washtenaw county

WEMU News
5:45 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Washtenaw County Commission District Five Race Shaping Up As Among The Most Interesting

Credit Bob Eccles

In Washtenaw County, the race to replace Roland Sizemore in the County Commission's fifth district now features five candidates - four Democrats and a Republican.

Among the Democrats who submitted nominating petitions before Tuesday's deadline: Ruth Ann Jamnick, a former Ypsilanti Township Supervisor and former State Representative; Wilma Gold-Jones, who serves on the board of the non-profit Mentor2Youth; Keith P. Jason, an Ypsilanti Township Park Commission member and Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority Commissioner; and Victor Dobrin. 

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Community
3:58 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Construction Of Ann Arbor Skatepark Ramping Up Again After Winter Melts Away

Ann Arbor's Skatepark
Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor officials expect to have the construction schedule for the rest of the new skatepark set within the next week.  Park Planner Amy Kuras thinks the facility will be completed by the scheduled June 21st grand opening unless there are a lot of weather issues. 

Kuras says most of the remaining work is in two areas.

Ann Arbor Park Planner Amy Kuras discusses where work is still needed on the new skatepark.

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Community
6:58 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Interest in Ann Arbor Skatepark Growing

Ann Arbor's Skatepark
Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

It's still a little over two months before the opening day for the new skatepark in Ann Arbor, but interest in skating already seems to be growing.  The skatepark's grand opening is set for June 21st, which is International Go Skating Day.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on increasing interest as Ann Arbor's Skatepark is set to open in a little over two months.

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Community
6:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Last Minute Tax Rush

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Tuesday's the deadline to file your taxes and plenty of people are still finishing, or just starting their paperwork.   

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WEMU News
12:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Power Outage Numbers Continue To Climb in Washtenaw County

DTE crews working on down wires along Fuller Court, near the VA Medical Center in Ann Arbor
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Windy conditions continue today and it's causing an increasing number of power outages. DTE Energy spokesperson Alejandro Bodipo-Memba tells WEMU about six-thousand Washtenaw County customers are without electricity. 

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Community
11:59 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Sheriff Clayton Wants Discussion On How To Fund Policing Across Washtenaw County

Credit Courtesy Photo / Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County communities that contract with the Sheriff’s department for policing will likely see one percent increases in their bills in 2016 and 2017.  The County Commissioners vote on that proposal this week, but Sheriff Jerry Clayton is calling for a larger conversation on how law enforcement is funded. 

Clayton doesn’t believe the current model is sustainable.  He thinks a county-wide model could be designed to work for communities that contract with his department and those that have their own police departments.

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton discusses how a county-wide funding model for policing could work for both communities with their own police department and those that contract for policing from his department.

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WEMU News
9:47 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Judge Donald Shelton Leaving Bench To Run Program At University of Michigan

Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald E. Shelton
Credit Donald E Shelton

  Washtenaw County Circuit Judge Donald Shelton announced yesterday he will be stepping down from the bench as of September 1. The University of Michigan - Dearborn has appointed Shelton Director of the Criminal Justice Program.

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Community
4:15 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Washtenaw County Considering Refinancing Bonds To Save Nearly $800,000

Washtenaw County continues to pay about $1.6 million annually on bonds issued to fund the county jail construction project about eight years ago.  The county is now considering refinancing the bonds at a lower interest rate to save about $800,000 over the remaining life of the bond issue.   County Administrator Verna McDaniel thinks it's another case where small savings can build up to a big difference.

Washtenaw County Administrator Verna McDaniel discusses how small annual savings will result in big overall savings.

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WEMU News
8:42 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Washtenaw County Tops in 'Health Factors' among Michigan Counties

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County finds itself at the top of the list of Michigan's healthiest counties for the fifth straight year.

The "health factors" rankings compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute consider things like the availability of parks and recreational facilities, along with social and economic factors. 

Susan Cerniglia is Public Information Officer for Washtenaw County Public Health.  She says they know there's a strong foundation for good health in the county.

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Community
5:32 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Ann Arbor Woman Devastated Her Wedding Won't Be Recognized

Wrapping up the paperwork on Washtenaw County's first legal same-sex marriage.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An Ann Arbor woman is devastated and questioning why she should stay in the state now that Governor Rick Snyder says Michigan won't recognize her marriage that took place last weekend.  

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Community
2:28 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

State Rep. Jeff Irwin Wants Appeals of Same Sex Marriage Ruling Dropped

Wrapping up the paperwork on Washtenaw County's first legal same-sex marriage Saturday morning.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan State Representative Jeff Irwin thinks Attorney General Bill Schuette is wasting tax payer dollars trying to defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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Developing
12:01 pm
Sat March 22, 2014

Washtenaw County's First Legal Same Sex Marriages Take Place

Finishing up the paperwork on the wedding of Elizabeth Patten and Johnnie Terry. Washtenaw County's first same sex marriage.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

UPDATE 5:40 PM

By Patrik Holubik

The US 6th Circuit of Appeals has issued a stay until Wednesday on the decision to strike down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.  

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WEMU News
7:49 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Road Conditions Won't Improve Soon, warns County Road Commission

Credit Andrew Cluley

The Washtenaw County Road Commission is warning that area roads will continue to be in rough shape for a while, as long as the weather continues to freeze and thaw.

Jim Harmon is the road commission's Director of Operations.

"We're experiencing rough road conditions s county-wide at this time," Harmon said, "both on our paved roads and un-paved roads, and our crews are working each day to try and patch and hold these roads together until things completely thaw out and stabalize."

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Community
1:32 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Increasing Number of Michigan Residents Compete in Crossfit Open

Athletes train at Joust Strength and Fitness in Ann Arbor.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A growing number of adults are competing in a wide variety of sports and Washtenaw County is no exception.  Nearly 200 people in the area are in the middle of competing in the Crossfit Open. 

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Community
3:48 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Lyndon Township Officials To Discuss Gravel, Sand Mining Proposal Again Tonight

Lyndon Township's Planning Commission tonight continues discussions on a proposed gravel pit and sand mining operation.  About 200 people attended a meeting last month on a special land use request from McCoig Materials for a site on M-52 across from Green Lake.  

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WEMU News
8:05 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Saline Residents Speak Out on Dispatch Outsourcing Proposal

Credit cityofsaline.org

Saline residents had a couple of chances this week to find out more about a proposal to shift overnight police dispatch to a third party.

Mayor Brian Marl says the first of two public forums took place Monday evening.

"We heard a lot of legitimate concerns," Marl said. "A lot of excellent questions were articulated by our community members".

Marl says a forum Wednesday morning wasn't as well attended, probably due to the weather.

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WEMU News
6:45 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Winter Weather Forces School Closings, Slows Morning Commute

With 6-9 inches of snow expected today, all public school districts in Washtenaw County closed for the day. There is a long list of private and parochial closings, as well. The entire list for Washtenaw and surrounding counties can be found here: 

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Weather
4:31 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Winter Storm Warning In Effect Until 3PM, 6-9 Inches Of Snow In Washtenaw County Today

6-9 inches of snow expected in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan Wednesday
Credit TeppoTK / flickr

Washtenaw County is among the many in Michigan under a Winter Storm Warning. The National Weather Service issued the warning, to be in effect until three this afternoon. Storm snowfall totals could reach between 6-9 inches.  

According to the NWS Hazardous Weather Statement, the peak of the snowfall is expected between six and 10am, with up to one-to-two inches of snowfall per hour.  

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Community
3:49 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Ann Arbor Little Caesars Store Brings Corprate Love Kitchen to Help Feed Homeless

People line up for pizza at the Little Caesars Love Kitchen outside the Washtenaw County Salvation Army in Ann Arbor.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

This has been a harsh winter for area homeless people and pushed shelters to capacity and beyond. 

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Community
11:53 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Average Home Value Up in All Washtenaw County Communities In 2014

Credit ewashtenaw.org

Washtenaw County saw the average home value increase by nearly 6 percent this year.  It marked the first time in years where every community in the county saw property assessments rise on average.  

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Issues of the Environment
12:33 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Issues of the Environment: The Snowy Owls in Washtenaw County

  

Snowy Owls don't make it to Washtenaw County every winter. They made it this winter in greater numbers than usual. Why? Where might you see one?  In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment, David Fair seeks out answers to those questions.

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The Green Room
6:58 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Rental Housing in Washtenaw County and Wasted Energy: Who Pays?

Credit Barbara Lucas

 Energy conservation is low-hanging fruit--no new technology, power plants or pipelines are required.  But it can be a stubborn nut to crack if there is no financial motivation to conserve, and the question of motivation all depends on who pays the bills. 

Additional Resources:

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WEMU News
4:15 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Rain, Melting Snow Cause Flooding

Rain and melting snow has caused widespread flooding across Washtenaw County.   County Road Commission Operations Director Jim Harmon says crews worked hard Wednesday to clear storm drains, but as the rain fell and snow melted, those same drains clogged again. Harmon says flooding is reported anywhere from a few inches to several feet.   He urges motorists to expect flooding, and not to try to drive through areas where you can't tell how deep the water is.   Harmon welcomes reports of flooding at 734-761-1500, and if residents can safely do so, trying to clear neighborhood storm drains would be a big help.

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WEMU News
5:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Washtenaw County Property Values Rise

Washtenaw County home owners are seeing a rise in their property values for the first time in five years. Values are rising all across the county and properties are spending less time on the market before selling. Catherine McClary is Washtenaw County's Treasurer. She says the rising values is good news overall, but the county still faces challenges, especially when it comes to making sure there is enough affordable housing.  McClary says the area's homeless are often families.

Health
7:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Washtenaw County Public Health Recognizes Healthy Workplaces

Washtenaw County Public Health is accepting applications for its Healthy Workplace Awards. The awards honor businesses and organization that promote a healthy living environment in the workplace.  Kathy Fellabaum is  a Health Educator with Washtenaw Public Health.  She says businesses that promote healthy living in the workplace are a real benefit for employees. Fellabaum says you can nominate a business or organization for the Healthy Workplace Awards by filling out an online nomination survey. Businesses can also nominate themselves. Nominations are due by 5:00 pm March 15 and awards will be announced the week of April 7. 

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