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

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    A team at the University of Michigan Medical School has been given a $2.2 million federal research grant to study the use of medical marijuana for pain.

    Researchers at U-M hope the study can provide scientific insight to the long-term impacts of medical marijuana use and information as to the types of patients that seek the drug.

    Medical_marijuana.jpg

    Researchers at the University of Michigan have been given $2.2 million to study the use of medical marijuana.

    Associated Press file photo

    “With the ongoing policy debate and the growing popularity of medical marijuana programs in the United States, it is essential to understand the ramifications of medical marijuana use for individuals who seek access to it,” study leader Mark Ilgen said in a statement. “We hope that with this study can help inform the debate.”

    An associate professor in U-M’s Department of Psychiatry, Ilgen is the principal investigator for the research.

    More than 135,000 patients in the state are registered medical marijuana users. Michigan is one of 20 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, as well as the District of Columbia.

    The four-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to U-M researchers will fund a study of 800 patients.

    Patients cannot volunteer to be a part of the study. The research team will be recruiting patients who are seeking to become a registered medical marijuana user in Michigan by approaching them at their first doctor’s appointment at participating clinics.

    Patients that agree to participate will be asked a detailed survey of questions every six months throughout two years. Researchers plan to examine the patients’ symptoms, everyday functions and use of health care services.

    “Marijuana is the most frequently used drug in the nation, and has been legalized for medical use in many ways, yet we have very little understanding of how individuals using medical marijuana do over time,” according to a statement from Frederic Blow, a co-investigator on the study.

    Blow is a substance abuse researcher who directs the Mental Health Services Outcomes & Translation Section at the Medical School.

    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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    "Michigan's Celtic Jamgrass Champions" Rootstand will perform at Arbor Brewing Company on Sunday.

    400w_RootStand1.jpg
    The band consists of Brant Losinski on vocals and guitar, Matt Pernar on drums, Tim Sheldon on banjo, David Cleaves on mandolin and Brennan Andes on bass. Many may know Brennan from The Macpodz.

    Together, they make a danceable combination of Celtic bluegrass jam music with a little reggae, Americana and blues thrown in. Check them out in the video below.

    Rootstand will play another show at ABC on Friday, June 14.

    Sunday, June 2, 2013. 1 p.m. Free admission. ABC is at 114 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor. 734-213-1393.


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    Property was stolen from two parked cars Wednesday in Ypsilanti, according to a crime summary.

    Both vehicles were unlocked. The suspect is unknown in each incident.

    In one case a bag of miscellaneous property was stolen around 2 p.m. from a vehicle that was parked in the 500 block of East Michigan Avenue.

    The second incident took place around 3 p.m. in the 10 block of North Huron where electronics were stolen from a parked vehicle.

    It is unclear if the two incidents are related. Further information was not immediately available.


    View parked in a larger map

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


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    Bryan Rogers, who retired as the University of Michigan art school's dean in 2012 after 12 years in the position, died Tuesday.

    ru_130530_rogers.jpg

    Bryan Rogers

    U-M Photo

    He was 72.

    He died in his home after a lengthy battle with illness. He is survived by his wife, Cynthi, and son, Kyle.

    Rogers, a practicing artist and a writer, was the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design's longest-serving dean. He came to Ann Arbor in 2000. Prior to that, he led the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and held positions at UC-Berkeley and San Francisco State University and Carnegie Mellon University.

    Born in Texas, Rogers graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. He also received a Master of Science, Master of Arts and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

    Rogers is credited with giving the art school a global reach and encouraging creative approaches to fields not often associated with art, such as engineering and medicine. Under his leadership, all art students were encouraged to study abroad. The number of faculty doubled and the school founded Arts Engine, a campus program that facilitates the arts in architecture and engineering.

    "The engaging learning that students experience in the Stamps School of Art & Design is due to the vision and leadership of Bryan Rogers," President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement. "His belief in a program that is global, creative and connected led to dramatic changes that advanced the Stamps School."

    Plans for a memorial haven't been announced yet, but cards and notes for Rogers family may be sent to Stamps School Dean’s Office, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor MI, 48109.

    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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    A decision could be made next month on plans by a shuttle service that serves travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport to expand its trips between East Lansing and Ann Arbor.

    Michigan Flyer LLC wants to add four daily trips to its current eight between East Lansing and Ann Arbor, where connections to Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus are available. It got a $595,000 federal grant to support the expansion.

    The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission voted 9-9 Wednesday on whether to add the routes to a regional transportation plan. The commission next meets June 26, and the Lansing State Journal reports the issue will be revisited.

    One of the 19 commission members was absent Wednesday. The plans have fueled debate about whether taxpayer money should be used to subsidize business.


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    Underwhelmed by the pool candidates vying to replace retiring Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard, the Kalamazoo City Commission has decided to reboot its search, MLive reported.

    The pool being passed over included former Ann Arbor City Administrator Roger Fraser, who was among five finalists who interviewed for the position on May 21.

    Roger_Fraser_2013_MLive.jpg

    Roger Fraser at his interview for the position of Kalamazoo city manager on May 21.

    MLive file photo

    During a special meeting on Wednesday, Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell said he appreciated the backgrounds of the five candidates, but he wasn't "wowed."

    MLive reported the commission is moving forward without the search firm it has worked with since February. Commissioners cited a lack of enthusiasm about both the candidates and the search firm, with one commissioner saying the candidates were victims of a bad recruitment process.

    Another commissioner suggested starting over with a new search firm and possibly conducting a targeted search of people who are in the community and who care about the community.

    Fraser, who is now Michigan's deputy state treasurer for local government services, told MLive on Wednesday he hadn't yet been informed of the commission's decision and couldn't comment.

    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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    Zingerman's Roadhouse will host the Fourth Annual Storymakers Dinner, a benefit for 826michigan.

    826Tutoring.jpg

    A student gets tutored through 826michigan. Courtesy of 826Michigan

    Courtesy of 826Michigan

    Acclaimed author Deb Olin Unferth will lead an evening of great stories and great food to aid the organization that helps over 2,500 students find their inspiration and skill in writing.

    Unferth has written "Vacation" and "Revolution: The Year I Fell In Love and Went to Join the War," a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a two-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize and currently teaches creative writing at Wesleyan University.

    Former 826michigan student Saif Ghanem will also be a special guest for the evening. His essay, "The Story of My Life," was included in the 826 National publication "Be Honest, And Other Advice from Students Around the Country."

    The dinner will feature a Venezuelan-inspired menu by Chef Alex Young.

    Advance reservations can be made by calling 734-761-3463 or emailing Executive Director Amanda Uhle at Amanda@826michigan.org. You can also purchase online at smd2013.brownpapertickets.com/.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013. 6:30 p.m. $100 per person. Zingerman's Roadhouse is located at 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor. 734-663-FOOD.


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    Girls soccer

    Skyline 3, Howell 2
    Story | Boxscore | Bracket

    After giving up the tying goal with 11 seconds left in the game, the Ann Arbor Skyline girls soccer team held on in overtime to defeat Howell in the opening round of the Division 1, District 4 tournament at Howell High School on Wednesday.

    Cienna Rael-Whitsitt scored the game winning goal in OT after having an assist in regulation.

    “She (Rael-Whitsitt) played very well,” Skyline coach Chris Morgan said. “She was able to finish on her scoring chances and was very composed in some clutch situations for us.”

    The Highlanders scored two goals against Skyline, a feat unmatched by any other team this year - a fact that was not lost on Morgan.

    “This was one of those games were we didn't play as well as we should have,” Morgan said. “We were fortunate to pull out the victory. Howell really pushed us; they pressured us well and made us make some uncharacteristic mistakes.”

    Skyline advances to the semifinal round against Ann Arbor Huron at Huron High School on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

    Father Gabriel Richard 7, Hanover Horton 0
    Story | Boxscore | Bracket

    richard-soccer-pic.jpg

    Father Gabriel Richard's Ellery Sarosi drives the ball up field during the first half of the regional semifinal game, Wednesday, May 29.

    Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com

    Freshman Lilly Geppner and sophomore Kendall Levens led the Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard girls soccer team with two goals each, as The Fighting Irish topped Hanover-Horton 7-0 in a district semifinal on Wednesday.

    Tymi Staub, Kaitlyn Conway and Hadley Yoas each added a goal.

    “Geppner and Levens got going tonight,” Gabriel Richard coach Matt Carroll said. “(Staub) scored all four of our goals against Stockbridge last game, so we spread it around.”

    Gabriel Richard will host Jackson Lumen Christi (who shutout Brooklyn Columbia Central 7-0 in round one and Onsted 6-0 in round two) in a division final on Friday at 6 p.m.

    Boys golf

    Saline, Skyline, Pioneer and Huron advance to regionals
    Story | Boxscore

    Chris Kozler shot a one-over-par 73 to lead Plymouth boys golf team with a 308 for first place at a Division 1 district final at Pine View golf Course, while Saline shot a 312 for second place.

    Caleb Wittig led Saline with a 74, followed by Ian Martin’s 68. James Alcock and Ryan Peruski each added an 80. Skyline advanced to regionals with a third place finish and Huron and Pioneer advanced after tying for fifth.

    Milan finishes third, advances to regional
    Story | Boxscore

    Milan senior Lester Lancaster carded a 3-over 74 to finish second and the Big Reds qualified for regional play with a third place finish.

    “Les Lancaster had one of his better scores of the season, and he is playing really well right now,” Milan coach Scott Hadley said. “He keeps getting better and better. We worked a lot on his short game with putting and chipping. He was struggling with his wedges and putting earlier in the season. We’ve spent a lot of time on it, and he has just taken off since then.”

    Hadley was happy with Milan’s regional qualification. However, he knows his team can perform better than Wednesday’s scores indicated.

    “As a team, we didn’t have one of our better days, but we did accomplish our goal of making it to regionals,” Hadley added. “A couple of our other players struggled with decision making and didn’t have their usual low scores.”

    Chelsea advances to Division 2 regional
    Story | Boxscore

    The Chelsea High School golf team advanced to next week's regional tournament after finishing fifth in in its district on Wednesday.

    "We're a good team, not a great team, so doing well at districts was a big goal for us this year," Chelsea coach Joe Ewald said. "We're young and inexperienced, and none of our golfers had played in a district before."

    Baseball

    Manchester 8, Adrian Madison 1
    Story | Boxscore | Bracket

    Ryan Stiles had two RBIs on three hits and stole three bases, leading Manchester to an 8-1 win in the Division 3 district opener on Wednesday. With the win, Manchester advances to Saturday's four-team district tournament, which it will host.

    Will Montgomery drove in two runs with two doubles, and Ben Wilson added three hits.

    Benn Allen earned the win for Manchester, striking out four, walking one, and giving up two hits and one earned run in five innings.

    “Brad was in control the whole time on the mound,” Manchester coach Corey Fether said.

    Softball
    Manchester 12, Adrian Madison 1
    Story | Boxscore | Bracket

    Manchester's Kayla Boote went 2 for 3 with a two-run home run to help the Flying Dutchmen softball team win 12-1 in five innings over Adrian Madison in 2013 Division 3 District 83 at Manchester on Wednesday. Mae Hamilton went 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs, and Katie McClure drove in three runs and struck out six batters in five innings to earn the win.

    Manchester scored four runs in each of the first three innings.

    "We batted our whole order in the first," Manchester coach Liz George said. "Boote hit a two-run homer in the third inning, her third home run of the season.

    "We hit the ball really well today. We're a totally different team when we come out and hit the ball. We have to continue to hit and do some of the little things well."

    On Saturday, Manchester hosts two-time defending state champion Clinton.

    Girls lacrosse

    Pioneer 17, Saline 5
    Story | Boxscore | Bracket

    Ann Arbor Pioneer sophomore Juliette Killough scored five goals and had one assist in a 17-5 win against Saline in the girls lacrosse Division 1 State Tournament regional Wednesday at Novi.

    Mercedes Reyes scored four goals and had two assists, Sam Zwolan scored three and had one assist, and Miranda Kruse made five saves.

    Pioneer coach Zachary Maghes said his team tries to get better each day.

    “That’s the plan,” Maghes said. “Everyone else is getting better this time of year, too.”

    Pioneer faces South Lyon Unified in the Division 1 State Tournament quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Friday at Novi.

    “We’re attempting to win our third regional championship in a row,” Meghes said. “That’s one of our goals on the docket.”

    Boys Lacrosse

    Final four Washtenaw County Teams bow out of state tournament

    The last four remaining Washtenaw County Teams left in the MHSAA boys lacross postseason were eliminated on Thursday.

    Pioneer lost a one-goal game, 8-7, to Grand Rapids Forest HIlls Northern/Eastern (Boxscore | Bracket) in the Division 1 tournament and Saline lost a two-goal game, 9-7, to U-D Jesuit.

    Gabriel Richard lost a three-goal contest to Tecumseh (Bracket) in Division 2 while Greenhills was ousted from Division 2 with an 18-2 loss to Detroit Country Day (Story | Boxscore)

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


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    04082013_SPT_CrislerWatchParty_DJB_0725_fullsize.jpg

    One of the Molotov cocktails found on the 1100 block of White Street is visible next to a home as an officer investigates on April 9.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com

    The two suspended University of Michigan wrestlers accused of making Molotov cocktails after the NCAA national championship basketball game moved toward trial Thursday.

    Justin_Dozier.jpg

    Justin Dozier

    Courtesy of Washtenaw County Jail

    Justin Dozier and Rosario Bruno, both 20, waived their right to a preliminary exam at the 14A-1 District Court Thursday morning. District Court Judge Richard Conlin sent both cases to the Washtenaw County Trial Court, where they will proceed in front of Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Archie Brown.

    Dozier and Bruno stood mute on their charges and not guilty pleas were entered on their behalf. They’ll return to court for pretrial hearings in front of Brown at 1:30 p.m. July 17.

    Rosario_Bruno.jpg

    Rosario Bruno

    Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Jail

    Each man is charged with two counts of possessing/manufacturing explosives. Each charge carries a maximum of four years in prison.

    According to Ann Arbor police, Dozier and Bruno made four Molotov cocktails and possessed them in the early hours of April 9. The explosives were found in the 1100 block of White Street, the scene of at least two fires after U-M lost to the University of Louisville.

    Police arrived at the scene of a mattress fire in the 1100 block of White, extinguished it and then found a bottle with a flammable liquid inside. Police said they linked Dozier and Bruno to up to four bottles made that way.

    Dozier’s address is listed in the block where the bottles were found and Bruno was taken to the hospital by Huron Valley Ambulance from a home on that block on April 9.

    Both men are free on personal recognizance bond.

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


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    Ann Arbor police Chief John Seto told a dozen concerned residents at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday evening that detectives are still investigating a reported incident involving an assault and attempted robbery of a Pioneer High School earlier this month.

    Thumbnail image for John_Seto_022613_RJS.jpg

    Ann Arbor Police Chief John Seto speaks at an Ann Arbor City Council meeting earlier this year.

    Seto also assured the 12 residents gathered in the living room of Council Member Marcia Higgins, D-4th Ward, that the attack was an isolated incident.

    "There aren't any similar incidents of that type in this area, nor do we believe that there is a pattern in other parts of the city," he said.

    Seto said the investigation is still open. "We're still working on it," he said.

    The residents all live in the neighborhood near West Stadium Boulevard and Marian Avenue in southwest Ann Arbor where a 17-year-old Pioneer student reported he was attacked May 15 by three men while he was walking home from school.

    Seto fielded questions from the neighborhood group, but could not release any more details about the incident other than what had been previously reported.

    "I can't comment on any potential leads we're looking into," he said, adding that detectives are exploring all angles.

    AnnArbor.com previously reported the 17-year-old told police that three people came up from behind, pushed him to the ground, then struck him multiple times in the head.

    The three suspects then attempted to rob him, he said, but the teen didn't have anything to steal. The suspects then fled. The 17-year-old reported the attempted robbery when he arrived home from school, Seto said.

    The teen told police he didn't recognize any of the alleged assailants. He described them to police as black males about 19 or 20 years old, all wearing T-shirts. Two of the suspects were wearing baseball hats and shorts. The third was wearing blue jeans, police said.

    Trish Koman came to the meeting because her children walk to school in the neighborhood and she would like that to continue.

    "This is a really great neighborhood for walking," she said. "It's really safe. My kids walk to school. It would be such a shame if parents got too concerned about this because if you pull back then there's fewer people on the street to keep all the kids safe."

    Koman was surprised the incident was reported right on busy West Stadium Boulevard and that nobody stopped.

    "That's not the kind of neighborhood we have," she said.

    Melissa Reitz's son walks in the neighborhood to catch a shuttle to Community High School.

    "I don't want to change anything we're doing," she said. "But it gives you pause."

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

    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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    Ten baby wood ducklings were rescued and reunited with their mother after falling into a sewer drain in Ypsilanti around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

    ducks.jpg

    An employee from the Humane Society of Huron Valley,left, and Ypsilanti firefighter Rodney Schroeder, right, along with restaurant staff from Luca's Coney Island, rescued 10 baby ducklings Wednesday.

    Courtesy Ypsilanti Fire Department

    The ducklings fell into a sewer drain behind the Luca's Coney Island at 309 E. Michigan Ave. and the $3.50 Soft Cloth Car Wash at 317 E. Michigan Ave..

    Eight of the ducklings were rescued by Luca's staff and two were rescued by Ypsilanti Firefighter Rodney Schroeder, who said the owner of the restaurant called the fire department and the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

    "We got on the scene and they had eight of them already boxed," Schroeder said. "The mother was flying around the area and there were two that were still loose. We were there for about 30 minutes trying to get those two out and we finally got them out and took them over by the railroad tracks and some rocks."

    Schroeder said a representative from the HSHV arrived on the scene and advised him to just release the ducklings, saying the mother would fly down to them.

    Schroeder said rescues like this happen at least once a year for the department. Schroeder said his wife once did animal rehabbing, so he's well-versed in how to rescue and care for animals potentially in danger.

    "I enjoy doing it," Schroeder said. "It's fun. No one wants to see them ( animals) get hurt. It's a good feeling to be able to help animals and people out."

    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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    Ann Arbor resident Robin Sanders publicly announced on Thursday his intention to run as an Independent candidate for governor of Michigan in 2014.

    The 58-year-old state corrections officer's declaration comes just two days after former Democratic congressman Mark Schauer of Battle Creek announced he'll be challenging Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who will be seeking a second four-year term in 2014.

    Robin_Sanders_headshot_2013.jpg

    Robin Sanders

    Sanders, who has never run for public office, told AnnArbor.com in a phone interview on Thursday he wants to give Michiganders a nonpartisan choice on the ballot.

    "I'm going to give it a shot," he said. "I'm looking for interest at this time. Right now I'm a one-man campaign and doing my research for how to conduct a campaign."

    Sanders said announcing his intentions to run, combined with the launch of a campaign website, is "the poor man's way" of polling the entire state.

    Although he said doesn't have a great deal of money and he's relatively unknown to the general public, it's his hope voters will consider his qualifications.

    "I have a much broader real-world experience," he said, comparing himself to Schauer and Snyder. "I think I stand out if you do a side-by-side comparison of us."

    Sanders has lived in Ann Arbor for 14 years, and before that in Ypsilanti for six years. He has spent nearly 20 years as a state corrections officer at four different facilities and is in the process of retiring from the Woodland Center Correctional Facility in Whitmore Lake.

    He touts his background as the financial secretary for the Knights of Columbus Council in Ann Arbor, and 20 years of service in the U.S. Navy, including combat tours in Vietnam and Desert Storm.

    Raised in Romulus, he attended Washtenaw Community College, majoring in correctional science, and is attending the college now in pursuit of a certificate in computer systems technology.

    His wife Pamela is a Michigan Department of Corrections dietician. He has three sons, a step-son who is autistic and a step-daughter, as well as three grandchildren.

    He notes he also has a mentally impaired brother and has become keenly aware of the special needs for impaired adults and children.

    Sanders said he hasn't begun trying to collect the 30,000 signatures he'd need by next summer to get on the ballot. He's first seeing if there's any interest in his campaign.

    "The main thing I am concerned about is gathering that grassroots support," he said. "They're going to have unlimited resources. I'm just a middle-class guy. I'm struggling just like a lot of other middle-class families are in this economy. I'm asking for other people to pitch in with me."

    Sanders said he'd be willing to put about $10,000 of his own money into waging a gubernatorial campaign if there's sufficient interest and support from the public. He said that's something he couldn't have pictured himself doing a few short years ago.

    "If you would have told me just a few years ago that I should run for office, I would have suggested you talk to your doctor about changing your meds," he said.

    If elected, Sanders said he would do what needs to be done as governor "in a totally unbiased manner for all citizens, regardless of political, social, religious or economic viewpoints."

    His website is light on positions on issues at the moment, but he said he's noticed a lack of concern for public safety in Lansing and he'd be a strong advocate for public safety. He said he sees both good and bad in both major political parties.

    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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    The Saline Area Schools will not have to make draconian cuts to balance its budget for the 2013-14 academic year, unlike many districts in Washtenaw County.

    And for the first time in four years, Saline will be able to put a little money — an estimated $205,000 — back into its savings, according to a report by the Saline Post.

    Scot_Graden_Steve_Laatsch.JPG
    The Ann Arbor Public Schools, meanwhile, has issued layoff notices to 233 teachers and could be closing middle school pools, eliminating high school transportation and discontinuing students' seventh-hour options at its comprehensive high schools.

    The Post says Saline has run a deficit eight times in the last 12 years, including in each of the previous four years.

    School officials said in the Post that a significant factor in the district's healthy budget situation for fall is the housing market boost and more families moving to Saline, which has caused the district's enrollment to be better than projected.

    The situation this budget cycle is drastically different than last spring, when Saline schools asked for compensation concessions from its three collective bargaining units and contemplated privatizing the district's support staff.

    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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    Zach Putnam had a little earlier wake up call than he would have liked on Thursday, but considering the call he'd received the night before, he probably didn't mind.

    Putnam_Comerica_Glasses.jpg

    Former Pioneer High School and University of Michigan baseball player Zach Putnam, pictured above while playing for the Cleveland Indians in 2011, joined the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

    Joseph Tobianski I AnnArbor.com file photo

    The Ann Arbor native and former Pioneer and Michigan star was called up to the Chicago Cubs from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday night and was up by 4:30 a.m. to catch a plane and join the team Thursday morning according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Putnam, a right-handed relief pitcher, was 1-1 with a 3.26 earned-run average in 17 appearances for Iowa with 19.1 innings pitched this year. This is Putnam's third call up to the majors with as many teams in as many years after spending last year with the Colorado Rockies and the year before with the Cleveland Indians.

    "He showed us in spring training he had a swing-and-miss split (fastball) and obviously carried over to Triple-A," manager Dale Sveum told the Tribune.

    Putnam was Michigan's Mr. Baseball - given to the state's top high school player - at Pioneer High School in 2005 and led the team to state championship in 2004. He was a two-time All-American during a three-year career at the University of Michigan and was drafted by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. He began his career as a starting pitcher in the Indians' farm system, but became a reliever midway through the 2010 season.

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


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    The Milan Area Schools Board of Education is facing tough choices this budget cycle as it weighs staff layoffs and privatization of some of the district’s services, including custodial, maintenance, food service, transportation and secretarial services, according to a report in the Milan News-Leader.

    101212_Sports_Milan_footbal.JPG

    Milan Area Schools may layoff staff for the 2013-14 academic year.

    Courtney Sacco I AnnArbor.com

    The News-Leader reports the district is considering pink slips for about 13 full-time staff members: 5 teaching positions, 4.5 custodial positions, 1 bus driver, 1.5 secretaries and 1 central office employee.

    Superintendent Bryan Girbach said in the Leader the planned layoffs are based on classroom needs and are not expected to affect program offerings. The district also is waiting on staff evaluations to be completed before issuing the layoffs, the report said.

    The board will vote on the layoffs at its June 11 meeting.

    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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    The Ann Arbor Jaycees hold their 62nd Annual Summer Carnival June 26- June 30.

    Jeffrey Smith | AnnArbor.com

    The Ann Arbor Jaycees 62nd Annual Summer Carnival will be setting up camp in the parking lot of Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd., in late June, according to a release from the Jaycees.

    Admission to the carnival is free every day before 9 p.m., and will have an entry cost of $5 after 9 p.m. Neither of those include tickets for rides, but unlimited-ride wristbands can be purchased for $20. No one will be permitted to enter the carnival after 10 p.m.,

    The event is sponsored by the Ann Arbor Jaycees, a leadership development and service organization for young adults that works to make a positive impact on the community.

    The carnival will be held from 4 to 11 p.m. June 26 through June 28, from noon to 11 p.m., June 29, and from noon to 9 p.m. on June 30 at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, 601 W. Stadium Blvd.


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    The city of Chelsea plan to subsidize the Ann Arbor Transit Authority's community connector between the two cities, Chelsea Standard reports.

    The lobby to provide $15,000 to fund the connector was approved in a 5-1 vote by the Chelsea City Council . A small group of Chelsea residents who rely on the connector for transportation to their Ann Arbor jobs were responsible for the push, the Standard reported.

    The vote also was to approve 2013-2014 budgets with the AATA funding amendment. There will be an $84,000 increase to the city’s fund balance before the AATA line item is added.

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


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    The majority of high school athletes never make it to their sport's state championships. So in one sense, the fact that Saline senior Gabe Becton isn’t running in this weekend’s boys track and field state finals isn’t that unique.

    What is unique is that Becton has actually qualified for the MHSAA Division 1 boys track and field state championships and is not participating by choice.

    gabe-becton.jpg

    Gabe Becton.

    Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com file photo

    Becton is a member of Saline’s state championship qualifying 800-meter relay team, but he’s also a member of Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Christian denomination that observes the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. Becton chooses not compete on Saturdays to conform with the Christian Bible’s fourth commandment which states, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”

    “When you compete it’s not really a holy thing to do. It can be all fun and games, but the people you’re going against they become more your enemy than anything,” Becton said. “I’m not saying everything I do on the Sabbath is holy. I walk, walking isn’t exactly holy, but when you compete there’s that mindset that all you want is to win.

    “Your focus is on you yourself and everything you can do to win instead of concentrating on keeping the day holy and your relationship with God,” Becton explained.

    This has been no easy choice for Becton, and he said its one he still struggles with. This was especially so during the basketball season, when he - as a starter - had to miss nearly half the team’s games.

    He skipped last year's state championships, but coach Allan Leslie said the team was deep enough where his alternate was not a step down. Leslie said this year's sprint relay would likely garner all-state honors with Becton, but likely won't without him.

    “It was a really hard decision because I did want to go really bad and want to go with my team and want to help them real bad,” Becton said. “It still kind of sucks, but I’ve come to terms with it.

    “It was my decision all along, but it’s been difficult.”

    Becton said that never once have his parents or other church members demanded this strict observance of the Sabbath. He said this year his teammates have tried to convince him to put his beliefs on hold, and that it’s been tough to say no.

    Ultimately, he said his teammates still respected him for his decision.

    “The relationship with the team is they love him and we understand it. You respect a kid that in this day and age makes a tough choice based on his beliefs,” Leslie said. “He’s such a solid kid it’s hard to get mad at someone when they’re doing things for the right reason.”

    Leslie said the situation wasn’t as friendly in 2009 when Becton’s cousin, Aarion Gross, made the same decision. As fast as Becton is - he holds Saline’s individual record in the 100-meter dash (11.03 seconds), and his regional meet preliminary heat times were under the state qualification standard - Gross was faster. Becton could boost Saline’s chances to place top-eight in the 800 relay, Gross would have been one of the favorites to win the 400. Gross holds the Saline High School record for fastest 400 (48.69).

    “That team didn’t adjust very well. ” said Leslie. “It’s just been a known with Gabe, and you can’t really argue about those things. We’ve come to accept and respect it.”

    Becton said he’s spoken with Gross about the decision before and both feel the same way. Part of them wishes they could run, but they believe they are better for not.

    “I feel I’ve gained a stronger relationship I think with God and I always ask him to guide me in my decisions,” Becton said.

    MHSAA Boys track and field state championships

    Division 1
    at East Kentwood High School

    When: Saturday, June 1.
    Who: Pioneer, Skyline, Saline, Lincoln, Dexter, Ypsilanti.
    Outlook: The teams in the area don't really have the elite talent to match the third place finish of Saline last year, or runner-up finish of Ypsilanti the year before. As Saline coach Allan Leslie put it, "You really need a top-level stud like (Steven) Bastien was for us last year, or (Austin) Sanders for Ypsilanti. We just don't have that this year."

    The area does, however, have several individuals who should be all-state and some favored to win individual titles. Washtenaw County had four event champions and two runners up in 2012.

    Dexter's Noah Gary had the top qualifying pole vault of 15-feet-7. The second highest was 14-feet. Lincoln's Tyree Waller is the top seed in the long jump after finishing runner-up last year.

    Thumbnail image for hovater-chelsea-pole-vault.jpg

    Chelsea's Michael Hovater, above, is the top seed in the pole vault.

    Division 2
    at Forest Hills Eastern High School

    When: Saturday, June 1.
    Who: Chelsea, Milan.
    Outlook: Chelsea could make some noise with the necessary elite level athletes, mixed with depth, but probably lack the strength in relays to contend for a title.

    Berkley Edwards is the top-seed in the 100 and No. 2 in the 200. Michael Hovater is the top seed in the pole vault and teammates Travis Weiss and David St. Pierre could be on the medal stand with him as they are the No. 2 and 11 seeds respectively.

    Milan's Kalif Kelsey is a one man team, but could fare better than most with several members as a No. 3 seed in the 100, No. 6 in he long jump and No. 11 in the 200.

    Division 3
    at Comstock Park High School

    When: Saturday, June 1.
    Who: Father Gabriel Richard, Manchester, Whitmore Lake.
    Outlook: Gabriel Richard won a regional title, but it was one of the weaker regionals in Division 3. Michigan commit Blaise Stearns is the No. 6 seed in the 100.

    Willow Run freshman Brandon Morgan has a bright future ahead of him, qualifying in both the 100 and 200, but the state meet will be a grown man's game.

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


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    04302013_SPT_SalineTrack_g_DJB_0129.jpeg

    Saline athletes cheer each other on at a meet against Huron earlier this season.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file photo

    The Saline girls track and field team may not be at a state title level just yet. But at the end of the track and field state finals, two trophies are presented to the state champion and to the state runner-up.

    And with a large contingent and potential for both individual and relay state titles, the Hornets are hoping to grab one of them.

    “They give two trophies, and we’ll battle,” Saline coach Brian Boze said earlier this season.

    The Hornets will bring 14 runners competing in individual events and have three relays qualified for this weekend's Division 1 state finals, Saturday at East Kentwood High School. They will be looking to improve on a fifth-place finish last year.

    Grosse Pointe South is the odds on favorite to take the team title, led by some of the best distance runners in the country. But a deep Saline squad that won the SEC should be near the top, too.

    “There’s no illusion as to their talent,” Boze said earlier this month of GPS. “They have certain talent that’s untouchable. Our goal is to be as competitive as we can and to put forth the best team we can on that day.”

    “We are very strong, but you need superstars and we’re trying to develop some of those kids to be competitive at that level.”

    Hornets junior Quenee’ Dale ran the top regionals time in the 100-meter hurdles, at 14.10 seconds. She is looking to become the Hornets’ first individual state champion since 2002. She will also run the 100-meter dash, where she is seeded fourth.

    “She’s very good, she works very hard,” Boze said of Dale. “It’s unfortunate for her that the state’s not as deep in girls as it was last year. There were some incredible races. But she’s training hard and she runs year-round, and the potential is pretty high with her.”

    Senior thrower Randi Bennett, coming off an ACL tear in the fall and a disappointing performance at last year’s state meet, could finish All-State in both the shot put and discus.

    And the Hornets’ 400-meter relay team will be looking to repeat its state title from last year, with three of the four members back.

    MHSAA girls track and field state championships

    Division 1
    At East Kentwood High School

    When: Saturday, June 1.
    Who: Dexter, Huron, Lincoln, Pioneer, Saline, Skyline, Ypsilanti.
    Outlook: Outside of Saline, several other area athletes should finish high this weekend.

    Ypsilanti’s Endia Francois has the chance to be All-State in four different events. She is the fifth seed in the 400-meter, the No. 7 seed in the 200-meter, the No. 8 seed in the high jump and the No. 13 in the long jump.

    Anita VanderMuelen of Skyline is the No. 2 seed in the long jump, and could also make noise in the 400. Dexter’s Kamie Powell is the highest seed of four area pole vaulters competing

    Pioneer should be Saline’s toughest competition in the sprint relay, and could place high in the 1,600-meter relay as well. And Huron’s Kennedy Beazley may be seeded 17th in the 800, but that’s due to a late stumble at regionals -- her fastest times this year place her among the state’s best.

    Division 2
    At Forest Hills Eastern High School

    When: Saturday, June 1.
    Who: Chelsea, Milan.
    Outlook: Three area runners have a chance to all finish high at Forest Hills Eastern.

    Junior Nicole Lange of Milan could compete for state titles in both the 200 and 400 meters. Grace Sauers of Chelsea should be in the fast heat for both of the hurdles events, and Laura McGrath should be in the finals for the 100-meter dash.

    Division 3
    At Comstock Park High School

    When: Saturday, June 1
    Who: Father Gabriel Richard, Greenhills, Manchester
    Outlook: The Irish won their ninth straight Catholic League title and finished in third at regionals this year. Kelly Bindon will compete this weekend in both hurdles events, while Andrea Bodary will run the two-mile.

    Greenhills and Manchester both qualified one athlete: Grace Gardner for the Gryphons and sophomore Alia Benedict for Manchester.

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


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    Boys Golf

    Division 3 District Tournament at Rustic Glen
    Story | Boxscore

    Whitmore Lake’s Antony Manschesky, James Richards and Eric Milbocker shot career bests to edge Grosse Ile by one stroke in a two-hole playoff on Thursday for the Division 3 district championship at the Rustic Glen Golf Club in Saline.

    Tied 319-319 after regular play with No. 5 golfers Whitmore Lake’s Jacob Zagor and Grosse Ile’s Grady Bennet tied at 89, the teams moved to a hole-by-hole playoff. Tied after the first hole, Whitmore Lake’s five man aggregate shot a 20, one stroke less than Grosse Ile.

    “We expected to advance, but we didn't expect to play so well,” Whitmore Lake coach Larry Thistlewaite said. "The team played exceptionally well, probably our best outing of the year.”

    Girls Soccer

    Dexter 7, Chelsea 0
    Story | Boxscore

    dexter-girls-soccer-huron-girls-soccer-04232013.JPG

    Dexter is one of four area teams that advanced to a regional final Thursday.

    Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file photo

    Olivia Vollmers led Dexter with four goals in the team’s 12th shut-out for the season. The Dreadnaughts advance to play Mason Saturday at home in a district final. Dexter won a regular season matchup with Mason, 1-0, that was played earlier in the season.

    Saline 5, Monroe 0
    Story | Boxscore

    Taylor Mulder ended up with three goals, and Danielle Rathfon and Macy Holmberg had the other scores. Mulder scored the first three goals in succession.

    A 45-minute delay due to weather conditions hindered both teams at the start, but Saline quickly adjusted.

    "It made the field slick, which throws off passing, but it wasn't very bad," Saline coach Dana Restrick said.

    Manchester 6, Hillsdale 0
    Story | Boxscore

    A second-half surge propelled Manchester past Hillsdale 6-0 in its Division 4 girls soccer district semifinal on Thursday at Jackson Christian High School.

    Jessie Manders led Manchester with three goals. Taylor Manders added a goal and three assists, and teammate Sydnie Ahrens added two goals and two assists.

    Manchester (17-1-1, 9-0-1 Independent Soccer League) will play Blissfield (11-3-2, 5-2-2) in the district final at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. Manchester defeated Blissfield twice in the regular season -- 5-3 on April 25 and 4-3 on May 13.

    Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com.


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