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WATCH: Michigan State Of The State 2021

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer lays out her new legislative year agenda for 2021. Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support. Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

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Pandemic Coverage

Everything You Need To Know About The Global COVID-19 Outbreak from NPR & WEMU

University of Michigan
Maddie Purcell / University of Michigan

In an effort to interrupt the spread of COVID-19 and a new variant of the virus on the University of Michigan campus, a new “stay in place” recommendation has been issued by the Washtenaw County Health Department for students on or near the Ann Arbor campus.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Rick Fitzgerald, assistant vice president for public affairs at the University of Michigan, about what that means for the university community.


Ann Arbor Reasonable Return
Ann Arbor Reasonable Return / a2reasonablereturn.org

A group of Ann Arbor parents, medical professionals, and community members are planning a rally for this weekend to show their support for getting students back into the classroom during the ongoing pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with group member and concerned parent Lena Kauffman about their continuing efforts to get students back in the classroom soon.


Bryan Ukena
Recycle Ann Arbor / recycleannarbor.org

Ann Arbor's Materials Recovery Facility has been closed for nearly five years due to safety concerns.  In 2020, the city hired Recycle Ann Arbor to handle recycling and charged it with reopening the facility.  Renovation and innovation measures are getting underway, and "The MuRF," as it's called, should open this fall.  Recycle Ann Arbor CEO Bryan Ukena joined WEMU's David Fair to update you on this week's "Issues of the Environment."


Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

A new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus made its way to Washtenaw County earlier this month.  Since then, 13 cases have been confirmed in the county, and all University of Michigan athletic programs have been put on pause.  WEMU's David Fair discussed the latest information with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia.  


Mark Clague
University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, & Dance / smtd.umich.edu


Music critics of all stripes had plenty to say about Lady Gaga’s national anthem performance at President Biden’s inauguration.  Deb Polich and David Fair asked Mark Clague, widely recognized as the expert on "The Star Spangled Banner," to share his thoughts on her interpretation.  Mark takes a deep-dive into this storied anthem on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.


Juvenile
The Conversation / theconversation.com

In under a month on the job, the new Washtenaw County prosecutor, Eli Savit, has announced a number of new criminal justice plans for the county, including a new approach to juvenile justice.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with Savit about his new suite of policy changes, which he says is long overdue and based on science, which will lead to better life outcomes for the youth involved.


David Gruner
Career Solutions / cdcpi.com

The past year has brought a global pandemic, political unrest, and a more concerted effort to combat systemic racism.  Put together, it has created new challenges for leaders in the non-profit sector.  Ann Arbor-based "Career Directions" is dedicated to coaching leaders and organization teams and, it too, has found new challenges to overcome.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair explores challenges and solutions with Career Directions executive coach/principal, David Gruner.


Knight's
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan restaurants will be allowed to open their doors to indoor diners February 1st.  Indoor dining has been prohibited by state officials since November to curb the cases of COVID-19 in the community.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Don Knight, the owner of Knight’s Steakhouse with two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Jackson, about his excitement to reopen even with state-imposed restrictions and some changes they’ve made to keep diners healthy.


Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

At about 7 p.m. ET Monday, House impeachment managers delivered to the Senate an article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump, a move that prompts preparations for a historic trial.

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump left for Florida, while newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden got right to work.  WEMU's David Fair caught up with 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, after a whirlwind week, to reflect on the last four years and look at immediate priorities now. 


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NPR News

In the early days of the pandemic, hip-hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland created a music industry monster: Verzuz, a live-on-Instagram music battle show that broke livestreaming records on social media. Now, the Caribbean has responded with its own version.

Actress Cloris Leachman portrayed women of wit and sass over a seven-decade career. She won an Oscar and nine Emmys, and her career was relentlessly inventive. The actress died Wednesday in Encinitas, Calif., of natural causes, according to her press representative, Monique Moss. She was 94.

Hank Aaron, a hero of baseball and of civil rights, is being buried in Atlanta Wednesday, drawing friends, family and sports luminaries to say farewell to the widely respected slugger and activist.

Aaron's wife, Billye, their family and friends gathered in church and online to celebrate the man that Friendship Baptist Church Pastor Richard W. Wills Sr. called "this iconic marvel from Mobile."

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