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Detroit News Roundup for Friday, August 17, 2007

Festival turns Hart Plaza into African mart

Yes, there’s a sensational variety of live musical performances, a step show that always draws a crowd and delicious African cuisine. But those aren’t the main reasons thousands of people flock to the African World Festival every year.

The festival turns Hart Plaza into a vibrant African marketplace, with fabulous fabrics, gorgeous jewelry, fantastic furnishings, colorful clothing, and amazing art, artifacts and more.

[via Detroit Free Press]

FDA cancels plan to close Detroit lab

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is canceling plans to shut down seven of its labs across the country, including one in Detroit.

“The daily reports of unsafe products from China and elsewhere highlight the need for keeping the labs open and tightening our inspection process,” Dingell said in a prepared statement today.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Uncle Kracker Tagged for Sex Crime

Uncle Kracker was released on $75,000 bond Friday afternoon, hours after being arrested in Raleigh, North Carolina, for allegedly committing an unlawful sexual act on a woman in a nightclub.

After deejaying in a Detroit strip club to pay the bills, Kracker found fame working the turntables on the early tours of childhood pal Kid Rock. In 2000, he released his debut album, Double Wide, which spawned the hit “Follow Me” and sold more than 2 million copies.

Kid Rock’s former DJ was arrested in North Carolina for allegedly touching a stripper. I guess NC clubs aren’t like the Detroit clubs he was used to.
[via E! Online]

Want to participate in Sunday’s Hands Along Woodward? Here’s how

At 2 p.m. Sunday, church bells along Woodward are to signal people that it is time to hold hands along the west side of the roadway. The event also will feature a variety of other activities, such as a free film at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit, a Family Day at Cranbrook and several free food sites.

[via Detroit Free Press]


So what if Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political essayist, made it from Detroit to Pontiac in 9 hours? He and his companion had horses. And brandy.

We were traveling by foot, a French photographer and I. On assignment, we would chronicle Woodward Avenue circa 2007. Michigan’s most historic byway turns 200 this year, a milestone that metro Detroiters plan to celebrate by joining hands along the route on Sunday. And it has tales to tell.

One reporter, two photographers, 26 miles in 29 hours. Wouldn’t take but a few hours to bike it…
[via Detroit Free Press]

Expand reach, impact of Dream Cruise

The potential of the cruise is tremendous. The one-day Oakland County drive could anchor a much longer festival of the automobile that takes in downtown Detroit as well as many of the region’s cultural attractions.

As Larry Alexander, chief executive officer of the Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau, says, the Dream Cruise could become Metro Detroit’s Mardi Gras — a major tourist extravaganza that draws car enthusiasts from around the world.

Expansion would make the cruise more attractive to more sponsors and help cover the expenses of the sponsoring communities.

It would also keep tourists in town longer, and give them additional things to do off Woodward Avenue.

[via DetNews.com]

‘Signature ethnic festival’ rocky

The city of Detroit saved the African World Festival from being scaled back this weekend, but money woes make it unclear if it will survive along the riverfront another year.

In May, organizers went to the City Council and persuaded members to donate $200,000 to offset the festival’s $400,000 cost.

This year’s 25th annual festival runs from noon today to 11:30 p.m. Sunday at Hart Plaza. The free event kicks off with a parade of 100 drummers and dancers, representing at least 16 African countries, marching from Campus Martius Park to Hart Plaza at 11:30 a.m.

I’m automatically suspicious anytime city councilwoman JoAnn Watson wants to spend city funds on something. I don’t want this African festival to be downsized because it’s not profitable but I also wish the city had the money to support any and all ethnic festivals in the city as well as festivals that showcase Detroit’s musical history, such as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival which now has to charge an entrance fee and gets no money from the city.
[via DetNews.com]

MediaSpan Relocates Corporate Headquarters to Ann Arbor, MI

MediaSpan, a provider of digital content management, online marketing, and national advertising solutions, has announced that it will move its headquarters to Ann Arbor, MI from Raleigh, NC. This comes on the heels of the Company’s recent plans to expand its facilities at 333 Jackson Plaza in Ann Arbor to accommodate the corporate headquarters staff and operations. Both moves will take place over the next few months.

[via EContent (press release)]

Downtown Ann Arbor hotel plans revealed-The Ann Arbor News

The hotel proposed to replace McKinley’s Metro 202 apartment project at the corner of Washington and Division Streets consists of nine stories with 120 rooms, according to documents provided to Ann Arbor city planners.

There’s a rendering in the article. It looks nice, even though most renderings do.
[via MLive.com]

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