Michigan News

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Michigan Governor Bans Public Gatherings Of 250 Or More

Mar 12, 2020
AP Photo/David Eggert


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order banning public gatherings of 250 people or more. The purpose is to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The governor says she has this extraordinary temporary power under the Michigan Emergency Management Act. The order takes effect today at 5pm.

The order does not cover industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, or shopping for groceries and other consumer goods. 

Read the governor's order here. 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have agreed to $321 million in spending that will be used to combat the coronavirus, provide financial assistance for older adults go to community college and partially revive the state's tourism advertising campaign.

The supplemental bills won bipartisan approval from the Republican-led House on Tuesday and could be passed by the GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday.

The Democratic governor will sign the legislation.

Democrats Buoyed By High Turnout In Michigan Primary

Mar 11, 2020
Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democrats are buoyed that a record-high number of peopled voted in Michigan's Democratic presidential primary, which was won by Joe Biden.

Nearly 1.6 million people cast ballots on the Democratic side Tuesday.

That is almost 380,000 more than four years ago — a 31% increase. Michigan Democratic Party Chairwoman Lavora Barnes says Democratic voters are ready to hold President Donald Trump accountable in the November election.

Turnout was down on the Republican side, though that was expected since Trump faced no serious challenge.


Michigan residents who support Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign are disappointed by the election results. But many say they remain optimistic.

Former Vice President Joe Biden was projected to win Michigan's primary shortly after the polls closed last night.

Michael Fasullo is the Michigan coordinator for the Sanders campaign.

He says he’s remaining optimistic that people will keep fighting for what Sanders’ campaign stands for.

AP Photo/David Eggert

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say two people in the Detroit area have tested positive for the coronavirus infection.

A woman in Oakland County had traveled outside the country, while a man from Wayne County had traveled within the U.S.

They are in hospitals and are middle-aged. Both cases will be reviewed by federal health experts. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and urged people to wash their hands and avoid touching their faces. More recommendations are expected in coming days.

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun is the Chief Medical Executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says this is likely just the beginning of more cases in Michigan.

"These are the first known cases of Covid-19 here in the state of Michigan. It is very likely that we will see more cases and that there will be community spread. We need everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of the disease as much as possible."

The patients are in hospitals.

Both cases will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control. 

Michigan School District Votes To Drop Redskins Nickname

Mar 10, 2020

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — A school district in southwestern Michigan is dropping its Redskins nickname and mascot after the superintendent urged school board members to end the contentious name.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Five states have primaries and one state is caucusing today. Political analysts say Michigan is the state to watch. 

New Michigan Absentee Rules Could Impact Biden-Sanders Race

Mar 10, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bernie Sanders is looking to Michigan to rekindle his presidential campaign in the same way his surprise primary victory here four years ago did.

The state's primary, the largest delegate prize in this week's slate of Democratic contests, also presents a resurgent Joe Biden with a chance to continue his momentum.

Voters will enjoy expanded rights in the state's first major election since the approval of a 2018 constitutional amendment that has resulted in a surge of early voting.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Former Vice President Joe Biden plans events of both sides of Michigan today as he heads toward what could be a pivotal Democratic primary election in Michigan on Tuesday. 



Biden is scheduled to campaign in Grand Rapids before attending a fundraiser in Metro Detroit and then holding an evening rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit.


He’s had a flood of high-profile endorsements since his sweeping series of wins on Super Tuesday made him the Democratic frontrunner for the nomination.


David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan health insurers say they will cover the cost of medically necessary tests for the new coronavirus for people covered under employer and individual health plans.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, meanwhile, announced late Friday the waiving of testing and treatment fees for Medicaid recipients.

Michigan currently has no known COVID-19 cases, but infections have been identified in about half of the states.

Sanders Campaigns In Michigan This Weekend

Mar 7, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Bernie Sanders is campaigning across Michigan this weekend, the state with most delegates available in next Tuesday's crucial presidential primary elections.


Sanders is fighting to regain momentum lost to Joe Biden after the Super Tuesday primaries.



Bernie Sanders' surprise win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan’s primary four years ago jump started his campaign.


Now Sanders again enters Michigan trailing a rival, this time Joe Biden.


MichMash-March 6: Pot

Mar 6, 2020
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Michigan’s budding marijuana market is off to a slow start. As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about why that is and whether it can eventually catch up to other states.

Michigan: Presidential Primary Count To Be Later Than Normal

Mar 6, 2020
Benson's Facebook page

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's top election official says to expect later-than-typical results from next week's presidential primary because of a surge of absentee ballots and other factors.

Michigan Lawmaker Disciplined After Sexual Harassment Probe

Mar 6, 2020
David Eggert/AP Photo/File

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawmaker has been stripped of a committee chairmanship and ordered to undergo training after the state Senate concluded allegations of sexual harassment lodged by several women, including a legislator, were credible.

Ex-Football, Hockey Players Sue University Of Michigan

Mar 5, 2020
Robert Kalmbach/Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan via AP

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — Three former University of Michigan athletes have filed lawsuits against the school, alleging that a late doctor sexually assaulted them while the men were members of the football and hockey teams in the 1980s.

Art Van Furniture To Close All Stores

Mar 5, 2020
Image provided courtesy of Art Van

WARREN, Mich. - Art Van announced today it has made the difficult decision to wind down operations and begin liquidation sales at all of its company owned stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer Endorses Biden Days Before Primary

Mar 5, 2020


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is backing Joe Biden for president days before the state's Democratic primary.

Whitmer's endorsement gives the former vice president another boost after his Super Tuesday success. Whitmer had not planned to endorse a candidate but told The Associated Press on Thursday that Biden “showed up for the people of Michigan" when they needed him.

Paw Paw School District Might Drop Redskins Next Week

Mar 5, 2020
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) — The leader of a school district in southwestern Michigan will recommend that the Redskins nickname be dropped.

Paw Paw Superintendent Rick Reo said he will take the message to the school board on March 9.

Reo says the nickname is an obstacle to welcoming all students. Reo joined the district in 2018, first as high school principal and now superintendent.

The Paw Paw board voted in 2017 to keep the nickname and mascot.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The leading Democratic presidential candidates are heading for Michigan…as the state prepares for party primary elections next week.

Judge Invalidates Michigan Medicaid Work Requirements

Mar 4, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has invalidated Michigan's Medicaid work requirements, weeks after a U.S. appeals court affirmed his decision to strike down similar rules elsewhere.

Warren Rallies Michigan Voters On Super Tuesday

Mar 4, 2020
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is vowing to remain in the Democratic presidential race, despite a lackluster showing on Super Tuesday.

Warren spent Super Tuesday evening in Michigan, which is one of a half-dozen states holding a primary or caucus next week.



Warren barely mentioned Super Tuesday at her rally in Detroit.

Instead she told the crowd what she calls the threat to women, people of color and the global climate posed by Donald Trump, is too great to ignore.


Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

DETROIT (AP) — It's not too late: Voters who used an absentee ballot for Michigan's March 10 presidential primary election can change their preference and vote again.

At least eight Democratic candidates have dropped out of the race since Michigan absentee ballots were printed.

They include Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor, and Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Absentee voting in Michigan is up substantially now that voters can cast an absentee ballot for any reason.


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 6,000 people have applied to serve on Michigan's new commission that will draw districts for seats in Congress and the state Legislature.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said nearly half of the applications have been processed.

Her department is now accepting public comments on a method to identify 200 semifinalists. Ultimately 13 commissioners will be randomly selected: four affiliated with the Republican Party, four affiliated with the Democratic Party and five with no affiliation.

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Ex-offenders face many obstacles when they’re released from prison. It’s especially hard for people with felonies on their records to find a place to live.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about how that problem plays out  in Michigan.


DETROIT (AP) — The state of Michigan has agreed to pay $80 million to settle a class-action lawsuit on behalf of male teens who said they were sexually assaulted in prison while housed with adults.

The deal closes years of litigation.

The lawsuit accused the Corrections Department of failing to prevent the assaults.

The department had denied the allegations and aggressively fought the lawsuit.

But Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said the settlement allows the state to "move forward and brings closure for the inmates.”

Former Michigan Wrestlers Urge More Victims To 'Speak Up'

Feb 27, 2020
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — Former University of Michigan wrestler Tad DeLuca has identified himself as the whistleblower whose 2018 complaint accusing the late Dr. Robert E. Anderson of sexual assault led to a police investigation.

Michigan A.G. Warns Of Coronavirus Scams

Feb 26, 2020
Vernon Yuen for NPR

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the State Department of Health and Human Services are warning people to watch out for scams related to the coronavirus.


PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A Michigan man has been sentenced to 14-20 years in a Nebraska prison for the crash death of a 71-year-old woman.

Sarpy County District Court records say Abram Sollman was sentenced Monday in Papillion.

He'd been convicted in December of vehicular homicide while driving drunk, drunken driving and reckless driving.

Sollman, of Dowagiac, Michigan, was arrested after the Feb. 1, 2019, crash that killed Cassandra Clausen, who lived in Gretna.

Consumers Energy Plans Net Zero Carbon Emissions By 2040

Feb 25, 2020
Consumers Energy

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — Consumers Energy says it plans to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2040.

The utility based in Jackson, Michigan, announced the goal Monday.

It follows release of a plan last year for providing electricity to about 6.7 million Michigan residents over the next two decades.

President and CEO Patti Poppe says Consumers hasn't settled on all the details for reducing carbon output from the power it generates or buys for customers.


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Republican congressman Fred Upton says he will seek re-election to his Sixth Congressional District seat.

In announcing his re-election bid Monday, Upton says there is ``unfinished” business that has to be completed, including fighting the opioid epidemic and immigration reform.

The 66-year-old Upton Upton was being watched closely as a potential House retiree as Republicans struggle to try regaining the chamber majority in the November elections.