News

Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The plan is to open the doors to all Ann Arbor Public School district students later this month, August 30th. WEMU'S Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor school superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift about the current plans for reopening in a pandemic that include universal masking and "redesigned" before and after-school care for students.


Deana Fisher
St. Louis Center / stlouiscenter.org

For over 60 years, the St. Louis Center in Chelsea has housed those with developmental disabilities and helped them find employment and work toward independence. Yet, like many nonprofit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the center financially and emotionally. The center's chief operations officer, Deana Fisher, joins WEMU's David Fair to discuss how her establishment and its residents have adapted to the pandemic.


University of Michigan
University of Michigan / umich.edu

All students, faculty, and staff on all three campuses of the University of Michigan are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit their vaccination information before the start of the fall term.  

The university-wide vaccine requirement also applies to Michigan Medicine.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with U-M Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Rick Fitzgerald to learn more about the decision.


Leif Sporck / sporcktileart.com

Leif Spörck says he felt compelled and pulled by the heart to keep the family pottery business going. He played basketball in college and thought about becoming a lawyer but decided to return to northern Michigan and create decorative, ceramic art tiles with the root of his work in nature.

He shares his story with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his tiles, which he sells up north and at art fairs around the state.


Now through Monday, August 2nd, anyone who gives $100 or more to WEMU online, through the mail, or by phone to our business office, is eligible to win a limited-edition NPR 50th anniversary tote bag stuffed full of #teamWEMU goodies, handpicked by our “Cuban Fantasy" host, Marc Taras!

Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater / Facebook

July is coming to an end, but the wave of new movies keeps on going. WEMU's David Fair chats about the latest movie news and films coming to your local movie house with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director and CEO Russ Collins.


Alexandros Maragakis
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

Michigan has a number of underserved urban and rural communities with limited access to quality mental health services for children, yet most children in these communities have access to primary care.

Lisa Barry talks with Eastern Michigan University assistant professor Alexandros Maragakis about the grant he recently received to expand behavioral health services to underserved populations.


Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Flooding, pollution, and overall water quality have dominated the news lately. While municipal water systems cover the majority of state residents, 35% operate on a septic system. Regulations and code varies from place to place, and many of the systems are aging and in deteriorating shape. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer to discuss whether more uniform codes and standards are needed.  


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Though many of Ypsilanti's hair businesses suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the loyalty of their long-term customers has helped many of them bounce back. Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Claire Broderick, one of several local stylists interviewed for this week's story about Ypsilanti's vibrant "hair artist" scene.


Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

The new Delta variant of the coronavirus has severely impacted several states, primarily due to low vaccination rates and an end to most mask mandates. WEMU's David Fair got the latest in his conversation with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia about how these recent developments may affect Washtenaw County residents.

Marcia Dorr

Artist and curator Marcia Stegath Dorr traveled to Oman and discovered timeless culture, art, and craft virtually unknown to rest of the world. She has worked ever since to preserve Oman’s past and lift up its 21st Century artisans as the Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism of the Sultanate of Oman. Hear about Marcia’s journey on this edition of "creative:impact" with co-hosts Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw and WEMU’s David Fair.


COVID-19
MGN

Although they are seeing fewer hospitalizations at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, the positivity rate for the virus is increasing, and vaccinations are still seen as the solution to stop the COVID-19 virus in its tracks.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel, who shares the latest information about the virus variant and how we can stay safe and healthy as the pandemic continues.


Carlos Franklin
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center in Ypsilanti has a mission: To unite all people, regardless of race, religion, or politics, and to highlight the works of authors of color. Bookstore co-owner Carlos Franklin joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his love of literature and his journey as a Black, small business owner during social unrest and a pandemic. 


Join WEMU and the Blue LLama Jazz Club for a special performance of the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Generations Band. WEMU will live stream the performance tonight (Saturday, July 24th) from 8:15-9pm EST.

James Smith
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

It was July of 2016 when Dr. James Smith began his tenure as president of Eastern Michigan University. Over the course of five years, he has faced difficult challenges and had inspired successes. Dr. Smith joined WEMU's David Fair to reflect, assess, and project forward. 


Debbie Dingell
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy / flickr.com

Washtenaw and Wayne Counties were devastated by heavy rains and flooding during late June storms.  FEMA and the federal Small Business Administration are setting up camp in the area to help those in need. 12th District Congressional representative Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to highlight the  available assistance while pushing for approval of the federal infrastructure bill. 


Encore Theatre
The Encore Theatre / theencoretheatre.org

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local performance arts scene. Lisa Barry talks with a local freelance journalist who specializes in art and culture, Jenn McKee.

Jenn details upcoming, in-person theatre performances planned for the coming months after being mostly online during the pandemic.


State Theatre
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

After a week apart, our favorite movie-loving duo is back together. WEMU's David Fair once again gets in touch with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director, Russ Collins, to chat about all of the new and classic films you can check out downtown this weekend. Plus, some live events are coming to the Michigan Theater, as well! 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On The Ground Ypsi", WEMU's Lisa Barry and On the Ground Ypsi project manager Sarah Rigg talk to an area mother of one who started her own business. She shares how she stays motivated and involves her young daughter in her work while setting a positive example of having a good work/life balance.


Charles Griffith
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

The buses and heavy trucks that travel our towns and highway system contribute a significant part of the emissions causing climate change. We are in the midst of transition, as manufacturers are moving more toward electric vehicle production. WEMU's David Fair and Charles Griffith, the director of the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center's climate and energy program, discussed the push for Michigan to join others in a commitment to zero out emissions from heavy vehicles by 2050.  


Seat Belt
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Michigan's seat belt use has dropped sharply, and even though there were fewer vehicles on the road in 2020, there were nearly 100 more traffic fatalities on state roads.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Kendall Wingrove of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning about the trend and the call to remember to buckle up!


Molly Motherwell / 89.1 WEMU

From her artist’s booth, Karin Wagner Coron had perfect view of the 2021 Ann Arbor Art Fair. In the second of this two-part series, Karin paints a picture of her experience, how it went, what was the same, what was different, and how it felt to be back on the streets selling art after a one-year, Art Fair hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear it all as she joins "creative:impact’s" co-hosts, Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair.


Florence Roberson

Many families face some sort of crisis, especially when it involves the criminal justice system. Finding support can be difficult, which is why Florence Roberson formed "Sisters United Resilient and Empowered," or SURE Moms. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work her group is doing to build the community and alter the life trajectories for local women and their children. 


Mark Nepo / marknepo.com

Mark Nepo says he's always been a heart-centered person. He has written several best-selling books about many things, including having an awakening to having the courage to be conscious and caring. He speaks around the world, encouraging others to be fully awake and fully alive with this one life we have to live.

He shares more of his personal journey and mission with WEMU's Lisa Barry.


State Theatre
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The summer movie season is cruising along, so join in on the fun! WEMU's David Fair is away this week, so Michael Jewett steps in to talk all things movies with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins.


Ann Arbor Art Fair
Ann Arbor Art Fair / theannarborartfair.com

The annual Ann Arbor Art Fair, which was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, is back this year taking place July 15th through the 17th. WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sandra Andrade, the executive director of the Ann Arbor Main Street Area Association, about what that means to area business owners and their special plans for this year's fair.


Brian Calka
DTE Energy / dteenergy.com

Washtenaw Community College has announced it plans to run 100% on renewable energies by the year 2029. In part, it plans to get there by signing on to  DTE Energy's MIGreenPower program. The utility's renewable solutions director, Brian Calka, joined  WEMU's David Fair to discuss the agreement with WCC, the program itself, and DTE's plans for a more sustainable, renewable energy future. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi,"  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with a 14-year old member of the Ypsilanti District Library Teen Advisory Group about a recent grant that allowed them to expand information being handed out to local teenagers.


Karin Wagner Coron

Karin Wagner Coron has exhibited at the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair for years. She has a routine: how many works to have in inventory and what to pack to be ready. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of last year’s Art Fair. In the first of a two-part series, Karin talks about that disruption and what she anticipates for the 2021 Art Fair. Next week, she’ll be back to tell "creative:impact’s" co-hosts, Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair, how the Art Fair went.


Detroit Jazz Festival
Knight Foundation/ Creative Commons / Detroit Jazz Festival

WEMU's Michael Jewett chats with the Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, Chris Collins on the Festival's recent announcement on the return of live performances to the public:


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