washtenaw county

Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Flooding, pollution, and overall water quality have dominated the news lately. While municipal water systems cover the majority of state residents, 35% operate on a septic system. Regulations and code varies from place to place, and many of the systems are aging and in deteriorating shape. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County environmental health director Kristen Schweighoefer to discuss whether more uniform codes and standards are needed.  


Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

The new Delta variant of the coronavirus has severely impacted several states, primarily due to low vaccination rates and an end to most mask mandates. WEMU's David Fair got the latest in his conversation with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia about how these recent developments may affect Washtenaw County residents.

COVID-19
MGN

Although they are seeing fewer hospitalizations at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, the positivity rate for the virus is increasing, and vaccinations are still seen as the solution to stop the COVID-19 virus in its tracks.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel, who shares the latest information about the virus variant and how we can stay safe and healthy as the pandemic continues.


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

Washtenaw and Wayne Counties were devastated by heavy rains and flooding during late June storms.  FEMA and the federal Small Business Administration are setting up camp in the area to help those in need. 12th District Congressional representative Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to highlight the  available assistance while pushing for approval of the federal infrastructure bill. 


Florence Roberson

Many families face some sort of crisis, especially when it involves the criminal justice system. Finding support can be difficult, which is why Florence Roberson formed "Sisters United Resilient and Empowered," or SURE Moms. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work her group is doing to build the community and alter the life trajectories for local women and their children. 


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. 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi,"  Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with a 14-year old member of the Ypsilanti District Library Teen Advisory Group about a recent grant that allowed them to expand information being handed out to local teenagers.


Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

As life continues to move towards pre-pandemic activity levels, we’re seeing more and more opportunities for in-person engagement. 

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Washtenaw County director of elections, Ed Golembiewski, about some new information about what is happening now there.

 


Nuola Akinde

Discussing racism, whether individual or systemic, is important, but sometimes awkward or uncomfortable. Not in the Kekere Freedom School program. It is at the core of what founder and director Nuola Akinde imparts to the students the school serves. Nuola joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss confronting racism and teaching children to embrace their cultural heritage. 


Lori Roddy / Neutral Zone

Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett recently gave away $2.7 billion to “286 teams empowering voices the world needs to hear.” Neutral Zone (NZ) was surprised to learn they were on the list! Lori Roddy, NZ’s executive director, talks about the impact of this transformative gift with "creative:impact's" co-hosts, Creative Washtenaw’s Deb Polich and WEMU’s David Fair.


Black Men Read / bmrkids.org

Learning remotely and through a difficult pandemic academic year has left some children in the area a bit behind. Black Men Read (BMR) was formed to promote literacy and cultural engagement. WEMU's David Fair spoke with one of BMR's founders, Tamara Tucker-Ibarisha, about the innovative program and its plans to help kids be ready for academics in the fall. 


Debbie Dingell
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Recent heavy rainfall brought significant flood damage to many southeast Michigan communities, including Washtenaw County. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency, but, in order to get further aid, a state of emergency must be declared by Governor Whitmer, as she did in Wayne County. 12th District Representative Debbie Dingell spoke with WEMU's David Fair about the need for immediate help and a massive investment in new transportation and water infrastructure.

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.

Roxane Raffin Chan
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Many communities, including Washtenaw County, have declared racism a public health crisis. There are no simple cures for such a crisis, but holistic nursing consultant Dr. Roxane Raffin Chan has been providing services to help people cope with the racially-charged incidents in their lives. Dr. Chan explains how she and her company, Chan Body Energy, have responded to the United Way's 2021 21-Day Equity Challenge in a chat with WEMU's David Fair.


Washtenaw County Conservation District / washtenawcd.org

When it comes to our environment and natural resources, it's important to know how your tax dollars are being spent. Every five years, the Washtenaw County Conservation District (WCCD) gets the public's opinion through an online survey, and the latest is underway. The WCCD's executive director, Megan DeLeeuw, joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the survey and the impact it can have over the next five years. 


Shadin Atiyeh
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County / jfsannarbor.org

Like memories of their beloved homeland, art remains within the heart and soul of refugee artists. Their art offers a way to connect new neighbors to the culture and stories of their past. World Refugee Day is Sunday, June 20, and a celebration of artists new to our land is being planned. Dr. Shadin Atiyeh of Jewish Family Services, the refugee resettlement agency in Washtenaw County, gives all the details to Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair on this week's edition of "creative:impact." 


Naomi Norman
Washtenaw Intermediate School District / washtenawisd.org

There can't be equality until equity is achieved. Self-awareness and understanding of where systemic and institutionalized bias exists is the launch point. The United Way of Washtenaw County is about to kick off another 21-Day Equity Challenge, and its aim is to create recognition and awareness and provide a foundation for change. Naomi Norman is interim superintendent of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the benefits to public education and the people it serves. 


Gary Horton
Gary Horton / Horton Paint Co.

Gary Horton, originally from Ann Arbor, moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1996 to study fine art and design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This is where he developed his unique style and range. 

He talks with Lisa Barry and Omari Rush about his work from murals to beverage cans that can be seen both inside and outside around Washtenaw County and around the state.


Howard Russell
Michigan State University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources / canr.msu.edu

It's a great time of year to get outdoors! But, there are some potentially harmful critters waiting for you. Ticks have expanded their habitat in Michigan, and there is a major increase in the populations in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell to find out why that is and what we can do to keep ourselves and our pets safe. 


#OTGYpsi: New Police Reform Pilot Program

Jun 9, 2021
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On the Ground Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with JoAnn McCollum, president of the New West Willow Neighborhood Association in Ypsilanti Township, about a new police reform pilot program she helped create. It's a way to address quality-of-life issues and responding to nonviolent issues happening in the community.

Tom O'Dell / Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Acres and acres of land in the University of Michigan Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor are covered with thousands of Periodical Cicadas emerging after developing underground for 17 years.

Tom O’Dell, a collections and natural areas specialist at the U of M Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry standing in the middle of the garden as they make their sounds and land on him throughout the conversation.


COVID-19
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County continues making progress in the fight against the coronavirus. Vaccine sites are still available, and a new COVID-19 test challenge has been initiated. At the same time, a rare case of the Sin Nombre hantavirus has been detected in the county. WEMU's David Fair gets further details on these developments from Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

Rachel Cortez / Rolling Hills County Park

From a virtual program centered around writing to outdoor programs with an academic enrichment focus, Ypsilanti-area summer camps are finding new ways to engage with local youth.

WEMU's Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media talk with Liz Garaba, Washtenaw Community College manager of college and career readiness, about their summer camp offering.

Trische' Duckworth
Trische' Duckworth

Today marks one year since George Floyd died under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Since then, Chauvin has been convicted of murder, while the call for police reform has intensified. Trische' Duckworth is founder of the social justice group Survivors Speak. She joined WEMU's David Fair to reflect on the past year, discuss Wednesday's rally in Ann Arbor, and look beyond to a community of equity, equality, and racial justice. 


Kristin Gapske
Washtenaw Community College / wccnet.edu

While there is still work to be done, women continue to shatter glass ceilings. More women are taking on the challenge of entrepeneurship and doing so successfully. At some point, most everyone launching a new business needs some guidance, and that's where Kristin Gapske and her team come in. Kristin is director of the Entrepeneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College. She joined WEMU's David Fair about how the center is assisting women in business start-ups and in industry growth. 


COVID-19
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that fully vaccinated individuals would no longer need to wear masks in most circumstances. It has caused some confusion, while infection rates and COVID -19 spread continue in the community. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia provides some clarity in her conversation with WEMU's David Fair.

City of Ann Arbor

An effort to recall Ann Arbor Councilman Jeff Hayner will soon start gathering signatures.

David Zinn / Instagram

Ann Arbor Summer Festival executive director Mike Michelon shared more information about opportunities for live performances for the upcoming Ann Arbor Summer Festival.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michelon about the opportunities created this year, which are different from a typical Summer Festival due to the ongoing pandemic.


COVID-19
CDC / cdc.gov

There is progress in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus. Vaccinations are being expanded to include more younger people, and employers will soon be allowed to return to in-person work. Soon, more social restrictions will be lifted. For a local perspective, WEMU's David Fair discussed the latest developments with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

 

 

Ebony Parker-Featherstone
Michigan Medicine / uofmhealth.org

Throughout history, women have been the primary caregivers. All too often, it comes at the cost of their own physical and mental health. Dr. Ebony Parker-Featherstone is an assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discusses ways for women to improve self-care. 


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