Emails/Texts Reveal Council Members Staged Homeless Support for Library Lot Sale Vote

Emails/Texts Reveal Council Members Staged Homeless Support for Library Lot Sale Vote

by Patricia Lesko The Ann Arbor Independent used FOIA to obtain emails, Tweets and text messages sent over several weeks prior to the April 17 City Council meeting between a trio of Council members and Caleb Poirier, founder of tent community Camp Take Notice and a member of the M.I.S.S.I.O.N. Board of Directors. In those electronic communications, […]

High School Heroes—In Nepal, Freshman Krijol Shresthan Picks up the Pieces

High School Heroes—In Nepal, Freshman Krijol Shresthan Picks up the Pieces

On May 2 a rare 4.2 earthquake hit Western Michigan and shook Ann Arbor, devastating no one. Eight days earlier, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, killing as many was 15,000 people, injuring over 12,000 more and leaving 16,000 schools shuttered. The quake left 1.3 million children in need of aid. High school freshman Krijol […]

Ann Arbor City Attorney Shenanigans?

Ann Arbor City Attorney Shenanigans?

Asst. City Attorney Says Postema’s Office “Represents” Detroit City Employee Ann Arbor Public Services Administrator Sue McCormick left in 2011 to head the Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. In a March 2015 email regarding depositions in the Footing Drain Disconnect lawsuit, Asst. City Attorney Abigail Elias writes that the Ann Arbor City Attorney’s Office represents […]

City Employee Placed on Paid Leave Used Homophobic and Racial Slurs, Threatened to Beat up Co-Worker

City Employee Placed on Paid Leave Used Homophobic and Racial Slurs, Threatened to Beat up Co-Worker

Update:  The original article stated that John Swantek had been put on leave Dec. 4, 2015. The correct date was Dec. 4, 2014. by John Ball Click here to download a copy of the AFSCME Discipline Report and pay records for John Swantek. THE ANN ARBOR Independent, using the Freedom of Information Act, gained access to the […]

Council Members Kept in Dark About Specifics of Sweetheart Deal for Staffer Who Resigned

Council Members Kept in Dark About Specifics of Sweetheart Deal for Staffer Who Resigned

by P.D. Lesko IN JANUARY 2015, City Administrator Steve Powers told Council members that Building Dept. staffer Ralph Welton had resigned. Council members took that to mean that Welton had left the employ of the city and its payroll. Records revealed the opposite was true: Between Dec. 2014 and April 2015, Welton remained on the […]

Sweetheart Deal: Suspended City Employee Collects Pay for Months and Vests for Retirement

Sweetheart Deal: Suspended City Employee Collects Pay for Months and Vests for Retirement

by P.D. Lesko Download a copy of Ralph Welton’s Separation Agreement here. While City Administrator Steve Powers announced Welton’s “resignation” in Jan. 2015, the Separation Agreement signed by Welton and city HR Director Robyn Wilkerson states his resignation would not be effective until May 7, 2015 “for the purposes of retirement.” ANN ARBOR OFFICIALS investigated […]

High School Heroes: Battling the Stigma of Mental Illness one Day at a Time

High School Heroes: Battling the Stigma of Mental Illness one Day at a Time

By Stavi Tennenbaum EVA ROSENFELD, JUNIOR, and co-editor in chief of Community High School’s nationally acclaimed CHS Communicator newspaper, is an avid reader, artist, Neutral Zone Board leader and widely published journalist. A Google search of her name brings up results from the op-ed sections of the New York Times, NPR, CNN, MLive and the […]

“Reimagining Washtenaw Ave.” With Project Manager Nathan Voght

“Reimagining Washtenaw Ave.” With Project Manager Nathan Voght

by P.D. Lesko NATHAN VOGHT IS the project manager who wants us to Reimagine Washtenaw Ave. as an economic development opportunity. Like the controversial WALLY commuter train project on which over $32 million in local and state funds have been spent, Reimagine Washtenaw has no dedicated funding and no voter mandate. But both projects do […]

Ypsi Mayor Says Hurdles for Her City Are AAPS, Racism, Biased News Reporting

Ypsi Mayor Says Hurdles for Her City Are AAPS, Racism, Biased News Reporting

“I could get in trouble for saying this, but our biggest challenge is Ann Arbor Public Schools. Its a very strong and excellent district, but the AAPS has been actively taking students away from us. They have been opening up school-of-choice slots. That’s draining money from (our) students, and that’s real!” by Ryan Hunter WHERE […]

High School Heroes: Slaying the Dragon—Joe Miller, Recovering Heroin Addict

High School Heroes: Slaying the Dragon—Joe Miller, Recovering Heroin Addict

This second piece in her High School Heroes interview series, The Ann Arbor Independent’s high school intern Stavi Tennenbaum talks to Pathways to Success Junior Joe Miller about how heroin addiction and recovery have impacted his family, his education and his future. Correction: Joe Miller attends the AAPS Pathways to Success high school program. by […]

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