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

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    Grafitti Gridb.jpg

    Examples of various SAES and Mole tags from across Ann Arbor.

    Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com

    The two teenagers accused of spray painting their monikers — SAES and Mole — all over Ann Arbor were ordered Friday to be put under house arrest and on nighttime surveillance, court records show.

    The two boys were to be fitted Monday with GPS tethers, according to orders signed by juvenile Referee Gail Altenburg. The boys will also be fingerprinted and be regularly tested for drugs.

    Court records also revealed more details about what each teen faces. The 15-year-old Community High School student known as SAES was charged with 16 counts total. Nine of those counts are felonies punishable by five years' imprisonment, and/or $10,000 or three times the amount of destruction or injury, whichever is greater.

    Four counts are misdemeanors punishable by one year in jail and/or $2,000 or three times the amount of damage, whichever is greater. The three remaining charges are misdemeanors punishable by 93 days in jail and/or $500 or three times the amount of damage, whichever is greater.

    The second suspect, who is accused of using the moniker, "Mole," is a 16-year-old Pioneer student. He faces 11 counts, six of which are felonies punishable by five years' imprisonment, and/or $10,000 or three times the amount of destruction or injury, whichever is greater. Five counts are misdemeanors punishable by one-year in jail and/or $2,000 or three times the amount of damage, whichever is greater.

    Ken Singh of Bandito's restaurant said he has probably repainted his back door once a year for the past 20 years. Both boys are accused of tagging the same door.

    "He screwed up the whole town," Singh said of SAES. "It's everywhere."

    While Singh is glad to see a couple of the kids caught, he doesn't necessarily see the problem of graffiti downtown going away. He said he knows he will likely have to repaint the door to his restaurant at some point again, even if the two boys have been taken out of the tagging scene.

    Ben Curtis' company, Curtis Commercial, owns and operates eight buildings hit by SAES and Mole downtown. Curtis put the damage done by the two at $3,000 in damages. Each tag costs between about $25 and $100 to clean up, depending on its size and the type of materials used.

    Curtis doesn't just think graffiti is bad for business, he objects aesthetically to the graffiti painted by SAES and Mole.

    “Not only are they vandals, but horrible artists,” he said. “I’m thrilled. I think they’ve caused a lot of damage. It’s time consuming and expensive."

    The charges against the SAES tagger included:

    1. Malicious destruction of a building (MDOB), greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for the Builder's Plumbing building located at 2646 South Industrial Highway.
    2. Malicious destruction of personal property (MDOPP), greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for recreational equipment owned by the city of Ann Arbor.
    3. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building located at 321 S. Main St.
    4. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building owned by the city of Ann Arbor located at 1519 Fuller Road
    5. MDOPP, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a truck and/or trailer and cab.
    6. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building owned by Cabrio Properties located at 202 E. Washington St.
    7. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a parking structure run by Republic Parking located at 324 Maynard St.
    8. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for No Thai's restaurant located at 226 North Fourth Ave.
    9. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for Argiero's Italian Restaurant located at 300 Detroit St.
    10. MDOPP, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for a wall at Rush Street, located 314 S. Main St.
    11. MDOB, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for the parking structure located at 309 Maynard St.
    12. MDOB, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for Bandito's, located at 216 S. Fourth Ave.
    13. MDOPP, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for a wall on the Northside Grill, located at 1015 Broadway St.
    14. MDOB, less than $200, for Crazy Wisdom, located at 114 S. Main St.
    15. MDOB, less than $200, for Kuroshiro, located at 120 E Liberty St.
    16. MDOB, less than $200, for Bell's Restaurant, located at 716 Packard St.

    Charges against the Mole tagger include:

    1. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for the Builder's Plumbing building located at 2646 South Industrial Highway
    2. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building located at 321 S. Main St.
    3. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building owned by the city of Ann Arbor located at 1519 Fuller Road.
    4. MDOPP, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a truck and/or trailer and cab.
    5. MDOB, greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for a building owned by Cabrio Properties located at 202 E. Washington St.
    6. Malicious destruction of personal property (MDOPP), greater than $1,000 but less than $20,000, for recreational equipment owned by the city of Ann Arbor.
    7. MDOPP, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for a wall at Rush Street, located 314 S. Main St.
    8. MDOPP, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for signs at Garris and Garris Law Firm, located at 300 E. Washington St.
    9. MDOB, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for the parking structure located at 309 Maynard St.
    10. MDOB, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for Bandito's, located at 216 S. Fourth Ave.
    11. MDOPP, greater than $200 but less than $1,000, for a wall on the Northside Grill, located at 1015 Broadway St.


    View SAES/MOLE Locations in a 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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    A three-car crash on northbound U.S. 23 near Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor was slowing traffic Monday afternoon, and drivers in the area reported one lane was partially blocked.

    Cheyne Kornacki drove through the area just after 4 p.m. Monday and said there appeared to be a three-vehicle crash. Kornacki said a firetruck was blocking one lane on the freeway.

    Traffic in the area was backed up to at least Michigan Avenue, Kornacki said. The ramp from westbound Interstate 94 to northbound U.S. 23 was also extremely backed up, he said.

    There was no information on possible injuries in the crash immediately available Monday afternoon.

    Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area.


    View Untitled 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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    Ypsilanti Public Schools and Willow Run Community Schools teachers will be notified Friday whether they will be offered positions in the consolidated district, Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel confirmed.

    "It's very difficult," Menzel said. "It's emotionally draining for everyone involved. It's a product of having to make some very difficult decisions in order to address financial issues within both districts.

    010812-Ypsilanti-administration-sign-thumb-646x416-131436.jpg

    Teachers, teacher consultants and special education teachers within the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts will be given notification whether they will be offered a position within the new district.

    AnnArbor.com file photo

    "We've got to start the new district with appropriate staff to provide a high-quality education. That's the balancing act and it makes it very difficult. There are many high quality teachers that invested a lot and while we're hoping to retain a fair level, there will be many that receive letters that say they won't be coming back in the fall."

    Menzel said about 330 internal candidates applied for jobs, but he isn't sure how many positions will actually be filled. The names of the applicants who receive job offers, as well as those who do not, will not be released to the public.

    Menzel said teachers, teacher consultants and special education teachers will be given letters at the end of the school day on Friday. Menzel didn't immediately have information regarding how many staff members currently work in the districts.

    Menzel said the employees will receive one of the three following letters:

    • A letter stating the employee met the criterium and will be offered a position.
    • A letter stating the employee met the criterium, but the district does not yet know if a position will be available to them.
    • A letter informing the employee no job will be offered.

    Teachers received layoff notices on April 12, which become effective June 30.

    Menzel said a press conference will be held at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the Ypsilanti Public Schools Administration Building at 1885 Packard Road. More information will be given at that time regarding how the decisions were made and the number of teachers who will be offered a position.

    Menzel said officials also will discuss what support is available for individuals who aren't offered a position.

    At a Feb. 28 meeting, Naomi Norman, WISD Director of Achievement Initiatives, said an employee assistance program was going to be put in place to help current employees who are not selected, to transition elsewhere. Norman said at the time that employees will be given career counseling and social-emotional supports.

    Menzel said information will be provided for staff to help them prepare their resumes and find where jobs are posted in other areas, as well. Menzel said whenever there are "significant" layoff notices given, the experience can be traumatic for employees. He said a team has been meeting regularly to have the support system in place by Friday.

    At that same meeting, Norman said external applicants will not be considered until the beginning of May and after the decisions have been made for internal candidates.

    Menzel said he does not yet know at this point if any external applications will be accepted.

    "Our commitment to the staff was that we would go through the internal applications first," Menzel said. "If we didn't fill all of the positions, then we would post externally."

    High Quality Teachers and Teaching Selection Committees were put together, most consisting of an administrator, two teachers and in some cases, a parent conducted classroom visits and interviews March 18 through April 22, following a specific rubric.

    Menzel said the decisions were made based off of the classroom visits, references, discipline records, valuations indicating whether the teacher was effective or minimally effective, as well as number of absences and other indicators as well.

    Menzel said, while he knows the community may be inclined to offer support to those who did not receive a job offer, he urged everyone to be mindful of how delicate the situation is.

    "Well-intentioned people could be really key or complicate the situation," Menzel said. "We have school on Monday, May 6 and we need teachers in the classroom. This transition is not easy and it's going to take everyone involved to help."

    Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com.Reach her at katreasestafford@annarbor.com or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


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    Auto_1.jpg

    Employees at Auto One on Washtenaw Avenue are suspected of dumping gasoline into the sewer system.

    Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com

    Officials say an Ypsilanti Township business owner could face criminal charges after his employees were caught dumping suspected gasoline into a sewer on business's property.

    Police and township officials also found Auto 1 Complete Car Care violating a range of township codes and will ask a judge to issue a restraining order ordering all illegal activity halted and the property brought up to code.

    Mike Radzik, director of the township’s office of community standards, said a patron leaving a neighboring restaurant smelled an overwhelming gasoline odor while in the parking lot.

    The patron investigated to determine the source and witnessed several employees dumping what is suspected to be gasoline into a sewer at 2555 Washtenaw Ave. The patron called 911 and a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched, Radzik said.

    Upon arrival, the deputy witnessed an employee dumping the suspected gasoline into the sewer, Radzik said.

    The deputy then contacted township and the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office, which sent out an agent to investigate.

    Radzik said it was determined that the water flows through the storm basin to nearby Northlawn Street where it is released into the road. From there, the topography leads it to a county drain.

    The agency took samples of the water to identify the chemicals that were dumped into the sewer. Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said no charges will be sent to the prosecutor’s office stemming from the April 22 incident until police have the test results.

    "Obviously there are environmental laws to protect us and laws about gasoline or other chemicals being dumped into storm sewer that leads to creek or lakes," Township Attorney Doug Winters said. "It contaminates water; it affects fish and other wildlife; and it's such an irresponsible and outrageous act. That’s why the environmental laws should be enforced, and that's why (Ypsilanti-area landlord) David Kircher got five years for dumping waste into the Huron River."

    Township ordinance officials said the business also was breaking zoning laws by selling used cars on the property and making major auto repairs. The area is zoned B3 commercial, which only allows for minor automotive repairs like oil changes or brake repairs.

    Radzik said officials found the property littered with auto parts and debris; the roof is in need of repair; some kind of chemical appears to be leaking from the building and into the storm sewer; there are several electrical and plumbing hazards; windows and doors are broken; and mold is growing on the ceiling.

    “The building is in serious disrepair,” Radzik said.

    On April 27, workers were making improvements to the building. Used cars were still being sold in the parking lot. The business owner, Jeff Murrillo, declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation. The township also has named the property’s owner in its motion with the court.

    “Usually you suspect someone is dumping something, but you never can determine who,” Winters said. “Here you actually have two people - the citizen and sheriff's department deputy - who were alert and caught them dumping gasoline twice.”

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


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    The Ann Arbor District Library will consider a .025 increase in its millage rate as part of its proposed budget.

    That would raise the rate from 1.55 to 1.575 mills, and cost a home with a taxable value of $100,000 an additional $2.50 annually.

    AADL_downtown_library_December_2011.jpg

    The Ann Arbor District Library's downtown library is at Fifth and William.

    Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com file photo

    The board of trustees will vote on the budget at its May 6 meeting.

    The millage would generate an additional $383,000, but loss of revenue from other sources means the library will only come up with an additional $185,000.

    That will go to pay for 3 percent merit raises and give part-time employees a bump to more than $9 an hour.

    “This is only the second time in five years that we’ve given raises,” AADL Board President Prue Rosenthal said. “We want to give them raises because they are very deserving and the tax base is doing better.”

    Employees didn’t receive any raises from 2008 to 2011, but did receive raises last year. The library has a staff of around 200.

    The AADL can levy as much as 1.92 mills and lowered the millage to its current rate in 2008 because of the recession. It generated $11,370,000 last year. The proposed budget for next fiscal year is $12.475 million.

    Treasurer Nancy Kaplan said the library isn’t expecting an increase in state aid dollars and is expecting to receive less money on fees and fines.

    “We’re trying to make up for where we are not expecting the same revenue we had last year,” she said.

    Trustee Ed Surovell expressed opposition to the millage hike. He acknowledged that it is a “diminutive” increase, but said he would have preferred that the board find the savings in the budget.

    “I usually believe we can find a way to balance our budget without changing the millage,” he said. “It’s more the way it sounds than the way it is. It sounds like we’re raising taxes, but the amount of money we're raising; it isn’t worth bothering with. I’d rather solve the problem by finding the money in the budget.”

    Library patrons outside the Ann Arbor District Library's downtown branch expressed support for the proposal, though residents will not vote on the increase.

    Mark Lister said the addition to his tax bill would be so small that he didn't have an issue with it.

    "If there haven't been regular raises the last five, six years and it's that small of an amount, then, yes, I can see where this is a good idea," he said. David Chernin said he was opposed to the Ann Arbor Library bond that was defeated in November, but supported the millage increase for staff raises.

    "The employees do a good job and they deserve a raise that will help at least keep up with inflation," he said, adding that would like to see some money go to purchasing more books.

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


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    You don't have to be a Scrabble champ or necessarily a lover of words to enjoy the Bee on Board for Literacy Spelling Bee, the Family Learning Institute's annual fundraising event.

    beeimage.jpg
    Up to 20 teams of three adults will compete for the championship trophy while the audience cheers them on and perhaps gets in on the act. There will be drinks (that's a good way to get people in on the act), hors'doeuvres, and music by the Community High Jazz Band. Local theater favorite Malcolm Tulip will host.

    FLI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap in Washtenaw County through one-on-one tutoring for children from families with low incomes.

    Friday, May 3, 2013. 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. $35. In the Morris Lawrence Building on the Washtenaw Community College campus, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor. 734-973-3300.


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    Mountain-Heart.jpg

    Mountain Heart

    Mountain Heart took a risk about six years years ago, but it was one that paid off—and is still paying dividends.

    That risk was adding a keyboard player—who was also the new lead singer (Josh Shilling)—to a band that was previously an all-acoustic one. His background was different than that of the other members of Mountain Heart. At the time, the group had already cemented a reputation as an ace bluegrass / newgrass / country-folk band, and had a strong, loyal following in that camp.

    But Shilling's thing was a mix of Southern rock and R&B, with some jazzy accents. "We felt like we had gone as far as we could with what we were doing, and had bumped up against a ceiling with it," says Jim VanCleve, the group's fiddle player and a founding member. "We also wanted to reach beyond the bluegrass / newgrass audience—and take our music to more people."

    It worked. The group's first disc with Shilling was a high-octane live album, "The Road That Never Ends," that they recorded at The Ark in 2007. Mountain Heart—who come back to The Ark for a show on Friday—had always been known for high-energy shows, but Shilling's more rocking impulses took that to another level, and the album was not only a big hit among their existing fans, but also validated the group's prediction by drawing new fans into the fold.

    They followed in 2010 with the EP "That Just Happened," which raised the stakes even higher, with an extended, improvisational cover the Allman Brothers' chestnut “Whipping Post.” Of course, that song has been covered many times, but Mountain Heart's instrumentation—fiddle, mandolin, banjo, stand-up bass and acoustic guitar, in addition to Shilling's organ work—gave it a new flavor. And Shilling's bluesy growl conjured Gregg Allman's signature vocal vibe.

    PREVIEW

    Mountain Heart

    • Who: A popular roots-music band that broadened its sound a few years ago by bringing in a keyboardist / new lead singer.
    • What: A mix of bluegrass / newgrass, country-folk, R&B, and Southern-rock elements, with instrumentatal line-up that includes acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, piano and Hammond organ.
    • Where: The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor.
    • When: Friday, May 3, 8 p.m.
    • How much: $30. Tickets available from The Ark box office (with no service charge); Michigan Union Ticket Office, 530 S. State St.; or online from MUTO.
    Plus, the title track—co-written by Shilling and Jim VanCleve—was a rousing anthem, with a ear-catching chorus that invited enthusiastic audience participation. And now, in the last year or so, the group has written several new songs and added them to their live show, and they're getting ready to go into the studio to record their first full-length studio album since Shilling joined.

    And VanCleve says the new songs will be taking the group to new musical places—not in a drastic way, but one that will again expand the band's sound, and cast a wider net.

    "For us, the attitude has actually always been, whatever the mold is, we want to try to break it, or at least stretch it, and not become stale," says VanCleve by phone from his home in Nashville. "We've been together for about 14 years now, and we've never been a band that likes to sit still. If you sit down and listen to all of our albums in a row, you'll hear a lot of growth and exploration from album to album.

    "One thing we want to do on this album is to have as many of the songs as possible be songs that we wrote—more so than in the past. We want to make the album more personal in that respect."

    VanCleve also notes that the new songs "are more dynamic, with more emotional depth—I think we've grown and matured as songwriters....Many of the newer songs are more serious, like one that Josh wrote, called 'Hurting.' "

    Until now, the group had been hesitant about writing songs that address social and political issues. But that's the direction some of the new songs have taken. "They address topics that are relevant to what's happening out there in the world now—songs about the country being in a state of unrest, and homeless people, and the state of the economy, and how some people are still really struggling out there," he notes.

    The group's live show has always been "kind of raucous," describes VanCleve, accurately. "And we want to keep that—we like our shows to begin with a lot of energy, and end with a lot of energy. But now we've got a section in the middle of the show, with these new songs, that are moments for people to pause and reflect, where they can stop and look inward a bit."

    Looking back now on the decision to bring Shilling on board—and change, or at least diversify, their sound—VanCleve says: "It's not like we decided, 'Okay, we now want to do the kind of music that Josh is good at.' We wanted to take what we were doing, and add his Southern rock / R&B thing to that, and see what kind of wicked brew we could stir up.

    "And we've definitely latched on to something in the last three years that is really working. In fact, it's working better than anything we've ever had before. I think it's cool, for a group to be around as long as we have, to rock the boat, to pick up and change lead singers, and change our sound in a lot of ways."

    But VanCleve is glad they decided to gradually morph the band's sound, over the course of a year or so, so as not to alienate their existing audience. "We knew there would be some grumbling from our older fans, because when people really like a group, they grow attached to it, and they usually don't like abrupt changes," he says. "So, we were sensitive about it, and were careful not to abandon our old songs—which is also because those were some great songs. And Josh can definitely sing the heck out of those—so we've stayed in touch with our earlier days, and our longtime fans, by still doing those older songs in our shows."

    Kevin Ransom is a free-lance writer who covers music for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at KevinRansom10@aol.com.


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    robert-hurst.jpg

    Robert Hurst

    Accomplished jazz musician, composer and educator Robert Hurst recently released a new album called "BOB a palindrome."

    On this album, the multiple Grammy Award winner and University of Michigan faculty member showcases both bass playing and also his skills as a bandleader, leading an impressive jazz ensemble through 10 original compositions. AllMusic Guide calls the recording "modern jazz at its finest."

    The Ann Arbor area gets a rare chance to hear Hurst in his home environment on Friday—and it's free. He will play as part of the WEMU- Sesi Motors 501 Jazz Series at Rush Street, 314 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor, from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 3. His band for the show is set to include Andrew Bishop, sax; Rick Roe, piano; Nate Winn, drums; and Naval Singh, tabla.

    Hurst agreed to answer a few questions via email:

    The material on "BOB a palindrome" was originally recorded in 2001. Did it get any release at that time? What led to this release, at this time?

    I'm ready for people to hear it now. The record has never been released. I now have the time to dedicate to this project; I certainly didn't want to put it out and have it to just go away. I feel it's an important work; one I'm very proud of.

    The heart of the album is the three-part "Middle Passage Suite." I take it the title is a reference to the slave trade? Was there a particular impetus for you to address that subject in music?

    The title is in reference to the Slave Trade. I think the magnitude of the American Slave trade gets overlooked or taken for granted. I think its important to let people know the journey that Black Folks have experienced. And, what a truly amazing triumph over adversity we have accomplished during our stay in America.

    You mention in the liner notes that Duke Ellington has been an inspiration, especially in regards to tailoring his compositions to the members of his band. Do you approach the writing process any differently when you know exactly who is going to be playing the piece?

    I don't necessarily compose for specific projects, outside of film scoring. My writing is more of a continuum. After finishing certain pieces, I think, wow Marcus Belgrave on flugelhorn or Branford on soprano sax—and then I save it for them. I don't really sit down and write for any specific musicians; at some point the music tells you what it needs!

    The band on this album includes big names like Branford Marsalis, Marcus Belgrave and Jeff "Tain" Watts. When you're leading a band that includes several people who are themselves bandleaders, is that either more or less of a challenge?

    Maybe that's true with some leaders, but that's not the case with these artists. The entire cast of leading musicians including Robert Glasper, Bennie Maupin and Adam Rudolf are like Family to me. They brought fire and far exceeded my expectations. I am truly grateful to them for so brilliantly interpreting my music.

    What projects are you working on now, and what comes next?

    I have many varied projects in the works within the University of Michigan setting, and those including another Unrehurst Vol. 3, the release of our debut trio band D3 featuring Geri Allen and Karriem Riggins, and of course the phone rings requesting my services and I enjoy that too. These recent unexpected opportunities which lead to my seventh and eighth Grammy noted performances in 2013 with Sir Paul McCartney and Chris Botti. I'm really looking forward to what's ahead!

    For more information on Robert Hurst, see his website or AnnArbor.com's profile article.

    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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    iraglass.png

    Public radio host Ira Glass and members of the dance troupe Monica Bill Barnes & Company will be part of this year's Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

    Photo by Ebru Yildiz

    The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has already announced its 2013 mainstage lineup of live performances, but a late addition has just been added: Popular public radio host Ira Glass will appear with witty dance troupe Monica Bill Barnes & Company in a new collaborative project on Saturday, July 6 at 8 p.m. at the Power Center.

    More information about the show is contained in the press release:

    "This American Life" host Ira Glass has been working with Monica Bill Barnes & Company to invent a show that combines two art forms that - as Glass puts it - "have no business being together - dance and radio." One is all words and no visuals. One is all visuals and no words. The result is a funny, lively and very talky evening of dance and stories that brought down the house in its first test run at Carnegie Hall this past February. Now the full show comes to Ann Arbor this summer for its Midwest premiere. "What makes it work," says Glass "is a shared sensibility. As dancers, Monica and Anna are these amazingly relatable and funny storytellers without words."

    Ira Glass is the creator and host of WBEZ Chicago’s public radio show "This American Life," which is distributed by Public Radio International and heard on over 500 public radio stations; its podcast most weeks is the most popular podcast in America. Monica Bill Barnes & Company is a contemporary American dance company with the mission to celebrate individuality, humor and the innate theatricality of everyday life. The company has performed in over thirty venues in New York City including New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, Joe's Pub and Upright Citizens Brigade, and out of town venues including Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The American Dance Festival and next month at The Kennedy Center.

    Tickets for "One Radio Host, Two Dancers" range from $35 to $65 and are available by phone at 734-764-2538, online at A2SF.org, or in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office. There is a student discount of $10 off per ticket, up to two tickets, in any price section. Tickets must be purchased in person at the Festival Ticket Office, and a current student ID must be presented at the time of purchase to receive discount.

    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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    Milan girls tennis topped Lincoln 5-3 Tuesday.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    Girls Tennis

    Milan 5, Lincoln 3
    Story | Boxscore

    Milan defeated Lincoln 5-3 in the Big Reds' first home win in three years on Monday, led by senior Melinda Rosales, who defeated Taylor Jones 6-0, 6-1 in No. 1 singles.

    Sophomore Kendra Cote and senior Emily Walker defeated Brai Braswell and Diani Braswell 6-3, 5-7, 10-1 in No. 4 doubles. The Big Reds won two singles matches and three doubles matches.

    Lincoln’s Briayanna Walker won No. 2 singles 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 over Gabriella Ciavattone.

    Baseball

    Saline 5, Chelsea 0; Chelsea 7, Saline 3
    Story | Boxscore

    Host Saline recorded the 5-0 shutout win in Game 1, while visiting Chelsea recorded the 7-3 win in Game 2.

    AJ Korzuck lead Saline (9-3-1) with a two RBIs, while Joey Sweigart and Michael Hendrickson each added one RBI.

    Korzuck recorded the win in Game 1, allowing nine hits over six innings, walking one and striking out four.

    Michael Steinhauer recorded three RBIs to lead Chelsea (1-5), while Luke Hollandsworth, Scott Crews, and Tyler Eckler each added two hits on the day.

    Tecumseh 3, Huron 2; Huron 5, Tecumseh 3
    Story | Boxscore

    In Game 1, visiting Tecumseh's Michael Savoia recorded an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning that brought home teammate Ben Vannatter from second base to record the 3-2 win.

    In Game 2, host Huron (10-3) scored four runs in the second inning, and held off a late rally to record the 5-3 win.

    Boys Lacrosse

    Skyline 15, Huron 2
    Story | Boxscore

    Dan Lee scored five goals for Ann Arbor Skyline as his team defeated Ann Arbor Huron 15-2 on Monday.

    Zack Schwartz had four goals and an assist, and Jack Fisher also scored four goals. Alex Wood added three assists.

    “We started off hot,” Skyline coach Jack Robenalt said. “We put an emphasis on coming out hot, and playing with a lot of hustle and heart. That’s what we’ve been keying on the last couple of games.”

    Boys Golf

    Birmingham Seaholm Invitational
    Story | Boxscore

    Saline junior Alex Derksen shot his career-best competitive round of 75, earning a spot on the all-tournament team in Monday's Birmingham Seaholm Invitational.


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    Firefighters extinguish a car fire in the Huron High School parking lot Tuesday morning.

    Ann Arbor Fire Department photo

    Ann Arbor firefighters Tuesday morning doused a car fire in the parking lot of Huron High School.

    The student driver of the car told firefighters that it was overheating as he drove to school. Once he got to school he saw flames under the car and called 911 about 8:30 a.m.

    The car was burning when firefighters arrived. They extinguished it, but the car, a 1985 Lincoln, was a total loss.


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    One of the Pioneer students accused of being involved in the Huron-Pioneer football brawl received six months of probation for his involvement. The case will be wiped from his record if he complies with probation requirements.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    The 17-year-old student who was found responsible for an assault during the brawl that broke out after a Pioneer-Huron football game last fall was sentenced Tuesday to six months probation and a $50 fine.

    Under a sentencing agreement, the incident will be expunged from the boy's record if he complies with the requirements of probation, which would involve community service. His attorney said the student will likely appeal the sentence.

    "(He) is a good kid," said Shelia Blakney, the boy's public defender. "This whole incident has been very uncomfortable for him. This is a situation where the adults in his life led him astray."

    The 17-year-old student was found responsible on one count of misdemeanor assault and battery on Feb. 6. He was originally charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, aggravated assault and assault and battery.

    Blakney said the 17-year-old student, formerly of Pioneer and currently Ann Arbor Tech, has been distracted by becoming a public figure throughout the ordeal. The teen admitted as much when given a chance to address the court about recent poor school attendance. He said he has been suffering from "severe depression and anxiety" due to the situation.

    "This is one major thing really bringing me down," he told Referee Julia Owdziej.

    The boy also said he never touched Will Harris, the Huron student kicked in the face during the on-field football fight between the two high schools that began when one coach shoved the other.

    Owdziej said the boy had acted appropriately throughout the court process, and that it was the coaches who had acted inappropriately on the field that night. She set a court date for Oct. 29, at which time the case could be dismissed.

    But the disposition could be appealed before that happens. At issue is whether the boy struck anyone at all.

    "I did not have any physical contact with Will," the boy told the court.

    The defense did receive a correction to the disposition report regarding a statement in a new police report that says the boy testified to throwing punches, when in fact he never testified in court at all.

    The boy's parents were both present and largely silent throughout the court proceedings. When asked for comment in the hallway outside the courtroom, the boy's father said, "My son is innocent. He's been railroaded."

    The man did not wish to comment any further, but Blakney confirmed the boy's parents will likely appeal the disposition, though would not go into any further details. She said they would have to retain an attorney to start the process.

    The 17-year-old is one of three students charged in the football melee, which started when coaches from Huron High School and Pioneer met after the game Oct. 12 and began a verbal altercation that turned physical when assistant coach Vince Wortmann shoved Huron head coach Cory Gildersleeve.

    Wortmann was not charged because prosecutors ruled he believed he was defending Pioneer head coach Paul Test. Wortmann was fired after the incident. Both head coaches have since resigned.

    Bashir Garain, the only student charged as an adult, took a plea deal earlier this month and is scheduled to be sentenced May 14.

    A second 17-year-old rejected a plea offer that would have included a similar type of deferred sentencing and would have wiped his record clean if he complied with probation. His jury trial is set for June 24.

    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 group of people beat and robbed a man walking home from a party early Sunday in Ypsilanti, police reported Tuesday.

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    The incident occurred at 3 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of College Place and Washtenaw Avenue, according to police. The man said he was walking back from a party when he was suddenly hit from behind.

    The man fell to the ground and a group of people began kicking and punching him, according to police. The man estimated three to five people were assaulting him.

    One of the people in the group went through the man’s pockets and took his phone, identification, keys and Visa card.

    The incident was not reported to police until 12:35 p.m. Monday, according to investigators.

    There was no suspect description available Tuesday morning. 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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    As investigators seek to determine what caused the crash of a U.S.-run civilian cargo plane in Afghanistan, an official at Willow Run Airport Tuesday said the crash had saddened workers at the facility, where the plane's operator was formerly based.

    Seven people, five from Michigan, were killed when the plane crashed Monday shortly after takeoff at an airfield in Afghanistan. Officials have said the National Transportation Safety Board will assist in an investigation to determine the cause.

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    The view from the old control tower Tuesday of the Willow Run Airport on the border of Ypsilanti and Van Buren townships. The Florida-based cargo company, National Airlines, was once headquartered at the Willow Run Airport.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    The Florida-based cargo company, National Airlines, said its Boeing 747-400 plane crashed at about 7 a.m. EST at the Bagram Air Field, just north of the Afghan capital.

    National was based at the Willow Run Airport, located in Ypsilanti Township and Wayne County's Van Buren Township, until January of this year. The company relocated to Orlando, Fla.

    Scott Wintner, spokesperson for the Willow Run Airport and public affairs manager at the Wayne County Airport Authority, said people at the airport was shocked and saddened to hear of the accident.

    "Everyone here is saddened to hear the news, particularly with a Michigan connection, but any time there’s a loss of life within the aviation community, it mourns," Wintner said. "Our hearts and minds are with the families and those affected by the crash."

    The international cargo flight was destined for Dubai World Central — Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, according to the NTSB.

    Wintner said Willow Run has several other cargo aircraft companies based out of the airport, including Kalitta Air and Kalitta Charters, as well as Active Aero. He said he couldn't confirm whether those airlines deliver cargo to areas within the Middle East as well.

    Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo said her thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and co-workers of those who died in the tragic airplane crash.

    "The pain of losing loved ones will be felt by many in our community, state and country but most of all by their families," Stumbo said. "We are truly sorry for their loss."

    The NTSB announced early Tuesday afternoon that Senior Air Safety Investigator Tim LeBaron will be the U.S. accredited representative to work alongside the Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation. LeBaron will lead a team of three additional investigators from the NTSB as well as representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and The Boeing Company, the NTSB said in a statement.

    "Safety is always our top priority at National Airlines," said National Airlines President Glen Joerger in a statement. "This is a devastating loss for our family and we'll work diligently with authorities to find the cause. Most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with our crewmembers and their families."

    Names and hometowns of the victims are not being released yet, but National said in a statement it will release additional information as it becomes available, "in cooperation with government authorities."

    All seven crewmembers onboard were killed and the airplane destroyed. The seven crew members were all American citizens. They included four pilots, two mechanics and a load master.

    The Detroit News reported that one of the pilots was Brad Hasler, 34, who got married April 14 at a Detroit restaurant in a small family ceremony. Hasler and his wife, Robin, are the parents of a 1-year-old daughter, Sloane.

    "This was a purely cargo flight and no passengers were aboard," the company said in a statement. "Cargo consisted of vehicles and routine general cargo."

    The company said at this point, it is focused on assisting the NTSB and the Afghanistan Civl Aviation Authority in their investigations. The cause of the accident is unknown at this point, the company said.

    National Airlines is a subsidiary of National Air Cargo and carries cargo both commercially and for the military and employs about 225 people.

    The National Airlines Family Information Call Center has been activated to support any family members requiring information.The National Airlines Family Information Call Center number is 888-705-7560.

    Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com.Reach her at katreasestafford@annarbor.com or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


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    Shopping for mom can be tough. You'd like to get her something new and interesting, but inevitably, it's the same old thing. Not this year, though. The Chelsea Craft Fair and Chelsea Home Show will help you find the perfect gift for your mom and for yourself as well. You deserve a reward, after all.

    artist-137804-7946-chelseartfair.jpg
    This is a curated fair. In addition to paintings, sculpture and traditional mediums it also features wearable art such as jewelry and hand-crafted clothing items. The artists have planned especially for Mother's Day, so there will be plenty of options for moms of all ages.

    The Chelsea Home Show features a variety of vendors and contractors. Find the one that suits your needs for your upcoming summer renovations.

    Saturday, May 4, 2013. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, May 5, 2013. Noon-5 p.m. Free parking and free admission. The Chelsea Community Fairgrounds are located at 20501 Old US-12 (at Old Manchester Road), Chelsea.


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    • Related story: Martin Bandyke's review of "Ready to Die"

    The new Iggy & the Stooges album, "Ready to Die," is released today. And as a prelude, the pioneering punk band from Ann Arbor appeared on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" on Monday.

    During an entertaining interview segment, there are a couple of references that seem to be to long-ago local occurrences. And Colbert finally poses the question: Why doesn't Iggy ever wear a shirt on stage? (And the answer may be the best part of the interview.)

    The full band also performed two songs, "Burn" and "Job."

    Check out the clips:

    Interview with Iggy Pop:

    "Burn":

    "Job":

    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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    Ann Arbor police reported two businesses were broken into during the weekend. One of them was vandalized, and six computers were stolen from the other.

    Ann Arbor police Lt. Renee Bush reported the first incident took place between 11 p.m. Friday and 5:30 a.m. Monday at a business in the 1600 block of Newport Road. Bush said an employee arrived for work Monday morning and found a door was damaged.

    Items were strewn about the business, but nothing has been reported stolen at this point.

    Sometime between 10 p.m. Friday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday a person broke into a business in the 2500 block of Jackson Avenue. The person appeared to have entered through an unlocked door, Bush said.

    Six laptop computers and miscellaneous items were reported stolen.

    No suspect descriptions were available in either of the incidents Tuesday afternoon.

    Anyone with information on these incidents 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 Weekend break-ins 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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    Tuesday morning's announcement of 2013's batch of Tony Award nominees wraps up a little more than a week of accolades from the New York theater world (the Outer Critics Award nominations were released on Monday, April 22, and the Drama Desk Award noms came out on Monday, April 29).

    As usual, University of Michigan alumni have found their way onto the lists of nominees, with songwriting team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul leading the pack, having been nominated by all three organizations for their scoring work on "A Christmas Story: The Musical."

    Plus, as a kind of bittersweet coda, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, who passed away in July 2012, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award (with Amy Clark) for his work on “Chaplin: The Musical.”

    U-M offered a press release with a complete rundown of alumni nominations.

    Spring is the season of Broadway award nominations and once again alums of U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance have been recognized for their outstanding work in theatre. This year, musical theatre alums Benj Pasek (BFA ’07) and Justin Paul (BFA ’07) have received nominations from all three of the major award bodies, the Tony Awards, the Drama Desk Awards, and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. The Tony nomination, in the category of Best Original Score, is for writing the music and lyrics for "A Christmas Story," which also received Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical. Additionally, Pasek & Paul received a Drama Desk Outstanding Music nomination for "A Christmas Story," with the show also receiving a Drama Desk nominations in five other categories, including Outstanding Musical. "A Christmas Story" was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as Outstanding New Broadway Musical.

    In addition, Pasek & Paul’s Off-Broadway musical "Dogfight," for which they wrote music and lyrics, received Outer Critics Circle Award nominations in the categories of Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score (Broadway or Off-Broadway), along with three additional nominations.

    Other nominations this award season include:

    * Josh Rhodes (BFA ’93, musical theatre) nominated for both a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of “Outstanding Choreography” for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

    * Jack O’Brien (BA '61, theatre and MA '62 English), nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award as “Outstanding Director of a Play” for The Nance.

    * The Araca Group, the production company of Matthew Rego (BFA ’92), co-produced two shows nominated for top awards: The Testament of Mary, Tony nominee for “Best Play” and Outer Critics Circle nominee for “Outstanding New Broadway Play;” and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Tony nominee for “Best Revival of a Musical,” Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for “Outstanding Revival of a Musical.”

    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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    Milan High School alumnus Lindsey Lammers, a junior at University of Detroit Mercy, was the 2013 Horizon League Player of the Year and will play in the NCAA Tournament with her team.

    Photo courtesy of University of Detroit Mercy sports information

    Former Milan High School golfer Lindsey Lammers was unable to defend her individual medalist title at the Horizon League Championships over the weekend.

    She's not torn up about it. Heading to the NCAA Tournament with her team is a nice consolation.

    Lammers, a junior at University of Detroit Mercy, and her team will compete in the NCAA Central Regional in Oklahoma May 9-11 after the Titans won the Horizon League Championships on Sunday.

    “Winning Horizon League was huge. That’s been our goal since day one,” Lammers said. “It’s huge for the team. I'm really excited to put our name out there on a national stage.”

    Lammers - who was individual conference champion as a sophomore - finished fourth individually over the weekend at the conference tournament in Florida, nine strokes off the lead. Lammers shot the low round of the final day of competition with an even par 72 on Sunday, but after shooting seven-over on each of the first two days, found herself with too much ground to make up.

    It’s far from what Lammers, the Horizon League Player of the Year, has come to expect from herself individually, but she’s ecstatic at the opportunity to be able to redeem herself at the NCAA Tournament.

    “I didn’t play awful but I know I didn’t play anything close to my potential,” Lammers said. “Most importantly the team won.”

    Despite winning the league title last year, Lammers did not compete as an individual at the 2012 NCAA Tournament because the Horizon League individual champion does not receive an automatic bid. She said she’s excited for the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best, and believes having her teammates there with her will make the experience all that much greater.

    lammers-shot.jpg

    Lindsey Lammers.

    Photo courtesy of University of Detroit Mercy sports information

    Detroit Mercy coach Terri Anthony-Ryan thinks having Lammers around makes her teammates better.

    "When she takes the tee and is in the zone she’s just one of the best I’ve ever seen and it just makes everyone around her calmer," said Anthony-Ryan, who sees Lammers as a potential LPGA golfer one day.

    In the past two years, Lammers has yet to finish a tournament outside of the top-five.

    “I don’t think too many people in the nation can say that,” Anthony-Ryan said. “Lindsey is just a great player, one of the best in the nation.”

    After Detroit ran away from the field in team competition - winning by 20 strokes - the Titans were crowned conference champions and will compete in the NCAA Regional at Jimmie Austin Oklahoma Golf Club May 9-11.

    “I’m so much more comfortable (being with the team). It’s like a second family,” Lammers said. “There’s some big names that will be there - Duke, Oklahoma, Michigan State - we know if we play to our potential we can do it.

    “We’re looking forward to see where we compare.”

    Lammers said she’s finally playing pain free, after having surgery on both of her wrists in the span of 13 months and injuring her back in a car accident earlier in the season. Finally having warm weather helps with the pain, and preparation. The Titans practiced in the snow the day they flew to Florida last week.

    “I was swinging a lot more tentative, just afraid to take a divot, now I’m starting to get after the ball, don’t have that little fear in the back of my head,” Lammers said.

    The top eight teams and top two individual finishers not associated with a top eight team will advance to the NCAA championship finals to be played at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. May 21-24.

    “It’ll be a tough, but the length of the course plays to our strength,” Anthony-Ryan said. “We’re just going to take it one shot at a time.”

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


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    Three Ann Arbor high school students recently were awarded corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships.

    In September, 90 seniors from Ann Arbor public and private schools, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester and Saline were named semifinalists in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition.

    The National Merit Scholarship Corporation hands out three categories of scholarships every spring. The corporate-sponsored scholarship winners are the first of the three annual award announcements.

    Alexander Kaldjian from Skyline High School, Joseph Sorenson from Father Gabriel Richard High School and Zibo Zou from Huron High School were the three Ann Arbor students who won corporate awards.

    The remaining 87 Washtenaw County seniors still have a shot at a $2,500 merit scholarship or a college-sponsored award through the competition.

    According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, 1,000 high school seniors were given corporate scholarships this year that range from $500 to $10,000 per year of college. Often corporate sponsors give scholarships for national merit finalists who are children of employees, residents in the communities they serve or students who plan to pursue college majors or careers that the businesses wants to encourage, said a press release announcing the winners.

    Kaldjian intends to seek a career in science or research, Sorenson is interested in mathematics and Zou plans to study engineering.

    Each year, less than 1 percent of high school seniors earn the honor of being named a "National Merit Finalist."

    Students enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation contest automatically by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

    To become a finalist and to have access to nearly 8,300 different scholarships — worth a total of more than $35 million — the semifinalist and his or her high school has to submit a detailed application providing the semifinalist's academic record, school and community activities, leadership abilities, and honors and awards they have received. The semifinalist also has to write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on his or her qualifying test to become a finalist, according to the news release.

    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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