Ypsilanti

Environment
10:11 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Issues of the Environment: LED Lighting in Ypsilanti

Credit meltedplastic / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The City of Ypsilanti is getting rid of it's old mercury-vapor streetlights in favor of new and more energy-efficient LED models. 

In this week's installment of Issues of the environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber about the financial and environmental impacts of the switch.

Issues of the Environment: 10/2/13

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Community
2:50 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Ypsilanti Council Approves Street Light Conversion Fee

An LED streetlamp
Credit meltedplastic / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Ypsilanti land owners will soon be paying more money for street lighting.  The money will be used to help pay for 500 new LED streetlights through out the city, though 

  Ypsilanti already has around 300 LED streetlights. 

The Ypsilanti City Council approved a special assessment fee at this week's  meeting that will charge residents around $120 over the next two years for each parcel of land they own. The city will replace older sodium and mercury-vapor lights with more efficient, longer-lasting LEDs.

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Local News
3:38 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker Announces Retirement

Ypsilanti Police Chief Amy Walker is retiring. 

Walker's October retirement was announced today, and follows more than twenty years of service to the city. 

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Local News
9:56 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Ypsilanti Township Votes to Join AAATA

The Ride CEO Michael Ford addresses the Ypsilanti Township board.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees Monday night voted to seek membership in the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Hear Bob's report here.

Sports
7:27 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Ypsilanti Grizzlies To Host First Ever Football Game Tonight

Last year at this time, the football teams for the Ypsilanti and Willow Run School Districts were preparing to open separate football seasons. Now, the districts have consolidated.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools will field its first ever football team tonight as the Grizzlies host the Milan Big Reds. 

Tonight marks the first-ever football game for the new Ypsilanti Community Schools Grizzlies.

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Community
10:53 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Ypsilanti's Mayor Pro Tem Marks Civil Rights March Anniversary

Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson.
Credit Bob Eccles

As marchers descend on Washington, D.C. this weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights march, Ypsilanti Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson is among them.

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

Click here to listen to Bob's report.

Community
10:57 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Ypsilanti Restaurant to Shine in National Spotlight

Credit Bob Eccles

The national spotlight will be shining on a fixture of our local restaurant scene this weekend, as Haab's is featured on the QVC Network. 

WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story:

Hear Bob's story here.

Ypsi Council
3:21 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Ypsi City Council Approves Street Light Special Assessment District Roll

Ypsilanti City Council has voted unanimously to have the city Assessor create a tax roll for the city-wide Streetlight Special Assessment District, and to file the roll for public examination. 

The cost of replacing streetlights with more efficient LEDs will be covered by the $58 every parcel of city land would pay each year for two years.  That's a big change from the original proposal, which had residents paying for the replacement and operation of the lights for the next 18-years. 

Education
6:55 am
Mon August 19, 2013

YCS Board of Education To Take Action On Several Items Before Start Of School Year

WEMU file photo
Credit Bob Eccles

It may not be terribly exciting, but tonight's agenda for the Ypsilanti Community schools Board of Education includes some items important to helping the newly-formed district get the school year started on the right foot.  

WEMU's Bob Eccles provides a preview of tonight's session:

YCS Board of Education meeting preview 8/19/13

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Community
9:21 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Historical Snapshots of Ypsilanti: 190-Years and Counting

Inspecting of landing wheel of the transport planes at Willow Run
Library of Congress

The annual Ypsilanti Heritage Festival kicks-off on Friday and the celebration will run through the weekend.  It's a perfect time to take a look back at some of the elements that have helped create the identity of this Washtenaw County community.

WEMU's Wendy Wright delves into the rich history and heritage of the City of Ypsilanti. In this 11-minute audio feature, Wendy provides some historical snapshots of people and places that helped forge the identity on Michigan's 2nd oldest city.

Community
6:25 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Public Comment Sought on Draft Ypsi Parks & Rec Plan

Credit www.cityofypsilanti.com

The city of Ypsilanti is seeking public comment on its draft 2013-2018 Parks and Recreation Plan.  WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with City Planner Bonnie Wessler about it.

Click here to hear the interview.

View the plan here


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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Government
9:32 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Ypsilanti to Offer Benefits to Partners of City Employees

Domestic partners of Ypsilanti city employees will soon have the right to the same benefits that spouses of  of city workers enjoy. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the details in the report below.

Ypsilanti moves forward on benefits plan for domestic partners of city employees.

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Ballot
12:59 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ypsi City Council Approves Medical Marijuana Restrictions

Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Ypsilanti City Council has voted to limit the number of medical marijuana licenses it accepts or renews in a given year. The second and final reading of an ordinance to that effect was approved Tuesday night.

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Community
12:54 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Ypsi Property Owners Protest Proposed Streetlight Fees

Residents voiced their objections to the Ypsilanti's plan to charge land owners a fee to replace the some of the city's street lights with new LED models at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

Under the proposal, each parcel of land was to be charged a $98 fee for the first year, with the fee steadily declining over the following years to around $70 by 2031.  AnnArbor.com says council amended the proposal so that residents would not have to pay to power the streetlights during that period, and instead would pay about $58 a year for just two years.

The most commonly-voiced objections to the plan included its cost, the perceived value attained from the switch, and having to pay an additional fee for something that has previously been payed for by property taxes.

Ypsilanti City Manager Ralph Lange says the city has worked hard to make the project as affordable as possible. 

The cost over converting older, less efficient streetlights to LED's over the 2013-14 and 2014-15 fiscal years is estimated at over $555,000.   Converting the lights is expected to save the city over $100,000 a year.

Public discussion about the street lights will continue at the at the next council meeting, scheduled for August 20.

Environment
8:46 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Urban Farming in Ypsilanti

Credit Growing Hope/Facebok

The City of Ypsilanti continues to explore how best to incorporate urban farming into it's vision for the future. 

In this week's installment of  WEMU's  Issues of the Environment David Fair talks with Amanda Edmonds. Amanda is the executive Director of Ypsilanti-based, Growing Hope.

WEMU's weekly Morning Edition feature, Issues of the Environment. In this installment David Fair talks with "Growing Hope" Executive Director Amanda Edmonds about urban farming in Ypsilanti.

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Community
9:44 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Demolition Underway at Liberty Square in Ypsilanti Township

It took years for Ypsilanti Township officials to get a local housing complex declared a public nuisance, but only a few minutes for heavy machinery to bring down the first apartment.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley files this report on the start of demolition at the Liberty Square development on Grove Road.

The Liberty Square housing development in Ypsilanti township is being torn down.

Ypsilanti Township's blight busters team started legal proceedings against the owners of the Liberty Square  development in 2010. the physical condition of the complex was in bad shape and deteriorating rapidly.

Additionally, the Washtenaw county Sheriff's Department was spending a lot of time in the complex, combating illegal activity. Demolition work began Monday on the 21 acre, 17 building complex on Grove near the I-94-Rawsonville Road interchange.

Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo says the demolition should serve as a reminder to other property owners that Ypsilanti Township won't tolerate blighted properties. Demolition of the entire complex is expected to take about three months.

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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Local News
10:15 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Non-Motorized Advisory Committee Working With EMU On B2B Trail Safety

Credit Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's Non-Motorized Advisory Committee is working with Eastern Michigan University to help improve awareness of and safety along the Border-to-Border Trail where it runs past the EMU Convocation Center. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

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Education
10:52 am
Wed July 31, 2013

The Newly-formed Ypsilanti Community Schools Launch Marketing Campaign

Credit Patrik Holubik / WEMU

If you haven't seen an ad for the new Ypsilanti Community school on an 

AATA bus or billboard yet, chances are it won't be long before you do.  

As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, the district is assertively marketing itself in the community.


Local News
3:48 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

YCS Approves Agreement For Extended State Debt Repayment

Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education President David Bates (l) and Superintendent Scott Menzel.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Thursday night approved entering into a contract with the state that will allow the district more time to pay off debt and remove Ypsilanti Community Schools from the ranks of Michigan's "deficit districts". 

The district has $18.8 million in state aid notes from the former Ypsilanti and Willow Run school districts that are due August 20th.  The state will give the district 13 years to pay off the debt. 

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Community
3:59 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Ypsilanti's Terry's Bakery Sign To Be Renovated

Credit Ypsilanti VCB

The classic Terry's Bakery sign in downtown Ypsilanti will be going away for short time.  

The sign is getting renovated thanks in part to a state grant.  When the sign returns the neon light will be back on, shining down on motorists along Michigan Avenue.

Andrew Cluley presents Bob Eccles story on the Terry's Bakery sign renovations.

Arts and Culture
7:57 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Shadow Art Fair Set To Make Its Last Stand

Saturday is likely to be a bitter-sweet day at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti. That is the site of what will be the last-ever Shadow Art Fair. WEMU's Bob Eccles has this report.

Founders of the Shadow Art fair in Ypsilanti calling it quits after one more run.

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Government
7:27 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Ypsilanti Moves Forward With Plan to Limit Medical Marijuana Facilities

Credit “Caveman Chuck” Coker / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

In the City of Ypsilanti, there are currently six medical marijuana dispensaries and one grow-operation. As WEMU's Bob Eccles reports, City Council is moving forward with a plan to officially limit the number of these kinds of facilities.

Ypsilanti City Council takes the next step in putting a cap on medical marijuana facilities in town.

Education
9:54 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

YCS Board Approves Requesting Extended Debt Repayment

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education in session Monday night.
Credit Bob Eccles

The Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education Monday night approved sending a letter to state Treasurer Andy Dillon asking for an extended period of time to re-pay its debt. WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 

Hear Bob's story here.

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