Cheyna Roth


Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. 
 
Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. 
 
Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. 
 
Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

April of next year marks the six-year anniversary of the start of the Flint Water Crisis. That’s significant… because state law gives prosecutors six years to charge public officials for misconduct.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about an effort to extend the statute of limitations in those cases.

The state House of Representatives says it’s in the best interest of the state if Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) resigns. The House passed a resolution Thursday.

Inman has been in a legal battle since May. He’s federally charged with attempted extortion, solicitation of a bribe, and lying to the FBI.

The director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Agustin Arbulu, has been fired.

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted to fire Arbulu during a meeting Tuesday night.

Arbulu has been under scrutiny since early August, when the commission announced that it had formally reprimanded him. An employee of the Department of Civil Rights, Todd Heywood, had reported that Arbulu made sexually charged comments about a woman outside a work event.

Some lawmakers in Lansing want to take away the licenses of medical professionals who sexually assault their patients under the guise of treatment. Bills to do that and others aimed at helping victims of sexual assault passed out of a state House committee Tuesday.

The state Legislature plans to go back to its normal schedule this week.

Republicans in the state House plan to keep working on a budget and road funding plan they can agree on along with the Senate and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but they’ve got other priorities too.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Michigan lawmakers are back to work after their summer break. The clock is ticking to get a state budget done before the new fiscal year starts in October.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about what happens if it doesn’t get done.

Faith based adoption and foster agencies might be allowed to keep turning away prospective parents based on their sexual orientation. That’s if a federal judge allows it while an underlying lawsuit plays out.

In March, Attorney General Dana Nessel settled a different lawsuit – the terms of the settlement prevent the state from working with agencies that discriminate based on sexual orientation.

A 61-year-old Ionia man will receive 1.3 million dollars from the state. 

Michigan has an alcohol smuggling problem, according to the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association.

The group compiled data from the Liquor Control Commission and the state’s excise tax information to determine how much alcohol is being shipped to Michigan illegally.

A federal department plans to oversee changes at Michigan State University for the next three years.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started a civil rights investigation into the university soon after the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the former university sports doctor serving a de facto life sentence for child pornography and for sexually assaulting his patients.

An Ingham County judge denied a request Wednesday to dismiss a felony charge for an ex-Michigan State University gymnastics coach.

Kathie Klages is charged with lying to law enforcement during an investigation into former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar. The Klages prosecution is part of a broader investigation into how Nassar was able to sexually assault his young patients for decades.

One year. That’s how long the former dean of Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine was sentenced to spend in jail on Wednesday.

William Strampel was convicted of using his position as dean to try to solicit sexual favors from students, and other charges.

Medicaid insurance providers in Michigan cannot refuse benefits for sex reassignment surgeries and hormone replacement medications. The governor’s office recently codified the antidiscrimination language into the state’s Medicaid Provider Manual. It’s already state policy.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says this puts Michigan in line with federal law.

“Our laws have been inconsistent on the books here in Michigan and we thought it was important to clean it up and make sure that our laws reflected what the mandates of the Affordable Care Act are,” she says.

Gun violence in the United States is a public health problem – and it needs to be treated that way. That’s according to Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, the Director of the Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan.

Cunningham said gun violence prevention should be explored in the same way drownings and car crashes are prevented. That means focusing on risk and prevention factors, and applying injury prevention science and tactics. For example, to prevent car crashes, people changed infrastructure and the way cars were made.

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