Tom Helmer / 89.1 WEMU

For nearly three months, youth sports in Michigan came to a standstill due to COVID restrictions.  Now, athletes are once again competing, but parents, coaches, and players are realizing just how big a toll the pandemic has had and how it has changed almost everyone.  WEMU sports anchor Tom Helmer takes a closer look at the impact all of this has had on one area hockey team.

Paul Keller
Paul Keller / Facebook

The coronavirus pandemic has had a drastic and devastating effect on many different businesses and people in the area.  Local musicians have been especially hard hit because of closed venues and being unable to share their talents.  Local jazz bassist, composer, and teacher Paul Keller shares his reaction to the global health crisis and how it inspired him to get creative, putting out a new jazz Christmas CD, "Even More Christmas Songs For Jazz Lovers," and talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about that.

Brian Ottum

To distract us from everything going on in our worlds, there is another meteor shower that will be visible in the early morning sky peaking this week.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about what we might see and when and were to look for the "Leonid" meteors.

Gretchen Driskell
Gretchen Driskell

The 7th Congressional District in Michigan includes seven counties, including western Washtenaw County.  Republican Tim Walberg, who is currently in his sixth term in Congress, is being challenged for the third time by Democrat Gretchen Driskell, who served two terms in the state House and as the city of Saline's first female mayor for 14 years.  WEMU's Lisa Barry reached out to both candidates to talk about the election.  Only Driskell responded and talks about why she decided to run again and what issues she believes need addressing in Congress.

Meteor Shower
Brian Ottum

The Orionid Meteors should be visible Tuesday, October 20th in the night sky.  The moon sometimes impedes the view, but that is not expected to be the case this year.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about the meteors and the recent phenomenal view of Mars in the night sky.

Brian Ottum
Brian Ottum

If you heard or checked the weather forecast but looked outside and saw something different, it’s not your imagination.  Smoke from the west coast fires in the United States is moving into our area, according to local sky watcher and amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum.


Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Ottum about our current sky view, as well as about some upcoming exciting planetary views and the annual "Astronomy On The Beach" event.

Saline Area Schools

Saline Area Schools says they’re ready to kick off the new school year next Tuesday, but, for now, will not allow students to make changes to the learning model format they selected for the fall. 

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.

Glenn Kaatz

Some astronomers compare comets to cats.  They both have tails and are very hard to predict.

A recently discovered comet called NEOWISE can be seen even without binoculars in our area through July 23rd along the horizon in the northwest sky.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about the rare comet viewing and the best way to try and see it.

Saline Area Schools

Saline Area Schools plans to offer hybrid and remote learning options in the fall in addition to full-time, in-person instruction.  

Saline Area Schools

Saline Area Schools will offer in-person summer classes, as well as summer camps this year. 

Saline Area Schools

Saline Area Schools says they’re confident they will offer in-person instruction in the fall.  

Saline Area Schools Implement Racial Equity Plan

Apr 17, 2020
Saline Area Schools /

Saline Area Schools presented a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic framework to its board of education.  The goal is to address racism at the district after some of their students made racist comments against African Americans earlier this year. 

Saline Area Schools
Saline Area Schools /

Saline Area Schools is putting together a diversity, equity, and inclusion plan after racist incidents occurred prior to the Coronavirus shutdown.  WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the details.

Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Over 100 people attended a community conversation Thursday night hosted by Saline Area Schools.  It centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan was there and has the story.

Saline Area Schools

Four Caucasian students from Saline Area Schools are suing the district after being punished for making racist remarks against African-Americans on social media.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the story.


Incidents of students in Saline Area Schools exchanging racist comments escalated when one resident shouted a bigoted insult at another concerned parent at a recent community gathering.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Saline Mayor Brian Marl following a community listening session held on Sunday to address the problem.

Jorge Avellan / 89.1 WEMU

Saline Area Schools hosted a community conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion this morning after students from their district made racist comments against black people on social media last weekend.  Since it was held during the day, only parents and community members attended the meeting.  89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan was there and has the story. 

Saline Area Social Service
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Saline is considered a rather affluent community, and some of its residents are still of need of basic necessities, like food and health care.  For the last 50 years, Saline Area Social Service has been there to lend a hand.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about the impacts Saline Area Social Service has made with its executive director, Anne Cummings, and one of its most devoted volunteers, Lynne Bush.

Voters in the Ann Arbor School district approved a one-billion-dollar capitol bond issue. The 30-year levy allows the district to renew and replace existing school infrastructure, make other upgrades at every school, build new classroom space to accommodate growing student enrollment and purchase buses and technology. The bond passed with 53.26% of the votes, and it would amount to a tax increase of 1.65 mills in addition to the existing school tax being levied as the result of a 20-year, sinking fund millage approved by voters in 2017. 

Jorge Avellan / WEMU

The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber hosted a discussion Wednesday on what local municipalities plan to do when it comes to the sale of recreational marijuana.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan attended the event at Weber's in Ann Arbor and has the story.

Roustabout Theatre Troupe /

This week, "Art and Soul" focuses on the many local performance arts activities taking place.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry and Wendy Wright talk to local playwright Joseph Zettelmaier about his latest production of locally gathered ghost stories.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

It's rare for the so-called "Harvest Moon" to fall on Friday the 13th, but that's what is happening this year.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about the fall full moon and the upcoming "Astronomy At The Beach" opportunity for skywatchers to watch and learn about astronomy.

Brian Ottum

Several “celestial events” will be available to see in the night sky over the next week or so.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum who explains what planets will appear close to the moon in the coming days and shares tips for seeing the annual Perseid meteor showers.

Presidio of Monterey

Just like we've been trained for a fire drill or other emergencies, local groups and organizations are now receiving training for active shooter crises or how to deal with an aggressive intruder.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Dr. Kenneth Wolf.

Dr. Wolf consults on Threat Management, Protective Intelligence, and Crisis Response Strategies.  He is a fully licensed clinical psychologist in Michigan and is the Executive Director of the Incident Management Team.

He recently taught an active shooter survival course in Saline about the growing reality of being prepared for such a disaster.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

So far in 2019, the weather has particularly warm and damp, which has led to a serious increase in the mosquito and tick population.  Therefore, the risk for diseases these insects carry has increased, as well.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Health Department environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer about a new initiative to fight these illnesses.

Ann Arbor
International Museum of Dinnerware Design /

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with state and local arts leader Omari Rush and Dr. Margaret Carney, director of the International Museum of Dinnerware Design in Ann Arbor.

Saline Celtic Festival
Saline Celtic Festival Facebook /

On this edition of "Art and Soul," 89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry and Wendy Wright begin by talking to the entertainment director for the Saline Celtic Festival about the upcoming festival.  They also talk about several local theater productions, jazz musical performances, and "Lady Bunny."

Paul Hickman
Paul Hickman

Creative entrepeneurs, triple bottom lines, and the life cycle of businesses are among the topics explored in this conversation with Paul Hickman.  Paul founded Urban Ashes in Saline in 2008.  The business closed earlier this year.  Hickman joins WEMU's David Fair and Arts Alliance CEO Deb Polich to talk about what Urban Ashes accomplished in this week's "creative:impact."

Lunar Eclipse
Brian Ottum

A rare, total lunar eclipse will be visible from our area Sunday evening, January 20th.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Saline amateur astronomer Dr. Brian Ottum about what to expect.