EMU QB sets NCAA record in upset of CMU

November 28, 2008 by  
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Senior Tyler Jones caught an EMU single-game record 23 passes for 170 yards

YPSILANTI, Mich. — The Eastern Michigan University football team turned on the offense here Friday, Nov. 28, to record a thrilling 56-52 record-breaking effort in a Mid-American Conference 2est Division victory over a visiting Central Michigan University team here Friday, Nov. 28, afternoon on Senior Day in Rynearson Stadium.

The win allowed Eastern to keep possession of the Michigan Mid-American Conference Trophy sponsored by the state of Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame. The trophy is awarded annually to the Michigan MAC team with the best record in games played between Eastern, Western and Central Michigan. Eastern, which won the trophy last year, defeated CMU this year while CMU defeated WMU. The team that currently holds the trophy retains it in case of a tie.

The win closed out Eastern Michigan’s season at 3-9 overall and 2-6 in MAC play. The loss drops CMU to 8-4 overall and 6-2 in MAC action. The victory also closed out head coach Jeff Genyk’s five-year EMU career on a positive note. It was announced Monday, Nov. 22, that Genyk’s contract would not be renewed at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

EMU redshirt junior quarterback Andy Schmitt (St. Johns, Mich.-St. Johns) set one NCAA record and established five EMU marks on the way to completing 58-of-80 passes for 516 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Eagles to victory. Schmitt’s 58 completions broke the NCAA mark of 56 set by Jarrod DeGeorgia of Wayne State (Neb.) vs. Duke, Nov. 9, 1996. All five of his EMU records broke his own marks, including 58 completions, 80 attempts, 516 passing yards, 89 total offensive plays and 554 yards in total offense. Senior wide receiver Tyler Jones (Belleville, Mich.-Belleville) caught an EMU single-game record 23 passes for 170 yards. That 23 reception mark tied UNLV’s Randy Gatewood for the NCAA record. Gatewood caught his 23 passes against Idaho, Sept. 17, 1994. EMU place-kicker Joe Carithers (Dcaula, Ga.-Dacula-Palomar J.C.) tied an EMU single-game record with eight PAT kicks.

For the game the Eagles rolled up a school record for offensive plays with 105 for a second-best 610 total offensive yards.

Junior quarterback Dan LeFevour paced the Chippewas with 22 completions on 38 attempts for 378 yards and four scores. CMU wide receiver Antonio Brown caught seven balls for 172 yards and one touchdown.

For the second game in a row the Eagles opened the scoring with a touchdown on its first offensive possession. This time around the Eagles marched 70 yards on 14 plays capped off by an eight yard run by Schmitt at the 10:18 mark of the first quarter. Carithers added the PAT kick for a 7-0 EMU lead.

From that point on the first half concluded with plenty of offensive fireworks on the field and some off-field activity as well. The two teams combined for 744 yards in total offense and 77 total points with the Eagles holding the 42-35 lead going into the locker room.

In the first half, Schmitt completed a whopping 38 passes in 52 attempts for 354 yards and a second-best EMU single game mark of five touchdown passes. Jones turned in 14 receptions for 118 yards in the first half. CMU QB LeFevour completed 13-of-19 passes for 276 yards and four touchdown throws.

Eastern’s team was hit with two 15-yard penalty flags after confronting the Chippewas at midfield after the first half gun sounded and the Eagles had to boot the second-half kickoff from its own eight-yard line and Central’s first drive started on the EMU 47-yard line.

Central could not take full advantage of that field possession, however, settling for a Aguila 30-yard field goal at the 12:51 mark of the third quarter, cutting EMU’s advantage to four, 42-38.

The Chips grabbed their first lead of the game three minutes later when Justin Hoskins sprinted 17 yards through the EMU defense for a 45-42 CMU lead with 9:30 left in the third quarter.

Eastern came right back to take a 48-45 lead with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter on a one-yard run by Terrence Blevins (Detroit, Mich.-Finney).

The Eagles increased their lead to 11, 56-45, with just 50 seconds left in the third quarter when Blevins added another one-yard run.

The Chippewas would tack on another score with 13:56 left in the game when Ontario Sneed rushed 38 yards for a score with the PAT kick making it 56-52.

The Eastern defense came up with a big stop late in the game when senior defensive end Spenser Smith (Detroit, Mich.-Mackenzie) stopped LeFevour two yards short on a fourth-and-three from the EMU 16-yard line with 5:05 left in the game.

CMU turned in one last effort to win the game when they regained possession on their own 29-yard line with 1:45 left in the contest. The Eagles’ defense forced four straight LeFevour incompletions to get the ball back with 1:25 left. Eastern ran out the clock from that point to preserve the win.

Ypsilanti Twp Murray’s Auto Property Sells for $1.7 Million

November 24, 2008 by  
Filed under News

by Erica Underland, CoStar Group.

Investors Trade 8,000-SF Retail Bldg. for $216 PSF

BJ Properties Management LLC, an investor from California, purchased the Murray’s Discount Auto Store property at 1015 E. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti, MI, from Novi-based DAP Ypsilanti LLC for $1.73 million, or approximately $217 per square foot.

The 8,000-square-foot retail building is on 2 acres was built last year and is fully occupied by Murray’s Discount Auto. There is a corporate guarantee on the property and Murray’s recently signed a 15-year lease on the space. There is also a 10 percent rent increase set for every five years. The cap rate at the time of the transaction was 7.5 percent.

Robert Bender of Marcus & Millichap-Detroit and Andy Gallas of Marcus & Millichap-Chicago represented both the seller and the buyer.

Video: Ypsilanti City Council Nov 18, 2008

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

Part 1
Part 2

Gary Clark made a presentation about Give Local Ypsilanti.

Audience Participation

A number of residents spoke in support for Brandy’s Liquor store at 902 W. Michigan Avenue.

The City of Ypsilanti has filed suit in District Court asking the property be declared a nuisance. A court hearing had been set for December 14th. Neighbors have complained for years about chronic problems with crime, drugs, and trash as a result of the business operating on the corner of Summit and Michigan Ave.

Gary Hann spoke giving his appreciation for the police department, city clerk, and city assessor. Mr. Hann asked for his fine to remove trash from his property. This was Mr. Hann’s third request in as many meetings.

Resolutions and Ordinances

On first reading was a new ordinance called. “Adaptive Reuse Planned Unit Development Amendments”. This new ordinance was to try to ease re-use of non-conforming property in R1 and R2 districts. After significant discussion, more questions arose and the matter was tabled.

The council then approved a levy of all special assessments on the December 2008 Tax. A tax abatement was also approved for QC America which is a new business in the West Industrial Park off Michigan Avenue.

The council approved a agreement with Attorney Neil Lehto for contingency work from suing Comcast for franchise fees Comcast may owe the city for service provided for students on EMU campus. If successful, the City may get upwards of $70,000 after fee for Lehto.

Council then considered two Water Street resolutions. The first directed the staff to determine how much money the City has spent on Water Street up to the present. The resolution further directed the staff to track all new expenditures and to treat those expenses as loans to be paid back the City when the project is completed.

The second Water Street amendment directs the staff to consider all possible development projects for the property that generates the needed tax revenue and is not a detriment to the community. Previous plans called out for mostly residential development.

Water Street

Water Street update from April McGrath. The Planning Commission is meeting on Wednesday to continue discussions on making a planned unit development (PUD). Council is planning a special meeting in December to talk more about Water Street.

The EPA grant through the county has been submitted and is up to $600,000.

CBRE has up to 4 proposals that are in the works for Water Street. Housing plans including active senior, multi-family, and a possible grocery store on Michigan Avenue. McGrath said to expect any proposal to take a year or more after the city agrees to a buyer.

Council Proposed Business

Brian Robb (Dem, Ward 3) suggested the Human Relations Commission take a look at the issues surrounding Brandy’s. This was supported by Trudy Swanson (Dem, Ward 3). The Council also passed a resolution directing City staff to postpone the lawsuit against for 60 days.

Audience Participation

Mr. Hanna from Brandy’s Party store spoke again saying the City has been harassing their store and customers.

Video: Ypsilanti Downtown DDA Nov 20, 2008

November 22, 2008 by  
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The Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority met on Thursday, November 20th. Peter Rinehart was elected to his third term as chairman of the board and John Coleman was elected vice-Chair.

DDA Director Brian Vosburg pushed for board members to take on the role as Treasurer and Secretary. Vosburg said the secretary would take on responsibility for getting board packets and minutes out per state law. The treasurer would each month with the city finance department to put together the financial reports for board review. These are tasks that have traditionally been done by the last four DDA Directors.

Vosburg has been criticized in the past by the DDA board and downtown business owners for late and last minute board packets. The DDA approved the hiring of a part-time recording secretary to take meeting minutes. The taking of notes was a task done by the previous DDA directors. The DDA also approved the hiring of interns to also ease Vosburg’s workload so calls would be answered at the office

Vosburg did not say during the meeting what he would do with his extra time if he didn’t have to be responsible for financial reports and board packets.

The board would have none of that and unanimously elected Vosburg as Secretary and Treasurer.

The DDA approved moving the DDA office to the second floor of the Jacobsen Daniels building at the corner of N. Washington and Pearl. The DDA office had, for over 10 years, been located on the first floor

The DDA Director Vosburg looked at office space at City Hall and the Centennial Building (former Huron Hotel). While the office at the Jacobsen Daniels building was the msot expensive option, that was the location Vosburg recommended.

It was somewhat surprising that the DDA director didn’t consider other office space in the downtown district. The GAR building on Pearl St (across the street from Congdon’s Ace Hardware) would have met the desire to have first floor visibility and the Key Bank building would have had cheaper office space than what was finally approved.

Darryl Daniels, current vice-Chair of the DDA and owner of the Jacobsen Daniel building, abstained from the discussion or the vote on the selection of new office space.

The DDA also approved the expenditure of $8,000 for Christmas lights which should be installed by the second week in December. The DDA had approved $5,000 for lighting this year. Rinehart said they we would be slightly over budget if they approved $8,000. Actually it is 60% over budget which would be hard to charcterize as a slight overage.

The DDA also discussed the approval of no-bid contracts by the DDA Director. Vosburg said the Director was authorized by the City Council to expend up to $20,000 without requiring a competitive bid. This is the second time in two days that Vosburg has said the City Council had granted him specific authority failing to realize it is the DDA and not the City Council that hires the DDA director.
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Video: Ypsilanti Depot Town DDA Nov 19, 2008

November 19, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

The Ypsilanti Depot Town DDA met this morning at Barnes and Barnes for their monthly meeting.

There was a “differing of the monds” between board members and the DDA Director Brian Vosburg. Brian Vosburg wanted to act as the point person with SEMCOG for the commuter train that plans to stop in Ypsilanti.

Vosburg told the board that the City Council had appointed him (Vosburg) to represent the City at SEMCOG and he said he was concerned about appointing someone else to represent the DTDDA at SEMCOG.

DDA Chair Dave Wheeler reminded Vosburg that he does not work for the City but works for the DTDDA and DDA and they decide which projects and committees he serves. Wheeler told Vosburg that the DTDDA board works at teh pleasure of the Mayor and Council but the DDA Director does not work for the City.

It was obvious from the discussion the DDA Director was looking at other possible locations for the train platform that could possibly be outside Depot Town. Vosburg said the issue is a city wide issue and it should be a city decision.

It appears the DDA director may be working against the best interests of Depot Town by advocating for the train platform outside the DTDDA district or at a location far from the center of Depot Town. Business owners in Depot Town have long wanted the train stop to be at the Freighthouse or the vacant Depot or the Maple Street parking lot.

Wheeler said Vosburg could attend the SEMCOG meetings, but he would represent the DTDDA at SEMCOG.

The DTDDA Board passed a resolution, unanimously, to appoint Dave Wheeler to represent the DTDDA in any discussions with SEMCOG regarding the train stop in Depot Town.

The Board also changed the meeting date starting in January. New meetings will be on the 4th Thursday of each month at 8:00a. Meetings will alternate between Barnes and Barnes on W. Cross St. and Utilities Instrumentation on N. River St. The Boar also canceled their December meeting.

Video: City Council Goal Setting November 15, 2008

November 18, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

This is the first of three and possibly four goal setting sessions. The meeting was led by Joe Ohren, Professor of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University.

Council and City Staff first introduced themselves. The discussion turned to what council and staff have for a vision of Ypsilanti and some of the concerns they have for the continued success of the community. There was a wide range of ideas from cleaner streets, involving EMU, transportation, walking to work, vibrant neighborhoods, regional transportation.

Joe Ohren

Bill Nickels (Dem, Ward 2) asked the question would EMU be here in 10 years. Bill said no one would ever think that GM would be considering bankruptcy. Fire Chief Jon Ichesco suggested the city reach out to local property owners as they bring a number of new people to the community each year.

Ichesco is correct, the landlord and property management business is the largest private employer responsible for over 500 full time jobs and is the third largest employer behind EMU and Ypsilanti Public Schools.

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Video: Ypsilanti City Council November 10, 2008

November 17, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

This was the organizational meeting of the Ypsilanti City Council held the first Monday after the November election. Three city council members were each sworn in for a four-year term. Lois Richardson (Dem, Ward 1) took the oath of office for to start her third term representing Ypsilanti’s southside.

Two new members also took the dais. Mike Bodary (Dem, Ward 2) from Ypsilanti’s westside replaced three-term council member John Gawlas. Bodary defeated Gawlas in the August primary.

Pete Murdock (Dem, Ward 3) from the city’s eastside bested Rod Johnson who was backed by Mayor Paul Schreiber (Dem) in the August primary. Murdock then beat two independent candidates to win the November election with 67% of the vote. Murdock takes the seat from Brian Filipiak (Dem) who decided not to run for a second term.

Murdock, a former Mayor and city council member, is beginning his fourteenth year on City Council.

But before new council members could be sworn in, MML Director Dan Gilmartin gave the old and new council a presentation on Place.

The biggest change will start this Tuesday as City Council meetings have been moved to 7pm.

During Council proposed business Murdock asked for a resolution to repeal the City Income Tax ordinance and to change the focus of Water Street to consider any proposal for the project that would not be a detriment to the City. This would be a change from previous plans that called for mostly residential condos at the site. Both resolutions are expected to be on the agenda for the November 18th meeting.

Video: Ypsilanti Depot Town DDA Oct 22, 2008

November 17, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Video

Brian Vosburg, Ypsilanti DDA Director, reminds the board that he still doesn’t have a job description.

Here is the Agenda for the meeting.

IV. Audience Participation
V. Approval of Minutes – September 24, 2008 Regular Meeting*
VI. Old Business
1. DDA Director Time Sharing
2. West Cross Organizing*
3. MDOT Cross St. Streetscape Grant
4. Ballard Lot Renovations
5. Signal Tower Maintenance Work
6. Depot Town Brochure
7. Holiday Lights*
8. Other
VII. New Business
1. Other
VIII. Reports
1. DTDDA Director
2. Financial Report
3. Depot Town Association
4. Depot Town Forward
5. Eastern Michigan University
6. Friends of the Ypsilanti Freighthouse
IX. Announcements
X. Adjournment
* Indicates Action Item

Ypsilanti Twp. Church Choir wins $30,000 in competition

November 12, 2008 by  
Filed under News

Video from regional competition held September 20, 2008

Burning Bush International Ministries of Ypsilanti Township has won second place in a national church choir competition.

Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the competition is called “How Sweet the Sound.” The sing-off had narrowed the field of the 78 best chuch choirs in America to 11 finalists.

Burning Bush International Ministries, consisting of 67 singers and five musicians, won the Detroit regional competition held on September 20th in Joe Louis Arena with the song “Pass Me Not”. The Choir took home three awards at the regional competition including overall winner, People’s Choice and Large Category and netting $15,000.

The choir won an additional $15,000 as runner up in the Grand Finale.

Bonita Shelby, Music Department President at Burning Bush said they sang the same song at the finals though they made changes to the song including rephrasing certain parts.

The finals were held in Atlanta’s Phillips Arena over the weekend with an audience of nearly 10,000.

Shelby said the experience was incredible. She said that everyone was treated very well and it was an awesome, once in a lifetime experience.

Shelby said the money will be used at the church to continue their work of ministry and mission work.

Shelby said, “Great things are coming out of Ypsilanti and they were honored to represent the entire community at the competition.”

Ypsilanti City launches new website

November 11, 2008 by  
Filed under News

City of Ypsilanti unveils new website

The City of Ypsilanti unveiled a new website today. The site is largely unchanged from the previous site with most menu choices and navigation links the same as before.

New additions include a montage of photos across the top and left side of the screen. Five of the eight photos feature buildings or events on Cross Street and Depot Town.

The site appears to be a work in progress as some links are not working and the site has problems with larger high resolution monitors.

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