On today’s episode, EMU President James Smith announces a plan to reopen the university in the fall, and EMU partners with U of M and other state universities to provide resources for local governments. I ‘m your host, Liz Hornyak, and this is the Eastern Echo Podcast.
In coronavirus updates: St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor Hospital has relocated its curbside testing to the north entrance of the main hospital tower at 5360 McAuley Drive. No physician’s order is needed to get tested, and those being tested may remain in their vehicles. Testing is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. You can get tested for the coronavirus if you have one or more of these symptoms:
Fever above 100 degrees and chills
Shortness of breath
Loss of taste and smell
St. Joe’s will still be conducting electronic and video appointments.
On May 7, President Smith announced that EMU plans to hold in-person classes in the fall. To make this possible, President Smith said that the university will be guided by the EMU Faculty Senate, the Educational and Environmental Facilities committee, and the University Budget Council. The university has also created the Public Health Group. This group will consult with campus and community experts to discover public health standards that could aid the university with reopening this fall.
As of Saturday afternoon, there have been 1,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Washtenaw County, and 88 deaths. In Michigan overall, there have been 50,504 confirmed cases and 4,880 deaths. As of Friday afternoon, 28,234 people have recovered.
In local news, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University, and Oakland University have partnered up with U of M’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, or CLOSUP, to provide resources and guidance to local governments. This group is being advised by the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Michigan Municipal League. Michigan gets most of its tax revenue from income tax and sales tax. Since non-essential businesses are closed, local governments are expected to get hit hard economically. Sixty-one percent of Ypsilanti’s revenue comes from property taxes alone. For now, CLOSUP is publishing memos concerning what they think city governments will have questions on. Dr. Tucker Staley, an assistant professor in EMU’s Political Science department and one of the members participating in this project, hopes local governments will eventually come forward with questions of their own. For information about this committee’s plans, you can go to closup.umich.edu.
YPSI LIVE is a project that is providing free internet access to 400 students and their families. This was made possible by a collaboration of Engage@ EMU, the Game Above EMU Alumni Group, the Ypsilanti school district employees, Washtenaw's Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Comcast Internet Essentials Program. This project was created after a survey conducted for the families of the Ypsilanti School District showed that fifty-percent of the respondents did not have reliable internet.
Local bike shops Wheels in Motion and Tree Fort Bike have seen a huge increase in sales since the pandemic. It seems that more people have taken an interest in cycling and making it a part of their new lifestyle. With the increase of demand, Wheels in Motion now has 10 employees out of their 26 working full time and Tree Fort Bike is looking to hire more people for shipping, customer service, and programming. You can read more about both businesses at easternecho.com.
In crime, there were two armed robberies in the Ypsilanti community last week. The first took place on May 11 at Speedway located on Michigan Ave., where a suspect stole money from a clerk. The second took place on May 12 at Happy’s Pizza located on Washtenaw Ave. In this incident, the assailant pointed a gun at an employee’s head and took an unknown amount of cash. The employee reported no injuries. Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said these two incidents are not necessarily connected,but both robberies are still under investigation. If you have any information concerning these incidents, please call the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office at 734.973.7711.
In sports news, Eastern Michigan University football season tickets are now on sale. Season tickets allow fans to support the eagles at every home game this coming season. All home games this year will be on Saturdays. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the Eastern Athletics Ticket Office at 734.487.3669 or by going online to EMUEagles.com. As always, students can get into every home game for free with their student ID.
Host: Liz Hornyak
Script: Jasmine Boyd
Producer: Lauren Smith