Hey, it’s Jer.

Checking in on ya. Doing well? Not doing well? I’m with you.

Let’s start with a good news story.

The other day I was grabbing Galaba at Yemen Cafe and while waiting for my order I walked over and checked on the progress at Hamtramck Stadium.

See, this corner of metro Detroit has some cool history behind it. It’s the still-standing home of the Detroit Stars baseball team. They played ball in the segregation era, from 1919-1931. Their other field, Mack Park, is now a housing development. But this place? It still stands and is worth saving.

The Friends of Hamtramck Stadium are doing just that. Between a new infield and a grandstand renovation in the spring, things are looking up.

The latest is that the Hamtramck City Council just approved the name Norman “Turkey” Stearnes Field. That’s exciting as he’s a Hall of Fame centerfielder that deserves recognition.

You can follow the Friends of Hamtramck Stadium here.

Former Macomb County Prosecutor Pleads Guilty

Former Macomb County Prosecutor Eric J. Smith has pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice.

It’s part of a deal with the Detroit U.S. Attorney’s office as he was being investigated for allegedly using more than $50,000 in campaign funds for his personal use.

Here’s how it worked, according to the Macomb Daily.

Over seven years, Smith allegedly wrote checks totaling $55,000 from campaign funds to a friend for rent payments of a property his friend owned.

But instead, authorities allege the checks were cashed at the bank by his property owner friend and kicked back to smith for his personal use.

And the obstruction charge is tied to smith allegedly telling his staff to lie to investigators around his spending.

This isn’t the only thing officials were looking into Smith about. He’s also has been under investigation for misuse of county forfeiture funds.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office had filed 10 criminal counts as part of a year-long probe.

At the time they said they found that - along with two other defendants - Smith had bought a security system for his house, garden benches for staff homes, country club catering, makeup and flowers for certain secretaries, and more.

Smith resigned his post as Macomb County Prosecutor at the end of March. Right now it's not clear how much time he'll serve, but it could be up to 20 years.

Although with this kind of deal that’s not likely.

Bye Bye Bagel, Farewell FitnessWorks

A beloved bagel spot has shuttered its doors. The Detroit Institute of Bagels will bagel no more, according to a report by Eater Detroit.

Between coronavirus concerns, a truck knocking out power ruining product, and some personal clarity around what co-founder Ben Newman wanted to do going forward, after seven years he decided to pull the plug.

The business is up for sale for between $300,000 and $600,000 depending on if you want the brand and recipes; and the building? A cool $1.6 million. Which would be quite the number for the Corktown area.

Ironically, they had just been approved by the city for a large expansion plan just before the pandemic hit.

I personally will miss the bagel spot. They had great spreads and bagel breakfast sandwiches. I was living nearby at the time, and it was great to have a spot like that a short bike ride away.

Also, there’s word that FitnessWorks, a gym that had been serving Detroiters for nearly a quarter century, has closed.

They made the announcement on social media. Henry Ford Health System is going to repurpose the space for their operations; and they’re working to find members new places to go.

Drive-In Dining Is Back In Style

Karen Dybis wrote a great piece on Chevy Detroit about one of my favorite things, the drive-in restaurant. Here’s a link.

Turns out there are quite a few still around, including Daly Drive-In in Livonia. Go figure, I’m partial to the name.

And they’re perfect for these pandemic times. We talk about a few favorites (including mine that’s quite a bit away… Clyde’s in the U.P.).

Have a listen to our conversation on the pod, about five and a half minutes in.

Detroit City Finishes The Regular Season With A Draw

Detroit City FC finished their regular season with a 0-0 tie. It’s not been their best year, but has it for any of us?

Fletcher Sharpe talks about the game and previews the playoffs.

We also get into the Tigers and their 19-0 blowout as well as the Detroit Lions picking up Adrian Peterson. Have a listen about 12 and a half minutes in.

We Might Have Our Eyes On The Wrong Ball When It Comes To Elections

This week I had an interesting conversation with Steve Friess. He’s the news and features editor over at Hour Magazine (among other hats he wears), and he recently wrote about election security in Michigan.

In our conversation, this caught my attention:

People should be very aware that there are vulnerabilities in the election system, they just need to be aware that the vulnerabilities are not the stupid stuff that they’re hearing about.

Like it’s not the mail in ballots. I mean, there could be a problem with a set of mail and a ballot, but more likely more dangerously … it is foreign entities doing things like hacking into voting registration systems, so they can make it difficult for people to vote.

You show up on election day or you mail in your ballot and then the ballot is checked, and it turned out that somebody has changed your signature so they throw out your ballot. Those things can happen or they cancel your registration and then yours is invalid; or it’s listed as provisional. And that kind of thing is extremely dangerous.

And we know that foreign entities, attempted in some cases actually got into some voting registration systems in the 2016 election.

It makes me think about how we get into these social media frenzies about getting points on the topic of the day, but what really matters gets missed.

Have a listen to my full conversation with Steve here.

So thanks for reading this today. A couple quick things.

First: Thanks to Kate who became a member with our new bourbon glass tier. One of them is pictured above, we have them in stock.

Patrons make sure that this podcast and newsletter that goes with it stays free for all. It’s made a huge difference as underwriting and sponsorship hasn’t been as much of a thing during the pandemic. So if you can, think about joining us here.

Second : A reminder that our daily podcast is in all the places including Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

Alright, that’s all for tonight. Time to go walk to the dogs. Take care, and I’ll see you around Detroit.

Or next newsletter. Whichever comes first.


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