Michigan News

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

In her response to the State of the Union Address Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said many Michiganders aren’t feeling the benefits of a growing economy.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk with Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard about whether that’s true.

You can hear their full conversation with MSU economist Charles Ballard on the MichMash podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.

David Zalubowski/AP Photo

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is shaking up its management after a poor fourth-quarter financial performance and the botched launch of the Explorer SUV.

The company says that automotive President Joe Hinrichs will retire. Jim Farley, president of new business and strategy, will become chief operating officer in charge of global markets and automotive operations.

In addition, product development chief Hau Thai-Tang will take on an expanded role for products, services and customer experiences.

Great Lakes High Water Levels - No Relief In Sight

Feb 7, 2020
AP Photo/John Flesher


MANISTEE, Mich. (AP) — High water levels are wreaking havoc in the Great Lakes. The five inland seas are bursting at the seams during the region's wettest period in more than a century, which scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate.

And no relief is in sight. Forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020. Homes and businesses are flooding, roads and sidewalks are crumbling and beaches are washing away.

Michigan To Educate Drivers About Big Insurance Changes

Feb 5, 2020
AP Photo/David Eggert

Michigan's top insurance regulator says the state is committed to educating drivers about a new law that will let motorists save money by foregoing unlimited medical coverage for crash injuries.

The state Department of Insurance and Financial Services has created a consumer hotline and email address to respond to questions and complaints.

There's also a website with information about the changes that take effect in July.

Bloomberg Campaigns In Michigan

Feb 5, 2020
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio


Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg told supporters in Detroit that he has the best chance of any candidate to defeat Donald Trump.

Whitmer Delivers The Democratic Response To Trump's State Of The Union Address

Feb 5, 2020
AP Photo/David Eggert

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used Democrats' response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to swivel from impeachment to working-class voters' worries.

Whitmer says Democrats are focusing on making health care more affordable and addressing other concerns.

Democrats' decision to pick Whitmer show that they are focusing on the Midwest, where Trump won surprising victories in 2016 that helped carry him to the White House.


Doctor T-K Lawless Park is one of 79 dark sky parks in the world and only the second in the State of Michigan. It took the Cass County Parks Department two-and-a-half years to complete the process.

Michigan Governor To Take National Stage To Rebut Trump

Feb 4, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democrats are putting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the national stage Tuesday to rebut President Donald Trump's State of the Union message. Whitmer says she will touch on the impeachment proceedings in Washington when she delivers the Democratic response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. But she says most of her 10-minute rebuttal will focus on issues such as healthcare and education. 


By elevating a fresh face and casting an election-year spotlight on the Midwest, the party looks to win back states Trump narrowly captured.

Whitmer Will Deliver The Democratic State Of The Union Response From E. Lansing H.S.

Feb 3, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democrats are putting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on the national stage Tuesday to rebut President Donald Trump's State of the Union message. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democrats’ State of the Union response from East Lansing High School. The response will follow President Donald Trump’s address in Washington.

By elevating a fresh face and casting an election-year spotlight on the Midwest, the party looks to win back states Trump narrowly captured.

Technical Issue Shuts Down 911 System In Parts Of Michigan

Jan 31, 2020


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An upgrade to Michigan’s 911 emergency system caused a technical issue which resulted in early morning outages across the state. 

State police say a fiber optic line was being updated about 2:30 a.m. Friday when the system crashed and remained down for several hours.

It was restored about 7 a.m. Many county dispatch centers used non-emergency lines as backup.

Grand Rapids police in western Michigan say service has been restored but “intermittent outages may be possible.”

Aretha Franklin's Niece Quitting As Executor Of Estate

Jan 31, 2020
Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images/File

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A niece of Aretha Franklin said she's quitting as representative of the late singer's estate. Sabrina Owens is pointing to a rift in the family since handwritten wills were discovered last year.

Owens says a fight is not what Franklin ”would have wanted for" her surviving family. Franklin died without a known will in August 2018.

Owens says she became manager of the estate at the request of Franklin's four sons. But handwritten wills found last May have led to a family dispute over who should control the estate. 

Michigan Department of Corrections via AP

CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (AP) — A man convicted of killing his pregnant girlfriend when they were teenagers in 1993 has been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.

The new sentence gives Robert Leamon an opportunity for release after his earlier no-parole sentence was set aside by a Cass County judge.

Rebecca Stowe was 15 years old when she disappeared from the Niles area.

She was strangled, and her body was buried in a rural area. Leamon has been in jail or prison for more than 20 years.

Getty Images

Several Michigan universities say faculty members and students are returning from trips to Chinaas the coronavirus outbreak grows worse.

A Michigan State University spokesman says the university did have a handful of faculty in China on university-sponsored business at the time the outbreak began. But spokesman Dan Olsen says they have all either left the country or are in the process of leaving China.

M-S-U is suspending university-sponsored travel to China for the next eight weeks.  

AP Photo/Al Goldis

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan will borrow $3.5 billion to rebuild state highways and bridges over five years.

She calls it a responsible way to start fixing deteriorating roads after the Republican-led Legislature rejected her proposed fuel tax hike.

The Democrat unveiled the bonding plan during her second annual State of the State speech on Wednesday.

She says it will enable the state to do about twice as much construction on I-, U.S.- and M-numbered routes as it can now.

Fernando Vergara/AP Photo

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A group organizing a Michigan ballot drive to protect LGBT people from discrimination says it will begin collecting signatures after state election officials approved the format and wording of the petition.

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign secured the optional approvals from the Board of State Canvassers Tuesday.

It has until late May to gather about 340,000 valid signatures to put the initiative before the Republican-led Legislature.