State of Michigan

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. 


The Green Room: PFAS Part IV-Prevention

Oct 25, 2019
Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

The chemical bonds of PFAS substances are virtually indestructible.  That makes their complete disposal hard, if not impossible.  Meanwhile, their usefulness to industry makes them hard to give up.  This is a growing problem, because PFAS are associated with serious health issues.  In the fourth of this five-part “Green Room” series on PFAS, we look at the challenges and opportunities inherent in preventing further spread of PFAS chemicals. 

Barbara Lucas / 89.1 WEMU

Over the last half-century, PFAS chemicals have been added to the formulation of innumerable products we use on a daily basis.  The manufacture and disposal of these products releases them to our environment, where they can get into our food and water.  Unfortunately for us, they can be harmful to our health, and they don’t biodegrade.  These “forever chemicals” have become pervasive in our lives.

Mary Thiefels

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local visual arts community.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry is joined by state and local arts leader Omari Rush and the art coordinator at the Kerrytown Concert House, Nancy Wolfe, about a visual arts exhibit currently on display there.


The State of Michigan is in the process of revising its Lead and Copper rule.  The decisions made could impact whether we see another situation like the Flint Water Crisis occur in Michigan.  What should, and could, happen as the public comment period winds down, is the topic of conversation on this month's edition of WEMU's 1st Friday Focus on the Environment. 


Chip Smith
Ann Arbor Local Wiki / localwiki.org

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair welcomes 5th Ward Ann Arbor City Council member Chip Smith to discuss the recent resolution to power 100% of the city's municipal government operations with clean and renewable energy sources by 2035.


Influenza vaccine
Center for Disease Control/ Wikimedia Commons

You may think it's too early to start thinking about school immunization waivers, but the Washtenaw County Health Department recommends scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. 

 


Coerced Abortion Target Of Stiffer Penalties

Dec 11, 2014
wikimedia commons

State Senate approves increasing penalties for coercing abortion

Coercing someone to have an abortion would carry tougher penalties under bills approved by the state Senate on Thursday. The crime could result in criminal penalties under Senate Bills 1156 and 1157.

Road Repair Compromise Coming

Dec 11, 2014
Andrew Cluley

State Legislature getting ready to hammer out compromise on road funding

The state Legislature is taking steps to hammer out a road funding compromise in the final days of its 2014 session.

The House and Senate passed plans that are drastically different. The Senate approved legislation that would essentially double the state's gas tax to pay for road improvements. The House plan would divert revenues from schools and local governments and would not raise any taxes.

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