Michigan News

University Of Michigan Students Told To Hunker Down For Two Weeks

Oct 20, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Students at the University of Michigan must stay in place for two weeks after a surge of coronavirus cases driven by social gatherings on and off campus. The Washtenaw County health department says the surge is overwhelming its ability to confront the pandemic. More than 1,000 students have been infected since the start of the fall term, despite limits on the size of gatherings and classes that are mostly held online. Students can attend in-person classes and also leave their residence for exercise, work, food, medical appointments, voting and religious services.

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Voter fraud is low in Michigan, but more than 10,000 people had their vote thrown out last election due to errors. Here are four common mistakes to avoid.

Man Charged In Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Released On Bail

Oct 20, 2020
(Columbia County Sheriffs Department via AP)

 

Michigan Secretary Of State: Drop Off Absentee Ballot, Don't Mail It

Oct 20, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's top election official says 1.5 million people with absentee ballots still in hand should put them in a drop box or take them to their local clerk's office rather than use the mail with two weeks to go until the presidential election. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday hand delivering a ballot ensures it arrives by 8 p.m. on Election Night and is counted. She also urged people who still want an absentee ballot to request it in person instead of by mail. More than 3 million absentee ballots have been requested.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

OWOSSO, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says misdemeanor charges are being dropped against a Michigan barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and reopened his shop during the coronavirus pandemic. Karl Manke says it's “definitely a weight” off his shoulders. Barbershops and salons were closed for months until June 15. But the 77-year-old Manke reopened in early May, declaring that “government is not my mother.” Attorney David Kallman says the Shiawassee County prosecutor is dropping the case because of a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision about the governor's powers.  

https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633---,00.html

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Registered to vote in Michigan? Monday is the deadline to sign up online for the Nov. 3 election. Residents also can register by mail if the application is postmarked by Monday. If people miss Monday's deadline, they can still register through Election Day. But they must go to their local clerk's office with a document verifying their residency. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says officials are "seeing an incredible amount of enthusiasm" about the election. More than 1 million absentee ballots have been returned so far.

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Michigan Court Stops 2-Week Absentee Ballot Extension

Oct 16, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has blocked a 14-day extension to accept and count absentee ballots. The court says any changes must rest with the Legislature, not the judiciary. Michigan law says absentee ballots must be turned in by election night to be valid. But a Court of Claims judge had ordered that any ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 could be counted if they arrived within two weeks after the Nov. 3 election.

NEW: Judge Finds Cases Against 5 In Whitmer Plot Can Move Forward

Oct 16, 2020

NEW (Oct. 16):

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that prosecutors have provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state's governor. A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said Friday that the five men's cases can go to a grand jury, which will determine whether to issue indictments. That is required for them to face trial. Berens is also set to consider Friday whether two of the men should be denied bond.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s chief health officer is warning that the state could be beginning a second wave of the coronavirus as cases rise along with the number of people in hospitals. The state says Michigan had 89 new cases per 1 million people per day, up from 81.6 cases last week. About 700 people with COVID-19 were in hospitals, up about 20% from last week. The rate of positive tests has ticked up to 3.6% from 3.4%. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, says it's critical to wear masks and avoid large gatherings.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Five men accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appear in federal court for a hearing on whether they should be detained before trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens will oversee the bail and detention proceeding in Grand Rapids Tuesday. Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta — all Michigan residents — will appear. A sixth man, Barry Croft, is being held in Delaware. The FBI made arrests after using confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged conspiracy.

Gov. Whitmer Signs Expungement Expansion Legislation

Oct 13, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to delay by 28 days the effect of its decision striking down a law she had used to keep intact sweeping orders designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Justices voted 6-1 Monday against halting the precedential effect of its opinion until Oct. 30. They also reaffirmed their initial 4-3 ruling that declared a 1945 emergency powers law unconstitutional — this time in a lawsuit brought by the Republican-led Legislature.

CASS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

 

CASS COUNTY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a police tracking dog found a motorcyclist lying in a ditch about a quarter mile away from a remote road in southern Michigan where he'd crashed. The sheriff's department in Cass County's Penn Township says that 28-year-old Travis Herman of Marcellus was riding late Sunday when he crashed. Deputies called to the scene found the motorcycle but could not locate the driver. A sheriff's department tracking dog that was brought in to search found Herman lying in a ditch. Herman was taken to an area hospital for treatment for a head injury.

Mink Housed On Michigan Farm Test Positive For Coronavirus

Oct 10, 2020
(AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The virus that causes COVID-19 in humans has been detected in mink housed on a Michigan farm. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Friday reported the recent discovery of the coronavirus in mink at the unnamed farm is not the first time the virus has been found in the United States. In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the first confirmed cases of the virus in mink at farms in Utah. Wisconsin has since seen a confirmed case.

Men Accused In Plot On Michigan Governor Attended Protests

Oct 10, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Among the protesters who rallied at the Michigan Capitol against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown this past spring were armed men now accused in plots to kidnap her, storm the Capitol and start a "civil war." The development has sparked scrutiny of the rallies as potential recruitment events. The demonstrations were organized by conservative groups opposed to the Democratic governor's orders. They also drew members of paramilitary groups carrying rifles.

Photo provided the State of Michigan

DETROIT (AP) - Six people plotted to try to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home. That's according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.

The FBI said in the court filing that four of the six men had planned to meet Wednesday to "make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear." The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer "has no checks and balances at all."

Authorities scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to talk about the case. The government used informants and undercover agents to thwart the alleged plot.

Whitmer Approves Earlier Processing Of Absentee Ballots

Oct 6, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Clerks in Michigan cities or township of at least 25,000 people can start processing a surge of absentee ballots a day before November's presidential election under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. About 2.7 million voters have requested ballots so far, many more than in 2016. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson projects more residents will vote than at any point in state history. Election officials currently cannot remove ballots from outer envelopes until 7 a.m. on Election Day. The new law lets them be opened between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov.

Michigan GOP Spent $542K To Challenge Whitmer's Orders

Oct 6, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature have spent about $542,000 suing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate and House released the figure to a liberal group, Progress Michigan, last week. It was the same day the state Supreme Court ruled against the governor in a similar lawsuit to the Legislature’s. The Whitmer administration has quickly reinstituted a mask requirement and gathering limits under a law that's not an issue in the legal challenges.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says a statewide mask requirement remains in effect despite the Michigan Supreme Court’s invalidation of a law that underpins her orders to control the coronavirus pandemic. The governor pointed Monday to the state Department of Health and Human Services’ separate order mandating face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Violators can be fined up to $1,000. Whitmer is also asking the Supreme Court to declare that its ruling is not binding precedent until Oct.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has struck down a law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly used to manage the coronavirus pandemic. The decision now puts months of restrictions in jeopardy all while COVID-19 continues to flare up. In a 4-3 opinion, the court said the law is unconstitutional because it takes power away from the Legislature. Whitmer says the decision is “deeply disappointing.” The governor says her orders will remain in effect for 21 days. She says she plans to take other action.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A controversy over absentee ballots is on a fast track at the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court said a three-judge panel will meet Oct. 9 but will rely on legal briefs and not hear arguments. The Republican-controlled Legislature is appealing an order that requires the counting of absentee ballots long after Election Day. A judge says ballots can be counted if postmarked by Nov. 2 and delivered within 14 days after the Nov. 3 election. Judge Cynthia Stephens pointed to mail delays during the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

A Michigan group has submitted 539,000 signatures to repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlock Michigan is demanding that the veto-proof initiative be put before the Republican-led Legislature before year’s end. It needs roughly 340,000 valid voter signatures for the bill to qualify and has a 200,000 cushion. State Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, is investigating whether the ballot drive used illegal tactics.

 

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project has reported a record number of drownings on Lake Michigan this year. The non-profit, which tracks Great Lakes drownings, said that 53 people have drowned in the lake as of Sept. 26.

Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Surf Rescue Project, said the uptick can be attributed to several factors, including the lack of a national water safety program and the ability to easily track drownings via news alerts.

Whitmer Will Continue COVID-19 State Of Emergency In Michigan

Sep 28, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will re-authorize the COVID-19 state of emergency in Michigan -- which is set to expire this week, This gives the governor extraordinary powers to address a crisis. A petition campaign is collecting signatures to enact a veto-proof initiative to curtail that power. 

MATT ROURKE / AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is reporting that Black residents are no longer being disproportionately infected and killed by the coronavirus, after they accounted for a staggering 40% of deaths and 29% of cases in the early days of the pandemic. For the last two available weeks of data, African-Americans represented 10% of COVID-19 deaths and 8% of cases. They comprise 15% of Michigan's population. They still account for at least 38% of confirmed and probable deaths overall, and at least 20% of cases. Lt. Gov.

Whitmer: Michigan Movie Theaters Can Open Oct. 9

Sep 26, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says movie theaters and other entertainment venues can reopen in two weeks after nearly seven months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic. She has lifted a cap so more people can attend funerals and other indoor events. The governor also issued an order Friday requiring K-5 students to wear masks in classrooms beginning Oct. 5. Indoor cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks are among the places that can open starting Oct. 9.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have voted to make it easier for clerks to process a surge in absentee ballots in the battleground state’s presidential election by letting them start a day earlier than usual. Officials currently cannot remove ballots from outer envelopes until 7 a.m. on Election Day, which is Nov. 3 this year. The legislation would let them be opened between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, in cities or townships with at least 25,000 residents. Ballots would have to remain in secrecy envelopes until being counted on Nov. 3.

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo/File

On Sept. 24, Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services announced a suspected second human case of EEE in Montcalm County, leading to another night of aerial mosquito treatments.

According to some experts, the frequency and intensity of the recent EEE outbreaks in Michigan and northern Indiana could be related to climate change.

The first EEE outbreak in the area occured from 1942-1943. The next was from 1973-1975, and since then, outbreaks have become more and more frequent.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for Michigan to become “carbon neutral” by 2050 in the fight against climate change. The Democratic governor issued a directive Wednesday pledging “comprehensive and aggressive” efforts but provided few details on how the goal would be achieved. A separate order established a council of government officials and citizens to develop a strategy. Michigan is the ninth state to pledge carbon neutrality, which generally means sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions and stepping up efficiency.

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