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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Opening Day Issue

Frozen in time

How a bone-chilling 31-1 home opener defeat was a team's greatest moment

Photo: Photo courtesy Peter Williams, License: N/A

Photo courtesy Peter Williams

In warmer climes: Oak Park Knights Matthew Waddell, Clayton Day, Earl Murrie and Robert Johnson with Coach Boyer in Florida.

2011 Opening Day Issue

On the game's second play, our best infielder, freshman LaSaan Harris, tried to three-hop a simple throw into the wind from third to first. The routine ground ball turned into a two-base error signifying a glacial three innings. These three innings still must be played before the extra-merciful, 15-run mercy rule kicks in. We make seven errors in the first inning.

One of our outfielders, Kenneth Jordan in left, seemed unable to bend over when the baseball rolled past him. When our centerfielder heaved the ball in the direction of third base, Kenneth simply braced himself against the fence, and stayed there, a frozen scarecrow, unable to respond to our feeble cries. We escaped the first inning slaughter through three strikeouts with two different pitchers, after 19 runs had been scored.

Our starting pitcher Clayton Jr. was thrown out of the game after hitting a batter, walking two more, and then hurling his glove in the air while arguing balls and strikes. A general no-no for baseball on any level, surely his gesture offered a worthy exception given a well-bundled home plate umpire enforcing a postage stamp-sized strike zone on the coldest day of the year.

Kenneth shuffled slowly into the dugout to gather his frozen belongings. As the umpires illegibly signed our scorebook, Kenneth mumbled to Art how he just had to leave. He quietly disappeared, never to return to baseball. He would bashfully turn in his uniform on the last day of school.

We fell down to nine players and still no fans. Late in the second inning, as another gust of snow flurries dusted the field, two fathers suddenly appeared. The dads offered stunning charity: a dozen steaming hot chocolates. Many of us were now actually showing early signs of frostbite. My red hands lacked sensation, yet no player urged me to pull them from the field, at least until we got our due last at-bat. Avondale's centerfielder made a diving catch in the play of the day (though only two catches were recorded the entire game). It doubled up our lone base runner for that inning, Jonathan Gordon, rounding third for the final out.

As the umpires scurried away, the two teams remembered to congratulate each other at home plate. Avondale raced to their idling bus and we staggered into the gym, more than two hours after we had first stumbled into the unforgiving chill.

In three long innings, we committed 14 errors and lost 31-1, perhaps a school record. The guys conceded Avondale was the better team, yet something seemed wrong in how we found this out. We slowly tried to shake off the cold, slumping on the empty gym bleachers. The coaches had to say something, and we wondered if we should emphasize the positive, such as our three hits, including Jonathan's two-bagger and lone run?

Curiously, these youngsters seemed more attentive than usual, perhaps because they were too cold to be restless, but maybe because they agreed with my assessment that they gained an inner strength they didn't know they had, that they had just passed a different kind of character test they would never forget. This was no minor message for these young men, many of whom had few, if any, adult males in their lives encouraging this kind of growth. We shared a few laughs reviewing proper first aid procedures for frostbite.

Snow flurries continued on the drive home under the darkening sky. I left a terse message on the athletic director's voice mail that we should never have played that game and that our school trainer should have been present to administer some climate-related first aid. Two years later, I would lose my coaching job over such outspoken criticisms about an alleged ongoing lack of support for our baseball program. A new contract clause no longer supported hiring teachers as coaches. In 2009, the baseball field would be bulldozed over for a new softball facility instead.

Still, at that moment, I remember snickering, almost smiling, in spite of a broken car heater fan. The radio had affirmed a temperature of 16 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of 0 degrees for this extraordinary Home Opener. Major League Baseball and the Detroit Tigers would cancel their home game the following day. The Oak Park Knights would be back working on their hitting, in one half of the school gymnasium, as if the promise of April would never end.

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