The county’s Covid-19 snapshot reports 2,569 cases in the two weeks ending yesterday, for a weekly case rate of 426.5 per 100,000 residents. Both are down slightly from last week’s numbers, which showed 2,897 cases and a rate of 474.7 per 100k. The test positivity rate also remains very high, at 15.1 percent, and the county continues to be at a “high” CDC risk level.
City council passed the city’s $525 million budget last week, the Michigan Daily reports, and decided how to allocate money from the marijuana excise tax. The budget includes funds set aside for a deflection pilot program, a public works apprenticeship program, the Office of Sustainability and Innovation, and other social programs.
Forthcoming condos downtown are set to cost $1.3 million or more each, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). Developer Tom Fitzsimmons’ latest project, an eight-condo building on Miller that was approved recently by city council, will likely take about two years to build.
Last week the planning commission also approved another Fitzsimmons project, MLive reports (subscriber exclusive). The five-story, mixed-use development behind the Detroit Street Filling Station, a joint venture with MAVD Development, anticipates fourteen condos above ground-floor commercial space. An interesting complication: part of the site is undergirded by a geothermal well field that helps heat and cool MAVD’s Marketplace Building across the street.
For the first time ever, Veronica Brandon’s three teenagers each have their own rooms, Julie Halpert reports for the Observer. The Boston-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America made it possible by underwriting closing costs and folding Brandon’s down payment into her mortgage balance.
The currently-vacant U-M president’s residence is to be renovated, the University Record reports. The $15 million project will involve updates to the building’s security and accessibility features, as well as modifying the residential spaces, while attempting to preserve the house’s historic character – built as a “professor’s house” in 1840, it’s the oldest structure on campus.
U-M’s board of regents approved three new deans last week, the University Record reports. By August, Ross, Stamps, and the College of Pharmacy will be headed by Sharon F. Matusik, Carlos Francisco Jackson, and Vicki Ellingrod, respectively.
The US Supreme Court declined to hear cases seeking to limit protests outside of Beth Israel Congregation synagogue, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports. Lawsuits brought by congregants contended that the anti-Israel pickets were a violation of their first amendment religious rights, but the protesters argued successfully that to impose limits would be a violation of free speech.
Self-driving cars belonging to the Russian tech giant Yandex have vanished from city streets in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, John Hilton reports for the Observer. Ann Arbor was one of three global testing sites for the cars, but safety drivers found themselves without jobs–though not for the reason the company claimed.
Dennis and Susan Walters happily live in a below-ground berm house, Tim Athan reports for the Observer. Built in ‘81, three sides of the house are covered by soil; until a roof was added to resolve water leaks, passersby often mistook it for a hill, and walked over the top.
The US News and World Report named Ann Arbor the best place to live in Michigan, and ranked it as the eleventh most desirable city in the country. The city did particularly well on the “quality of life” metric, beating out all the national competition.
U-M is another recent winner in 2022 rankings, named the #1 best value college by Money magazine. Lauded in particular for its relative affordability for in-state students, as well as for its high quality, Michigan outpaced other esteemed public schools such as the University of Virginia or UNC Chapel Hill.
Eight Washtenaw County high schools are in the state’s top 50, according to US News & World Report. Dexter, Huron, Chelsea, Pioneer, Saline, and Skyline all fare well, but Washtenaw International comes in at the top, as fourth-best statewide.
Theresa Stager has been named Saline High School’s new principal, the Saline Post reports. Stager previously worked as an assistant principal at the school, before taking on the interim principal position after David Raft left to become “principal of operations.”
Ann Arbor public pools reopen for the summer this weekend, ClickOnDetroit reports. Fuller Park Pool has been open since mid-May, and starting Saturday people can take a swim at Buhr Park and Veterans Memorial Park too.
The Ann Arbor Art Center hosts an opening reception for their new ground-floor gallery tomorrow, featuring a joint exhibit with the U-M LSA Institute for Humanities, “Sharing Space,” Jennifer Taylor writes in the May Observer. The exhibit features “works by 13 artists on themes of ‘space, intimacy, connection, and comfort’ in a variety of media, including collage, photography, painting, sculpture, audiovisual art, fiber art, and furniture design, and runs through July 8.
Æpex Contemporary Performance hosts a festival of new(ish) music in Ypsi next week as part of the first Æpex Fest, Concentrate reports. Spotlighting works by composers of under-represented identities, the festival takes place over four days at different venues around town.
Memorial Day parades march through Chelsea, Saline, and Glacier Highlands Park this weekend. In observance of the holiday, Ann Arbor’s municipal government will be closed and curbside trash/recycling/compost pick-ups will be delayed one day.
Sonic Lunch kicks off next Thursday with a set by Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers. This summer’s music festival is the first full lineup in two years, featuring free concerts at Liberty Plaza every Thursday until September.