COVID-19 vaccines at the Big House; Washtenaw County Prosecutor fulfills promises; Jeff Daniels to MC Folk Fest

Nurse Kristy Smyth preps a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 31, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

Happy Friday!

On a national scale, it has been a week. But here in Ann Arbor and in greater Washtenaw County, some major stories developed as well.

Exactly a week ago, Michigan Medicine began administering COVID-19 vaccinations at Michigan Stadium -- its newest location chosen for its square footage and ample parking. Until now, only frontline workers in the Phase 1A category have been vaccinated there. Starting Monday, under state guidance, more groups -- including those aged 65 and older -- will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit made several policy changes in his first week in office, including scrapping cash bail. “The size of a person’s bank account should never determine their freedom,” he said in a statement. Washtenaw County is the first jurisdiction in the state to eliminate cash bail. Savit also announced he was rescinding “zero tolerance” policies and launching a transparency project with University of Michigan and the ACLU.

Have a great weekend.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

What’s been happening:

⚖ Tree Town’s longest-serving city attorney, Stephen Postema, announced plans to retire. He shared during Monday’s City Council meeting that his wife is fighting cancer. (MLive)

🎤 Jeff Daniels will emcee the virtual 44th Ann Arbor Folk Festival on Jan. 29 and 30. (A4)

🚒 The Ann Arbor Fire Department lost a longtime firefighter this week. Craig Sidelinger passed away on Monday morning after a nearly two-year battle with colon cancer. (A4)

🏳️‍🌈 The Jim Toy Community Center announced it is closing its physical space and launched a GoFundMe to help the LGBTQ-focused nonprofit survive. (A4)

🏫 The chaplain at Fr. Gabriel Richard High School has been placed on “ministerial leave” pending an investigation. (A4)

🚔 The Ann Arbor Police Department will add two electric Ford Mustangs to its fleet this year. (MLive)

Good to know:

🖌 Here’s a great socially distant activity: Explore these downtown murals commissioned by the Ann Arbor Art Center -- map included. (Pulp)

💻 Does connecting with others sound more like your cup of tea? Here are ‘9 Creative Ways to Socialize Safely’ this winter. (NPR)

🚫 Friendly traffic alert: Avoid Packard next week. Here’s which part. (A4)

🦉 Have a birthday coming up? Want to shake up your weekly Zoom meetups? You can now book 15-30 minute virtual animal appearances with the Leslie Science and Nature Center. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

“Now, with dining rooms being shut down, we are so blessed to be able to have an outlet and a way to introduce ourselves to the community -- a way to spark something here.”

- Sava Farah, owner of SavCo Hospitality’s The Boro To Go in Dixboro

🗨 Have something to share? Write me anytime at mbruckner@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.