A wrap up of this year’s top stories in Ann Arbor

Crowds fill the University of Michigan's Diag during Hash Bash on April 6, 2019 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
Crowds fill the University of Michigan's Diag during Hash Bash on April 6, 2019 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Happy Friday!

It’s the last newsletter of 2019 and we’re in full holiday swing. For those who celebrate, I hope you had a lovely Christmas. For those still observing their respective festivals of light: Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa!

As you’ll notice, this newsletter is a little different. Below you’ll find a recap of our top stories of 2019.

Have a great weekend and Happy New Year.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

Top stories of 2019:

💵 Ann Arbor was named a top city for female founders to raise capital. Known as the “Silicon Valley of the Midwest,” Ann Arbor has become a burgeoning tech hub in recent years.

📚 Literati Bookstore was named Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year.

🎈 Remember the active shooter alert at U-M in March? It was a false alarm caused by members of a sorority who were popping balloons.

🕷 U-M researchers in the Peruvian Amazon captured spine-tingling footage of a massive tarantula dragging a small opossum around the forest floor. Needless to say, it went viral quickly.

🌎 Students in Ann Arbor joined the global Youth Climate Strike sparked by teen Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Some were later arrested for refusing to evacuate president Schlissel’s office on U-M’s campus.

✌️ The 48th annual Hash Bash was the largest in the event’s history, marking the first year under legalization of cannabis in Michigan.

🎸 Ann Arbor’s beloved Water Hill Music Festival was canceled after eight years. So locals decided to put it on anyway.

🚚 Ever wonder what happens to all the stuff students leave behind after U-M’s annual move-out? This year, students produced 12.5 tons of lightly used goods for local communities.

🚦 Safety Town celebrated 40 years this summer. The annual course provides school children with safety training by members of local law enforcement.

🏈 Sports Illustrated named Michigan’s ‘The Victors’ the best fight song in college football history and we couldn’t agree more.

🦃 This year also saw the end of the infamous North Campus Turkey who would chase joggers and U-M employees headed to work or to their cars. Officers with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources killed the bird on Sept. 16.

🚔 Ann Arbor got a new police chief this year. Michael Cox was sworn in on Sept. 24 after spending 30 years in the Boston Police Department.

🤝 Members of the local community volunteered their time and skills to rebuild Eberwhite Elementary’s playground -- for the second time in 30 years.

🚲 The city of Ann Arbor opened its first two-way bike lane on William Street. It is the first of a network of protected bike lanes planned for downtown.

🏫 Voters narrowly passed a $1 billion bond for Ann Arbor Public Schools.

🏙 The city approved the construction of the tallest high-rise in decades set to be built behind the Michigan Theater.

〽️ The Michigan Union will reopen on Jan. 13 after nearly two years of renovations. Keep an eye out for our sneak peek ahead of opening day.

✉️ Have something to share? Write us anytime at allaboutannarbor@wdiv.com.

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About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.