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WEMU News
4:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

AAATA Rolling Out Transit Improvements Soon

Credit TheRide.org

Next month we'll start to see some of the improvements promised by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority with approval of its .7 mil transit levy.

AAATA says it will begin offering extended hours on many routes starting August 24th. 

It will also start a new route with hourly service between the Ypsilanti District Library and the Ypsilanti Transit Center.

Find a complete listing of transit improvements coming in August online:

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WEMU News
4:38 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Ann Arbor VA Director Says Patient Care Allegations Taken 'Very Seriously'

Credit AnnArbor.VA.gov

The director of Ann Arbor's VA hospital says the facility will continue to cooperate with any and all reviews of the facility.

This comes on the heels of the release of a letter to President Obama from an investigator that says a whistleblower at the facility reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments. 

Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System director Robert McDivitt says any allegations about patient safety are taken very seriously.

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Michigan News
4:35 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Governor Snyder Set To Sign Spending Plans

  Gov. Rick Snyder is preparing to sign Michigan's $53 billion spending plan for the budget year starting in about three months.

     The Republican governor has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon ceremony to sign the $15.8 billion education budget bill on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing. He also may sign the $37.5 billion budget bill that covers all other state spending if it's proofed in time.

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Michigan News
4:33 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Stiffer Penalties For Michigan Drive By Shooters Signed Into Law

   Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws stiffening criminal penalties for drive-by shooters and people who shoot into buildings.

     People who intentionally shoot from a vehicle get up to four years in prison if they endanger another's safety. The laws signed yesterday increase the prison time to 10 years and put in place longer sentences if there are injuries or death.

     The new law also clarifies that shooting into a potentially occupied structure is a crime without prosecutors needing to prove the structure was actually occupied at the time of the shooting.

Michigan News
4:30 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Ann Arbor VA Under Investigation For Unsafe Practices

  A federal investigator says a health care center for veterans in Ann Arbor has not dealt adequately with complaints about unsafe practices.

     The VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System was among facilities mentioned in a letter to President Barack Obama from Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.

     The letter released yesterday says a whistleblower reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments.

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Michigan News
4:29 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Yankee Air Museum Set To Purchase Part Of Willow Run Bomber Plant

 A group working to save part of Rosie the Riveter's old factory says it has signed a purchase agreement for the property.

     The Yankee Air Museum announced yesterday it is moving forward with a deal to buy 144,000 square feet of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant.

     The museum says in a statement that, assuming an upcoming inspection goes well, it will close on the purchase "in a few weeks."

     The Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign has raised millions of dollars in an effort to save part of the factory for use as the museum's new home.

Michigan News
4:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Faygo Founder's Grandson Claiming Age Discrimination

 The grandson of a founder of an iconic Michigan soft drink company says he was fired because of his age.

     Hugh Rosenthal was marketing director at Detroit-based Faygo when he lost his job at age 68 in 2012. He tells the Detroit Free Press there was no legitimate business reason to let him go.

     Rosenthal's lawsuit is in Flint federal court. The Free Press says Faygo vice president Al Chittaro declined to comment.

Michigan News
4:24 am
Tue June 24, 2014

NRC To Discuss Safety Issues At Palisades Nuclear Plant

   The Nuclear Regulatory Commission plans to hold a public meeting this week to discuss the federal agency's safety assessment of the Palisades power plant in southwestern Michigan.

     The NRC announced yesterday the meeting will take place Thursday at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven. Agency staffers will discuss the results of safety inspection findings at Palisades, which is located 5 miles away on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Van Buren County's Covert Township.

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Michigan News
4:23 am
Tue June 24, 2014

NOAA Awards Federal Funds To Protect Michigan Shorelines

 Michigan will receive $2.5 million from the federal government for efforts to protect shore lands and coastal ecosystems, along with public access and recreation.

     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the funding this week to the state's coastal management program. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will administer the grant, which will generate an additional $2 million in state and local spending.

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Michigan News
4:20 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Michigan Challenge Balloonfest This Weekend

 Hot air balloons will take to the skies over Howell this weekend for the 30th annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest.

     The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus reports  that the event takes place Friday through Sunday at Howell High School. Forty-three balloons with Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and Tennessee pilots are scheduled to compete.

     Balloon launch and fly-in times are 6 to 8 p.m. Friday and 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday.

Michigan News
4:18 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Feel Good With Jane Seymour On Detroit Public TV

Jane Seymour is known for her role "Somewhere In Time" which was filmed in Michigan with Christopher Reeves

 

  Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Seymour's new show is filming in the Detroit area.

     The actress isn't working on a new movie or a scripted series, however.

     She's the host of a national 13-part series called "Feel Grand with Jane Seymour" that's being produced by Detroit Public Television.

     Seymour will be joined on the show by medical experts such as author Deepak Chopra and Susan Blumenthal, former U.S. assistant surgeon general.

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Michigan News
7:27 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Office To Help Skilled immigrants Find Work In Michigan

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan welcomes office to help skilled immigrants get jobs

Highly skilled immigrants in Michigan now have a new resource to help them find jobs. The national nonprofit organization Upwardly Global opened a new office in Detroit on Monday.

Upwardly Global says immigrants and refugees often have valuable job skills that are in high demand in the United States. But the group says they often still have trouble finding work because of cultural differences.

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Music
3:02 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

WEMU Remains Committed To NPR, Music And News

During our recent Summer Pledge Drive you probably heard us mention how difficult it is to maintain our mixed format of music and news.  Keeping knowledgeable local hosts on staff, presenting both news and music content and committing ourselves to support the vibrant community and organizations that are represented by that content is most definitely not the easiest path.  

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WEMU News
2:42 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Prepare For Color Run Road Closures Saturday In Ypsilanti

Credit ytown.org

If you'll be driving in the Ypsilanti area Saturday morning, plan on dodging street closures necessary to hold the annual Color Run.

Streets will be closed at 7 a.m. with the 5-K race and walk scheduled to start at 8.  Among the affected streets:

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Michigan News
11:37 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Woman Struck By U-M Bus in Ann Arbor Dies

Credit Dan Bruell / Flickr.com

Police say a 58-year-old University of Michigan employee who was struck by a bus has died.  The Ann Arbor News reports Nancy Sanders was crossing a street on Thursday morning in Ann Arbor when she was struck by the university bus.

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Michigan News
11:20 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Detroit Bankruptcy-Grand Bargain

City of Detroit
Credit Wikipedia

An effort by deep-pocketed philanthropists to save the bankrupt city of Detroit's art treasures culminated today when Michigan Governor Rick Snyder authorized $195 million in state help. The bill signing in Detroit was part of what's dubbed the Grand Bargain. The deal also includes $366 million from foundations and a $100 million fundraising pledge by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

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WEMU News
4:37 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Ypsilanti Historic Homes Tour This Weekend

Credit yhf.org

The Ypsilanti Heritage Foundation Sunday has the chance to show off some of the diverse and beautiful architecture in the city with its annual Historic Homes Tour.

Tour chair Jan Arps-Prundeanu says you've no doubt driven past these homes many times.

"The tour always gives people an opportunity to get to see the inside of some of these beautiful homes," Arps-Prundeanu says.

Some of the homes on this year's tour:

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Michigan News
4:32 am
Fri June 20, 2014

U-M Keeps Undergraduate Tuition Hike To 2.6 Percent

Credit Wikipedia

The University of Michigan has approved a 2.6 percent increase in tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates. 

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Community
4:16 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Skatepark Grand Opening Saturday

Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

Years of planning and fundraising will be worth it for area skaters as they celebrate the grand opening of Ann Arbor's new skatepark tomorrow.  The event will include a demonstration by skating legend Tony Hawk and other professional skaters at 4 PM.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the grand opening of the Skatepark.

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WEMU News
4:15 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Chelsea Takes Preemptive Truck Traffic Action

Credit city-chelsea.org

With the possibility of a mining operation coming to Lyndon Township, officials in Chelsea have taken steps to regulate heavy truck traffic rumbling through town along M-52.

The city has created an M-52 corridor that requires mining haulers and other big trucks to apply for a special permit to use the road. 

Chelsea special legal counsel Gerald Fisher says the restrictions also apply to over-sized vehicles carrying things like manufactured homes and wind turbine blades.

"That operation will be subject to application, review and approval by the city," Fisher says.

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Sports
3:37 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Gray Turf Coming To EMU's Rynearson Stadium

Credit emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University is taking a page out of Boise State's playbook and will play its home football games on a field featuring a unique color scheme.

A state-of-the-art  gray-colored FieldTurf playing surface will be ready for the Eagle's season-opening home game against Morgan State. 

EMU Athletic Director Heather Lyke says the new turf is being paid for with money Eastern gets from host schools.

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Michigan News
4:44 am
Thu June 19, 2014

State Jobless Rate Up Slightly

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan's jobless rate jumps very slightly to 7.5 percent

Michigan's monthly unemployment rate has edged up slightly 7.5 percent. It's a statistically small nudge of one-tenth of a percentage point, and most of the change is attributed to more people looking for jobs.

A one-tenth of a percentage point shift in the unemployment rate represents about 2,000 people, and statistically that's considered virtually unchanged from the month before. The slight bump in the rate is attributed primarily to more people joining the workforce to compete for jobs.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Court Costs May Only Be Ordered For Defendants If Allowed By Legislature

Michigan Hall of Justice.
Credit wikimedia commons

MI Supreme Court: Judges can't impose fines for court costs on their own

The Michigan Supreme Court says judges can't order people convicted of a crime to pay the costs to the legal system -- unless it's been specifically allowed by the Legislature.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Official: Snyder Not To Blame For Home Care Flubs

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Credit michigan.gov

State health director says Snyder not to blame for home care failings

Michigan's top health official is defending Gov. Rick Snyder amid claims his administration put in-home care patients in danger.

A new audit shows the state allowed convicted felons to work with vulnerable Medicaid patients. That includes people convicted of Medicaid fraud and violent crimes including assault and murder.

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Michigan News
4:43 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Expanded Medicaid Enrollment Soars

Credit medicaid.gov

Sign-ups for expanded Medicaid program soar over 300,000

More than 300,000 low-income Michiganders have signed up for the state's expanded Medicaid program.

In just eleven weeks, the Healthy Michigan program has almost reached the sign-up goal for its entire first year. State officials say that bodes well for the success of the program.

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