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Friday, November 22,2013

‘The president’s been shot’

Local, statewide officials recall Nov. 22, 1963, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated

by Bill Castanier
“The president’s been shot.” No words could be more succinct and terrifying at the same time.
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Wednesday, November 20,2013

Rare finds

A roundup of literary happenings in Lansing this week

by Bill Castanier
There’s a room on the fourth floor of the Library of Michigan where about 17,000 books are kept in the dark — for a good reason. It’s the Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room, and among the books protected by what librarian Carol Fink calls “extremely regulated temperature and humidity controls,” is an incunabulum, a rare 1490 edition of the Statham Abridgement of Law (a British law written in French) and a miniature copy of The Gettysburg Address, which — trivia alert — was written 150 years ago this week.
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Wednesday, November 20,2013

VIDEO: Proto-Twitter feed

Lansing Historical Society to host show featuring antique postcards

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Nov. 20 — Before there was Twitter, 100 years ago the nation was atwitter with another kind of communication that forced you to condense your thoughts into bite-sized piece nuggets of information. The penny postcard allowed more than 50 characters sending millions of cards each year via the U.S. Postal Service.
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Wednesday, November 6,2013

Life of pie

DeWitt bakery owner puts out first cookbook

by Bill Castanier
Olympic gold medalist Jordyn Wieber and national pie-baking champion Linda Hundt have more in common than just winning spirits and a shared hometown of DeWitt: One of Hundt’s 52 pie recipes in her new cookbook, “Sweetie-licious Pies: Eat Pie, Love Life” was inspired by Wieber.
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Tuesday, November 5,2013

Unsportsmanlike conduct

Sports writer laments commercialization of college football

by Bill Castanier
Tuesday, Nov. 5 — Sports writer-turned-author John U. Bacon threw a literary touchdown in 2011 with the New York Times bestseller “Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines,” which dissected the broken University of Michigan football program. He’s back covering the game in his new book, “Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football.” On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Bacon will appear at the Schuler Books in Eastwood Towne Center to talk about his book, in which he searches for the ideals of the original game and contrasts them with the contemporary business of college football.
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

Feeding the meter

Lansing Poetry Club celebrates 75 years of ruminations and alliterations

by Bill Castanier
The inspiration for Gary Stephens’ poem, “Meeting, the Challenge,” belies what one might envision as the romantic muse for a poem. There were no beautiful sunrises or sunsets, no pastoral fields of sheep, no fluffy clouds, no quiet rains.
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Wednesday, October 16,2013

Four score

Lansing Historical Society looks at history of local health care, including famous quadruplets

by Bill Castanier
Wednesday, Oct. 16 — The Historical Society of Greater Lansing takes a look back at local health care at a special event on Thursday. In the late 1800s, Lansing hospitals were so bad nobody would go there said Mary Jane Wilson, a local historian and volunteer at Sparrow Hospital for 45 years.
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Wednesday, October 2,2013

'Room for one more friend'

An interview with legendary folk singer Arlo Guthrie

by Bill Castanier
Arlo Guthrie plays the Wharton Center Thursday night at 7:30. The folk legend answered some questions by email about politics, the enduring power of folk music and riding motorcycles at 66.
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Wednesday, October 2,2013

Cooking the books

Two author talks this week incorporate cuisine in uncommon ways

by Bill Castanier
The table is set for a gourmet treat of fine reading from authors who are as different as Little Debbie and Baked Alaska. Jeffery Deaver is among the leading thriller writers in the world; Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, aka “the Beekman boys,” are reality TV stars. All three appear in the Lansing area this week to speak and sign copies of their new books.
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Wednesday, September 18,2013

Spilling secrets

Two Michigan authors write about opening up

by Bill Castanier
What’s your family secret —the one you want no one else to know, the one you’ll take to your grave? Most families have secrets held from even other family members. Maybe it’s a child out of wedlock, a half brother in a faraway country fathered by a G.I. in WWII or a love child with an unnamed father.
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