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

When Tunde Wey makes you a meal, he wants you to enjoy the food, of course. What is less usual is that the New Orleans-based chef also wants his diners to think about power, who has it, who does not and how to change the status quo. And now Wey has a plan for lowering Kalamazoo’s persistently high rate of black infant mortality.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

It’s an ongoing crisis in Kalamazoo County: African-American infants are about three times as likely to die before their first birthday as white children. While public agencies and nonprofits are working to change that, New Orleans-based chef, artist and activist Tunde Wey has his own plan.

A blue sign for West Paterson Street with the emblem of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish tribe
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

On Monday afternoon, at the signal from City of Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell, a worker slid two new street signs into place at the busy intersection of Paterson Street and Riverview Drive. A small crowd cheered across the street.

Courtesy photo / Allegan County Historical Society

Dean Knuth noticed it years ago: a marker on Douglas Avenue in semirural Kalamazoo County, in the front yard of an old brick house near the Allegan County line. A metal plaque on a stone remembers the "old toll gate” on the road to Grand Rapids.

This wasn’t just any toll road. It was a plank road - one of hundreds of wooden roadways built in the U.S. in the 19th century. The plank roads made travel quicker and easier (if not always safer), and yet they struggled to stay in business.

A close-up view of colorful, crushed plastic bottles that have been bundled together.
Charles Krupa / AP Photo

Battle Creek is feeling the pinch from China’s decision to stop recycling as much of what Americans throw away. Starting in May 6, the city will cut its weekly curbside pickup to every other week.