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WEMU News
12:43 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Washtenaw County Gauging Affordable Housing Need

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County wants to get a better idea of how great the need is locally for affordable housing, and has launched an online needs assessment to help make that determination.

Paul Montagno is the Sustainable Communities Coordinator for Washtenaw County's Office of Community and Economic Development.

He says this survey will be very helpful in providing policy direction.

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WEMU News
6:24 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Ypsilanti Township Approves Truancy Ordinance

Credit ytown.org

If your kid is skipping school in Ypsilanti Community Schools and the Lincoln Consolidated School District, you could be held legally responsible.

Ypsilanti Township has passed an ordinance that holds parents in the Ypsilanti Community Schools and Lincoln school districts legally responsible for their children's chronic truancy.

Under the law, parents of children aged 6-13 who accumulate 10 or more unexcused absences can be punished with fines or jail time.

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WEMU News
4:53 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Better Farming Practices Needed To Avoid Algae Blooms

Satellite image of Lake Erie shows algae blooms.
Credit noaa.gov

If you've spent anytime boating on Lake Erie over the last few summers, you may very well have been diverted by huge patches of algae blooms.

It would appear you'll have the same issue later this summer.

Scientists predict another large toxic bloom will appear on the western side of Lake Erie this summer. The blooms are caused by excessive amounts of phosphorus and other chemicals typically found in agricultural run-off.

Don Scavia is Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan.

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WEMU News
4:51 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Research Park Drive Development Could Include Tennis Courts

Credit a2gov.org

Things could soon look a lot different on Ann Arbor's Research Park Drive near State Street.

City Council has approved a zoning change that will allow the currently vacant land to be developed for mixed-use purposes.

Developers have already submitted a plan for the area that includes an 8-court indoor/outdoor tennis facility as well as two five-story buildings for research, office or limited industrial uses. City Planner Jeff Kahan says the developer's plan for the other lots in the area is less detailed, but will be used for office and research buildings.

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WEMU News
11:20 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Environmental Groups Warn Of Potential Pipeline Problems

Credit nwf.org

Environmentalists are calling for additional safety measures to protect the Great Lakes from a 61 year-old oil pipeline located under the Straits of Mackinac.

A new model created by the National Wildlife Federation and the University of Michigan Water Center predicts Lakes Huron and Michigan would suffer significant damage if the Enbridge-owned pipeline were to rupture.

National Wildlife Federation Regional Executive Director Andy Buchsbaum says a spill there would be a deathblow both ecological and economical to the Great Lakes region.

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WEMU News
3:29 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Ann Arbor Hires Firm To Help Market Library Lot

Credit a2gov.org

The city of Ann Arbor is getting some help in selling the Library Lot property above the Library Lane underground parking garage.

City Administrator Steve Powers says CBRE is a real estate firm with experience in this sort of transaction.

"CBRE will be helping develop with city staff the engagement plan, that engagement with stakeholders, that will be a key part of the process," says Powers.

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WEMU News
5:52 am
Thu July 3, 2014

IBEW Endorses Debbie Dingell

Credit ibew.org

Congressional hopeful Debbie Dingell has been endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Dingell is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 12th Congressional District, a seat currently held by her husband, John Dingell, who is retiring at the end of this term.

Debbie Dingell says she's honored the IBEW has chosen to endorse her.

"They're the backbone of the American economy," Dingell says.  "They represent so much about what's right for our community, and I will be a fighter for them and it means a lot to me that they know I will be."

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WEMU News
5:52 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Diabetes Meds Could Do More Harm Than Good For Some

Dr. Sandeep Vijan.
Credit http://chcr.umich.edu/

Side effects from taking medication outweighs its benefits for some patients with type 2 diabetes.

A new report from the University of Michigan has found insulin and other medications cause more harm than good for low-risk patients, especially those over the age of 50.

Study author Dr. Sandeep Vijan says many of these medications can lead to weight gain and other problems.

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WEMU News
5:51 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Nicola's Books Changing Hands

Credit nicolasbooks.com

Ownership of one of Ann Arbor's biggest independent book store is changing hands.

Nicola's Books has been acquired by Schuler Books, an independent bookstore chain based in Michigan.

Schuler Books spokesperson Emily Stavrou-Schaefer s

ays Nicola's Books' staff and programming will remain largely unchanged and its current owner, Nicola Rooney, will stay on during the transition to ensure everything goes smoothly.

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WEMU News
8:28 am
Tue July 1, 2014

EMU Student Running Cross-Country For Charity

Credit www.facebook.com/compassionintl

A 23 year-old Eastern Michigan University student is running across the country for charity.

Zachary James is trying to raise $15,000 for Compassion International by running from New York City to San Francisco.

He intends to run 33 miles a day, all while pushing a modified stroller containing food, water and other supplies.

James has spent the last two years training daily in preparation for his run.

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WEMU News
4:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Artrain Wins National Recognition For Partnerships

Credit ArtrainUSA.org

Artrain has won the National Parks Service's Midwest Regional and National Partnership Awards.

The recognition is for Artrain and its partners' contributions to the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay.

The memorial is part of the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentenial Commemoration.

Artrain President and CEO Deb Polich says other sites that have won this award include the parks in Yosemite and Gettysburg.

Polich says she applauds the National Park Service for wanting to incorporate art and culture into their work.

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WEMU News
2:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Washtenaw County Population Growing

Credit census.gov

Good new from the U.S. Census Bureau for Washtenaw County.

According to the Bureau, the County's population grew by .87 percent last year, one of the largest increases in southeast Michigan.

Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum says people are drawn to Ann Arbor and the county in general thanks partly to the types of industry available here.

"The other is that Ann Arbor has the national reputation as a good place to live," Kestenbaum says.   

Kestenbaum says Washtenaw County remains one of the economically healthiest areas in Michigan.

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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
8:44 am
Thu June 12, 2014

EMU VP Leaving To Become Dingell Chief Of Staff

Congressman John Dingell.
Credit dingell.house.gov

Eastern Michigan University's Vice President of Government and Community Relations is leaving to take a job as Chief of Staff to retiring Congressman John Dingell.

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WEMU News
8:44 am
Thu June 12, 2014

EMU Discusses 2015 Budget At Forum

EMU's Pease Auditorium.
Credit Bob Eccles

Eastern Michigan University's recently approved $301.9 million fiscal year 2015 spending plan was the subject of a late morning forum.

Chief Financial Officer John Lumm says the budget is fiscally responsible, and will help EMU continue to improve its overall financial position. 

Included in the budget is a tuition increase of 3.2 percent - the maximum allowed by the state for schools wishing to receive funding. 

EMU is also making $4.6 million more in financial aid available, and budgeted for safety enhancements like the hiring of 10 new public safety officers.

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WEMU News
8:44 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Ringleaders Identified In Recent Gang-Related Crime Surge

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has identified three or four individuals believed to be the leaders in a recent rash of juvenile gang-related trouble at the Huron Heights apartment complex on Leforge Road.

Director of Community Engagement Derrick Jackson says a group of mostly middle school to early high schoolers has been mimicking gang behavior, leading to numerous calls for police service. 

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WEMU News
8:43 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Washtenaw County Seeks Public Input On Former Juvenile Center's Future

Credit wikipedia commons

Washtenaw County will seek the community's thoughts on what to do with the former Juvenile Center property on Platt Road.

A consultant will spend the next seven months helping the county decide how to proceed. 

Plans call for a three-day charrette to give the public a chance to weigh in on the future use of the 13-point-five acre parcel, but dates for that workshop have not been set.

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WEMU News
4:24 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Food Gatherers Eyes Need For Summer Assistance

Credit foodgatherers.org

More than 1,800 people came together for Sunday's Grillin' for Food Gatherers fundraiser.

The money generated from the event will be used to help the local non-profit organization combat food insecurity throughout Washtenaw County.

Food Gatherers President Eileen Spring says the money raised from yesterday's event will provide 35,000 meals and snacks between now and September.

Find out more about Food Gatherers online:

http://foodgatherers.org

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WEMU News
4:22 am
Tue June 10, 2014

U-M Study Links Snoring, High Blood Pressure With Sleep Disorders In Pregnant Women

Credit wikimedia commons

A new study from the University of Michigan has found half of pregnant women who snore and suffer from hypertension also have a sleep disorder.

If left untreated, disorders like sleep apnea can result in a variety of health risks for the mother including high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and a higher risk for C-sections.

The study's lead author, Dr. Louise O'Brien, says if a hypertensive pregnant woman snores more than three nights a week she should likely receive further evaluation by a sleep specialist.

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WEMU News
7:16 am
Fri June 6, 2014

News Mixed In Washtenaw County Foreclosure Auctions

Credit wikimedia commons

This year's tax foreclosure auctions are a mixed bag for Washtenaw County.

There are fewer items for auction this year, but the number land parcels has increased. The major cause for the difference is the foreclosure of three incomplete subdivisions, which are being sold as combined items. County Treasurer Catherine McClary says they are still preparing a list of all properties being auctioned but should have it available to the public in coming days. 

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WEMU News
8:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Stage 2 Of Ann Arbor-Saline Road Construction Begins Friday

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Driving around the Ann Arbor-Saline Road area can be like waiting for a slow train, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission begins Stage 2 of its Ann Arbor-Saline Road Improvements project Friday.

Northbound lanes will be closed between the eastbound I-94 on ramp and Eisenhower Parkway.

The southbound lane closures at the Main Street intersection and the south side of Northbrook Drive and Oakbrook Drive will remain in effect.

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WEMU News
8:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Ann Arbor Rotary Offers Scholarship

Credit annarborrotary.org

The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor wants to help a student who graduated from a high school in Ann Arbor - public or private - attend Washtenaw Community College.

The "Service before Self" scholarship awards $1,250 toward fall and winter tuition. 

The application process includes writing a 250-word essay on how the applicant has served others in school or in their community.  The deadline for applying is June 10th.

Find out more about the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor and how to apply for the scholarship:

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WEMU News
6:37 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

EMU Children's Institute To Offer Great Start Readiness Program This Summer

Credit emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University's Children's Institute is launching its first ever summer Great Start Readiness program thanks to a $50,000 grant from Michigan's Department of Education.

The nine week-long program prepares preschoolers for the upcoming school year.

Institute director Chris Finch says early education plays a vital role in ensuring children are prepared for a school setting.

Find out more about EMU's Children's Institute and the Great Start Readiness Program online:

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WEMU News
4:42 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Re-Development Of Powertrain Plant Could Mean 7,800 New Jobs

Credit ewashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County could soon get a major boost to its economy.

The county has applied for a nearly one million dollar federal grant to convert the old GM Powertrain plant in Ypsilanti Township into a research & development facility for connected and automated vehicles.

County Administrator Verna McDaniel says if the grant is approved, it could lead to creation of 7,800 research and skilled trade jobs.

McDaniel says the county should know one way or the other in the next two to three weeks.

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Environment
7:55 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

159 Acres In York Township To Be Preserved By Legacy Land Conservancy

Photo taken at the Creekshead Preserve.
Credit Legacy Land Conservancy

  Legacy Land Conservancy is ensuring parts of York Township remain green for future generations.

The non-profit organization has signed an agreement with Kendall Rogers Farm that will preserve 159 acres of historic farm and forest land and prevent it from being sub-divided or developed for non-farming uses.

Legacy Land Conservancy's Executive Director Susan Lackey says conservation agreements like this one help ensure the community has enough farmland to remain sustainable for generations to come.

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