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A4 Top 10: These are our most read articles of 2021

A sign posted at Jon Vaughn's encampment outside the president's house on S. University which pictures the late U-M doctor Robert Anderson. Anderson is accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of athletes on campus for decades. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – 2021 has been a wild year.

Between new strains of COVID-19, supply chain issues, school shootings, protests, businesses opening, businesses closing and changing ordinances, the news cycle has been continuous and sometimes brutal. Breaking news was an almost daily occurrence within Ann Arbor and around Michigan.

But our All About Ann Arbor audience has been with us every step, and sometimes every leap, of the way.

Here are our most-read stories of 2021:

1. Ann Arbor police investigate report of shots fired at Briarwood Mall

From April: This was a scary one.

Around 3 p.m. on April 13, shots were reported from inside Von Maur department store at the Briarwood Mall. As the situation developed, police closed the roads around the mall as they searched for the person responsible. One person was shot but their injuries were not life-threatening. Read more here.

2. Loss to Michigan football still causing complete meltdown within Ohio State fan base

From December: Ohio State fans went wild (and not in a good way) after a five-word quip from Wolverines legend Desmond Howard during a December interview with Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

The statement led to collective pearl-clutching and indignation from the Buckeyes two weeks after the Wolverines bested the Ohio team. Check out what Local 4′s Derick Hutchinson had to say.

3. Kentucky basketball backs out of game against Michigan in Ann Arbor this season

From August: “Due to uncertainties with scheduling” the Kentucky Wildcats backed out of a scheduled game against U-M basketball.

The game was the second of a three-part series announced in 2019. The first game, which had been planned to be held in London in 2019, was canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Who knows if the two teams will meet in Lexington in 2022. Read more.

4. U-M disease expert answers: Can US reach herd immunity?

From May: In a release from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Research Assistant Professor of epidemiology Abram Wagner said that achieving herd immunity was more complex than we first thought.

Wagner explained how vaccine availability played a role in reaching the nationwide goal and how to reach those who may be hesitant about the jab. See the release here.

5. ‘Hail to the victims’: Dozens protest outside University of Michigan president’s Ann Arbor home

From October: “Hail to the victims” has become a phrase commonly heard and seen around the U-M central campus following a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Robert Anderson, who was employed at the university from 1966 to 2003.

Former Wolverine football standout Jon Vaughn, a victim of Anderson’s, began camping out in front of President Mark Schlissel’s home in early October. Dozens of students and former students have protested in support of Vaughn and his actions. See more coverage here.

This story was first published in the A4 newsletter. To get local stories and insights straight into your inbox, sign up for our newsletter below:

6. Ypsilanti woman trapped in Puerto Rico after airline cancels her flights

From August: The past year has been tough for many reasons, among them continued staffing shortages and bad weather. But companies, aren’t the only ones impacted. Samar Sarha and her daughter, both from Ypsilanti, were stranded in Puerto Rico for days when Spirit Airlines canceled her flight home four times.

“I’ve spent over $3,000 and I have the receipts for all that,” Sarha said. “Besides financially and emotionally, it’s impacted me very very hard. So I will never ever choose Spirit again.” Watch her interview with Local 4 here.

7. University of Michigan study: Existing drugs block, reduce COVID in cells

From August: Over the course of 2021 we’ve learned a lot about COVID-19, the virus that causes it and how to combat it.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found 17 FDA-approved compounds that effectively reduced (or blocked) SARS-CoV-2 in cells. The group of 17 was discovered as researchers tested 1,400 drugs and compounds in stem-cell-derived human lung cells. Read more here.

8. University of Michigan students arrive to The One housing center to discover townhomes not ready

From August: Located just off Pontiac Trail, The One was supposed to be premier student housing in northeast Ann Arbor. But when students were ready to move in, they were told they couldn’t since the complex’s apartments and townhomes weren’t finished.

Officials from The One management blamed the lack of completion on delays due to labor shortages and material supply chain logistics. See what one international student had to say.

9. Ypsilanti mother finds son badly injured after collision with Washtenaw County Sheriff’s vehicle

From June: This is a sad one.

Ypsilanti mother Carrie Craiger had one of her biggest fears come to life as she saw her son’s motorcycle underneath the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle.

“I noticed the back end of his bike and I said ‘No, no, no, no,’” Craiger recalled. “I ran out of the car and Heather was screaming and I made my way to my son and it was shallow breathing that didn’t look like he was breathing at first.” Read more here.

10. Ann Arbor Pioneer forfeits varsity football game against Bedford over claims of racial slurs during JV match

From September: Pioneer High School’s varsity football team refused to play Bedford High School out of protest during a Friday night game. The day before, members of the Ann Arbor junior varsity team were allegedly called racial slurs by their Bedford opponents.

“I made a decision that we would protest the game as a staff, as a group of players. There’s no way whatsoever that I would allow our players to be subjected to that kind of treatment. My job is to protect these young men, to develop these young men and to make this a great experience and that didn’t happen,” said Pioneer head coach Jimmy Williams. Learn more here.


About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.