Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK


Western Michigan University students this week started logging online to take a survey about their perceptions of sexual violence on campus. WMU is one of 50 participating universities nationwide. The survey began Monday and ends April 8. It comes a year after Western implemented a new sexual misconduct policy, which included major changes in how sexual assault complaints are investigated. Felicia Crawford, WMU's director of Title IX compliance, says the survey will allow officials to assess awareness about the new policy and its impact.

The revenue prospects of Michigan city governments are bad and not getting better. That’s the message of the Michigan Municipal League, an advocacy group for cities and townships.

The League points to state tax structure including property tax caps as one problem. But at an MML event on Monday, speakers especially focused on a sharp drop in state revenue in recent years.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

It’s not on the agenda yet, but the Kalamazoo City Commission seems willing to explore a proposal that’s intended to help people with criminal records find jobs.

Members of the grassroots group Michigan United told the board on Monday that Kalamazoo can do something to help so-called ex-offenders find employment to support themselves and their families.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The Kalamazoo City Commission has weighed in on proposed changes to Michigan’s laws on historic districts. The city will send a letter to the bill’s primary House sponsor, Representative Chris Afendoulis. When it was introduced, many preservationists said the bill, HB 5232 would make it hard to start or keep a historic district. Some of the proposal’s most controversial ideas have since been removed.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Correction - April 19, 2016: An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied that the Kalamazoo City Commission had to approve every aspect of the the DDA's parking plan for it to become law. In fact, while the commission has authority over parking fine amounts, the DDA has the final word on parking rate increases.

People who park in downtown Kalamazoo need to pack extra quarters starting this summer. The board that sets parking rates downtown says it needs to raise those rates to cover costs. The Downtown Development Authority approved a parking plan Monday to raise meter rates as well as prices at lots and ramps, starting in July.