ANN ARBOR – Goodbye 2022 and hello 2023!
It’s been a long and hard year with a lot of news. Our A4 team has written about everything from the COVID-19 pandemic and elections to local heroes, breaking news and citywide events.
We took a look back through all of our articles and picked some that made us laugh, smile and maybe even cry.
Here are 10 of our team’s favorite stories from this year:
Dancing parents go viral on Ann Arbor TikTok
From January: This will put a smile on your face.
Stephanie and Spencer Lucker skyrocketed to local TikTok fame when their groovy dance moves were caught on camera. The pair were entertaining their young twins while waiting for lunch outside Pizza Bob’s during a visit to Ann Arbor. Watch the video here.
We also got to chat with the Detroit-based parents after a reader put us in touch. Check out that interview.
Superheroes surprise patients at U-M’s Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor
From April: Superheroes do exist, and they like to make sure sick children feel special.
Superhero window washers surprised patients and their families at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in honor of National Superhero Day.
Iron Man, Batman and Captain America waved to the hospital’s young patients while making sure the building was squeaky clean. Take a look at some photos.
‘I’m not just going to help you and leave you hanging’: Ann Arborite volunteers time to help others
From May: Some heroes don’t wear capes. They distribute bread.
When Christy offers her help to those who needed it, she means it. The generous Ann Arborite has spent months helping others get food, do laundry and prevent food waste with her weekly bread distribution sites.
“I’m not just going to help you and leave you hanging. You’re telling me that you don’t have a way to get to the food banks or get to food, I’m here to help you and I’m not just going to do it once,” she said. Read more here.
Soon you can visit this animal sanctuary near Ann Arbor
From April: Get ready to say “aww.”
Dan McKernan started Barn Sanctuary in 2016 on his family’s 140-year-old farm in Chelsea. The sanctuary and its rescued residents became beloved by locals and by Animals Planet viewers through the “Saved by the Barn” tv show.
McKernan and his staff decided to open up the nonprofit farm to public tours in May so that community members could visit the pigs, cows, goats, chickens, donkeys and sheep. Read more here.
Need more cuteness? Check out these adorable baby goats.
AFC Ann Arbor co-founder secures over $70K for Ukrainian refugees
From March: Ann Arbor is home to some really incredible people.
At the start of the year, AFC Ann Arbor co-founder and Google executive Mike Lorenc traveled to Poland to help refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Lorenc started a GoFundMe trying to raise $75,000 that would be used to buy hygiene products, clothes, food, water and school supplies for those in need. The campaign raised over $85,000. Here’s the story.
Ann Arbor exec pledges to get tattoo of company mascot for a good cause
From November: Would you get a tattoo to support a local nonprofit?
Blumira co-founder Matt Warner pledged to get Mira--the company’s hedgehog mascot-- tattooed if his team raised $5,000 for local food bank Food Gatherers.
The more money donated, the bigger the tattoo would get. This is Mira.
More former research beagles head to Ann Arbor on humane society ‘Love Train’
From August: This one hit us right in the feels.
Humane Society of Huron Valley used its specially-equipped Love Train van to transport two batches of former research beagles from Virginia to Tree Town. The dogs were reportedly used for breeding and were sold for pharmaceutical testing before the facility was shut down.
Ann Arbor area families quickly adopted the pups to give them new lives. Read the story here.
Diners demand cheese curds be put back on menu of Ann Arbor eatery
From February: #BringBackTheCurds
After closing for renovations, Grizzly Peak Brewing Company reopened its space and offered up a new menu but it was missing the eatery’s famous cheese curds. Locals were taken aback and a Charge.org petition was started demanding the return of the curds. Check this out.
How did the turtle cross the road? One Ann Arbor detective can answer that
From November: Wildlife rescues were a pretty common theme this year.
AAPD Detective Jon McDonagh recently helped a MASSIVE snapping turtle cross the road. While he didn’t seem to have any problems moving the hulking reptile, we don’t recommend trying this at home. Read about it here. Another Ann Arbor police detective helped calm and release a deer that had gotten itself stuck in some sports netting.
The Fire Department also helped out. Firefighters rescued some ducklings from a storm drain this summer.
University of Michigan researchers develop durable coating that kills viruses, bacteria in minutes
From September: This tech could really be a game-changer.
Engineers and immunologists at the University of Michigan have developed a durable and long-lasting coating that can kill SARS-CoV-2, MRSA, E. coli and several other pathogens.
The coating, made with antimicrobial molecules and Polyurethane, can be sprayed or painted onto surfaces and stays viable for six months or longer. Learn more here.