Andrew Cluley

Reporter

 

Like many, I first came to this area when I started school at the University of Michigan, then fell in love with the community and haven’t left. After graduating from U of M in the mid 1990’s I interned at WDET for several years, while also working a variety of jobs in Ann Arbor. Then in 1999 I joined the WEMU news team.

Find Andrew on Google + ⎮ Facebook ⎮ Twitter ⎮

While working for WEMU I’ve covered the Ann Arbor City Council and School Board beats, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti City Council and School Boards and the Washtenaw County Commissioners. Not to mention pretty much everything else in the area. I really enjoy covering local news, partly because it’s so overlooked by other media outlets. In many ways what happens at city hall or in your community school has a bigger impact on your life than what’s going on in Lansing or Washington D-C. I get the chance to track down these important stories and bring them to you every day.

When I’m not at work I love to follow sports, particularly U of M, and Detroit’s professional teams. Saturdays in the fall you can count on me watching Michigan football…and Sundays I’m probably suffering through another Lions debacle.

I also enjoy running and am proud of finishing the 2006 Detroit Marathon. Would love to run another, but I’m holding off until I think I have a realistic chance to complete one in under four hours.

Thanks for listening to WEMU and finding out a little bit more about me.

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Community
11:36 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Sally Hart Petersen Announces She's Running For Mayor of Ann Arbor

Credit Sally Hart/ Facebook

Another Ann Arbor City Council member has announced she’s running for mayor.  Second Ward Council representative Sally Hart Petersen today announced she will seek outgoing Mayor John Hieftje’s position.

Petersen says her combination of leadership experience, skills and interests in the private, public, and non-profit sectors make her uniquely qualified to lead Ann Arbor into its next era of growth and sustainability.  She says in addition to promoting growth, Ann Arbor's next Mayor needs to be a champion of civic engagement which she has done on council through surveying residents on a variety of topics.

Petersen says her top priority will be increasing city services.  She says this will be possible if the private business sector is stronger so more revenues will be available to dedicate to services.

Hieftje announced last year he wouldn’t seek re-election.  So far City Council members Sabra Briere, Stephen Kunselman, and Christopher Taylor have all announced they are running for mayor.

Petersen says she's thought about running for mayor for a long time and Hieftje's decision has really opened the door.

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Community
11:42 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Receives Update on Economic Health

College educated millennials have changed the key to economic development by choosing the location they want to live and then finding a job rather than going where they find a job.  That's the message the President of Michigan Future shared with Ann Arbor City Council Monday night at a work session on the community's economic health. 

Lou Glazer says to attract a larger number of these talented young workers that will then attract businesses the city needs to focus on several issues.  He says this includes high density downtown neighborhoods that are active 24 hours a day and are connected to more public transit options.

Glazer says the number of college educated 25 to 34 year olds has grown by 17 percent across the country since 2005, but has remained constant in Ann Arbor at 16-thousand.   He says Ann Arbor's economic development efforts should match Chicago in being focused on attracting every graduate of all the Big Ten Universities.

He says state policies that have lowered taxes and focused on businesses have hurt efforts to improve the quality of place and fund education which are the keys to attracting young talented people.

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Community
12:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Washtenaw County Looking At Adding Program to Help Businesses Make Energy Efficient Upgrades

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a possible Washtenaw County Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

Washtenaw County businesses may be able to get energy efficiency upgrades without paying for them upfront. 

The County Commissioners later this month will hold a public hearing on a proposed property assessed clean energy or PACE program. 

County Commissioner Conan Smith says he hopes energy saving upgrades can be made soon.  He says if the County Commissioners approve the PACE program this month, plans should be in the pipeline by spring and construction underway during 2014.

Ann Arbor already has a PACE program but their effort includes a pool of public funds, the county's plan will only use private dollars.  Smith says the two programs are complimentary and businesses in Ann Arbor will be able to choose which program best meets their needs.

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Breaking
3:14 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sabra Briere announces intent to run for mayor of Ann Arbor

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on First Ward City Council member Sabra Briere announcing she will run for mayor of Ann Arbor

First Ward Ann Arbor City Council representative Sabra Briere is running to be the next mayor of Ann Arbor. Briere announced she's running in a letter today.

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Community
7:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Looking at Making Improvements to Parking Structure

Ann Arbor skyline viewed from atop the northeast corner of the Fourth & William Parking structure, facing east.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/ Creative Commons

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to improve Ann Arbor's Fourth and William parking structure.

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority officials say users frequently complain about the slow elevator in the city's largest parking structure. 

SEE ALSO: A2 Bike House Getting Good Usage, Program May Expand to Other Parking Structures

The DDA has now hired Carl Walker for preliminary design, schedule, budget and phasing plan for replacing the southwest tower of the Fourth and William Parking Structure. 

DDA Executive Director, Susan Pollay says the goal will be to have a more efficient and attractive elevator and stairs tower.  She says the challenge will be to ensure two elevators and stairs remain open throughout the construction project. 

Pollay says the tower improvements are expected to be only the first upgrades to the structure.  Others may include incubator space on the ground floor, adding electric vehicle charging stations, and a new facade for the structure.

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Community
1:08 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Chair of County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi Not Running for Ann Arbor Mayor

Credit Courtesy photo

The race to be Ann Arbor’s next mayor won’t include the chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. 

Yousef Rabhi today announced he won’t run for mayor this year.  Rabhi says he expects it to be an interesting race, but likely won’t be endorsing any candidate.

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Community
2:21 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Yousef Rabhi Re-Elected Chair of the Washtenaw County Commissioners

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Washtenaw County Commissioners again choosing Yousef Rabhi to serve as their board chair.

The Washtenaw County Commissioners have re-elected the same officers that led the board in 2013. 

Yousef Rabhi was unanimously voted chair of the county commissioners again Wednesday night.  Rabhi says passing a four year budget was a big accomplishment in 2013 and he expects it will give the commissioners time to work on other issues this year.

Rabhi says some of the things he wants to work on this year are efforts to make the county's procurement process more environmentally friendly and better for the local economy, and to work on improving the board and committee structure. 

Alicia Ping was re-elected as vice chair, and Felicia Brabec will again serve as chair of the ways and means committee.

The commissioners also approved their rules and regulations.  One change in board rules is resolutions that are at the regular meeting the same night they are introduced at the ways and means committee will no longer require a two-thirds majority for final approval.  County officials determined this long standing super majority requirement didn't comply with state law.

*Listen to Rabhi's comments in the audio above.

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Ypsilanti
12:40 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Approves Infrastructure Plan for Water Street

Ypsilanti City Council has approved a plan for key infrastructure needs such as streets, water, and sewer lines in the Water Street area. 

Council voted five to nothing Tuesday night to accept the infrastructure plan. 

Mayor Paul Schreiber says the city has now completed a couple of important steps to attract redevelopment to Water Street.  Schreiber says originally the plan was to leave Water Street open for any proposal but he says the city has seen this approach left developers concerned about what could be built next to their project.   He says being able to better define the parcels of land in Water Street should lead to more interest from developers.

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Ypsilanti
12:35 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Approves Thompson Block Planned Unit Development Agreement

Maintenance efforts on the Thompson Block in July 2013
Courtesy Photo

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ypsilanti City Council approving a planned unit development agreement for the Thompson Block.

Ypsilanti City Council has rezoned the long vacant Thompson Block property in Depot Town and approved the planned unit development agreement for the site. 

Council voted five to nothing on the issue Tuesday night. 

 SEE ALSO: Corner Brewery now Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the current plan for the Thompson Block is a bigger and better project than the earlier proposal so it needed to be a planned unit development.  Gillotti adds that the changes include adding residential parking behind the building and streetscape improvements along River Street for cafe seating.

Gillotti explained that the actual building permits will likely be similar however to the previous designs, adding the fire has eliminated a bay window from the front of the building and the entrance for the residential portion of the building has moved from the north side to the east side with the addition of the parking lot.

Gillotti maintains developers have two years to complete a PUD, however the Thompson Block faces a deadline in about 15 months for a finished building under the city's dangerous building ordinance.

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Community
4:01 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Wants More Information As Considering Purchase of Edwards Brothers Property

Edwards Brothers facility on State Street in Ann Arbor
Credit Courtesy photo

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council seeking more information as they consider spending nearly 13 million dollars to buy a South State Street property.

Ann Arbor City Council wants some more information as they consider using their right of first refusal to purchase the Edward Brothers property on South State Street. 

Council Monday night voted unanimously to have the city administrator and city attorney study the issue and identify options to make buying the property financially feasible. 

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Community
3:55 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Responds to Severe Winter Storm

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the local response to the severe winter weather.

A number of shelter and warming centers are open across Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti to help the homeless community deal with the frigid temperatures. 

Ann Arbor City Council Monday night received an update on the community's response to the winter storm. 

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Community
3:49 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor will Charge Developers to Permanently Remove Parking Meters

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor's new policy to charge developers if their project results in parking meters being permanently removed.

With over 100 on-street parking meters removed in Ann Arbor since 2006 and an additional 12 meters pending, city council has approved a new policy dealing with the issue. Council Monday night approved the policy that would charge developers $45,000 per meter permanently removed plus the projected ten year value for the meter. 

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Community
3:44 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Officially Ends Agreement on Fuller Road Station with University of Michigan

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council terminating a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Michigan regarding the proposed Fuller Road Station.

Work hasn't progressed on the proposed Fuller Road Station in over a year and the University of Michigan is instead building a parking structure between Maiden Lane and Wall Street. 

City Council Monday night passed a resolution formally terminating the Memorandum of Understanding with U of M regarding the proposed project. 

City Council member Stephen Kunselman says it's good to tie up the loose ends.

U of M and the city first agreed to the Memorandum of Understanding in 2010.  The proposal however had many critics that say parkland shouldn't be used for a transit center.

— Andrew Cluley is the Ann Arbor beat reporter, and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him acluley@emich.edu.

Education
2:02 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Parents Hopeful for Return of Tuition Based Pre-School

Credit AAPS

As a cost cutting measure Ann Arbor Public Schools closed tuition based pre-school programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary for the current school year. 

A group of parents however have been working with district officials to create a new pre-school program and hope the school board will begin considering the options later this month. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on talks for a new tuition based pre-school program from Ann Arbor Public Schools.

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Community
1:55 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Adding Police Officers

Credit Eastern Michigan University Police

Eastern Michigan University continues to increase efforts to promote safety on campus and off.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Eastern Michigan University adding police officers.

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Community
1:52 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Had A Big Year in 2013, More Growth Expected in 2014

Credit the ride / facebook

With two new member communities and a name change, 2013 was a big year for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority.   

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's big changes in 2013, and what could be in store this year.

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Community
4:31 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Parking Plans for Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to find parking for over 100,000 hockey fans attending the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

New Year's Day will be more than just recovering from the party the night before for much of Ann Arbor, as over 100,000 hockey fans are expected for the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. 

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Arts & Culture
1:33 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Ann Arbor Events Planned for New Year's Eve and Prior to Winter Classic

 Over 100,000 hockey fans are expected for the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on New Year's Day when the Detroit Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Plenty of excitement is also scheduled in Ann Arbor leading up to the New Year and the big game. 

SEE ALSO: Ann Arbor to Put Proceeds from Sale of Y Lot In Affordable Housing Fund

 

While Ann Arbor is often a sleepy town New Year's Day, the Winter Classic game at Michigan Stadium is bringing thousands to the city.  This has many restaurants and businesses that would typically remain closed planning to be open January 1st.

There also are some extra events scheduled on New Year's Eve.

Main Street will be closed all day December 31st, from Huron to William in preparation for the Puck Drops Here event.  The event starts at 8pm  when a 10 foot wide metal Hockey puck that will be dropped at midnight is lit.  There will also be live music from eight until two, including former Ann Arbor resident, Michelle Chamuel who appeared on The Voice.

Earlier in the day Noon Year's Eve events are planned at the Farmers Market and Briarwood Mall so kids can celebrate the New Year's without staying up until midnight.

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Education
1:29 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Looking at New Federal Guidelines on Food Sales in Schools

Credit USDAgov / Foter.com / CC BY

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board looking at what they need to do to prepare the district for new federal guidelines on food sold in schools.

Ann Arbor Public Schools next month will be looking at what changes are necessary to prepare the district for new federal guidelines on what food can be sold during the school day. 

The new rules begin July 1st. 

They require the first ingredient of any food sold in schools be a whole grain, fruit, vegetable, or protein. 

SEE ALSO: Ann Arbor Schools To Roll Out Enhanced Security Measures

 

School Board President Deb Mexicotte says the new rules will put some limits on what is available, but doesn't eliminate all snacks. Mexicotte adds, that it doesn't affect food brought to school by students or parents.  The new rules also end 30 minutes after the school day so concession stands at evening events don't have to adhere to the guidelines.

Mexicotte believes the school stores, vending machines and fundraising efforts will face the biggest challenge from the new rules.  She says Chartwells has been planning for the new requirements for some time so the food available in cafeterias should be able to meet the new rules.

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Education
8:43 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Developing Report from Listen and Learn Tour

Credit AAPS

While students are out of the classroom for the winter break, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift is working on a report from her  four months long Listen and Learn Tour. 

Swift attended about 90 meetings including one in every school in the district to get feedback on the common themes and patterns that are concerning the district.  Swift says her report should serve as a good outline of issues that the district needs to tackle.

Swift says she expects about a half dozen issues the district will be able to tackle immediately, while many others may take years to fully address. 

Swift says the Listen and Learn tour also served as a valuable way for her to get to know about the unique story behind each neighborhood school.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

 

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Eastern Michigan University
2:22 am
Thu December 26, 2013

EMU Endowment Grows to Largest In School History

Eastern Michigan University's Endowment has grown from about $36 million in 2009 to about $64 million  currently, the largest endowment in the school's history. 

Last year's return on investment was over 15-percent and they have averaged annual returns of over eight percent over the last 20 years. 

Laura Wilbanks is the Chief Financial Officer of the EMU foundation.  Wilbanks says in the last few years they've limited the costs and percentage of endowment spent annually on scholarships and other gifts.  She says the actual dollars spent from the endowment however can increase as the endowment grows. 

Wilbanks says the strong investment return is a result of aggressive investments in the stock market, limited exposure to alternative investments and being dilligent on rebalancing the portfolio.

EMU also successfully completed the Invest, Inspire Fundraising campaign a few years ago.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

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Arts & Culture
8:26 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, Will Get City Funding Help

Scenes from the Art Fair
Credit The Ann Arbor Street Fair, The Orginal

The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original has been running at a financial deficit the last few years. Event organizers put the annual losses at a range from $5,700  to $8,000. 

Ann Arbor City Council  is dedicating $10,000 to it's community events fund to help cover anticipated losses in 2014. City Council Member Christopher Taylor explains that the unique importance of the art fair makes it worth supporting.

SEE ALSO: The Shadow Art Fair Set To Make Its Last Stand

Overall, the city charges the four art fairs about $60,000 for barriers, extra safety services, and trash removal.  $8,000  is paid by the original art fair.  This fair also pays rent to the University of Michigan and has limited sponsorship options because it's located on campus.

Christopher Taylor also says that the the other three art fairs haven't requested funding from the city, but did write in support of the original art fair receiving assistance.  He says the unique importance of the art fair to the city makes this investment worthwhile and doesn't serve as a precedent for funding other events.

Listen to Andrew Cluley's full report.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

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Community
2:44 am
Tue December 24, 2013

A2 Bike House Getting Good Usage, Program May Expand to Other Parking Structures

Credit Ann Arbor Downtown Development Athority

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the success of Ann Arbor's Bike House that opened in the Maynard Street Parking Structure earlier this year.

The success of Ann Arbor's bike house inside the Maynard Street Parking Structure has officials with the Downtown Development Authority and the Get Downtown Program considering putting another one in other parking structures. 

The enclosed and covered bike house opened in May with space for 30 bikes in what had been two parking spaces. 

GetDowntown Program Director, Nancy Shore says the feedback they've gotten from users of the bike house is that it's another valuable option to get to work.  She adds that they've also heard that some people that occasionally used a bike to get to work are doing so more frequently now that they have a safe place to store their bike out of the elements. 

Shore says the bike house gets the most use from nine-to-five, primarily from people who work in the State Street area.

Community
1:48 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Ann Arbor Police Making Staffing Assignment Changes to Improve Efficiency

The Ann Arbor Police department won't be getting any new officers in January. But, a couple of assignments are changing.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on changes coming for the Ann Arbor Police Department based in part on data collected through electronic patrol activity logs.

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Local News
3:58 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Christopher Taylor Running to be Ann Arbor's Next Mayor

Another Ann Arbor City Council member is seeking outgoing Mayor John Hieftje's job.
Third Ward Democrat Christopher Taylor today announced he's running for mayor in 2014.

Stephen Kunselman who also represents the third ward on council has already announced he's running, while Hieftje has said he won't seek re-election.

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