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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 .
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.

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.

7:16 am
Fri July 19, 2013

U of M to Launch Search For New President

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan Board of Regents has appointed an advisory committee to help search for the school's next president.      The board on Thursday announced the appointment of seven faculty members to work with the board and a search firm. Russell Reynolds Associates will be paid a $300,000 flat fee with expenses not to exceed $50,000.

In April, President Mary Sue Coleman announced she would step down when her contract expires in the summer of 2014. She will leave as the university's fourth longest-serving leader.

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7:14 am
Fri July 19, 2013

U of M To Provide Tuition Help To Michigan's Immigrant Community

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan Board of Regents will offer in-state tuition to immigrants who've been living in Michigan without legal permission. The university currently charges those students out-of-state tuition, which is much higher.

During their meeting Thursday in Ann Arbor, U-M regents also passed the proposal that allows members of the military to receive in-state tuition, regardless of where they live. The policy revisions go into effect in January.

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Arts and Culture
7:16 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Ann Arbor Art Fair Day Two Audio Snapshot

Credit artfair.org

Day two of the 2013 Ann Arbor Art Fairs is almost in the books.  Here's WEMU's audio snapshot of some of today's happenings. 

Arts and Culture
11:36 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Cinema Chat: Art Fairs, Low Winter Sun, Only God Forgives, Girl Most Likely, Comic-con and More

Credit The Michigan Theater

In this week's installment of Cinema Chat, Michigan Theater Program Director Amanda Bynum sat in for her boss, Russ Collins.  She came to the studio with an abundance of information, and joined WEMU's David Fair in enthusiastically good spirits! 

Cinema Chat for 7/18/13

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10:30 am
Thu July 18, 2013

New Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent to Be Named Friday

Members of the Ann Arbor Board of Education have just over 24-hours to consider whom they prefer to serve as the districts next Superintendent of Schools. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the second and last finalist last night met with the community at a public forum.

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8:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Yankee Air Museum Takes to Skies to Raise Awareness of Bomber Plant Campaign [Photo Gallery]

Bob Eccles mans the .50 caliber machinegun.

The Yankee Air Museum has until August 1st to raise just under $5 million to buy a section of the Willow Run bomber plant for its new home.  As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the museum on Wednesday gave donors and members of the media flights on its B-17 bomber to raise awareness of the campaign.

Hear Bob's report here.

Learn how you can take a once in a lifetime ride on the B-17 Yankee Lady here : 


Community Service
6:50 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Local Volunteers Finalists For 2013 Governor's Service Awards

A couple of local volunteers are finalists for the 2013 Governor's Service Awards.  Both volunteer at Arbor Hospice, and WEMU's Bob Eccles had the chance to speak with them.



Volunteer of the Year
When it comes to solving community problems, individuals really make things happen. These everyday citizens are very special people who go the extra mile for their community. This award is reserved for an individual who strives to improve the lives of neighbors, friends, community, or congregation.  Individuals nominated for this award could be adults, national service members, educators, and more. 

Hear Bob's interview with Fritz Schafer here.

From the Michigan Community Service Commission

  • Fritz Schafer of Ann Arbor has a unique skill that he voluntarily provides to hospice patients and their families: photography. As an award-winning photographer, Fritz decided to volunteer his gift to the community and approached the Hospice of Michigan Volunteer Coordinator in 2004 about taking photos of hospice patients and their families free of charge. Together they implemented a program where patients could request a photographer to come to their home or facility to take photos and then receive a free framed and edited copy of the pictures. In 2007, Fritz relocated to the Ann Arbor community and began volunteering with the Arbor Hospice program, helping them to create a similar program called Treasured Memories. This program produces more than 20 photos for hospice families each year, and until just recently receiving a grant, Fritz covered the complete costs of the photograph printing and framing himself. In his five years with Arbor Hospice, Fritz has accumulated more than 335 volunteer hours and nearly 1,700 volunteer miles.  

Hear Bob's interview with Helen Buccella-Costa here.

From the Michigan Community Service Commission

  • Helen Buccella-Costa of Ann Arbor has been volunteering with Arbor Hospice since 2009. Originally providing comfort to patients as a member of the Threshold Choir and later as a By Your Side volunteer, Helen found a new volunteering passion in 2011 when Arbor Hospice acquired a therapy dog, Alpine. With a seven-county service area, Alpine has many visit requests across the region and Helen quickly stepped up to become Alpine's scheduler and manager. She coordinates Alpine's visits to different facilities and patient homes and trains staff and volunteers on how to properly handle the dog. In addition, Helen frequently takes Alpine on her visits and has amassed nearly 900 volunteer hours and 9,500 miles in her service with Alpine. Aside from her direct service in relation to Alpine, Helen has also helped to secure donations of veterinary attention, food, and toys for Alpine and even created a Facebook page for the canine so patients can stay connected with the beloved dog between visits.

2:18 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

2013 Detroit Jazz Festival Lineup

Lead in text: 
World-renowned musicians will come together to give Festival attendees performances they’ve never experienced before. This year’s artistic vision focuses on the language of jazz and the generations of musicians who have dedicated their lives to propagating its many dialects. Celebrate history and revel in the creative spirit of artists who expand boundaries to create truly unique, engaging and meaningful music.
7:54 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Ann Arbor Superintendent Search Is Winding Down

The search is almost over.  Tonight, the Ann Arbor Schools community will meet with the 2nd finalist for the district's Superintendent position.

Brian Osborne currently heads up the South Orange and Maplewood School District in New Jersey. He'll  be at a forum at Skyline High School at seven tonight to answer any questions the public may have for him. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the other finalist, Jeanice Swift, went through the same process on Monday night.

The finalists to become the next Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools meet with the public