WEMU News

WEMU News
4:31 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Washtenaw County Merit Exam Scores Continue To Improve

Credit michigan.gov/mde/

Washtenaw County students continue to show improvement in the Michigan Merit Exam.

Washtenaw Intermediate School District communication specialist Emma Jackson says improvements among the class of 2015 were seen in reading, writing, science and social studies, while math proficiency stayed about the same.

"Our reading scores really stand out at 72 percent proficient," Jackson says, "and they're some of the highest in the state."

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Community
4:50 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Celebrates Blake Transit Center Grand Opening

Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority held the official grand opening of the new Blake Transit Center in downtown Ann Arbor today.  It's been open since March but it will still be another week or so before buses will use the facility's covered driveway for loading and unloading passengers.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the grand opening of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's new Blake Transit Center.

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Education
6:40 am
Mon July 7, 2014

University of Michigan Solar Car Team Prepares To Defend National Title

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The University of Michigan's solar car team is making final plans as they look to defend their five consecutive national titles.  The competition starts Saturday with a week of qualifying before the Austin to Minneapolis race gets under way.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the University of Michigan Solar Car team getting ready for the American Solar Challenge.

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WEMU News
6:30 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Ypsilanti City Council To Consider Purchase Agreement For East Side Rec Center

The Water Street Redevelopment Area.
Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti City Council recently closed on a deal to sell a parcel of Water Street property for a Family Dollar Store, and there's no time to relax before the next proposal lands on council's plate.

A purchase agreement for Washtenaw County's proposed east side rec center is on council's Tuesday night agenda. 

City Planner Teresa Gillotti.

"There will be a public hearing on it," Gillotti says, "and probably a vote on it from city council to potentially accept the offer."

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WEMU News
3:29 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Ann Arbor Hires Firm To Help Market Library Lot

Credit a2gov.org

The city of Ann Arbor is getting some help in selling the Library Lot property above the Library Lane underground parking garage.

City Administrator Steve Powers says CBRE is a real estate firm with experience in this sort of transaction.

"CBRE will be helping develop with city staff the engagement plan, that engagement with stakeholders, that will be a key part of the process," says Powers.

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WEMU News
3:29 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Irwin Blasts Road Funding 'Earmarks'

53rd District State Representative Jeff Irwin (D)
Credit http://053.housedems.com/

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.

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Special Programming
3:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

A Capitol Fourth (8p - 10p)

This July 4, America's national Independence Day celebration broadcasts live from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. Hosted by Emmy Award-winning TV personality Tom Bergeron and NPR's Korva Coleman, the event features performances from some of America's best known celebrities and musical artists.

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Special Programming
2:57 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Capitol Steps: 'Politics Takes A Holiday!' (7p - 8p)

This Independence Day, enjoy the Capitol Steps one-hour long special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” 
 
The Capitol Steps will address timely issues set to show tunes!  There’s John Kerry singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Crimea?” and Hillary Clinton admonishing Joe Biden to “Let it Go” when it comes to running for President.  It’s a show so clogged with jokes that Chris Christie threatened to shut it down!
 

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WEMU News
12:30 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Shooting Victim's Family Struggling With Funeral Costs

The family of a teenager fatally shot in Ypsilanti early Saturday morning needs help paying for his funeral arrangements. 

17 year-old Keon Washington died after being shot while in the 500 block of Madison Street. 

It wasn't long after a reward of $2,500 was announced that police arrested a suspect. 

19 year-old Keandre Duff is being held in the Washtenaw County jail on $70,000 bond.  He faces charges that include assault with intent to murder and carrying a concealed weapon. 

WEMU News
5:52 am
Thu July 3, 2014

IBEW Endorses Debbie Dingell

Credit ibew.org

Congressional hopeful Debbie Dingell has been endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Dingell is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 12th Congressional District, a seat currently held by her husband, John Dingell, who is retiring at the end of this term.

Debbie Dingell says she's honored the IBEW has chosen to endorse her.

"They're the backbone of the American economy," Dingell says.  "They represent so much about what's right for our community, and I will be a fighter for them and it means a lot to me that they know I will be."

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WEMU News
5:52 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Diabetes Meds Could Do More Harm Than Good For Some

Dr. Sandeep Vijan.
Credit http://chcr.umich.edu/

Side effects from taking medication outweighs its benefits for some patients with type 2 diabetes.

A new report from the University of Michigan has found insulin and other medications cause more harm than good for low-risk patients, especially those over the age of 50.

Study author Dr. Sandeep Vijan says many of these medications can lead to weight gain and other problems.

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WEMU News
5:51 am
Thu July 3, 2014

No New HIV Cases Seen At Testing Day Event

Credit eWashtenaw.org

Last week's HIV Testing Day in Washtenaw County was a success, especially for its participants.

No new cases were discovered among the 25 people who received testing, but HIV remains a growing problem within the community.

Washtenaw County Public Health nurse practitioner Cathy Wilczynski says it is especially affecting younger adults.

Officials are still trying to determine why the number of cases of HIV is on the rise locally.

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WEMU News
5:51 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Nicola's Books Changing Hands

Credit nicolasbooks.com

Ownership of one of Ann Arbor's biggest independent book store is changing hands.

Nicola's Books has been acquired by Schuler Books, an independent bookstore chain based in Michigan.

Schuler Books spokesperson Emily Stavrou-Schaefer s

ays Nicola's Books' staff and programming will remain largely unchanged and its current owner, Nicola Rooney, will stay on during the transition to ensure everything goes smoothly.

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WEMU News
5:48 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Judge Orders Ypsilanti Township Residents To Stop Growing Medical Marijuana

Credit wikimedia commons

Residents of an Ypsilanti Township home from which neighbors complained the strong odor of un-burnt marijuana was emitting have been ordered to quit growing medical marijuana in their basement.

Attorney Tom Lavigne of the law firm of Cannabis Council represents owners of the home at 1397 Crestwood. 

He says the residents were not doing anything that doesn't fall under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
 

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WEMU News
5:48 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board Approves Budget, Names New Superintendent

Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education last night approved a 2014-15 budget that anticipates the district losing 275 students.

Former Superintendent Scott Menzel says the budget also accounts for changes to the amount of foundation grant money the district will receive from the state.  He says the budget is relatively conservative, "knowing that there are still some things we won't know until the fall."

Among the issues yet to be determined - how many teachers the district will have on the payroll.

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WEMU News
3:15 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Schreiber Endorses Edmonds For Ypsilanti Mayor

Ypsilanti mayoral candidate Amanda Edmonds.
Credit Facebook.com/AmandaForMayor

Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber is officially throwing his support behind Amanda Edmonds in the three-way race to replace him.

Schreiber says Edmonds "would provide business experience that Ypsilanti City Council sorely needs." 

Edmonds is executive director of Growing Hope, and chair of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority. 

Schreiber says Edmonds' collaborative approach "will be a refreshing addition to City Council". 

City council member Pete Murdock and community activist Tyrone Bridges are also on the August primary ballot.

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Community
2:48 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Art Exhibit Shines Light On Human Trafficking

A brothel scene from the art exhibit "Broken".
Susan Clinthorne and Sally Theilen

The issue of human trafficking has come to an art gallery in downtown Ann Arbor. 

Artists Susan Clinthorne and Sally Theilen created the exhibit called "Broken".

Clinthorne says the exhibit was featured at ArtPrize 2013 as Art to Change the World.  ArtPrize had asked for another piece following their exhibit titled "Letters Home" regarding homelessness.

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Education
5:45 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Set Tuition For Non-Resident Students

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

In lieu of state funds, Ann Arbor Public Schools will charge almost $15,000 tuition for some non-residents. The school board approved the maximum tuition the state allows for students that missed schools of choice enrollment or aren't eligible.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the tuition Ann Arbor Public Schools will charge some non-residents in the coming school year.

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Education
5:02 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

GCA Services Take Over Ann Arbor Public Schools Custodial Work

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

With the start of the new fiscal year GCA Services has taken over custodial work at Ann Arbor Public Schools.  The move comes one day after the school board re-affirmed it's commitment to a contract with the firm and outlined why a worker co-op plan couldn't be considered.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board re-affirming plans to outsource custodial work to GCA Services.

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WEMU News
8:28 am
Tue July 1, 2014

EMU Student Running Cross-Country For Charity

Credit www.facebook.com/compassionintl

A 23 year-old Eastern Michigan University student is running across the country for charity.

Zachary James is trying to raise $15,000 for Compassion International by running from New York City to San Francisco.

He intends to run 33 miles a day, all while pushing a modified stroller containing food, water and other supplies.

James has spent the last two years training daily in preparation for his run.

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Community
4:33 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Ann Arbor Officials Looking At Options To Register Rideshare Service Drivers

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Shortly after rideshare services Uber and Lyft came to Ann Arbor the city sent the companies cease and desist letters.  Now a proposal to amend the city's taxi cab ordinance is being considered to but some teeth behind the letters.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a possible amendment to Ann Arbor's taxi ordinance.

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Education
4:32 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Ann Arbor Schools Could See Direct And Indirect Growth In Students With Annexation Plan

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools could gain more than just Whitmore Lake's approximately 1,000 students if annexation plans move forward.  That's because Whitmore Lake Public Schools currently accepts schools of choice students from Livingston County.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on possible benefits for Ann Arbor Public Schools to annex Whitmore Lake Public Schools.

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WEMU News
4:31 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Library Lunch Program Combats Summer Hunger

The Ypsilanti District Library's Whittaker Rd. branch.
Credit ypsilibrary.org

The Ypsilanti District Library is doing its part to make sure that kids who qualify for free lunch during the school year don't go hungry over the summer.

A free summer lunch program started last Monday, and Librarian Shannon Bovis says more and more kids participated as the week went on.

"We have a capacity of 40," Bovis says. "We haven't given out 40 meals in one day yet, but hopefully we will soon."

About 30 kids piled into a reading room at the Whittaker Road branch this past Friday to enjoy a healthy lunch and a story read to them by Bovis. 

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Community
4:29 am
Mon June 30, 2014

2014-15 Ann Arbor Public Schools Budget Includes Salary Freeze

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Additional students, a freeze on employee pay, and outsourcing custodial work are keys to Ann Arbor Public Schools having a balanced budget for next year.  The school board approved the $197 million general fund plan early Thursday morning.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board passing the district's 2014-15 budget.

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WEMU News
2:16 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Indie Awards Recognize Entrepeneurs

Credit Think Local First of Washtenaw County

ANN ARBOR – Independent businesses will be the stars of the show Saturday night when Think Local First of Washtenaw County throws a street party to celebrate its second annual Washtenaw Indie Awards.

 

The party, featuring local food, live jazz and RnB music and craft beers from Arbor Brewing Company, will take place from 6-10 p.m. on Washington Street between Main and Fourth. The award presentations will begin shortly after 7:30.

 

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