Michigan News


The Michigan State Emergency Operations Center has announced that a popular Michigan State Recreation Area is closing as visitors have surged  there during the 'stay-at-home' orders.

Michigan State University

DETROIT (AP) — Hundreds of new health care graduates from Michigan State University are available to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Michigan State Representative Dies Of COVID-19

Mar 31, 2020

UNDATED (AP) — Family and friends are remembering a Michigan legislator who died from the coronavirus as a cheerful battler for Detroit.

Rep. Isaac Robinson died Sunday, hours after checking into a hospital. He wasn't tested for the virus but his mother says doctors told the family it was the likely cause.

The 44-year-old Democrat was serving his first term in the state House, but he was involved with politics nearly all his life.

NEW: Michigan Gov. Whitmer Says 'Racism' Fueled Protests Over Virus Response

Mar 29, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

UPDATE (Posted May 3):  

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says gun-toting protesters who demonstrated inside the state Capitol "depicted some of the worst racism" and "awful parts" of U.S. history. Whitmer made the assertion during a Sunday appearance on CNN and before the release of the latest number of deaths in Michigan related to the coronavirus.

Detroit Convention Center To Become Makeshift Hospital

Mar 29, 2020
AP Photo/Corey Williams

DETROIT (AP) — A convention center in Detroit will be turned into a 900-bed medical site in response to the coronavirus.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

The coronavirus pandemic has been and will continue to be disastrous for small businesses across Michigan. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher highlight some of the local efforts to help businesses get through this crisis.

Record Numbers Of People In Michigan File For Unemployment

Mar 27, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A record 129,000 Michiganders filed claims for unemployment benefits last week amid fallout from jobs lost due to the virus outbreak.

The number of applications shattered the previous high of 77,000 in January 2009, during the Great Recession.

Applications for the week ending March 21 rose more than 23-fold from the week before and represent 3% of Michigan's total workers who are eligible for jobless benefits.

NEW: Trump Declares Major Disaster In Michigan Amid Pandemic

Mar 26, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

UPDATE (Posted March 28 at 1:30pm):

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Michigan amid the coronavirus pandemic.


EMPIRE, MICH. (AP) — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan has closed all of its restrooms after vandals ransacked them and made off with toilet paper and hand sanitizer, two items made scarce by the coronavirus pandemic.

Park Superintendent Scott Tucker says vandals unrolled entire rolls of toilet paper and broke plastic dispensers to steal bags full of hand sanitizer over the weekend.

The park locked all of its restrooms Monday because they lack items needed for visitors to safely use them.

Ford Steps Up To Help Produce Medical Equipment

Mar 24, 2020
AP Photo

Ford Motor Company is working with 3-M and GE to speed up production of medical equipment for health care workers and patients. 

Jim Baumbick is with Ford.

He says the equipment includes high-tech respirators and face shields for health care workers, and ventilators for COVID-19 patients to help them breathe.

New information released by the State of Michigan indicates there are now 2,295 cases of COVID-19 and 43 deaths. That's up from 1,791 cases and 24 deaths as of Tuesday, March 24th. Berrien County has 10 cases.


DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit police captain has become the second member of the department to die of complications from the coronavirus.

Police Chief James Craig said Tuesday that the captain was in his 50s. He was not believed to have any underlying health issues.

DETROIT (AP) — Benton Harbor's Carlos "Scooby" Johnson is Michigan's Mr. Basketball for 2020, a season that was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hal Schram Mr. Basketball award given out on Monday honors the state's top senior basketball player.

It is given annually by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.

The 6-foot-6 Johnson signed a letter of intent to attend Butler after turning down scholarship offers from Michigan State and Michigan.

Michigan Governor Issues Stay-At-Home Order, In Effect As Of Today

Mar 23, 2020


Gov. Whitmer issues a "stay at home' order that goes into effect just after midnight and lasts 3 weeks. Whitmer says COVID-19 cases doubled over the weekend and the disease continues to spread exponentially. She criticizes the national governement's response.

She says, "Do not panic. Do not hoard."

This order means schools will be closed at least thorugh April 13.

"Our action will save lives," Whitmer said.

"Doing this now shortens the time our economy suffers."

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

DETROIT (AP) — Two men, one from Macomb County and one from Kent County, have died from complications due to the coronavirus, bringing the number of fatalities in Michigan to eight.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced Saturday night that a 52-year-old man with underlying health conditions died at a hospital in Clinton Township. 

In Kent County, the local health department released a statement that confirmed the death of a 71-year-old man, also with underlying health conditions. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE


The Michign Dept. of Health and Human Services is now reporting 3 COVID-19 cases in Berrien County. In the state as a whole, 1,035 cases have been reported. So far Michigan has seen 8 deaths from the coronavirus. 


Two people in Berrien County have tested positive for COVID-19.

South Haven Marina Closing Due To High Water Levels

Mar 21, 2020


SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — High water levels have sunk the boating season for a southwestern Michigan marina.

The Northside Municipal Marina in South Haven is closing this year due to an electrical system compromised by rising water.

Officials say anyone coming in contact with the water could be shocked or electrocuted.

Upgrades planned for the summer are expected to cost $300,000. Harbor master and assistant city manager Kate Hosier says the city is working to accommodate longtime slip holders.

AP Photo/David Eggert

DETROIT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has no plans to tell Michigan residents to strictly stay at home to cut the spread of the cornonavirus.

Whitmer's comments were made a day after the California governor told residents to stay inside except for essential jobs, errands and some exercise.

The governor has tried to reduce the virus by limiting crowds at popular gathering spots and closing schools. Bars, fitness clubs and theaters are closed, and restaurants can only prepare food for carry-out.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE


Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, has posted on Facebook that the business will make hand sanitizer.

Michigan's Dept. of Treasury is issuing guidance for Michigan residents who are experiencing unemployment due to shutdowns related to COVID-19. 

NEW: Michigan Virus Cases Jump To 336, Including 3 Deaths

Mar 19, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan has signed off on $20 million in grants and loans to thousands of small businesses harmed by the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File


DETROIT (AP) — Detroit's three automakers have agreed to partial factory shutdowns, deep cleaning of equipment and longer periods between shifts to head off union demands for U.S. plant closures due to the coronavirus threat.

The agreements came Tuesday night after union officials spoke individually with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The companies also agreed to “extensive plans” to avoid member coming in contact with one another, the United Auto Workers union said in a statement.

The United Auto Workers union said earlier in the day that it wanted the automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.

PREVIOUS POST:  DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.

Heather Ainsworth/AP Photo/File

The Pokagon Band of Potowatomi will close its four casinos located in Michigan and Indiana. The Four Winds Casinos in South Bend,

Unemployment Insurance And COVID-19

Mar 16, 2020

A plan on its way to the U.S. Senate would pump more money into state unemployment insurance programs.

Credit Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS


Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order that effectively shuts down many businesses where people congregate. The list includes bars and restaurants, gyms and health clubs, as well as theaters and other performance venues. Restaurants may still offer delivery and take-out service. Last week, the governor banned most gatherings of more than 250 people as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus. 

She also ordered that more people qualify for unemployment benefits during the global pandemic.

 Michigan's Lt. Governor confirmed the information in a tweet. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Have you been stocking up on supplies in light of the coronavirus? Many in Michiana are doing just that.  WVPE's Jennifer Weingart found that out the hard way when she tried to go shopping at the Aldi's in Benton Harbor and found plenty of bare shelves. Share your images with us, if you have had a similar experience. Send photos to wvpe@wvpe.org. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all public, private, and boarding schools across the state closed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will stay closed until at least April 6th.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about what this will mean for families.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — University of Michigan cancels all spring graduation activities to curb spread of virus.

U of M President, Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D., says in a statement posted online, "We are canceling all Spring 2020 commencement activities across our three campuses. This includes both the large campuswide ceremonies and individual school, college and group recognition ceremonies. We know that this is very disappointing to many, and we are looking at ways to celebrate 2020 graduates in the future."

Michigan Stops Prison Visits Amid Virus Outbreak

Mar 13, 2020
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is ceasing in-person visits to state prisoners to limit their exposure to the new coronavirus.

 The move Friday came after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a late-night announcement that all public and private schools — covering more than 1.5 million kids — will be closed for three weeks starting Monday.



DETROIT (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is relaxing licensing rules so employers and schools can quickly create “disaster relief” child care centers during the coronavirus emergency.

The facilities will prioritize slots for workers in certain essential fields like health care and law enforcement.

Whitmer's order Wednesday came after officials said a man in his 50s who had COVID-19 died at a Detroit-area hospital. It's the first coronavirus death in Michigan.

Meanwhile, Detroit's three automakers agreed to close all U.S. factories due to virus fears. The U.S. and Canada have agreed to temporarily close their shared border to nonessential travel.

MHSAA Calling Off Events Due To COVID-19 Concerns

Mar 12, 2020

MHSAA makes a big announcement regarding high school sporting events. The statement from their website is below: 

Postseason events sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association have been suspended immediately and indefinitely due to concerns related to COVID-19.