washtenaw county

Patrick Gibson West Bay Exploration
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. 


Ann Arbor logo
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Northeast Ann Arbor residents have raised concerns about the deer population for some time, but council member Jane Lumm says the issue seems to have really spiked in the last couple of years.  City Council Monday night will consider a resolution to have the city partner with a variety of other organizations to develop a deer management plan.  


Uber logo
blog.uber.com

Ann Arbor area residents have a couple of new options to get around town, but the city’s taxi cab board has concerns.  The conflict between traditional cab drivers and new services like Uber and Lyft has come to Washtenaw County.


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Washtenaw County officials are urging residents to prepare for tornado season.

Benjamin Pinette is Washtenaw County's Emergency Planning Coordinator.

"Severe convective weather is the number one hazard in Washtenaw County," Pinette says.  "We do have a few different methods in place, specifically when a tornado warning's issued."

Pinette says the county will sound its warning sirens and issue weather alerts on the radio during an emergency.

twp-york.org

News that Toyota plans to move about 250 jobs from Kentucky to its Technical Center in York Township has township officials smiling.

Township Supervisor John Stanowski says his community will benefit from the new jobs, but so will Washtenaw County.  He says engineers like to live in nice homes, and that should help the housing industry.

"That's always good," Stanowski says, "because if the housing industry is booming that creates more jobs.  There's a trickling effect all the way down to the lumber yards providing the lumber, so it'll be good for the county as a whole".

Patrick Gibson
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Several hundred people learned more about oil exploration and mineral rights leases at Scio Township Thursday night.  Township officials held an informational meeting at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District facility on Wagner with a variety of experts because West Bay Exploration has leases to explore about one-thousand acres in the township. 


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. 

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.


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.


Last Minute Tax Rush

Apr 14, 2014
H&R Block Office in Ann Arbor
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.   

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. 

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton
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.

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.

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.


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.

Gay Marriage
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.  

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.

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.  

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."

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. 

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.  

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.

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: 

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.  

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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