Michigan News

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Police are investigating vandalism that left several headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids spray-painted with “TRUMP” and “MAGA” before President Donald Trump held his final campaign rally in the western Michigan city. Grand Rapids police spokesman Sgt. John Wittkowski says officers found six headstones spray-painted with “relatively new" red paint on Monday. “TRUMP” was spray-painted on the back of four headstones, and “MAGA” was spray-painted on two others.

Trump-Biden Showdown, Senate Race Top Michigan's Ballot

Nov 3, 2020
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci and Carolyn Kaster)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Polls are open in Michigan, where Joe Biden is seeking to reclaim the once-reliably blue state for Democrats, while President Donald Trump is trying to again seize the key battleground. Tuesday's election also features the state's most competitive U.S. Senate race in 20 years, several closely watched U.S. House contests and a dogfight for control of the state House. Voters also are deciding the makeup of the Michigan Supreme Court. In the Senate race, Democratic Sen. Gary Peters is eyeing a second term.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Meals at Michigan restaurants came with a new side dish Monday: What's your name and phone number? The latest order kicked in from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's health department. Restaurants must be able to contact customers if there's a virus case linked to the business. The Michigan Restaurants & Lodging Association insists COVID-19 transmission doesn't occur much at restaurants. The group predicts job losses and more financial strife. Michigan's coronavirus cases have risen significantly, setting a new daily high Saturday at nearly 3,800.

 

Officials: 3 People Die In Benton Harbor Apartment Fire

Nov 1, 2020

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Public safety officials say three family members are dead in southwestern Michigan after an early morning apartment fire. Officers with the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety responded to a fire at a duplex just before 5 a.m. Sunday. The second floor collapsed to the first floor and three members of a family were killed. The victims were a 30-year-old mother, 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. The father is only survivor and was being treated for smoke inhalation. The names of the victims were not released.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

Voting at polling precincts in Michigan begins Tuesday with some of the rules still being sorted out.

(AP PHOTO/DAVID GOLDMAN)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 2.6 million Michigan voters have turned in their absentee ballots and the state is still waiting on almost 700,000 absentee ballots that had been sent out and yet to be returned with only days before Tuesday’s election. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging voters to drop off their ballots in-person to ensure mail delays don’t cause their ballots to not be counted, though voting in-person on Election Day remains an option.

(PHOTO BY MICHIGAN NATIONAL GUARD STAFF SGT. TEGAN KUCERA)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan reported a single-day record of new confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday: 3,792. The state health department also said there were 31 additional deaths, including 20 that could have occurred days or weeks ago. They turned up in a records review. The number of people confirmed to have been infected since March stands at nearly 179,000. More than 121,000 have recovered. There have been at least 7,340 deaths related to COVID-19.

Peters, James Make Final Cases In Michigan's Senate Race

Oct 31, 2020
AP PHOTOS, FILE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and Republican challenger John James are making their final cases to the electorate in the closing days of a $100 million-plus duel that will help shape whether the winner of the presidential race can enact his legislative agenda. Michigan, long a presidential battleground, is also a key Senate battleground. Peters is one of just two Senate Democrats running in a state Donald Trump won four years ago.

Obama In Michigan: Trump Failed To Take Pandemic, Presidency Seriously

Oct 31, 2020
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Former President Barack Obama is campaigning in Michigan with Joe Biden, and he calls his former vice president his "brother." Obama also is accusing President Donald Trump of failing to take the coronavirus pandemic and his office seriously. Democrats are leaning on America's first Black president to energize Black voters in battleground Michigan on the final weekend of the 2020 campaign. Obama and Biden held drive-in rallies in Flint and Detroit. Turnout must be strong in those two predominantly Black cities to swing the state away from Trump.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

Here's what's happening Saturday in Election 2020, three days until Election Day:

MDHHS

Today the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)  revised and extended its 

Michigan Judge Strikes Down Open Carry Ban At Polling Places On Election Day

Oct 27, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

BREAKING: A Michigan judge has struck down Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on the open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day. Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray issued the decision Tuesday. Unless it’s reversed by a higher court, it applies to voting places and absentee counting boards next Tuesday. The only exception would be churches and other places that are already allowed to forbid the open carry of guns. 

Judge Christopher Murray acted just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups. They said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, had exceeded her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of polling places. Critics argued that Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process as required under state law.

Michigan's Attorney General intends to appeal. 

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A lawsuit filed with the Michigan Court of Claims challenges Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s Election Day instructions to some poll watchers. The lawsuit says Benson’s COVID-19 distancing rules will make it too hard for poll challengers to keep track of what’s happening.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A judge has rejected a challenge to Michigan’s online request system for absentee ballots. Critics claim the online option violates Michigan law, which requires a signed application. But Judge Cynthia Stephens says critics waited too long to seek an injunction and “merely theorize” that fraud might occur. The secretary of state started online absentee voter applications in June. Signatures on file for a driver's license or a state ID are good enough to get a ballot. More than 74,000 voters have submitted online applications for an absentee ballot.

More Time Sought To Indict In Governor Kidnapping Case

Oct 26, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is reporting more than 3,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the highest yet during the pandemic — amid what a top health official calls “alarming increases” in infections around the state. The 3,338 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services surpasses the state’s previous single-day record of 2,030 new cases set on Oct. 15. The state agency also reported Saturday 35 more deaths, raising Michigan’s pandemic toll to 7,182 deaths. Dr.

(Jackson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A judge has slashed bond to $100,000 for a man accused of assisting in a scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and commit other violence against state government. A defense attorney says Pete Musico's alleged role was overstated by prosecutors. Kareem Johnson says Musico was kicked out of the group because he was too "soft" and wouldn't commit to violence. Judge Michael Klaeren reduced Musico's bond, clearing the way for his release from jail. Authorities allege members of two anti-government paramilitary groups plotted to kidnap Whitmer.

STEVE BURNS/WTIU

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has suspended a decision that would allow groups to offer free or reduced price rides to polling places in Michigan. The court issued a stay to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to appeal the ruling by a federal judge in Flint. Since 1895, Michigan has banned paying someone to transport a voter unless the voter can’t walk. It was aimed at preventing fraud or undue influence. But Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis said the state law conflicted with federal law. Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, declined to appeal.

Whitmer: Michigan At 'Dangerous Moment' As Virus Cases Spike

Oct 21, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is warning that Michigan on average has more confirmed daily cases of the coronavirus than ever, noting a sharp increase since the state Supreme Court invalidated her sweeping orders earlier this month. Since the court decision on Oct. 2, the seven-day case average is up to 1,818 — nearly double. The governor says Michigan is at a "dangerous moment." She pleaded Wednesday for people to wear a mask and socially distance.

JOELLE SEDLMEYER / GETTY IMAGES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an order to allow more in-person visits with people in nursing homes. The order applies to facilities in counties the state has identified as “low risk.”

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.

Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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.

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