In the News
Federal funding will bring broadband service to parts of rural Washtenaw County. $3.7 million has been allocated to Washtenaw County from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Approximately 8,000 homes in Washtenaw County have low-speed or no internet service. Of those, 6,600 could gain access to broadband through the fund if internet providers are able to meet the program requirements. Washtenaw County’s Broadband Task Force meets online on the third Thursday of each month at 8 a.m.
U-M students seek to block a controversial professor’s assignment to teach a required computer engineering class. Assistant professor Jason Mars, a faculty member since 2013, resigned earlier this year as CEO of Clinc, an Ann Arbor artificial intelligence startup, after national website TheVerge reported allegations of sexual harassment and abusive behavior there. Clinc said an outside investigation didn’t support many of the allegations, but Mars apologized and told MLive that he had quit drinking; university officials noted that the class will be entirely remote.
City Council met on December 22 to discuss water rates, short term rentals, and speaking rules, among other topics. Despite council members’ expressed desire to move beyond bickering and personal attacks, the tone of 2020’s last City Council meeting was not cordial. MLive, Michigan Daily.
New senior living facility gets initial City Council approval. Council approved the 7.2-acre property at 2195 E. Ellsworth Road for rezoning and will vote on final approval of 154 unit facility after a public hearing on January 19. The developers are promising to reserve sixty-five units for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. MLive
Song Foundation donates $100,000 matching gift to United Way of Washtenaw County’s Community Impact Fund, doubling the value of all donations received by midnight, December 31, 2020. The Fund supports local nonprofits serving critical needs in the areas of health, education, and financial stability. uwgive.org
Supporting a child through a mental health emergency is gut-wrenching under the best of circumstances, but one mother’s experience at U-M Psychiatric Emergency Room was truly a nightmare. “The pandemic made it worse, but didn't cause it,” she writes. “It happens to families there all the time.” The Observer’s Valerie Mates has our story.
The Ride is updating its temporary service plan, beginning Sunday, January 17, 2021. Service will be restored in Ypsilanti and on-time performance improved on several routes. The Ride offers more frequent service to popular routes to reduce crowding.
The 44th annual Folk Festival at the Ark released the lineup for its 2021 virtual event. Visit the Observer’s calendar for a list of performers on January 29 and 30 and information on an in-person watch party at Stoney Lake Brewing.
If you are in need of a laugh and a bit of whimsy, Julie Weatherbee documents Ann Arbor’s oddball “lost” things - from a flight of stairs to baby groundhogs -on Twitter. Click on Detroit