Taylor Pinson

Ann Arbor Rotary Offers Scholarship

Jun 4, 2014
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:

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:

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.

Creekshead Preserve
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.

facebook.com

One of Washtenaw County's worst roads is about to get a lot smoother, thanks to the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society.

The group has donated $40,000 to help re-pave a half-mile stretch of Huron River Drive.

Washtenaw County Road Commission Managing Director Roy Townsend says the half-mile stretch will be closed and re-paved in August.

The project should take a week to complete.

Find out more about the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society online:

http://www.aabts.org/

And on Facebook:

flickr.com

In another sign of economic recovery, prices for homes in Washtenaw County are rising.

April's average home prices are up 10 percent from the same time last year, but that doesn't mean property taxes will be matching that increase.

County Treasurer Catherine McClary says Michigan law prevents property taxes from being raised by more than 5 percent a year.

McClary says rising sale prices are a good sign for the county, and will make it easier for home owners to get out of an underwater mortgage.

Michigan Hosts Virtual Job Fair Wednesday

May 20, 2014
Bob Eccles

Michigan is using state-of-the-art technology to help people find work without leaving the comfort of their own home.

The state is hosting a virtual career fair Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Joe Quick is the manager of talent programs at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

He says they hope this fair will generate some great connections between employers and qualified talent for these positions.

Here's a link to the virtual job fair:

http://michiganvirtualcareerfair.com

wcroads.org

Washtenaw County's bridges are falling apart, and the Road Commission can't afford to fix them.

The Commission's Managing Director Roy Townsend says around 70 of Washtenaw County's bridge are in need of repairs or other maintenance and another 30 have been labeled "structurally deficient."

Townsend says it would cost the county more than $30 million to replace them.

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is currently considering a 1 mill property tax to fund roadwork.

google.com

Google is partnering with Eastern Michigan University to ensure small businesses and non-profit organizations have the tools they need to thrive in the online world.

twitter.com

Michigan teachers could soon get some tax relief for donating materials to the classroom.

Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin has proposed a bill that would give a tax credit to educators who spend up to $1,000 on supplies for their students.

Irwin says this issue is a symptom of a much larger problem facing public education in Michigan, and shows the state is not doing enough to fund public education.

northern.edu

Eastern Michigan University has a new Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

Wikipedia

Ann Arbor's expanded compost program is proving popular with the community.

Since April, city residents have been allowed to add all plate scrapings to residential composting bins for pick-up.

salvationarmyusa.org

A new store could soon be moving into the old Farmer jack site near the corner of Washtenaw Avenue and Golfside Road.

Ypsilanti Township Planning Coordinator Joe Lawson says several businesses have approached them about the property, but it has remained unused for the last seven years.

"We've been approached by the Salvation Army out of Detroit to purchase the building outright," Lawson says, "and to open a family store similar to the ones located in Ann Arbor and in Canton."

eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County's jail system could soon see an influx of new prisoners.

State Senator John Proos is proposing a bill to limit the number of inmates held in the state's prison system. If passed, it would restrict Michigan's prison population to 38,000, or about 6,000 less than are currently housed in state prisons.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says if the bill is left unchanged, it could lead to overcrowding in county jails.

menards.com

Scio Township is getting a boost to its local economy.

A new Menards store is being built on Jackson Road near Staebler and is expected to open next spring.

Scio Township Treasurer Donna Palmer says the large chain store will likely act as anchor and help attract more businesses to the area.

"The big box stores often have other smaller businesses that surround them if they're in a shopping mall-type area," Palmer says, "so we'll see."

Palmer says the store will help local businesses by bringing more people to the area as well as increasing tax revenue.

wikimedia commons

Washtenaw County officials are urging residents to prepare for tornado season.

Benjamin Pinette is Washtenaw County's Emergency Planning Coordinator.

"Severe convective weather is the number one hazard in Washtenaw County," Pinette says.  "We do have a few different methods in place, specifically when a tornado warning's issued."

Pinette says the county will sound its warning sirens and issue weather alerts on the radio during an emergency.

wikimedia commons

A Republican state Senator's legislation to raise Michigan's minimum wage from $7.40 and hour to $8.15 an hour is drawing criticism from local lawmakers.

Legislation introduced by Rick Jones of Grand Ledge would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees ten cents to $2.75 and hour. 

Democratic State Representative David Rutledge says he'd rather see the minimum wage issue decided by voters, because people recognize fairness.

wikimedia.org

The University of Michigan is creating an institute to study congnitive science, thanks to the generous donation of an alumnus.

Marshall Weinberg is giving the school $7.7 million for the creation of the Weinberg Institute for Congnitive Science. 

Professor Sam Epstein is Director of the institute.

"I personally, and the university, owe a lot to Marshall," Epstein says, "and are indebted to him for his generosity."

mlcv.org

Leaders of states and Canadian provinces that border the Great Lakes have agreed to a mutual aid agreement in which staff and expertise will be shared to fight invasive species like the Asian Carp.

Patty Birkholz is Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  She says working together is good.

"I think it's very important because the Great Lakes belong to all of the Great Lakes region, not just one or two states or provinces," Birkholz says.

heart.org

An Eastern Michigan University student who's been growing his beard for about 20 months is holding a charity "save it or shave it" contest to benefit the American Heart Association.

Ryan Huntington is collecting donations for the May 10th Heart Walk at EMU.  Donors vote on whether he should keep or shave his fourteen-and-a-half inch long beard.  He'll be accepting donations until midnight Wednesday.

"And then we'll be closing donations," Huntington says, "and we'll be contacting people after that, and the reveal is on the 10th."

Twitter.com

  

Ypsilanti Township is taking a tougher stance on truancy.

https://www.emich.edu/ia/digital_divas.html

More than 500 middle and high school girls are coming to Eastern Michigan University for Friday's Digital Diva conference.

Students will have the opportunity to attend sessions on computer repair, computer assisted design software, online security and a variety of other technology based topics.

Digital Diva Chairperson Susan Gregory says they started doing the conference four years ago to encourage women to go into non-traditional jobs.

"Hopefully it then inspires them to pursue a technology degree," Gregory says, "and pursue a career in technology."  

aaps.k12.mi.us

Washtenaw County has some of the best high schools in Michigan, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Ann Arbor Public Schools' Pioneer and Huron High Schools, along with Saline High School, made it into the organization's list of top 20 schools for 2014.

Liz Margolis is Director of Communications for Ann Arbor Public Schools.

wcroads.org

Washtenaw County is suspending the seasonal weight restrictions on its roads Thursday.

The limitations reduced the amount of weight a heavily loaded vehicle could carry by 35 percent per axle.

Washtenaw County Road Commission's Asssitant Director of Engineering Matt MacDonell says the roads are weakened by the yearly spring thaw, and can be damaged by heavy vehicles driving on them.

Laura Heffner

Eastern Michigan University students got some help during final exams week from some four-legged friends Tuesday.

A "puppy room" was established on campus by the college's Pre-Vet Club. The room allowed students to take a few minutes out of their day to play with or pet several puppies brought to EMU by a Grand Rapids-based non-profit animal rescue.

Pre-Vet Club President Elisa Meier says getting students to take a break and play with a puppy is a valuable stress reliever for those struggling with finals.

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