Sehvilla Mann | WMUK

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.

The picture shows a faded asphalt road with two small posts on either side, with a symbol of a stop sign and a pedestrian, reminding drivers to stop for the crosswalk. In the background are a row of older houses, a shop, trees and blue sky.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo is reviving an effort to make crosswalks safer. It’s replacing flexible posts in the crossings that tell drivers to stop for walkers, as required by city code.

A group photo in the hallway of a school with 11 individuals.
Courtesy photo / Josh Gottlieb

Kalamazoo’s climate movement took off last year. Roughly a dozen local groups united to form a coalition and organized rallies and teach-ins.  They also persuaded the city and county governments to declare climate emergencies. High schools played a role, especially Kalamazoo Central, where a passionate teacher and his students had big plans for 2020. But the pandemic and the move to online learning has turned those plans upside down, as U-S climate activists prepare for a critical election.

A young woman holds a sign that reads "Coakley, you could be a hero." She is facing a busy street with the gray-clad Radisson Hotel in the background. The street is wet and Custard is wearing a clear plastic poncho.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo’s public safety department has a new leader. Vernon Coakley, a former assistant chief, was promoted after Karianne Thomas stepped down. She faced intense criticism for Public Safety’s response to several events this summer, including a rally of the far-right group the Proud Boys that ended in a clash with counter-protestors.

A wide view of the Kalamazoo River. The sky is partly cloudy. The banks are tree-lined. The water looks opaque-brown. A tall power line is visible at left.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo is considering a proposal from Consumers Energy to clear about 700 trees on the city's North Side near the Kalamazoo River. While the city’s Tree Committee approved the plan last week, some members say it reflects an outmoded view of trees' value to Kalamazoo.

This story has been updated with a map.

Two police officers in uniform sit on either side of a long, dark table with and pink papers in piles
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The City of Kalamazoo is considering issuing its own press badges to reporters covering protests. That’s after public safety officers arrested an MLive reporter earlier this month. He was covering a Proud Boys rally that ended in a violent clash with counterprotestors.