Michigan News

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Five men accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appear in federal court for a hearing on whether they should be detained before trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens will oversee the bail and detention proceeding in Grand Rapids Tuesday. Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta — all Michigan residents — will appear. A sixth man, Barry Croft, is being held in Delaware. The FBI made arrests after using confidential sources, undercover agents and clandestine recordings to foil the alleged conspiracy.

Gov. Whitmer Signs Expungement Expansion Legislation

Oct 13, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has rejected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to delay by 28 days the effect of its decision striking down a law she had used to keep intact sweeping orders designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Justices voted 6-1 Monday against halting the precedential effect of its opinion until Oct. 30. They also reaffirmed their initial 4-3 ruling that declared a 1945 emergency powers law unconstitutional — this time in a lawsuit brought by the Republican-led Legislature.

CASS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

 

CASS COUNTY, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a police tracking dog found a motorcyclist lying in a ditch about a quarter mile away from a remote road in southern Michigan where he'd crashed. The sheriff's department in Cass County's Penn Township says that 28-year-old Travis Herman of Marcellus was riding late Sunday when he crashed. Deputies called to the scene found the motorcycle but could not locate the driver. A sheriff's department tracking dog that was brought in to search found Herman lying in a ditch. Herman was taken to an area hospital for treatment for a head injury.

Mink Housed On Michigan Farm Test Positive For Coronavirus

Oct 10, 2020
(AP Photo/Sergei Grits, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The virus that causes COVID-19 in humans has been detected in mink housed on a Michigan farm. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Friday reported the recent discovery of the coronavirus in mink at the unnamed farm is not the first time the virus has been found in the United States. In August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the first confirmed cases of the virus in mink at farms in Utah. Wisconsin has since seen a confirmed case.

Men Accused In Plot On Michigan Governor Attended Protests

Oct 10, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Among the protesters who rallied at the Michigan Capitol against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown this past spring were armed men now accused in plots to kidnap her, storm the Capitol and start a "civil war." The development has sparked scrutiny of the rallies as potential recruitment events. The demonstrations were organized by conservative groups opposed to the Democratic governor's orders. They also drew members of paramilitary groups carrying rifles.

Photo provided the State of Michigan

DETROIT (AP) - Six people plotted to try to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at her vacation home. That's according to a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.

The FBI said in the court filing that four of the six men had planned to meet Wednesday to "make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear." The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer "has no checks and balances at all."

Authorities scheduled a Thursday afternoon news conference to talk about the case. The government used informants and undercover agents to thwart the alleged plot.

Whitmer Approves Earlier Processing Of Absentee Ballots

Oct 6, 2020
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Clerks in Michigan cities or township of at least 25,000 people can start processing a surge of absentee ballots a day before November's presidential election under legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. About 2.7 million voters have requested ballots so far, many more than in 2016. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson projects more residents will vote than at any point in state history. Election officials currently cannot remove ballots from outer envelopes until 7 a.m. on Election Day. The new law lets them be opened between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov.

Michigan GOP Spent $542K To Challenge Whitmer's Orders

Oct 6, 2020
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature have spent about $542,000 suing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate and House released the figure to a liberal group, Progress Michigan, last week. It was the same day the state Supreme Court ruled against the governor in a similar lawsuit to the Legislature’s. The Whitmer administration has quickly reinstituted a mask requirement and gathering limits under a law that's not an issue in the legal challenges.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says a statewide mask requirement remains in effect despite the Michigan Supreme Court’s invalidation of a law that underpins her orders to control the coronavirus pandemic. The governor pointed Monday to the state Department of Health and Human Services’ separate order mandating face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Violators can be fined up to $1,000. Whitmer is also asking the Supreme Court to declare that its ruling is not binding precedent until Oct.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has struck down a law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has repeatedly used to manage the coronavirus pandemic. The decision now puts months of restrictions in jeopardy all while COVID-19 continues to flare up. In a 4-3 opinion, the court said the law is unconstitutional because it takes power away from the Legislature. Whitmer says the decision is “deeply disappointing.” The governor says her orders will remain in effect for 21 days. She says she plans to take other action.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A controversy over absentee ballots is on a fast track at the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court said a three-judge panel will meet Oct. 9 but will rely on legal briefs and not hear arguments. The Republican-controlled Legislature is appealing an order that requires the counting of absentee ballots long after Election Day. A judge says ballots can be counted if postmarked by Nov. 2 and delivered within 14 days after the Nov. 3 election. Judge Cynthia Stephens pointed to mail delays during the coronavirus pandemic.

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A Michigan group has submitted 539,000 signatures to repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlock Michigan is demanding that the veto-proof initiative be put before the Republican-led Legislature before year’s end. It needs roughly 340,000 valid voter signatures for the bill to qualify and has a 200,000 cushion. State Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, is investigating whether the ballot drive used illegal tactics.

 

The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project has reported a record number of drownings on Lake Michigan this year. The non-profit, which tracks Great Lakes drownings, said that 53 people have drowned in the lake as of Sept. 26.

Dave Benjamin, co-founder of the Surf Rescue Project, said the uptick can be attributed to several factors, including the lack of a national water safety program and the ability to easily track drownings via news alerts.

Whitmer Will Continue COVID-19 State Of Emergency In Michigan

Sep 28, 2020
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will re-authorize the COVID-19 state of emergency in Michigan -- which is set to expire this week, This gives the governor extraordinary powers to address a crisis. A petition campaign is collecting signatures to enact a veto-proof initiative to curtail that power. 

MATT ROURKE / AP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is reporting that Black residents are no longer being disproportionately infected and killed by the coronavirus, after they accounted for a staggering 40% of deaths and 29% of cases in the early days of the pandemic. For the last two available weeks of data, African-Americans represented 10% of COVID-19 deaths and 8% of cases. They comprise 15% of Michigan's population. They still account for at least 38% of confirmed and probable deaths overall, and at least 20% of cases. Lt. Gov.

Whitmer: Michigan Movie Theaters Can Open Oct. 9

Sep 26, 2020
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says movie theaters and other entertainment venues can reopen in two weeks after nearly seven months of closure during the coronavirus pandemic. She has lifted a cap so more people can attend funerals and other indoor events. The governor also issued an order Friday requiring K-5 students to wear masks in classrooms beginning Oct. 5. Indoor cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities and trampoline parks are among the places that can open starting Oct. 9.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have voted to make it easier for clerks to process a surge in absentee ballots in the battleground state’s presidential election by letting them start a day earlier than usual. Officials currently cannot remove ballots from outer envelopes until 7 a.m. on Election Day, which is Nov. 3 this year. The legislation would let them be opened between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, in cities or townships with at least 25,000 residents. Ballots would have to remain in secrecy envelopes until being counted on Nov. 3.

Rick Bowmer/AP Photo/File

On Sept. 24, Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services announced a suspected second human case of EEE in Montcalm County, leading to another night of aerial mosquito treatments.

According to some experts, the frequency and intensity of the recent EEE outbreaks in Michigan and northern Indiana could be related to climate change.

The first EEE outbreak in the area occured from 1942-1943. The next was from 1973-1975, and since then, outbreaks have become more and more frequent.

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling for Michigan to become “carbon neutral” by 2050 in the fight against climate change. The Democratic governor issued a directive Wednesday pledging “comprehensive and aggressive” efforts but provided few details on how the goal would be achieved. A separate order established a council of government officials and citizens to develop a strategy. Michigan is the ninth state to pledge carbon neutrality, which generally means sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions and stepping up efficiency.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Hoosier voters will be able to go to court this fall to ask for polls to stay open longer if there are problems on Election Day.

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Local elections offices will begin mailing absentee ballots to Michigan voters on Thursday, Sept. 24, the start date for early voting. Voters who have requested absentee ballots can also pick them up at to their local clerk’s office

Anyone can request an absentee ballot in Michigan without an excuse. Voters can fill out the application online or by hand, and the deadline to request an absentee ballot in Michigan is Friday, October 30. 

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Joan L. Larsen climbed so quickly through the conservative legal ranks that it even surprised her at times. In five years, she has transformed from a little-known University of Michigan legal scholar to a prominent federal appeals court judge and now a top finalist for a U.S. Supreme Court appointment. Larsen is among a small group of female lawyers whom Trump is considering to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the liberal icon whose death has given conservatives a chance to move the court further to the right.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich (AP) — A state building previously named after a slave owner now bears the name of two former state legislators who led efforts to reform Michigan’s civil rights laws. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other state officials unveiled the new sign in a ceremony on Monday in Lansing, marking the first time in state history a state building is named after an African-American woman. Formerly known as the Lewis Cass Building, after a former U.S. senator from Michigan and slave owner, the building will now be called the Elliott-Larsen Building. Reps.

Michigan Retailers To Resume Using Bottle And Can Redemption Machines

Sep 21, 2020
(AP PHOTO/CARLOS OSORIO)

Starting October 5th, grocery stores and other retailers with bottle-and-can collection machines will have to resume taking returnables. Retailers without machines will be allowed to do so at their discretion. Governor Gretchen Whitmer temporarily suspended bottle and can returns in a COVID-19-related executive order. Retailers are allowed to limit returns to no more than a $2 reimbursement per customer per day. 

Whitmer: Mask Order Applies To Big Ten, But May Be Changed

Sep 18, 2020
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked Michigan's longstanding ban on transporting voters to the polls, ruling it conflicts with U.S. election law. District Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis in Detroit issued an injunction Thursday against enforcing the restriction in November's presidential election. A form of the prohibition has been on the books since 1895. It is a misdemeanor to hire drivers to take voters to polling places unless they physically cannot walk.

Image from Facebook

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — President Donald Trump is calling Michigan’s top election official a “Democrat Trump Hater” after the state mistakenly created overseas absentee ballots that didn’t list Vice President Mike Pence. The ballots instead paired Trump, a Republican, with Jeremy “Spike” Cohen of the Libertarian Party. The Michigan secretary of state office acknowledged that as many as 400 ballots downloaded by local election clerks may have been erroneous. But the state said the problem was fixed within 90 minutes Tuesday.

Whitmer: No Enforcement Of Virus Rules At Trump Rallies

Sep 17, 2020
(AP PHOTO/EVAN VUCCI)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says it doesn't make sense for Michigan to enforce coronavirus restrictions at President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign rallies and also points to people's constitutional rights. The Democrat has expressed safety concerns with thousands attending a Trump rally last week, calling it a potential superspreader event. Her order restricts outdoor gatherings to no more than 100, though there's an exception for political speech.

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