Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kansas man shot and killed in deadly "swatting" Prank

Riley G. Bender.

Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles was arrested Friday evening after calling in a tip to police in Wichita, Kansas. According to the 911 audio recording, Barriss claimed to have shot his father during a disagreement with his parents, and was holding his mother and little brother hostage in a closet at gunpoint.

The entire scenario was untrue, fabricated by Barriss to rush police officers to the Wichita home to inflict fear upon a fellow player of a video game. The practice is calling “swatting,” in which a prank caller gives police an address that is not their own, falsely claiming that a violent crime is underway.

The incident began with a disagreement over an online game of “Call of Duty,” a popular wartime shooter. Police surrounded the home of a man identified as Andrew Finch Thursday night while Finch, 28 year old father of two, opened the door to investigate the noises heard by his mother. According to Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston, police instructed Finch to place his hands above his head, and when the man gestured toward his waist he was fatally shot in the head. Finch was unarmed.

In the aftermath, police discovered that Finch was in no way connected to the online disagreement, Barriss having supplied the wrong address. In an interview Friday, Finch’s mother blamed police, stating, “That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.” She explained that Finch was not a gamer, and was in no way involved with the dispute.

The officer who delivered the shot is currently on paid leave pending investigation.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mobile pantry for Flint families in need of nutritious food beginning in January.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Flint families can get nutritional food at a mobile pantry in January. MDHHS states that nutritious food can help limit the effects of lead exposure. The mobile pantry initiative will begin in January at locations throughout the city of Flint.

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint and the MDHHS are announcing the schedule for the mobile food pantry stops. Food that is rich in calcium, vitamin C and iron will be distributed.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, families will recieve produce that includes apples, carrots, potatoes, onions and cabbage.

The upcoming dates are:

  •  Tuesday,Jan. 9, at 11:30 a.m. – Second Chance Church, 5306 North St.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 9, at noon – Catholic Charities, 910 Chippewa St.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 10, at noon – Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • Thursday, Jan. 11, at noon – Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, 1417 N. Stevenson St.
  • Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. – Flint Muslim Food Pantry, 4400 S. Saginaw St.
  • Saturday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. – Flint First Wesleyan Church, 3825 Davison Road.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m. – Hispanic Tech Center, 2101 Lewis St.
  • Thursday, Jan. 18, at noon – United Methodist Community Center, 4601 Clio Road.
  • Friday, Jan. 19, at noon – St. Luke’s NEW Life Center, 3115 Lawndale Ave.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 23, at noon – Catholic Charities, 910 Chippewa St.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, at noon – Salem Lutheran Church, 2610 Martin Luther King Ave.
  • Friday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. – My Brother’s Keeper, 101 N. Grand Traverse St.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell statement on continuing resolution to fund government.

Debbie Dingell.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell has released the following statement on the continuing resolution to fund the government.

“Congress has once again kicked the can down the road, passing a stop-gap bill that only funds the government for one month. It does nothing to provide certainty to businesses or families, and it does nothing to address urgent, overdue priorities for the American people. This bill fails to provide long-term funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is a lifeline for 100,000 Michigan children; it fails to address DACA and bring needed relief to the 800,000 young people who call this country home; and it fails to include a common-sense fix to put our nation’s pension plans back on solid footing so American workers can keep the retirement they have earned.

“This short-term bill is a disappointing yet unsurprising way to end the year given that Republicans have spent the majority of 2017 working to rip health care away from the American people and push through a partisan tax bill that provides tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Democrats remain committed to fighting for the priorities that matter to families and communities. This irresponsible plan does not live up to our responsibility as legislators, and I cannot support it.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Michigan State Police Advise Public To Be prepared and Safe During Extreme Cold This Week.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Temperatures will be frigid until the end of this week and with that in mind, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is encouraging Michigan residents to be extremely cautious when venturing out into the extreme cold.

According to the Michigan State Police, "These arctic blasts can create hazardous situations," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "Residents are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures."

The National Weather Service is forecasting wind chills to cause temperatures to fall below zero at times through the remainder of the week. Exposure to these temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.
To stay safe during cold weather: This according to the MSP.
  • Stay indoors if possible. If you must go outside, wear protective gear, such as hats, mittens, gloves, scarf and a warm coat. 
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snow. Take breaks frequently.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite, which include loss of feeling or pale appearance of fingers, toes or face. 
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia, which include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, drowsiness and exhaustion. 
  • Understand the hazards of wind chill. As wind speed increases, heat is carried away from a person's body more rapidly and could lead to severe hypothermia. 
  • Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia. 
  • Weatherproof doors and windows to trap heat inside your home. 
  • Check heating units. Poorly operating or damaged heating units can release carbon monoxide gas. Test carbon monoxide detectors for proper operation and battery life. 
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance.
  • Watch pets closely and keep them indoors when possible. Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries. 
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a full tank of gas and an emergency preparedness kit in your vehicle. Put warm clothing, such as gloves, blankets and hats, in your kit in case you become stranded.
The State Police is reminds residents that, "Michigan weather is unpredictable any time of year, but especially during the winter months. If you are stranded, do not leave your vehicle. Stay with the vehicle and wait for help."

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Michigan State Police Asking Michiganders To Be Vigilant Over Holiday Weekend.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

With the holiday weekend here, the Michigan State Police is asking Michiganders to be Vigilant by keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior or activity and contacting law enforcement immediately if they see anything out of the ordinary.

According to a December 23 press release, the Michigan State Police say that there are no known threats to Michigan at this time, but recent events in Melbourne, Australia and New York City are reminders for law enforcement and residents to be prepared and alert.

According to the Michigan State Police,“We all play a role in keeping our communities safe and secure. It is important that Michiganders remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and director of the MSP. “If someone sees something that appears suspicious or out of place, they should immediately notify law enforcement.”

Friday, December 22, 2017

Over one million Michigan residents have high blood pressure.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services one million additional Michigan residents are currently considered to have high blood pressure. MDHHS reports that many of theses residents are under the age of 30. Theses figures are due to new hypertension guidelines.

The MDHHS states that The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have recently redefined high blood pressure as a reading beginning at 130/80. The previous definition for high blood pressure was 140 systolic over 90 diastolic.

According to the MDHHS, “The new guidelines highlight the importance of primary prevention and lifestyle changes related to nutrition, physical activity, smoking and other risk factors,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon. “Identifying and controlling high blood pressure early on helps prevent serious and costly complications later in life, resulting in improved quality of life for all Michiganders.”

According to a press release from MDHHS, under the new blood pressure guidelines, over 100 million people may now have high blood pressure.

The importance of having your blood pressure checked regularly cannot be over stated, so 
check in with your doctor have your blood pressure checked.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Flint Activist Melissa Mays On the Flint Water Crisis.

Contributed to Purple Walrus Press by activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

2 years ago the #FlintWaterCrisis hit national news because our Mayor declared a State of Emergency against all odds a month into office. Here we are, 1329 days into our crisis and we are still pushing for change and making demands, against all odds, to help our families survive and force the officials who keep poisoning us to fix what they broke. Flint, keep getting your water tested, going to the doctor and demanding answers. We're not there yet but progress is made when we stand and fight together. Against all odds

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Senator John McCain and his family release statement.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

December 17, 2017, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his family requested that Dr. Mark Gilbert, Chief of Neuro-Oncology at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, release the following statement.

“Senator McCain has responded well to treatment he received at Walter Reed Medical Center for a viral infection and continues to improve. An evaluation of his underlying cancer shows he is responding positively to ongoing treatment.”
The office of Senator McCain also released the following statement:
“Senator McCain has returned to Arizona and will undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic. He is grateful for the excellent care he continues to receive, and appreciates the outpouring of support from people all over the country. He looks forward to returning to Washington in January.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette Announces Arrests in Southeast Michigan Opioid/Human trafficking Ring.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Tuesday, December 19, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced that four people have been sentenced for participating in a southeast Michigan opioid and human trafficking ring. The four individuals involved in running the multi-county drug and human trafficking ring have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, according to a December 19 press release obtained by Purple Walrus Press from the office of Bill Schuette.

According to the press release, “Opioid addiction is an ever-growing problem and many traffickers use it as a way to force their victims to remain captive,” said Schuette. “Today’s sentencing should serve as a warning to traffickers who get their victims hooked on drugs as a way to prey on them. We know the game being played, and I will take these dangerous individuals off the street. I would like to thank the law enforcement officers from Oakland and Macomb Counties, as well as our federal partners at the FBI for their hard work on this case.”

The defendants were sentenced Tuesday, December 19, 2017 before the Honorable Wendy Potts in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Michigan State Police: Opioid Addiction Assistance Program Expands Statewide.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to a December 18, 2017, press release from the Michigan State Police, the State Police Angel Program, which is pre-arrest diversion program for people who are struggling with drug addiction, has expanded on a statewide level. The program is now operating at every Michigan State Police post in the state of Michigan. People who are need of drug addiction help and treatment can now walk into any State Police Post in the state and receive help and assistance.

The program, which is officially known as the Angel Program, was founded in Gloucester, Massachusetts in 2015 by the Gloucester Police Department. Anyone afflicted with a drug addiction can walk into a state police post asking for help for their addiction without worry of being arrested or investigated. If an individual is allowed to enter the Angel Program, they are given a substance abuse assessment, go through an intake process and will receive treatment. A member of the local community, volunteering as an "Angel," will help support the individual during the process and provide transportation to a treatment center.

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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Vigil & Remembrance for victims of Newtown and all victims of gun violence Thursday, December 14, in Ann Arbor.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Thursday, December 14, 2017 will mark the 5th anniversary of one of the most horrific tragedies in my life time. On Dec 14, 2012, 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7 were massacred  in Newtown, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a lone gunman who shot his way into the school at 9:30 am that morning.

I learned of the massacre around 11:00 am, shortly after the shooting occurred Thursday morning, December 14, 2012, from a very distraught phone call from my then 82 year old father who lives  close to Newtown in the nearby town of Newington, Connecticut located a short drive away. I had never heard my Korean War veteran father sound so upset and shaken than he was that dreadful morning of the horrific shooting in the community not far his home. If ever there was a motivating reason to implement major gun control laws in our nation, the Newtown slaughter was it.

Thursday, December 14, 2017,  Michigan Moms Demand Action will co-host a vigil to honor the 26 killed in Newtown, Connecticut and all survivors of gun violence. The vigil will be held at First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor located at 608 E. William St in downtown Ann Arbor. The vigil will begin at 7 pm.

Over 200 events will be held throughout the country to honor Sandy Hook and demand action to end gun violence.

All are invited to join in this vigil and remembrance of victims of gun violence. The vigil will include guest speakers, a performance from a student choir, and a march.

The event includes volunteers from the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun sense in America, Donna Lasinski, State Representative, Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan, and school shooting survivor, April Ryan.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Ann Arbor's Wild Swan Theater production of Frog and Toad coming in January.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Ann Arbor based Wild Swan Theater continues its brand of outstanding professional theater with the up-coming production of Frog and Toad, a delightful and charming theater production that is perfect for young children audiences. The production is based on stories of the same name written by Arnold Lobel. If you have children between the ages of 3 and 8, you don't want to miss Frog and Toad. The kids will love it, and they'll love you for taking them!

The production includes story-telling, puppets, and props while exploring the characters and their friendship.

The production will performed at Towsley Auditorium, Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.

Performance schedule.

Thursday, January 25, 10:00 am.
Friday, Jan 26, 10:00 am and 12:30 pm.
Saturday, Jan 27, 11:00 am.

Ticket prices.
$12.00 Adult.
$10:00 Youth and Seniors.

Purchase and information  734-995-0530.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Annual Normal Park Neighborhood Association Night of Lights brings out holiday cheer in Ypsilanti Saturday night.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 What a merry night it t'was in Ypsilanti's Normal Park Neighborhood Saturday evening, December 9, as the neighborhood was aglow with twinkling luminaries that were weighted down with lovely cat litter. Cat litter, you ask?! Yeah, cat litter. It's a main luminary ingredient! Partially filling the bags that contain the little candle keeps the bags from tipping or blowing over, of course.. Anyway, The NPNA Night of Lights went off without a hitch even if yours truly didn't do a very good job of filling the luminary bags with cat litter, so our luminaries keep tipping over and catching on fire. Oy. Other folks in the neighborhood did a far better job with their luminary kits and Normal Park looked fab.

The annual Normal Park Neighborhood Night of Lights is organized by the Normal Park Neighborhood Association and it is greatly appreciated by the neighborhood.

The coolest thing about the NPNA Night of lights is that not only do you get to stroll about the neighborhood looking at the lights, but you get to actually go into the homes of utter, complete and total strangers and eat and drink stuff. Yeah, it's true! Regardless of political party affiliation, also! I know!! Folks were encouraged to stop by seven neighborhood homes where hot chocolate and cider were offered. How much more communityish can it get?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Annual Eastern Michigan University Martin Luther King Celebration Coming in January.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Eastern Michigan University will be hosting their 32 annual Mlk Celebration in January. The event will  extend over a six day period from Thursday January 11 through Tuesday, January 16. The theme this year is "Live the Legacy: Look Back, Be Present, Move Forward."

According to the university, the celebration event will begin on Thursday, January 11, 2018, with a march that will commemorate the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March that was led by Martin Luther King, Jr. The celebration will come to a close on January 16, 2018, at Convocation Center and the EMU basketball game. The game will be dedicated to the remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.. There will be a special half-time recognition dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr.

According to the November 5 press release from Eastern Michigan, EMU is inviting the campus and members of the community to join in the important celebration and engage in dialogue concerning issues that the country faces today.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Eastern Michigan Men's Basketball takes down Oakland University at the Convocation Center Wednesday night.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 The Eagles of Eastern Michigan University defeated the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies in Mens's hoops at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti Wednesday night, December 6, by a score of 95-89. The 6-2 Eagle have yet to lose a game at home at the Convo Center and that's exciting for EMU Basketball fans, including yours truly.

The Eagles shot 56.5 percent from the field shooting 35 of 62, which is excellent against another division school. In the second half Eastern was 18 for 28 in shooting. EMU also snagged 12 steals which is indicative of the superior defense Eastern has displayed thus far this season. Indeed, the Eagles were in control throughout the entire game.

Redshirt junior Paul Jackson scored 24 points with six assists, Junior James Thompson also scored 24 points and redshirt junior Elijah Minnie scored 24 points as well.

Next up Eastern Michigan takes on Central State on Saturday, Dec 9 at home at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti. Tip off is at 2 pm. See you there!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

U.S. Representative Sandy Levin announces he will not seek re-election in 2018.

Sandy Levin.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI) announced on Saturday, December 2, 2017, that he will not seek re-election in 2018. This is according to a statement from Sandy Levin's office.

Levin has represented the state of Michigan in the United States House of Representatives since 1983. He has been a strong supporter of Israel and supported the nuclear deal with Iran.
According to a press release from Sander Levin. “I have been incredibly honored to serve the people of Michigan in Congress and to work on so many issues important to our communities, our state, and our nation.  I have tried to live up to the trust given to me by my constituents by following the values of my parents and family and by acting on what I believe after digging deeply into the facts and consulting broadly. 
  I now want to share these same values in ways other than being an elected official.  Working to renew our confidence in promoting positive change, especially among our next generation of leaders, will be a particular interest.   I am therefore looking forward to joining the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy after my tenure in Congress concludes.  But for the next year, much work remains in Congress, especially as it relates to important tax, trade and health policies.”

According to a December 2 press release received by Purple Walrus Press from the office of U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, "In his 35 years in Congress, Congressman Sandy Levin has been a champion for Michigan and the working families he represents. From working to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive a quality education to ensuring workers can complete on a level playing field, Michigan is undoubtedly better and stronger because of Rep. Levin’s decades of service. He epitomizes what it means to be a public servant, and am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve the alongside him. John Dingell and I wish him all the best and look forward to seeing all that he accomplishes in his next chapter."

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ypsilanti is named Bronze Level Bike Friendly city.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to the City of Ypsilanti, the League of American Bicyclists has name the City of Ypsilanti a Bronze Level Bike Friendly Community. On Thursday, November 30, 2017, Ypsilanti joined over 400 other progressive communities throughout the nation that have been officially recognized as bike friendly.

Ypsilanti joins a leading group of communities in all 50 states that are having a transformative and positive impact in communities.

According to Executive Director at the League of American Bicyclists Bill Nester, "We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation. We are encouraged by the growing number of leaders who see bicycling as a way to build more vibrant, healthy, sustainable and connected communities and be a part of the solution to many complex challenges faced at both the community and national levels. We look forward to continuing to work with these communities as we move closer to our mission of creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone."

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

On the Flint Water Crisis: Activist Melissa Mays of Flint.

Contributed to Purple Walrus Press by Melissa Mays.

Please don't forget Flint. We're on Day #1314 in the #FlintWaterCrisis. Lead isn't our only contaminant we're fighting and facing. We need our mains, interior plumbing and appliances replaced because they were also destroyed by the caustic water pumped through our system. And we STILL pay their highest rates in the US for water that is hurting so many...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Student protesters speak out against hate / Richard Spencer at University of Michigan Tuesday in Ann Arbor.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Approximately 200 University of Michigan students participated in a protest speaking out against hate and white supremacist Richard Spencer on the Diag which is located in the center of the UM campus in Ann Arbor. The Speak Out protest was organized by several student groups and began at 6 pm Tuesday night, November 28 in front of the Graduate Library on the central campus. Students are angry at the prospect that known white supremacist Richard Spencer has applied to speak at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the near future.

Organizers of Tuesday night's Speak Out protest against hate, called upon students and members of the community to share thoughts, stories, opinions and thoughts regarding Richard Spencer and the university of Michigan's response to Spencer's request to speak at U of  M.

One Michigan student who spoke during the protest stated that he is frightened by the fact that Spencer wants to speak on campus, while telling the crowd that there is a KKK chapter 20 miles from Ann Arbor in Howell. (This information from the student speaker is not confirmed and reflects the views of the speaker). The speaker also stated that he feels unsafe.

Another student speaker at the protest said that as a student at Michigan, she feels that students, herself included, are exhausted by their efforts on campus to fight racism on behalf of the university. According to the student, "We need to be compassionate to one another."

University of Michigan student groups have called for a "Week of Action" and are asking for faculty, graduate students and instructors to participate in week long protests on campus in response to what student protesters see as a racist Trump administration and Richard Spencer. A student walk out is planned for Wednesday at 11:45 am, November 29 in protest over Richard Spencer and his white supremacist views. An all day student strike has been called for Thursday at U of M in protest over racism and Richard Spencer. Friday, there will be a LEO Bargaining Rally at Palmer Commons at 12 pm.

As of this writing, Tuesday night at 8 pm, a University of Michigan Board of Regents Special Meeting is being held to discuss the possibility of allowing Richard Spencer to speak on campus. The  meeting is taking place in the the Michigan Union Anderson Room.

Evident at tonight's Speak Out Rally on the UM Diag was the fact that student protesters feel that the university is not standing up for them, not protecting them and not making them feel safe on campus. Student protesters feel that the fact that the school is entertaining the idea of allowing Spencer to speak on campus is making students feel exploited.

Photos Purple Walrus Press.

UM Diag Tuesday night, Nov 28.

News Alert: Pentagon confirms North Korean missile launch Tuesday afternoon.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

At 2 pm Tuesday, November 28, the Pentagon confirmed that North Korea has launched a missile. A spokesman for the Pentagon stated that at 1:30 pm Tuesday, the United States detected a missile launch from North Korea.  As of 2:00 pm Tuesday, the missile is still in the air. At this time there is no information about the trajectory of the missile.

This is a a developing story. Stay tuned for updates.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell statement Enbridge Line 5 safeguard agreement.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI 12) has released a statement on Governor Snyder's agreement with Enbridge that would require the company to make immediate improvements to the Line 5 pipeline in order to insure environmental protection for the Great Lakes. This protection includes replacing a portion of Line 5 and shutting down the pipeline during periods of severe weather. 

The Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline is a oil pipeline that is in the Enbridge Lakehead System, that will transport petroleum from the western portion of Canada to eastern Canada. The controversy surrounding Line 5 revolves around the fact that the pipeline will pass through environmentally sensitive areas such as the Straits of Mackinac. The Straits connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

According to a press release from Congresswoman Dingell, “This agreement is a beginning toward safeguarding the Great Lakes and protecting the drinking water that 40 million people rely upon. The Line 5 pipeline carries twenty-three million gallons of oil through the Straits of Mackinac every day. A spill in this area would be devastating for the Great Lakes ecosystem, economy and our way of life, and that is a risk we cannot afford to take. Enbridge has repeatedly failed to disclose potential vulnerabilities to this pipeline, and this agreement will help hold the company to account, ensure the public is informed and that critical safety standards are in place. While this is an important step, I continue to believe that if a comprehensive study of the pipelines finds Line 5 to be unsafe, it should be shut down.”

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's water service line replacement Fast Start Initiative continues.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As of November 21, 2017, lead tainted water service lines have been replaced at 5,752 homes homes in the city of Flint. The Mayor's initiative is now in phase 4 of the Fast Start Initiative. The mayor's plan is to replace the lead-tainted service lines at 6,000 homes in Flint before the end of the year.

According to a press release from the Flint mayor's office, "Crews from four area companies are replacing lead and galvanized service lines leading from the street to the water meter in residents’ homes during this fourth phase of FAST Start, extending the mayor’s efforts to restore safe, clean drinking water to Flint residents. Overall, service lines to 5,752 homes have been replaced since FAST Start launched in March 2016."

According to the press release from the Flint mayor's office, work crews noted that 1,185 homes in Flint have copper service lines which, according to the city, do not need to be replaced. Work crews are using a method called hydro-excavation in order to check the internal composition of some of the service lines. Apparently, this allows crews to avoid digging up service lines made of copper and focus on home that have lead-tainted pipes.

Speaking as someone who grew up in the city of Flint, I only hope that work continues and that all of the water service lines are replaced in the city, and the sooner the better.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration puts a shine on Depot Town in Ypsilanti Saturday night.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

By Editor & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Ypsilanti residents turned out in high numbers Saturday evening, November 25, in Ypsilanti's Depot Town to participate in the Tree-Lighting Celebration. The Depot Town Tree-Lighting Celebration marks the beginning of the holiday season in Ypsilanti and at 6 pm Saturday evening, that tree lit up like a, well, Christmas tree! Santa and Mrs Clause could be seen mixing with the crowd and admiring the tree, also!

After the successful lighting of the tree, folks strolled over to the Depot Town Freight House for hot chocolate and cookies that were on the house. Pretty awesome! Oh, I cant forget the reindeer! Yep, Santa let one of his reindeer hang out for a while in front of the Freight House. I tried to get an interview with the reindeer but he was too busy having his photo taken with the all kids. Oh, well.

The weather was fab, the crowd was awesome, the reindeer was cute and the hot chocolate and cookies were delicious. What better way to kick off the holiday season in Ypsilanti!

Photos Purple Walrus Press.