Ann Arbor

Last Minute Tax Rush

Apr 14, 2014
H&R Block Office in Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Tuesday's the deadline to file your taxes and plenty of people are still finishing, or just starting their paperwork.   

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
Courtesy Photo / Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County communities that contract with the Sheriff’s department for policing will likely see one percent increases in their bills in 2016 and 2017.  The County Commissioners vote on that proposal this week, but Sheriff Jerry Clayton is calling for a larger conversation on how law enforcement is funded. 

Clayton doesn’t believe the current model is sustainable.  He thinks a county-wide model could be designed to work for communities that contract with his department and those that have their own police departments.

Ann Arbor's Main Street
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Despite all of the snow this winter, the sidewalks along Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor remained easily passable for pedestrians.  That’s thanks in large part to the Main Street Business Improvement Zone, an effort where property owners have voluntarily agreed to pay more taxes for a variety of services. 

Ed Shaffran is President of The Shaffran Companies and chairman of the Main Street BIZ.  He says next month property owners on some neighboring streets will vote to see if the BIZ will expand.

Michigan Stadium
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Fans interested in attending the Manchester United-Real Madrid game at Michigan Stadium will likely need to turn to the secondary market if they don't have tickets yet.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Administration Building
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials say they are pleased with the number of schools of choice and young fives applications the district received.  The exact number of applicants won’t be released until next week after all of the applications have been processed and seats are filled.  

Director of Communications Liz Margolis says they have to let parents know by Tuesday or Wednesday the status of applications.

Standard and Poor’s has lowered the Ann Arbor Public Schools credit rating from AA-Plus to A-Plus.  The downgrade came after the district used more reserves than originally anticipated this fiscal year. 

Communications Director Liz Margolis says it’s the second downgrade in the last couple of years, but they shouldn’t continue.

In a statement Superintendent Jeanice Swift says they have in place a solid financial plan to improve fiscal stability.  Swift highlights efforts to increase revenue through attracting more students while also taking steps to decrease expenditures without reducing services for students.  She believes these moves will help the district begin to rebuild fund balance within a reasonable time.

According to Margolis efforts to increase enrollment appear to be working and the district should be able to increase fund equity next year.  She believes this combined with contract concessions the district is working on should lead to higher credit ratings.  Margolis adds since the district has no plans to sell bonds now she doesn't anticipate an immediate financial impact from the credit downgrade.

Doppstadt Grinder at Ann Arbor's composting facility.
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Plate scrapings are now being accepted in Ann Arbor composting carts.  The city added the food scraps this year after a study of residential trash found about half of it was food that could be composted.



Library Lane surface parking lot
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Members of the Library Green Conservancy are hopeful Ann Arbor City Council actions will help people work together to develop a park above the city’s underground parking structure.  Last month council approved 65-hundred to 12-thousand square feet to be used as a park, but that’s now been revised to approximately 12-thousand square feet.

Library Green Conservancy member Will Hathaway thinks everyone wants the same goal, a quality park above the underground parking structure.

Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Mr. B (Mark Braun) visits the 89.1 WEMU studios to perform with special guests, Lila Ammons & Axel Zwingenberger ahead of their Blues and Boogie Celebration at the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan this weekend.

A Traverse City-based company is moving forward with plans to possibly drill for oil or natural gas in an area just west of Ann Arbor.  

AAATA Transit Millage Community Forum
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

About 150 people packed the downtown Ann Arbor Library’s multi-purpose room to find out more about the proposed point-seven mill transit tax last night.  Supporters of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority millage appeared to outnumber critics at the League of Women Voters forum. 


The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has announced its 2014 Mainstage lineup.

Executive Director Amy Nesbitt sat down with WEMU's Michael Jewett Monday afternoon to talk about the schedule and hear some music from some of the acts scheduled to appear.

See the complete schedule here:

Washtenaw County Road Commission

Stage 1 of the Ann Arbor-Saline Road improvement project will get underway two weeks from today. The Washtenaw County Road Commission will complete the project in three phases. In the first phase, the southbound lanes of Ann Arbor-Saline Road will be closed between Eisenhower Parkway and the I-94 exit ramp.  The detours for this phase of the project will be as such: 

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Bus
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

With the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Millage vote now less than a month away a wide variety of groups have endorsed the effort, including several agencies that work with seniors.  As Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township consider a point-seven mill tax to pay for expanded Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority service, senior groups have consistently come out in support. 

Washtenaw County's First Same Sex Marriage
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor City Council is set to ask state officials to drop appeals to the court ruling that briefly allowed same-sex marriages to take place.  Council tonight will consider a resolution urging Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to suspend efforts to contest Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling.  

Michigan Stadium
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Two of the biggest teams in soccer will meet this summer at Michigan Stadium.  Manchester United will take on Real Madrid in Ann Arbor on August 2nd, as part of the Guinness International Champions Cup.  

The Michigan Theater

Cinetopia International Film Festival scheduled for June 4-8 in Detroit, Ann Arbor - More days, venues, screenings, and programs on tap for 2014

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

University of Michigan students have been hard at work the last six weeks in a studio at the back of the university’s public safety building preparing for Ann Arbor’s foolish weekend.  Most of the large puppets that are the heart of Sunday’s Festifools come from students most of who aren’t art students.

The third annual Cinetopia International Film Festival will include a greater presence in Detroit. About 100 screenings will be split equally between Ann Arbor and Detroit for this year's festival which runs from June 4th through the 8th.   

Festifools puppets
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Expect plenty of foolishness in Ann Arbor this weekend, with FoolMoon Friday night, and Festifools taking over Main Street Sunday afternoon.  Several hundred illuminated decorations are expected to be part of the FoolMoon processionals Friday evening around eight.   

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The internet provides a powerful tool for students tying to learn, but can also pose big security risks. Officials with Google brought their "Good to Know School Roadshow" to Clague Middle School Thursday to help students avoid dangerous online behavior. 

Ann Arbor Logo
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

While most attention was being paid to President Barack Obama visiting Ann Arbor Wednesday, an important sale was completed.  Dennis Dahlmann the owner of the Campus Inn and the Bell Tower Hotel completed the purchase of the former Y-M-C-A lot on South Fifth Avenue. 

City Administrator Steve Powers thinks the sale is a positive in two ways.

President Barack Obama
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

President Barack Obama got a positive response from University of Michigan students as he discussed a hike in the minimum wage.

Andrew Cluley

President Barack Obama is in Ann Arbor, where he'll push his proposal to increase the federal minimum wage.

The President stopped at Zingerman's on his way to the University of Michigan's Intramural Building, where he is said to have ordered a #2 Rueben sandwich.

The President backs a proposal to gradually hike the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley is covering the President's visit.  Stay tuned for details throughout the afternoon.

Football Parking Restricted Sign
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor's normal game day parking restrictions will be in place on Saturday.  That's because the University of Michigan Mott Spring Football Scrimmage is scheduled for 2 PM.

Parking and vendor operations will be similar to a football Saturday game day in Ann Arbor, with special event no-parking restrictions in effect that day.

Admission to the spring game is free.  Complete details here.