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Education
1:04 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Begin 2014-15 Budget Talks

CFO Nancy Hoover gives the school board a presentation on Michigan public school finance and its impacts on Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the district will innovate its way through next year’s budget.  The school board began budget discussions Wednesday night with a work session.

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Education
12:49 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Considering K-12 International Baccalaureate Program

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials are looking to create a k-12 International Baccalaureate program.  The plan would use Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle, and Huron High Schools. 

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Michigan News
7:30 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Governor Snyder Supports Treating E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Snyder: Treat e-cigarettes like tobacco

Governor Rick Snyder says he wants electronic cigarettes to be regulated in Michigan as tobacco products. E-cigarettes deliver a dose of nicotine to users in a mist. There is a bill in the Legislature to ban e-cigarette sales to minors, but would not tax them like cigarettes or subject them to other tobacco-related regulations.

The governor says it makes more sense to simply treat them as a tobacco product.

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Community
3:25 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

20 Foot Brat Challenge to Raise Funds for FLY Children's Art Center

This is a seven inch bratwurst at the Wurst Bar. The ones in the challenge will be 34 times as long!!!
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

More young people in Southeast Michigan will continue to have opportunities to make art thanks to several people attempting to eat 20 foot long brats.  Ypsilanti’s Wurst Bar is hosting the first ever Wurst Challenge Thursday evening as a fundraiser for the Fly Children’s Art Center.

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WEMU News
2:39 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Next Step for Thompson Block: Brownfield Tax Credits

Credit Bob Eccles

Developers of the Thompson Block in Ypsilanti's Depot Town have secured a 12-year Obsolete Property Rehiabilitation Act tax credit from city council.

Project partner Tyler Weston said the city also approved a Brownfield plan for the project, so the next step is to ask Washtenaw County for Brownfield tax credits.

"What Brownfield allows us to do is essentially get paid back for site improvements at the property" Weston explained.  He said those improvements include things like added parking space and structural improvements to the building.

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WEMU News
2:31 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Impaired Driving Crackdown Underway

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County drivers are on notice: if you drive drunk, you will be arrested.

The Washtenaw County Sherrif's Office is leading a drunk-driving crackdown that runs through the first week of April. 

Derrick Jackson is Director of Community Engagement for the Sheriff's Office.  He said it's a team effort.

"We have partnered with Pittsfield Township and a couple other agencies throughout the county to really focus in on looking for drunk drivers and traffic enforcement around this time of year," Jackson said.

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1:56 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Robot writes LA Times earthquake breaking news article

Lead in text: 
The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday - thanks to a robot writer. Don't let this happen to WEMU. Pledge now to support real local news and professional journalism.
The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday - thanks to a robot writer. Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs. Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the story to appear online.
WEMU News
1:35 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

EMU Swears In Six New Public Safety Officers

YPSILANTI – Six new police officers were sworn in this month as the Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety took another major step in its plan to expand off-campus patrols and collaboration with other area law agencies.

Chief of police Bob Heighes, far left, swears in new officers (l-r): Ermir Vila, Michael Richardson, Michael Harhold, Kevin Dorsey, Bridget Bofysil and Helaina Bell.Credit Eastern Michigan UniversityEdit | Remove

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Ypsilanti
12:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Growing Hope Opening Pop-Up Gardening Supply Shop

Credit Facebook.com/YpsiPlanti

Growing Hope is interested in finding out how much interest there is in a local garden supply store, and will open a pop-up shop for a couple of months this spring to find out.

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WEMU News
7:49 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Road Conditions Won't Improve Soon, warns County Road Commission

Credit Andrew Cluley

The Washtenaw County Road Commission is warning that area roads will continue to be in rough shape for a while, as long as the weather continues to freeze and thaw.

Jim Harmon is the road commission's Director of Operations.

"We're experiencing rough road conditions s county-wide at this time," Harmon said, "both on our paved roads and un-paved roads, and our crews are working each day to try and patch and hold these roads together until things completely thaw out and stabalize."

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Michigan News
7:41 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Medical Marijuana Approved for PTSD in Michigan

Credit Wikimedia Commons

PTSD patients now able to get medical marijuana card in Michigan
By Jake Neher

Michiganders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can now get a card to use medical marijuana.

The state's Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Steve Arwood, gave final approval to add PTSD to the state's medical marijuana program about a week after it was recommended by a state review panel.

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Community
5:09 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Water Main Break Disrupting Traffic on Ann Arbor's West Side

Ann Arbor officials are warning motorists to avoid Covington Drive on Ann Arbor's west-side.  A water main break is disrupting traffic on Covington between Scio Church and Agincourt.  Crews are on the scene making repairs.

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Community
4:32 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Ann Arbor Takes Steps Towards Determining Future of Land Above Underground Parking Structure

The proposed park would be on the left side of this picture, with the high density development to be built on the right side of the picture.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor City Council has approved using between 6500 square feet to 12,000 square feet of the land above the underground parking structure for an urban park.

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Community
4:16 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Sorority House Fire Displaces University of Michigan Students

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The American Red Cross was on the scene of a fire at a University of Michigan sorority house early Tuesday morning. No one was hurt and the cause of the fire at the Alpha Gamma Delta house is still under investigation.

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You're Invited!
2:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

The 2014 WEMU Blues Barbecue

If you gave $120 or more to WEMU this spring, your admission for two is a bonus premium and your name is on the guest list for the Blues Barbecue Friday, June 6th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. outside at the EMU Convocation Center (In the atrium in case of rain). You may also select an additional premium at or below your pledge level. 

Live  music from Bobby Murray, a great barbecue menu that includes ribs, chicken, hot dogs, and lots of vegetarian options, plus a cash bar.

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Business
1:06 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Honors Businesses of the Year

Credit wikimedia commons

YPSILANTI  – Ford Motor Company, Crain’s Detroit Business and Bearclaw Coffee are among the best-run businesses in Michigan, according to students in the Eastern Michigan University College of Business.

Those businesses and 11 others were honored during an Academy-Award style event Friday, March 14 at the EMU Student Center. Ford won in the large business category, Crain’s won for medium-sized businesses and Bearclaw Coffee earned top honors for small businesses. Ford also won in the manufacturing category.

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WEMU News
10:58 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Thompson Block Developers Secure First Commercial Tenant Letter of Intent

The Thompson Block in Ypsilanti's Depot Town
Credit Bob Eccles

With developers of the Thompson Block securing their first commercial letter of intent, City Council tonight will consider a tax exemption to help move redevelopment of the property forward.

Thompson Block partner Tyler Weston says a local restaurant entrepreneur has taken the first step toward becoming a tenant, and a coffee shop has also expressed interest. 

Weston says the development plan has improved greatly since he came on board a year ago, with parking space now included for commercial and residential tenants, along with patio space for commercial tenants.

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Michigan News
2:33 am
Tue March 18, 2014

New Jersey Governor To Make Controversial Visit To Michigan

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to make campaign stop in Michigan.
Credit commons.wikimedia.org

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's planned fundraising swing through Michigan is drawing criticism from Democrats.  Christie is raising money as chairman of the Republican Governors Association and is scheduled to attend association fundraisers in Michigan Wednesday.

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Arts
2:28 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Motown Site Considered For Historical Designation

Detroit City Council to seek historical designation for site of first Motown recording.
Credit Isaac Moore / DetroitWiki

The Detroit City Council is looking into whether a recording studio where Berry Gordy cut a record that led the way to the Motown music dynasty meets the criteria for historic designation. 

Councilman Scott Benson says the council on Tuesday will refer the United Sound Systems Recording Studio matter to a historic designation advisory board for study.

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Michigan News
7:35 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Michigan Lawmakers Discuss Scrap Metal Theft

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Lawmakers revive talks over scrap metal theft
By Jake Neher

There's a new push in Lansing to pass legislation meant to fight scrap metal theft in Michigan. Votes in the House and Senate could come as soon as this week.

Supporters of House Bills 4593 and 4595 say the state must require there to be a paper trail whenever someone sells commonly-stolen items to a scrap yard.
    
State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, says there has been disagreement over how best to do that. But she says she is confident lawmakers will reach a deal soon.

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Education
3:08 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Considers Future of Vacant Buildings

Credit Patrik Holubik

Ypsilanti Community Schools has several buildings it isn't using, and the district is considering its options on what to do with them.

Superintendent Scott Menzel says a lot depends on enrollment.

"We know that 3,000 students for Schools of Choice made other options in prior years," Menzel said.  "Our hope is that we truly become a first choice for exceptional cradle to career education and that perhaps some of these buildings will be brought back on line."

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Community
1:16 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Opens New Blake Transit Center [Photos]

The East end of the new Blake Transit Center.
Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

While work is still underway, The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority opened the new Blake Transit Center today.

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Community
1:04 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Ann Arbor Celebrates St. Patrick's Day

A group leaves Conor O'Neills while celebrating Saint Patrick's Day.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Some Ann Arbor bars did more business by noon today than they do on a typical Monday, as the city celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day.

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Michigan News
12:02 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

GM recalls 1.18 million SUVs for air bag problem

Credit Wikimedia Commons

 DETROIT (AP) - General Motors is recalling nearly 1.2 million SUVs for defective side air bags. 

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Michigan News
4:18 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Hearings to Open on Electricity Deregulation

Credit roselawgroupreporter.com

Rick Pluta reports on plans for legislative hearings on electricity deregulation.
Hearings open this week at the state Capitol on a proposal to lift Michigan's cap on electricity companies competing for customers. A 2008 law says no more than 10 percent of the state's electricity can be directly provided to consumers by an alternative to a region's major utility.  

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