Michigan

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — People who are homeless will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan starting Monday. Health officials say it's a critical step in curbing infections and making sure vulnerable populations have access. The news comes as infection rates are dropping and vaccine campaigns are ramping up. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced the further loosening of the state's coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings

Protests At U Of M Over May 2021 Virtual Graduation

Mar 7, 2021
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Parents and students have held a rally to show their displeasure with the University of Michigan’s decision to forgo a traditional in-person spring graduation. Some families believe the university is being too conservative in Ann Arbor. They note that other schools are planning to hold in-person ceremonies, despite the pandemic. U-M is planning to hold graduation in a virtual format with speeches on May 1. The school is also planning a number of in-person experiences, including professional photographs at Michigan Stadium.

South Haven Already Canceling July 4 Fireworks Show

Mar 6, 2021
(PIXABAY)

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A Lake Michigan community in southwestern Michigan is canceling a popular fireworks show months before the July 4 holiday. Organizers said the spread of COVID-19 would be too risky, despite the availability of vaccines. The South Haven show usually attracts 50,000 people to the area. The summer fireworks show requires work months before the event, especially to obtain a federal permit to use a Lake Michigan pier. City Manager Kate Hosier says South Haven will try again in 2022.

 

Photo Of The Week - Lighthouse In Winter

Mar 4, 2021
Candice Schilz

With our recent warmer temperatures, this is an icy reminder of the February chill. Thanks to Candice Schilz of Knox for this Photo of the Week that she captured at Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan, on Feb. 20th. She said hundreds of people were out walking that day in spite of the cold. The beauty of the lighthouse is a draw for people, even in winter.    

What are you taking photos of? 

Email them to us at wvpe@wvpe.org. 

JENNIFER WEINGART/WVPE

On Thursday, the Michigan Dept. of Treasury it would be issuing almost $10 million to local communities and municipalities based on revenue generated by local businesses selling marijuana since it became legal in the state for adult use recreationally.

That $10 million comes from the 10% state excise tax charged on the sale of recreational marijuana. 

 

SCOTT EISEN / GETTY IMAGES

Michigan officials have announced that as of Monday some people over age 50 (based on certain conditions) will be eligible for the vaccine. On March 22, everyone age 50 and older will be eligible.

(You can read more about it in the release below.)

Whitmer Faces Criticism Over Severance Deals For Officials

Mar 2, 2021
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is facing criticism after the disclosure of another severance deal for a former top health official, a day after a $155,000 payout to Michigan's ex-health director Robert Gordon came to light. The state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that deputy director Sarah Esty also reached a separation agreement, which are highly unusual in state government. Details weren't immediately provided. Gordon abruptly resigned Jan. 22. At that time, Whitmer wouldn't say if she'd sought his exit.

Screenshot via Vimeo news conference

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that bars and restaurants in the state will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity as opposed to 25%. Entertainment venues (like retail, casinos, gyms and stadiums) may also increase capacity.

Whitmer announced that nursing homes will allow visitation for family members who have a negative COVID-19 test. 

Whitmer also announced that the state has been vaccinating 50,000 people per day for the last 16 days. She says the state is 9th highest in the U.S. when it comes to the total number of vaccines administered. She also applauded the workers in Grand Rapids who are manufacturing the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

(AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Legislation that would allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. has been re-introduced in the Michigan House.

Similar legislation was passed by state representatives last year, and won approval in a Senate committee, but was not taken up by the full Senate before the end of the session.

MARK SAVAGE / ENTERGY

Michigan's Attorney General is reaching out to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission over plans involving the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Covert Township in Van Buren County. The action comes as plans are in the works to decommission Palisades in 2022. 

(You can read more in the release below.) 

JAMIE SQUIRE / GETTY IMAGES

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former U.S. Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar has killed himself in Michigan. John Geddert died after being charged with two dozen crimes, including human trafficking. Geddert was supposed to appear in court Thursday. His body was found at a rest area. Earlier, Attorney General Dana Nessel accused Geddert of turning his elite Lansing-area gym into a criminal enterprise by coercing girls to train there and then abusing them.

Michigan Officer On Leave After Floyd Facebook Post

Feb 25, 2021
ISTOCKPHOTO

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit police department has placed one of its officers on unpaid leave after a social media post making light of the death of George Floyd was shared. WXYZ-TV reports that a photo of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd’s neck, along with the statement “When you gotta change a tire but don’t wanna get your trousers dirty,” was shared by the Sterling Heights officer on Facebook.

Michigan Senate OKs $2B In Virus Aid, Targets Vaccine Distribution

Feb 25, 2021
PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Senate have moved to stop the state from distributing additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to more vulnerable communities, saying race and socioeconomic status should not be factors.

Former Michigan Gov. Granholm Confirmed As Energy Secretary

Feb 25, 2021
(GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL VIA AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has won Senate confirmation to be President Joe Biden's energy secretary. Granholm served two terms as governor in a state dominated by the auto industry. In the Cabinet, she will be a key player in Biden's vision for a green economy as the United States fights to slow climate change. Michigan was devastated by the 2008 recession, and Granholm has promoted emerging clean energy technologies, such as electric vehicles and battery manufacturing, as an answer for jobs that will be lost as the U.S.

Wikicommons

Earlier this week the Cass County Republican Party voted to censure GOP Congressman Fred Upton who has represented Southwest Michigan in the House of Representatives for decades. 

Upton voted earlier this month to remove Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her House Committee assignments.

Photo Provided by State of Michigan

Today Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19. You can also listen live on 88.1 WVPE.  

You can watch it live here.

MANDEL NGAN / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

MIDDLEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — An elected official in a western Michigan community has apologized for posting a line of online laughs about the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh. More than 300 people participated by video conference during a Middleville council meeting Tuesday. Public comment about Amanda Fisk’s Facebook post lasted more than two hours. Fisk is a Middleville council member and village president. She posted a series of “HA-HA-HA” next to a news story about Limbaugh’s death last week.

(AP PHOTO/CARLOS OSORIO, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — At least 50,000 nursing home staff, home health aides and other direct care workers in Michigan will lose a $2 hourly pandemic pay raise next week if the Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer do not enact COVID-19 relief aid. Disability advocates are sounding the alarm ahead of lawmakers’ return to session Tuesday. Some Medicaid-funded caregivers, including those who help people in their homes, first got the wage hike last April through an order issued by the governor.

(AP Photo/Martha Irvine)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 80% of Michigan school districts planned to offer some form of in-person instruction in February, a 20-plus point rise over the previous month amid a decline in the coronavirus’ spread. Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Colloborative said it is the largely monthly increase since the start of the academic year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has strongly encouraged schools to provide a face-to-face option by March 1. Just 15% of districts planned to be fully remote this month, down from 35% in January.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Some residents in southwestern Michigan and the Detroit area will get plumbing repairs in their homes as part of a new initiative to reduce water waste. Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy says the “Water Leak Pilot” program is expected to highlight the benefits of reducing water waste for consumers, water suppliers and the overall community. About 100 Benton Harbor residents and 100 people in the Detroit enclave of Highland Park initially will take part in the program.

Whitmer Declares Energy Emergency In Michigan

Feb 21, 2021
DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order declaring a Michigan state of energy emergency to ensure adequate propane distribution over the coming days. The order Saturday temporarily suspends restrictions on commercial driver hours to allow the immediate delivery of energy to homes and businesses. It exempts motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil from compliance with maximum weekly driving and on-duty limits. The order took effect immediately and will remain in effect through the end of the month.

UPDATE: Biden Tours Michigan Vaccine Plant, Defends Progress On COVID As Weather Delays 6M Shots

Feb 19, 2021
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NEW: 

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden has toured a state-of-the art coronavirus vaccine plant. He was intent on showcasing progress against the virus even as extreme winter weather across the U.S. handed his vaccination campaign its first major setback, delaying shipment of about 6 million doses and causing temporary closures of inoculation sites in many communities. While acknowledging the weather is "slowing up the distribution right now," Biden said at the Pfizer plant in Michigan that he believes "we'll be approaching normalcy by the end of this year." Disruptions caused by frigid temperatures, snow and ice have left the White House and states scrambling to make up lost ground as three days' worth of vaccine shipments were temporarily delayed. 

Photo Of The Week - February At The Beach

Feb 18, 2021
Greta Hurst

This time of year we usually don't get a lot of beach photos submitted for our WVPE Photo of the Week. But this shot at Tiscornia Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan, from earlier this month is a great one. Thanks to Greta Hurst of Baroda for sharing this photo she captured on February 6th. 

We'd love to see what you are taking photos of.

Email Photo of the Week submissions to us at wvpe@wvpe.org.

90 Cases Of COVID-19 Variant At Michigan Prison

Feb 17, 2021
MICROSOFT IMAGES

The Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services has announced that 90 cases of the COVID-19 variant have been detected at one of the state's prisons. 

Michigan COVID-19 Deaths Pass 15,000

Feb 11, 2021
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

Michigan has surpassed a sobering milestone in the nearly year long battle with COVID-19. 

As of Thursday, the State of Michigan has tallied more than 15,000 deaths from COVID-19.

The milestone comes as the state’s COVID daily death toll continues to slump from its mid-December peak.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan since the beginning of the pandemic almost a year ago is above 572,000.  However, the number of new cases confirmed daily has been trending lower since late November.

MSP Bans Use Of 'Signal' App To Make Texts Disappear

Feb 10, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan State Police has told officers to remove a phone app that keeps no record of outgoing text messages. Col. Joseph Gasper issued the order in a memo obtained by the Detroit Free Press. The newspaper has published stories about the use of the Signal app by high-ranking members of the department. Text messages sent using Signal are gone without a trace once deleted, the newspaper reports. The use of Signal was recently disclosed in a lawsuit involving state police.

Male Polar Bear Kills Female Polar Bear At Detroit Zoo

Feb 9, 2021
https://www.facebook.com/detroitzoo/photos/a.114772501894490/3847126058659097

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Officials say a male polar bear killed a 20-year-old female polar bear at the Detroit Zoo when he attempted to mate. The zoo says 16-year-old Nuka killed Anana on Monday after being apart for several months. Scott Carter, the zoo’s life sciences officer, says the death was “completely unexpected.” The zoo says Nuka has lived at the zoo since 2011 and bred with other female bears without harmful behavior. Anana arrived at the zoo in suburban Detroit in January 2020 and was introduced to Nuka a few months later.

http://newsroom.meijer.com/index.php?s=20303

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Meijer is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations across Michigan this week, with plans to administer up to 25,000 doses to people age 65 and older by week’s end. Monday's announcement comes more than three weeks after the retailer began immunizations at a limited number of its pharmacies in Wayne County. Residents can pre-register by sending a text message, going online or visiting a Meijer pharmacy. Meijer reports administering more than 20,000 doses since its first clinic on Jan. 15, primarily to seniors.

Photo Of The Week - January Kayaker

Feb 4, 2021
Chris Britton

A lone kayaker on "The Big Lake" (Lake Michigan) on a cold but calm evening is featured in WVPE's latest Photo of the Week.  Thanks to Chris Britton who captured this image on January 29th while he was at Silver Beach County Park in St. Joseph.

We'd love to see what you are taking photos of.

Email Photo of the Week submissions to us at wvpe@wvpe.org.

Make sure to include your name, where you live, names of people in the photo, date the photo was taken and the location where the photo was taken.

UPDATE: Michigan To End Months-Long Ban On Youth Contact Sports

Feb 4, 2021
HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/854790655052189

NEW:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday afternoon that on Monday, Feb. 8th contact sports in the state may resume as long as masks are worn or other conditions are met. 

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