Washtenaw County’s Covid risk level is “high,” with MI Safe Start reporting 132 cases per 100,000 residents in the week ending on Monday. In the 24 hours ending yesterday at 10 a.m., the county health department reported eighty-four confirmed cases, twenty-four probable cases, no hospitalizations, and no deaths, not quite double the case numbers from the same period a week ago. The weekly test positivity rate is 4 percent, up from last week.
A school board meeting went into recess last week after a group of people removed their masks, MLive reports. District policy requires face coverings be worn while on school property, and after about fifteen people took theirs off, the meeting was delayed for about thirty minutes until the last protestors left after discussions with AAPD officers. The incident recalls last month’s rescheduling of a meeting for a similar reason.
The AADL’s longtime director Josie Parker recently retired: Check out Sarah Innes’s “scrapbook” (subscriber exclusive) of Parker’s transformative tenure in the April Observer. Parker will be succeeded by deputy director Eli Neiburger, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive), who has worked at the library for twenty-five years and was selected after a national search. He starts tomorrow.
Last week city council unanimously approved Milton Dohoney Jr. as the city’s permanent administrator, the Michigan Daily reports. Dohoney has been serving as interim administrator since August 2021, when he took over from interim John Fournier. Fournier (who returned to his previous role as assistant administrator) had stepped in following the forced departure of Tom Crawford–himself a former interim following the surprise firing of Howard Lazarus in February 2020.
$3 million in federal funds was earmarked for solar panels on the city’s public housing thanks to Rep. Debbie Dingell, MLive reports. The money will be used to help meet the city’s 2030 A2Zero carbon neutrality goal.
A car got stuck on the barrier protecting the First St. bikeway last Friday, MLive reports. The protected bikeway is one of several added around town in recent years, with more to come, and from personal experience as a cyclist, I can say this isn’t the first such incident as drivers learn to adapt to the change. According to an email from transportation manager Raymond Hess, the city and the Downtown Development Authority are working on “installing some additional delineators” to alert drivers to bikeways.
Two protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to a mulcher on Monday, MLive reports. The chained pair and others were protesting the destruction of landmark trees for the upcoming Concord Pines development. Monday’s incident is a continuation of protests that started Friday (subscriber exclusive).
A man impersonating a letter carrier was arrested while stealing mail, MLive reports. He was arraigned this week on two federal felony charges for the theft and impersonation, and appears to be part of a ring targeting checks. The Observer has had troubles with mail theft as well recently, and consequently our new mailing address is PO Box 1187, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
Ann Arbor is now taking non-emergency police reports online, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). The county unveiled its new tool—the Online Citizen Police Reporting System (OCPRS)—on March 18. The system is best for incidents in which there is no known suspect.
U-M settled a lawsuit brought by students over the university’s handling of sexual misconduct, the Daily reports. The university agreed to create a Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) to add transparency and help address misconduct on campus. The team will include thirty campus and community representatives who will advise U-M on its decisions and policies on sexual violence, and will be co-chaired by an external advisor.
Last Thursday the U-M regents approved a $165 million plan for a new rec center, MLive reports. The plan supplants one from 2018 and adds $15 million to the initial cost estimate. The planned 200,000 square foot building would replace the current Central Campus Recreation Building on Washtenaw Ave., which is scheduled for demolition in January 2023.
U-M women’s basketball advanced to the elite eight for the first time in program history, the Daily reports, before being knocked out of the tournament by Louisville. Meanwhile, the men’s team ended the season in the same round, with a 63-55 loss to Villanova. In the rink, the hockey team defeated Quinnipiac to advance to the Frozen Four. They face off against Denver in the semifinals next Thursday.
Hash Bash celebrates its fiftieth anniversary April 2, MLive reports. The organizers this year are hoping to emphasize the marijuana festival’s original role in advocacy and activism. In addition to music, speakers include Rep. Debbie Dingell and Washtenaw County prosecutor Eli Savit. There will be a criminal record expungement booth to help people clear past marijuana convictions, and starting from today there is a tie-in treasure hunt at local purveyors to help raise funds for expungement.