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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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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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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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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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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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Community
4:22 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

International Soccer Game at Michigan Stadium Sold Out

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Fans interested in attending the Manchester United-Real Madrid game at Michigan Stadium will likely need to turn to the secondary market if they don't have tickets yet.

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Education
7:25 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools To Send Schools Of Choice Notifications By Early Next Week

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials say they are pleased with the number of schools of choice and young fives applications the district received.  The exact number of applicants won’t be released until next week after all of the applications have been processed and seats are filled.  

Director of Communications Liz Margolis says they have to let parents know by Tuesday or Wednesday the status of applications.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Director of Communications Liz Margolis discusses how schools of choice applicants will be notified of their status.

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Education
4:30 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Credit Rating Lowered

Standard and Poor’s has lowered the Ann Arbor Public Schools credit rating from AA-Plus to A-Plus.  The downgrade came after the district used more reserves than originally anticipated this fiscal year. 

Communications Director Liz Margolis says it’s the second downgrade in the last couple of years, but they shouldn’t continue.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Director of Communications Liz Margolis discusses why further credit rating downgrades aren't anticipated.

In a statement Superintendent Jeanice Swift says they have in place a solid financial plan to improve fiscal stability.  Swift highlights efforts to increase revenue through attracting more students while also taking steps to decrease expenditures without reducing services for students.  She believes these moves will help the district begin to rebuild fund balance within a reasonable time.

According to Margolis efforts to increase enrollment appear to be working and the district should be able to increase fund equity next year.  She believes this combined with contract concessions the district is working on should lead to higher credit ratings.  Margolis adds since the district has no plans to sell bonds now she doesn't anticipate an immediate financial impact from the credit downgrade.

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Issues of the Environment
4:29 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Environmental Benefits To Passage Of Proposed Ann Arbor Area Transportation Millage

Carbon Pollution levels would improve with passage of AAATA millage proposal on May 6th
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

  

Overview

On May 6th, voters in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township will weigh in on a ballot proposal for new 0.7 mill property tax to pay for expanded public transportation services, primarily AAATA busing.

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Community
10:59 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Ann Arbor Accepting Plate Scraps In Compost Carts

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Plate scrapings are now being accepted in Ann Arbor composting carts.  The city added the food scraps this year after a study of residential trash found about half of it was food that could be composted.

  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor accepting plate scraps in compost carts.

  

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Community
10:47 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Library Green Supporters Hope For Progress On Park After City Council Sets Size

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Members of the Library Green Conservancy are hopeful Ann Arbor City Council actions will help people work together to develop a park above the city’s underground parking structure.  Last month council approved 65-hundred to 12-thousand square feet to be used as a park, but that’s now been revised to approximately 12-thousand square feet.

Library Green Conservancy member Will Hathaway thinks everyone wants the same goal, a quality park above the underground parking structure.

Will Hathaway of the Library Green Conservancy discusses the future of the land above the underground parking structure.

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Music
4:25 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

89.1 WEMU Presents: Mr. B Live In-Studio

Marilyn Gouin 89.1 WEMU

Mr. B (Mark Braun) visits the 89.1 WEMU studios to perform with special guests, Lila Ammons & Axel Zwingenberger ahead of their Blues and Boogie Celebration at the Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan this weekend.

Community
7:11 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Company Considers Drilling West of Ann Arbor

Credit openclipart.org

A Traverse City-based company is moving forward with plans to possibly drill for oil or natural gas in an area just west of Ann Arbor.  

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Community
11:56 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Pros And Cons Of Transit Millage Discussed At League Of Women Voters Forum

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

About 150 people packed the downtown Ann Arbor Library’s multi-purpose room to find out more about the proposed point-seven mill transit tax last night.  Supporters of the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority millage appeared to outnumber critics at the League of Women Voters forum. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the League of Women Voters community forum on the proposed Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority millage.

    

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Arts
3:15 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces 2014 Mainstage Lineup

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has announced its 2014 Mainstage lineup.

Executive Director Amy Nesbitt sat down with WEMU's Michael Jewett Monday afternoon to talk about the schedule and hear some music from some of the acts scheduled to appear.

See the complete schedule here: http://a2sf.org/desktop/

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Construction
10:43 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Ann Arbor-Saline Road Project To begin April 21st

Phase One detours for upcoming Ann Arbor-Saline road improvement project
Credit Washtenaw County Road Commission

Stage 1 of the Ann Arbor-Saline Road improvement project will get underway two weeks from today. The Washtenaw County Road Commission will complete the project in three phases. In the first phase, the southbound lanes of Ann Arbor-Saline Road will be closed between Eisenhower Parkway and the I-94 exit ramp.  The detours for this phase of the project will be as such: 

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Community
12:28 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Senior Groups Supporting Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Millage

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

With the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Millage vote now less than a month away a wide variety of groups have endorsed the effort, including several agencies that work with seniors.  As Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Ypsilanti Township consider a point-seven mill tax to pay for expanded Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority service, senior groups have consistently come out in support. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ypsilanti Senior Center supporting the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority Millage.

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Community
12:07 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Ann Arbor City Council To Consider Resolution Urging State Drop Appeals To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor City Council is set to ask state officials to drop appeals to the court ruling that briefly allowed same-sex marriages to take place.  Council tonight will consider a resolution urging Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to suspend efforts to contest Judge Bernard Friedman’s ruling.  

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