Michigan News

Michigan Judge Strikes Down Open Carry Ban At Polling Places On Election Day

Oct 27, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

BREAKING: A Michigan judge has struck down Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s ban on the open carry of guns at polling places on Election Day. Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray issued the decision Tuesday. Unless it’s reversed by a higher court, it applies to voting places and absentee counting boards next Tuesday. The only exception would be churches and other places that are already allowed to forbid the open carry of guns. 

Judge Christopher Murray acted just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups. They said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, had exceeded her authority in banning people from openly carrying guns within 100 feet of polling places. Critics argued that Benson failed to go through a formal rule-making process as required under state law.

Michigan's Attorney General intends to appeal. 

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A lawsuit filed with the Michigan Court of Claims challenges Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s Election Day instructions to some poll watchers. The lawsuit says Benson’s COVID-19 distancing rules will make it too hard for poll challengers to keep track of what’s happening.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A judge has rejected a challenge to Michigan’s online request system for absentee ballots. Critics claim the online option violates Michigan law, which requires a signed application. But Judge Cynthia Stephens says critics waited too long to seek an injunction and “merely theorize” that fraud might occur. The secretary of state started online absentee voter applications in June. Signatures on file for a driver's license or a state ID are good enough to get a ballot. More than 74,000 voters have submitted online applications for an absentee ballot.

More Time Sought To Indict In Governor Kidnapping Case

Oct 26, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is reporting more than 3,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus — the highest yet during the pandemic — amid what a top health official calls “alarming increases” in infections around the state. The 3,338 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services surpasses the state’s previous single-day record of 2,030 new cases set on Oct. 15. The state agency also reported Saturday 35 more deaths, raising Michigan’s pandemic toll to 7,182 deaths. Dr.

(Jackson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A judge has slashed bond to $100,000 for a man accused of assisting in a scheme to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and commit other violence against state government. A defense attorney says Pete Musico's alleged role was overstated by prosecutors. Kareem Johnson says Musico was kicked out of the group because he was too "soft" and wouldn't commit to violence. Judge Michael Klaeren reduced Musico's bond, clearing the way for his release from jail. Authorities allege members of two anti-government paramilitary groups plotted to kidnap Whitmer.

STEVE BURNS/WTIU

DETROIT (AP) — A federal appeals court has suspended a decision that would allow groups to offer free or reduced price rides to polling places in Michigan. The court issued a stay to allow the Republican-controlled Legislature to appeal the ruling by a federal judge in Flint. Since 1895, Michigan has banned paying someone to transport a voter unless the voter can’t walk. It was aimed at preventing fraud or undue influence. But Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis said the state law conflicted with federal law. Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, declined to appeal.

Whitmer: Michigan At 'Dangerous Moment' As Virus Cases Spike

Oct 21, 2020
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is warning that Michigan on average has more confirmed daily cases of the coronavirus than ever, noting a sharp increase since the state Supreme Court invalidated her sweeping orders earlier this month. Since the court decision on Oct. 2, the seven-day case average is up to 1,818 — nearly double. The governor says Michigan is at a "dangerous moment." She pleaded Wednesday for people to wear a mask and socially distance.

JOELLE SEDLMEYER / GETTY IMAGES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an order to allow more in-person visits with people in nursing homes. The order applies to facilities in counties the state has identified as “low risk.”

University Of Michigan Students Told To Hunker Down For Two Weeks

Oct 20, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT (AP) — Students at the University of Michigan must stay in place for two weeks after a surge of coronavirus cases driven by social gatherings on and off campus. The Washtenaw County health department says the surge is overwhelming its ability to confront the pandemic. More than 1,000 students have been infected since the start of the fall term, despite limits on the size of gatherings and classes that are mostly held online. Students can attend in-person classes and also leave their residence for exercise, work, food, medical appointments, voting and religious services.

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Voter fraud is low in Michigan, but more than 10,000 people had their vote thrown out last election due to errors. Here are four common mistakes to avoid.

Man Charged In Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Released On Bail

Oct 20, 2020
(Columbia County Sheriffs Department via AP)

 

Michigan Secretary Of State: Drop Off Absentee Ballot, Don't Mail It

Oct 20, 2020
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan's top election official says 1.5 million people with absentee ballots still in hand should put them in a drop box or take them to their local clerk's office rather than use the mail with two weeks to go until the presidential election. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday hand delivering a ballot ensures it arrives by 8 p.m. on Election Night and is counted. She also urged people who still want an absentee ballot to request it in person instead of by mail. More than 3 million absentee ballots have been requested.

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA)

OWOSSO, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer says misdemeanor charges are being dropped against a Michigan barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and reopened his shop during the coronavirus pandemic. Karl Manke says it's “definitely a weight” off his shoulders. Barbershops and salons were closed for months until June 15. But the 77-year-old Manke reopened in early May, declaring that “government is not my mother.” Attorney David Kallman says the Shiawassee County prosecutor is dropping the case because of a recent Michigan Supreme Court decision about the governor's powers.  

https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1633---,00.html

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Registered to vote in Michigan? Monday is the deadline to sign up online for the Nov. 3 election. Residents also can register by mail if the application is postmarked by Monday. If people miss Monday's deadline, they can still register through Election Day. But they must go to their local clerk's office with a document verifying their residency. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says officials are "seeing an incredible amount of enthusiasm" about the election. More than 1 million absentee ballots have been returned so far.

 

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

 

Michigan Court Stops 2-Week Absentee Ballot Extension

Oct 16, 2020
(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has blocked a 14-day extension to accept and count absentee ballots. The court says any changes must rest with the Legislature, not the judiciary. Michigan law says absentee ballots must be turned in by election night to be valid. But a Court of Claims judge had ordered that any ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 could be counted if they arrived within two weeks after the Nov. 3 election.

NEW: Judge Finds Cases Against 5 In Whitmer Plot Can Move Forward

Oct 16, 2020

NEW (Oct. 16):

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that prosecutors have provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state's governor. A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme. U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Berens said Friday that the five men's cases can go to a grand jury, which will determine whether to issue indictments. That is required for them to face trial. Berens is also set to consider Friday whether two of the men should be denied bond.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s chief health officer is warning that the state could be beginning a second wave of the coronavirus as cases rise along with the number of people in hospitals. The state says Michigan had 89 new cases per 1 million people per day, up from 81.6 cases last week. About 700 people with COVID-19 were in hospitals, up about 20% from last week. The rate of positive tests has ticked up to 3.6% from 3.4%. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, says it's critical to wear masks and avoid large gatherings.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

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
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

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
Photo provided by the State of Michigan

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.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

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.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

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.

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