Full Day Kindergarten

Ann Arbor Kindergarteners are going to school for a full day beginning this fall. This means they will have more time for ABCs, 123s, and stories We have fun picture books and informational books for parents, to help your future fulltime Kindergartener get in the mind set!

Bob Babbitt, Funk Brothers bassist, has died

Bob Babbitt rockin' bass player for the Funk Brothers, THE studio band for Motown's heaviest hitters, died Monday In Nashville, TN.

Babbitt moved to Detroit in the 1950s while still in his teens. Then from 1959 until Motown relocated to Los Angeles in 1972, the Funk Brothers backed up every megawatt performer from Stevie Wonder to the Temptations to Marvin Gaye to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, to name just a few.

A 2002 documentary, Standing in the Shadows of Motown brought the Funk Brothers out of obscurity, especially after the group received a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2004 Grammys.

In 2008, the Funk Brothers packed the house at a concert which was part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

Mr. Babbitt, who was 74, died of an inoperable brain tumor.

Kitty Wells, country music's first woman superstar, has died

Kitty Wells, country music's acknowledged first female superstar, died yesterday at her Tennessee home.

Her leap to stardom with the much-loved standard, It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, almost didn't happen. She had been singing and perform since 1936, a year before she married her husband of more than 70 years, Johnnie Wright. In 1952, she was on the verge of retiring to become a fulltime wife and mother. But she agreed to record Honky Tonk Angels to collect the union-scale fee.

Angels became an instant hit, despite being initially banned by NBC radio and the Grand Ole Opry (too racy). Not only did the recording top the country charts for six weeks, it also made it onto the pop Top 40, forcing Nashville to rethink its belief that women country singers would not be money makers.

Ms. Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976. Fifteen years later, she became the third country western performer (after Hank Williams and Roy Acuff) to receive a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Wells, who was 92, died of complications from a stroke. Her survivors include two children, eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits franchise, has died

Stephen R. Covey,author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective... series of books, has died.

Covey's lifelong interest in effective management skills and personal organizational and leadership abilities coalesced into seven principles for living a more meaningful life, thus giving birth to four books based on those themes, including positive thinking, proactive living, and synergy, to name three. His first book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic was published to tremendous success in 1989.It was later followed by the equally popular The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families: Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World (1987), as well as The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens: The Ultimate Teenage Success Guide (1998).

Covey was also instrumental in the longtime success of the Franklin Planner, a paper management system which kept business people and government employees on track until the advent of PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants).

Mr. Covey, who was 79, died of complications from a head injury suffered in a bike accident in April of this year.

Donald Sobol, creator of beloved children's character, Encyclopedia Brown, has died

Donald Sobol, who created Encyclopedia Brown, one of the most beloved of classic children's characters, died today.

Sobol's writing career began as a copyboy and then reporter for the New York Sun newspaper back in the 50s. In 1963, he published the first Encyclopedia Brown book, Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective. In each of the 39 books in the series, Leroy (a.k.a. Encyclopedia) Brown, is a 10-year old genius. The format for each book is that Brown faces ten mysteries. The reader is given a chance to solve the mystery, before consulting with the answers in the back of the book.

This formula has worked for nearly 40 years. In 1997, Sobol updated Brown's wardrobe, dressing him out in a work shirt and jeans in Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of Pablo's Nose. Six years later, Sobol marked Brown's 40th anniversary with the release of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Jumping Frogs.

Sobol also penned a popular syndicated newspaper feature, his Two-Minute Mysteries.

Mr. Sobol's death (he was 87) immediately began trending on Twitter as news spread and fans of all ages mourned his passing with tender tributes about what their books meant to them.

Bus riders! TransitTime + has added AATA's The Ride to its app

The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority just announced that the award-winning app, TransitTimes + has added Ann Arbor to its list of more than 50 cities that provide details about their transportation modes to this popular app.

Now you can easily locate The Ride's bus schedules, the location of your particular bus and its arrival time, or map out and save a route to a new location.

To see how easy this app is to use, check out TransitTimes' YouTube channel here.

For more information about this app and to see the growing list of U.S. and international cities being added all the time, click here.

Ernest Borgnine, Oscar winner, has died

Ernest Borgnine, who moved audiences to tears with his sweet, nuanced portrayal of a common man in love in Marty (1955), died yesterday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Ironically, Borgnine's first notable role was anything by sweet. He played Fatso Judson, a murderous sergeant in From Here to Eternity (1953).

Borgnine's wide-ranging acting chops took another big turn when he moved over to television and starred in the 1960s ABC sitcom, McHale's Navy. In this popular series, Borgnine was the lovable rapscallion, Lieutenant Commander Quinton McHale.

His acting resume is enormous -- The Dirty Dozen (1967), ice Station Zebra (1968), The Wild Bunch (1969) are among some of his more notable roles -- as is his list of awards (including the above-mentioned Oscar, as well as Emmys, and Golden Globes, among others).

He filmed his last movie, The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez, last year. It is scheduled to be released some time this year.

Mr. Borgnine was 95.

University of Michigan Wolverine Great Bob Chappuis

One of the Wolverine's great football players died June 14 in Ann Arbor. A Wolverine MVP, Collier's All-American and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Chappuis also served in WWII. Shot down over Italy, he spent three months hidden in plain sight from the Nazis.

Old News has gathered together a selection of articles from the Ann Arbor News that cover his career at Michigan. Chappuis joined the Wolverines in 1942, served in WWII from 1943 ~ 1945 and rejoined the Wolverines in 1946, setting records in offensive play. In the undefeated 1947 season, Chappuis finished second for the Heisman Trophy and was featured on the cover of Time Magazine. Michigan went on to win the Rose Bowl with such a decisive win over Southern California, 49 - 0, that AP put out a post-bowl game poll that moved them back in to first place over season-ending first place Notre Dame. We'll be adding stories about Chappuis to the Old News site so keep checking back to read more about one of Michigan's great players.

June's Books to Film

Snow White and the Huntsman. In this retelling of the most beloved fairy tales of all times, Snow White by the Brothers Grimm, Snow White (Kristen Stewart) must join forces with the fierce Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth), who was recruited by the evil Queen (Charlize Theron) obsessed with being the fairest woman in the land. Meanwhile, a handsome prince (Sam Claflin) falls hopelessly under Snow White's spell.

Bel Ami Guy de Maupassant's classic tale of passion in late18th-century Paris is adapted in a scintillating erotic drama starring Twilight's Robert Pattinson as a destitute young soldier who plots to gain power by seducing the mistresses of the city's most influential men. Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Colm Meaney co-star.

In The Woman in the Fifth, adopted from the novel by Douglas Kennedy, American professor and novelist Tom Ricks traveled to Paris to see his young daughter, hoping also to reconnect with his estranged wife. After being robbed, he was forced to work in a seedy hotel as a night watchman, until he met a sophisticated woman named Margit at a literary event. Margit encouraged Tom to write again but he was unsettled by a series of murders taking place around him. Starring Ethan Hawke, and the very busy Kristin Scott Thomas (MPAA Rating: R)

The multifaceted Seth Grahame-Smith - novelist/producer/cinematographer has adopted his own novel for the big screen in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Benjamin Walker plays Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who discovers vampires planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them.

Longmire is the new A&E television series based on the popular mystery series by Craig Johnson. Robert Taylor plays Walt Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, Longmire is a man in psychic repair, trying to bury his pain behind a brave face and dry wit. Often turning to close friend and confidant Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips) for support, he sets out to rebuild both his personal and professional life, one step at a time.

Happy Birthday, Bob.


Today marks the 78th birthday of Robert Moog, founding father of electronic music and inventor of the Moog synthesizer. If you've ever listened to Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, or watched A Clockwork Orange then you've heard one of the earliest Moog synthesizers in action. You can stream a documentary on the life of Bob Moog here, and don't miss the incredibly fun Moog Google Doodle. Here's a handy Doodle Guide to get you started.

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