
    3. Bella Lamb, Chelsea, 34.64

    25 Backstroke
    1. Alexis Greenhawt, Racquet Club, 18.92
    2. Lily Witte, Dexter, 19.16
    3. Emma May, Barton Hills, 19.73

    25 Freestyle
    1. Bella Lamb, Chelsea, 15.39
    2. Alexis Greenhawt, Racquet Club, 16.13
    3. Dawsen Mercer, Huron Valley, 16.78

    25 Breastroke
    1. Megan Socha, Travis Pointe, 21.35
    2. Lily Cramer, Georgetown, 22.69
    3. Kendal Sanders, Milan, 22.81

    100 Freestyle Relay
    1. Travis Pointe (Bella Arbaugh, Carolyn Klein, Megan Socha, Amanda Lin), 1:11.21
    2. Chelsea (Bella Lamb, Trilian Krug, Adrija Skiotys, Holly Durand), 1:13.41
    3. Georgetown (Elle Lage, Lea Alderink, Lily Cramer, Gina Sadler), 1:13.93

    Boys 13-14 Diving
    1. Dakota Hurbis, Travis Pointe, 265.35
    2. Jordan Smith, Chelsea, 194.4
    3. Griffin Beck, Ann Arbor CC, 176.1
    4. Brendan Connolly, Whitmore Lake, 167.75
    5. Mack Hurley, Racquet Club, 158.95

    Girls 13-14 Diving
    1. Amy Stevens, Travis Pointe, 326.7
    2. Taylor Hosein, Travis Pointe, 273.95
    3. Izzy Holcomb, Travis Pointe, 261
    4. Georgia Plagens, Racquet Club, 191.9
    5. Grace Murphy, Georgetown, 185.9

    Boys 15-17 Diving
    1. Alex Caulder, Travis Pointe, 271.05
    2. Joe Smith, Chelsea, 267.9
    3. Will Brenner, Racquet Club, 258.95
    4. Jacob Burris, Chelsea, 257.7
    5. Jake Kilian, Huron Valley, 231.35

    Girls 15-17 Diving
    1. Miranda Early, Travis Pointe, 245.75
    2. Claire Bauer, Georgetown, 230.85
    3. Haley Feeman, Milan, 223.25
    4. Wilhelmina Francisco, Chelsea, 219.3
    5. Alexandra Dunn, Georgetown, 212.30

    * WISC Record

    Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at kyleaustin@annarbor.com or 734-623-2535. Follow him on Twitter @KAustin_AA.


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    The scene on Tuesday afternoon at the southeast corner of Liberty and Main in downtown Ann Arbor.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    The southeast corner of Liberty and Main streets in downtown Ann Arbor remains closed to sidewalk traffic as crews work to install handicap-accessible curb ramps.

    Robert Saladino of the Ann Arbor-based Saladino Construction Co. said work on the corner began on Tuesday and should be finished within a few days.

    He said the other three corners at the intersection already have had the same work done to become handicap-accessible.

    Saladino_072413_RJS_003.jpg

    The Ann Arbor-based Saladino Construction Co. began work on the corner on Tuesday and plans to be finished within a few days.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    City officials weren't available late Tuesday afternoon to provide further information, but records show the city has a $576,000 ongoing contract with Saladino Construction for miscellaneous concrete work that includes curbs, gutters, sidewalks, corner ramps and driveway approaches.

    The City Council originally approved a $426,000 contract with the company in August 2012 and then approved a $150,000 change order this May.

    Matt Warba, the city's acting field operations manager, wrote in a memo to council that city staff identified a number of additional repairs that required the additional allocation.

    The city remains under a consent decree stemming from a lawsuit brought by Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living to bring all corner curb ramps into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act on streets that were resurfaced or reconstructed between 1992 and 2004.

    The work must be done by the year 2018, though it's uncertain if the work being done at Liberty and Main is related to the consent decree.

    The center claimed in its August 2004 lawsuit that the city had failed to build curb ramps according to federal and state accessibility guidelines and standards. The suit alleged the city's failure resulted in unsafe sidewalks and intersections for people using wheelchairs.

    Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at ryanstanton@annarbor.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.


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