Taylor Pinson

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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."

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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.

Some bankruptcy experts said that it now appears increasingly unlikely that creditors will be able to get their hands on the city-owned art collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

flickr.com

Detroit's emergency manager is thinking about privatizing the city's water and sewerage department, which provides water for the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority and scores of other communities in southeast Michigan.

YCUA Director Jeff Castro says the proposal is still in negotiations, but could have a local impact.

"The local suburban communities might not have as much say in certain aspects of the Detroit water and sewer system as we do today," Castro says.

stjoeshealth.org

St. Joseph Mercy Health System's former 24-hour emergency care facility in Saline is now a 12-hour-a-day urgent care facility.

The health system made the switch because the number of patients during off hours didn't support a 24-hour operation. 

Health system Chief Operating Officer Robin Damschroder says urgent care hours at the facility on Russell Street are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"There's also going to be phlebotomy lab draw and general x-ray services available approximately those same hours," Damschroder says.

emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University hosted one of the state's largest teacher job fairs Wednesday.

Representatives from dozens of schools were on hand to interview the hundreds of prospective teachers searching for a job.

Joshua Kay is looking for his first teaching job. He says coming to the job fair was very helpful.

"Todays job fair is a good opportunity for some experience," Kay says, and to meet representatives from different school districts looking to hire teachers.

Donald E Shelton

  Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald Shelton announced yesterday he will be stepping down from the bench as of September 1. The University of Michigan - Dearborn has appointed Shelton Director of the Criminal Justice Program.

Eastern Michigan University has chosen NEPC to manage the school's $58 million endowment fund. The firm was chosen from nine companies that responded to a request for proposals in November. 

778 Rosie the Riveter lookalikes came together Saturday to smash the Guinness World Record requirement and make it into the history books. The Yankee Air Museum, Michigan Aerospace Foundation and Save the Bomber Plant campaign attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the "most Rosie the Riveters in one place" in October 2013.

Scientists and policy makers are descended on Ann Arbor Wednesday to focus the numerous challenges facing the Great Lakes.

The two-day conference is being hosted by the University of Michigan Biological Station and will focus on declining water levels and the effect of climate change on the Great Lakes.

Howard Lerner is the Executive Director of the  Environmental Law & Policy Center of Chicago, the group responsible for organizing the event.

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