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

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    Preliminary contracts covering health care benefits, class schedules and other non-wage for teachers and support staff at Dexter Community Schools have received approval from the school board, the Dexter Leader reports.

    The preliminary contracts for the Dexter Education Association and the Dexter Education Support Personnel Association did not include wages. The budget for the district's 2013-2014 school year, projected to be more than $2 million in deficit, must be approved before July 1.

    The district would save an estimated $200,000 under proposed changes to employee health benefits, including higher payments for office visits and offering a choice between a modified PPO plan and a health savings account plan.

    Other proposed changes would establish a new chain of command for resolving technology issues, give teachers access to class schedules sooner and consolidate the roles of media specialist into fewer positions. In another change, the position of curriculum coordinator can now be held by a non-union member under the state's new right-to-work law.

    Read the Dexter Leader's story.


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    The man accused of brutally assaulting a woman, stabbing her and running her over with a vehicle will stand trial in June, a judge ruled Tuesday.

    Thumbnail image for michaelglenn2.jpg

    Michael Glenn

    Michael Glenn, 21, was in court for a pretrial hearing Tuesday afternoon in front of Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Donald Shelton. There are multiple motions expected to be filed in the case, but a trial date was set for 8 a.m. June 17.

    Glenn will return to court for a pretrial hearing at 1:30 p.m. April 23, when all motions in the case must be filed, Shelton said. The final pretrial in the case, when all the motions must be heard by Shelton, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. May 21.

    During court proceedings Tuesday, Glenn looked back into the gallery and smiled at supporters multiple times. After the hearing was completed, he walked back to the lockup with a smile and wave for the people sitting in the gallery.

    According to police, Glenn beat a woman Nov. 27 after she tried to break up with him while the two were in a vehicle parked in front of his house in the 2300 McKinley Road in Ypsilanti Township.

    Glenn got in the woman’s car and punched her in the face multiple times when she told him she wanted to break up with him, according to investigators. She was stabbed multiple times with an unknown object and strangled until she blacked out before Glenn took her out of the car and ran her over with the vehicle, police said.

    Investigators said Glenn tried to put the woman in the trunk of the car before she convinced him she wouldn’t leave him. When Glenn walked away from the area, the woman fled to a neighbor’s home and called police. Glenn allegedly stole the woman’s car and fled the area before deputies could arrive on scene.

    He was arrested in mid-January in Detroit and is lodged at the Washtenaw County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

    Glenn faces two counts each of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do bodily harm less than murder and assault with a dangerous weapon. He faces a single charge each of carjacking, motor vehicle theft, unlawful imprisonment and domestic violence.

    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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    Ypsilanti police were investigating two separate incidents Saturday in which someone threw a brick or rock through vehicle windshields on the same street.

    Police said they don’t know whether the two incidents are related.

    The first incident was reported around 12:45 a.m. Saturday when a woman told police that someone threw a brick through her vehicle’s window on the 200 block of South Huron Street.

    Police also responded at 11 p.m. to a similar report of a rock thrown through a car window on the 0 block of South Huron.

    No one has been arrested in either incident.

    In another incident, someone reported a car damaged in a new-car lot at a dealership on the 0 block of East Michigan Avenue around 11:19 p.m. No arrests have been made in that case.


    View Larger Map


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    Michigan was absolutely dominant against Florida on Sunday, defeating the Gators 79-59 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington to advance to its first Final Four since 1993.

    Nik Stauskas had a red hot first half, Trey Burke was Trey Burke and Mitch McGary continued to shine in the paint.

    Who was the Wolverines' MVP?

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


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    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory closed its doors over the weekend after five years in downtown Ann Arbor.

    Franchise owner Angela Eddins decided to close the chocolate shop at 521 E. Liberty St. when her lease expired at the end of March, said the building’s listing broker Randy Maas of Swisher Commercial.

    rocky_mountain.jpg

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory closed over the weekend in downtown Ann Arbor.

    Lizzy Alfs | AnnArbor.com

    The 1,864-square-foot space is now vacant, and Maas said he and Swisher Commercial’s Mike Giraud are negotiating a deal with a new tenant.

    “We’re pretty close to signing a lease, so we really never actually put (the space) on the market,” Maas said. He declined to provide details on the prospective tenant.

    Founded in Colorado, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory has stores in Michigan, according to its website. Eddins opened the Ann Arbor store in April 2008.

    In 2012, Eddins told AnnArbor.com that business at her store dropped significantly after Borders closed its flagship store on East Liberty and Maynard streets.

    From that report:

    "It used to be insane because people would always go to Borders (bookstore) and then come over to us,” she said. “Everyone would come to our store with a Borders bag in hand. This year, with Borders not being there, it was much less crowded.”

    Eddins’ decision to close Rocky Mountain comes shortly after two neighboring businesses closed on East Liberty Street: Grand Traverse Pie Company and Pink Pump.

    Maas said he has several prospective tenants for the Pink Pump space at 601 E. Liberty St.

    Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at lizzyalfs@annarbor.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lizzyalfs.


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    A thief approached a man from behind and struck him in the head with a bottle around 1 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Lakeview Avenue in Ypsilanti Township, deputies with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office said.

    After the assault, the thief rifled through the victim's pockets looking for items to steal and ultimately stole his backpack, which contained his wallet and cell phone, deputies said in a media summary.

    The suspect is described as a black man between 5 feet 9 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing dark leather coat.

    Further information was not immediately available. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the sheriff's office's Confidential Tip line at (734) 973-7711 or 1-800-SPEAK UP.


    View Larger Map

    Kody Klein is an intern for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at kklein@mlive.com


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    Flagstar_robbery3.jpg

    Charles Williams is suspected of participating in the Flagstar Bank robbery in Ann Arbor last year. He was arrested last week.

    Photo courtesy Ann Arbor police

    The date on the Saline robbery has been corrected. In addition, police told AnnArbor.com after this story was published the March 5, 2011 TCF Bank robbery does not appear to be connected to Williams, despite earlier reports he was a suspect.

    Investigators in California arrested a 40-year-old Los Angeles man suspected of being involved in at least eight bank robberies in Washtenaw County over a period spanning more than a year.

    Saline police Detective Don Lupi said Charles Anthony Williams was arrested Thursday by a fugitive task force in Los Angeles. Lupi said Williams was a part of a group that committed a string of bank robberies throughout the United States.

    A local task force consisting of the Saline Police Department, Ann Arbor Police Department, Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety, Jackson Police Department, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation contributed to the investigation that resulted in Williams’ arrest. Lupi said evidence from the May 25, 2012, robbery at a TCF Bank in Saline played a large role in the case.

    Lupi said the work among all the investigating agencies was the biggest reason why Williams could be taken into custody.

    “It’s nice when a department of our size that doesn’t have the resources has other, larger departments with resource step up and help,” Lupi said.

    Police said Williams and his group of robbers pulled off heists in an area stretching from Jackson to parts of Ohio. Ann Arbor police said the group had robbed Flagstar Bank, 2001 Commonwealth Blvd. on June 30, 2012, and Comerica Bank, 3305 Washtenaw Avenue, Dec. 24, 2011.

    Other banks believed to have been robbed by Williams and his group include: a Citizens Bank in Jackson on March 29, 2012; the America 1 Credit Union in Jackson on Dec. 21, 2011; Bank of America at 2250 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti Township on Aug. 15, 2011 and the PNC Bank at 3175 West Clark Road in Ypsilanti Township on June 24, 2011.

    In many of the incidents, the suspects robbing the banks pulled out guns, or implied they had weapons, and simply jumped over the counters to commit brazen thefts. Security camera images released by investigators in the various cases show the suspects in masks, similar to ones worn by the character Jason in the Friday The 13th movie franchise.

    The police agencies in Los Angeles that took Williams into custody weren’t immediately known Monday afternoon.

    Ann Arbor police Detective Bill Stanford, one of the Ann Arbor representatives on the task force, said Williams and other people involved can expect to be charged by United States attorneys.

    “The case has been turned over to the FBI for prosecution on federal charges,” Stanford said.

    Sgt. Geoffrey Fox, of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, declined to comment on the case Monday because the detective working on the case was out of the office for vacation.

    Lupi said Williams has an extensive criminal history and was a suspect in bank robberies across the nation.

    Other people are suspected of working with Williams to rob banks, Lupi said. How many other suspects there are is not clear. The investigation is still open and more information regarding the case wasn’t available Monday.

    Lupi praised all of the investigators who worked on the case and said Williams’ arrest is a just reward for all of the work they put in.

    “We are very happy with all of the agencies’ assistance,” Lupi said. “It helps put closure on a lot of hard work by a lot of people.”

    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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    Three homes were broken into in Ypsilanti throughout the day on Sunday, according to the Ypsilanti Police Department.

    The first incident took place when an unknown subject broke into a home in the 100 block of Hawkins Street at 2:54 a.m. and stole several unknown items.

    The other two break-ins happened later on in the day, the first being a home in the 900 block of West Cross Street at 10 p.m. Someone also broke into a home in the 900 block of Washtenaw Avenue at 11:40 p.m.

    In both break-ins, it is unknown if anything was stolen or whether there are any suspects. It also is unclear if the two are related.


    View Ypsi Home Invasions April 1 in a larger map

    Kody Klein is an intern for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at kklein@mlive.com


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    A University of Michigan researcher appears to have uncovered the key to teleportation.

    Or wait... has he?

    Joining in on the fun of April Fool's Day, Michigan Engineering produced this almost-believable video.

    A number of similar pranks have been circling the web today include the announcement of Google Nose and cats joining the U.S. Army.

    What is the best prank you've seen so far today? Tell us in the comments below.

    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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    demetrimartin.jpg

    Demetri Martin

    "The Daily Show" correspondent, comedian and author Demetri Martin will be in Ann Arbor on Tuesday for a book signing and discussion.

    Martin will appear at Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. as part of a book tour for his new release, "Point Your Face at This: Drawings."

    An announcement from the publisher reads in part, "A ubiquitous comment from fans about his first book, 'This is a Book,' which focused more on long-form humor writing, was that it didn't showcase enough of his famous drawings and one-liners. So, to rectify this, we decided it would be best for Demetri to put together a little paperback devoted entirely to drawings and short jokes, and leave the longer-form material for his next hardcover."

    Starting out as a stand-up comedian, Martin became best known as a regular correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." He also created his own series, "Important Things with Demetri Martin."

    Barnes & Noble is located at 3235 Washtenaw Avenue. There is no charge.

    Martin was in Ann Arbor twice in 2011, for a film screening at the Michigan Theater and another Barnes & Noble stop.

    Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at bobneedham@annarbor.com or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.


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    A national outbreak of fungal meningitis that baffled doctors and patients alike hit Michigan residents the hardest, according to media reports.

    Meningitis_Cary_memorial.jpg

    A family member holds a photo of Lilian Cary, 67, of Howell, one of the first Michigan residents to die in the fungal meningitis outbreak at the end of September.

    Out of the 51 people that have died to date in the outbreak, 17 of them were from Michigan. The state has the largest concentration of fungal meningitis patients: 259 Michiganders have come down with fungal meningitis to date out of 730 cases reported nationwide.

    The outbreak is connected to batches of injectable steroids manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

    Investigations, lawsuits and fear have spawned from the outbreak, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. Lawmakers and federal and state officials are working to make sure the event will not happen again, according to the report.

    Read the reports by the Detroit Free Press:

    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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    YpsiHomicide2April12012.jpg

    A 46-year-old Detroit man was killed at the Peninsular Place apartment complex Sunday night, according to police.

    John Counts | AnnArbor.com

    The 46-year-old Detroit man killed in Ypsilanti Sunday night was coming to the aid of his 19-year-old daughter who lived at the Peninsular Place apartments with the two suspects, police and family members said.

    Police confirmed confirmed Monday afternoon that the victim was John Lawrence.

    Monday morning, the victim’s daughter Raven Lawrence was cleaning out the apartment she shared with the woman and man, both 20, who were arrested late Sunday night in connection with the death of her father.

    The nursing student at Eastern Michigan University said she and her roommate, the 20-year-old woman, were arguing about money.

    “It was a situation involving our lease,” she told AnnArbor.com. “He (the boyfriend) wasn’t supposed to be here.”

    Raven Lawrence said the man had been staying at the apartment with her roommate and the couple’s 2-month-old baby.

    What started out as a conversation about the lease eventually escalated into a heated verbal argument, she said. When she felt threatened, she called her parents, she said.

    John Lawrence then drove to Ypsilanti from Detroit with hopes of taking his daughter out of the apartment for the night, Raven Lawrence said.

    “My dad came. He had his gun on him and he told me to take it outside,” Raven Lawrence said.

    YpsiHomicideApril12013.jpg

    A witness captured this picture Sunday night as police investigated a homicide at Peninsular Place.

    Courtesy of Kaitlin Vogt

    She said she left her dad in the apartment with the two 20-year-olds while she took the gun out to his car. When Raven Lawrence returned, the door was locked.

    “I was banging on the door, but they wouldn’t let me in,” she said, adding that she only got back into the apartment when police arrived.

    Neighbors recall hearing someone banging on a door and screaming around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

    “… The girl screamed at the top of her lungs,” said EMU student Kaitlin Vogt, who was visiting her boyfriend at the apartment complex Sunday night. “It was the most horrifying scream. I’ll never forget that scream I heard.”

    Vogt’s boyfriend, Paul Glinski, also an EMU student, lives two floors above Lawrence’s apartment.

    “It was like something out of a movie,” Glinski said of the scream.

    When Raven Lawrence got inside the apartment, she said she saw her father lying on the floor. She said she took his pulse and felt nothing. Police soon escorted her out of the apartment.

    “The next thing I knew they had him coming out on a stretcher,” she said.

    Lawrence said she thought her father was hit on the head with some sort of object, but she couldn’t immediately be certain what kind of object was used. Neither were police, but they said they were investigating whether it might have been a frying pan.

    Police are still trying to determine exactly what happened. An autopsy was being performed Monday morning, Ypsilanti police said. The case was initially ruled a homicide, citing blunt force trauma as the cause of death.

    The two 20-year-olds were arrested and were being held at the Washtenaw County Jail as the investigation proceeded, police said.

    Raven Lawrence said she has lived with the 20-year-old at the apartment since August 2012.

    The apartment complex is home to many Eastern Michigan University students. Ypsilanti police are still investigating the case of 23-year-old Julia Niswender, who was found dead of an apparent homicide inside an apartment in the complex last December.

    Glinski said both incidents occurring at the complex in such a short time space is "concerning."

    "I'm more aware of my surrounding," he said when asked if he was taking any precautions.

    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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    Former Ann Arborite Mayer Hawthorne has released a new single called "Designer Drug."

    The full single can be streamed on SoundCloud.

    Hawthorne grew up in Ann Arbor and has established a successful music career, mainly in a neo-soul groove.


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    This is no April fools joke.

    With Good Friday, Easter, and April Fools Day all happening this weekend, the owners of Literati Bookstore in downtown Ann Arbor were hesitant to make an official announcement via social media, but the new independently-owned store quietly opened at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Washington Street on Sunday.

    “We’ve been saying we’re ‘opening soon’ for a while now, so we didn’t want people to think we were joking,” co-owner Mike Gustafson said.

    “And it’s just good to be able to have a slightly smaller crowd to work out little kinks that can happen with technology and other things when you first get going.”

    By Monday afternoon a steady stream of customers were browsing the shelves of the two-story bookstore. Co-owner Hilary Lowe said the mix of shoppers who have come into the store has been a pleasant surprise.

    “We had some preconceived notions about who our customers would be, but it’s really been all over the map,” Lowe said.

    “We’ve had some people from the university come in, we had someone from Google who was very excited and said he was going to tell everyone in his office that we were opening.”

    As the shoppers move from one shelf to the next, the likely are unaware of the extensive thought process that Gustafson and Lowe went through in arranging various sections in the store.

    “It started out with just Mike and I laying it out, but we have three employees who are former Borders employees and they were often involved in helping move sections there so they were familiar with what goes where and how to make it flow,” Lowe said.

    Joe Gable, who was the store manager of the original Borders, also helped us out with the sectioning which was cool.”

    Eventually, they settled on fiction, poetry, and children’s books upstairs, with the downstairs dominated by non-fiction, including a sizable biographies and memoirs section. It wasn’t easy to place every section though.

    “I think cookbooks changed spots five times or so,” Lowe said. “First it was upstairs, then downstairs, then back up again.”

    The books rest on shelving that was used in the old Borders flagship store with the section names written above them in chalk. Gustafson said the store will continue to evolve as it learns to meet the needs of the community.

    “We left room in our inventory to grow with what our customers needs and wants are,” he said.

    The store has a “suggestion list” for people to write down their favorite titles and help shape the store’s character.

    “We have a lot of what we love and what our employees really like,” Lowe said. “Now we have a chance to really interact with the community and see what they’re interested in.”

    Community interaction will be a major theme for the store as it attempts to swim against conventional wisdom that bookstores are a dying breed. The co-owners, who also are engaged to be married, said they want their store to be a meeting place for the community and plan to host a wide variety of events aimed at different demographics.

    “We have kids story time, a picture book release party, a poet, and a non-fiction book event already planned,” Lowe said. “Keeping the mix of genres and authors will keep people here and bring in people who might not have otherwise visited.”

    Gustafson, who runs the store’s Facebook and Twitter pages, said he would like to see the store diversify even further.

    “Our next chapter is building our program to include more creative events beyond author readings and signings,” he said. “We’d love to have panels, and we might do a storytelling series with Moth.”

    While they are excited about their store’s potential, the couple acknowledged that there are challenges unique to small bookstores. With a smaller available space and inventory, there will always be books that aren’t readily available on the shelves. Lowe said the store has already received a number of special delivery orders, and that their system can have the book in the store within three days as long as it is in stock at their distributor’s warehouse.

    The co-owners both grew up in Southeast Michigan, and moved back to the area from Brooklyn “to start a bookstore to bring books back to downtown Ann Arbor,” according to the store’s blog.

    Lowe said the first book sold at the store once it officially opened was a novel by Nicholson Baker.

    “It’s called The Anthologist, and it’s one of my favorites,” she said.

    “It’s about a writer who is trying to write the introduction to a poetry anthology but he’s having a trouble getting it just right. In a way it was kind of fitting for it to be our first sale.”

    Literati Bookstore is located at 124 E. Washington St. on the corner with Fourth Avenue. Though the hours are not yet set in stone, they are operating at this time from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and slightly longer hours on the weekend. For further information on events check the store’s website and Facebook page.

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


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    In the coming days, City Administrator Steve Powers and his administration will finalize a budget plan to be presented to the Ann Arbor City Council on April 15.

    Steve_Powers_121012_RJS_001.jpg

    City Administrator Steve Powers at a budget work session in December.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com

    Before that happens, Powers has agreed to do a live chat hosted by AnnArbor.com to discuss the issues surrounding the budget and take questions from the public.

    He'll be joined by Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer, to answer your questions live starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, right here at AnnArbor.com.

    Feel free to submit questions in advance using the form below and we'll ask as many of them as possible. Topics can include everything from public safety to public art.

    Powers told AnnArbor.com he's been looking for new ways to gather public input since turnout at town hall meetings in recent years has been minimal.

    "As the city has been able to shift from a cut mode, where I think it was very significant to have public input on volatile issues, we're in more of a maintenance mode," he noted.

    After the administrator's budget is presented April 15, the City Council is expected to hold public hearings on May 6 and vote on a final budget at its May 20 meeting.

    Submit questions you would like addressed during tomorrow's live chat using this form:

    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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    An Ypsilanti man has been arraigned on felony charges for leading police on a chase that resulted in a standoff in Putnam Township, the Livingston Daily reported.

    Andrew John McCormick, 28, was arraigned Saturday on a first-degree home invasion charge, three counts of resisting police and one count each of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding and malicious destruction of police property. McCormick is being held in the Livingston County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

    The incident began around 5:20 p.m. Friday when officers attempted to stop McCormick, who then led police on a chase to the home where the standoff occurred. Police entered the home shortly before 7:30 p.m. and found McCormick hiding in a first-floor bathroom. No shots were fired and no one was injured in the standoff.


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    An unknown man robbed a man in an Ypsilanti street Sunday after pointing a gun at him and demanding his money, according to police.

    Ypsilanti police reported responding at 6:30 p.m. Sunday to the intersection of Harriet and Hawkins streets for a report of an armed robbery. The victim told officers an unknown man approached him and took out a gun.

    The man pointed the gun at the victim and demanded his money. The victim acquiesced and the suspect fled.

    Police did not release a detailed suspect description Monday and the investigation is on going. Investigators were not able to be reached for more information.

    Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Ypsilanti police at 734-483-9510.


    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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    The Washtenaw County Road Commission is planning to convert the intersection of Pontiac Trail and Seven Mile Road in northeastern Washtenaw County to a roundabout because of traffic problems that arise during rush hour.

    ROUNDABOUT051210.JPG

    File photo | AnnArbor.com

    The two-lane roadways intersect at a four-way stop in Salem Township.

    During peak traffic hours, drivers experience long delays because of the stop sign, according to the Road Commission.

    The Road Commission already has secured federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds to convert the intersection into a single-lane roundabout.

    A $50,000 contract with Hubbell, Roth and Clark, Inc. for preliminary design services at the intersection is up for approval by the Road Commission at its Tuesday meeting.

    The commission also will be considering a number of other items:

    • A $1.2 million construction bid for the installation of a new roundabout at Geddes and Ridge roads in Superior Township
    • A special assessment district for road improvements in phases 2 and 3 in the Leland Acres subdivision in Northfield Township; roads that would be improved are Leland Drive, Trudy Lane, Avon Lane, Avon Court, Tipperary Circle and Glengarry Court
    • 2013 road improvement agreements with Lima Township and Ypsilanti Township
    • A signal interconnect project for 14 traffic signals on Washtenaw Avenue through Ann Arbor Township, Pittsfield Township and Ypsilanti Township to the City of Ypsilanti, including the installation of surveillance cameras


    View Larger Map

    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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    04012013_NEWS_UM_ArtCloth_DJB_0129.jpg

    "The Cube," April 1, 2013

    Daniel J. Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    It's April Fool's Day, spring is in the air, and even "The Cube" is getting into the spirit.

    The famous sculpture outside the University of Michigan's Fleming Administration Building, 503 Thompson St., is sporting brightly colored cloths today. So far, there's been no public claim of responsibility for the action.

    According to the Bentley Historical Library, "The Cube" is the work of sculptor Bernard Rosenthal (U-M '35), and it weighs 2,300 pounds. It's designed to spin with even a slight push.

    04012013_NEWS_UM_ArtCloth_DJB_0113.jpg

    Daniel J. Brenner | AnnArbor.com


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    For this week only, an anonymous donor will match all monetary gifts to the Humane Society of Huron Valley's Cruelty and Rescue Department in honor of a dog recently adopted after a lengthy animal cruelty investigation.

    032613_ANIMAL-CRUELTY-CASE.jpg

    Maverick, a 2-year-old Alaskan Husky, was adopted Friday from the Humane Society of Huron Valley after he was confiscated from his owner in an animal cruelty case.

    Courtesy of HSHV

    The donor will match gifts dollar-for-dollar up to the total of $10,000, according to the Humane Society. All of the funds raised will go directly to the non-profit organization’s cruelty investigation team.

    “We are deeply grateful for the generous gifts that pay for nearly 500 animal cruelty investigations and literally thousands of emergency rescue service calls for sick, injured, abandoned pets and wildlife each year,” Tanya Hilgendorf, executive director of the Humane Society, said in a statement.

    “There is absolutely no way we could do this work without the generous big-hearted animal lovers in this community who want to see vulnerable animals protected.”

    During 2012, about $1.5 million of the $4.7 million in revenue HSHV brought in was from contributions made by individuals and businesses, according to the organization's annual report.

    Maverick, a 2-year-old Alaskan Husky confiscated from an Ypsilanti Township woman found guilty of animal cruelty this month, was adopted Friday.

    The Humane Society’s cruelty investigators said the dog’s owner tied Maverick’s mouth shut with twine.

    When Maverick came in to the care of the Humane Society in August, he was severely underweight, dehydrated and had a large, deep wound on his side that investigators said may have come from a burn.

    During the months that the case progressed against the dog’s owner, Maverick’s wounds healed and he grew to a healthy weight.

    His owner, Crystal Smith of Ypsilanti Township, was found guilty of animal cruelty March 21 in Judge Charles Pope’s courtroom in the 14B District Court in Ypsilanti. She will be sentenced May 2.

    Donations should be made online through the Humane Society’s secure website.

    Select “Cruelty and Rescue Dept.” under the drop-down menu in the “Donation Designation” field.

    Donations also can be mailed to the Humane Society of Huron Valley at 3100 Cherry Hill Road, Ann Arbor 48105. Include a note to designate the donation: Cruelty/Rescue, Maverick or Match Challenge.

    A list of all adoptable animals at the Humane Society also is available online.

    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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