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

Kalamazoo County has postponed a decision on whether to pursue a countywide ID program. That’s so the task force that’s been studying the idea has time to do more research on how the program would work.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Also, commissioners have passed a resolution in favor of a phone surcharge to fund consolidated 9-1-1 dispatch.

The Kalamazoo City Commission has decisions to make about how to spend $10 million. The money comes from the $70 million that private donors gave to the city to shore up the budget for three years and fund a steep cut in property taxes. The city plans to use $10 million of the money each year for "aspirational projects for youth development and poverty reduction, investments in capital and human infrastructure, and neighborhood improvement projects" according to the city's website.

Commissioners will meet March 27 at 6pm to talk about generational poverty and how the funds could be used to fight it.

Western Michigan University

Western's Board of Trustees has also approved the sale of Western's portion of the former Cole-Gilmore property in downtown Kalamazoo, and they welcomed Trustee Lynn Chen-Zhang to the board Wednesday.

Western Michigan University says it is getting close to announcing its next president.

Trustee Bill Johnston says 77 people have applied for the job. Western’s search committee plans to interview about 10 of them on March 22 and 23.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Religious leaders in Kalamazoo say they’ll do what they can to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation, including sheltering them at their churches.

Pastor Nathan Dannison of First Congregational Church in Kalamazoo says some churches in Kalamazoo will let people stay there if they fear being caught in a raid. He says a number of congregations can also connect people with legal services and provide child care, services Dannison said more people were likely to need.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Every city has its major streets, often with familiar names like Lincoln or Vine. Then there’s Kalamazoo’s Westnedge Avenue.

“I’m interested in words and the origins and I’d never encountered this word before,” says Kate Kirk-Greenberg, a grief counselor in Kalamazoo, who asked “Why’s That?” how the street got its name.