WEMU News

WEMU News
8:21 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

U-of-M Health Expert Warns Of Dangers Of E-Cigarettes

An electronic cigarette.
Credit wikimedia commons

State legislators and the federal government are moving toward regulation of electronic cigarettes, and a local health expert says it's important to know the potential dangers of "vaping".

E-cigarettes heat up liquid nicotine to create the vapor that's inhaled. 

University of Michigan dietician Sue Ryskamp says liquid nicotine can be harmful.

"If it comes out too quickly it can result in acute nicotine toxicity, from either the direct skin contact, eye exposure, ingestion or inhalation," Ryskamp says.

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WEMU News
8:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Menzel To Step Down As Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent At End Of June

Ypsilanti Community Schools and Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Menzel.
Credit twitter.com

Ypsilanti Community Schools will be in the market for a new Superintendent at the end of June.

That's when Scott Menzel steps down from that position - a transition that was part of the plan when the Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts merged. 

Menzel says the school year isn't over, but he thinks Ypsilanti Community Schools is in pretty good shape.

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WEMU News
3:28 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

All Lanes Of Eastbound Washtenaw Avenue In Ypsilanti To Be Restored Friday Morning

Repairs have been made to broken storm water pipes and the roadway on eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place.
Credit Bob Eccles

Eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place in Ypsilanti should be back to three lanes of traffic sometime Friday morning.

That's according to the Michigan Department of Transportation, which worked with the city to repair damage to the roadway caused by broken storm water lines. 

The right and center lanes had to be closed in order to make the repairs. 

MDOT says it will have to come back at some point in the future and apply lining to the storm water pipes, which will require a lane closure.

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WEMU News
12:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Ann Arbor Eyeing Backlog Of Tree Maintenance

Credit A2Gov.org

Ann Arbor City Administrator Steve Powers is suggesting city council approve $1 million to attack a backlog of tree pruning and maintenance in his 2014-15 fiscal year budget.

Powers says high-priority tree pruning would be done with the funding, along with dead tree and stump removal.

Powers says the funding will help "to maintain Ann Arbor Tree City's urban forest, and to reduce risks to public safety."

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WEMU News
11:41 am
Thu April 24, 2014

EMU Senior Wins National Titles in Forensics

EMU Senior Patrick Seick wins national titles in forensics tournament.
Credit Eastern Michigan University

Host EMU finishes fifth out of 86 teams

Eastern Michigan University's Patrick Seick has won national championships in two Forensics events. The National Forensic Association Collegiate tournament was held on the Ypsilanti campus April 18-21. 

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WEMU News
10:50 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Eastern Michigan University Hosting Digital Divas

Credit https://www.emich.edu/ia/digital_divas.html

More than 500 middle and high school girls are coming to Eastern Michigan University for Friday's Digital Diva conference.

Students will have the opportunity to attend sessions on computer repair, computer assisted design software, online security and a variety of other technology based topics.

Digital Diva Chairperson Susan Gregory says they started doing the conference four years ago to encourage women to go into non-traditional jobs.

"Hopefully it then inspires them to pursue a technology degree," Gregory says, "and pursue a career in technology."  

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WEMU News
8:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

2014 Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Loses, Adds Attractions

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival board chair David Nickerson addresses Ypsilanti City Council in early December, 2013.
Credit Bob Eccles

This year's Ypsilanti Heritage Festival will look as bit different than in past years, as new attractions are added and others decide to strike out on their own.

Among the elements that won't be part of the festival this year is Chautauqua at the Riverside, which is moving to October this year. 

David Nickerson is chair of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival board.

"With that being primarily presented at Riverside Arts, especially this last year we noticed that people weren't necessarily flowing up out of the park and to that event and to the venue," Nickerson says.

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WEMU News
5:25 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Washtenaw County Places Three Schools In Top 20 List

Credit aaps.k12.mi.us

Washtenaw County has some of the best high schools in Michigan, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Ann Arbor Public Schools' Pioneer and Huron High Schools, along with Saline High School, made it into the organization's list of top 20 schools for 2014.

Liz Margolis is Director of Communications for Ann Arbor Public Schools.

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WEMU News
4:42 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

State Of The Huron Conference Thursday

Credit hrwc.org

As the Huron River Watershed Council prepares to open its State of the Huron Conference Thursday, the watershed is enjoying generally healthy conditions.

That's according to Huron River Watershed Council Executive Director Laura Rubin, who says the watershed has seen improvements since the last State of the Huron gathering in 2009.

 "Before we had been sort of holding steady," Rubin says, "and we now are seeing some improvements ikkn the overall health and ecological health of the watershed."

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WEMU News
4:27 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Uber Now Operating In Ann Arbor

Credit blog.uber.com

The Uber on-demand motor transportation company is now operating in Ann Arbor.

Michael White is General Manager for Uber in Michigan.  He says Uber is partnering with licensed limousine companies in Ann Arbor.

"And they're going to provide kind of a luxurious service," White says. "So imagine a luxury sedan or black car, something like a Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac DTS, with professional chauffeur."

White says the lower-cost Uber-X service pairs passengers with drivers of standard sedans in a ride-share model.

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WEMU News
4:14 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Ann Arbor Council Member Surveying Community On Park Options

Ann Arbor City Council member Sabra Briere.
Credit SabraBriere.org

The city of Ann Arbor is moving ahead with plans for a 12-thousand square foot park on the Library Lot, and one city council member wants to know what the community's envisions there.

Sabra Briere is conducting an online survey.  She says those who get her regular email updates will find the link in her message going out the first weekend in May.

"I'll also post the survey results, and the raw data, on my website," Briere says, "which is www.SabraBriere.org."

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WEMU News
7:15 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Washtenaw County Suspending Road Weight Restrictions

Credit wcroads.org

Washtenaw County is suspending the seasonal weight restrictions on its roads Thursday.

The limitations reduced the amount of weight a heavily loaded vehicle could carry by 35 percent per axle.

Washtenaw County Road Commission's Asssitant Director of Engineering Matt MacDonell says the roads are weakened by the yearly spring thaw, and can be damaged by heavy vehicles driving on them.

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Construction
5:53 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Washtenaw Avenue At College Place To Re-Open Friday

Sinkhole on eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place in Ypsilanti.
Credit Bob Eccles

The right and center lanes of eastbound Washtenaw Avenue should re-open sometime Friday, as repairs are made to a sinkhole caused by failure of a storm water line.

The city of Ypsilanti assisted M-DOT with the repairs Tuesday.  M-DOT says concrete will be poured Wednesday, and the road should be back to three lanes of traffic on Friday.

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WEMU News
5:45 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Washtenaw County Commission District Five Race Shaping Up As Among The Most Interesting

Credit 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. 

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WEMU News
4:46 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Three Candidates Seeking To Be Ypsilanti's Next Mayor

Credit City of Ypsilanti

The Ypsilanti Mayoral race has become a little more crowded.  

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Community
3:00 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Puppies Relieve Stress Of Finals At Eastern Michigan University

Laura Heffner

Eastern Michigan University students got some help during final exams week from some four-legged friends Tuesday.

A "puppy room" was established on campus by the college's Pre-Vet Club. The room allowed students to take a few minutes out of their day to play with or pet several puppies brought to EMU by a Grand Rapids-based non-profit animal rescue.

Pre-Vet Club President Elisa Meier says getting students to take a break and play with a puppy is a valuable stress reliever for those struggling with finals.

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Education
2:47 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Adopts Elementary Reconfiguration Plan

Credit ycschools.us

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved a plan for reconfiguring the district's elementary schools that has Holmes Elementary moving to a balanced calendar next year.

Estabrook Elementary is tentatively scheduled to go to year-round school the following school year.

Superintendent Scott Menzel says the board also talked about establishing a "Young Fives" program,  a developmental program for kindergartners who'll be five years old by December 1st.

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WEMU News
2:40 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Mullins Submits Petitions For 12th Congressional District Bid

Ypsilanti attorney and 12th Congressional district hopeful Ray Mullins.
Credit attyraymullins.com

Ypsilanti attorney Ray Mullins has submitted nominating petitions to run for the 12th Congressional district seat being vacated by the retirement of Congressman John Dingell.

Mullins says he submitted 1,289 signatures at the state Bureau of Elections in Lansing.  At total of at least 1,000 valid signatures are required to appear on the ballot in the August primary election. 

Dingell's wife, Debbie, is also seeking the 12th Congressional district seat.  Mullins and Debbie DIngell are both running as Democrats, so they'll face off in the August primary election. 

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WEMU News
2:33 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

ACLU, U-M React To U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ruling

Credit wikimedia commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that Michigan's voter-approved ban on the use of race as a factor in college admissions is constitutional.

Mark Fascher is ACLU staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project.

"If you want to advocate for affirmative action, now, into the foreseeable future,  it's necessary to seek a referendum," Fascher says, "to have the Constitutional provision repealed, to mount a campaign, and then to win."

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Environment
11:54 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Earth Day Rally At U-M Focuses On Climate Change And Carbon Pollution

Credit cleanwater.org/mi

It's Earth Day, and there's a Climate Action Rally happening this afternoon on the University of Michigan campus.

Michigan Clean Water Action, Ann Arbor 350 and organizing for Action-Michigan are hosting the rally. 

Clean Water Action Campaigns Director Eric Keller says it's one of many events taking place across the state today.

"People are coming together as individuals and communities to act on climate," Keller says, "and to protect everything that the earth has to offer, and to protect the Great Lakes today."

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WEMU News
8:20 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Peters Files Petitions For U.S. Senate Run

Peters files nominating petitions for US Senate

Congressman Gary Peters has filed petition signatures to put his name on the ballot. Peters is a Democrat running to succeed retiring US Senator Carl Levin. Peters' support for the federal healthcare law has been an issue in the campaign. Peters says that's OK with him.

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Ypsilanti
7:41 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Sinkhole Closes Two Lanes Of Washtenaw Avenue In Ypsilanti

Sinkhole on eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place in Ypsilanti
Bob Eccles

A sinkhole has caused the closure of all but one lane of eastbound Washtenaw Avenue at College Place in Ypsilanti.

Orange barrels, barricades and yellow caution tape surround the hole, which measures about 20 feet long by 12 feet wide by six feet deep.

The right and center lanes of eastbound Washtenaw Avenue are closed at College Place, just past the water tower.  Traffic is using the left lane to get through.

No word on what caused the road to fail, or how long it will take to make repairs.

Education
7:31 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

EMU Holding Transfer Student Open House

Bruce T. Halle Library at Eastern Michigan University.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

Eastern Michigan University is holding an open house for potential transfer students Tuesday at its Livonia Center.

Participants will be able to apply to EMU for free and tour the Livonia Center.  Financial aid advisors, transfer admission advisors and faculty members will also be on hand to answer questions.

The transfer student open house takes place from 4-6:30 p.m. at the EMU Livonia Center, 38777 West Six Mile Road (near I-275) in Livonia.  Click the link below to register, or call 877-8181-4368.

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Ypsilanti
5:40 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board To Vote On Elementary Reconfiguration

Credit Patrick Holubik

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday will consider an elementary school reconfiguration plan that would have Holmes Elementary move to a balanced calendar next school year.

The proposal suggests Estabrook Elementary also go to a balanced calendar, but not until the following school year. 

The grade configurations in each building are also going to gradually change to help reduce the number of transitions between buildings that students are subjected to. 

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Ypsilanti
5:24 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Ypsilanti Council Members Robb, Vogt Turn In Nominating Petitions

Credit Bob Eccles

The last two Ypsilanti City Council members whose terms expire in November have submitted petition signatures to run for re-election.

City Clerk Frances McMullen says Brian Robb and Daniel Vogt submitted signatures.  Robb represents Ypsilanti's 2nd ward, while Vogt represents Ward 3. 

McMullen says a couple of people have also taken out petitions to try and get on the ballot to run for Ricky Jefferson's seat on council.  The Ward One representative announced last week he won't seek re-election when his term expires in November. 

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