Kalamazoo Defender | David Birkam

'Holistic' Kalamazoo Defender's Office to Offer Legal & Life Guidance

On July 1st, things began looking up for Kalamazoo County residents who can't afford an attorney. Now, defendants can turn to a central office of 22 attorneys dedicated exclusively to such cases, and soon two social workers will be on staff to link clients with community resources so they can live healthier in hopes of preventing recidivism. The newly created Kalamazoo Defender is the first ever public defender's office in the county.

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Renee Fleming - Andrew Eccles, DECCA; Evgeny Kissin - Andrew Sebastian Hãnel

Renee Fleming, Evgeny Kissin To Perform In Kalamazoo

On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in Chenery Auditorium, two classical music stars - American soprano Renee Fleming and Russian-born pianist Evgeny Kissin - will perform a program of songs and solo pieces as part of a handful of appearances in the United States, including stops at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Symphony Center of Chicago. Pierre Van Der Westhuizen , the executive director of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival , talks about the special qualities that made each performer a legend in classical music, and share some of the behind-the-scenes preparation that his organization carries out to help the artists perform at their best. Tickets for this event will be made available to Gilmore Keyboard Festival donors on Nov 3, 2019, and to the general public in January, 2020.

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Kalamazoo Defender | David Birkam

On July 1st, things began looking up for Kalamazoo County residents who can't afford an attorney. Now, defendants can turn to a central office of 22 attorneys dedicated exclusively to such cases, and soon two social workers will be on staff to link clients with community resources so they can live healthier in hopes of preventing recidivism. The newly created Kalamazoo Defender is the first ever public defender's office in the county.

Sehvilla mann / WMUK

A survey team from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is searching this week for a longtime invasive pest in streams that feed the Kalamazoo River. Sea lampreys are a primitive fish native to the Atlantic Ocean. They moved into the Great Lakes almost 200 years ago through artificial canals.

Andrew Robins / WMUK

Anyone who has a hummingbird feeder – or the right kind of flowers - in their yard has probably wondered at the tiny birds they attract. But two biologists in Kalamazoo County are doing much more. They’re helping keep track of hummingbirds by catching and banding them.


South Haven Pier at Lake Michigan - file photo by WMUK
WMUK

South Haven is celebrating an anniversary. On May 10th, 1869 it was incorporated as a village. Tom Renner, a member of South Haven’s Sesquicentennial Planning Group says the first historical records of the area’s existence date back to 1787 “The Native Americans back then called this land, ‘Ni-No-Kong’ which meant beautiful sunsets.”


Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

These are encouraging times for pets in Kalamazoo. The Humane Society says after years of cramped, makeshift quarters that it’ll break ground on a new building next month, while Kalamazoo County has almost finished its new Animal Services shelter.

BJ Enright

Joe Sacksteder believes that all art forms meld. He works in several mediums—music, literature, and filmmaking. He’s also the director of creative writing at Interlochen Center for the Arts.


File photo of Governor Gretchen Whitmer being interviewed on Mackinac Island. Photo by the Michigan Public Radio Network
Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN) Governor Gretchen Whitmer has barred embattled Michigan Civil Rights Department Director Agustin Arbulu. Whitmer says it’s time for Arbulu to be fired for “unacceptable conduct.” But Whitmer does not have that authority under the Michigan Constitution. 

A wide view of a tall, heavy, metal circular hatch that has been opened to the left, revealing a room with safe-deposit boxes inside.
Regina Gorham / Hidden Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo has plenty of official historic sites. But the Hidden Kalamazoo tour took a different approach to the story of the city’s downtown. For half a decade, it led curious visitors through unofficial but revealing locations - places like old apartments and long-defunct department stores. Those rooms said something about how life used to be lived. There wasn’t a tour this summer, but as we hear in an interview that first aired in June, the people behind Hidden Kalamazoo are trying another approach.

 

  

For five years, the Hidden Kalamazoo tour offered a different take on the history of the city’s downtown. It took people to storage areas, to basements and old apartments. They weren’t traditional historic sites, but they offered clues about how life has changed over the last 150 years.

 

  

Heather Nash

The Ann Arbor-based Akropolis Reed Quintet will finish off the 31st season of the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck on Thursday and Friday, with concerts at 7:30 pm in the Woman's Club of Saugatuck. Now in its 10th year, the unusual quintet of clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, and oboe has won seven national chamber music prizes since 2011, including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal and the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award.

Saxophonist Matt Landry talks to Cara Lieurance about the group's passion for new music and making new arrangements of popular works. He also describes Together We Sound,  the Akropolis Reed Quintet's Michigan-based contemporary music festival with a variety of performances and shared activities.


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