Local

Local News
6:13 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Will Offer Swift Superintendent Job

The Ann Arbor school board has voted four-to-three to offer a contract to Jeanice Swift to be the district's next superintendent. 

The board held a special afternoon meeting Wedneday to decide how to proceed after South Orange Maplewood, New Jersey Superintendent Brian Osborne turned down an offer for the job. 

Swift is currently Assistant Superintendent for Instruction with Colorado Springs District 11. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports that board President Deb Mexicotte will negotiate a contract with Swift.

Community
2:42 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Yankee Air Museum Fundraising Deadline Extended

This is the section of the former Willow Run bomber plant that the Yankee Air Museum wants to save from the wrecking ball. Newly-built B-24 bombers rolled out of the plant through these doors during World War II.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Yankee Air Museum has a little more time to raise the money needed to buy a section of the former Willow Run bomber plant for its new home. 

RACER Trust, the company handling the disposition of former General Motors properties, including the Willow Run plant, says the campaign's "success and momentum" warranted a 60-day extension. 

Thursday was supposed to be the deadline for the Yankee Air Museum to raise $8 million to buy a 175-thousand square foot section of the plant. 

To date, $4.5 million has been raised.

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Environment
12:02 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure in Ann Arbor

The Barton Dam on the Huron River
Credit James Marvin Phelps / Foter / CC BY-NC

In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  we explore the June 27th incident in which 10-thousand gallons of untreated waste water were discharged into the Huron River. 

WEMU's David Fair talks with Earl Kenzie and Jennifer Lawson. Earl is Plant Manager for the Ann Arbor Waste Water Treatment Services Unit and Jennifer is  the city's Water Quality Manager.

Issues of the Environment Report: Stormwater and Sewer Infrastructure in Ann Arbor

Education
10:52 am
Wed July 31, 2013

The Newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools Launch Marketing Campaign

Credit Patrik Holubik / WEMU

If you haven't seen an ad for the new Ypsilanti Community school on an 

AATA bus or billboard yet, chances are it won't be long before you do.  

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the district is assertively marketing itself in the community.


Development
10:45 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor's A2D2 Zoning Guidelines Under Community Review

Credit a2gov.org

In 2009, the Ann Arbor Discover Downtown adopted new guidelines for zoning. Now, a public evaluation of those rules is underway. 

From the City's website: 

The goal of the A2D2 Evaluation Project is to have a constructive discussion about what works in the A2D2 zoning, what does not, and possible changes. Through Friday, Aug. 16, constituents will be asked what issues should be addressed in the evaluation. After that time, options for changes to the A2D2 zoning will be evaluated and revised for final presentation to the City Council in October 2013.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, there were many concerns expressed at Tuesday night's community forum on the program.

Report on Ann Arbor Downtown Zoning Concerns

Respond to the A2 Open City Hall survey here:

 What was your interaction/experience with the A2D2 ordinance or planning process (as a developer? Property owner? Neighbor? Other interested party?)?

Education
10:29 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board To Consider Next Step In Superintendent Search

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will meet Wednesday afternoon to determine how to proceed in the search for a new district Superintendent.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the school board could go in a couple of different directions.

Ann Arbor Superintendent search to continue.

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Community
3:05 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Junior Olympians Descend on Eastern Michigan University

Credit www.aausports.org

Nearly 50,000 athletes and spectators are expected at Eastern Michigan University now through August 3rd for the Amateur Athletic Union's National Junior Olympics, which got underway Tuesday. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles and Taylor Pinson take a look at this event.


Environment
8:24 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Kalamazoo River Clean-up Continues Three Years After The Spill

Credit Jason W Lacey / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

This week marks three-years since an Enbridge pipe-line burst and spilled roughly a million gallons of oil in the Kalamazoo River. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, all of this time later, and the expensive clean-up is still underway. 

Three-years and nearly a billion dollars later, clean-up of a massive oil-spill in the Kalamazoo river continues.

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Local News
12:29 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Has Concerns With Proposed Evaluation System

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent has some problems with a new proposed evaluation system for public schools teachers and administrators.  The Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness presented the recommendation to Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers earlier this month.  The recommendations could be considered this fall and put in place by 2015.

Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Scott Menzel says performance should be judged on the building level not the performance of individual teachers.

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Education
11:07 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Osborne Turns Down Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Job

Credit A2schools.org

New Jersey's South Orange Maplewood Superintendent Brian Osborne has turned down Ann Arbor Public Schools offer to become superintendent. 

In a letter to the board, Osborne cited concerns over moving his family, interest in continuing work in New Jersey, and a medical condition for a family member.

The Ann Arbor School Board is expected to meet soon to discuss next steps on the process of selecting a superintendent.

Andrew Cluley's report on Ann Arbor Public Schools top choice to become superintendent turning the job offer down.

Local News
3:48 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

YCS Approves Agreement For Extended State Debt Repayment

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education President David Bates (l) and Superintendent Scott Menzel.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Thursday night approved entering into a contract with the state that will allow the district more time to pay off debt and remove Ypsilanti Community Schools from the ranks of Michigan's "deficit districts". 

The district has $18.8 million in state aid notes from the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts that are due August 20th.  The state will give the district 13 years to pay off the debt. 

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Arts and Culture
2:25 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

NSF International Shares Science Skills at Maker Faire Detroit

Credit makerfairedetroit.com

The Fourth annual Makers Faire Detroit takes place this weekend at The Henry Ford.  

Over 400 exhibitors will be on hand sharing their ideas and inventions.  This includes representatives from Ann Arbor based NSF International, a public health and safety organization.  

NSF International scientists will lead kids through hands on experiments focused on subjects like micro-biology, polymers, and recycling.  The goal is to get kids interested in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. 

Andrew Cluley's report on NSF International at this weekends Makers Faire Detroit.

Environment
7:57 am
Fri July 26, 2013

The Green Room: Wind Energy

Ralph Lundgren in front of one of the five turbines on his land in Lake Winds Wind Park
Barbara Lucas

Washtenaw County continues to be a leader in environmental stewardship. Among the ideas and initiatives underway is an increased commitment to wind energy.

In this month's installment of WEMU's The Green Room, reporter Barbara Lucas explores the myriad of issues surrounding wind energy. Barbara travels to communities where wind energy is more prevalent, and then returns to Ann Arbor to see where we are, and where we are going.

The July installment of WEMU's monthly feature, "The Green Room"

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Education
7:47 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Ypsilanti Community Schools Set Pay Ranges for Non-instructional Staff

Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education has approved pay ranges for non-instructional staff. Some employees could earn bonuses up to ten percent of their pay, based on their performance.  The board last night approved a pay structure for employees such as paraprofessionals, instructional assistants, occupational and speech therapists, psychologists and social workers.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has a full report.

WEMU's Bob Eccles provides a report on Thursday night's meeting of the Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education meeting.


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Politics
5:56 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Pam Byrnes Challenges Tim Walberg In 7th Congressional District

Credit Pam Byrnes/Facebook

Former Democratic State Representative Pam Byrnes is taking on Republican Tim Walberg for his 7th Congressional District seat this fall.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with Byrnes about her background, her campaign, and why she's running.

Hear the interview here.

Arts and Culture
10:07 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Cinema Chat: Low Winter Sun, The Wolverine, Renoir, The To do List and More

Credit The Michigan Theater

As is the case every Thursday morning, WEMU's David Fair was joined today by Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins for a little movie talk.

In this week's installment of "Cinema Chat", Dave and Russ chatted about some news out of Hollywood,  and a long list of movies that are available for your viewing pleasure in the days ahead!

Cinema Chat for 7/25/2013

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Entertainment
9:29 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Actor Jeff Daniels Hits Hole-In-One In Ann Arbor

Chelsea native Jeff Daniels hits a hole-in-one in Ann Arbor!
Credit Jeff Daniels

Chelsea Native Jeff Daniels can scratch another item off the "bucket list."  The star of HBO's "Newsroom"  hit a hole-in-one while golfing at the Polo Fields Golf Country Club in Ann Arbor Wednesday. This is the picture the founder of the Purple Rose Theater posted on Twitter yesterday.  Congratulations, Mr. Daniels!

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Government
9:10 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Adopt New Budgeting Approach

The Washtenaw County Commissioners have passed a resolution setting the priorities they want used in the development of future budgets.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, County Commissioners contend it's part of a new approach to better connect budgeting with desired outcomes. 

Washtenaw County will create five work groups to develop targets and metrics to measure success in budget decisions.

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Education
9:02 am
Thu July 25, 2013

YCS Board of Education To Consider Pay Ranges For Non-instructional Staff

Some of the Ypsilanti Community Schools' non-instructional staff will find out tonight how much they are going to be paid. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a preview of tonight's Board of Education meeting.

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education meeting preview

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Environment
8:43 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Tracking Cattle From Birth To Dinner Plate

Credit Damian Gadal / Foter / CC BY

What would be the benefit of electronically tracking our beef supply from the birth of a calf to its arrival on our dinner plate? 

Potentially, the benefits are numerous. In this week's installment of  WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  Morning Edition host David Fair talks with Dr. Dan Buskirk.

Dr. Buskirk is Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences at Michigan State University. 

He contends that the electronic tracking can help facilitate creation of regional food systems, better connect consumers to farmers and increase revenues for local, small and mid-sized farmers.

Issues of the Environment for 7/24/13

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Government
8:21 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to Set Budget Priorities for the Next Four Years

Washtenaw County Commissioners
Credit eWashtenaw.org

Budget priorities for the next four years are to be set tonight when the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meet. 

The Commissioners are set to create a set of strategic priorities and principles to be used in setting the county's future budgets. Commissioner Felicia Brabec says the priorities are likely to focus on human services, building a financial safety net and  providing the community public safety services.

Once established and approved, the budget priorities will be given to County Administrator Verna McDaniel to incorporate into her budget proposal. WEMU's Andrew Cluley has this preview of tonight's meeting.

Preview of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, July 24th.

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Community
3:59 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Ypsilanti's Terry's Bakery Sign To Be Renovated

Credit Ypsilanti VCB

The classic Terry's Bakery sign in downtown Ypsilanti will be going away for short time.  

The sign is getting renovated thanks in part to a state grant.  When the sign returns the neon light will be back on, shining down on motorists along Michigan Avenue.

Andrew Cluley presents Bob Eccles story on the Terry's Bakery sign renovations.

1:17 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Road or Lane Closures in Ann Arbor

Lead in text: 
The following road and/or lane closures are planned in the City of Ann Arbor due to a community event or a scheduled construction project. Please see the details below, and plan your commute accordingly.
The following road and/or lane closures are planned in the City of Ann Arbor due to a community event or a scheduled construction project. Please see the details below, and plan your commute accordingly. Click here for a map of road and/or lane closures in Ann Arbor .
Education
10:23 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Contract Negotiations With Ann Arbor School Board's Choice For District Superintendent

Officials in the Ann Arbor Public Schools are hoping to quickly work out a contract with the Board of Education's choice for district Superintendent. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the School Board last Friday, voted unanimously to offer the job to Brian Osborne. Osborne is currently Superintendent of New Jersey's South Orange and Maplewood School District. 

A2 School officials hoping to work out a contract with Board of Education's choice for Superintendent.

Brian Osborne's current contract in New Jersey mandates a 90-day notification prior to departure. If a contract is agreed upon, it could mean three months before he can start in Ann Arbor.

Education
7:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

U of M North Campus Research Complex On Pace With 10-Year Plan

$214 million dollar investment in U of M North Campus Research Complex results in 2200 employees working on the old Phizer property.
Credit University of Michigan

The head of the University of Michigan's North Campus Research Complex says they are on target with the 10-year plan for the facility. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the Board of regents Thursday received an update on the status of the former Phizer facility.

2,200 employees now working on the old Phizer property.

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