Tag Archives: Kalamazoo

A Stinky Affair: Kalamazoo Plugs its Nose for New Ordinance

Business and community members in Kalamazoo say a new ordinance stinks; literally.

City leaders recently voted to put forward “equitable changes” that decriminalize public urination, defecation and littering in addition to other offenses. The move has caused backlash, most notably from business owners in the city center that have had to clean human waste from doorsteps and other publicly used areas. While human waste is certainly a pressing and even dangerous situation, littering has also increasingly become a problem as the city combats issues related to homeless in the area.

Kalamazoo follows other cities, which have taken similar actions; most notably New York City, which eased laws regarding public urination and drunkenness.

While these issues will be shaken out over the remainder of the summer, Cherri Emery, a business owner in Kalamazoo, explained in a recent interview that the trouble extends far beyond waste and trash.

She told Fox & Friends First, “It’s not just the urination part of it. The part of it that’s really upsetting to us is people approaching other people, people following some of their employees to their cars and asking them for money, and when they get to the car, and they’re still not giving them money, we had one guy that started throwing rocks at their cars.”


Final Minutes Swing in Favor of Toledo at Western Michigan

Saturday marked the first of several must-win games for teams battling to clear their way into the MAC tournament when the Toledo Rockets (12-14) came to Kalamazoo, MI in a face-off with the Western Michigan Broncos (11-15).

Each squad looked to gain a victory in what was sure to be a close contest. Toledo won the previous meeting in January 67-59 and things followed that track again on Saturday. Toledo came into the game with a strategy that seems to be at the heart of beating the Broncos and helped bring them the victory a month earlier: Stop Michael Flowers.

The junior guard, who recently eclipsed 1000 career points a week ago at EMU, is the Broncos most consistent scoring threat and part of a powerful inside-out offensive duo with redshirt junior, Brandon Johnson, who have each topped 400 points so far this season (double that of any other scorer on the team).

Toledo’s strategy seemed to be working in the early going, keeping things stuck in a back and forth contest that had 12 lead changes in just the first half. Western was able to gain small leads, but the defensive focus paid to Flowers kept him off the scoreboard much of the afternoon and he finished with just 7-points.

On the other end, Toledo finished with five players in double figures and were led by Willie Jackson (19 pts & 10 reb) who netted a double-double and passed Luke Knapke in the scoring column with several late-game free throw visits. Spencer Littleson also made things interesting for the Rockets, engaging in a game-within-the-game tiff with Flowers that got chippy as the game went on. Littleson also made an impact on the offensive end with two steals that led to back to back breakaway dunks.

Things were not without a glimmer of hope for WMU, however, as junior guard Rafael Cruz Jr. stepped up in a big way in just his second start of the season. Cruz led the Broncos on Saturday with a career-high against Division 1 opponents of 21 points. His biggest moments of the afternoon came when the Broncos needed him most. Cruz hit back to back 3-point buckets to pull Western within striking distance in the final minute. Toledo was able to hold the Broncos at bay with solid shooting from the charity stripe and stretch the lead out one last time with a final score of 68-59.

The Toledo Rockets improve to 12-14 as they look to hit .500 before season’s end and Western Michigan drops to 11-16. Western closes the season with games against Ball State, Northern Illinois, senior night against Eastern Michigan and regular season finale at Central Michigan.

The Broncos will need Cruz to continue his ascent into a primary scoring option if Western Michigan is going to get back on track this season.

Rivalry Week Ends with CMU Victory Over WMU

The Greeks & Persians, Frazier & Ali, Red Sox & Yankees… While Central Michigan vs. Western Michigan may not seem like a worthy addition to this list, to those who have ties to either school will certainly disagree.

The triad of Mid-American Conference Michigan schools (Central, Eastern and Western Michigan) have a heated rivalry that dates back a century with the resurrection of Western Michigan University. Eastern Michigan boasts being the oldest of the three schools, founded in 1849, but its cousins have made up for lost time in the century-plus of their existences and we have all benefited from the rivalry that ensued over the decades, though the in-state rivalry didn’t get started on the hardwood until 1975.

In that time, the Broncos have managed a 17-27-1 record in men’s basketball against the Chippewas.

Saturday gave us another great matchup in the rivalry as both teams looked to make moves in Mid-American Conference play.

The Chippewas have struggled mightily on the road this season, going just 1-7 in contests outside the friendly confines of McGuirk Arena in Mt. Pleasant.

On the other end of the court, the Broncos have been largely successful on their home court, going 7-2 at University Arena this season.

The Broncos would be disappointed if they hoped CMU’s homesick blues would carry over into their game on Saturday. From the onset, CMU seemed intent on establishing that this game would be a departure from their road woes and be more indicative of their overall success as of late.

The Chippewas played a physical first half, but Western Michigan was able to keep things from getting out of control for much of the first half. However, CMU proved too much and was able to take a comfortable 7-point lead into halftime, 41-34.

Western Michigan came out of halftime on a mission and a plan at making things competitive down the stretch. They did just that.

Broncos began to drop shots and get the ball into the paint, which in turn, began creating opportunities from behind the arch. WMU used the three ball to pull the game within reach several times in the final minutes, but clutch free throws by the Chippewas kept things from ever feeling in danger of slipping.

And it wasn’t as if WMU didn’t apply pressure. The Broncos rained down threes in the final minutes with startling precision, but the Chippewas unrelenting free throw proficiency sealed the game. The pair of teams each notched 44-points in the half, which carried over the 7-point first half differential and gave the Chippewas a much needed 85-78 road win.

Western Michigan Hockey Dominates Colorado College for Second Straight Night

The weather outside was frightful. Vehicles were piling into ditches, snow was piling into large drifts and the Western Michigan Broncos were piling goals on the scoreboard.

WMU kept things rolling on Saturday night with the second straight victory over the visiting Colorado College Tigers at Lawson Ice Arena.

The Broncos controlled the puck for most of the night and managed to hold the Tigers at bay by forcing quick turnovers when they managed to get things past the Western blue line. The lack of offensive possession gave the Broncos ample opportunity to put the puck on net and led to a 6-2 victory in front of the packed and rowdy home crowd.

No Bronco was more responsible for the night’s scoring spree than senior forward Dawson DiPietro who netted three goals in his first collegiate hat trick. Other goals were scored by Wade Allison (who was also managed 3 assists), Hugh McGing and Brett Van Os. Austin Rueschhoff also aided in the Bronco attack with a pair of assists.

The Broncos improved to 9-9-4 on the season and Colorado College drops to 8-11-1 after their back to back losses in Kalamazoo.

The Broncos take the ice next Friday and Saturday against visiting St. Cloud State University (8-10-4) at Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, MI.

Western Michigan Men Battle Back in Final Minutes for Victory over Kent State

Taking the court just after the WMU women lost the lead and the game in the final minutes to in-state rival Central Michigan, the Bronco men got set for a showdown with Kent State and looked to flip the script in game two.

Flip the script they did. While the first game saw a late comeback for the away team, the second game of the doubleheader gave fans the exact opposite storyline. The comeback seemed a desperation play by the Broncos who had gone 1-4 since Christmas and needed to regain momentum as they hope to make moves before the MAC conference tournament to be held in Indianapolis in just over a month.

The Broncos battled for the first 20 minutes and even included a rare four point play by junior guard Rafael Cruz Jr. that dropped through the bottom of the net as he was dropped just outside the corner baseline as cameras flashed around the product of Chicago, IL. Though the Broncos took a narrow 30-25 lead into the half over the Golden Flashes, Kent State came out of the locker room with renewed pep in their step and the Broncos began to look outmatched in the second half with the game slipping through their fingers. Things began to look increasingly grim as time waned and momentum had shifted completely in favor of the away team.

However, that is when the Broncos kicked things into gear on the back of several big plays with juniors Cruz Jr., Brandon Johnson and Michael Flowers lighting things up from the floor. The scoring spree was not enough on its own, but Western coupled the offensive hot streak with increased energy and momentum on the defensive end to begin shutting down Kent State’s scoring altogether with their last field goal dropping through with 4:37 to go in the game. In total, Kent State held the lead or tie for over 30 of the 40 minutes, but the final seconds were all WMU needed. Johnson would eventually seal the game with big free throws that ensured the comeback was complete, giving the Broncos a much needed 67-63 victory at home.

Western Michigan now enters a crucial phase of their conference schedule that pits them against juggernaut Buffalo University on the road before other middling conference squads Northern Illinois, Central Michigan and Miami Ohio.

Central Michigan Downs Western Michigan with Huge 4th QTR Comeback

Central Michigan came into University Arena in Kalamazoo, MI riding high after an incredible dominating performance against MAC perennial power, Ball State. The hardwood at Read Fieldhouse has been very friendly to the Broncos as they’ve managed a 5-1 record at home this season and struggled on the road.

Less than a week after CMU’s statement win over the Cardinals, the Chippewas made the trip south and knew they were in for another test against the rival Broncos. Both teams have had great runs so far in the 2019-2020 season and Saturday was a test of which team would grab control of their own destiny going into the back half of the conference schedule.

If the Chippewas thought they were in for another cruise to victory, the Broncos had other plans. Western led most of the way and seemed to be in firm control of things until a late run by the Chippewas eventually overtook the Broncos and put them on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the first time all afternoon.

The Chippewas maintained command of the lead until the final horn in a final minute blitz that stunned fans cheering on the home team.

One thing was made clear on Saturday. The Chippewa’s championship pedigree can manifest in their ability to close out blow out victories without letting off the gas and remain composed in the face of significant opposition under pressure. Both instances provide a glimpse at what years of conference success can do for a team that refuses to become complacent. The feat is even more impressive as the Chippewas are managing their continued success without missing a beat under first year coach, Heather Osterle. The Chippewas will look to continue rolling against in-state rival Eastern Michigan, Toledo and Buffalo to close out their January schedule.

Western Michigan finds themselves facing down a difficult loss that seemed in hand for most of all four quarters against the odds-on favorite to win the MAC for a third straight season. Sitting at 10-6 (3-2) the Broncos have three important games against struggling Bowling Green, Akron and Miami OH in the coming week before facing Ball State on February 1. These games will say a lot about what can be expected the rest of the way for the Broncos.