State of Michigan

Bob Nelson
Citizens Utility Board of Michigan / cubofmichigan.org

There were a number of heavy thunderstorms in late July and early-to-mid August. Almost a million Michiganders lost electricity in the worst of the storms. For some, getting the lights back on took a week. WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters executive director Lisa Wozniak wanted to know what regulators and citizens can do to create a more secure future. For answers, they turned to Bob Nelson, board president of the nonprofit group, Citizens Utility Board of Michigan. 


COVID-19
CDC / cdc.gov

For most K-12 students in Washtenaw County, school begins on Monday, August 30th. Meantime, the Centers for Disease Control data tracker has moved the country from substantial tranmission risk to high transmission risk. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the current state of the public health crisis and what the near future may bring. 


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!


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. 


Della DiPietro
Ann Arbor Township / aatwp.org

Curbside recycling is common practice, yet many residents are still placing unrecyclable materials in their bins. That's why the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA) has started an audit and educational program to help property owners make better recycling decisions. Della DiPietro, who serves as both Ann Arbor Township treasurer and WRRMA representative, discusses the program in detail with WEMU's David Fair.

Debbie Stabenow
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Where and how we get our news continues to evolve. WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Michigan US Senator Debbie Stabenow about the importance of reliable and local news that can be heard on WEMU.


The Ride

The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, also known as The Ride, has issued a statement reminding people using public transportation they are still required to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccination status.

Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Just a few weeks ago, Ann Arbor Art Fair organizers were "cautiously optimistic" they may be able to hold the art fair this coming July. But they have now decided it will not be taking place for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the the executive director of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, Maureen Riley, about the decision and community impact.

  

Watkins
Michigan Department of Natural Resources / dnr.state.mi.us

The natural parks found all over Washtenaw County are like a time capsule. They tell tales of local and state history, which is why their preservation is such a high priority. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks about the work being done to protect and preserve these areas with Kira Macyda, a park planner and preservationist for Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation.


Dana Nessel
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

To ensure Michiganders remain hypervigilant about protecting themselves from someone stealing personal information and to protect them from increasingly more sophisticated robocalls, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her efforts to stop these crimes. 

They also discuss her reaction to recent public comments calling her and other top women leaders in the state "witches." 


Mouse
Pixabay / pixabay.com

New laws are needed to protect adults with disabilities from online abuse.  Here's WEMU's Heather Irvine with more.


Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer / twitter.com

March 10th is the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about a special remembrance planned for that night and what it's been like for her to lead the state through this global health crisis over the past year.

  

Hockey
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.


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County's COVID-19 vaccine program is underway.  While it is a major milestone in the fight against the coronavirus, it's just beginning, and it's hard to know what the new year will bring.  WEMU's David Fair discussed these developments with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia.


WISD

High schools in Washtenaw County will continue using a virtual learning model after the State of Michigan extended a statewide partial shutdown from December 8th to December 20th.  


The Ypsi
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

With thousands of jobs at stake and millions of dollars in lost revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic, owners and operators of concert and venue spaces are asking the Michigan State Legislature for $10 million in support.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Steve Pierce, who recently opened the "Ypsi" in downtown Ypsilanti about the impact on his venue and working together to try and stay afloat during the pandemic.


Thanksgiving
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

There have been several holidays so far this year that have been observed while in a pandemic, but with cases surging and many traditions at stake, what is the best advice for Thanksgiving?

WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Eastern Michigan University epidemiologist Dr. Beverly Mihalko for her take on the healthiest holiday recommendations this year.


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has spiked in recent weeks across Michigan.  In response, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced new restrictions to combat the spread of the virus, including no indoor dining at restaurants and bars  and the cancellation of high school athletics.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia  joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the new restrictions as we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday. 


City of Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti’s City Council will receive an update Tuesday night from the Huron River Watershed Council on plans to remove the Peninsular Paper Dam.  

Ann Arbor District Library Closes Due To COVID-19

Nov 16, 2020
Wikipedia

The Ann Arbor District Library will be closed during the next two weeks after library staff and family members of library employees tested positive for COVID-19.  

Mara Herman
Erica Bertram / The Ecology Center

Michigan passed new standards for PFAS back in July, and, in August, the most strict regulations in America went into effect.  On this week's "Issues of the Environment," Mara Herman, Health Policy Specialist for the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center, will discuss the new standards and what it means to environmental and public health with WEMU's David Fair. 


Jeff Roberts
Linkedin / linkedin.com

New state regulations will change the way some firefighting operations are conducted in Michigan.  Firefighting foams can contain high levels of PFAS.  Those forever chemicals are not only detrimental to the environment but also to human health.  Jeff Roberts is chief of the Wixom Fire Department and president of the Michigan Fire Chiefs Association.  He joined 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair to discuss the new regulations and their impacts on training, operations, and safety.


EMU

Eastern Michigan University announced employee budget changes as a result of COVID-19. 


Garlin Gilchrist
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

As chair of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force On Racial Disparities, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist says they've already met once and plan to meet again this week to come up with quick solutions for the problem of more African Americans dying from COVID-19.

 

WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with the lieutenant governor about the problem that local health officials say has been detected in Washtenaw County as well.


Gary Peters
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Calling it the "COVID-19 Hero's Fund,” Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters is trying to get a boost in pay for essential workers on the front lines across the state during the current health pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with one of Michigan's U.S. senators about the idea.


St Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor

To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor has expanded its drive-through testing for COVID-19.


Joneigh Khaldun
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services / michigan.gov/mdhhs

It could be another month before the Coronavirus pandemic even peaks, according to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  

WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with the state health leader about the latest developments concerning the pandemic and what that means to Michigan residents.


Garlin Gilchrist
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Focusing on three key areas including education, small businesses, and volunteerism, Michigan's lieutenant governor, Garlin GIlchrist, has been working closely with the governor as the state grapples with the current health pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with the lieutenant governor about efforts on the state and federal level concerning the impacts of the health pandemic, including some personal stories about how it is affecting his young family.


Electric Car
Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine / flickr.com

By all accounts, electric vehicles are the future.  Right now, EV’s comprise a small percentage of the automotive marketplace.  A new study from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor shows the electric vehicles owners are paying far more in taxes and fees and that can serve as a disincentive to purchase.  The center’s Charles Griffith joined WEMU’s David Fair for this week’s "Issues of the Environment" to share the study’s findings and discuss the need to create policy that will create tax parity for EV vehicles. 


Jason Morgan
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

The 1,4 dioxane plume emanating from the old Gelman Sciences facility on Wagner Road in Scio Township continues to expand through groundwater in the greater Ann Arbor area.  At a recent public forum, the federal Environmental Protection Agency said it would take decades to get the contamination designated as a Superfund site and clean-up could take decades beyond that.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Jason Morgan about what is happening now to better address the environmental threat. 


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