WEMU News

WEMU News
7:08 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Ricky Jefferson Will Not Seek Re-Election To Ypsilanti City Council

Ypsilanti City Council member Ricky Jefferson.
Credit LinkedIn.com

Ypsilanti City Council member Ricky Jefferson says he will not seek re-election.

Jefferson has represented Ward One since winning election in 2010, and told WEMU news earlier this month that he was interested in another term.

In a statement to supporters, neighbors and business owners, Jefferson said he has pondered the decision for months with his wife, his Pastor and his advisors, and came to the conclusion that "this is the best decision for my family, my supporters and me."

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Community
1:27 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Michigan Runner Returning To Boston Marathon After Being Stopped Blocks From Finish Last Year

Area runners that train with PR Fitness and will be running the Boston Marathon Monday.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An area runner will return to the Boston Marathon this year partly to show he will do what he wants to do and isn't letting fear stop him.  Police stopped John Farah just blocks from the finish line last year when the first bomb went off.  

Farah is one of about 30 area runners that train with PR Fitness and will be running the Boston Marathon Monday.  Farah thinks the race will be safe this year as he runs Boston for the 19th time.

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community
5:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Debbie Dingell Visits EMU, WEMU Studios

Credit Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Debbie Dingell is running to fill her husband, Congressman John D. Dingell's 12th district seat.  She stopped by the WEMU studios Thursday and spoke with WEMU's Bob Eccles.

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Health News
3:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

HealthyStuff.org Tests Walgreens Products

Credit healthystuff.org

The Ecology Center says many of the products it tested from Walgreens contained potentially harmful chemicals.

Healthy Stuff Dot Org Research Director Jeff Gearhart says plasticizers were found in 13 flexible vinyl products.  He says the substance has been linked to asthma and liver toxicity.

"So what we're asking is for Walgreens to actuall implement a comprehensive chemical policy," Gearhart says, "get these hazardous products off the shelves and sell products that are healthier and safer for consumers."

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WEMU News
3:32 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Presidents of UM, EMU And WCC Support Transit Millage

Credit theride.org

The Presidents of the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College have thrown their support behind a transit millage that'll be decided by voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township next month.

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WEMU News
3:04 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council Member Pete Murdock Running For Mayor

Ypsilanti city council member and mayoral candidate Pete Murdock.
Credit Pete Murdock

Ypsilanti City Council member Pete Murdock says he's filed nominating petitions to run for Mayor.

Murdock says Ypsilanti has done a lot to "right its ship", and he'd like to help maintain that direction.

"We've done a lot of things financially and things are looking a little better than they were four years ago, six years ago," Murdock says. "I think I have the experience and knowledge to provide that leadership."

Murdock says public safety and economic development will continue to be big issues, and he's hopeful the AAATA transit millage will pass next month.

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Community
2:34 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Ypsilanti Residents Glad Road Repairs Are Coming

Prospect Road across from Prospect Park.
Credit Bob Eccles

People who live and work along Prospect Road in Ypsilanti are glad to hear the city has approved spending some money to patch up the road and improve driving conditions until the road is completely re-built next year.

Jim Mufarreh owns Prospect Party Store at Prospect and Forest.

"Long time coming," Mufarreh says. "It's well-needed. It's terrible out there. It's a terrible road. It's been needed for years."

Mark Naess lives in the area, and he says the road is almost undriveable.

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WEMU News
8:41 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ypsi Community Utilities Authority Monitoring Possible Privatization Of Detroit Water And Sewerage

Credit flickr.com

Detroit's emergency manager is thinking about privatizing the city's water and sewerage department, which provides water for the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority and scores of other communities in southeast Michigan.

YCUA Director Jeff Castro says the proposal is still in negotiations, but could have a local impact.

"The local suburban communities might not have as much say in certain aspects of the Detroit water and sewer system as we do today," Castro says.

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WEMU News
8:33 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Former St. Joseph Emergency Facility In Saline Now Urgent Care

Credit stjoeshealth.org

St. Joseph Mercy Health System's former 24-hour emergency care facility in Saline is now a 12-hour-a-day urgent care facility.

The health system made the switch because the number of patients during off hours didn't support a 24-hour operation. 

Health system Chief Operating Officer Robin Damschroder says urgent care hours at the facility on Russell Street are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

"There's also going to be phlebotomy lab draw and general x-ray services available approximately those same hours," Damschroder says.

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Community
5:14 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

University Of Michigan Class Led By Ann Arbor Mayor Hosting Forum Of Candidates To Be Next Mayor

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The 4 Ann Arbor City Council members seeking Mayor John Hieftje's job will participate in a forum in his Ford School of Public Policy class Wednesday.  The forum set to begin at 1 in the afternoon in Weill Hall will be open to the public.   Hieftje says he doesn't know exactly what the students will be asking Sabra Briere, Sally Hart Petersen, Stephen Kunselman, and Christopher Taylor.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje discusses the types of questions his class at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy will likely be asking the four candidates to replace him.

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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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WEMU News
1:04 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council To Consider Funding Road Repairs

Ypsilanti City Council tonight is expected to consider a resolution to spend $249,000 to fix some of the city's worst roads. 

Council member Ricky Jefferson says the city has already had to pay on a couple of claims of bent wheel rims, and the problem is only going to get worse if it's not addressed.

The resolution up for council's consideration would target four specific sections of city streets:

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WEMU News
11:49 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Yankee Air Museum Welcomes Spirit of '45 Express

Credit spiritof45.org

With less than a month to go in its fundraising effort to buy part of the former Willow Run bomber plant, the Yankee Air Museum today welcomes the Spirit of '45 Express to Hangar 1 at Willow Run airport.

The Spirit of '45 Express crosses the country to remind Americans how the people of our nation came together and helped each other during World War II.

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WEMU News
2:48 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Winter Returns To Washtenaw County

Snowfall covers the Eastern Michigan University Grounds at 2:30am.
Credit David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

It appeared Spring had sprung. A look outside early this morning might tell you otherwise. 2-3 inches of accumulation is expected before warmer temperatures today begin to melt off the wintry mix.

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WEMU News
7:34 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

ACLU Sues State Over Same-Sex Marriages

Credit aclumich.org

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a judge to force the state of Michigan to recognize more than 300 same-sex marriages performed in March.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit Monday on behalf of couples who say their constitutional rights are being violated by Gov. Rick Snyder. He won't recognize the marriages for the purpose of benefits until federal courts decide the status of Michigan's ban on gay marriage. 

Jay Kaplan is staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan's LGBT Project.  Kaplan says the Governor is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

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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
3:20 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Michigan Student Group Report Critical Of University Response To Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Credit en.wikipedia.org

A student task force has found that the University of Michigan failed to explain a years long delay between the alleged sexual assault of a student by former football player Brendan Gibbons and his expulsion in December.

The Central Student Government examined the school's student sexual misconduct policy and released its task force's findings Sunday.  Central Student Government President Michael Proppe says one finding really stuck out.

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WEMU News
2:59 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Clouds Likely To Block View Of Lunar Eclipse

Credit wikimedia commons

There's going to be a total lunar eclipse tonight, but with our cloudy weather forecast you probably don't have to worry about getting up or staying up to see it.

Professor Norbert Vance is Director of Eastern Michigan University's Sherzer Observatory. 

He says the deepest part of the eclipse will happen just before three Tuesday morning, and the event will be over by 4:30 a.m. or so.

Professor Vance says the media is calling this a "blood moon", but he doesn't think the moon will be as red as some have predicted.

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WEMU News
1:21 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Amanda Edmonds Files Nominating Petitions

Credit www.facebook.com/amandaformayor

Amanda Edmonds has filed the required number of nominating petitions for her name to appear on August primary ballot in the race to be Ypsilanti's next mayor.

The Growing Hope Executive Director submitted her petitions Friday, according to Ypsilanti City Clerk Frances McMullan.

Mayor Paul Schreiber is not seeking re-election. There are no other announced candidates to replace him at this time.

Municipal candidates have until April 22nd to file nominating petitions with their local clerk's office.

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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
8:20 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Solar Ypsi Ready To Get Busy Installing Solar Panels

Credit solarypsi.org

Solar Ypsi is close to kicking off another season of work trying to expand the use of solar power in Ypsilanti.

Solar Ypsi founder Dave Strenski says their first project will be to install solar panels on the roof of the Freighthouse in Depot Town.  After that, they'll turn their attention to the building that houses the city's fire department.

"They need a new roof," Strenski says, "and so we want to try and figure out if they can integrate solar with that."

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WEMU News
8:13 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

EMU Honors Leaders In Community Collaboaration

Credit emich.edu

Organizations and individuals who've gone above and beyond to promote collaboration between Eastern Michigan University and the surrounding community were recognized at an awards luncheon Friday afternoon.

Awards were presented by EMU's Office of Academic Service-Learning and Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. 

Claudia Petrescu is campus director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.  She says the honorees all have something in common.

"Community engagement," she says. "We all believe in the community, and giving back."

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Community
7:10 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Ann Arbor's Main Street BIZ Could Expand, Result In More Sidewalks Cleared Of Snow

Sidewalks on Ann Arbor's Main Street quickly cleared after one of this year's many snowstorms.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Despite all of the snow this winter, the sidewalks along Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor remained easily passable for pedestrians.  That’s thanks in large part to the Main Street Business Improvement Zone, an effort where property owners have voluntarily agreed to pay more taxes for a variety of services. 

Ed Shaffran is President of The Shaffran Companies and chairman of the Main Street BIZ.  He says next month property owners on some neighboring streets will vote to see if the BIZ will expand.

Chair of Ann Arbor's Main Street Business Improvement Zone Ed Shaffran discusses why the zone may be expanding.

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