Michigan News


The Berrien County Youth Fair has posted a letter to its website indicating that the fair will not occur this summer. 

An image of the letter from the fair's website is below. 

Michigan Legislature Approves More Pandemic Response Aid

Jun 18, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Legislature has approved spending $880 million in federal relief aid in response to the coronavirus pandemic, setting aside funding for frontline workers, municipalities and child care providers. The bill would allocate more than a quarter of the $3 billion sent to state government by Congress and President Donald Trump. The Senate plans to pass the legislation later Wednesday. It's expected to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A white suburban Detroit police chief has been suspended for 30 days without pay and will undergo diversity training after calling in social media posts for “body bags” for “vicious subhumans” protesting the death of George Floyd. Shelby Township trustees voted 5-2 on Tuesday night on the punishment for chief Robert J. Shelide. He had been on administrative leave the past two weeks while township officials investigated posts made on a now-deleted Twitter account.

Whitmer Is Optimistic About In-Person School In Fall

Jun 17, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she is optimistic about a return to in-person instruction at K-12 schools in the fall, announcing she will release further guidance on June 30. The governor said Wednesday she will issue an executive order that will provide details on what will be required and what will be recommended. Schools were closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and schools later finished the academic year with online or other forms of remote learning. Whitmer said the roadmap will set minimum health and safety requirements, though districts can enact more aggressive ones.

Michigan's Attorney General Announces Police Reform Proposals

Jun 17, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has unveiled several changes she hopes to make to policing in the state. Among the changes Nessel proposed Tuesday is one that would create a public registry of verified police misconduct claims meant to increase transparency and prevent problem officers from getting rehired in law enforcement elsewhere. She has also proposed that law enforcement agencies be required to report data on the use of force, including data pertaining to race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation and age.

Right to Life of Michigan


A state board in Michigan has given an anti-abortion petition drive another chance to show it's gathered enough names to force a vote on whether to ban the intact dilation-and-extraction procedure. The decision means the Michigan Bureau of Elections will pull a larger random sample of signatures. That larger sample will be used to determine if the campaign has reached the legal threshold of names. The Michigan Values Life drive wants to put a veto-proof measure before the Legislature. 



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s health department is mandating coronavirus testing of all nursing home residents and staff after reporting the deaths of nearly 2,000 residents — about a third of all COVID-19 deaths across the state. Director Robert Gordon’s order, issued Monday, requires initial baseline testing. All new or returning residents must be tested, and there must be weekly testing of residents and staff in a home with any cases until 14 days after the last positive result. Michigan for the first time released a firm overall death count for nursing home residents — 1,947.

(AP Photo/Mike Householder)

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Eastern Michigan University is guaranteeing a single room starting this fall for any enrolled student who wants one. The Ypsilanti school announced its "EMU Single Room Guarantee" in response to physical distancing and other safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic. It's for students living in campus residence halls who don't want a roommate. Eastern Michigan says single rooms typically cost approximately $2,500 a year more than a shared, double room.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan health department is reporting 22 more deaths from COVID-19. It also says roughly 45,000 people have recovered. The total number of confirmed deaths in the state is 5,767. Nearly 60,000 people have tested positive and an additional 6,000 are listed as probable. Barbershops, salons and spas are allowed to open Monday after months without business. Cans and bottles with 10-cent deposits also can be returned that day to stores that have machines. Michigan residents likely have returnables worth tens of millions of dollars. 


Jennifer Weingart/WVPE


WALKER, Mich. (AP) — People gathered near Grand Rapids to burn letters informing them that they can vote by absentee ballot in future elections. The applications were burned Friday during an event called Operation Incinerator outside the DeltaPlex in Walker. Many people had flags, shirts and signs showing support for President Donald Trump and Republicans. Michael Farage, president of the Grand Rapids Taxpayers Association, says the absentee ballot applications were unsolicited and a waste of money. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she took the step to make it convenient for people to vote by mail with an absentee ballot and avoid the risk of the coronavirus.

Saul Gravy / Getty Images/Ikon Images


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state constitutional amendment to designate electronic communication and data as personal property has made it onto the November ballot. If passed, the amendment would put the same protections given to “person, houses, papers and possessions” that are in the state constitution and the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution. Law enforcement would require a warrant to access electronic data and communication. Michigan is not the first state to try to legislate for reasonable cause and a search warrant to obtain electronic data. Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire and more have also tried.

Court: Michigan Great Lakes Tunnel Deal Constitutional

Jun 11, 2020

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals says the Legislature did not violate the state constitution by approving a deal to drill an oil pipeline tunnel beneath a Great Lakes channel. In a unanimous ruling Thursday, a three-judge panel sided with a lower court that upheld the plan last November. Former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder made the deal with pipeline company Enbridge to build the tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac. Lawmakers approved the agreement in 2018, shortly before Snyder left office.

Michigan Senate OKs Cocktails To Go, Cut In Liquor Prices

Jun 10, 2020
Claire Eggers / NPR

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan restaurants and bars could sell cocktails and other liquor for pickup or delivery and would see a temporary cut in state liquor prices under legislation overwhelmingly approved by state Senate. Supporters say the bill passed Wednesday would help bars and restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic. They note that some restaurants already can sell unopened beer and wine to go if they have a certain license. Under the legislation, local governments could designate a "social district" where people could drink alcohol outside.

Michigan Reopening Dining At Bars And Restaurants Today

Jun 8, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Restauranteurs only had about a week’s notice to finalize plans for re-starting dining.


ESCANABA, Mich.  — A city council member in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has apologized for jokingly suggesting shooting demonstrators who commit violence or vandalism during a July 4th celebration.

Whitmer: Salons Open June 15; Northern Mich. Restarts Sooner

Jun 5, 2020
Screenshot from televised news conference on June 5, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says hair salons and other personal-care businesses can reopen across the state on June 15 after being shut down earlier this year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Meanwhile, those businesses and places like gyms can restart in northern Michigan next week. The governor on Friday further advanced the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City under her restart plan, effective Wednesday. In northern counties, indoor gatherings of 50 people will be permissible.

Michigan Sees Its First West Nile Case Of The Summer

Jun 5, 2020

Today the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services announced that state has seen its first West Nile case for the summer mosquito season of 2020.

Justin Hicks / WVPE Public Radio

The State of Michigan has issued a release indicating that free coronavirus testing will be available this weekend in Sturgis, Michigan. 

Michigan Senate: Train Police On Bias, De-Escalation

Jun 4, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would require police to be trained on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques to minimize the use of force. Thursday's vote came more than a week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked nationwide protests. The legislation would also mandate, starting in 2022, that officers complete annual continuing education. Michigan is among six states without such a requirement, according to a 2017 report.

Whitmer Backs Police Changes After Deaths Of Floyd, Others

Jun 3, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for changes to prevent police abuses following the killings of George Floyd and other black people. She said Wednesday she's backing continuing education for officers in Michigan and legislation that would require training on implicit bias and deescalation techniques. She also wants law enforcement agencies to implement policies so officers intervene if they see a colleague doing something inappropriate or illegal.

Gov. Whitmer Gives Testimony On Coronavirus Before A U.S. House Committee

Jun 2, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the Trump Administration must develop a national strategy for testing coronavirus cases and delivering protective medical equipment and supplies.

Ka-ching! Michigan Lifting Ban On Can, Bottle Returns

Jun 2, 2020
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Load up the trunks! Michigan residents who have been burdened for weeks with bottles and cans can return them again to stores, starting June 15. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had suspended the returns because of the possible spread of the coronavirus. As a result, bottles and cans with 10-cent deposits have been piling up in basements, garages and under the kitchen sink. There are estimates that the returnables are worth millions of dollars. Some people simply dropped cans and bottles in recycling bins or donated them to nonprofit groups.   

Photo provided by the State of Michigan


Michigan's Vaccination Rates Drop, Could Lead To Outbreaks

May 31, 2020
Karl Tapales / Getty Images

DETROIT (AP) — Public health officials worry future outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could emerge in Michigan as vaccination rates have dramatically fallen during the coronavirus pandemic. Some parents worried about the virus have kept their young children home. According to The Detroit News, parents began canceling their appointments in March. Vaccination rates overall for children 18 and younger fell by more than 20%. Measles vaccinations in particular, dropped about 76% among 16-month-old children.

Michigan Secretary Of State Branches Reopening Monday

May 28, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will reopen Monday by appointment only for essential transactions not available online. An announcement Thursday said that beginning next week, all 131 branch offices in Michigan will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for certain transactions. Those include including driver licenses and state ID transactions that must be done in-person; title transfers; operator, commercial drivers license, chauffeur, mechanic and motorcycle testing; and seasonal commercial vehicle renewal.

Michigan: Over 1,200 Nursing Home Residents Dead From Virus

May 28, 2020
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan says at least 1,216 residents of nursing homes have died from coronavirus-related complications, nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths. The updated figure was released by the state health department at a legislative hearing this week. Director Robert Gordon says the number is incomplete because 13% of facilities aren't reporting to the state — including homes in the hard-hit metro Detroit area. Gordon says health departments in Wayne and Oakland counties show 400 more deaths not reflected in the state's data.

Michigan State: Fall Term To Mix In-Person, Online Classes

May 28, 2020
Michigan State University

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan State University says it will start the fall term on Sept. 2 with a mix of in-person and online classes. President Samuel Stanley Jr. said Wednesday that the fall term "will look different from any previous semester." Stanley posted a letter on MSU's website and invited students to a webcast to answer questions Friday night. Stanley says physical distancing and face coverings to reduce the risk of the coronavirus will be essential. In-person classes will end at Thanksgiving, followed by three weeks of remote instruction and final exams.

NEW: Michigan Court Of Appeals Says Defiant Barber Must Shut Down

May 27, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

NEW: The Michigan Court of Appeals says an Owosso barber must shut down his business. Karl Manke re-opened his shop in defiance of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's COVID-19 emergency orders. The decision reverses a Shiawassee County judge who refused to enforce the state's cease-and-desist order. The appeals court said the judge should have respected the determinations of the state's public health chief. 


Law School Urges Whitmer To Release Prisoner With COVID-19

May 27, 2020
(Michigan Department of Corrections)

DETROIT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is being asked to release a prisoner who has been fighting his murder conviction for years and now is stricken with COVID-19. Temujin Kensu is also known as Fred Freeman. Kensu has been in prison for 33 years. The University of Michigan law school’s Innocence Clinic has long argued that he was wrongly convicted of killing a man outside a Port Huron college in 1986. Clinic attorney Imran Syed says the 57-year-old Kensu has COVID-19 and other chronic health problems.

Michigan Governor's Husband Pleaded To Get Boat In Water

May 26, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

ELK RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The owner of a boat service company said the husband of Michigan's governor dropped her name while pleading to get his boat in the water for Memorial Day weekend. The Detroit News says NorthShore Dock owner Tad Dowker reported it on Facebook but subsequently removed the posts. Dowker said his staff took a call from Marc Mallory, the husband of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Dowker's staff explained that they were backed up and couldn't immediately launch the boat. Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says she won't address family matters.