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

Two and a half stories underground at First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo, in a room filled with the din of air handlers, Pastor Nathan Dannison points into a recess in the wall.

“On the shelf up here you can still see some resources and materials from the Office of Civil Defense. Those are water canisters that store fresh drinking water,” he says.

That’s because, while it now serves as utility space, fifty years ago this room was intended to shelter people from the fallout of a nuclear attack.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Commissioners have also agreed to waive fees for vital records sought by the homeless, and to fund an alternative plan for consolidated 911 dispatch.

The animals in Kalamazoo County’s care might be closer than ever to getting better digs. On Tuesday the Board of Commissioners heard a plan for replacing the county’s aging animal shelter.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

It’s been about a year since the people of Albion gave up control of their school district. Voters agreed to let Marshall annex Albion’s struggling schools last summer. While the older kids go to Marshall to study, Marshall’s kept one elementary school in Albion. But the first year went less than smoothly, and some parents in Albion some doubt the annexation will serve Albion well in the long run.

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.”