Ypsilanti

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Nearly 200 people in the area are seeing where they stack up against the rest of the world in the Crossfit Open, which claims to be seeking the fittest on Earth.  The vast majority have no thoughts about advancing to the regional or world games, so why does the number of participants continue to grow?

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Some stomachs may be hurting this morning, but the FLY Children’s Art Center is in a better position thanks to the first ever Wurst Challenge at Ypsilanti’s Wurst bar. 

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

A proposed point-seven mill tax to increase Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority service is the only issue on the May 6th ballot in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township.  To save the A-A-A-T-A some money Ypsilanti Township officials will be combining several precincts to limit the number of poll workers needed.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

More young people in Southeast Michigan will continue to have opportunities to make art thanks to several people attempting to eat 20 foot long brats.  Ypsilanti’s Wurst Bar is hosting the first ever Wurst Challenge Thursday evening as a fundraiser for the Fly Children’s Art Center.

Growing Hope Opening Pop-Up Gardening Supply Shop

Mar 19, 2014
Facebook.com/YpsiPlanti

Growing Hope is interested in finding out how much interest there is in a local garden supply store, and will open a pop-up shop for a couple of months this spring to find out.

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. 

A Community-wide effort is underway to close the achievement gap that exists in many area schools.  Ann Arbor’s chapter of the Link will host a public meeting Saturday at Washtenaw Community College to discuss what they already have in place.  

facebook.com/simplelawnsypsi

One sector of the local business community that probably doesn't mind all the snow we've had this winter is snow removal.

Justin Brown owns Simple Lawns in Ypsilanti, which has been in business since last spring.  He says the snow has kept him extremely busy.

"Seems like every week, you know, we're out and about doing snow plowing," Brown says. "Haven't really caught much of a break."

Ypsilanti Residents Taking Snow in Stride

Mar 12, 2014
Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU

While this latest winter storm found Ypsilanti residents out shoveling snow this morning, they seemed to be trying to find the positive side.

Jennifer Hackett was clearing snow on South Huron Street. She said the snow fell on a day when she didn't have to make her usual drive into Detroit's northern suburbs, so she was happy for that.

Along Harriet Street, Anthony Scott  was shoveling a driveway and sidewalk for a little extra cash.  He said this has been an excellent winter for making money shoveling snow.

First Fridays Ypsilanti
A2Awesome.org

An Ypsilanti organization that puts on art shows on the first Friday of each month has received a $1,000 grant from micro-philanthropic group A2Awesome.  

Bob Eccles

Businesses in Ypsilanti's Depot Town are looking forward to something happening with the Thompson Block, but opinions vary on what should happen to the former Civil War barracks and adjoining properties.


Wikimedia Commons

A recent Michigan Office of Highway Safety Patrol survey showed more people than ever admit to texting and emailing while driving, but the people WEMU news spoke with  Monday evening in downtown Ypsilanti appear to be bucking the trend.

Andrea says she has good reason not to text and drive.  "I have a nine month-old daughter," she says. "I just can't see risking her life for it."

A January survey showed 16-point-three percent of respondents admitted to texting and emailing behind the wheel.  That was twice the number in a similar survey conducted in 2012.

Ypsilanti Notables To Go On Fundraising Bratwurst-bender

Mar 10, 2014
Mark Maynard / markmaynard.com

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - A fundraising event in Michigan plans to pit participants with big appetites against 20-foot-long bratwursts that weigh close to six pounds. The Ann Arbor News reports the Wurst  Challenge to benefit the FLY Children's Art Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on March 20.  Nine participants are registered so far, including Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber.  The event is hosted by Ypsilanti's Wurst Bar, the New Holland Brewing Co., blogger Mark Maynard and others.

Andrew Cluley

Debbie Dingell formally announced today she's running for the 12th Congressional seat her husband has held for nearly 60 years.  Dingell had kick-off events in Dearborn, Ann Arbor, and Ypsilanti.

Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU

If Ypsilanti city staff had hoped to convince Sandy Ellinger that the proposed Water Street Flats affordable housing proposal is a good idea, they were not successful.

Ellinger wasn't for or against the proposal when she came to Tuesday night's City Council workshop on the project, but at the end of the meeting she said if it were up to a vote of the people, she'd vote "no".

Ellinger said she had concerns that the city was going to be "left holding the bag" if the proposal doesn't work out, and she said the appearance of the building was also worrisome. 

The city plans to sell a 3.14 acre parcel of land on the southern edge of the Water Street Redevelopment Area to a developer who would build a four-story, 90-unit apartment building there. 

Everyone who spoke on the subject during the public comment period last night had concerns, which you can listen to below. 

City Council is expected to consider a purchase agreement for the project at its March 4th meeting.

Equality Michigan

People across Michigan are closely following the trial of a lesbian couple challenging Michigan's ban on marriage and adoption by same sex couples.  The trial began Tuesday with April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse seeking the ability to marry and adopt each other's children.  

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti Community Schools officials continue to develop plans for year round schools.  The District plans on piloting a balanced calendar in one or two buildings starting in the fall.  

Herman and Kittle Properties

Ypsilanti residents tonight will have an opportunity to learn more about a proposed housing complex  in the Water Street re-development area tonight.  City Planner Teresa Gillotti says the developer is expanding the Water Street Flats project from its initial plan offering. Originally, the 12-million dollar development was to have 76-units of affordable housing. That figure is now 90-units. 

Facebook/The Ride

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township are expected to decide in May on a proposed public transit tax to raise nearly $4.4 million in annual funding.  The Ann Arbor News reports campaigns with competing messages are taking place after the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority voted last week to place a 0.7-mill transit tax on the May 6 ballot in the three Washtenaw County communities

Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority officials hope to begin making service upgrades in August.  That’s if voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township pass a .7 mill tax that will be on the May ballot. 

Erica Hamilton

Efforts to boost the minimum wage are underway at all levels of government, and now you can add Ypsilanti to the list.  MLive.com reported this morning City Councilman Peter Murdock is planning to introduce a resolution to boost the minimum wage from the current  $7.40 to $10.10 per hour. 

Washtenaw County’s approximately 60,000 residents on Medicaid or without any dental insurance will have a source for dental work starting next year.  The Washtenaw County Commissioners Wednesday night approved plans for a Public Health Department owned dental clinic. 

Facebook/TheRide

A recent survey finds area voters would support a tax hike to help fund the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority's five year transit plan.  

63 percent of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township voters polled would probably or definitely vote for a new tax of less than one mill for additional service.  The survey was conducted in October through December for the AAATA.

Ypsilanti Hikes Fines for Illegal Dumping

Feb 7, 2014

Fines for illegal dumping are going way up in Ypsilanti, in the hopes that it'll help curb a problem that's been costing the Downtown Development Authority money to clean up after.   Mayor Paul Schreiber says one spot in particular has become a haven for illegal dumping. He says people have been leaving things like sofas at the Dumpsters behind businesses along Michigan Avenue. Fines that used to start at $50 for illegal dumping will now start at $2,500 and could go as high as $5,000.

Low Income Housing
Images_of_Money / Foter / CC BY

Ypsilanti City Council Tuesday night approved the second and final reading of legislation to sell the city's remaining public housing stock to a private owner.  

The Ypsilanti Housing Commission will be a partner with the new owner.  

Zachary Fosler is the Housing Commission's Executive Director. He says having the public housing facilities under private ownership will make it easier for the properties to get the renovations and maintenance they need, since federal money for public housing improvements is no longer available.  

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