Taylor Pinson

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The Red Cross has helped several families find temporary shelter after a fire Wednesday night forced them to vacate their homes.


A2Gov.org

Ann Arbor officials are trying to make it easier for  people to communicate with them.

The city's website has been redesigned for improved social media integration and includes a new "A2 Fix It" app that allows people to report potholes, graffitti and other issues from their smart phone or other connected device.

Ann Arbor spokesperson Lisa Wondrash says residents will have an easier time navigating the new website and finding the information they need.

055.housedems.com

Michigan could soon ban gay "conversion therapy" for minors.

State Representative Adam Zemke from Ann Arbor introduced a bill last week that would prohibit health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18.

Sandi Smith is the president of the Jim Toy Center, a resource for Washtenaw County's LGBT community.

She says they are glad lawmakers are moving this issue forward.

Facebook.com/WashtenawCC

Years of effort to bring more students to Washtenaw Community College are starting to pay off.

WCC is reporting an increase of 2 percent in the number of students attending class fall.

It is one of only five community colleges in Michigan to report increasing enrollment for the upcoming semester.

Linda Blakey is WCC's Vice President of Student and Academic Services. She says multiple demographics are seeing a rise in enrollment.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

IBEW Endorses Debbie Dingell

Jul 3, 2014
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."

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.

Nicola's Books Changing Hands

Jul 3, 2014
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.

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.

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.

Washtenaw County Population Growing

Jun 26, 2014
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.

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:

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.

EMU Discusses 2015 Budget At Forum

Jun 12, 2014
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.

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. 

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.

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

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.

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. 

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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