Rise & Fall: Yost Ice Arena and Ypsilanti Fire Department
One is being recognized for making improvements while remembering to honor tradition; the other is coming to terms with not receiving a grant, causing them to have to let go of some staff. These are AnnArbor.com's picks for a winner and loser in the news last week:
The “old barn” has long stood as a landmark at the southern edge of the University of Michigan Athletic Campus along South State Street, maintaining its dignity amid years of massive renovation and construction around it. But during the past months, it was Yost’s turn at a facelift, as U-M invested $16 million into improvements. Initial community and team feedback signals that U-M took all the right steps. The interior is bright and fresh, the scoreboard is state-of-the-art (and a little whimsical, thanks to the puck design) and the building feels revived — even as the new Yost honors the Michigan tradition by retaining the exterior.
Ypsilanti learned this week that it won’t receive $1.3 million federal grant to maintain fire department staffing - money retiring Fire Chief Jon Ichesco called crucial to his department’s future. YFD is losing three positions this year through attrition, and another four jobs could be on the chopping block for 2014. Those cuts would leave the city with about a dozen active firefighters — about one-third of levels in the 1980s. The city is reapplying for the grant, but the denial of the funding leaves Ypsilanti on the front lines of Michigan’s cash-strapped cities fighting to maintain services.