Local

WEMU News
10:14 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Law Enforcement Seeks Public Help To Catch Home Invasion Suspect

Suspect in string of home invasions.
Credit Michigan State Police

Law Enforcement in Washtenaw and three other counties are looking for a suspect in a rash of home invasions that target people attending funerals. Washtenaw is among four counties where homes of the recently deceased , or their family members, have been robbed. The others are Livingston, Monroe and Oakland counties.

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Cinema Chat
8:55 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Cinema Chat: Berlin Film Festival, BAFTA, The Past, Pompeii, 3 Days To Kill And More

Credit Michigan Theater

There is plenty of Hollywood and movie related news this week, and there are some new films opening this weekend. 89.1 WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Executive Director and CEO, Russ Collins, have the breakdown for you. It's Cinema Chat and you can listen right here:

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Michigan News
6:24 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Nation of Islam Returns To Detroit

Minister Louis Farrakhan to deliver Keynote Address at Detroit Convention
Credit Brian Jackson

DETROIT (AP) - The Nation of Islam is returning to the place it started for its annual four-day convention.

 The Chicago-based movement kicks off Saviours' Day today at Cobo center in Detroit. Organizers say it will feature workshops, spiritual renewal, fellowship and networking.

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Community
2:54 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Washtenaw County to Develop Dental Clinic for Medicaid Patients

Washtenaw County’s approximately 60,000 residents on Medicaid or without any dental insurance will have a source for dental work starting next year.  The Washtenaw County Commissioners Wednesday night approved plans for a Public Health Department owned dental clinic. 

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Community
2:41 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Platt Road Site to be Springboard for Larger Affordable Housing Talks

Washtenaw County will be engaging neighbors of the old Juvenile Center on Platt Road in Ann Arbor and other community members to determine how to redevelop the site.  The County Commissioners have given final approval to a community driven process for planning for the 13.5 acre property. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on planning for redevelopment of Washtenaw County's old Juvenile Center site on Platt Road in Ann Arbor, and a larger discussion on affordable housing issues in general.

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Michigan News
6:23 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

EAA no longer Only Option for Struggling Schools

State ends contract with the Education Achievement AuthorityBy Jake Neher This time next year, the Education Achievement Authority will no longer be the only entity that can take over failing schools in Michigan.  State Superintendent Mike Flanagan has notified the EAA that the state is ending its exclusive contract with the authority.

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WEMU News
5:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Washtenaw County Property Values Rise

Washtenaw County home owners are seeing a rise in their property values for the first time in five years. Values are rising all across the county and properties are spending less time on the market before selling. Catherine McClary is Washtenaw County's Treasurer. She says the rising values is good news overall, but the county still faces challenges, especially when it comes to making sure there is enough affordable housing.  McClary says the area's homeless are often families.

WEMU News
5:36 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Bald Eagles call Monroe Power Plant Home

Close to 200 bald eagles have made D-T-E Energy's Monroe power plant home for the winter.   Utility spokesperson Randy Barret says the property makes for a great nesting area, with shelter from the elements, seclusion and plenty of fishing. Barret says up to 180 bald eagles have been counted at the plant on Lake Erie, which has a warm-water discharge that prevents ice from forming and gives the eagles a prime spot for catching fish. 

Community
4:56 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ann Arbor Officials Asking Residents to Clear Sidewalks, Drains During Warmer Weather

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje calls on residents to take advantage of the warmer weather and clean off their sidewalks.  Hieftje admits the amount of snow, and the freezing rain a few walks ago caused a mess, but many people rely on walking to get to jobs and other important appointments.

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WEMU News
3:12 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Man Accused of Shooting at Plow Driver charged with Assault with Intent to Murder

The man accused of shooting at the driver of a front end loader who was clearing snow in Pittsfield Township is now facing charges including assault with intent to murder.  

Bevan Wilson was being held in the Washtenaw County jail on $45,000 cash bond.  He's accused of firing a handgun at the driver of a front end loader who was clearing snow from the parking lot at the Valley Ranch Apartments Tuesday morning. 

The wind shield of the vehicle was damaged, but the driver was not injured.

WEMU News
10:30 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Hundreds Call For Enrollment Diversity At the University of Michigan

Shapiro Undergraduate Library
Credit University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Hundreds of University of Michigan students participated in an all-night protest over what they call low minority enrollment and inclusion.  The Ann Arbor News reports students crammed into Shapiro Undergraduate Library for the 12-hour, overnight event.  The "Speak Out" was hosted by the United Coalition for Racial Justice, a group comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

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Environment
10:12 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: Pharmaceuticals in Ann Arbor Water

Drinking tap water in Ann Arbor is common practice. It rates rather highly in terms of quality and taste, and most find it difficult to tell the difference between city water and bottled water. Many may not know that research shows pharmaceutical drugs are making it into the water supply.

In this week's "Issues of the Environment"  89.1 WEMU's David Fair explores the issue and what it may mean for you. The guest this week is Larry Sanford, the city of Ann Arbors' Assistant Manager of Water Treatment Services. 

Issues of the Environment for 2/19/14

Community
3:08 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Debate Continues Over Ann Arbor's Public Art Program

Ann Arbor City Council remains conflicted on the city’s public art program.  Council Tuesday night voted ten to nothing for an ordinance amendment that allows them to return old percent for art funds to their original source.  Two resolutions to actually do this however were postponed.  

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Community
2:50 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Likely to Decide Fate of Edwards Brothers Property Monday

With the deadline to use a right of first refusal to buy the Edwards Brothers Property on State Street about a week away, Ann Arbor City Council will hold a special meeting on the issue Monday.  

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WEMU News
12:02 am
Wed February 19, 2014

City of Ypsilanti to Convert Old Lights and Fixtures

Ypsilanti City Council has approved replacing old lights and fixtures in city buildings and parking lots with more energy-efficient LED lights.  

Changing the lights in City Hall, the police and fire departments and their adjoining parking lots is expected to cost $48,000, but will save the city between $8,000 and $12,000 a year in energy costs and about $8,000 a year in labor costs.  

Rebates from D-T-E will save the city an additional $3,000 to $4,000 a year.

WEMU News
12:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Won't Consider Surveillance Camera Policy

Ypsilanti City Council won't be considering the issue of surveillance cameras in public places - at least not for now.  

City Manager Ralph Lange asked council whether they'd like him to start working on a policy that would cover cameras in areas where crime has been a concern, like along LeForge Road.  

The cameras would supplement surveillance equipment being installed by apartment complexes in the area.  

Mayor Paul Schreiber and council member Pete Murdock said they were skeptical of the effectiveness of cameras in fighting crime.

WEMU News
11:58 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council votes down Special Events Policy

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night voted down a Special Events Policy designed to go after fees and charges the city hasn't been collecting.  

In voting "no", council member Brian Robb said if the city hasn't been collecting the fees, maybe it doesn't need to.  

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he didn't think the public has had enough time to examine changes in the policy, which is available on the city's website.  

The policy will likely be back before city council at its first meeting in March.

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Michigan News
11:56 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Emergency Road Funding

Emergency road funding could be coming after nasty winterBy Jake Neher  A monster pothole season is upon us - and state lawmakers say they want to help.  A state Senate panel on Tuesday added $100 million for road repairs and maintenance to a mid-year budget bill to help communities fix potholes and plow roads. Lawmakers say local governments need the help to offset the costs of constant snow removal and efforts to fix potholes caused by the nasty winter weather. "That warming and freezing will add to the problems that our counties, our villages, and townships, and state ha

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Michigan News
11:55 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers encourage Year-Round School

State lawmakers look to encourage year-round schoolsBy Jake Neher Some at-risk schools in Michigan could soon get more state funding if they agree to go year-round. A state House panel heard testimony on the idea Tuesday. In his budget address this month, Governor Rick Snyder called for a state pilot program to encourage year-round schooling.

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Michigan News
11:55 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers encourage Year-Round School

State lawmakers look to encourage year-round schoolsBy Jake Neher Some at-risk schools in Michigan could soon get more state funding if they agree to go year-round. A state House panel heard testimony on the idea Tuesday. In his budget address this month, Governor Rick Snyder called for a state pilot program to encourage year-round schooling.

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Michigan News
11:54 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Legislation would allow Landlords to ban Medical Marijuana Growing and Smoking

Landlords could ban tenants from smoking or growing medical marijuana under billBy Jake Neher  Some Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers could soon be banned from smoking or growing cannabis where they live.  A state Senate panel approved a bill on Tuesday that would let landlords decide whether to allow tenants to grow or smoke medical marijuana. "We've had a lot of apartment owners that have people smoking marijuana or growing marijuana, doing damage to the apartments, creating danger for other residents," said state Sen.

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Ypsilanti
8:09 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council approves Speed Humps For Three Residential Streets Near Prospect Road

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night approved the installation of speed humps on several residential streets near Prospect Road, streets that neighbors say drivers use to avoid Prospect, which is in bad shape and scheduled for re-construction. 

Several residents of Dwight Street spoke in favor of the temporary speed humps, which would be placed on Dwight, Hemphill and Stanley.  The speed humps – on in each block, for a total of six – will cost the city $18,000

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Education
3:22 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

U-M Students, Faculty and Staff to attend Speak Out Protest

University of Michigan students plan to hold an all-night protest over what they say is low minority enrollment and inclusion on campus.   The 12-hour "Speak Out" event is being hosted by the United Coalition for Racial Justice, a group comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports.

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Education
3:03 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Shares Budget, Strategic Plan Update With Campus

Eastern Michigan University officials hope to avoid using reserves to balance the budget this school year despite student credit hours dipping slightly.  E-M-U officials gave the campus community an update on the budget and strategic plan Tuesday. 

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Community
3:18 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Debate Over Proposed Gravel and Sand Mining In Lyndon Township to Continue Next Month

Lyndon Township’s Planning Commission will continue discussions on a proposed gravel pit and sand mining operation northwest of Chelsea next month.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the debate over a proposed gravel and sand mining operation in Lyndon Township.

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