Local

Taxation
6:47 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council to Consider Bond Measure

Ann Arbor City Council has a fairly light agenda for tonight's meeting.  Council will consider an ordinance authorizing the sale of up to $3.5  million  in Water Supply System Bonds.  

If approved,  the revenue generated will be used, in part, for additions and upgrades at the Barton and South Industrial pump stations.  The bonds will be paid back through Water Supply system revenues.

Read more
Music
2:46 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Live In Studio: Rick Roe

As a pianist, Rick Roe says much with his terrific touch, his surprising song selections and understanding of the importance of the space between the notes.  This morning was truly special as Rick Roe discusses his musical life and his new CD, “Swing Theory” plus, his upcoming CD release concert.

Listen to the full interview here:

Rick Roe in the WEMU Studios 8/15/13

Education
8:42 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools New Superintendent Gets Five-Year Contract

The new Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public School District will be on the job for the start of the new academic year. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the Board of Education last night approved a five-year contract for the former Colorado Springs District 11 Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.

Ann Arbor Schools new Superintendent, Jeanice Swift will be paid 200-thousand dollars in base salary for each of the five years of a contract approved by the Board of Education Wednesday evening.

Read more
Education
8:15 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Eliminates 7th Hour Fee For High School Students

A plan to charge Ann Arbor high school students a $100 fee to take an optional 7th hour class has been dropped. The Board of Education last night voted unanimously to drop the fee for the coming academic year. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the board is sending the fee proposal back to its planning committee for further review.

Facing an ACLU lawsuit, the Ann Arbor School Board drops plan to charge high school students a 100-dollar fee for taking a 7th hour class.

Read more
Community
6:25 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Public Comment Sought on Draft Ypsi Parks & Rec Plan

Credit www.cityofypsilanti.com

The city of Ypsilanti is seeking public comment on its draft 2013-2018 Parks and Recreation Plan.  WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with City Planner Bonnie Wessler about it.

Click here to hear the interview.

View the plan here


Environment
9:41 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Ann Arbor Trees and City Policy

Credit pigliapost / Foter / CC BY-SA

To many, Ann Arbor is Tree Town.  In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, we will explore the current health status of Ann Arbor's tree population and the city policies aimed at maintaining its lush canopy. 

David's guest this week is Lynn Borset. Lynn is a founding member of the citizens group, The Ann Arbor Tree Conservancy.  The group is pushing Ann Arbor officials to make a stronger budgetary and policy commitment to the city's trees.

Issues of the Environment 8/14/13

Read more
Education
8:59 am
Wed August 14, 2013

WISD Gears Up to Help Homeless Students in the New Academic Year

Shelves stocked with supplies for the WISD's Education Project for Homeless Youth.
Credit Bob Eccles

School, in and of itself, can be hard enough. How difficult must it be for children who are homeless? It's a question that more children in Washtenaw County have to answer than you might think. The Washtenaw Intermediate School District last year helped make sure more than 1,300 students classified as homeless were able to attend classes. 

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the WISD's Education Project for Homeless Youth is now gearing up for a new academic year.

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District looks to public to help homeless children in Washtenaw County successfully attend classes this fall.

Read more
Government
8:26 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Washtenaw County Explores New Case Management System for Trial Court

For nearly a decade, Washtenaw County trial Court has relied on an outdated case management system. In fact it's a system that, since 2005,  has lacked support from any existing software firm. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, a new system has been identified, but debate continues on how to pay for upgrade among the members of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. 

Read more
Music
4:44 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

The Roots Music Project: Corndaddy Live in Studio

Corndaddy live in the WEMU studios

Local favorites, Corndaddy appears on The Roots Music Project ahead of their performance at the Ark in Ann Arbor

Listen to the full interview & performance here: 

Corndaddy visits the WEMU studios ahead of their show at the Ark 8/10/13

City Council
8:45 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Ann Arbor Stands Up to Stand Your Ground Law

Credit cseward / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The City of Ann Arbor has not had to deal with a case that falls under the so-called "stand your ground"  law, as was the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

But, Michigan law certainly allows for the possibility. Ann Arbor City Council last night passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to repeal Michigan's version of the law, and to make other changes to state gun regulations.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports:

Read more
Events
8:13 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Thunder Over Michigan Returns This Weekend

The Thunder Over Michigan air show returns to Willow Run Airport this weekend.

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the details in this report:

Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport Saturday and Sunday

Vintage war-birds take to the skies above Willow Run Airport this weekend at the 15th annual Thunder Over Michigan air show.  Show organizers had to do some quick re-scheduling after the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet team was grounded due to sequestration-related budget cuts. 

Show Director Kevin Walsh says it wasn't as big a problem for Thunder Over Michigan as it was for some other air shows.

Among the performers scheduled to participate in Thunder Over Michigan this weekend:

  • A rare gathering of six Vietnam-era Skyraider aircract
  • a North American F-100F Super Sabre jet
  • British de Havilland Vampire T-55. 

Thunder Over Michigan takes place Saturday and Sunday at Willow Run Airport.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.  Kids 15 and under are admitted free

Local News
5:25 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

YCS Staff Report For Work

Ypsilanti Community Schools teachers and staff enjoy lunch during a break in Thursday's professional development day in the EMU Student Center Ballroom.
Credit Bob Eccles

The staff of Ypsilanti Community Schools held its first day of professional development Thursday.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Hear Bob's report here.

Government
9:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Debate How to Spend Higher-Than-Projected Revenues

The Washtenaw County budget is in much better shape through the second fiscal quarter than originally projected.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the question now under debate is how best to use the additional money.

Washtenaw County Commissioners explore best use of higher than expected revenues through the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year.

Read more
Government
9:32 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Ypsilanti to Offer Benefits to Partners of City Employees

Domestic partners of Ypsilanti city employees will soon have the right to the same benefits that spouses of  of city workers enjoy. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the details in the report below.

Ypsilanti moves forward on benefits plan for domestic partners of city employees.

Read more
Education
7:10 am
Thu August 8, 2013

ACLU Sues Ann Arbor Schools Over 7th Hour Student Fee

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Ann Arbor Public Schools over a plan to charge students $100 per semester to take seventh-hour classes.  The ACLU said it filed the suit Wednesday on behalf of two high school students, saying the fees violate the Michigan Constitution.   ACLU Michigan Director Kary Moss says students "should not be forced to pay the price for budget shortfalls." She says the constitution makes it clear that "public education should be as free as the air we breathe."  District spokeswoman Liz Margolis says school officials haven't yet received the complaint an

Ballot
12:59 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ypsi City Council Approves Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Ypsilanti City Council has voted to limit the number of medical marijuana licenses it accepts or renews in a given year. The second and final reading of an ordinance to that effect was approved Tuesday night.

Read more
Community
12:54 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ypsi Property Owners Protest Proposed Streetlight Fees

Residents voiced their objections to the Ypsilanti's plan to charge land owners a fee to replace the some of the city's street lights with new LED models at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Under the proposal, each parcel of land was to be charged a $98 fee for the first year, with the fee steadily declining over the following years to around $70 by 2031.  AnnArbor.com says council amended the proposal so that residents would not have to pay to power the streetlights during that period, and instead would pay about $58 a year for just two years.

The most commonly-voiced objections to the plan included its cost, the perceived value attained from the switch, and having to pay an additional fee for something that has previously been payed for by property taxes.

Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange says the city has worked hard to make the project as affordable as possible. 

The cost over converting older, less efficient streetlights to LED's over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years is estimated at over $555,000.   Converting the lights is expected to save the city over $100,000 a year.

Public discussion about the street lights will continue at the at the next council meeting, scheduled for August 20.

Environment
8:46 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Urban Farming in Ypsilanti

Credit Growing Hope/Facebok

The City of Ypsilanti continues to explore how best to incorporate urban farming into it's vision for the future. 

In this week's installment of  WEMU's  Issues of the Environment David Fair talks with Amanda Edmonds. Amanda is the executive Director of Ypsilanti-based, Growing Hope.

WEMU's weekly Morning Edition feature, Issues of the Environment. In this installment David Fair talks with "Growing Hope" Executive Director Amanda Edmonds about urban farming in Ypsilanti.

Read more
Local News
12:21 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Jack Eaton Wins Ann Arbor 4th Ward Democratic Primary

Jack Eaton and his campaign manager Kathy Griswold celebrate his 4th Ward Democratic Primary victory.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Jack Eaton has defeated long-time Ann Arbor City Council member Marcia Higgins in the city's Fourth Ward Democratic Primary.  Eaton claimed nearly 65 percent of the vote.

Eaton says his campaign was focused on having the city provide basic services like police and fire.  He says a narrow loss in the primary last year helped energize his campaign this year and increased his name recognition.

Nobody has filed to run against Eaton in the November general election.

Read more
Local News
12:11 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Kunselman Wins Ann Arbor 3rd Ward City Council Primary

Stephen Kunselman and his wife celebrate winning Ann Arbor's 3rd Ward Democratic City Council Primary.
Credit Andrew Cluley

Incumbent City Council member Stephen Kunselman claimed about 52 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor's Third Ward Democratic City Council Primary.  Kunselman defeated challenger Julie Grand, the chair of the city's Park Advisory Commission.

Kunselman says his victory is a sign that residents want more attention paid to Ann Arbor's neighborhoods and not so much of a focus on the downtown area.

No candidates have filed to run against Kunselman in the November general election.  If he wins that race it will be his fourth term on City Council.

Read more
Local News
10:03 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Ypsi Twp Voters Approve Millage Requests

Voters in Ypsilanti Township said "yes" to all four millage requests on their ballot Tuesday.

Millage increases to support police, fire and refuse collection services each passed with roughly 70% of the vote.  A recreation millage renewal also passed, but by a narrower margin.

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says voters realized the importance of their township being able to continue to provide important services in tough economic times. 

Join David Fair for the complete wrap-up of un-official election results Wednesday during Morning Edition.

Read more
Local News
9:58 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council Primary Results Find One Incumbent Out

Voters in Ann Arbor's fourth City Council ward went with the challenger over the incumbent in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

Un-officials results showed Jack Eaton with 60% of the vote, to incumbent Marcia Higgins' 40%.   Eaton is not expected to be challenged for the seat in November.

Third ward voters narrowly favored incumbent Stephen Kunselman over challenger Julie Grand, 52% to 48%.  Kunselman will take on independent candidate Samuel DeVarti this fall.

Local News
9:35 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Whitmore Lake Voters Reject Bond Issue

Whitmore Lake Schools voters soundly rejected a $12.3 million bond issue Tuesday.  Superintendent Kim Hart says the un-official tally wasn't close: 690 "no" votes to 310 "yes" votes.

She says the main complaint the district heard from voters was that their taxes were already too high, particularly in Northville Township and Washtenaw County.

Hart says some tough decisions will have to be made going forward, because at this point any money needed for things the district needs to repair, remodel or replace will come directly out of the classroom.

Community
9:44 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Demolition Underway at Liberty Square in Ypsilanti Township

It took years for Ypsilanti Township officials to get a local housing complex declared a public nuisance, but only a few minutes for heavy machinery to bring down the first apartment.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley files this report on the start of demolition at the Liberty Square development on Grove Road.

The Liberty Square housing development in Ypsilanti township is being torn down.

Ypsilanti Township's blight busters team started legal proceedings against the owners of the Liberty Square  development in 2010. the physical condition of the complex was in bad shape and deteriorating rapidly.

Additionally, the Washtenaw county Sheriff's Department was spending a lot of time in the complex, combating illegal activity. Demolition work began Monday on the 21 acre, 17 building complex on Grove near the I-94-Rawsonville Road interchange.

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says the demolition should serve as a reminder to other property owners that Ypsilanti Township won't tolerate blighted properties. Demolition of the entire complex is expected to take about three months.

Local News
9:19 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

YCS Board Approves Bell Time Changes

Ypsilanti Community Schools Trustees (l-r) Maria Sheler-Edwards, Tony VanDerworp and Greg Myers.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved changes to district bell times that'll see students released earlier than originally planned. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Read more

Pages