Scientists: Climate-Whipped Winds Pose Great Lakes Hazards

Mar 15, 2021
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A newly published report says powerful wind gusts linked to global warming are harming water quality in Lake Erie and perhaps elsewhere in the Great Lakes. The study by scientists at Canada's University of Guelph says extreme wind events in summer churn up water in Erie's central basin that is low in oxygen and high in phosphorus. They propel it into the western section of the lake, which is already overloaded with phosphorus. That poses a hazard for fish and insects on which they feed.

Michigan: All Adults Eligible For Vaccine April 5

Mar 12, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan says all residents age 16 and up will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, nearly a month before the May 1 date pledged by President Joe Biden. People age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities will qualify starting March 22. Two days later, March 24, a regional mass vaccination site will open at Detroit's Ford Field to administer an additional 6,000 doses every day for two months. The U.S. is expecting to have enough doses for adults by the end of May, but the process of actually administering doses will take time. 


DETROIT (AP) — Four people in a suburban Detroit lottery club have won a $1.05 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot and will share $557 million after taxes. Officials made the announcement Friday, nearly two months after the Jan. 22 drawing. The winners chose the lump sum option, which means an immediate payment of $776 million. After taxes, it amounts to $557 million for the four. Their names weren't released. They have a lottery club in Oakland County called Wolverine FLL Club and had the single jackpot-winning ticket from that drawing.

Michigan Prosecutor To Review Virus Deaths In Nursing Homes

Mar 11, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The prosecutor of Michigan's third-largest county says he will investigate COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, saying there are questions about whether the transfer of recovering patients into facilities led residents and staff to be infected. Macomb County's Peter Lucido is a Republican who has criticized Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus-related nursing home policies. He is urging families with concerns about a relative's "transfer, incident or death" to submit a form to local law enforcement.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan health department is being sued over its refusal to release more information about COVID-19 deaths tied to nursing homes. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation often takes aggressive action to get public records. It filed a lawsuit on behalf of Detroit journalist Charlie LeDuff. He is seeking ages, dates of death and whether the person became ill at a long-term care facility. The health department told LeDuff that the information is exempt under the state’s public records law.

2020 Was Michigan's Deadliest Year

Mar 10, 2021
Screenshot from YouTube

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The coronavirus made 2020 Michigan’s deadliest year, driving a nearly 18% increase in deaths over 2019. Preliminary state data shows it was the largest annual percentage jump on record, surpassing a 15.6% increase in 1918 when the flu pandemic struck. More than 115,300 people died in Michigan last year, up from about 97,800 in 2019. COVID-19 has been linked to nearly 16,700 deaths. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday marked the anniversary of Michigan’s first confirmed cases. She says the virus will be beaten.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking Michiganders to turn on the lights outside their homes for an hour to remember thousands of people who have died from COVID-19. The remembrance will occur from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, one year after Michigan first confirmed coronavirus cases. Michigan has seen more than 16,600 confirmed or probable deaths tied to the disease and over 658,000 infections — spurred by surges last spring and in the fall and winter.

Michigan Detects First Case Of The South African Variant Of COVID-19

Mar 9, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The first known case of a new variant of the coronavirus has been reported in Michigan, in a boy living in Jackson County. The strain, first detected in South Africa, is believed to be more infectious. It shares some mutations with a more easily spread variant that was first identified in Britain. The state said late Monday an investigation is underway to determine the boy’s close contacts. There's no indication the variant found in South Africa is more deadly or causes more severe illness. But higher transmission rates could increase hospitalizations and deaths should new variants spread widely.

(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

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

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. 


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. 



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.


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.) 


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

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

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

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.


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.


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.


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

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)


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.