washtenaw county

Washtenaw County

Allocating funding for the Washtenaw County Health Department will be a main topic of discussion during Wednesday's Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting.  

Arts Alliance
The Arts Alliance / creativewashtenaw.org

After a summer hiatus, David Fair and Deb Polich reunite on the air for this edition of "creative: impact."  They catch up on the state of the arts six months into the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of gaining the attention of and funding from local decision makers right here in Washtenaw County.  Listen here to the conversation on this edition of "creative:impact."

Wiki Commons

While not all school districts are offering school bus transportation this week as the new school year gets underway, five out of the nine districts that are part of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will have service.  

Recycle Ann Arbor

Recycle Ann Arbor says it will not reopen its ReUse Center on South Industrial Highway.


Washtenaw County’s absentee ballots are going through their final review this week.

Washtenaw County

Financial assistance requests made to the community group Barrier Busters, a group of over 90 Washtenaw County social services agencies, have tripled during COVID-19.  

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Due to recent heightened awareness of racial bias in our country, the "Citizens For Racial Equity in Washtenaw" or "CREW" was formed to examine the local criminal justice system for any racial disparities.  The report uncovered evidence of wide racial disparities in the county.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with committee co-chair Linda Rexer about the report's findings.

Brian Steglitz
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

For decades, a 1,4 dioxane plume has contaminated groundwater in Scio Township and Ann Arbor.  Legal battles have been ongoing with the original polluter, Gelman Sciences, and its subsequent owners.  Now, a new consent judgement has been reached and it is expected to improve the situation.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with the City of Ann Arbor's water treatment services manager, Brian Steglitz, about the agreement and what needs to happen next to get the settlement approved and implemented. 

Washtenaw County Health Department

The Washtenaw County Health Department says children are still required to get immunized for school, even if they will be learning virtually this fall because of COVID-19.  

Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Fall classes are starting at college campuses across Michigan.  Here, in Washtenaw County, Eastern Michigan University is holding its classes online only for the first three weeks, while the University of Michigan is taking an online/in-person hybrid approach.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the latest. 

Wiki Commons

The parents of an Ann Arbor Skyline High School student, who was called a racial slur during a school tennis match with Saline High School last week, say more needs to be done to address racism at local school districts.  

Wiki Commons

Members of the public now have access to proposed settlement documents in legal proceedings regarding the 1,4 dioxane plume contamination in Washtenaw County.  

Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County says federal funding is needed to continue offering COVID-19 response services. 

The Ark
Jennifer Patselas

Like all entertainment venues across Washtenaw County, The Ark on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor closed its doors to customers several months ago due to COVID-19.  But they have found new and creative ways to connect with the community and keep the music playing.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Marianne James, the executive director of The Ark, about how they have been able to do that and sustain the live music venue while its doors remain closed to the public.

Creature Conservancy
Patricia Billette / Creature Conservancy

With more than 300 animals of some 80 species, Ann Arbor's Creature Conservancy is struggling to keep them fed and cared for, due to several impacts from our current global health crisis.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to Creature Conservancy founder "Steve" about losing more than 50% of its annual income as the Ann Arbor nonprofit struggles to stay open to keep the rescued exotic animals cared for at this difficult time.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

If trends hold true, it is likely there will be an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases as students return to the University of Michigan and other schools in Washtenaw County.  Still, there are so many variables, it is hard to determine short and longer-term outcomes.  WEMU's David Fair discussed the latest information with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia. 

Ann Arbor
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Usually, the return of thousands of University of Michigan students to the Ann Arbor area adds an exciting and anticipatory energy to the community.  But this year, because we are in a pandemic, that excitement is tempered by concerns for public health and safety.  Will students adhere to recommended restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19?  What impact will their added presence have on the Ann Arbor community during this global health crisis?  Those are some of the questions WEMU’s Lisa Barry discussed with Ann Arbor mayor Christopher Taylor and Ann Arbor police chief Michael Cox.

Moonson Eninsche
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

There are more than 90 service agencies and organizations in Washtenaw County helping area residents through the "Barrier Busters" program.  For many, COVID-19 has only increased the need for assistance.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair discussed the issues with Moonson Eninsche from the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development.  

Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Classes begin at the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and other colleges in Washtenaw County later this month.  Tens of thousands of students will return to campus in the midst of a pandemic.  In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Washtenaw County Health Department has issued an emergency order restricting social gatherings to a maximum of 25 people.  WEMU's Lisa Barry discussed the order and concerns about community impacts with Washtenaw County Health spokesperson Susan Cerniglia.  


The Washtenaw General Defense Committee held a protest on Wednesday in Ypsilanti Township in an effort to try to stop evictions during COVID-19.  

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will hold a special closed session Wednesday night to discuss ongoing litigation regarding the 1,4 dioxane plume.  

A2Y Chamber

The Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber is helping local businesses prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus cases this fall. 

Wiki Commons

The Community Advisory Board for Law Enforcement, also known as CABLE, is in the process of preparing a report on feedback they received from the community in the Sha’Teina Grady El case. 

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

As the pandemic continues, Congress remains divided on a number of issues.  The latest federal stimulus bill remains stalled, while President Donald Trump is issuing executive orders and threatening to defund the U.S. Postal Service.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss her perspective on these issues and the effort to find a way forward. 

Washtenaw ISD

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District will start its school year with online-only learning.

Joyce Hunter
Joyce Hunter

Now that it's been officially announced, there's been much reaction to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the President/CEO of the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County, Joyce Hunter.  She talks about the historical selection of Harris for the Democratic presidential ticket and the impact that has for women of all ages and of all races.

Wiki Commons

Washtenaw County voters approved both countywide millage proposals that appeared on yesterday’s primary election ballot.  

Washtenaw County commissioner Felicia Brabec won the primary election to be the Democratic candidate for the 55th state house seat in the November election.  She talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about what she hopes to accomplish if she wins the race in November facing off against Republican Bob Baird.

Tuesday's primary election was different.  Legal no-reason absentee voting was going to change things on its own.  Add in a pandemic, and the changes become greater.  Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski spoke with WEMU's David Fair about how smoothly the election went and how it informs what needs to happen for the November general election. 

Tuesday's primary election saw two countywide tax issues win voter approval.  One for road funding and  non-motorized paths, the other to help fund the Washtenaw County Soil Conservation District.  Both millages passed by about a 3-1 margin.  In a post-election edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair discussed the benefits and outcomes with Washtenaw County Commissioner Andy LaBarre.