89.1 WEMU

City of Ypsilanti

It may feel like winter outside, but organizers of the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival have summer - and the 2015 edition of the festival - on their minds.

Festival board president David Nickerson says they need lots of help from the community in order to put on a successful event.

A New Resource For Renters Unhappy With Landlords

Nov 18, 2014
Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti renters having trouble with landlords have a new ally.  The Ypsilanti Tenants' Rights Association recently formed to advocate for renters having trouble with issues like harassment, neglect, or landlords who won't perform maintenance requests.

Alex Upham is a member of the Association, which was to introduce itself at Tuesday night's Ypsilanti City Council meeting. 

He says they're asking council to do what it can to help.

Bob Eccles

If you live in Ypsilanti's second ward and think you might like to serve in city government, now's your chance.  City Council is taking applications from people interested in filling the vacancy created by Susan Moeller's resignation.

All But 1 Of 10 Ypsilanti Charter Proposals Pass

Nov 5, 2014
Bob Eccles

Voters in Ypsilanti approved all but one of the proposed charter amendments on Tuesday's ballot.


Voters rejected a proposal to give city council the power to have ordinances take immediate effect with a two-thirds majority vote (Proposal E).   Nine other charter amendments passed.

Robb, Brown Elected To Ypsilanti City Council

Nov 5, 2014
Bob Eccles

Incumbent Brian Robb will continue to represent Ypsilanti's third ward on City Council.


Robb beat challenger Tyler Weston Tuesday, garnering 59 percent of the vote to Weston's 41 percent.

Nicole Brown will represent the first ward. 

She beat Sigrid Melvin in the race for the seat left open by incumbent Ricky Jefferson's decision not to seek re-election. 

Jefferson ran an unsuccessful campaign for Ypsilanti Community Schools Board of Education.

Edmonds Declares Victory In Ypsilanti Mayor Race

Nov 4, 2014

Amanda Edmonds has given a victory speech to supporters at the Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery.

The founder and Executive Director of Growing Hope is leading write-in challenger Steven Taylor by a wide margin in early un-official results. 

Edmonds says she told supporters she's looking forward to moving Ypsilanti forward.

Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Director Resigns

Oct 16, 2014
Bob Eccles

When time for the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival rolls around again next summer Andrew Clock will not be at the helm as director.  Clock says festival's board president Wednesday night asked him to resign, and he agreed to step down.


Board president David Nickerson says it's been difficult for Clock to put the time and effort into the festival on an ongoing basis.

Ypsilanti Hosts Public Safety Forum

Oct 15, 2014
Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti residents have the chance to learn more about their pubic safety departments at a public forum Thursday evening.  The forum will include presentations from the police and fire departments, along with emergency preparedness, code enforcement and the prosecuting attorney.

The meeting is called "Public Safety: How it Really Works." 

Pop Up Business Program Launching In Ypsilanti

Oct 3, 2014

Ypsilanti's Downtown Development Authority is launching a new program to bring businesses downtown, at least temporarily.  The Pop-Up Business Program launches Monday night with the first of two orientation sessions.

DDA director Tim Colbeck says the aim is to put some of the vacant storefronts downtown to use for the fall and winter seasons. 

The Pop-Up Business Program lets business owners set up shop temporarily to find out if there is a market for their products, and to figure out if their business model works. 

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's Hamilton Crossing housing area has come a long way since the days when it sat run down and nearly empty, a magnet for crime with boarded up windows.  Both Hamilton Crossing and its residents are doing much better now.

Tax credits helped pay for renovations at the property, and the Family Empowerment Program has been helping residents improve their lives. 


Ypsilanti celebrates its rich automotive history this weekend with the Orphan Car Show.


Bill Nickels is Secretary of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum.  He says the last few years haven't been easy for classic car restorers, with the recession hitting hard.

Bob Eccles

By the end of next week the conversion of some 1,675 old sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor street lights in Ypsilanti to LED's should be complete.  Not only will the conversion make city streets brighter and safer, it will also save the city about $120,000 a year.

That's according to City Manager Ralph Lange, who says DTE Energy has 119 post-top lights left to convert. 

Lange says the conversion project cost less than $600,000.

Bob Eccles

Ypsilanti's recent re-working of its Master Plan was only half of the process of developing a blueprint for future development.  The city's zoning ordinance puts those changes into law, and that document is now up for public review.

Ypsilanti Preparing For Trash Collection Switch

Sep 11, 2014

The city of Ypsilanti is gearing up for the switch to a new waste hauling contractor, but residents may not even notice the difference.


The city switches from Waste Management to Republic Services on September 22nd.  Republic's Municipal Services Manager Scott Cabauatan says there won't be any major changes.

Ypsilanti Seeks 'Walk-Friendly' Designation

Sep 5, 2014
Bob Eccles

When you think of Ypsilanti, do you think "walk-friendly"?  The city hopes so, and is aiming to draw more pedestrian and bike traffic to the downtown.


One way to do that would be to have the city designated a "walk-friendly" community. 


The last few months have seen the opening of a downtown Ypsilanti office of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters and the Ypsilanti Running Company on W. Michigan Ave., and that's being viewed as a sign that people understand the value of being in downtown Ypsi.



Eastern Michigan University's student body president says the improvement in safety on and off campus from a year ago is "100 percent."  Desmond Miller and his fellow students return to class Wednesday.

Miller says EMU and the city of Ypsilanti have made safety a priority in the wake of the off-campus murder of student-athlete Demarius Reed last October and the un-solved homicide of student Julia Niswender in her off-campus apartment in December of 2012. 

Future Uncertain For Water Street Flats Project

Aug 29, 2014
Bob Eccles

The future of the Water Street Flats affordable housing project is very much in doubt.  It has received a little over half of the state funding needed to make it happen.  On Tuesday, developer Herman & Kittle will ask city council for more time to secure the additional funding.


Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Underway

Aug 15, 2014
Bob Eccles

After some last-minute setting up of tents and displays, the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is underway. 

The path to this year's festival was a bit bumpy, with some long-time participants striking out on their own and the city failing to consider a financial contribution in the form of a sponsorship to help offset the higher fees that all events held on city property are dealing with this year. 

Still, festival director Andrew Clock says they're ready to go.

Edmonds Wins Ypsilanti Mayoral Primary

Aug 5, 2014
Bob Eccles / 89.1 WEMU News

Amanda Edmonds' victory over Ypsilanti city council member Pete Murdock and community activist Tyrone Bridges in Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary election means she will almost certainly replace Paul Schreiber as Mayor after the November general election.

Edmonds has no declared opponent in the fall, and outside the Sidetrack Lounge in Depot Town Tuesday evening she said she looks forward to bringing the tone of the community and the voice of the people to council.

Ypsilanti Mayoral Candidates Talk Pubic Safety

Jul 25, 2014
Bob Eccles

Three Democrats are seeking to replace Paul Schreiber as Mayor of Ypsilanti.

Growing Hope Executive Director Amanda Edmonds, current city council member and former mayor Pete Murdock, and community activist Tyrone Bridges appear on the August 5th primary election ballot.

WEMU's Bob Eccles reports on the  candidates' thoughts on crime and public safety.


Organizers of this year's Ypsilanti Heritage Festival want the festival parade to spotlight the fun, creative side of the community.

"We really want to foster a little bit of that New Orleans spirit," festival director Andrew Clock says, "where neighborhoods come out and put together floats and acts just to say 'look how cool our neighborhood is'.  We've got a lot of that spirit in Ypsilanti, so we want to make the Heritage Festival parade the opportunity to do that."

Bob Eccles

The three Ypsilanti mayoral candidates addressed a packed house Monday night at the downtown library branch.

Among the questions the candidates addressed at the public forum was how to tackle the Water Street debt that threatens to swamp the city's financial boat. 

Bob Eccles

Three Democrats are running to be Ypsilanti's next mayor, and they're all scheduled to appear at a public forum Monday night.

The gathering at the Ypsilanti District Library's downtown branch will feature community activist Tyrone Bridges, Growing Hope Executive Director Amanda Edmonds and current city council member Pete Murdock, who all want to replace Paul Schreiber as mayor. 

Organizers say the forum is a chance for voters to hear what the candidates have to say on a variety of issues. 

Got Burger! Receives Warm Welcome In Ypsilanti

Jul 21, 2014
Bob Eccles

The owner of the new Got Burger! restaurant on Cross Street in Ypsilanti says the community has really welcomed him, and he looks forward to being an even bigger part of the community.

Haroun Mohammed says he'll be looking for ways to reach out.

"Getting involved in the community, getting involved at EMU and other schools, and just trying to do what we can to give back," Mohammed says.

He says he chose the Cross Street location mainly because there weren't any other burger places around.