Felicia Brabec
Michigan House Democrats /

Former Washtenaw County commissioner Felicia Brabec was recently elected as the new 55th state House representative to the Michigan State Legislature.  Brabec watched from home as Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her annual State of the State message virtually due to the pandemic.  Brabec talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her reaction to the message.

Jeff Irwin
Michigan Senate Democrats /

Despite a very difficult year of 2020, Governor Whitmer's third State of the State address had a very positive tone.  Even though he knew it's what Michiganders needed to hear, Michigan Senator Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor acknowledged that it will take a lot of work to achieve bipartisanship in the state Legislature.  Irwin talks about his thoughts on the governor's speech with WEMU's David Fair.

Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor /

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer touched on numerous topics in her third State of the State address, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, repairing Michigan's economy, and promoting racial diversity.  In a conversation with WEMU's David Fair, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor discusses how the governor's speech connects with the City of Ann Arbor and its goals.

Donna Lasinski
Donna Lasinski /

Michigan Governor Gretchen delivered her third State of the State address from her office in Lansing.  Michigan State House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski particularly took note of the bipartisan tone of the address and hopes the rest of the Legislature will take note as well.  Lasinski shares her thoughts on the speech with WEMU's David Fair.

Save Our Stages /

The roller-coaster ride for the arts + creative industries continues.  The deployment of vaccines is underway, and containment of the virus is a plausible reality for the not-too-distant future.  Deb Polich and David Fair discuss how COVID-19 caused the "Save Our Stages" movement to ignite changes and the eventual recovery, reopening, and possible reinvention of the arts + creative business model on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.

Ann Arbor
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Due to the pandemic, the City of Ann Arbor is wrapping up the year with some serious budget challenges and community concerns.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Mayor Christopher Taylor for their annual "year-in-review" interview about the year coming to a close and what lies ahead for 2021.

A2Y Regional Chamber

52nd District State Representative Donna Lasinski from Washtenaw County was the featured speaker at the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber’s annual Impact event, held virtually this year on December 18th.

City Of Ann Arbor Discusses Goals For 2021 And Beyond

Dec 15, 2020
City of Ann Arbor

On Monday night, Ann Arbor’s city council discussed goals the city has set for 2021 and beyond.  

Wiki Commons

Starting December 15th, businesses in Washtenaw County affected by COVID-19 can apply to receive funding through a new program led by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.   

Wiki Commons

As local businesses continue to be affected by the pandemic, the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber says shopping local will help keep them open.  

Tom Crawford
City of Ann Arbor /

With contract details finalized by Ann Arbor city council members and approved, Tom Crawford is now officially the city administrator for Ann Arbor...a position he has held on an interim basis for the past several months. 

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to the city administrator about his perspective and plans moving forward in the position.

Americans for the Arts /

Seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of the arts and creative industries in Washtenaw County and throughout the country is as uncertain as when it began.  Deb Polich updates David Fair on what that means for creative workers, businesses, and audiences, even as the green light has been given to reopen cultural venues.  Hear their conversation on "creative:impact" here.

Gretchen Whitmer
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended the COVID-19 state of emergency through October 27th.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, the governor also issued four new executive orders.

Washtenaw County Workforce Impacted By COVID-19

Jun 1, 2020
Washtenaw Community College

The Washtenaw Economic Club has released its “2020 Washtenaw County Economic Outlook” report.  

Bytemarks /

Michigan lost more than a million jobs from March to April, largely due to COVID-19 related layoffs.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, that led to a record-setting 22.7% state unemployment rate.

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended her stay-at-home order through the end of May, while introducing a multi-step plan to get Michigan's economy going again.  12th District Representative Debbie Dingell expressed her optimism to WEMU for a safe start to the process while calling for more bi-partisan efforts to support those in need. 

Sandro Cinti
Michigan Medicine /

Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Sandro Cinti says we have "undoubtedly flattened" the coronavirus curve, as they see more patients being discharged than admitted for the disease.  He spoke to WEMU's Lisa Barry about his concerns though that reopening the economy too soon might cause another increase in the number of cases.

Joe Diglio
Michigan Milk Producers Association /

Food production has been seriously disrupted to the coronavirus pandemic.  It has forced producers, including dairy farmers, to dispose of more of their supplies, which has led to more food waste.  Joe Diglio, president/CEO of the Michigan Milk Producers Association, has a conversation with WEMU's David Fair about how the problems are being addressed in this week's "Issues of the Environment."

Gretchen Whitmer
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a new COVID-19 executive order.  This order sets rules to help manage the re-opening of some businesses and recreational activities.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Gretchen Whitmer
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says details will be released soon on her plans to re-start parts of the state’s economy.  As we hear from Rick Pluta, Whitmer says she wants the plans to allow more activities to resume in phases.

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons /

This week, several plans have been introduced to restart the national and state economy.  WEMU's David Fair caught up with 12th Congresswoman Debbie Dingell to get the latest from Washington and its impacts on Michigan and Washtenaw County. 

Michigan State Senate
Wikipedia Media Commons /

The state Senate leader says he wants to start planning now to allow some businesses to resume operations amid the coronavirus crisis.  Rick Pluta reports.

Gretchen Whitmer
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the official Democratic Party response to the State of the Union address.  Rick Pluta reports. 

Jeff Irwin
Ballotpedia /

A state lawmaker wants to make sure Michigan doesn't have any privately run prisons.  Michigan Public Radio Network's Cheyna Roth has more.

Skilled trades
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan has encouraged students to seek four-year college degrees at the expense of encouraging careers in skilled trades.  As Rick Pluta reports. the Whitmer administration says that’s cost the state’s economy, employers, and workers.

Matt Doss
Great Lakes Commission /

President Donald Trump said he wanted to cut 90% from a proposed $300-million dollar budget proposal to continue funding the Great Lakes Resoration Initiative (GLRI).  He then reversed the decision.   Why is that important?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the answers from Matt Doss, policy director of the Great Lakes Commission. 

Wikipedia Media Commons /

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might be in for a shakeup – and Michigan could feel the effects.

#OTGYpsi: Economic Boost On The Way For Ypsilanti Township Corridor

Jun 13, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Ypsilanti Township corridors of Michigan Avenue and Ecorse Road has been struggling to keep local businesses up and running.  Now, the township has pledged to revitalize the areas.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Brianna Kelly talk to Clyde and Brandan Montgomery, co-owners of C&B Mortgage Solutions, and Khadija Wallace, who runs Joyful Treats Catering, about the revitalization effort.

Rick Snyder
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Rick Snyder declared victory over the state’s economic hardships in his eighth and final State of the State address.  The governor, last night, said choices made over the last seven years leave room now for more investment in schools and infrastructure.  But it’s not clear that he can win support for his plans in the Legislature

Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Nearly 4 million people visited Washtenaw County in 2016, according to data collected for that year by a Michigan-based research and consulting firm.  That translates into $1.1 billion dollars in total economic output and nearly 9,000 jobs.

89.1 WEMU’S Lisa Barry spoke with the marketing director for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Laura Berarducci, about the economic impact of tourism on the county.