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Local News
11:06 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Corner Brewery now Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

Ypsilanti's Corner Brewery is now Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery. 

Arbor Brewing Company co-owner Renee Greff says the name change came about out of concerns raised by the former Corner Brewery's general manager that the business wasn't getting the benefit of  the Arbor Brewing Company brand.

Greff says not everyone knows that Arbor Brewing Company's beer is made at the Ypsilanti location.

She says new logos were designed, and word of the name change was spread through the Arbor Brewing Company blog and Facebook page. 

Education
1:03 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Hears Preliminary Report On Additional High School Options

Credit AAPS

The Ann Arbor School Board hopes to find alternative options to make the district's high schools even better for a broader range of students.  A group of high school leaders have studied more than a half dozen programs including magnet schools, blended classes, new technology programs, and others.  They plan on presenting the school board with two or three concrete program ideas in January or February. 

School Board president Deb Mexicotte says they hope the upcoming election year could help make some additional high school options possible thanks to additional funding.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says there are some common themes of more personalized learning approaches and choices in all of the programs reviewed.  She says the goal will be to find options that balance increased costs with attracting additional students.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on programs being studied for increased options for high school students in Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Environment
8:41 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. 

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Ypsilanti
7:54 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Plans Revised For East Side Rec Center In Ypsilanti

A rendering of what the proposed $12 million Eastside Recreation Center could look like.
Credit courtesy of Washtenaw County.

Ypsilanti City Council will likely have a purchase or development agreement for the East Side Recreation Center in January.  Council Tuesday night received an update on Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation's plans for the facility in the Water Street re-development area.  Park Planning Supervisor Coy Vaughn says the latest design features a smaller parcel of land and a smaller building. 

The new plans call for a 45-to-55-thousand square foot facility on four acres in the Water Street area. Originally, it was going to be a 55-to-65-thousand sqaure foot building set on 12-acres. Vaughn says, despite the smaller scale, no amenities or programs will have to be cut.

The proposed rec center would have 230 feet of frontage along Michigan Avenue, and would leave a 100-foot easement between the facility and the river for a linear park.  The purchase price is to be one dollar, with the county providing $900,000 worth of infrastructure improvements to the site and surrounding area.

Listen to WEMU's Bob Eccles full report.

Ypsilanti City Council report from it's 12/17/13 meeting

How do the exchanges work?
7:16 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Your Questions About The American Health Care Act

There are many questions about the new health care law. Here are some answers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 8:37 am

In recent months, NPR staff has published a series of questions-and-answer stories related to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Now we've compiled them into an interactive so you can explore answers that are most relevant to you.

There are nearly 80 questions, ranging from who's eligible to how much insurance might cost, among two dozen topics. Filter the list by selecting categories or asking questions.

Did we miss an important question? Let us know.

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Capitol News
6:40 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

State Workers Await Board Decision on Benefits

Dozens of public employee union members protest Tuesday outside Governor Rick Snyder’s office, across from the state Capitol in Lansing.
Credit MPRN

State worker unions rally on eve of contract decision

By Jake Neher

Thousands of state employees could see their health benefits reduced Wednesday. That’s if a state board votes to approve a new contract.

Public employee unions couldn’t reach a contract agreement with the state this year, so the Michigan Civil Service Commission will vote on a compromise plan drawn up by an independent panel. 

Unions say it includes too many concessions while, at the same time, state officials are expecting a budget surplus.

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Community
4:55 am
Tue December 17, 2013

A2 Council Approves Overtime for Police to Step Up Traffic Enforcement

Motorists around Ann Arbor can expect to see more police cars focused on traffic enforcement in January. 

City Council Monday night voted ten to one to provide $125,000 to the police department to fund overtime for officers specifically focused on traffic enforcement. 

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Community
4:50 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Ann Arbor to Put Proceeds from Sale of Y Lot In Affordable Housing Fund

The City of Ann Arbor lost 100 units of low-income housing when they had to close the former YMCA building.  Now that the property at 350 South Fifth Avenue is about to be sold the city’s affordable housing will get almost $1.4 million. 

City Council Monday night voted to put all of the revenue from the sale of the property to affordable housing after covering the initial purchase price, closing and broker fees. 

Mayor John Hieftje explains that some of the funds could be used to provide some important services to help keep tenants in Miller Manor.  Hieftje adds that the city has made real progress in finding funds for affordable housing in the last year. 

The sale of the Y-Lot to Dennis Dahlmann is expected to close by the end of March.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor City Council opting to put funds from the sale of the old YMCA property in the Affordable Housing Fund.

Community
4:42 am
Tue December 17, 2013

A2 Council Again Delays Decision on Parking Meter Removal Policy

Ann Arbor City Council has once more postponed a decision on a policy to charge developers for the removal of on-street parking meters.   Some fine tuning is expected before council votes on a policy to charge developers $45,000 if their project leads to the removal of on-street parking meters.
The proposed policy was developed by the Downtown Development Authority in response to a growing number of parking meters being removed.

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Education
8:58 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Ypsilanti Community School Board Approves Graduation Requirements

Ypsilanti Community Schools Trustees (l-r) Dan Raglin, Celeste Hawkins and Tony VanDerworp study a presentation at Monday night's meeting.
Credit Bob Eccles

Click here for a report from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved graduation requirements that include senior projects designed to pique students' interest in  what they might like to do after graduation. 

Board President David Bates says senior projects are a lot of work, both for the student and for the staff who assist them, but the effort is worthwhile.

Bates says it's a chance for seniors to show what they can do with an Ypsilanti Community Schools education.

Ypsilanti Community Schools graduation requirements also dictate that students earn 23 credits, including 4 Math and English credits and 3 Science and Social Studies credits. 

Staff who put the requirements together worked to find a "happy medium" that will allow seniors from the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run districts graduate.  Their previous requirements didn't match up perfectly.

Local News
6:02 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Ann Arbor Teachers Union Joins Boycott of EMU Student Teachers

The Ann Arbor teachers union is refusing to hire any student teachers from Eastern Michigan University due to the college's involvement with with Michigan's Education Achievement Authority. 

The EAA is a state school system tasked with improving consistently under-performing school districts. It currently runs 15 schools in Detroit and receives student teachers from EMU. 

EAA opponents say it removes too much control from local government. 

EMU's Head of Media Relations, Geoff Larcom  says EMU has no intention of terminating its contract with the EAA.

Local News
5:57 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Friends of the Freighthouse Continue Rehabilitation of Historic Facility

Friends of Freighthouse is well on its way to transforming Depot Town's historic structure into a community hub. 

The organization recently secured $40,000 in funding from a variety of sources, including the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority.

The plan is to turn the Freighthouse into a venue where people can host local events, with long-term plans to have a small cafe.

Friends of the Frighthouse chair Corrine Sikorski says along with basic maintenance, the building needs some major renovations, including ADA-compliant restrooms.

Local News
5:54 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Bike Ypsi Annual Holiday Lights Ride Tuesday

Bike Ypsi holds its annual Holiday Lights Ride Tuesday night. 

Bike Ypsi's Bob Krzewinski says they scout the area for nice light displays beforehand, then take a fairly liesurely eight to 10 mile ride around Ypsilanti to check them out.

The Bike Ypsi Holiday Lights Ride starts at seven Tuesday night at the Corner Brewery. 

For more information visit bike,ypsi.org

12:03 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

RIP, Jimmy Amadie, Philadelphia jazz pianist and educator

Lead in text: 
Linda Yohn played tribute to Jimmie last Friday. Playlist found here: http://n.pr/18v8Flh
Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013, 2:17 PM Jimmy Amadie, the Philadelphia jazz pianist and teacher who battled through severe tendinitis to return to the stage after a 44 year absence in 2011, died on Tuesday. There will be a full obit for Amadie, who grew up in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia and lived in Bala Cynwyd, in Saturday's Inquirer.
11:08 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Eastern Michigan University undertakes broad effort to improve student retention and graduation rates

Lead in text: 
Effort includes special initiatives to improve outcomes for single parents and men of color
The program, overseen by the office of the provost, is an extensive, campus-wide effort that seeks not only to improve student outcomes at Eastern but contribute nationally to understanding what support strategies work for two specialized groups: men of color and single parents.The plan, which was presented to the EMU Board of Regents Tuesday, focuses on five areas that research has shown to have significant impact on degree completion and retention.
Capitol News
4:48 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Michigan Lawmakers New Year's Resolution: Find Money To Fix Roads

State lawmakers have left Lansing for the holidays and won’t return until January 8th. But they already have a long list of things to do heading into 2014.  One of the big jobs they’ll face will be finding money to improve the state’s roads and infrastructure. 

  

Early this year, Governor Rick Snyder urged lawmakers to boost funding for roads by more than a billion dollars. But Snyder’s idea to raise the state’s gas tax and vehicle registration fees never won enough support in the Legislature – and neither did any other proposal.

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Arts
6:03 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Peter O'Toole, A Life Even Larger Than 'Lawrence'

Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Academy Award for his title role in Lawrence of Arabia.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Peter O'Toole, the Hollywood legend who was made famous in his title role in Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday in a London hospital. The 81-year old Irishman was nominated for eight Oscars in his distinguished career, and was known as a bit of a hellraiser.

To those who hadn't seen the actor perform on the London stage, O'Toole was seemingly catapulted into fame. But it may be more accurate to say he charged into it. As T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole was tall, handsome and sensitive.

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Community
2:41 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

U-of-M Institute for Social Research Continues Giving Tradition

U-of-M ISR staffers (l-r) Bridgitte Wyche McGee, Donnalee Grey-Farquharson, Jeannie Baker, Robert Choate, Wendi Fornoff and Becky Bahlibi.
Credit Emma Jackson, WISD

Homeless students in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will have something to smile about this Christmas thanks to a generous donation from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research's ISR Feeds group. 

The group dropped off about 150 gift bags Friday. 

WISD Communication Specialist Emma Jackson says this is the fifth year the ISR has helped out.

The donation will benefit kids in the Education Project for Homeless Youth, a non-profit organization that provides supprot to students who are homeless.

Environment
1:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Mayor Hieftje Talks Public Transit in SE Michigan

Issues of the Environment 12/10/13
Among the most debated issues in Ann Arbor and the Southeast Michigan region, is the matter of public transportation. What should we be working towards, what should public transit of the future look like, what elements should it contain….and of course: how do we pay for it all?  These are questions debated on a regular basis at Ann Arbor City Council, and our guest this morning is in the middle of all of it. John Hieftje is the Mayor of Ann Arbor.
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EMU
11:30 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

EMU Welcomes New Football Coach Chris Creighton [photos]

Eastern Michigan University's new football coach says he's excited to be here and passionate to work with the players.  

Chris Creighton was introduced to the EMU community at a press conference Thursday that included a pep talk by the new coach. Creighton says his goal at EMU is to win a MAC championship as soon as possible, but also to make sure they are getting everything out of the program's potential, adding that he will work his offense around what the players are most capable of doing, but wants to have a balanced attack.

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Politics
10:03 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Medical Marijuana Bills Approved by Michigan House

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

State House approves a trio of medical marijuana bills

Medical marijuana patients in Michigan would have more ways to legally obtain and consume cannabis under three bills that cleared the state House on Thursday.

House Bill 4271 would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate again in Michigan.

State Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) introduced the legislation. He says it’s critical for many patients to have safe access to marijuana right away.

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Capitol News
10:01 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Issues Ads Legislation headed for Governor's Desk

Bill doubling campaign contributions, shielding issue ad donors goes to Gov. Snyder

By Jake Neher

People who pay for so-called “issue ads” would be able to stay anonymous under a bill that has cleared the state Legislature. It would also double the amount of money people can give to campaigns and political action committees (PACs).

The state Senate gave SB661 final legislative approval Thursday.

It would also block Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s proposal that would require issue ads to disclose their donors.

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Local News
9:57 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Ypsilanti Police Chief Finalists Meet the Public

Deputy Ypsilanti Police Chief Tony DiGiusti
Credit Bob Eccles

About 50 people turned out last night for a public forum introducing the two finalists to be Ypsilanti's next Chief of Police. 

Deputy Chief Tony DiGiusti is one of the finalists.  He said his 13 years of experience as a deputy chief and administrator have prepared him for the job.

DiGiusti's been interim Chief since Amy Walker left to take a job in the private sector in October. 

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Local News
4:38 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Thunderbirds to Headline 2014 Thunder over Michigan Air Show

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will headline next year's Thunder over Michigan air show at Willow Run Airport. 

Yankee Air Museum Public Relations Director Bob Hynes says the show is scheduled for August 9th and 10th.

Hynes says if you have an aviation buff on your holiday gift list, there's a special code you can enter to save big on tickets to next year's Thunder over Michigan show. 

Go to YankeeAirMuseum.org, click on Thunder over Michigan Air Show and enter the code TOMINSIDER to get a discount on tickets.

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Arts
9:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Cinema Chat: Sundance Film Festival, Nebraska, Kill Your Darlings and More

View of the Michigan Theater from this week
Patrik Holubik WEMU-FM

There are some great movies  opening up this week! In this week's installment of Cinema Chat, WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Director Russ Collins look into those. The conversation first covers some news out of Hollywood and Ann Arbor. Cinema Chat is a regular feature heard each Thursday during Morning Edition on 89.1 WEMU.

Cinema Chat: 12/12/2013

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