Starting this week, we’re taking a longer view of Covid case numbers. Instead of the most recent 24-hour period, we’ll be sharing the Washtenaw County Health Department’s latest “two-week snapshot,” which evens out day-to-day volatility.
This week’s snapshot ending 4/13 indicates 269.3 cases per 100k and a “Medium” CDC Community level, an increase of cases but not level from last week’s 213 per 100k. MI Safe Start gives this week’s test positivity rate as 7.5 percent.
Ex-city administrator Tom Crawford accused the city of “unjustified defamation” in a cease and desist letter, MLive reports. Crawford resigned under pressure last July after an investigator found that he made insensitive remarks around race and sexual orientation in the workplace. Crawford’s attorney argues that by releasing a follow-up report in January, “the city allowed the investigator to play not only the role of investigator, but prosecutor, judge and even jury,” damaging Crawford’s ability to find a new job in the public sector.
A former Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputy accused of sexual misconduct will have a hearing April 25, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). The man faces two felony counts for allegedly asking a female inmate to show her breasts in exchange for pizza. The woman is now suing the deputy and the county for violating her civil rights. He is one of several police officers statewide charged by Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel’s Public Integrity Unit; last week, a different Washtenaw deputy pleaded guilty to the “disorderly person-jostling” for using an unauthorized neck hold while removing an inmate from a cell in 2020.
City council approved contracts for a $15 million wastewater plant project, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). The plant is designed to process 30 million gallons of sewage a day, and one key component of the plant’s equipment – the headworks system, which screens out debris and grit during the first stage of treatment – is so old that repair parts are no longer available.
City council last week endorsed “No Mow May,” a new pollinator-saving initiative, MLive reports. Residents are encouraged to refrain from lawn mowing through May, as dandelions and other wildflowers are a crucial early food source for bees coming out of winter, and bees, in turn, are essential to the proper functioning of the global ecosystem.
A team of Ypsi high schoolers is in the top ten in the NASA HUNCH Culinary Challenge, Concentrate reports. Making it this far already qualifies them for $12,000 scholarships, but if they win they would each receive a full-ride to Sullivan University in Kentucky. Yesterday they presented a menu featuring jerk chicken tamales, roasted veggies, and a dessert to astronauts; the winning menu will be prepared and delivered to the International Space Station.
Ypsilanti residents are invited to get involved with planning the city’s bicentennial celebrations next year, Concentrate reports. The city hopes to have a seven- to fifteen-member commission in place by mid April, but there will be many other ways to be involved.
Michigan Medicine has become reliant on the 340B drug discounting program over the last decade, Ken Garber writes (priority access until April 28) for the Observer. Without its savings the system would have run a deficit last year, and now, with those discounts imperiled, the health system plans a $52 million facility in Dexter to double the number of prescriptions it can fill in-house.
Jon Vaughn has re-established his protest camp outside of the president’s house, the Michigan Daily reports. The former football player and Anderson survivor previously camped outside of the president’s house for more than 150 days to protest U-M’s sexual misconduct policies. His previous camp was removed by the university last month.
All public restrooms on U-M’s main campus will be stocked with free menstrual products, the University Record reports. The university ran a pilot program last month stocking main floor restrooms with the products, and the logistical lessons learned will inform the rollout to the rest of U-M’s facilities.
The U-M spirit team took home two titles last Friday, MGoBlue reports. Competing at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) & United Dance Association (UDA) Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship, the team placed first in the Coed Division IA and Game Day competitions for the second season in a row.
Last Thursday U-M hockey fell short against Denver in their Frozen Four matchup. Now, the Daily reports, four members of their star-studded team are departing for the NHL after signing contracts over the weekend.