Inside a COVID testing lab; U-M students asked to stay home; Four Directions owners to retire

John Prine leads the finale of the 41st Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 2018. (Photo: Andrew Rogers)

Happy Friday!

Before we take a deep dive into this past week’s news, the 44th Ann Arbor Folk Festival kicks off tonight. The festival is going virtual for the first time ever because of the pandemic. Jeff Daniels will be emceeing the event, which will stretch for an extra day this year for a special tribute to John Prine by various Michigan artists. The beloved folk singer who performed at the first Folk Fest back in 1976 passed away in April from complications of COVID-19.

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year during “normal times” as music that’s both excitingly familiar and wonderfully foreign fills Hill Auditorium. For those of you who’ve sat in the audience and tapped your heel to artists you’ve never heard of but loved -- you know what I’m talking about. More information on how to purchase tickets here.

Have a great weekend.

- Meredith (@meredith_A4)

What’s been happening:

🛑 The Washtenaw County Health Department issued a stay-in-place recommendation for all University of Michigan students on Wednesday in order to help prevent the spread of a new, highly contagious coronavirus variant. (A4)

📝 Earlier in the week, student athletes at U-M launched a petition calling to end the 14 day shutdown of all athletics imposed after several individuals in the program tested positive for the new B.1.1.7 virus strain. (A4)

😷 The Washtenaw County Health Department will be distributing free KN95 adult masks and children’s masks over the next two Saturdays. Here’s how you can pick them up. (A4)

🧪️ Ann Arbor startup LynxDx is currently the second leading COVID testing lab in Michigan. We got a glimpse inside the operation. (A4)

🦠️ Get tested for COVID for free on Sunday at Pioneer High School. Sarah has all the details. (A4)

⚖ “Our justice system needs to treat kids like kids.” Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit announced this week he won’t charge juveniles accused of minor crimes. (A4)

🚨 Peter Chen, a U-M professor of computer science and engineering, has been placed on administrative leave as he faces criminal charges for sexual misconduct, according to an email sent out to the school community. (Michigan Daily)

🎒 Are you a parent wanting more information about the return to schools? Watch this discussion doctors at Mott Children’s Hospital held yesterday addressing parents’ concerns. (A4)

🏃‍♀️ WOW. U-M runner Ziyah Holman went viral when she closed a four-second deficit while anchoring a 4x400-meter relay. It was the freshman’s first track meet representing maize and blue, too. Watch her unbelievable comeback. (Washington Post)

Good to know:

🍲 Pop-up restaurants are on the rise in Ann Arbor as eateries think of creative ways to keep revenue flowing. Here are nine pop-ups to check out right now. (Eater Detroit)

🤤 Meanwhile, these are Tree Town’s top 25 places for takeout -- according to Yelp. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling. (Detroit Metro Times)

🍔 Okay, last food story here -- I promise! Halal eatery Blazin’ Burgerz opened on Friday in Ypsilanti and people can’t get enough of their smash burgers. (A4)

❤️️ We caught up with Shawn Bungo, a recent Knoxville transplant and glass artist who has already made his mark with scavenger hunts for his works around town. He just launched a miniature art exchange and gallery in his front yard and you’ll want to see this. (A4)

Feature interview of the week:

“We had a long run and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but it’s just kind of time to go now.”

- Karen Freedman, co-owner of Four Directions

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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.