4/25/23: ‘Jane Doe’ identified

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

High 48°/Low 29° Rain/snow

A woman found wandering in the woods has been identified thanks to public tips. Also: KPS has begun its interviews of superintendent candidates. And WMU is using a simple trick to save birds’ lives.

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Superintendent interviews begin

The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education began interviewing superintendent candidates on Monday. The first three candidates went before the board virtually. They were Dr. Thomas Rogers, assistant superintendent for IZone 2.0/Priority Schools for the district office of Shelby County Schools in Tennessee; Dr. Marcey Sorensen, chief academic officer in Fort Worth Independent School District, Texas; and Dr. Ty Weeks, superintendent for Dearborn Heights School District No. 7.

It was clear from the questioning that trustees have learned from their experiences with the previous superintendent, Dr. Rita Raichoudhuri. Each candidate was asked how they would engage the community:

“I would want to be right there in the middle of everything,” said Rogers.

“It’s not just the showing up, it’s how we show up,” said Sorensen.

“When you have discourse over food sometimes you don’t always agree but at least you’re nourished,” said Weeks.

The interviews are only a part of the process for trustees. They now have access to references and other information about the candidates. The board will interview the remaining three candidates during a meeting on Thursday.

The district is also trying out a system for live translating the meetings into Spanish and Arabic. The translations are accessible by phone. You can get more information on the district’s website.

More News You Need To Know

Public identifies “living Jane Doe”

A woman discovered wandering around the woods in Texas Township last week has been identified. She is Takai Crute, 22. Michigan State Police announced that she had been identified thanks to community tips. She was discovered by a hiker in Al Sabo Land Preserve on Thursday, but is disabled and unable to communicate. She was taken to Bronson Methodist Hospital for medical care. Police aren’t releasing any further details, but Crute is in good health and in the care of Adult Protective Services. [MLive]

Student files complaint against KPS over service dog

Alyssa Douglas is diagnosed with dyslexia, anxiety, and depression. That makes school difficult for the Kalamazoo Central High School senior. But thanks to Moxi, she is able to navigate through classes without too much trouble. Moxi is a trained service dog that accompanies Douglas to school. In the fall of 2021, a group of students were harassing Douglas when one of them jumped on the dog’s tail. Douglas complained to the assistant principal in charge of security. Instead of dealing with the students, administrators opted to have Douglas eat lunch in the office, away from other students.

Douglas feels that was the wrong way to handle the situation. “That makes me feel like I’m the problem,” Douglas told WOOD TV8. “It was very upsetting to hear that, coming from an upper-level administrator, telling me, ‘We’re not going to do anything.'” In October of last year, Douglas filed a complaint against the district under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The district has declined the comment on the matter. [WOOD]

Dots on glass saving birds’ lives

Fewer birds are dying on Western Michigan University’s campus thanks to the simplest of technologies: stickers. But conservation volunteers say more could be done to bring the number down even further. As many as a billion birds die each year in the U.S. after colliding with windows. The problem is that birds can’t tell that windows are solid – the glass looks like just more sky to them. One solution is to apply decals to the windows, as the university has done on the glass bridge between Wood Hall and the Chemistry building. That’s brought down the number of bird-glass collisions, according to volunteer Gail Walter.

But WMU’s campus has lots of windows. The College of Health and Human Services has huge walls of glass, which is pretty but also deadly. Walter said the university has used grant money to apply dots to some windows, and the renovation of Dunbar Hall will include bird-safe glass. Meanwhile, Walter said there may be another reason for the decline of bird deaths – fewer birds. “I think that’s because the bird populations have declined so much that we that there’s fewer birds in the world to collide with things which is really kind of sad,” she told WMUK. That’s just even more incentive to protect birds from windows. Homeowners can help by adding decals, tape, or even just paint to the outside of their own windows. Studies have shown that half of all bird-glass collisions happen on residential windows. [WMUK]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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Business Breakfast Roundtable | What You DON’T Know About Dependent Care – Southwest Michigan First
7:30AM 4/25

Girls in 1950s Media – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 4/25

Green Drinks | WMU Community Garden with Dr. Johnson Haas – Kalamazoo State Theatre
5:30PM 4/25

Kalamazoo Academy Of Rock – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
5:30PM 4/25

Jazz with Barry Ross, Violin, and Terry Lower, Piano – Martell’s
5:30PM 4/25

Reckoning: Kalamazoo College Uncovers Its Racial and Colonial Past: a Conversation with Anne Dueweke and Donna Odom – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
6:30PM 4/25

Abra Berens Presents: PULP – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
6:30PM 4/25

Trivia night – Shakespeare’s Pub
7:00PM 4/25

Kalamazoo Academy Of Rock – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
5:30PM 4/26

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 4/26

Yum’s the Word! – Chocolate Explorations – Parchment Community Library
6:30PM 4/26

Growing Wildflowers from Seed – Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
7:00PM 4/26

Barrelhouse acoustic blues – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 4/26

3 of a Kind – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 4/26

City of Champions: A History of Triumph and Defeat in Detroit – Richland Community Library
7:00PM 4/26

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 4/26

Bits Of Business Mini-Expo – Portage Senior Center
9:00AM 4/27

Upgrade Your Lunchable for Teens – Kalamazoo Public Library, Oshtemo
4:00PM 4/27

Open Mic Night – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
5:00PM 4/27

Canuck Club – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
7:00PM 4/27

Chicken & Biscuits – Farmers Alley Theatre
7:30pm 4/27-29, 5/4-6; 2pm 4/30, 5/7

Kate Pillsbury and Eric O’Daly – The Clover Room
7:30PM 4/27

Over The Rhine – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 4/27

See more upcoming events here.

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