Saturday, December 16, 2017

Santa Visits Gene Butman Ford in Ypsilanti Saturday.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Santa payed a visit to Gene Butman Ford in Ypsilanti, much to the glee of area children on Saturday, December 16. Children of all ages were invited to come tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and pose for a picture with Santa. The event took place from 1:00 - 4:00 pm in the new car showroom located at 2105 Washtenaw Ave in Ypsilanti. Gene Butman Ford is going to email each family digital copies of their photos.

Much to the delight of children AND grown ups, milk, cookies, and hot chocolate were provided, compliments of Gene Butman.

The Santa Christmas event was the second annual Free Photo With Santa holiday event, and the very high turnout was indicative of how popular the event is in Ypsilanti. At 1:00 pm there was already a long line of excited children waiting to have their photo taken with Santa.

This annual event is a great way to welcome in the Christmas season!

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

Friday, December 15, 2017

So, What's the Scoop on the Packard West Bound Road Closure at Carpenter in Pittsfield Twp? Here are some answers.

Road closure intersection of Carpenter Rd and Packard. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Last Sunday night a water main break occurred at the corner of Packard and Carpenter Road in Pittsfield Township between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. As many people know who live in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, this is one of the busiest intersections in the county. Sunday night, West bound Packard was shut down do to the water main break and crews have been working on repairing the break as West bound traffic is being diverted North and South onto Carpenter. Baically, it is a huge mess.

Late Friday morning, December 15, Purple Walrus Press spoke with Washtenaw County Road Commision communications coordinator Emily Kizer about the water main break and when repair work will be completed. Kizer told Purple Walrus Press that the water main break is under Pittsfield Twp juristiction and that the Township is responsible for fixing the water main break at the busy interesction. Since Sunday, December 10, Pittsfield Twp crews have been working on the repair. Kizer explained that although Packard is a Washtenaw County Road, it remains the responsibility of Pittsfield Twp. However, the Washtenaw County Road Commission is overseeing the repair and helped in the road closure.

According Kizer, work crews are going to try to pour concrete Friday afternoon, weather and work-load permitting. The poor weather has hampered work efforts this week. After the quick-drying concrete is poured, work crews plan on finishing the project in the spring.

According to Mizer, there is a possible that that the currently closed lane may be opened tomorrow at the earliest and that would certainly be good news for the many area residents who travel that portion of Packard every day.

Purple Walrus Press.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sandy Hook School Shooting Remembrance/March held in Ann Arbor hosted by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America Thursday Night.

Bach Elementary Choir sings at vigil. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

The Washtenaw County chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America hosted a vigil, remembrance and march through downtown Ann Arbor in honor of the victims of Sandy Hook school shooting that occurred five years ago in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary in the village of Sandy Hook.

On December 14, 2012, 20 children, all of them first graders between the ages of 6 and 7, were killed in their classroom in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary. The lone gunman shot his way into the school at 9:30 am that morning. December 15, 2012, one day after the horrific shooting, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America was founded. There are now chapters across the country, including here in Washtenaw County.

Roughly 65 people attended and participated in Thursday's Vigil & Remembrance which was held at the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor located at 608 E. William St in downtown Ann Arbor. Several speakers addressed the attendees, including State Representative Donna Lasinski, Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan, and 1988 Hubbard school shooting survivor April Ryan. The vigil opened with music performed by the Ann Arbor Bach Elementary Student Choir. Opening remarks were made by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America chapter lead Theresa Reid. State Representative Yousef Rabhi was also in attendance at the remembrance/vigil.

According to event organizers, over 200 similar events were being hosted across the nation Thursday night in effort to remember and honor those killed at Sandy Hook and all victims of gun violence in the United States.

At Thursday night's remembrance speaker and State Representative Donna Lasinski spoke emotionally about learning of the horrific shooting in Newtown on December 14, 2012,  as she sat in her car in a parking lot in town, stating that she began weeping immediately. Lasinski also talked about how bolstered and inspired she felt after witnessing local moms in the Ann Arbor community coming together and organizing a march the day after the tragic massacre in Newtown.

Last to speak at the vigil was school shooting survivor April Ryan. Ryan survived the 1988 Hubbard Woods school shooting which occurred in a Winnetka, Illinois elementary school. Ryan emotionally recounted details of the school shooting event that she managed to survive on May 20, 1988.

Following the vigil/remembrance, participants, many carrying signs bearing the names of children victims at Sandy Hook Elementary, marched through the streets of Ann Arbor in freezing temperatures holding candles in remembrance of  Newtown shooting victims and victims of gun violence everywhere in the United States.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

State Representative Donna Lasinski.
Pediatrician Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan.
School shooting survivor April Ryan.
Vigil participants read names of all the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Attorney General Bill Schuette charges two men in Southeast Michigan minor sex trafficking case.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to a December 12, 2017 press release from the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, Schuette has announced that his Human Trafficking Unit has charged Joeseph McGough and Robert Stanfield with multiple felonies for sex trafficking of a minor victim. 

According to Schuette, “Individuals who exploit vulnerable minors are some of the worst criminals we see. “These charges take two more of these alleged predators off the street and demonstrates the team work and commitment of law enforcement at state, local and federals levels on this case is an example of how the crime of sex trafficking is being tackled in Michigan. I look forward to continuing this partnership as we continue to confront this crime.”

According to Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Division of the FBI, David P. Gelios, as stated in the press release, "The charges filed by the state's Human Trafficking Unit against these subjects for the shameful commercial sexual exploitation of minors soundly demonstrates how the FBI-led Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force can and will continue to partner with the Attorney General's Office to protect vulnerable youth against sexual predators."
 "The investigation and prosecution of anyone who commits such heinous crimes against children will always remain one of the FBI's top priorities."

According to the Michigan Attorney General's office, McGough was arrested and arraigned in November in Warren. Stanfield was arrested and arraigned on December 8 in Warren.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Snarled traffic and early school release sum up snowy Wednesday in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti.

Early pick-up at Tappan Middle school in Ann Arbor as snow moves in Wednesday. Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 Wednesday, December 13,  has proven to be a good day to stay at home in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area, if you can, that is. As of 3:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, roads in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor are snow covered and very slippery. Washtenaw Avenue between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor is a mess and you can expect to sit in heavy traffic in either direction. Between the heavy snow and a water main break diverting traffic near the intersection of Packard and Carpenter Road in Ann Arbor that occurred Monday morning, the commute is quite miserable around these parts.

Due to heavy snow and more snow in the forecast for Wednesday evening, Ann Arbor schools closed early on Wednesday. I can say with certainty that Pattengill Elementary released students at 2:31 pm, while Tappan Middle School released their students at 1:37 pm.

Expect the snow to pick up Wednesday between 4 pm and 6 pm, which of course, coincides with rush hour.

Stay safe out there and keep off the roads if you can.

Traffic jam heading West into Ann Arbor on Washtenw Ave Wednesday at approximately 2:00 pm. Photo Purple Walrus Press.