• Marisa Schultz and Nathan Hurst, DETROIT NEWS STAFF WRITERS

    Candidates hoping to win a seat in Congress are hitting the final stretches of the campaign hard this weekend, reaching every corner of Michigan to pick up last-minute support.

    The candidates will be knocking on doors, airing new TV spots and urging voters to get to the polls. Except in the safest of Democratic districts, this year's contests are considered the Republicans' races to lose.

    Anti-incumbent sentiment and tea party-driven discord combined with the GOP's healthy leads in statewide races is giving candidates optimism that they can help flip the U.S. House of Representatives to Republican control.

    Democrats in five tight races are urging those leaning toward voting for Republican Rick Snyder for governor to split their ballots. Snyder has picked up support from Democrats and independents, and party officials hope the ticket-splitting push will cut short any coattails the Ann Arbor businessman might have.

    Read More »from Michigan congressional races go down to the wire
  • Angelique S. Chengelis, DETROIT NEWS STAFF WRITER

    How seriously is Penn State's Evan Lewis taking his scout-team assignment this week simulating Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson?

    "They let him wear a wig with some dreads on it," Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti said with a chuckle Wednesday during a teleconference.

    Robinson, who wears his hair in long dreads pulled back under his helmet, is second nationally in rushing, averaging 156.5 yards a game, and is second in total offense (345 yards).

    The Wolverines, who were off last Saturday, play at Penn State on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Beaver Stadium.

    Penn State linebacker Chris Colasanti said Lewis was given the wig on Tuesday for practice.

    "I guess they want us to get the whole visual," Colasanti said.

    Penn State is preparing for Robinson using a few scout-team players, including Lewis. But freshman quarterback Paul Jones is simulating Robinson's throwing, Mauti said.

    "He does a real good job," Mauti said of Evans. "He's a

    Read More »from Penn State wigs out in effort to simulate U-M’s Denard Robinson
  • Molly Abraham, SPECIAL TO THE DETROIT NEWS

    Twenty Detroit-area restaurants have been named among "America's Top Restaurants" in the 2011 edition of the influential national Zagat guide. The slim maroon book, which rates 1,552 restaurants in 45 major cities, arrives in bookstores today.

    The rankings represent the opinions of ordinary diners who register on Zagat.com to comment about the food, decor, service and cost of restaurants selected by editors of Zagat, one of the best known but most mispronounced names in the world of restaurant ratings — zuh-GAT (rhymes with cat) is the way to say it.

    "Anyone who is passionate about food can be one of our surveyors," says Tiffany Herklots, communications director at Zagat.com. The 2011 guide ($15.95) represents a cross-section of the views and comments of more than 153,000 diners who have visited the restaurants they vote for in the past year.

    Ten Detroit area restaurants achieved the top tier ranking of 28, 27 or 26 points out of a

    Read More »from Diners choose 20 Detroit-area restaurants for 2011 Zagat guide

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  • Under radar Wawrinka happy to discuss the F-word

    By Greg Stutchbury MELBOURNE (Reuters) - For someone who is the defending champion at Melbourne Park, Stan Wawrinka is remarkably upbeat about the lack of focus falling upon him. The 29-year-old Swiss advanced to the fourth round of this year's Australian Open with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen on Saturday and what most people wanted to ask him was 'what about Federer?' "Go for it. Roger?," a grinning Wawrinka said in his post-match media conference when one journalist broached the F-word. Wawrinka had watched most of Federer's match against the 46th-ranked Andreas Seppi on Friday and like virtually everyone else in the tennis world had been surprised at his shock loss.

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