Some nasty potholes are gobbling up wheels and tires, and Washtenaw County drivers are paying the price.
One tipster told WEMU last night that a pothole on Packard Road just west of Platt had a line of cars pulled over to the side of the road with flat tires.
Jason Gary has seen the damage first-hand. He's parts manager at AutoMotion in Ann Arbor, where they've seen a lot of bent rims.
Gary says if a wheel can't be balanced or repaired, it's sent to a wheel straightener in the Detroit area. He says they usually make two or three trips a week to Detroit, but lately they've been sending two or three wheels a day to the vendor.
Gary says the potholes in our area are the worst he's seen in almost 20 years of living in Michigan.
That's consistent with a warning earlier this week from the state transportation director, who warned the pothole season may be the worst drivers have experienced.
Report says parole systems costs taxpayers millions By Rick Pluta
A new report says Michigan's parole system is too stingy when it comes to releasing prisoners with sentences of up to life in prison.
The report by the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending says there are 850 lifers in Michigan prison for second-degree murder and other violent crimes who could be paroled. In many cases, they're older and the report says very unlikely to re-offend.
Backyard farmers blast proposal to exclude them from "Right to Farm" law By Jake Neher
A state board is expected to decide next month whether to strip protections from Michiganders who raise chickens and other livestock in residential areas.
Dozens of "backyard farmers" and their supporters blasted the proposed rule change Wednesday at an agriculture commission meeting in Lansing. It would exclude them from Michigan's Right to Farm Act, which protects farmers from nuisance complaints and lawsuits.
Critics of the Education Achievement Authority want to not only stop the spread of the reform effort but also want it out of Detroit, that was the message Tuesday night at a community forum on the issue hosted by the Ann Arbor Education Authority.
Almost all of Eastern Michigan University's full-time lecturers in the College of Education have received layoff notices. College of Education Dean Jan Joseph says declining enrollment in the program means fewer lecturers are needed. She says EMU is not unique in seeing enrollment for education students dropping. She says it's a trend that most teacher training programs have seen over the past decade or so. College of Education lecturers teach student teachers and place them in area school districts for hands-on training.
MI agriculture commission closer to decision on backyard livestockBy Rick Pluta The Michigan Commission on Agriculture and Rural Development is about to hold its final hearing on a controversial new rule. It would end Right to Farm protections for people who raise chickens and other livestock in residential areas. The 1981 Right to Farm Act is the state's effort to preempt nuisance lawsuits filed against farmers as more people moved from cities and suburbs to rural areas.
Eastern Michigan University is laying off most of its full-time lecturers in the College of Education. The Ypsilanti school issued layoff notices to 10 of its 11 full-time lecturers in the college in December, according to a group of lecturers at the school. The layoffs are effective Aug. 31, 2014.
Chris Collins has organized an ambitious Brubeck revival, 'The Gates of Justice' (1969), an hour-long oratorio for choir, brass-and-percussion orchestra, jazz trio and vocal soloists from both the African-American and Jewish traditions. Pianist Jason Moran, a leading-edge voice in contemporary jazz, will anchor the ensemble with his trio, Bandwagon, but also offer a set of civil rights-themed music with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits.
Democrats say state attorney general not fit to investigate prisoner escape
By Jake Neher
State House Democrats are calling for an independent investigation into a recent prison escape in Ionia.
The state’s Republican attorney general is looking into the escape, including whether recent state budget cuts played a role. But Democrats say Bill Schuette cannot conduct an impartial inquiry because his fellow Republicans in the state Legislature voted for those budget cuts, and citing them as a factor would make Republicans look bad.
Governor Rick Snyder says he's not focusing on questions about Michigan's minimum wage, because he's working to bring more high-paying jobs to the state as he discussed a wide range of topics last night with University of Michigan students at the Ross School of Business.
Ann Arbor service area leaders have shared their requests for budget changes with City Council. Changes discussed Monday night include adding three police officers, two additional fire-fighters, and $80,000 for transitioning the public art program to a new model.
Washtenaw County Public Health is accepting applications for its Healthy Workplace Awards. The awards honor businesses and organization that promote a healthy living environment in the workplace. Kathy Fellabaum is a Health Educator with Washtenaw Public Health. She says businesses that promote healthy living in the workplace are a real benefit for employees. Fellabaum says you can nominate a business or organization for the Healthy Workplace Awards by filling out an online nomination survey. Businesses can also nominate themselves. Nominations are due by 5:00 pm March 15 and awards will be announced the week of April 7.
The external face of the flavivirus NS1 protein (sugars in grey balls) is exposed on infected cell surfaces where it can interact with the immune system. This face is also exposed in secreted NS1 particles present in patient sera. The background image shows artificial membranes coated with the NS1 protein.
University of Michigan researchers have taken a big step toward the development of a treatment or vaccine for illnesses such as West Nile virus and Dengue Fever.
Lead researcher, Janet Smith is a faculty member in the U-M Life Sciences Institute and Medical School. She says she and her colleague were able to create a 3-D image of a protein that helps the viruses spread.
Smith says being able to study the protein in this new way will lead to more experiments to examine it at the molecular level, which could lead to development of new ways to attack illnesses such as Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus, which currently have no vaccine or treatment.
The protein, NS1, is produced inside infected cells, where it plays a key role in replication of the virus. NS1 is also released into the bloodstream, where it may help disguise the infection from the patient's immune system and may play a role in the hemorrhage that is seen in severe dengue virus infection.
The research done with scientists at Purdue University appears online in the journal Science.
WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a recent survey that indicates the community would support a tax hike to pay for more public transit.
63 percent of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township voters polled would probably or definitely vote for a new tax of less than one mill for additional service. The survey was conducted in October through December for the AAATA.
Ann Arbor's Greenbelt Commission is developing a registry of potential properties to be preserved. The goal is to give property owners interested in finding out more about the program a chance to let the city know.