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Portillo's Food Truck To Visit Ann Arbor This Sunday Night


Morning, Ann Arbor! March Madness officially begins this week. To celebrate, the Michigander is organizing a city-wide bracket challenge!

To submit a bracket, use this link or search “Michigander March Madness” on ESPN or the ESPN Tournament Challenge app.

You have until Wednesday to submit a bracket - may the best Townie win!


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Percent of Ann Arbor Reading: 1.57%


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🥩 Portillo’s Beef Bus: Townies craving a taste of Chicago, buckle up. In a marketing tour to promote their new Livonia restaurant, Portillo’s food truck (Beef Bus) will make two stops in Ann Arbor:

  • This Sunday (March 24) from 4 - 9 pm on the corner of Main & Liberty

  • Next Saturday (March 30) from 11 am - 6 pm at Briarwood Mall

The Beef Bus will serve Portillo’s Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, Italian sausage sandwiches, Maxwell Street Polish sausages, and cheese fries.


⚡️ Home Energy Score: Starting last week, all homes sold in Ann Arbor must provide a Home Energy Score to prospective buyers. Using criteria developed by the Department of Energy, this 1 to 10 rating would inform prospective buyers about the home’s monthly operating costs and energy usage compared to other similar-sized homes. For any townies interested in selling their home, here’s a link to the city website to schedule a free home energy assessment.


📚 AAPS Budget Problems: Due to rising operating costs and a decline in student enrollment, Ann Arbor Public Schools must cut $25 million from their 2024-2025 budget. The district, which serves about 17,000 students, has seen an enrollment dip of 1,123 students over the past four years but an increase of 480 staff members over the past 10 years. To save costs, the district will pursue staff layoffs, implement a hiring freeze, and revisit vendor contracts. As a serious, wide-reaching community story, expect to hear more about this over the coming weeks.


🏀 New MBB Head Coach: After finishing the season on a 9-game losing streak, placing last in the Big Ten, and ending with an 8-24 record, Michigan basketball has decided to move on from head coach Juwan Howard. During Howard’s five seasons in Ann Arbor, the program had an 82-67 record, attended two NCAA Tournaments (2021 & 2022), and claimed the 2021 Big Ten regular-season title. The program will now conduct a national search to find his successor.




🍾 Bottle Recycling Rate: Michigan’s bottle recycling rates have not returned to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, Michigan led the country with an 89% bottle recycling rate, but in 2022, that rate fell to 75.6%. State lawmakers believe grocers’ Covid-era restrictions (only accepting returnables during certain hours and at certain locations) are to blame. House Representatives are looking into legislation that would require stores to accept returnables during normal business hours (matching legislation that Orgeon, the country’s new bottle recycling leader, has in place).


💰  Payday Loans: To protect low-income communities from predatory lending practices, the Michigan Senate has passed a bill that would cap payday loan lenders from charging more 36% interest rate (payday lenders typically charge more than 340% - for reference, credit cards have a 20-25% interest rate). The bill is opposed by payday loan operators who warn they’ll be forced to leave the state, preventing customers from accessing their services. If signed into law, Michigan would join 20 other states with legislature capping payday loan interest rates.


📈 Census Results: According to U.S. census estimates released last week, Michigan’s population grew by a modest 4,000 in 2023 - bringing the state total to 10,037,261 (the 10th largest in the country). While metro Detroit continues to lose residents (Wayne County alone lost 7,773 residents), northern Michigan and West Michigan (especially Ottawa County and Kent County) saw population gains. For a state that has lost 40,000 residents since 2020, 2023’s population uptick is a step in the right direction.



802 Barton Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

2 Bed | 1 Bath | 929 Sqft | $340,000

1912 Dexter Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

4 Bed | 2 Bath | 2,478 Sqft | $534,000

1745 Westridge Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

3 Bed | 3 Bath | 3,504 Sqft | $795,000


Humane Society of Huron Valley

Coco | 6 years | Terrier

Humane Society of Huron Valley

Rocket | 11 months | Domestic Shorthair
That's all for now! Have a great week in Tree Town!
- Andrew

P. S. - Know Ann Arbor better. Subscribe below to get the Michigander emailed to you every Monday morning.

P. P. S. - Nate Bargatze is coming to Pine Knob on June 8. Tickets went on sale last week.

P. P. P. S. - Tomorrow is Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen. I know it’s not local news, but come on - free ice cream is worth reporting on.

P. P. P. P. S. - Just a reminder to submit your March Madness bracket here. Drop the link in a group chat - the more, the merrier!