washtenaw county

Government
8:26 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Washtenaw County Explores New Case Management System for Trial Court

For nearly a decade, Washtenaw County trial Court has relied on an outdated case management system. In fact it's a system that, since 2005,  has lacked support from any existing software firm. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, a new system has been identified, but debate continues on how to pay for upgrade among the members of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. 

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Government
9:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Debate How to Spend Higher-Than-Projected Revenues

The Washtenaw County budget is in much better shape through the second fiscal quarter than originally projected.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the question now under debate is how best to use the additional money.

Washtenaw County Commissioners explore best use of higher than expected revenues through the 2nd quarter of the fiscal year.

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Elections
7:55 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Election Day in Washtenaw County

As far as elections go, today is going to be a light day in Washtenaw County.

Ypsilanti Township has four tax questions on the ballot.

  1. Proposition "A" would generate revenues to replace some of the fire service revenues lost due to decrease in property values.
  2. Proposition "B" would generate revenues to replace some of the police services revenue lost due to decrease in property values.
  3. Proposition "C" would raise money for the purpose of providing revenues for recreation and park facilities, bike paths, the repair of sidewalks and roads and general operating purposes.
  4. Proposal "D" Would provide money for waste collection and environmental protection.

In Ann Arbor, there are two contested, Democratic primary races for city council.

  • In the 3rd Ward Julie Grand is looking to unseat Incumbent Stephen Kunselman.
  • In the 4th Ward. Marcia Higgins seeks to fend off a challenge from Jack Eaton. The winners today will be unopposed in November, barring a write-in campaign.


 Voters in the Whitmore Lake School District will decide a $12.3 million dollar bond issue. If passed, the district would sell bonds to raise money to remodel and update school facilities.
   

WEMU's Andrew Cluley has a look at anticipated voter turnout today.

Election Day Preview

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Community
7:56 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Washtenaw County Kicks Off its Stuff the Bus Campaign

Credit Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County today launches the annual "Stuff the Bus" campaign.  The effort aims to collect school supplies for needy children in kindergarten  through fifth grade in Washtenaw County's public schools.     

A school bus will be parked in front of the Target store on Carpenter Road. Kari Dorr is heading up the campaign for the  county.  Shes says all types of supplies are needed, including: 

  • Pencils
  • Backpacks
  • Three-ring binders
  • Composition books
  • Erasers
  • Colored pencils, Crayons
  • Pens, Mechanical pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Folders
  • Hi-lighters
  • Index cards
  • Calculators
  • Display boards
  • Protractors, Rulers

Supplies can be given to volunteers on site or donations can be placed directly into boxes on the school bus. Dorr says the amount of  donated supplies has increased every year,  and this year the hope is to exceed $10,000 worth. The drive is being held everyday this week from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.


 

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Government
9:10 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Adopt New Budgeting Approach

The Washtenaw County Commissioners have passed a resolution setting the priorities they want used in the development of future budgets.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, County Commissioners contend it's part of a new approach to better connect budgeting with desired outcomes. 

Washtenaw County will create five work groups to develop targets and metrics to measure success in budget decisions.

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Government
9:43 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Washtenaw County Commissioners Gather Public Comment on Shelved Bond Proposal Plan

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners last week decided to shelve a proposal to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds. the money generated for the bond sale would have been used to cover the county's long-term pension costs and retiree health care. Commissioners decided to wait until such time the state of Michigan spells out its rules for a bond sale of this kind. Still, the issue is far from dead. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the Board of Commissioners last night went forward with a public hearing on the issue, gathering more input from the community.

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Environment
9:44 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Green Room: The Future of Cycling in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti

Credit Barbara Lucas

"The Green Room" is WEMU's monthly exploration of our environment, and efforts to live more sustainably in Washtenaw County.

 

Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti are increasingly becoming bicycle-friendly.  As residents throughout Washtenaw County look long and hard at how to better live sustainably in the future, this form of alternative transportation will only continue to grow. In this month's installment of WEMU's "The Green Room", Barbara Lucas explores where we are locally, and how we stack up against a city like Copenhagen, Denmark where 55-percent of the population commutes by bike.

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Transportation
7:42 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Salem Township Residents Petition for Repairs to North Territorial

Credit google maps

The conditions of one road in northern Washtenaw County has gotten so bad that hundreds of motorists have signed a petition asking for improvements.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has the details. 

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Government
7:21 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Washtenaw County Committee Delays Action on Potential 345-Million Dollar Bond Sale

A proposal for a 345-million dollar bond sale to pay for Washtenaw County's unfunded liabilities will move forward more deliberately than originally intended. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, The Board of Commissioners Ways and Means Committee last night pulled the item from it's agenda to allow more time for public input. 

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Government
7:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Washtenaw County Exceeds 1st Quarter Budget Expectations

Washtenaw County officials report better than expected financial results in the first quarter of the year, but still need to make millions of dollars worth of structural changes next year. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, County Administrator Verna McDaniel last night gave the Board of Commissioners  an update on the fiscal state of the county. 

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Transportation
7:28 am
Thu May 9, 2013

SEMCOG Public Hearing on Transit

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) are collecting public feedback on short and long term transportation plans. The proposals are billed as the "2014-2017 Transportation Improvement Plan" and the "2040 Regional Transportation Plan." The first public hearing on the comprehensive measures took place Wednesday at Washtenaw Community College. WEMU's Andrew Cluley was there.

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Environment
9:15 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Restoring Native Rattlesnake Habitat

An eastern massasauga rattlesnake at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Rattlesnakes in Washtenaw County! They're here, and they serve a purpose. Unfortunately their habitat has been threatened, but a project is underway to help. Joining WEMU's David Fair on Issues of the Environment is Steven Parrish, Steven is the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Habitat Restoration Project Manager and Natural Areas Specialist at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.  Together, David and Steven discuss  work in Washtenaw County on the Eastern Massasauga Habitat Restoration and Education Project.

To see a  massasauga video and find other information. 

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Government
8:33 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Dexter Moves Closer to Becoming a City

Residents in the Village of Dexter have voted to continue on the path to becoming a city. WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more on the vote in Tuesday's election.

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Elections
10:35 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Washtenaw County Election Results 5/7/13

A light ballot in Washtenaw County on Tuesday day means relatively quick results. The results, keep in mind, are unofficial until certified by the Board of Canvassers.

Voters in Dexter Village have opted to continue moving forward with the process of becoming a city. The measure passed on a vote of 460-to-408. The next step will be the election of a nine-member charter commission. Once a draft charter is adopted and passed by the state, incorporation into city-hood will go before a vote of the people.

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Washtenaw County
8:29 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Funds Cut for Programs Helping the Homeless

Washtenaw County agencies have received just over $4 million in federal funds for programs battling the problem of homelessness.  The second round of grants from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban development was announced Thursday.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Washtenaw County Commissioners
8:53 am
Thu May 2, 2013

County Moves Toward Four-Year Budget Cycle

For the first time ever,  Washtenaw County officials will be preparing a four-year budget proposal.   County commissioners voted 7 to 2 Wednesday night in favor of a resolution directing the county's administration to develop a quadrennial budget.   Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Society
9:47 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Washtenaw County Sees Increase in Homeless Population

Credit Creative Commons/ moriza

Washtenaw County's point-in-time homeless count saw a jump of 123 additional people without shelter this year compared to the count day in 2011.   County officials fear the problem of homelessness may continue to grow.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Washtenaw County
8:35 am
Thu April 4, 2013

County Considers Expanded Mental Health Services

Washtenaw County is considering the expansion of community support treatment services to help meet the needs of a growing number of people receiving mental illness and substance abuse services.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more on the plan.

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Washtenaw County
9:03 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Washtenaw County Second in SE Michigan for Organ and Tissue Donor Registry

Credit Creative Commons- M. Martilla

When it comes to the percentage of adults registered as organ and tissue donors, Washtenaw County is second only to Lenawee County.  Hear more from WEMU's Bob Eccles.

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/clerk_register/gift-of-life  

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Environment
11:12 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Fair Food Systems

Find out more about fair food systems on this week's Issues of the Environment from WEMU.  Our guest is Oran Hesterman, who discusses fair food systems in Washtenaw County, and some of the ways in which the county is working to provide equitable access to sustainable foods for all residents.

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Government
9:28 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Washtenaw County Posts 2012 Budget Surplus

Washtenaw County finished 2012 in a bit better budget position than expected, giving the county some additional money to use the current fiscal year if needed.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Parks and Recreaction
2:16 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Pieces Of Border-To-Border Trail Falling Into Place

Credit eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Border-to-Border Trail is a step closer to completion, thanks to an easement obtained by the City of Ypsilanti from Fischer Honda on Michigan Avenue. 

Ypsilanti City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the easement will clear the way for a pedestrian bridge to be built from Riverside Park to a corner of the Fischer Honda property, with an improved Michigan Avenue crossing then linking the trail to the Water Street re-development area. 

Gillotti says the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission is covering the $38,000 cost of the easement.

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Washtenaw County Commissioners
8:44 am
Thu March 21, 2013

County Approves Long-Term Contracts Ahead of RTW

Before Michigan's right-to-work law takes effect later this month, the Washtenaw County  Board  of Commissioners has approved new long-term contracts with nearly all of the unions representing county workers.  Similar policy for non-union employees has been set as well.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Washtenaw County Commissioners
9:05 am
Mon March 11, 2013

County Considers Landbank

Credit creative commons- stuck in customs

Washtenaw County officials are taking a second look at creating a landbank to help deal with foreclosed properties.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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Environment
9:33 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Issues of the Environment: 'Fracking' part 2

Credit creative commons- beelaineo

This week's Issues of the Environment presents part two of our series on hydraulic fracturing,  or fracking, in Washtenaw County.  Our guest is Jim Peters, Operations Manager for Northstar Energy, and a representative for the Michigan Oil and Gas Producers Educational Foundation. 

Michigan Oil and Gas Producers Educational Foundation

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