Detroit Zoo’s Water Tower Gets Makeover, a Stevie Wonder Festival, & More Local Headlines

Get up-to-date on the latest metro Detroit headlines including the Detroit Lions’ tribute helmet, legislators work to ban child marriage in the state, and much more.
Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Zoological Society

The Detroit Zoo’s water tower is undergoing a makeover

In celebration of the zoo’s 95th anniversary, the water tower will receive a new paint job that will be complete by late-July or early-August. The design is meant to be a surprise and won’t be revealed until the painting is complete. 

College of Creative Studies to host Stevie Wonder tribute festival

The inaugural “Health, Love & Music Festival: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder” will happen on July 22 and will feature a live performance by Alise King, a gospel choir competition, double-Dutch competition, health demonstrations, food trucks and more. The festival is being spearheaded by Wonder’s first cousin and funds from the show will go to support the Full & Fabulous Curvy Girl Project, which “offers personal development and positive body image resources to young plus-size women.” The former Motown singer and Rock & Roll of Fame inductee was born in Saginaw; he moved to Detroit with his family when he was 4.

Detroit Lions reveal new alternate helmet for 90th season

The blue helmet features the team’s logo from the 1960s, which includes “thick blue and gray stripes behind a thin white lion.” The Lions will only wear the helmet with all-gray alternate jerseys.

Michigan House votes to ban child marriage in the state

The package of bills is sponsored by Rep. Kara Hope and passed in a 104-5 vote, with only Rep. Steve Carra, Rep. Neil Friske, Rep. Matt Maddock, Rep. Angela Rigas, and Rep. Josh Schriver opposing. It moves onto the Senate for approval. If the package passes, no one under the age of 18 will be able to get married in Michigan.

Automated speed cameras could soon monitor motorists in Michigan construction sites

The Michigan House passed a pair of bills to place the cameras in construction zones. The bills must pass the Senate before reaching Gov. Whitmer’s desk. Legislators hope that the bills will make Michigan’s roads safer. In 2022, there was more than 4,300 traffic crashes in work zones that resulted in 16 deaths and 862 injuries to construction workers.

The Roadkill Nights Drag Race Festival is moving to downtown Pontiac

An annual street-legal drag race competition announced it’s moving to a new venue. MotorTrend Presents Roadkill Nights Powered by Dodge will stay in Pontiac but will move from Woodward Avenue adjacent to the M1 Concourse to the corner of Woodward Avenue and W. Pike Street in downtown Pontiac. See the race on Aug. 12.

Michigan House introduces bill that would solidify marriage equality in the state

House Joint Resolution F was introduced Rep. Jason Morgan and would amend the Section 1 of Article X and Section 25 of Article 1 of the Michigan constitution to remove gendered language and codify marriage equality. The resolution has 49 co-sponsors and need to be approved by the House and Senate before going to a statewide vote.

Detroit Concours d’Elegance to return to the DIA this fall

The event, which celebrates the “people and city that designed, built, and drove American car culture,” will run Sept. 22-23, and feature a show field filled with 150 rare vehicles including a ’57 Heaven, a Mopar Magic, a Ferraris from the ’60s, and many others. Plus, special activities related to the auto industry.

Michigan income tax forms could soon include organ donor registration

The option to register made it through the House with “nearly unanimous support,” and has moved onto the Senate. If passed, the question will be presented to 6 million individuals and couples that file income tax returns, combatting the lull in donor registrations caused by less frequent drivers’ license renewal.

New ‘Big Boy’ spin-off is set to open in metro Detroit

The restaurant chain is revamping its brand by creating a fast-food option called Bob’s Big Boy. The new metro Detroit location will open in Farmington and will feature a drive-thru, indoor dining area for 60, and a scaled-down menu with Big Boy classics including the Slim Jim, and the classic Big Boy double-decker.

State democrats remove test for low-income food assistance

The House voted along party lines to approve Senate Bill 35, which will remove the test required to receive SNAP benefits, opening food assistance up to families that may otherwise have been denied. Gov. Whitmer must still sign it before it goes into effect.

New craft brewery to open in Ann Arbor next month

After being delayed by the pandemic, Mothfire Brewing Co. is set to open on Ellsworth Road on July 7. The 6,000-sqare-foot brewery will have 16 beers on tap including a pilsner, and hazy IPA, along with cocktails and a “pizza bus” by the owners of Carrozza Pizza.

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