WikiMedia Commons

The new head of the Michigan Department of Education, Brian Whiston says he’ll act on his own to improve teacher evaluations if lawmakers fail to do so. The state Senate approved a bill in May meant to improve teacher evaluations and make them more uniform across the state. Senate Bill 103 has since stalled in the state House.

Influenza vaccine
Center for Disease Control/ Wikimedia Commons

With less than a month before most students in Washtenaw County go back to school, public health officials recommend parents to get their children immunized.  

Melissa Gilbert, who gained fame playing Laura Ingalls on TV’s Little House on the Prairie, says she’s running for a mid-Michigan congressional seat as a Democrat.

Unless you grew up in a black family with deep Detroit roots, I'm betting you've never heard of Black Bottom. It was a self-sustaining, all-black neighborhood that flourished on Detroit's eastern edge at the turn of the last century. It's largely forgotten today, replaced by a four-lane highway, but back then its mile-and-a-half main drag bustled with black-owned grocery stores selling produce from local black farmers.

Eastern Michigan University

  After nearly two months of formal negotiations, Eastern Michigan University and the American Association of University Professors have reached a tentative contract agreement.  

Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

Two Ypsilanti children decided to start a lemonade stand to raise money, but the funds won't go to buy toys or anything like that.


You get a business deal with the Tubby Submarine sandwich company buying the Livonia based "Just Baked" cupcake maker.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though several "Just Baked" franchises including the one in Ann Arbor are not part of the deal.  

We’re just a day away from another election day in Washtenaw county.  This primary election will only affect those who are registered to vote in Ann Arbor. There will be a total of 8 council candidates in 4 races on August ballot. Here you will find information from WEMU's Jorge Avellan on each of the contested races.

Jake Nehere / Michigan Public Radio Network

Dozens of protesters rallied at the state Capitol on Thursday against an aging pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

The group delivered a letter addressed to Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette demanding that the pipeline be shut down.

“This pipeline is already one pinhole leak away from wreaking havoc upon the Great Lakes,” said Mariah Urueta, Michigan organizer for the group Food and Water Watch.

“The Straits of Mackinac is the worst possible place for an oil spill to occur.”

Mackinac Pipeline
Greg Varnum/Wikimedia Commons

The National Wildlife Federation says it’s making plans to sue the federal government. The environmental group says the US Department of Transportation is not enforcing a law that requires “worst-case” disaster plans for underwater pipelines to be on file.

US House of Representatives

A local congresswoman is helping Congress launch an effort to help citizens prevent cancer.

Michigan may have to pay up to $2 million in legal fees related to the case that struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

The six attorneys who successfully challenged the ban want the state to reimburse them for their legal costs. They say they worked thousands of hours on the case – which was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sheriff Jerry L. Clayton
Courtesy Washtenaw County Sheriff Department

Straight talk from the Washtenaw county sheriff.  In a letter to concerned citizens in light of recent gun violence, Washstenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says “there is a gang problem” in part of the county. 

Mlive looks into the million-dollar State Theatre renovations to restore its art deco feel, tentatively slated to begin in the summer or fall of 2016.

U-M Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy

Are you a coffee shop frequenter or do you prefer a fast food restaurant? A University of Michigan researcher has codified the "cool factor" of both types of places. While coffee shops and fast food restaurants have both enjoyed strong employment growth in recent years - 2 to 3 times faster than the economy overall.

A union-led petition drive is trying to increase the state’s Corporate Income Tax rate from 6 percent to 11 percent. The revenue would be used to fix roads.

The Pill, Birth Control, Michigan
Wikimedia Commons

The State of Michigan would have to take measures meant to increase access to birth control under new proposals in the state Legislature.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Water levels in the Great Lakes are rising from record lows. Lakes Huron and Michigan are 3 feet higher than a year ago. Here's NPR's David Schaper.

Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Legislature is on a summer break until mid-August. The House and the Senate both adjourned today (Tue.) with no quorums and no votes on road funding.

Medical Marijuanna Austim
Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Review Board Monday delayed any decision on adding autism to the list of conditions in which medical marijuana could be an approved treatment.

A new bill in the state House would require schools to adopt policies on social media interactions between students and school employees. Supporters of House Bill 4791 say social media can be a great tool for teachers to communicate with students.

As WEMU gets ready for this Wednesday’s trip to Comerica Park to see the Tigers take on the Seattle Mariners, I drew up a baseball-themed playlist to get you fired up.  If you do a google search for baseball tunes, you’ll find many that are on this list.  However, enlisting the advice of fellow jazz programmers around the nation for their suggestions yielded many more creative ideas.  Adding pieces with a definite WEMU-Ann Arbor, and Detroit connection gives this list an ultra-special distinction.  I picked one song per inning as well as the seventh-inning stretch and tossed in one more in case our game requires an extra inning for a total of 11 favorites.  

Phone Scams
Creative Commons

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for a new phone scam. In this latest one, a person calls claiming they're a lawyer trying to collect on a defaulted loan.

Former Eastern Michigan University President Susan Martin has found a new job. San Jose State University has named her its Interim President, effective August 18. 

The state of Michigan is terminating its contract with Aramark to provide prison food services.