Michigan News

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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.

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.

Berrien County Health Department logo

The Berrien County Health Department will postpone all vaccine appointments scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 23. Those appointments have been rescheduled for Monday, March 1.

(Read the full release from the health department below.)

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. 

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. 

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included funds to implement a complete firearms ban in the state Capitol in her state budget proposal, one month after open carry was banned. The budget proposal and a concealed carry ban would have to be passed by the Republican-led Legislature whose leaders have expressed opposition to such a ban. Whitmer’s proposed $67 billion state budget proposes a $5 million allocation for improving Capitol security.

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.

Screenshot captured via Facebook

Berrien County health officials are urging residents to be diligent about following COVID-19 safety protocols after the more contagious UK strain of the virus was identified in neighboring Van Buren County earlier this week.

County Health Officer Nicki Britten said while the county’s new daily case count and hospitalizations continue to decline, the variant could drive those numbers back up if residents aren’t careful about masking and social distancing.

 

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.

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

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

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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. 

COURTESY OF 'WITH HONOR'

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer has defended his decision to impeach former President Donald Trump amid criticism from voters. Meijer, a freshman, was one of just 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the deadly attack on the Capitol. He said during a virtual town hall that Trump's falsehoods and the resulting insurrection required a “significant response" from Congress. Two constituents who asked questions said they were deeply disappointed with Meijer, 33, who represents the 3rd Congressional District in western Michigan.

Lawsuit Seeks Reversal Of Michigan's Ban On Contact Sports

Feb 2, 2021
https://www.facebook.com/groups/854790655052189

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An athletic advocacy group, hockey league and parents of athletes have sued Michigan's health director, seeking a reversal of a 2 1/2-month state ban on contact sports that was issued to curb the coronavirus. Let Them Play Michigan, a group of student-athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators, is among plaintiffs that sued in the Court of Claims Tuesday. The complaint contends that the order, which was recently extended through Feb. 21, arbitrarily and irrationally singles out and deprives athletes of their constitutional rights and freedoms. Gov.

Whitmer Campaign Fundraising Sets Record

Feb 2, 2021
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reports having a record $3.5 million in the bank for her 2022 reelection campaign, shattering what was raised by previous Michigan governors halfway through their terms. Whitmer, a Democrat whose profile has grown nationally in the past year, has collected $5.5 million this cycle, through December. No well-known Republican challenger has entered the race. Whitmer’s campaign said Monday that nearly a third of donations came from new donors in the last quarter.

KENT NISHIMURA / LOS ANGELES TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s chief elections officer has announced a legislative agenda she says will ensure fair and secure elections following a huge increase in absentee voting and unfounded accusations of voter fraud in the November general election. Michigan had its highest ever voter turnout in 2020 with about 5.5 million votes cast. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters Monday that she’s looking to keep that momentum going and make it easier to vote.

https://www.facebook.com/TheStrayDogBarGrill

After a nearly three-month “pause” due to rising coronavirus cases, Michigan restaurants are now able to offer indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Some restaurants have already reopened their doors, while others can’t afford to.

Leslie Danesi co-owns the Stray Dog restaurant in New Buffalo, which reopened its dining room Monday, Feb. 1. 

 

PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area health care system says about 2,700 people were able to use an online scheduling vulnerability to register out-of-turn for COVID-19 vaccinations. Beaumont Health says it has determined a user publicly shared an unauthorized pathway for scheduling that allowed 2,700 people to “cut in line.” Beaumont is cancelling all the appointments that used the unauthorized pathway. Individuals who scheduled an appointment that way will be notified via email that their appointment has been cancelled.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan bars and restaurants can open their doors to customers who want to be served inside starting Monday, Feb. 1.

A recent order from the state health department allows indoor dining with restrictions.

Bars and restaurants have to close by 10pm. They can only re-open at 25% of capacity or up to 100 people.

And businesses have to get contact info from diners for contact tracing.

The state health department says there are fewer COVID-19 patients in hospitals. And the statewide test positivity rate is also declining.

Michigan's Marijuana Industry Leaves People Of Color Behind

Jan 30, 2021
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The first year of state-licensed recreational marijuana sales in Michigan saw $511 million of sales in recreational and $474 million in medical sales, generating over $100 million in tax revenue, but the state also found that the industry drastically failed to attract minority business owners. The state collected data in December that showed 79% of people interested in ownership of licensed marijuana facilities were white. Black people accounted for 3.8% while 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino.

Pixabay

Friday Michigan's Attorney General announced that the former St. Joseph County (Michigan) prosecutor has pleaded guilty to driving while visibly impaired. Charges were initially filed against John McDonough in May of 2020 after he crashed into a fence while driving. 

U Of M Students Asked Not To Leave Homes Due To COVID-19

Jan 28, 2021
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA

Lansing, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan and the Washtenaw County Health Department have asked students to avoid leaving their residences to slow the spread of COVID-19 and a more contagious variant. The university saw 175 new cases of coronavirus in the student population at the beginning of the school year. The stay-in-place recommendation is effective immediately and will run through Feb. 7. The health department is asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, going to get food, going to work and other necessary in-person activities.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sought “common ground” with the Republican-led Legislature in her third annual State of the State address. The Democrat pitched a multibillion-dollar pandemic relief plan and other policy initiatives Wednesday night. She also touted residents’ grit in a crisis that has claimed thousands of lives. GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, stepped up opposition to her administration’s COVID-19 restrictions.

(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

A Senate confirmation hearing to consider the nomination of former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve as Energy Secretary began Wednesday.

 

In her opening statement, Granholm touted Michigan’s emphasis on jobs in the clean energy sector, from her time as governor to today. “This is a sector that every single state can benefit from," Granholm says. "The products that reduce carbon emissions are going to create a $23-trillion dollar global market by 2030. That is a massive opportunity.”

NEW: Man To Plead Guilty In Plot To Kidnap Michigan Governor

Jan 27, 2021
KENT COUNTY, MICH., SHERIFF VIA AP

NEW:

DETROIT (AP) — One of six men charged in an alleged plot to snatch Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has agreed to plead guilty to a kidnapping conspiracy. A filing about the plea was made by prosecutors ahead of Ty Garbin's appearance Wednesday in federal court in Grand Rapids. The plea agreement signed by Garbin indicates that he will "fully cooperate" with investigators. There is no agreement on his sentencing guidelines. The FBI in October said it broke up a plot to kidnap the Democratic governor by anti-government extremists upset over her coronavirus restrictions. Six people are charged in federal court in Grand Rapids.

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Whitmer Delivers 'State Of The State' Address Tonight At 7pm

Jan 27, 2021
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Now that 17 cases of a new COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the state, Michigan health officials are trying to figure out how widespread it is.

The state does tens of thousands of COVID tests a day, but only a tiny fraction get sequenced to figure out which genetic variant is present. And the process takes about a week.

Washtenaw County, where a majority of those cases have been confirmed, did pop up testing over the weekend, says spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

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