Kalamazoo County

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County plans to launch a nonprofit public defender’s office. Commissioners approved the plan a few days ahead of a deadline set by the state.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County will consider major changes to its indigent defense system at a special meeting next week. The county has to bring its public defense services up to new state standards.

It’s considering creating a dedicated office for indigent defense that would operate as a non-profit. That would replace the contract system it uses now.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

The board also faces a November deadline for overhauling its indigent defense system.

A number of Michigan counties have come out against a bill that would change the state’s tax foreclosure laws, but Kalamazoo won’t be joining them. On Tuesday the Board of Commissioners narrowly defeated a resolution protesting the legislation. The bill would give homeowners wider grounds for challenging a tax foreclosure.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

It’s getting harder to find affordable housing in Kalamazoo, according to the county’s Public Housing Commission.

The board is tasked with helping homeless families find places to live, but Chair David Anderson says it’s increasingly a struggle to find housing within a low-income family’s budget.

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Kalamazoo County says its new budget speaks of good financial health. Commissioners approved the $90 million plan on Tuesday. It includes a 1.75 percent raise for nonunion staff. It also puts $2 million toward funding legacy benefits costs. And among other things the budget will pay for the jail to fill vacancies on its nursing staff.