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Meet Michigan Medicine’s K-9 officer; U-M makes ventilator breakthrough; Blank Slate Creamery is back

Officer Paul Meyers and his partner, Leo. (Michigan Medicine)

Happy Friday!

To be honest, I’m surprised I even know what day it is. With days of isolation turning into weeks -- and months -- the “Groundhog Day” effect is alive and well at my house. Anyone else feeling this way?

In other news, meet Leo. The German Shepherd and his handler, Paul Meyers, are Michigan Medicine’s new K-9 Team, and while explosive detection is in Leo’s job description, so is comforting stressed out staff. Watch this video of Leo and Meyers doing their rounds, and see the undeniable joy he brings to those who are working long hours on the frontlines every single day.

Smiling yet? Good.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

What’s been happening:

💡 University of Michigan researchers have invented a device that allows multiple COVID-19 patients to be supported by a single ventilator. In the battle against the novel virus, this could be a game changer. (A4)

💵 United Way of Washtenaw County has reached its $1 million goal for its COVID-19 Community Relief Fund. UWWC has begun distributing the funds to local organizations that meet critical community needs, including the Ann Arbor YMCA. (A4)

🛑 University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel announced this week freezes on hiring and employee raises due to losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. (A4)

😷 St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor has treated a COVID-19 patient with plasma donated by a recovered individual. (A4)

📚 Ann Arbor-based nonprofit Children’s Literacy Network has distributed hundreds of free kids’ books to local food pantries during Michigan’s stay-at-home order. (Concentrate)

🍔 Local tech company SkySync has pledged $25,000 to feed vulnerable individuals and frontline healthcare workers by purchasing meals from area restaurants. (A4)

🍂 Has your yard waste been building up? The city opened a yard waste drop off site this week for residents. (A4)

🦠️ Family and child mental health experts at U-M released a coloring book that explains COVID-19 to children aptly titled “Georgie and the Giant Germ.” (A4)

Good to know:

🍨 Blank Slate Creamery reopened yesterday after a month-long closure. The ice cream shop on W. Liberty is operating curbside pick up only but has you set with hand-packed pints and sundae kits to enjoy at home. (A4)

☝️ If you look at one thing today, let it be the Ann Arbor Art Center’s recent finger photography challenge. It’s a riot. (A4)

🐛 Today through Sunday, put your exploration hats on and head outside for Ann Arbor’s City Nature Challenge 2020. The city’s Natural Area Preservation wants to see your photos of plants, animals and bugs. Ready, go! (A4)

🖼 Just because UMMA’s doors are closed doesn’t mean you can’t still experience the museum. Here are four ways to rediscover its collections online. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

“As hard as these past four weeks have been, and as disheartening as it is to see the numbers climb and the lives being taken, and the fear and the whole tragedy of this situation, we are just immensely grateful for the kindness, generosity, courage, incredible camaraderie that we’re seeing in the community -- whether it’s volunteers or partners or funders.”

- Anya Abramzon, Executive Director of Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County

✉️ Have something to share? Write me anytime at mbruckner@wdiv.com.

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