Michigan News

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) won’t say whether he’ll vote to certify the electoral college results of the 2020 presidential election when Congress meets next week.

State: About 71,000 In Michigan Received Virus Vaccinations

Dec 29, 2020
Screenshot via Vimeo news conference

About 71,000 people have received the first of two rounds of coronavirus vaccinations in Michigan, where more than 480,000 virus cases have been confirmed. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have already been distributed to hospitals, local health departments and tribal health clinics. The state says residents and staff at skilled nursing homes began receiving the Moderna vaccine on Monday. Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services says it has received 231,075 doses of both vaccines.


LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A police cruiser has been stolen and wrecked in southwestern Michigan by a 25-year-old woman who slipped from handcuffs after being arrested earlier for drunken driving. Authorities say the woman had been taken into custody about 3 a.m. Monday after a crash in Lockport Township. She was placed in the rear seat of a St. Joseph sheriff’s office vehicle. After getting free of the handcuffs, she climbed through a partition and into the driver’s seat as deputies searched her vehicle.


The Michigan Legislature can put money in the state budget for religious schools and other non-public schools without violating the Michigan Constitution. The decision from the Michigan Supreme Court says non-public schools can be reimbursed for the costs of complying with state health and safety mandates. The court split three-to-three on the question with one justice abstaining. That effectively upholds a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals. 


The application deadline for Michigan's Futures for Frontliners program is December 31st.

The program offers free college tuition towards an associate degree or industry recognized certificate at community college.

It also provides tuition to complete a high school diploma.

Applicants must have worked in an essential industry between April 1st and June 30th of 2020.

State officials say 100,000 essential workers have already applied.

But they hope even more will before the upcoming deadline.

Winter In Michigan Likely Warmer, Snowier

Dec 28, 2020

You can expect Michigan to be a snowy place this winter. MLive.com and FarmerWeather.com chief meteorologist Mark Torregrossa says above-normal precipitation this winter is “a pretty good bet.”

He sees an active storm track coming from the southwest and curving into the Ohio Valley, saying “that’s why we think it’s going to be a fairly wet winter as far as liquid equivalent amounts of precipitation.”

Torregrossa says that the snow is likely to be accompanied by warmer temperatures, often in the 28 to 32 degree range. That would mean heavier, wet snow.

Michigan Opioid Overdoses Were Up In 2020

Dec 28, 2020

Fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses trended up in Michigan this year.

The University of Michigan tracks that information. It gathers data about naloxone given by emergency medical personnel across the state.

And it tracks suspected fatal overdoses recorded by medical examiners.

Jason Goldstick is a statistician and associate professor of emergency medicine at U of M.

He says between March and September of this year, fatal overdoses were up 15-percent over 20-19. Non-fatal overdoses were up more than 28-percent.


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s chief justice wants judges and other court staff across the state to be among the second wave of people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that doing so “will keep our court system running, safeguard rights, and slow the spread of the virus.” Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack made the request in a letter to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Former Southwestern Michigan Congressman Mark Siljander was among the 26 people who were pardoned by President Trump Wednesday night.

Siljander served in Congress from April of 1981 to January of 1987. He was succeeded by Fred Upton.

State Scientist: Michigan Virus Numbers Looking Better

Dec 23, 2020

A state scientist says Michigan's rate of new COVID-19 cases has been dropping for more than 29 days. The state last week reported its lowest weekly new case total — 28,072 — since the end of October. The state reported a record total — 50,892 — during Nov. 15-21. Sarah Lyon-Callo, head of the epidemiology bureau, says social distancing will be important during the holiday season. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's health department imposed a ban on indoor restaurant dining, in-person high school classes and other business restrictions. The dining ban remains in place through Jan. 15.


(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

DETROIT (AP) — A woman has been charged with making threats against a Detroit-area Republican election official. The FBI says Monica Palmer received photos of a mutilated body, a day after after she had initially refused to certify local results in favor of Joe Biden. A criminal complaint was filed against Katelyn Jones. Monica Palmer chaired a raucous meeting of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers on Nov. 17. Palmer and a fellow Republican on the board initially refused to certify local election results, typically a routine step. They later changed their position.

Captured via Facebook Live

It will be months before the general public has access to the COVID-19 vaccine, but some people are already wondering what the shots may cost.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said nobody is allowed to be charged or billed for the vaccine itself.


“Cost will not be a barrier for anybody," she said. "That is something that is being provided to the American public.”


Michigan Lets High Schools, Entertainment Venues Reopen

Dec 18, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration is lifting a prohibition on in-person instruction at Michigan high schools and says entertainment venues such as movie theaters can reopen with capacity restrictions following a decline in coronavirus cases. Universities and colleges can let students return to campus next month, with a voluntary commitment to wait until Jan. 18 to restart face-to-face classes. Indoor restaurant dining will continue to be prohibited under the new state health department order, as will indoor sports and outdoor contact sports.


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — A man who sued his parents for getting rid of his pornography collection has won a lawsuit in western Michigan and can seek compensation. Federal Judge Paul Maloney ruled in favor of David Werking. Werking lived at his parents' Grand Haven home for 10 months after a divorce before moving to Muncie, Indiana. Boxes of films and magazines worth an estimated $29,000 were missing. The judge says “there is no question” that the property belonged to Werking and his parents had no right to destroy it, even if they didn't like it.

Captured via Facebook Live

During the weekly Berrien County COVID-19 update on Dec. 17, Spectrum Health Lakeland President Dr. Loren Hamel said the county received just under 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The first of those doses, he said, were administered Wednesday night.

"I was there with a line down the hall waiting to get vaccinated, folks with excitement and a few tears," Hamel said.

Hamel said the vaccine's arrival felt like a turning point, where healthcare workers can move from a "defensive" COVID strategy to an "offensive" one that's focused on prevention.

Michigan GOP Lawmaker Punished For Not Denouncing Violence

Dec 14, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker in Michigan has been disciplined for not denouncing potential violence at the Michigan Capitol before Democratic presidential electors are to meet to vote for Joe Biden, who won the state over President Donald Trump. Rep. Gary Eisen told WPHM-AM on Monday that he planned to help with an unspecified "Hail Mary" GOP plan to challenge the election, conceding the "uncharted" action likely would not change the result.

Legislative Offices In Michigan Closed Due To Threats As Electors Meet

Dec 14, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan legislative offices are closed because of credible threats of violence as presidential electors prepare to gather in the state Capitol to cast their votes for Democrat Joe Biden. The 16 electors will meet Monday afternoon in the Senate chamber Biden won the state by 154,000 votes, or 2.8 percentage points, over President Donald Trump. The Capitol building is closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions.

Michigan’s 16 electoral votes will be formally awarded Monday to President-elect Joe Biden in a ceremony at the state Capitol. Other US states and territories also convene their electoral colleges on Monday.

Most legal challenges – including one filed by the state of Texas – have failed. Demonstrations in Lansing are expected, but they won’t change the result. Michigan law requires electors to cast their votes for the winner of the November election.

Michigan DNR Probes Fatal Shootings Of Two Trumpeter Swans

Dec 13, 2020
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

NEW HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — State conservation officers are investigating the deaths of two trumpeter swans found fatally shot at a state park in southeastern Michigan. Conservation officers found the carcasses of an adult trumpeter swan and a young trumpeter swan at Wetzel State Park in Macomb County. Officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said Friday the birds, which are a threatened species in Michigan and illegal to hunt, had multiple gunshot wounds.

COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Begin In Historic U.S. Effort

Dec 13, 2020
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

KALAMAZOO, Michigan (AP) — The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States have pulled out of a Michigan manufacturing plant. The shipments Sunday morning set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history. The shots that are critical to stopping the nation's coronavirus outbreak are destined to reach states a day later. Initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine will likely be limited to health workers and nursing home residents.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department said Friday it’s on the side of Michigan faith-based schools that are challenging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ban on in-person classes in high schools. The Civil Rights Division filed an argument in favor of three Catholic high schools and the Michigan Association of Non-Public Schools. A federal judge in Kalamazoo will hear arguments Monday. The government says schools and families have a constitutional right to practice their religion through in-person instruction.

Captured via Facebook Live

Berrien County health officials offered their weekly update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Dec. 11.

County Health Officer Nicki Britten says the county is seeing an average of 120 new cases per day, or 10 times more daily cases than at the end of September. But, she said new cases and hospitalizations are beginning to slow, a trend she called “encouraging.”

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan expects to receive about 257,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines initially if the federal government authorizes them for emergency use this month, enough to immunize roughly 128,000 residents. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, says the priority remains frontline health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a commission to raise awareness on the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines that get the green light.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is close to clarifying that veterinarians can consult with pet owners on the use of products derived from marijuana or hemp to help animals’ health. The state Senate gave final, unanimous approval to authorizing legislation Thursday. Supporters say the bill would let veterinarians become a trusted source of information regarding a marketplace with competing and confusing claims. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the legislation. The sponsor, Rep.


Dowagiac is one of about a dozen cities under consideration as the future site of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association’s Command & Control Center for the Michigan Launch Initiative, a plan to create a regional spaceport in Michigan.

Gavin Brown is the Executive Director of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) and he explained what sort of missions the organization hopes to launch from Michigan.

Screenshot captured via YouTube

Last month, the election for one Berrien County Commission seat ended in a dead tie, and after the County Board of Canvassers failed to find any errors, the winner was decided by a tiebreaker. However, a new winner has been declared after a recount on Dec. 8.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

At the time of the flag lowering order by Gov. Whitmer, the coronavirus has killed 10,138 people in Michigan.   

Michigan's COVID-19 Outbreak Cancels Game Against Ohio State

Dec 8, 2020
(AP Photo/Tony Ding)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan has canceled its annual rivalry game at Ohio State because of the COVID-19 outbreak within the Wolverines football program. Michigan says the decision was made after discussions with medical professionals, athletic department staff, athletic trainers and doctors. The Buckeyes played through what coach Ryan Day called a mini outbreak on Saturday in a 52-12 win at Michigan State after he was relegated to watching the game from home. Day is among the coaches and players in the program that tested positive for the coronavirus.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Nonpublic schools are suing after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration extended a coronavirus order that prevents in-person instruction at Michigan high schools, saying it violates the First Amendment right to practice religion. The federal lawsuit, filed in Michigan’s Western District, was brought by a group representing more than 400 nonpublic schools across the state, as well as three Catholic high schools and 11 parents. The state health department lengthened the restriction by 12 days, through Dec. 20. It took effect Nov.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House has canceled its voting session scheduled for Tuesday following an announcement that Rudy Giuliani tested positive for the coronavirus just days after he testified before lawmakers in Lansing without wearing a mask. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney spoke for hours Wednesday before a Republican-led committee investigating alleged election irregularities. House Speaker Lee Chatfield says multiple representatives have requested time to receive results from recent COVID-19 tests before returning to session out of an abundance of caution.