News

It's a holiday edition of Cinema Chat! Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins joins David Fair to discuss all of the movie offerings, and some pertinent Hollywood news, as well.


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State House expected to take up film credit extension in December

The state House is expected to take up legislation next month that could decide the future of Michigan's film credit program.

The credits will go away in 2017 if lawmakers do not act to extend them. The state Senate passed a bill last month that would keep them alive. Senate Bill 1103 got wide bipartisan support.

It appears the bill will continue to move now that it is in the state House.

Bob Eccles

Local efforts to restore Ypsilanti's historic Freighthouse have entered a new phase.  Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock is calling on the city and local organizations to help finish restoring the building.

Those efforts stalled after a State Historic Preservation Grant fell through.

Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority, city government and other local groups had previously pledged to contribute to the project if the grant was awarded.

Community Action Network
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Local non-profit agencies are working to make sure everyone in the county has a thanksgiving meal to enjoy.  At least one organization has seen more requests for food assistance in recent months.


By Any Means Necessary Rally Against Ferguson Decision
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The decision not to indict the police officer that killed Missouri teenager Michael Brown has led to rallies across the country, including several here in Washtenaw County.  Members of By Any Means Necessary believe racism is a problem in police departments across the nation.


emich.edu

  Professor and author, Christine Tracy, sat down with Patrick Campion to talk about the current state of news.  She teaches Journalism at Eastern Michigan University and authored the book The Newsphere: Understanding the News and Information Environment.  


Next month Eastern Michigan University's Regents will review the school's connection to the Education Achievement Authority created to turn around the state's worst schools.  Student government wants the university to cut ties with the EAA.


Camp Serenity
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A homeless tent community in southeast Ann Arbor will likely be cleared out within a week after the property owner gave police authority to move forward with eviction.  At the camp preparations for the move are underway.


Listen to all of your favorite weekend programs from Saturday 11/22/2014 and Sunday 11/23/2014. This includes full versions of The Roots Music Project, The Groove Yard and The In Crowd with Jessica Webster that are only available online.

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LGBT activists ready to “blow up” civil rights bill if it ignores gender identity

Supporters of adding LGBT protections to Michigan’s civil rights law say they have enough votes in the Legislature to pass a bill before the end of the year. But they say that’s only if Republican leaders take up a version of the bill that includes protections for gender identity.

Barack Obama
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President Barack Obama's executive action protects up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation for at least two years. It's unclear how the local immigrant population will react.


michigan.gov

Michigan is saying goodbye to the MEAP test this coming spring.  Washtenaw County school districts appear ready to roll out the new online Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress, or M-STEP test.

 

Naomi Norman is Executive Director of Achievement Services for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. 

She says M-STEP is more than a bunch of multiple choice questions - students are going to have to answer some questions in writing.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is holding a Bus Driver Job Fair Saturday with a goal of finding 15-20 additional drivers.


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Prison reform activists see opportunity in "lame duck" for legislative overhaul

Bills that seek to reduce prison spending in Michigan seem to have momentum going into the last weeks of the Legislature's 2014 session.

Michigan spends about $2 billion every year on prisons. The legislation seeks to reduce the length of some prison stays and provide more supervision for people after they are released from prison.

Camp Serenity
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor officials have been notified of another tent community for homeless people in the city. Complaints by neighbors may lead to the eviction of the camp on Burton Road near Packard and U-S 23. The handful of tent community residents face a challenge if they need to find a new place to call home. 

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Effort to get LGBT civil rights protections pressing on after setbacks

A coalition of business and civil rights groups is still optimistic state lawmakers this year will make it illegal to discriminate against LGBT people.

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Michigan jobless rate falls slightly to 7.1 percent

More people were looking for work last month, but more businesses were hiring, which helped drive Michigan's unemployment rate to 7.1 percent, the lowest it's been so far this year.

That's one-tenth of a percentage point below where it was a month ago, and one-and-half percentage points below a year ago.

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Judge allows legal challenge to emergency manager law to move ahead

A federal judge in Detroit has refused to toss out a legal challenge to Michigan's emergency manager law. Judge Joseph Caram Steeh will allow a trial on the claim the law violates equal protection rights in the US Constitution.

Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber
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State lawmakers are down to their last nine days of work before the lame duck session ends December 18th.  The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber is calling for a plan to fix the roads, and an update to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.


In response to the death of 40-year-old Aura Rosser, some Ann Arbor City Council members want a review of police policies including the possibility of having officers wear cameras. A local state lawmaker is working on a plan for all police in Michigan to have body cameras.


insurancemarketplace.org

The new open enrollment period for Michigan's Health Insurance Marketplace has begun, and efforts in Washtenaw County are off to a good start.


annarborshelter.org

Washtenaw County is expanding its shelter services this winter.  Starting in January the county will begin operating a second warming center.

The county's shelter services routinely exceeded their capacity last year, particularly during January-March.

Ellen Schulmeister is the Executive Director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County.

She says several local groups have offered to act as the site of the second center.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti renters having trouble with landlords have a new ally.  The Ypsilanti Tenants' Rights Association recently formed to advocate for renters having trouble with issues like harassment, neglect, or landlords who won't perform maintenance requests.

Alex Upham is a member of the Association, which was to introduce itself at Tuesday night's Ypsilanti City Council meeting. 

He says they're asking council to do what it can to help.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Communities across Michigan struggle with homeless individuals, but Washtenaw County officials are dealing with an extra problem.


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An exchange program bringing together educators from Ann Arbor and Singapore is letting the districts learn from each other.  An 11 day visit by teachers from the Southeast Asian island country wraps up Thursday.


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