89.1 WEMU

coronavirus

Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Tomorrow is the primary election day, and the new academic school year is right around the corner.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss safety precautions and preparations with the uncertainty it brings in the midst of a pandemic.  


Ballot Box
FutUndBeidl / flickr.com

Don’t wait.  Drop off your ballot in person.  It’s too late to put it in the mail if you want it to be counted.  That’s the advice elections officials are giving voters in advance of Tuesday’s primaries.  It’s expected a record number of votes will be cast via absentee ballot.  Rick Pluta reports on how the 2020 primary is shaping up to be a unique experiment in the future of voting.


Faith in Action
Sheri Montoye

The organization Faith in Action has provided food, shelter assistance, and other basic services to low income families in Chelsea and Dexter for decades.  With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the organization has had to work extra hard.  Faith in Action executive director Sheri Montoye joined WEMU's David Fair to share the stories of adapting to ever-changing circumstances and why there is inspiration to be found through fostering relationships through service work. 


Ann Arbor YMCA

The Ann Arbor YMCA received a $20,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation for ongoing COVID-19 response.  

TheRide

The Motor City Freedom Riders group has launched a symbolic petition asking the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, also known as TheRide, to postpone collecting bus fares during COVID-19.  

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

The number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 4.5 million.  COVID-19 deaths now top 154,000.  At the same time, extra unemployment benefits expire today, and an expiration of moratoriums on evictions could lead to much higher levels of homelessness.  Yet, there is still no agreement in Congress on the next relief and stimulus package.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell discussed those topics and the uncertainty about the start of a new school year in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair. 


Turn Up Turnout

With days before next Tuesday’s primary election, the University of Michigan’s nonpartisan group Turn Up Turnout continues to encourage students to vote.  

Ypsilanti Township

The Civic Center building in Ypsilanti Township will only be open for election purposes next Tuesday. 

Public Domain Pictures

You wont have to put change in the parking meter the next time you visit the City of Ypsilanti.


Bar
Needpix / needpix.com

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an order that will allow Detroit’s casinos to re-open next week, but at a reduced capacity.  It could also force many bars and restaurants in northwest lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula to shut down Friday.  We have more from Rick Pluta.


Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development has teamed up with the United Way of Washtenaw County to offer virtual financial guidance during COVID-19. 

WEMU

Eastern Michigan University’s Police Department will host its annual community Bike Rodeo safety program this Saturday, but it will look a bit different because of COVID-19.  

Pixnio

Researchers from Eastern Michigan and Wayne State Universities are coming together online Thursday to discuss healthcare in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.


US Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s aware parents, students, and teachers are anxious for details on back-to-school plans.  But, as we hear from Rick Pluta, she says there’s still too much uncertainty about how the spread of COVID-19 might affect those plans.


COVID-19 Coping Study / covid19copingstudy.com

Looking for the impact of COVID-19 on older Americans, University of Michigan researchers Dr. Lindsay Kobayashi and Dr. Jessica Finlay surveyed nearly 7,000 adults between the ages of 55 and 100 to find out what they were most concerned about due to our current global health crisis.

They talk to WEMU's Lisa Barry about their findings and what can be done with that information to improve lives as the pandemic plays out moving forward.


Lisa Barry / WEMU

The August 4th primary elections will be the first in Washtenaw County since no-reason absentee voting was approved in Michigan in last November's general election.  Add in COVID-19, and this is a much different election kind of election.  89.1 WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski about all that is and still need to be done before the polls open next Tuesday. 


Big Hearts for Seniors
Michigan Medicine / med.umich.edu

Big Hearts For Seniors serves older adults in Washtenaw County and, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, plans to hold an upcoming storytelling event online.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Shannon Etcheverry, director of Silver Club Programs, and local storyteller Breeda Miller about the planned "Big Hearted Stories: Experiences of Aging" event.


Maria Militizer
Maria Militzer

Mexiquenses en Michigan is a grassroots, community organization established in 2016.  It is integrated by vulnerable, immigrant families with limited access to decision-making, power, and resources.  The Washtenaw County-based group dreams of what can be accomplished not just for immigrant communities, but with their active participation in all phases of the decision-making that affect their health, educational, and community outcomes.  Organization president Maria Militzer shares this inspiring story with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Washtenaw United."


EMU

Eastern Michigan University says their temporary mask-making initiative has become a permanent program.  At least for now.  

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Congress has had a particularly eventful week.  A new federal stimulus package continues to drag in the Senate.  There has been a victory for the environment with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.  Plus, America is feeling the loss of long-time representative and civil rights icon John Lewis.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell calls in from Washington, D.C. to discuss these developments with WEMU's David Fair.


CDC

The Washtenaw County Health Department will conduct COVID-19 testing at a pop-up site this Sunday in Manchester. 

Susan Lawless / Pure Dance Ensemble

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the performance arts.  Despite being in a pandemic, Ypsilanti dancer and choreographer and vice chair of the new Ypsilanti Arts Commission Gina Danene Thompson is still looking for ways to keep moving and keep healing with dance.  She talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about a recent "driveway dance" she recorded and shared and plans to keep connecting with the community even during a global health crisis.


Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The coronavirus pandemic has made schools and universities across the country reconsider how to safely accomodate students.  The Ann Arbor school district determined the best way to keep students, staff, and teachers healthy is to begin the academic year with online classes.  Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift joined WEMU's David Fair with a look at the decision, its impact on students and families, and what needs to be done before the start of classes in September. 


Border-to-Border
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Throughout the pandemic, more people are utilizing the outdoors for a sense of balance and peace.  On "Issues of the Environment" this week, WEMU’s David Fair caught up with Park Planner and Landscape Architect Peter Sanderson for a look at how the Border-to-Border Trail in Washtenaw County is expanding, improving and, creating even more accessibility to hiking and biking. 


Hollander
Hollander's / hollanders.com

The Ann Arbor area community was saddened to hear last January that the Hollander's paper goods store in the Kerrytown area of the city planned to close the following June.  Then, the pandemic hit, and the store was shut down early, and owners Tom and Cindy Hollander didn't really get a chance to say goodbye to the community or feel the necessary, emotional closure after being in business for nearly 30 years.

So, they talk with WEMU's Lisa Barry about what that was like, where they are now, and to thank the community for nearly 30 years of memories and business.


EMU

To help students transition back to in-person instruction this fall at Eastern Michigan University, school officials are in the process of rolling out a #EMU Safe signage campaign.  

TheRide

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, also known as TheRide, has started to increase its bus service after making schedule changes in March because of COVID-19.  

Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Governor Whitmer issued an executive order last week ordering Michiganders to wear masks in gatherings where social distancing was not possible.  Yet, there were still instances where the order was ignored, such as a Fourth of July party in Saline and an open graduation ceremony at Hillsdale College.  In her weekly conversation with WEMU's David Fair, Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia explains the best ways to handle these situations without incident, while reducing the spread of COVID-19.


Chris Lemon
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation / aaacf.org

The pandemic, and its impact on the economy, has forced some nonprofits to close.  Others are just hanging on.  The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation has partnered up to bring the services of "Catchafire" to the area, and it is making a difference.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with the foundation's Chris Lemon about how the partnership with Washtenaw Coordinated Funders and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is creating a path forward. 


City of Ann Arbor

The City of Ann Arbor is considering ending its downtown business street closure program early over COVID-19 safety concerns.  

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