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WEMU News
2:32 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Web Hosting Firm Opening Office In Ann Arbor

Credit liquidweb.com

A Lansing-based Web hosting company hopes to open shop in Ann Arbor later this year.

Liquid Web would like to hire 75 people to work in Ann Arbor over the next three to five years.

"We do have some property that we have just purchased in Ann Arbor that we are looking to hire some new people to work with us over there," says Liquid Web spokesperson Cale Sauter.

Liquid Web will move into property at 315 West Huron Street in Ann Arbor. 

Sauter says they'll start with about 20 people who'll mainly handle 24/7 web and technical support. 

Apply online:

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Community
1:56 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Healthcare Leaders Back Transit Millage

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Ora Pescovitz.
Credit uofmhealth.org

The campaign to win approval of a 0.7 mil transit issue in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Ann Arbor has picked up a couple of key endorsements.

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Ora Pescovitz has endorsed the ballot issue, as has Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston Hospitals President and CEO Rob Casalou.

Pescovitz says she believes many University of Michigan medical center staff, visitors and patients would benefit from the expanded service the millage is designed to pay for.

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Community
6:28 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Ann Arbor Ready For Trash Created By University Of Michigan Students Moving

Andrew Cluley 89.1 WEMU

As University of Michigan students prepare to leave town for the summer one common place to stop is the intersection of Oakland, East University, and Tappan.  The city of Ann Arbor has once more set up dumpsters for bulk recycling and trash in the area.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the trash and recycling drop-off point set up by Ann Arbor to handle University of Michigan students leaving town for the summer or moving to new housing.

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Community
5:54 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Personal Property Tax Reform Discussed At Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber Lunch

Michigan Chamber of Commerce Senior Director of Tax & Regulatory Reform Tricia Kinley, Michigan Manufacturers Association Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Johnston, and State Senator Rebekah Warren spoke at the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber Headline Lunch.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

For years Republicans and Democrats across Michigan have raised concerns about the state’s personal property tax.  Voters in August will decide if a solution to phase-out the tax and reimburse local governments can go forward.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber's Headline Lunch on the issue of Personal Property Tax reform in Michigan.

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Community
11:28 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Scio Township Residents Learning More About Possible Oil Exploration In Their Community

West Bay Exploration Vice President Patrick Gibson discusses his company and what they are looking at in Scio Township.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Several hundred people learned more about oil exploration and mineral rights leases at Scio Township Thursday night.  Township officials held an informational meeting at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District facility on Wagner with a variety of experts because West Bay Exploration has leases to explore about one-thousand acres in the township. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Thursday's meeting on oil and gas exploration in Scio Township.

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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
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
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
1:27 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Michigan Runner Returning To Boston Marathon After Being Stopped Blocks From Finish Last Year

Area runners that train with PR Fitness and will be running the Boston Marathon Monday.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An area runner will return to the Boston Marathon this year partly to show he will do what he wants to do and isn't letting fear stop him.  Police stopped John Farah just blocks from the finish line last year when the first bomb went off.  

Farah is one of about 30 area runners that train with PR Fitness and will be running the Boston Marathon Monday.  Farah thinks the race will be safe this year as he runs Boston for the 19th time.

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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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