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Community
4:23 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Opponents Of Putting Train Station In Ann Arbor Park Develop Concept For New Station At Current Site

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A group opposed to Ann Arbor using parkland for a new train station has developed a concept to keep the Amtrak facility on Depot Street.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a concept for a new Ann Arbor train station at the current Amtrak location.

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Michigan News
4:23 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Schauer Speaks Out On Charter School Regulation

Democratic candidate for Michigan governor Mark Schauer.
Credit Facebook.com/ShauerforMichigan

Schauer says he'd push stricter regulations on charter schools as governor

Former Congressman Mark Schauer says he would put tougher regulations on charter schools if he's elected governor. The Battle Creek Democrat says Gov. Rick Snyder has given bad charter operators a "free pass."

"We need to write into law the oversight that was left out when Rick Snyder lifted the cap on the number of charter schools," said Schauer. "It's the Wild West right now, and these schools see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads."

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WEMU News
4:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Artrain Wins National Recognition For Partnerships

Credit ArtrainUSA.org

Artrain has won the National Parks Service's Midwest Regional and National Partnership Awards.

The recognition is for Artrain and its partners' contributions to the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay.

The memorial is part of the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentenial Commemoration.

Artrain President and CEO Deb Polich says other sites that have won this award include the parks in Yosemite and Gettysburg.

Polich says she applauds the National Park Service for wanting to incorporate art and culture into their work.

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Community
4:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Gives Superintendent Swift Excellent Evaluation

From the Listen and Learn tour, to a budget strategy that focused on increasing enrollment new superintendent Jeanice Swift is getting high marks from the Ann Arbor School Board.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent receiving positive marks from the school board.

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Community
4:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Federal Grants To Fight Homelessness In Washtenaw County Show Policy Shift

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor's shift from public housing to a voucher based program is being helped by changes in federal policies.  Washtenaw County is receiving about $2.6 million in US Housing and Urban Development Grants. 

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on federal grants to fight homelessness in Washtenaw County by keeping people in permanent homes.

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WEMU News
2:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Washtenaw County Population Growing

Credit census.gov

Good new from the U.S. Census Bureau for Washtenaw County.

According to the Bureau, the County's population grew by .87 percent last year, one of the largest increases in southeast Michigan.

Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum says people are drawn to Ann Arbor and the county in general thanks partly to the types of industry available here.

"The other is that Ann Arbor has the national reputation as a good place to live," Kestenbaum says.   

Kestenbaum says Washtenaw County remains one of the economically healthiest areas in Michigan.

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WEMU News
2:48 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Baltia Air Lines Title Sponsor Of Thunder Over Michigan Air Show

Credit baltia.com

The Thunder over Michigan air show has a new title sponsor.

The show is now the Baltia Air Lines Thunder over Michigan Air Show. 

Baltia Air Lines is the country's newest passenger airline, with offices at Willow Run airport.  It plans to start non-stop 747 service between New York and St. Petersburg, Russia after receiving FAA certification in September. 

Baltia Vice President of Finance Barry Clare says the Thunder over Michigan Air Show was a good fit for the airline.

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Cinema Chat
9:54 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Cinema Chat: Gary Oldman's Playboy Rant, Transformers And More

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WEMU News
5:53 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board Passes Budget

Credit Andrew Cluley

  Ann Arbor Public Schools has an approved 2014-2015 budget.  It took extending the regular session until after midnight, but the board has voted to approve the funding proposal.  

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Michigan News
5:48 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Detroit Judge Getting Update On Bankruptcy Plan

The judge in Detroit's bankruptcy case is expected to get an update on the voting process from city lawyers.

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Michigan News
5:47 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Plymouth Strength Coach Featured In New TV Show

An upcoming show about a Detroit-area strength coach is set to hold its local premiere. The first episode of Discovery Channel's "American Muscle" series is to be screened Thursday at Barwis Methods Training Center in Plymouth.  The show follows Mike Barwis and the work he does at his gym. Not only does Barwis train top pro, college and Olympic athletes, but he also works with patients who have suffered various injuries, including some who were told they would never walk again.

Michigan News
5:44 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Monroe County Area Student Gets New Robotic Hand

An eighth-grader at a Carleton middle school now has a robotic right hand thanks to school staff members' creativity and a 3D printer.

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Issues of the Environment
4:56 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Issues Of The Environment: Coal Ash And Our Water Supply

Coal Ash Sludge

  A House Bill was recently passed that reclassifies coal ash and a handful of other petroleum byproducts from hazardous waste to low-hazard materials that are suitable for “beneficial uses”.

The coal ash and byproducts will be repurposed to pave roadways and enrich farmland, but environmental watchdog organizations warn that the mercury that is trapped in the ash could eventually leach into groundwater and soil.

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Michigan News
4:28 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Gun Records Exempted From Freedom Of Information Act In Michigan

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed laws exempting gun records from the state's Freedom of Information Act.

The legislation signed Tuesday codifies a 1999 Michigan Supreme Court decision that found disclosure of gun registry records to be an invasion of privacy. The information will still be available to law enforcement officials for certain purposes, though there are new restrictions on when police can access the records.

 A log of who accessed the records and the reason for doing so also is now required by the new laws.

Michigan News
4:27 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Work To Start On Detroit Light Rail

Work on Detroit's light rail project is scheduled to start next month following City Council's approval of construction and operating agreements.

M-1 Rail President and CEO Matt Cullen said Tuesday that groundbreaking and construction details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cullen says a public information campaign will prepare people living along the Woodward corridor and area businesses for the work.

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Michigan News
4:25 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act On The Books In Michigan

Michigan now has a law ensuring that women have the right to breastfeed their babies in public.

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed the Breastfeeding Antidiscrimination Act. Lawmakers introduced the legislation after getting some past reports of women being asked to leave stores, restaurants and government agencies for nursing in public.

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Michigan News
7:40 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Economists: Michigan Didn't Think Ending Public Employee Pensions Through

Credit wikimedia commons

Michigan economists warn against ending pensions for public employees

Some economists say Michigan failed to consider the consequences of ending pension plans for public workers.

The state stopped offering pensions to new employees in 1997. Budget officials say that decision has cut Michigan's long-term debt by about $5 billion.

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Education
5:42 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Concerns Remain Over Plans To Outsource Ann Arbor Schools Custodial Work

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A group of parents, union members, and others in the community continue to object to Ann Arbor Public Schools plan to outsource custodial work.  Earlier this month the school board accepted a bid from GCA Services that will reduce custodial costs by $2 million annually.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on community members still protesting Ann Arbor Public Schools decision to outsource custodial work.

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Community
5:26 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Literati Bookstore Hosting Ann Arbor Mayoral Debate

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

How will Ann Arbor's next mayor take on the challenges around the city's always changing downtown?  That will be among the primary topics discussed Wednesday night at a mayoral debate hosted by Literati Bookstore.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor Mayoral Debate Literati Bookstore is hosting.

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Education
5:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Ann Arbor Teachers Considering Salary Freeze Agreement

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor teachers are voting on an agreement that will freeze wages for next school year.  The deal was reached after the district announced they would cancel the entire teachers contract  if necessary to hold salaries flat.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor teachers considering an agreement that will hold their salaries flat in the fall.

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Education
5:00 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake Schools Considering Annexation

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Whitmore Lake Public Schools has a small fund balance and only plans to open two buildings in the fall, which could make the district ripe for  state take-over.  A possible alternative now being studied is annexation by Ann Arbor Public Schools.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools potentially annexing Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

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WEMU News
2:13 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

'Bee-Friendly' Plants May Actually Be Harmful To Bees

Credit ecocenter.org

Just because a plant is labeled as "bee friendly" doesn't mean it is.

That's according to a new report from The Ecology Center, which partnered with the group "Friends of the Earth" to test plants sold as "bee friendly". 

About half contained neonicotinoid pesticides that can kill bees.  Ecology Center environmental health educator Melissa Sargent encourages people to talk to plant sellers "and find out do they know about the neonicotinoid pesticides? And let them know that you would prefer to buy plants that didn't have those pesticides on them."

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WEMU News
1:45 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Kiwanis Club Helps Teens In Foster Care

Credit kiwanis.org

A program that helps teens in foster care and other students make up high school credit will be able to proceed this summer thanks to a grant of $2,500 from the Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor to the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan.

The program offers online credit recovery classes taught by two teachers and also includes transportation and snacks. Six students involved in the foster care system and six academically struggling students have signed up.

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WEMU News
4:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

AAATA Rolling Out Transit Improvements Soon

Credit TheRide.org

Next month we'll start to see some of the improvements promised by the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority with approval of its .7 mil transit levy.

AAATA says it will begin offering extended hours on many routes starting August 24th. 

It will also start a new route with hourly service between the Ypsilanti District Library and the Ypsilanti Transit Center.

Find a complete listing of transit improvements coming in August online:

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WEMU News
4:38 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Ann Arbor VA Director Says Patient Care Allegations Taken 'Very Seriously'

Credit AnnArbor.VA.gov

The director of Ann Arbor's VA hospital says the facility will continue to cooperate with any and all reviews of the facility.

This comes on the heels of the release of a letter to President Obama from an investigator that says a whistleblower at the facility reported that employees were "practicing unsafe and unsanitary work practices" and untrained workers were improperly handling instruments. 

Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System director Robert McDivitt says any allegations about patient safety are taken very seriously.

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