Washtenaw County

Individuals who violate COVID-19 orders issued by the Washtenaw County Health Department may face fines of up to $1,000.  

Wonderfool Productions / wonderfoolproductions.org

A combination of socially distanced, light-up art on the street and around the Ypsilanti area, as well as some online components, will be included in this year's ypsiGLOW event October 23rd.  Lisa Barry talks with Jennifer Goulet and Lynne Settles about the unique public art “light-up” event.

Wiki Commons

Both the City of Ann Arbor and the City of Ypsilanti have extended permits to continue allowing businesses to operate outdoors during the pandemic.  

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

It doesn't take much to create a space for roller skating, an activity one Ypsilanti area man hopes to see more of in the community.  In this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Daniel Wall about bringing together a "roller culture," or network of skating enthusiasts, in the Ypsilanti area and future plans to have an outdoor skating rink in Ypsilanti Township.

City of Ypsilanti

The City of Ypsilanti is considering extending its Sidewalk Cafés permits to allow businesses to continue offering outdoor dining during the pandemic.  

Towana Parker
Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach / dapco.org

The coronavirus pandemic has been a stressful time for everyone, even moreso for new and expectant mothers.  In the meantime, a Washtenaw County nonprofit group called "Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach," or DAPCO, has providing special services for families in need, and the organization has a special event planned for those welcoming new babies into their lives.  DAPCO executive director Towana Parker talks about a community "baby shower" the organization is planning with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Washtenaw United."

John Gutoskey

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the visual arts.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and state and local arts leader Omari Rush talk with Marie Klopf, founder and CEO of the Ann Arbor Art Center, about how they have been able to survive and even thrive during the current pandemic.  There is also discussion about two local art exhibits, both including the work of Ann Arbor artist John Gutoskey.  

Hero Nation / heronation.org

In this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi" online story preview, WEMU's LIsa Barry and OTGY project manager Sarah Rigg talk with the founder of Hero Nation, Jermaine Dickerson, about this year's event, which will be online due to COVID-19.

City of Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti’s City Council will begin discussing Tuesday night how the city wants to plan for trick or treating this year during COVID-19. 

Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

While many local restaurants are struggling to stay afloat during the current global health crisis, a new restaurant opened in Ypsilanti which has people lined up for food each day and selling out of a popular sandwich almost daily.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with one of the co-owners of Bellflower Restaurant in Ypsilanti, Mark Maynard.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Each week, WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg, project manager for "On The Ground-Ypsi," an online source of positive things happening in the Ypsilanti community.

This week, Lisa and Sarah talk with Dave Strenski, the founder of SolarYpsi, about what's new in bringing solar-powered energy to the Ypsilanti area 15 years after he began his efforts.

Evan Pratt
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Maintaining dams became part of the national conversation again when two collapsed in mid-Michigan this year and caused severe flooding.  The state of Michigan has now established a new commission on dam safety, and Washtenaw County's water resources commissioner has been appointed as an inaugural member.  Evan Pratt discussed his new role and the local and statewide implications with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Issues of the Environment."

City of Ann Arbor

The Washtenaw County Elections Department says voters will soon start to see an increase in the number of absentee ballot drop-off boxes being installed around the county.  


The Glennborough subdivision in Superior Township has filed a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service to try to change its Ypsilanti zip code to an Ann Arbor zip code.  


Washtenaw County, the University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University conducted a study that revealed that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on residents of color in Ypsilanti. 


Washtenaw County residents could soon be fined for not complying with COVID-19 guidelines established by the county.  

Nelson Amos
Nelson Amos Studio / nelsonamosstudio.com

As the oldest professor at Eastern Michigan University, Dr. Nelson Amos says it was the current pandemic that finally convinced him it was time to retire.  When he leaves his job teaching guitar and music history at EMU next May, he will be 82 years old.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the music professor, who is also an artist and owns a storefront in Ypsilanti's Depot Town, about how he has pivoted to teach online due to the current public health crisis and how life has changed since he began his university teaching career in 1975.

Washtenaw County

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution Wednesday night that, if approved, will impose a fine for residents who don’t comply with COVID-19 guidelines established by the county.  

William Amadeo

Even though the Michigan Attorney General ruled a Washtenaw County Sheriff deputy should not face charges after striking an Ypsilanti woman resisting arrest last May, the legal battle over the matter is far from over.  WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Ann Arbor attorney William Amadeo, who represents Sha'Teina and Daniel Grady El to get their reaction to the latest developments.

Cherisa Allen

When we talk about improving our health, a good way to start is what is happening in your mind and emotions even before getting to your body.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Ypsilanti life coach, author, and social worker Cherisa Allen about "manifesting a healthier you" and how even during a global health crisis that is possible.

Rick Coughlin / Grove Studios

Most every week, Concentrate Media puts out a story--a positive story--about the Ypsilanti area online known as “On The Ground-Ypsi.”  And most every week, we connect with the project manager of On the Ground-Ypsi, Sarah Rigg, to share that story with you, our WEMU listeners.

This week, Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk with Ypsi-based Grove Studios co-founder Rick Coughlin about the upcoming, socially-distant Equinox Party, featuring local bands on September 19.

Side Biscuit
Eric Okon

Ann Arbor area chef Jordan Balduf has been called the "Wing King of Ann Arbor."  Originally from Buffalo, New York, he says he's been eating chicken wings since he first got teeth!  After operating a successful chicken wing and biscuit pop-up shop for the past 12 weeks, he's now putting together his own takeout restaurant and tells WEMU's Lisa Barry about that in this week's "Art and Soul."

City of Ypsilanti

Mental health and water and sewage rates were main topics of discussion during Tuesday night’s Ypsilanti city council meeting.  

City of Ypsilanti

Mental health will be one of the main topics of discussion during Tuesday's Ypsilanti city council meeting.  

Ypsi Mask Project

A group of Ypsilanti residents launched a program called the Ypsi Mask Project for the purpose of making masks for Ypsilanti Community Schools.  

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.  

Wayne Baker
Psychology Today / psychologytoday.com

Dr. Wayne Baker, author and faculty director at the Center For Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, recently wrote an article for Psychology Today.  He spoke with WEMU's Lisa Barry about coping with back to school and the uncertainty and anxiety surrounding the many school-related decisions that need to be made in a pandemic.

Riverside Arts Center
Barry LaRue

Laying off the last paid employee, executive director Elisa Guyton, the Riverside Arts Center, now in its 25th year in operation in Ypsilanti, is canceling all in-person arts events through the end of the year due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the chair of the arts center's board of directors, Akosua Dow, about what lead to this difficult decision but how they are holding on to hope for the arts center's future.

International Film Festival Ypsilanti / iffypsi.com

Originally planned to premiere last April, the "Independent Film Festival Ypsilanti," otherwise known as iFFY, is now scheduled to take place August 20-22.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with one of the festival's creators, filmmaker Martin Thoburn, and festival curator Hafsah Mijinyawa about the film festival also organized by Donald Harrison, now happening in person and online due to COVID-19.

Sivan Jones
Sivan Jones

The prospect of an uncertain school year is causing a great deal of worry for most parents.  A new service in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti area called Family Pod Match aims to help navigate ways to alleviate some of that stress during COVID-19 and the new academic year.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with the program's founder, Sivan Jones, about how she can help find the right family match to share the burdens of daycare, so working parents can better balance need and uncertainty.