State Roundup

 Traverse City

Officials want more feedback on sculpture plan 
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — More feedback from the public is needed before plans for a 20-foot-tall U.S. Coast Guard helicopter sculpture can move forward, according to parks and recreation commissioners in Traverse City.
Some members of the commission are concerned that not enough people in the northern Michigan community know the statue would be placed at a downtown intersection, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported Sunday.
“It is very large and it is very prominent. We need to make sure the public is aware of this,” commissioner Gary Howe said.
The brushed stainless steel helicopter sculpture to commemorate the city’s designation as a Coast Guard City was suggested by the Traverse City Coast Guard City Committee. The sculpture’s look is based on a design submitted for a contest by a Traverse City West Senior High School student.
Private donations would cover the estimated $30,000 cost.
The initial plan would place the sculpture in a triangle-shaped park at East Front Street and Grandview Parkway.
“I don’t know if this is the best location,” commissioner Margaret Szajner told the Traverse City Coast Guard City Committee last week. “It is for you, but I don’t know if it is for the city.”
Several redesign proposals that include turning the intersection into a traffic roundabout already are being considered.
Other sites were looked at for the sculpture, but the East Front Street and Grandview Parkway location is believed to be the best spot, said Stan Simmons, Coast Guard City Committee vice chair.
If erected there, the sculpture could be moved if the intersection is redesigned, the newspaper reported.
The sculpture issue is expected to come back before the parks and recreation commission next month. It then could be forwarded to city commissioners for their consideration.
Mount Pleasant
Students study zombies as part of religion course 
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Some Central Michigan University students are studying zombies this semester with a religion course exploring biblical texts and apocalyptic themes in media.
Philosophy and religion faculty member Kelly Murphy always wanted to teach a course on apocalyptic literature, and she is a fan of AMC’s TV show “The Walking Dead.” The result is Murphy’s class, which is called “From Revelation to ‘The Walking Dead.’”
In a university release, Murphy says “thinking about the end and imagining life in a different way is something that humans have always done.”
Murphy’s class will discuss biblical texts; review popular novels; and watch clips from movies like “Shaun of the Dead” and “28 Days Later.” Students also will discuss hypothetical ethical and theological problems people could encounter in a post-apocalyptic world.


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