Ypsilanti Citizen News Ypsilanti Cycle

City Council approves all mayor's re-appointments
By Dan DuChene
Jun. 16, 2010   ·   3:42 a.m.

Jone Coleman, president of downtown business LookInTheAttic, shares his thoughts with City Council about the discussion and procedure taken to pass mayoral re-appointments, which he was being considered for the Downtown Development Authority.

After much procedure, Ypsilanti City Council approved six mayoral re-appointments to city boards and committees Tuesday, including the two postponed from earlier...read more

Council postpones two reappointments
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   4:57 p.m.

Two of Ypsilanti's volunteer board members were not reappointed on schedule Tuesday night, owing to a 4-2 vote by City Council to delay the appointments until...read more

Downtown properties to be rehabilitated
By Mark Tower
Jun. 4, 2010   ·   10:40 a.m.

The three properties located at 120, 122 and 124 West Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti will soon be rebuilt into commercial and office space and loft apartments, thanks to a planned $1.7 million investment by developers.

Three recently-vacated properties in downtown Ypsilanti, two of them condemned, will soon be renovated owing to recent purchase by a local development company and...read more

Ypsilanti Township authorizes litigation against Liberty Square
By Mark Tower
May. 28, 2010   ·   6:53 p.m.

Many of the homes in the Liberty Square complex on Grove Street in Ypsilanti Township are already boarded and ready for foreclosure sale. All 151 units, some of which are still occupied, will be condemned Tuesday, Ypsilanti Township has resolved.

Residents living in the Liberty Square complex of townhouses will see a sticker appear on their homes Tuesday, when the Ypsilanti Township Building Department places...read more

Ford plant granted tax exemption by township
By Mark Tower
May. 24, 2010   ·   5:44 p.m.

Ford Motor Company's Rawsonville Plan, located at the intersection of Textile and Bridge Roads in Ypsilanti Township, will soon be the new home for production of Ford's Electric Focus batteries, formerly produced in Mexico.

New machines and equipment will soon be wheeled into Ford's Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti Township as it begins manufacturing a line of batteries for the new global...read more

Long-time Ypsi reporter lands County job

Long-time Ypsilanti reporter Khalil Hachem is heading to the County Clerk's office as chief deputy clerk in charge of elections and vital records. Photo by Courtesy Khalil Hachem

Long-time Ypsilanti reporter Khalil Hachem is heading to the County Clerk's office as chief deputy clerk in charge of elections and vital records.

Hachem takes Ann Arbor News buyout, moves to Clerk's office

By Christine Laughren
Feb. 6, 2009    ·    12:10 a.m.

After nearly a decade of covering the Ypsilanti area for the Ann Arbor News, Khalil Hachem is leaving the newspaper industry and beginning a new career.

Hachem’s final day with the News was last Friday and he will begin his new job as chief deputy clerk in charge of elections and vital records for Washtenaw County Feb. 17. Hachem said he took the buyout offered to select News employees in November.

“The News has been a happy home for me,” Hachem said last Friday afternoon. “Every one has treated me well here, very supportive, and I am grateful for every thing they taught me and every opportunity they gave me.”

Hachem is replacing Derrick L. Jackson, who is joining the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s department as director of community outreach according to County Clerk/Register Lawrence Kestenbaum.

“I had a lot of applicants and people who brought a lot of qualifications,” Kestenbaum said. “But Khalil appeared to me as someone who would be dealing with people in a diplomatic, respectable and positive way.

“He was the best candidate,” he said.

Hachem follows education reporter Liz Cobbs, who left the News, owned by Booth Newspapers, in December. According to a blog post in early November by Jim Carty, a former sports writer for the news, select staff members were offered six months pay.

Recent details of the buyouts and consolidation of Booth Newspapers have not been released. Several calls made to Ann Arbor News Editor Ed Petykiewicz’s office were not returned.

Booth, which operates seven other papers in Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Press, also announced in November it would be consolidating production. The News closed its Ypsilanti office at 220 W. Michigan Ave. that same month.

In a story the News ran before the space was made available to rent, Petykiewicz said closing the office was necessary due to the weak economy. He went on to say the News’ commitment to covering Ypsilanti was “as strong as ever.”

However, distribution of the Ypsilanti Community News, the Ann Arbor News’ free publication, has been limited since the News pulled out of town according to City Council members. Council discussed the issue when it was deciding the city’s official newspaper of record Tuesday.

Councilmember Lois Richardson, D – Ward 1, said she has not seen the Community News in months. Michael Bodary, D – Ward 2, said he doesn’t get the Community News anymore, except in the Sunday edition of the Ann Arbor News, with his subscription.

After some debate among council members, the city picked the News over the Ypsilanti Courier, which has also faced accelerated cuts and consolidation in recent months.

The Courier had closed its office downtown in 2006 to share space and staff with the Belleville View. The Courier’s parent company, Heritage Newspapers, has also consolidated many of its papers’ production to a shared location in Pontiac.

Downsizing is a common trend among publications nationally and locally. Aside from cuts at the News and Courier, the board of director's for the Eastern Echo, Eastern Michigan University's student publication, voted Tuesday to cut publication from three days a week to two. The paper, currently published Monday Wednesday and Friday, will soon be published on Monday and Thursday.

City Clerk Frances McMullen said the News has been reliable in the past and was the only newspaper to submit a bid within the stated deadline.

According to a recent article in the Ann Arbor Observer, the News expects to have more cuts coming its way and the paper will continue to shrink.

Hachem said he was happy to take this round of buyouts. He said he has always liked public service and has viewed journalism as a vehicle for such work, but is ready for a change.

“I’ve been wanting to make a move to a different part of public service,” Hachem said. “To me this is an exciting move because I’m going to be learning something different.

“I’ve written about elections but I’m excited to see the other side of it,” he said

Editor's note: Christine Laughren is currently a staff writer at the Ypsilanti Courier.

Read Vickie Elmer's article "Hard Times at the News" in the "Ann Arbor Observer."

Click "here" to read Jim Carty's Blog post "Six months pay and more Boothie stuff."

"The News to close Ypsilanti office"

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