washtenaw county

WEMU News
12:43 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Washtenaw County Gauging Affordable Housing Need

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County wants to get a better idea of how great the need is locally for affordable housing, and has launched an online needs assessment to help make that determination.

Paul Montagno is the Sustainable Communities Coordinator for Washtenaw County's Office of Community and Economic Development.

He says this survey will be very helpful in providing policy direction.

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WEMU News
3:49 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

July 20-26 Gun Safety Week In Washtenaw County

Gun safety locks and information will be available at law enforcement agencies during Gun Safety Week.
Bob Eccles

Law enforcment agencies across Washtenaw County hope to help prevent gun deaths by offering free gun lock kits during Gun Safety Week, July 20th through the 26th.

County Prosecutor Brian Mackie says he's seen far too many senseless deaths in his thirty-plus years on the job.

"One would be too many, but it happens over and over again with otherwise responsible citizens who think that they're protecting themselves by having a loaded gun, then there's death or serious injury in the family, usually when children go to the guns," Mackie says.

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Community
8:53 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council Helps Fund Washtenaw County Animal Control Services

Credit Courtesy Image / Humae Society of Huron Valley

The City of Ann Arbor will spend 135-thousand dollars to support animal control services in Washtenaw County. 

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports Ann Arbor City Council approves funding for animal control services.

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WEMU News
3:29 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Irwin Blasts Road Funding 'Earmarks'

53rd District State Representative Jeff Irwin (D)
Credit http://053.housedems.com/

A local state representative is among Democrats crying "foul" in Lansing over the latest round of road funding.

The state chose projects that'll receive $115 million in funding based on request from lawmakers, and Democrats complain that most of the work is being done in districts represented by majority Republicans. 

Representative Jeff Irwin says this is what happens when road projects are funded by earmarks rather than by a set formula.

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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
8:28 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

DTE Energy Working To Restore Power Across Washtenaw County

Credit dteenergy.com

Storms that rolled through Washtenaw County knocked out power to several thousand DTE Energy customers Wednesday afternoon.

The utility's outage map shows three main affected areas:

  • Dexter Township area:  500-1500 customers without electricity.
  • Webster Township area:  100-500 customers affected.
  • Southern edge of Ann Arbor into Pittsfield Township:  1500-2500 customers in the dark.

Numerous smaller scattered outages have also been reported.

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WEMU News
8:44 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Ringleaders Identified In Recent Gang-Related Crime Surge

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has identified three or four individuals believed to be the leaders in a recent rash of juvenile gang-related trouble at the Huron Heights apartment complex on Leforge Road.

Director of Community Engagement Derrick Jackson says a group of mostly middle school to early high schoolers has been mimicking gang behavior, leading to numerous calls for police service. 

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WEMU News
8:43 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Washtenaw County Seeks Public Input On Former Juvenile Center's Future

Credit wikipedia commons

Washtenaw County will seek the community's thoughts on what to do with the former Juvenile Center property on Platt Road.

A consultant will spend the next seven months helping the county decide how to proceed. 

Plans call for a three-day charrette to give the public a chance to weigh in on the future use of the 13-point-five acre parcel, but dates for that workshop have not been set.

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Issues of the Environment
8:30 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Deer Management In Ann Arbor

Deer captured in an Ann Arbor yard
Washtenaw Citizens for Ecological Balance

Deer overpopulation in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County is responsible for increasing home and vehicle property damage and is threatening the area's ecological balance.

This week, David Fair talks with Maurita Holland about the issues creating the problem and the potential solutions.

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WEMU News
7:16 am
Fri June 6, 2014

News Mixed In Washtenaw County Foreclosure Auctions

Credit wikimedia commons

This year's tax foreclosure auctions are a mixed bag for Washtenaw County.

There are fewer items for auction this year, but the number land parcels has increased. The major cause for the difference is the foreclosure of three incomplete subdivisions, which are being sold as combined items. County Treasurer Catherine McClary says they are still preparing a list of all properties being auctioned but should have it available to the public in coming days. 

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The Green Room
7:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

When It Rains, It Pours: Local Efforts To Contain Floodwaters

Storm water spilling over high flow dam at Mary Beth Doyle Park
Barbara Lucas 89.1 WEMU

Water is life-giving, but too much, too fast is destructive. Climate change is causing more severe rainstorms, creating challenges for both homeowners and municipal governments.

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WEMU News
4:42 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Re-Development Of Powertrain Plant Could Mean 7,800 New Jobs

Credit ewashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County could soon get a major boost to its economy.

The county has applied for a nearly one million dollar federal grant to convert the old GM Powertrain plant in Ypsilanti Township into a research & development facility for connected and automated vehicles.

County Administrator Verna McDaniel says if the grant is approved, it could lead to creation of 7,800 research and skilled trade jobs.

McDaniel says the county should know one way or the other in the next two to three weeks.

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WEMU News
4:38 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Chief Of Chelsea Area Fire Authority Continues Recovery From Farm Accident

Credit youtube.com

Chelsea Area Fire Authority Chief Jim Payeur is alert and fully functional, as he continues his recovery from serious injuries suffered in a farm accident this past Friday evening. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports.

That's according to Fire Authority Board Chair Rod Anderson, who says he and the board have agreed informally that there's no need to name an interim Chief. 

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WEMU News
2:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Events Focus On Opioid Addiction, Recovery

Credit http://www.homeofnewvision.org/

A series of events over the next couple of weeks aim to address the issue of opioid use in Washtenaw County.

Glynis Anderson is founder of Home of New Vision, which is hosting a public awareness event Thursday evening at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with remarks from a nationally-recognized expert on addiction, treatment and recovery.

Anderson says a workshop Friday is designed to help those who've recovered from opioid addiction share their story of recovery. 

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Community
5:24 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Washtenaw County Looks To Find Funds For Support Services To Help Homeless

Credit Washtenaw County

A private endowment could one day fund important support services needed as homeless individuals transition into permanent housing.  In 2008 a Washtenaw County task force recommended a millage to pay for this work until the endowment was funded.  The economic downturn killed the tax idea, but the task force has continued to meet.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to fund supportive services in Washtenaw County to ensure formerly homeless people don't end up back on the streets.

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Community
5:52 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

As Summer Vacation Approaches Low-Income Food Programs Grow Important

Credit facebook/Food Gathers

  With about one in six Washtenaw County children going hungry, free and reduced lunch programs are vital. As summer approaches Food Gatherers and Ypsilanti Community Schools are sponsoring Summer Food Service Programs.

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on summer food programs for low income kids.
 
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Community
4:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

New Book On Ann Arbor's Architecture Released

Credit Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide

A new book highlights the most important buildings of Ann Arbor.  Susan Wineberg and Patrick McCauley's "Historic Ann Arbor: An architectural Guide" includes 375 of the city's outstanding structures.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a new book highlighting 375 of Ann Arbor's most important historic buildings.

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Community
6:27 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Critics Of Genetically Modified Organisms Will March In Ann Arbor Saturday

More companies are pledging not to use Genetically Modified Organisms.  That's welcome news to organizers of March Against Monsanto events planned in Ann Arbor and hundreds of other locations Saturday.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on this weekend's March Against Monsanto in Ann Arbor.

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Community
4:37 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Washtenaw County Officials Reject Tax For Road Work, Create Study Committee

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County like most places in Michigan has plenty of roads that need work, particularly after the harsh winter we had this year.  The Washtenaw County Commissioners have opted to form a committee to study options for fixing the roads rather than levy a .4 mill tax in December.

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports the Washtenaw County Commissioners have rejected a one-year tax for road repairs and instead created a committee to study how to improve road conditions.
    
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Education
4:31 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Hosting Discussion On Human Trafficking

Credit Eastern Michigan University

Michigan lawmakers are considering efforts to fight human trafficking.  Eastern Michigan Unviersity's Women's Resource Center Thursday hosts Senators Rebekah Warren and Judy Emmons to share their proposals.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Eastern Michigan University's Women's Resource Center hosting a discussion on human trafficking and legislative efforts to address the problem.

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Education
4:25 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

University Of Michigan Again Receives Record Number Of Applications

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Once again a record number of students applied to the University of Michigan.  It's the 8th consecutive year U of M's admissions office has set a record for applications received.

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports for the 8th straight year the University of Michigan has received a record number of applications.

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Community
4:16 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Ann Arbor's Performance Network Theatre Suspends Operations

Credit Performance Network Theatre

Ann Arbor's Performance Network Theatre has closed its doors.  The board of directors suspended all operations effective immediately earlier Thursday.  

  

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WEMU News
7:32 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Home Prices Up In Washtenaw County; Will Property Taxes Follow?

Credit flickr.com

In another sign of economic recovery, prices for homes in Washtenaw County are rising.

April's average home prices are up 10 percent from the same time last year, but that doesn't mean property taxes will be matching that increase.

County Treasurer Catherine McClary says Michigan law prevents property taxes from being raised by more than 5 percent a year.

McClary says rising sale prices are a good sign for the county, and will make it easier for home owners to get out of an underwater mortgage.

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Community
4:21 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Tony Hawk Adding To Excitement Around Ann Arbor Skatepark Grand Opening Plans

Construction on the Ann Arbor Skatepark earlier this spring.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The grand-opening of Ann Arbor's new skatepark is a month away, but news that skating legend Tony Hawk will be at the opening has the skating community freaking out.  President of the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark Trevor Staples says Hawk and several other professional skateboarders will give demonstrations as part of the opening event.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on skating legend Tony Hawk spiking interest in the June 21st Grand Opening of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.

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Community
5:32 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Former Department Of Environmental Quality Official To Talk About Risks Of Oil Drilling

West Bay Exploration Vice President Patrick Gibson discusses his company and what they are looking for in Scio Township at a public meeting in April.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The environmental risks of oil and gas developments and local solutions will be discussed Tuesday night at a meeting at the Scio Township Hall.  Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards are hosting the meeting which will include consultant and former Department of Environmental Quality official Chris Grobbel. 

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Citizens for Oil-Free Backyards hosting a meeting Tuesday about the environmental risks of oil drilling.

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