WMUK News

Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The Kalamazoo County Commission has rejected a proposal to recognize a “gun violence awareness” day in June. The board was down two commissioners Tuesday when it took the vote. Five of the nine present did support the resolution. But the Board’s rules require six votes for a measure to pass.

The proposal called for “responsible gun ownership” and keeping guns “out of the wrong hands” while avoiding policy specifics.

The law enforcement agencies that led the response to a mass shooting in Kalamazoo in February say they’d like to know what they did right and what they could have done better. The want to commission an independent study from a Washington, DC-based nonprofit called the Police Foundation.

It’s a group City of Kalamazoo police chief Jeff Hadley calls “uniquely qualified” to identify lessons from the shooting.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

A group that says people with criminal records often face unreasonable barriers to employment has won a victory in the City of Kalamazoo. On Monday commissioners voted to change Kalamazoo's policy for businesses that contract with the city or get tax breaks or loans from it.

The new policy requires those businesses to refrain from asking about criminal background on an initial job application. A firm may reject an applicant based on a conviction only if it’s relevant to the job in question.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Not long after he moved to Kalamazoo 19 years ago, Frank Cody started hearing stories about the City of Parchment – the town that formed around a paper mill, the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company.

"Then I found out that there were a history of different paper companies in Kalamazoo that were founded at different times,” he says.

Intrigued, Frank wanted to know: what drew paper manufacturers to Kalamazoo?


Mark Mills with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources closes the gate to the temporary water control structure upstream of the Otsego Township Dam. The structure is there to help take pressure off of the dam while the cleanup takes place.
Rebecca Thiele

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has wanted to tear down dams along the Kalamazoo River since the ‘80s - to create better habitats for fish and other wildlife. But leftover PCB contamination behind the dams has kept that from happening. Now, due to an Environmental Protection Agency order, the Otsego Township Dam can finally be removed. That gives other dam owners hope that they can get rid of their crumbling dams too.


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