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

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    Six cats were rescued from a house fire early Wednesday morning in the 8500 block of Second Street of downtown Dexter, officials said.

    No one was at home at the time the blaze broke out and there were no reported injures.

    The Dexter Area Fire Department was called to the structure fire around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. When crews arrived, flames were coming through the roof of the house, according to Assistant Chief Robert Wagner.

    “The kittens were running all over outside,” Wagner said. “They were in and out of the house and on the porch when we arrived and then the owner ... came and put them in a box.”

    Crews extinguished the blaze and didn't clear the scene until 4:30 a.m.

    The fire originated on the second floor of the home, which is divided into separate apartments, according to officials. Wagner said there was smoke throughout the house and damages could total between $35,000 and $45,000.

    The Washtenaw-Lenawee County Chapter of the American Red Cross provided residents with shelter and support. A Red Cross volunteer met with one of the residents Thursday afternoon and aided in permanently placing the six cats with The Humane Society, according to a press release.

    The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation, Wagner said.

    The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office and fire departments from Putnam Township and Hamburg Township assisted.


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


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    After coming up a little short a month ago, Saline's Peter Wood took home a title in the city's final event of the year.

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    Saline resident Peter Wood tees off during the Ann Arbor City Golf Championship on Sunday, July 21.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file

    Wood shot a 72-72-144 to win the 16-player championship flight by three strokes over Ron Naida of Milan last weekend. The performance came after Wood came in fourth place in the men's amateur tournament in July.

    The senior tournament wraps up the 2013 Miles of Golf Championship Series. Here are the event winners:

    Men's Champion: Caleb Wittig (Saline)
    Senior Champion: Peter Wood (Saline)
    Super Senior Champion: Don Larson (Ann Arbor)
    Boys Junior Champion: Robert Kowalenko (Brighton)
    Girls Junior Champion: Samantha Kellstrom (Saline)
    Boys Mini Junior Champion: William Chung (Ann Arbor)
    Girls Mini Junior Champion: Amaya Melendez (Ann Arbor)

    Dexter hosting Touchdown Tastefest

    The Dexter Touchdown Club will be hosting the inaugural Touchdown Taste Fest and Community Fun Night on Friday, Sept. 6 from 4-6 p.m. at Dexter's Al Ritt Stadium.

    The event will feature food from 10 area restaurants, area merchants and children's activities. Tickets will cost 50 cents apiece, and activities and food items will cost between one and six tickets.

    Dexter players will be on hand before their 7 p.m. home opener against Skyline.

    A-Sqare Fight Club hosting James "Lights out" Toney boxing tournament

    A-Square Fight Club will be hosting a boxing tournament Friday-Sunday at its Ypsilanti location, located at 2287 Ellsworth Road. Former middleweight, super middleweight, and cruiserweight world champion James Toney, an Ann Arbor native, will be on hand for the event. Daily admission is $10. For information call 734-585-8823 or visit A2FightClub.com.

    Have a local sports brief to tell us about? Contact us at sports@annarbor.com.


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    Here’s a great chance to catch a big name in a small venue. Rickie Lee Jones comes to The Ark Monday night. (Tickets for the show are sold out.)

    Rickie_Lee_Jones_credit_Scott_Cordaro.jpg

    Rickie Lee Jones

    photo by Scott Cordaro

    Named by VH1 as one of the 30 greatest women in rock (we'd put her in an even smaller group), Rickie Lee Jones has been hard to classify ever since she came on the scene with the classic "Chuck E.'s in Love" in 1979.

    She's performed straight jazz, blues, synth pop, new wave rock, pop covers, trip-hop, gospel, ambitious singer-songwriter music, and more, putting her spin on each style. Each new round of music-making activity by Jones is different. But a few things remain the same: she's at her best in an intimate space - like The Ark - and her live concerts are usually unforgettable experiences.

    Jones’ latest album, "The Devil You Know," features reinterpretations of classic tracks such as “St. James Infirmary,” Sympathy for the Devil” and “The Weight.”

    Tickets aren’t as inexpensive as most Ark shows, but for this one, they’re probably worth the price.

    Rickie Lee Jones plays at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 26. Tickets are $75-$45. (Tickets were sold out as of Friday, August 23.) Details at www.theark.org or 734-761-1800


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    Michigan State running back Nick Hill, right, was on hand at Chelsea High School's four-way scrimmage on Thursday, August 22.

    J. Scott Park | MLive Media Group file photo

    You can take the Bulldog out of Chelsea, but you can’t take the Chelsea out of the Bulldog.

    2013 ANNARBOR.COM HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PREVIEW

    high-school-football-generic.jpg
    Ready for the high school football season? Be sure to check out AnnArbor.com's football preview section on newsstands Sunday. Elements of the package will be rolled out on the following schedule online:
    Thursday:
    Friday:
    Sunday:
    • Team-by-team glance at SEC Red
    • Team-by-team glance at SEC White
    • Team-by-team glance at Washtenaw County's "other" squads
    That much was apparent at Thursday night’s four-way football scrimmage at Jerry Niehaus Field, where former Chelsea High School running back Nick Hill could have been mistaken for an assistant coach.

    Hill - a redshirt junior running back at Michigan State - casually watched for the first couple of plays as Chelsea took on Monroe Jefferson, but before the first offensive series was over he was screaming out coverage schemes and encouragement from the sideline.

    “It brings me back to those Friday nights out here. Brings me back to grinding with the team,” Hill said. “Reading the defenses, seeing what they’re doing. I’m still in camp mode, as they say.”

    Michigan State held its final practice of fall camp Thursday morning, and Hill hopped in his car and headed for Chelsea shortly thereafter. Hill and the Spartans open their season against Western Michigan next Friday. With kickoff scheduled for an hour after Chelsea’s opener against Lansing Sexton, Hill won’t get to see his former team play.

    “They play next Friday, same time as us, so I wanted to see them live and in action, not just at practice,” Hill said.

    Hill was the Associated Press Division 3-4 player of the year for Chelsea back in 2009, an appropriate cap to a fantastic four-year career which left his name dotted all over the MHSAA record book. Among his several records, Hill finished with 6,910 career yards rushing yards, 98 rushing touchdowns and 949 rushing attempts, sixth, second and second all-time in the state, respectively.

    nick-hill-autograph.jpg

    Former Chelsea running back Nick Hill, a redshirt junior running back at Michigan State, signs autographs at a Chelsea scrimmage.

    Pete Cunningham | AnnArbor.com

    Though his high school career ended nearly four years ago, Chelsea fans still remember Hill well, as evidenced by the several children running around the field in No. 20 Michigan State jerseys. When informed that the person whose jersey they were wearing was on the sideline, several children came up to Nick seeking autographs. Those without the jerseys asked Hill to sign a ball, Bulldogs T-shirt or cap and he happily obliged.

    One shy young girl blushed as her father spoke with Hill. She eventually garnered the courage to get a hug and her picture taken with her favorite player.

    Her smile may never go away.

    Just 20 minutes from Ann Arbor, it’s clear Hill has carved a slice of Spartan nation into what is typically Wolverine country.

    “When they come up to me, it’s a true honor, that I’m able to touch people. It’s a way for me to give back to people who support me,” Hill said. “It makes me feel proud for my team, that I’m able to represent my team as well as I can, that we got State fans out here.”

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


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    Six Ann Arbor companies were ranked on the Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. Mortgage companies Gold Star Mortgage and Huron Valley Financial led the way, coming in at No. 1381 and No. 1500, respectively.

    The Inc. rankings are based on companies' revenue growth between 2009 and 2012. Over the three-year period, Gold Star grew by 292 percent, increasing revenue from $15.3 million to $59.9 million and adding 235 jobs, making it the No. 19 fastest-growing company in Michigan.

    Milstein_Milshteyn.JPG

    Dan Milstein (pictured here on left with brother Alex Milshteyn) has led Gold Star Mortgage onto the Inc. 5000 list for the third time.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com file photo

    Gold Star is in the midst of moving its headquarters into the former Borders headquarters on Pheonix Drive in Pittsfield Township just south of Ann Arbor.

    Other Ann Arbor companies on the list are Leon Speakers, Helix Steel, Underground Printing and Logic Solutions.

    “Not all the companies in the Inc. 500 | 5000 are in glamorous industries, but in their fields they are as famous as household name companies simply by virtue of being great at what they do,” Inc. editor Eric Schurenberg said in a statement.

    “They are the hidden champions of job growth and innovation, the real muscle of the American economy.”

    Huron Valley Financial cracked the Inc. list for the first time in 2013 after experiencing 266 percent growth over the past three years. In 2012, the company brought in $9.6 million in revenue and employed 62 people.

    The Inc. list only includes companies that are privately held, for profit and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies.

    Leon Speakers has appeared on the Inc. 500|5000 list every year since 2011, when it first appeared at No. 2717, and continued its steady rise in the rankings this year to No. 2099. The 46th fastest-growing company in Michigan specializes in custom-tailored sound systems.

    Helix Steel was the only local manufacturer to make the list, coming in at No. 2601. The company makes rebar, used in concrete reinforcement for construction products. Founded in 2003, Helix accelerated its growth over the past three years, growing from seven to 29 employees.

    Underground Printing is the longest tenured Ann Arbor company to make the list, having been on every year since 2008. The T-shirt maker grew revenue 86 percent over the past three years and brought in $12.2 million in 2012. The 2013 numbers will likely keep the company on the list following the University of Michigan basketball team’s run to the NCAA national championship game.

    The final Ann Arbor company on the list represented the area’s growing software development sector. Logic Solutions designs custom web and mobile applications for companies from its offices in Ann Arbor. The company employs 234 people and grew from $4.7 million in revenue in 2009 to $8.5 million in 2012.

    “These Michigan companies, from a wide range of industries, have all earned their place on this list through innovation and aggressive performance,” Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement.

    “They exemplify the resilience and entrepreneurial spirit Michigan is known for, and we applaud them for this notable achievement.”

    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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    Lincoln football players run a lap around the field during practice at the school on Wednesday, August 14, 2013.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com file

    After nearly two full weeks of voting, our first AnnArbor.com/Mlive.com Game of the Week poll of the season continues to shatter records.

    As of noon Friday, we were north of 5,800 votes in the poll for this week -- nearly doubling the vote total of any of our previous polls last season, with four days left to vote.

    We’ve had votes come in from 43 states and five foreign countries (Canada voted 80 percent for the London A.B. Lucas/Saline matchup).

    And Lincoln continues to hold strong at nearly 60 percent of the total, up to more than 3,300 total votes. Milan’s game against Ypsilanti and Father Gabriel Richard’s opener against Lake Fenton are both above 600 votes -- totals that would win most weeks’ voting, but aren’t enough against Splitter Nation.

    Lincoln will open its season next Friday at home against Belleville, a team it has beaten each of the last two years. Should it hold on to win, we’ll be out there with multiple game stories, a live chat, photos and more.


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    The Ypsilanti Head Start preschool building at 1661 Leforge Road will be named after Charles Eugene Beatty Sr., the late educator whose work with the HighScope Perry Preschool Study continues to provide evidence of the importance of a preschool education for children of low-income families.

    030113_HEAD-START.JPG

    The Leforge Road building will be named after Charles E. Beatty Sr.

    AnnArbor.com file photo

    Washtenaw Intermediate School District, which began overseeing all of the Washtenaw County Head Start programs in July, and Washtenaw County supports the adoption of the new name, according to a news release.

    Beatty graduated from Michigan State Normal College - now Eastern Michigan University - in 1933. Upon graduating, he joined the field of education and in 1940 he became the first African-American school principal in Michigan.

    He served as principal at Ypsilanti’s Harriet Street School, which was later renamed Perry School. In 1962, Beatty began working with Dr. David Weikart of the HighScope Foundation to conduct a study of the relationship between attending a preschool program and success later in life.

    A formal resolution to rename the Leforge Building will be presented at the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 in the board room of the Administration Building, 220 N. Main St. Beatty’s family will attend the meeting to accept the resolution.

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


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    The new-look 624 Church Street will extend to the corner of Church and Willard streets. The newer addition to the project consists primarily of the glass and aluminum to the left of the brick facade.

    Rendering by J Bradley Moore and Associates

    Editor's note: The percent increase of the square feet in the plan has been corrected.

    The development group behind the 624 Church Street project that will add a 13-story high rise above Pizza House has expanded its vision. New plans submitted to Ann Arbor's design review board indicate that the high-rise will now extend to the corner of Church and Willard streets.

    According to the new designs and renderings, the 144,437-square-foot plan has 122 apartments with approximately 230 bedrooms and is 59 percent larger than the original 83,807-square-foot proposal.

    The original $17 million project that included a 72-unit high-rise with at least 175 bedrooms had been approved by city council in March.

    “Everyone keeps asking ‘why aren’t you under construction yet?’ and the reason is that the adjacent property owner decided that he would in fact sell his property to be included in the project,” project architect Brad Moore of J. Bradley Moore & Associates said.

    Pizza_House_Oct_2012_001.jpg

    A rendering of the previously approved project at 624 Church Street.

    Rendering by J Bradley Moore & Associates

    “The Tice family and the Opus Group had made overtures originally but just after we got the original approval he changed his mind.”

    The additional property that will be included in the project is at 1117 Willard St. According to city records, James and Kathy Smiley have owned the property since 1994. The property was last assessed for $209,000 in 2012, making its approximate market value $418,000. Terms of the sale of the property are not yet available.

    Moore said that as part of the redesign the interior was changed to take out higher-volume apartments and make the common areas larger and more attractive. The new look is intended to diversify the population of the new high-rise beyond University of Michigan undergraduates.

    “They intend to market it more widely, not just to students,” he said.

    “There were four-bedroom apartments in the previous proposal when it was just student focused, but there are none in the new design. Opus does urban residential projects in places like Minneapolis so they decided to market this project more broadly. They’re certainly going to take students but are hoping to get others to sign on as well.”

    The new design includes studio apartments as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom floorplans.

    Pizza_House_030413_RJS_002.jpg

    The Tice family built their extension to the original Pizza House restaurant with a foundation that would support a high-rise building on top of it.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    Renderings of the new high-rise show that the brick facade originally planned for the tower over the property adjacent to the existing Pizza House structure will remain, but that glass and aluminum designs will be used on either side.

    “One of the criticisms we heard in our last public participation meeting was that people didn’t like the long solid look,” Moore said.

    “So having that previous feedback we wanted to make sure to break it up and make it look like two separate side-by-side buildings instead of one long one. Not only are there material changes, there’s a notch that breaks up the tower as well.”

    Moore hopes that the new proposal will make its way through the design review board, citizen participation meetings, planning commission and city council review by late winter or early spring 2014.

    “It really just pushes the project back a year,” Moore said. “Instead of shooting for occupancy in 2014 it will be in 2015.”

    Original approval for the project by city council came before the current review of the A2D2 zoning and strong statements from the mayor and city council members on the future of student high-rise developments in the downtown area.

    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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    It's a beautiful Friday afternoon here in Ann Arbor and that makes The Diag the perfect place to go and give you the weekend weather.

    Relaxing in the city might become a little bit tougher next week as the students all make their way back to campus, but for now the shade under a tree is a great place to go and chill. If you don't mind the occasional squirrel harassing you.

    Enjoy the last weekend before the start of the school year starts to hang over everyone's head and, seriously, go check out the demolition derby in Chelsea because those things are amazing.

    For more weather forecasts, check out AnnArbor.com/weather and Mark Torregrosa's forecast at MLive.com/weather.

    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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    Garland Johnson

    Courtesy of Washtenaw County Jail

    Marquell_Ganter.jpg

    Marquell Ganter

    Courtesy of WCJ

    Three teens have now been charged for shooting at two men standing outside an Ypsilanti Township home early Wednesday morning.

    Fifteen-year-old Davon Davis was arraigned Thursday on two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assaulting and resisting a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and commission of a felony with a firearm. He is being charged as adult.

    Family members of 17-year-old Marquell Ganter and 18-year-old Garland Johnson packed the lobby Friday at the Washtenaw County Service Center where they tearfully watched as the two teens were arraigned on attempted murder charges via video from the jail, where they are both being held on $500,000 cash bonds.

    Ganter sobbed throughout the proceedings, where he was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, receiving and concealing a firearm, carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, carrying a concealed weapon, assaulting or resisting a police officer and commission of a felony with a firearm.

    Ganter is accused of "accidentally" firing off a round at two deputies during a chase, police said.

    Johnson faces two counts of assault with intent to murder, possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, assaulting or resisting a police officer, attempted breaking entering and commission of a felony in which a motor vehicle was used.

    Police believe Johnson was the gunman who fired off five shots from the back of a Chevy Impala at two men standing in front of a residence in the 500 block of Greenlawn Avenue Wednesday around 5:50 a.m.

    Police said Johnson attempted to steal a motorcycle from the shed at the home earlier in the morning when he was interrupted and confronted by one of the two men. The three teens went across Michigan Avenue, where there was a second confrontation with the two men, police said.

    Some time after the second confrontation, the teens are accused of driving by the residence on Greenlawn, when the shots were fired.

    "It's a miracle (the two men) weren't stuck," said Det. Katrina Robinson of the sheriff's office while arguing for $1 million bonds for Ganter and Johnson.

    "I didn't know them," Ganter said between sobs during the arraignment.

    Johnson, who allegedly fired the gun, said he didn't intend to hit anyone with the shots.

    "When I shot the firearm, I did not shoot it at (anybody)," he said.

    The rounds hit the house and an SUV parked in the driveway.

    As they attempted to getaway, four suspects in the vehicle hit a parked car a few houses away and tried fleeing on foot. Deputies caught up with Davis, Ganter and Johnson on a nearby Interstate 94 off-ramp.

    By the time the deputies were out of the patrol vehicle and chasing the three teens on foot, Ganter had the pistol

    "He said he accidentally fired the gun," Robinson said.

    The gun was allegedly stolen from a vehicle earlier in the month, police said.

    Deputies arrested Davis and Johnson on Tyler Road soon after the shots were fired. Ganter got away and a hours-long manhunt ensued invoking canine units and a helicopter. Ganter eventually turned himself in, police said at the arraignment.

    All three teens are from Ypsilanti Township.

    Both Ganter and Johnson were given preliminary examination dates of Sept. 3 by Magistrate Elisha Fink. They remain in the Washtenaw County Jail. Davis is in custody at the juvenile detention center. He did not have a booking picture available because he wasn't processed through the jail, according to police.

    Fink decided on $500,000 bonds for Johnson and Ganter instead of the $1 million bond requested by police.

    "I'm not a threat to the outside," Johnson said during bond arguments "I'm a good kid. I just want to say sorry to everybody."

    A fourth person was questioned by investigators, but is not currently in custody, police said.

    Davis is being held on $300,000 bond in the juvenile detention center, according to court records.

    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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    A crash involving a green sedan and a semi truck is causing a miles long back up on northbound U.S. 23 Friday afternoon.

    Dispatchers confirmed at 4 p.m. Friday the crash was slowing traffic on northbound U.S. 23 near Plymouth Road. No information on any injuries was available.

    Cheyne Kornacki drove by the area and said traffic was backed up to near the Michigan Avenue exit on northbound U.S. 23.

    Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area. Details about what caused the accident weren’t immediately available.


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    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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    Washtenaw County residents will have an opportunity to explore the wide range of free and low-cost economic services they can take advantage of through the Parkridge Community Center, Washtenaw County and area nonprofits.

    This Saturday’s Parkridge Summer Festival at Ypsilanti’s Parkridge Community Center highlights the many programs and resources available to residents and is put on by the center and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.

    The all day-event starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and runs through 8:30 p.m.

    Aside from offering information on programs available to residents, the day is also about family fun. It includes a car show, dozens of vendors, kids’ face painting, games, food vendors and live entertainment from area musicians and choirs. The Washtenaw County Balling Series All-Star basketball game will also be held.

    Parkridge_Ypsilanti.jpg

    The Parkridge Community Center in Ypsilanti.

    Courtesy of the city of Ypsilanti

    Non-profit agencies and county departments will be on hand between 1 and 4 p.m. to provide information regarding free and/or low cost programs and services, including:

    • Job Training Programs
    • Public Health Services
    • Youth Mentoring /Employment Services
    • Senior Services
    • Home Rehabilitation Services
    • Summer Food Service
    • Eviction Prevention
    • Veteran’s Services

    The festival is its third year and aims to “bring communities together and encourage networking for positive change,” and it stems from the now-defunct Black Arts Fair.

    “The response of the people who attended the 2011 festival was emotional excitement because not since the last Black Arts Fair had there been an event to draw a crowd of this size in Parkridge Park,” said Ypsilanti Council Member Ricky Jefferson, who is on the steering committee. “For some of us who were old enough to remember the Arts Fair, there was a feeling of gratitude for having the park full of children playing again, seniors being able to get out to see people they haven't seen for years.

    “The desire of people in the community for the festival to become an annual tradition was and still is overwhelming.”

    Jefferson said the partnership with the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development adds a new dimension to the festival.

    “Because of the great loss of job opportunities in the area the need for knowing how to obtain resources to help maneuver through tough times is imperative,” he sad. “Offering the community a festival atmosphere helps to take the focus off daily worries, feelings of hopelessness and nurtures feelings of unity and hope. This festival is open for everyone to enjoy.”

    Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at news@annarbor.com.


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    Saline's Sean Pannikar, center, will compete as part of the trio called Forte on "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday, August 27 at 9 p.m.

    Saline’s Sean Panikkar - one of 3 male opera singers in Forte, a group formed specifically to compete on “America’s Got Talent” - will appear on AGT’s semi-final on Tuesday, August 27 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

    Fans will be able to vote for Forte via AGT’s website, or text, or phone, following Tuesday night’s performances show (beginning at 10:55 p.m.), and the results show, which airs on Wednesday, August 28 at 9 p.m., will reveal if Forte will advance to AGT's finals.

    Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at jennmckee@annarbor.com or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


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    A 21-year-old man was treated Sunday for a swollen left eye and a laceration after being punched by an unknown man while walking to a bar, according to police.

    Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police responded at 3:36 a.m. Sunday to University of Michigan Hospital’s emergency room after the assault was reported. The assault itself took place in the 1000 block of Hill Street.

    Bush said the man was walking to a bar and got into an argument with a man who was walking behind him. The man punched the 21-year-old from behind and then fled the area.

    The 21-year-old man sought medical attention at U-M Hospital. There was no suspect description available Monday morning.


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    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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    Washington Street between Fourth and Fifth was closed Monday afternoon for a hydraulic fluid spill.

    Kyle Feldscher | AnnArbor.com

    Note: Washington Street was reopened as of 2:15 p.m. Monday.

    A hydraulic fluid spill closed Washington between Fourth and Fifth avenues in downtown Ann Arbor around noon Monday.

    Fire officials at the scene said a cement truck blew a hose, sending liquid all over the roadway creating slick conditions.

    Ann Arbor fire and police were at the scene just after noon while Washtenaw County HAZMAT was en route to begin cleanup efforts.

    Officials did not immediately know when the street would reopen.

    This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

    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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    Lincoln's Dalauren Roberson, right, runs the ball against Milan in 2012.

    Joseph Tobianski | AnnArbor.com file

    I was wrapping up a chat with Lincoln football coach Chris Westfall last Thursday at his team's scrimmage when the topic of Game of the Week came up.

    I mentioned how his team was once again running away with a likely Game of the Week win. That's when he threw down a warning.

    "I'm just going to tell you, don't put us on the poll unless you want us to win," Westfall said. "Our people go nuts for that, as you can see."

    They're bold words, but words that have so far been backed up. After sweeping its way to four Game of the Week wins last year, Lincoln is well on its way to winning the first AnnArbor.com/MLive.com Game of the Week poll of the 2013 season. With a day left in the voting, the Railsplitters' season-opener against Belleville Friday has nearly 4,000 votes, a full 3,000 more than the second-place game, Milan vs. Ypsilanti.

    It would take a monumental -- but not impossible -- voting effort to make up a 3,000-vote deficit in a day. But we're only at the beginning of a long season of polls. And if any fan bases out there want to take Lincoln down from its perch, either this week or in a future poll, now they have some bulletin board material.

    Speaking of poll choices, starting in Week 2 we will have only five games to choose from in our poll. To decide which games make the cut, we'll be taking nominations, starting on Wednesday. It's not too soon to start formulating your argument now as to why your team's Week 2 game deserves to be Game of the Week.

    Game of the Week chat participation

    A reminder that in order to participate in the Game of the Week chats this year, users will need to sing up for MLive.com user accounts. This is separate from your AnnArbor.com user account, so be sure to get on it.

    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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    Ann Arbor police and fire investigators believe two men set a fire in a recycling container early Saturday morning in an alley that spread to a detached garage.

    Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said police and fire personnel were sent at 3:20 a.m. Saturday to an alley behind the 600 block of Packard Street for a report of a fire. Bush said the resident of a home in the 900 block of Mary Street, who reported the incident, saw a fire in a recycling container full of cardboard.

    The resident saw two men running away from the area. The fire totally destroyed a three-car garage, according to fire officials.

    The Ann Arbor Police Department and Ann Arbor Fire Department are both investigating the incident. The University of Michigan Police Department sent out a crime alert regarding the incident over the weekend.

    No one was injured and no other structures were damaged by the blaze, according to fire officials.

    The only description available of the suspects was that they were two men wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and jeans.

    Anyone with information on the 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).

    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 are investigating two home invasions reported in the city during the weekend, including one break-in where a cleaning crew found two men in a home who were later arrested.

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    Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush said a cleaning crew went to a home in the 500 block of Elm Street at 3:23 p.m. Friday. Bush said the crew saw a window that “did not look quite right” and went to check it out.

    When they were looking at the window, they heard people running through the house. Two men ran out of the house and the crew called police. The two men were subsequently arrested, Bush said.

    The second break-in took place between 6 p.m. Friday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Ryan Road, according to Bush. The homeowner returned to find clothing out of place on the basement floor.

    The homeowner investigated further and discovered a basement window was open and the screen was removed. A computer was reported stolen from the home.

    No suspect information was available in this incident Monday. 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).


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    Uncle Neil's Bread and Donuts has started selling cronuts at the Sunday Artisan Market in Ann Arbor.

    Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com

    Cronuts, those fabled fusions of doughnut and croissant dreamed up by New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel, have taken the country by storm. Now Ann Arborites can try a version of these treats without making the trip to the east coast.

    Neil Crockett of Uncle Neil's Bread and Donuts, a regular Sunday Ann Arbor Artisan Market vendor, brought his first batch of cronuts to the market on Sunday, and the word spread very quickly via social media. My coworker Ben Freed made it to the market just in time to buy the last half a cronut, just more than an hour after the market opened.

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    The first batch of Uncle Neil's cronuts at the Sunday Artisan Market sold out in just more than an hour.

    Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com

    I've been drooling over the idea of cronuts for a couple of months now, so I hightailed it down to the market and sidled up to the Uncle Neil's table right when it opened at 11 a.m. to grab a few for family and friends.

    I chatted a bit with baker Neil Crockett about the cronut baking process. As a longtime doughnut crafter, he said the frying part of the formula was like second nature for him. Mastering the flaky French croissant part of the equation took "hours and hours."

    You can try Uncle Neil's doughnut - croissant hybrids for yourself. He'll be back in Ann Arbor with a fresh batch at next week's Sunday Artisan Market at 315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor, from 11.am. to 4.p.m. You'll probably want to get there early.

    Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for AnnArbor.com, a part of the MLive Media Group. Reach her at JessicaWebster@annarbor.com. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.


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    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    Ever wonder which of the Big Ten cities is the best to live in if you're a college football fan? No need to block off the fall for a road trip, the Moveto Real Estate blog has done the leg work for you.

    According to the blog, which explores the "lighter side of real estate," Ann Arbor is the best city in the Big Ten to live in if you are a fan of college football. The author of the post, David Cross, is an Ohio State alumnus and fan, so any talk of the evaluation being biased can be thrown out the window.

    "It is with a heavy heart and downcast eyes that I report to you the findings of the latest Movoto Real Estate’s Big Deal List," Cross writes. "I found that Ann Arbor, the birthplace of Michigan State, OSU’s nemesis, was, in fact, the best city for Big 10 football diehards."

    We'll forgive Cross the typo of claiming that Ann Arbor is the home of Michigan State rather than Michigan, and assume again that this is a sign that the decision making process was without the bias of fandom.

    According to the post, factors that did influence Cross's very formulaic decision were the city's sports bars per capita, and the number of sports radio stations available in the area.

    Science at its best!

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


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