Picture of the week

Photo Courtesy Pat Chapman-Holm

Photo Courtesy Pat Chapman-Holm

Students from Jason Malloy’s third grade Chapelle Community School, pose with Ypsilanti city workers in front of the red oak tree they planted in Parkridge Park, Friday, April 27 in recognition of Arbor Day.

Police release report on Ypsi shooting (Update1)

April 25, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Officer cleared after internal investigation

(April 24, 2007) Ypsilanti Police Department have released a five page report on the shooting of David Ware on January 23, 2007. The report gives a detailed account of the incident including for the first time disclosing that Ware was shot three times. Officer Uriah Hamilton was cleared in the shooting death of Ware.

The report also makes significant mention of the Video “UNSIGNED Y-Town” from Midwest Entertainment, an Ypsilanti-based production company, as evidence in the report. Ware is alleged to have appeared in the video cooking crack cocaine and singing.

The first community meeting about the shooting was held on February 7th. Video of that meeting is available at YpsiNews.com. While a second community meeting has been discussed, there are no current plans for a meeting to discuss the report.

Update1 Posted April 24, 2007 8:24 PM Changed paragraph about Community Meeting. Harshberger approached Riverside Neighborhood Association to gauge interest in hosting a second community meeting. Riverside NA Executive Committee met and decided to not sponsor a second city wide meeting. No other community meeting is currently planned.

Original Posted April 24, 2007 5:02 PM

Picture of the week

Protest signs show up in Ypsilanti

Signs protesting taxes in Ypsilanti showed up overnight. One is on Michigan Avenue across from the police and fire station. The second is on Summit just south of the Water Tower. The owner of these properties also owns commercial property in the downtown area. It is unknown if there are other signs up around Ypsilanti.

State denies tax abatement for Thompson Building

April 17, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 17, 2007) The State Tax Commission has denied the Obsolete Property Tax abatement for the beleaguered Thompson Building in Depot Town. The decision was not much of a surprise as the state staff had already recommended a denial.

The reason given by state staff for the denial is because the state statute says that rehabilitation work cannot begin before the district is created. Beal, in previous presentations at City Hall as well as in court testimony before Judge Shelton, had indicated that he had already begun work which would likely void an application for an OPRA.

The Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA) allows the city to create a district in which the city can freeze the property taxes for a certain period of time to encourage the redevelopment of the property. An OPRA was successfully used as part of the rehabilitation of the Kresge Building on Michigan Avenue into loft apartments and first floor retail.

Stewart Beal was asking for a 12 year tax freeze under OPRA which would have amounted to about $2 million. Beal recently held an open house on February 22nd, where many in the community got their first look at the building in years.

The Thompson Building has been the subject of protracted litigation between the city and David Kircher. Both the City and Kircher are appealing to the State Supreme Court the taking and sale of his building by the city. The court has not yet accepted the case.

Sheriff Deputy asked to leave High School

April 12, 2007 by  
Filed under News

More fall-out from turmoil at High School

(April 12, 2007) The Ypsilanti Public School superintendent James Hawkins has sent a letter to the Washtenaw County Sheriff asking the High School liaison deputy be removed. According to Sheriff spokesman Cmdr. Dave Egeler, the Sheriff received a letter from superintendent asking that Deputy Sheriff Keith Flores be reassigned. Egeler said no specifics were given in the letter why the reassignment was requested.

According to Egeler, due to staffing shortages in the Sheriff’s department, it is unlikely a new deputy would be assigned to the High School for the remainder of the School Year. School ends June 8th.

The Ypsilanti High School has been racked by a number of problems over the last several months. Parents and students have alleged there has been an increase in school violence and discipline problems.

Sources at the High School have told YpsiNews.com that administrators were unhappy with the sheriff deputy over his failure to notify the superintendent and school board about the confiscation of weapons on school property and other incidents. Some of these incidents go back to the beginning of the school year.

There was also frustration with Flores when it was alleged that he turned over incident reports and other documents to members of the school board. Information that apparently had not been given to the Hawkins until he got it from members of the School Board.

The reassignment of the deputy follows on the heels of the resignation of High School principal Layne Hunt under a cloud of controversy. His resignation was effective at the end of the school year. Hawkins then placed Hunt on administrative leave essentially ending his term over spring break.

Watch video of the April 2, 2007 School Board meeting where Hunt’s supporters testify and School Board discuss problems at the High School.
Two school board members, Cameron Getto and Amy Doyle, resigned from the school board on April 6th. Two other board members, David Bates and Linda Horne, are now subject of recall petitions filed with the County Clerk last week.

The Ypsilanti Courier has written several excellent articles about the problems at the High School.

Incidents lead to questions — April 12, 2007
School Board members resign — April 12, 2007
Recall petition signed — April 12, 2007

EMU students raise money for Darfur

April 11, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 10, 2007) EMU Students are holding a concert and fund raiser to battle the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. The concert is this Sunday, April 15th from 7pm to midnight at Club Divine in downtown Ypsilanti. Students Taking Action Now: Darfur (STAND) is a group of over 600 high school and college chapters raising money working to put an end to genocide.

The EMU chapter has been operating for over a year and this is their last event of the year. Local bands will be performing throughout the evening, there will be raffles for local merchandise and Save Darfur merchandise will also be available. For more information please contact Jennifer Williams (586) 764-5486 [email protected]

Doyle is second member to resign from School Board

April 7, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 7, 2007) Amy Doyle has resigned from the Ypsilanti School Board. In a letter sent to the board and superintendent, Doyle said that circumstances in her life have changed and she is no longer able to dedicate the amount of time she feels is necessary to perform this job.

Doyle is the second member to resign from the board on Friday. Cameron Getto resigned earlier in the day.

Getto resigns from Ypsi School Board

April 6, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 6, 2007) Cameron Getto announced today that he is resigning from the Ypsilanti School Board effectively immediately. In a letter sent to the school superintendent Getto, 39, said that personal demands from his work and family requires more time than he can dedicate to Board service.

Getto said he is proud of the many accomplishments in the district over the past two and half years he has served on the board, though he points out he takes no special credit for those accomplishments.

In his letter he talked about the success in making Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), kids graduating and attending prestigious universities many on full-ride scholarships, and balancing the budget under extremely difficult circumstances.

While on the school board, the board hired a new a new superintendent, Dr. James Hawkins, and oversaw a revamping of the school financial controls and improved budgeting and reporting systems.

There will be many challenges facing the Board in the coming year including ability to balance the budget under ever increasing cuts in state funding. The School Board will also be negotiating an upcoming teachers contract. No date has been set by the Board to determine the next steps in filling the board vacancy.

Getto lives in Ypsilanti with his two daughters and says that he will be active in the community when time permits and he will continue to be a big supporter of Ypsilanti Public Schools and public education in the state.

Moving Day

Amanda Edmonds from Growing Hope sent us this picture. Volunteers were moving a green house down Cross Street. Amanda tells us, “We obeyed all traffic laws as you can see here–We even stopped for the traffic light at Cross and Prospect.”

Have a favorite picture and want to share it with the community, send it to us, [email protected].

Ypsi High Choir hits the Big Apple

April 2, 2007 by  
Filed under News

(April 2, 2007) The Ypsilanti High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Elizabeth Patterson, traveled to New York City, March 28-April 1, to compete in the Festivals of Music Competition.

While in New York City, the choir attended the Broadway production of Mary Poppins, toured the United Nations building and NBC studios, and spent the last evening on the Hudson River Spirit Cruise. The choir also sang at Symphony Hall.

The Choir returned with a Third Place Choral Performance Trophy and a rating of “Excellent”. This rating classifies a performance as ‘excellent for the event and class of participants and worthy of distinction.’

Students that went to New York were Lewis Andrews, Ariel Atkins, Kenyatta Barbee, Elizabeth Dwyer, Jasen Freeman, Joshua Glassman, Molly Green, Marissa Harding, Raquel Hart, Adam Herring, Nicole Hinman, Matthew Hughes, Alek Koryzno, Mitchell LIlly, Ramon Lockett, Brittany Moore, Carly O’Neal, Savannah Peak, Hayley Pendergrass, Meredity Raney, Kimberly Tucker-Blake, Jessica Williams, Cara Zuhlke. Parent chaperone’s were Jane Pendergrass and Beth Tiernan. The trip was made possible through the support of the Ypsilanti Choral Association and Endowment Committee.

Photo courtesy Ypsilanti High School Choir

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