Sehvilla Mann

Local Government/Education Reporter

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Board members also reacted to last weekend's events in Charlottesville.

Kalamazoo County is considering waiving the fee for birth certificates and other records for applicants who are homeless. The proposal for the one-year pilot program comes from County Clerk-Register Tim Snow. He says nonprofits in Kalamazoo would help people experiencing homelessness to figure out what documents they need.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Earlier this year we asked you what you wanted to know about Islam. That’s led to a story about the theology of Islam and another about what it means for food to be halal. Now, we answer a question from Arthur Riley of Kalamazoo.

“I hear a lot about imams on the radio and throughout the world,” Riley says.

“Some of them seem to be in political situations and take political positions and I wondered what criteria establish one to be an imam and what sort of training one goes through to become an imam.”

John Todd / John Todd Collection, Portage District Library

Rosamond Robbert lived in Dublin and London, then moved to the US in the 1970s. When she got to Southwest Michigan, she wondered: why are Kalamazoo and Portage separate cities?

“Both with own taxes as far as I knew, both with their own rules, both with a board of governors and everything. And why’s that? They’re so teeny-weeny,” she says.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City Commission also heard an update on a program that seeks to reduce violence by reaching out to street gang members.

The Kalamazoo City Commission has set an important rule for the endowment it wants to create. Commissioners voted 5 to 2 last night to allow restricted gifts to its planned Foundation for Excellence. That means donors can give money for specific projects.

Tom Arthur / Wikicommons

A senior millage is still on the table in Kalamazoo County, but it won’t be on the November ballot. Instead, commissioners now seem likely to put the issue before voters in the May 2018 election.