washtenaw county

Bob Eccles

Public safety ballot proposals fared well in Washtenaw County Tuesday.

Voters said "yes" to police and fire millage renewals in York, Dexter and Superior Townships, and Northfield and Augusta Township voters approved fire services millage renewals. 

Freedom Township will remain part of the Manchester District Library, and Chelsea voters approved a point-three-two mil increase for operation of the library in their community. 

Voting booths


Low voter turnout expected in Washtenaw County   

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Washtenaw County voters have an even dozen ballot proposals to decide today.

Many of them are police and fire millage renewals, but Manchester Community Schools voters are also being asked to OK a bond issue and millage renewal.

A couple of library-related proposals will also be decided.  The Chelsea District Library is asking for a millage increase, while in Freedom Township, voters are being asked whether they should withdraw from the Manchester District Library. 


Years of effort to bring more students to Washtenaw Community College are starting to pay off.

WCC is reporting an increase of 2 percent in the number of students attending class fall.

It is one of only five community colleges in Michigan to report increasing enrollment for the upcoming semester.

Linda Blakey is WCC's Vice President of Student and Academic Services. She says multiple demographics are seeing a rise in enrollment.


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.

July 20-26 Gun Safety Week In Washtenaw County

Jul 10, 2014
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.

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. 

Irwin Blasts Road Funding 'Earmarks'

Jul 3, 2014

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.

Washtenaw County Population Growing

Jun 26, 2014

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.


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.


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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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.

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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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. 

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.


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.


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. 

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. 

Events Focus On Opioid Addiction, Recovery

May 29, 2014

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. 

Washtenaw County Logo
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.  

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.

Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide
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.  

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.  

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.

Eastern Michigan University
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.  

University of Michigan
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.