washtenaw county


Washtenaw County is expanding its shelter services this winter.  Starting in January the county will begin operating a second warming center.

The county's shelter services routinely exceeded their capacity last year, particularly during January-March.

Ellen Schulmeister is the Executive Director of the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County.

She says several local groups have offered to act as the site of the second center.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Communities across Michigan struggle with homeless individuals, but Washtenaw County officials are dealing with an extra problem.

Coalition Demands Road Funding Solution

Nov 6, 2014
Andrew Cluley

With the elections over, attention is swinging back to an issue high on most motorists' list of concerns:  Michigan's crumbling roads.  More than 20 organizations across the state are banding together to demand Michigan legislators take action.

The Local Matters Coalition argues getting some sort of road maintenance measure passed during the lame duck session would allow major construction and repair work to start as early as next spring.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Studies show more than twice as much money stays in a local economy when spent at local businesses rather than outside firms.  Washtenaw County spent $47 million on contracts in 2012 and county officials want to boost the amount staying in the area.  The County Commissioners Ways and Means Committee tonight considers a local vendor preference purchasing policy.

Bob Eccles

Tuesday is election day, and Washtenaw County officials are getting ready for higher-than-usual turnout. About 48 percent of eligible voters are expected to participate this year.

That's two percent more than the last mid-term election.

Washtenaw County Director of Elections Ed Golembiewski says they're also expecting more voters to use absentee ballots than ever before.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Proper identification is required many places these days including banks, government offices, and when making purchases at many stores.  Washtenaw County is taking steps to provide an I-D for the approximately 38,000 people locally who don't have a driver's license.

Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

In recent years communities across Washtenaw County have made efforts to promote safe, alternative transportation methods.  Expansion of the Border to Border trail and other bike lanes are some of these changes.  A new effort is designed to make sure everyone in the community knows where they can bike safely.

Judges Gavel

Next week, voters across Michigan, including here in Washtenaw County, will cast votes to decide a wide variety of judicial positions.  A legal expert says they may be some of the most difficult candidates to evaluate, but also are some of the most important votes.

The Corner Health Center

After a long career with Washtenaw County Public Health and spending the last five years leading The Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, Ellen Clement is retiring.  Clement has helped guide The Corner through changes brought on by health care reform.

Ann Arbor
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ten years ago Washtenaw County officials came together and drafted a blueprint to end homelessness. While much has been accomplished, the issue remains a challenge.  Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje and Chair of the Washtenaw County Commissioners Yousef Rabhi are hosting a new conversation on Affordable Housing and Homelessness.

Saturday Is 'Shake Your Mailbox' Day

Oct 16, 2014

Governor Rick Snyder and county road commissions across the state are asking Michigan residents to take some time Saturday giving their roadside mailboxes a shake.  "Shake Your Mailbox Day" is meant to help make sure mailboxes and their supports are ready for the harsh winter months.

Washtenaw County Road Commission Director of Operations Jim Harmon says it's a seasonal burden for property owners with mailboxes by the side of the road.

Bob Guenzel

A well known name in Washtenaw County has been tapped to lead the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority until a new C-E-O is hired.  Former County Administrator Bob Guenzel is expected to run The Ride for about six months.


For nearly a decade officials in Dexter have been in the process of making the switch from a village to become a city.  Voters get a final say in November.  Some see it as an opportunity, while others are concerned with what could be lost.

ReImagine Washtenaw

Connecting Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Washtenaw Avenue is the busiest street in the county.  An effort to give this corridor a more pedestrian friendly make-over is now five years old.  Most of the progress made so far is only on paper, but is expected to produce long term results.

wikimedia commons

Over 60,000 cars a day use U-S 23 between M-14 and I-96.  It's frequently the site of accidents and slow morning and evening commutes.  The Michigan Department of Transportation hopes the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority can help ease congestion.

DTE Energy
Courtesy Image / DTE Energy

Last winter's harsh weather left many states with limited natural gas supplies.  While Michigan wasn't among them, DTE Energy says it's planning a new pipeline to ensure a Michigan never runs short of natural gas.  It's called the Nexus Pipeline and will track right through Washtenaw County.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An act passed by the Michigan Legislature in 1909 to keep roads safe for Model T's could lead to a smoother ride for motorists in Washtenaw County next year.  It's back to the future for the latest effort to improve the quality of local roads.

Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department
courtesy photo / ewashtenaw.org

At least two Washtenaw County residents recently received phone calls claiming to be from the county's Warrants Division.  In reality, they were phone scams seeking a $500 money card. Washtenaw County Sheriff's officials say some simple guidelines should be followed when people receive suspicious calls.

Kingsley Rain Garden
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Rain gardens are a valuable tool in Washtenaw County's efforts to keep pollution out of the Huron River. Over two million gallons of storm water will be filtered this year by the 160 rain gardens installed by individuals that have taken a class though the county.  The program is expanding so communities across Michigan can benefit.


If you have the day off Monday there's no shortage of events you can participate in to help celebrate working Americans.

The Detroit Jazz Festival wraps up Monday, as does the Saline Community Fair, being held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. 

Today's also your last chance to visit the traveling Vietnam Moving Wall at East Bennett Park in Whitmore Lake. 


About 6,000 DTE Energy customers in Washtenaw County are without electricity this evening.

High winds that accompanied our afternoon thunderstorms brought trees and utility lines down across the area. 

DTE Energy did not have an estimate as to when the electricity might be restored, but suggested the number of customers without power might go up before it goes down.

Washtenaw County's First Same Sex Marriage
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

In courtrooms from Cincinnati to Detroit the issue of marriage equality is being decided.  Still, it is likely that the U-S Supreme Court will have the final say.  No matter the decisions along the way, Washtenaw County will be prepared.


If you have some time this week, Washtenaw County would like your input on what to do with the former juvenile center property at Platt Road and Huron Parkway.


Suggestions have ranged from affordable housing to public gardening space to business incubation, but the county Board of Commissioners wants the public to be part of the design process. 

New Digs For Youth And Family Services

Aug 13, 2014

Starting Thursday, Washtenaw County Community Support and Treatment Services, Youth and Family Services division will operate out of the same location where adult services are offered.

Program administrator Elizabeth Spring says Youth and Family Services has been working out of temporary offices at the detention center since black mold cropped up at the former location.

Washtenaw County
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Many area residents live their lives without being able to prove who they are. A proposal to help these people will be discussed at tonight's Washtenaw County Commissioners work session.