Local

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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1:46 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Shuttle to the Detroit Jazz Festival

Lead in text: 
Round Trip Shuttles available for all three days. $15.00 per person. Save 5 Dollars if you register on or before August 25. *** Register here ***
The 34th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, a Labor Day tradition in Southeastern Michigan, will once again be filled with many different styles of our beloved....Jazz! Enjoying the weekend in Motown, listening to music by the the Detroit river, is a simple decision as it only gets this good once a year.
Community
7:56 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Washtenaw County Kicks Off its Stuff the Bus Campaign

Credit Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County today launches the annual "Stuff the Bus" campaign.  The effort aims to collect school supplies for needy children in kindergarten  through fifth grade in Washtenaw County's public schools.     

A school bus will be parked in front of the Target store on Carpenter Road. Kari Dorr is heading up the campaign for the  county.  Shes says all types of supplies are needed, including: 

  • Pencils
  • Backpacks
  • Three-ring binders
  • Composition books
  • Erasers
  • Colored pencils, Crayons
  • Pens, Mechanical pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Folders
  • Hi-lighters
  • Index cards
  • Calculators
  • Display boards
  • Protractors, Rulers

Supplies can be given to volunteers on site or donations can be placed directly into boxes on the school bus. Dorr says the amount of  donated supplies has increased every year,  and this year the hope is to exceed $10,000 worth. The drive is being held everyday this week from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


 

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Parks & Rec.
6:56 am
Mon August 5, 2013

On-line Survey Regarding Parks in Downtown Ann Arbor Ends Today

Today's the last day to share your feelings on parks in Ann Arbor's downtown through an online survey.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more. 

On-line survey regarding parkland in downtown Ann Arbor ends today

A pair of online survey's are giving people a chance to share their thoughts on parks in Downtown Ann Arbor and possible sites for dog parks in the city. 

                                                                     Take the survey here.

Over 1,000  people have responded to both surveys.  Ingrid Ault is the Chair of the Downtown Park Subcommittee of the Park Advisory Commission. Ault says the downtown park survey has three primary questions: If the community thinks there is a need for more downtown park space, what the space should look like, and how to fund it. Ault says in September community meetings will be held to further flesh out possibilities about downtown park space. 

Education
6:27 am
Mon August 5, 2013

YCS Board of Education To Consider Some Changes to Class Start Times

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education tonight will consider tweaking the start time for classes at its meeting tonight.  The district planned to have each student to spend seven-and-a-half hours in school every day, but it's being proposed to reduce that by fifteen minutes. 

Currently, classes at Ypsilanti Community High School are set to begin at 8 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.  Under a proposed change, the high school would let out at 3:15 p.m.  instead.  Ypsilanti Community Middle School would have the same bell times.  Classes in district elementary schools would start at 9:10 a.m. and let out at 4:25 p.m, rather than 4:40 p.m.  The school day at Ypsilanti New Tech would run from 7:50 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.

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Education
6:09 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

GM To Donate $900,000 To EMU STEM Training Program

General Motors has announced it will be donating $900,000 over the next three years to Eastern Michigan Uuniversity's Project Lead the Way program - a national program that encourages U.S. middle and high schools to teach STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math curriculum materials, and the development of engineering and biomedical programs for their students.  

Professor John Dugger is the director of EMU's Project Lead The Way affiliate program. He says the program continues to grow, and EMU has helped train many of its teachers.

Dugger says the program contributes in other ways; holding annual conferences and acting as a recruiter and advisor for schools interested in the teaching STEM material.

Local News
2:34 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Livability.com Ranks Ann Arbor 2nd Among College Towns

For the third time in as many years, Ann Arbor has been rated as one of the ten best college towns in America by Livability.com - this year placing second, its best rating to date. 

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Environment
8:54 am
Fri August 2, 2013

1st Friday Focus on the Environment: Fracking

On the 1st Friday of every month, WEMU allots nearly 20-minutes to dedicate to a topic of environemtnal importance.

David Fair co-hosts the segment with Lisa Wozniak. Lisa is the Executive Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.  Their guest, this time around, is Jacque Rose, and the topic of discussion is the controversial process of hydraulic  fracturing, or "fracking." 

Jacque is a paralegal who has specialized in civil litigation in Michigan for 27 years. She first became interested in  fracking related issues when land leasing agents descended on the tri-county area of the AuGres-Rifle Watershed in Northeast Michigan where she resides, especially in connection with potential threats to water resources. She co-founded the Friends of the AuGres-Rifle Watershed: a volunteer group dedicated to educating the public and government officials responsibly about the potential risks associated with deep shale high volume hydraulic fracturing. The group gives presentations, holds public meeting forums, and provides research materials and information to other groups throughout Michigan concerned with fracking issues. Jacque's leadership and activism has landed her a nickname: "The Erin Brockovich of Fracking."

Exploring the potential dangers of fracking in Michigan

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Education
8:23 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Effort to Recall Six Ann Arbor School Board Members is Rejected

Credit AAPS

The Washtenaw County Election Commission on Thursday rejected ballot language that sought to recall six members of the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the commission voted unanimously to reject submission for lack of clarity.

The Washtenaw County Election Commission rejects the recall attempt of six members of the Ann Arbor School Board, citing a lack of clarity in the ballot language.

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Local News
10:15 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Non-Motorized Advisory Committee Working With EMU On B2B Trail Safety

Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's Non-Motorized Advisory Committee is working with Eastern Michigan University to help improve awareness of and safety along the Border-to-Border Trail where it runs past the EMU Convocation Center. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Events Downtown & Around Town
4:27 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Weekend Watch: DAYFest, Local Blues & Local Brews, and More!

Upcoming Events for August 2-4

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