(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

As state officials work to figure out how to address tax revenue losses due to COVID-19, local governments are facing shortfalls of their own.

Whitmer Extends Coronavirus Emergency Through July 16

Jun 18, 2020
Photo provided by State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended Michigan's coronavirus emergency declaration until July 16. That enablers the Democratic governor to keep intact restrictions and orders that remain after she lifted a stay-at-home policy. Whitmer has been gradually reopening the state. She hopes to let gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys reopen by July 4. They currently are operating only in northern Michigan.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says some out-of-work Hoosiers will now have access to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits starting the week ending July 4. In total, it means that between state and federal measures, unemployed workers could access up to a year’s worth of benefits.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana fiscal officials expect the state to fall between $3 to 4 billion short of its current two-year state budget.

(Courtesy of the governor's office)

The spread of COVID-19 seems to be slowing down in Indiana – that’s according to the latest results in a statewide study of the virus, led by the Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana will not cut funding for K-12 schools, according to Gov. Eric Holcomb. At a press conference Wednesday, he said the state's budget for K-12 schools approved by lawmakers in 2019 will remain on track, despite revenue shortfalls spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb's regularly scheduled COVID-19 news conference Wednesday, one of the first topics addressed was the surge of COVID-19 cases being experienced in Elkhart and LaGrange Counties.

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.

(Brock Turner, WFIU/WTIU News)

Stay at home orders and bans for non-essential travel have kept people in their homes and grounded business travel. While experts say there is little doubt those safeguards have saved lives, the effects have been devastating for airlines.

And those like Tim Simpson, a Senior Maintenance Manager at Republic Airways, who's spent decades in hangers at the Indianapolis International Airport says aircraft can be heard taking off and landing every five minutes or so on a normal day. This time is far from normal.

Airfield Silence Makes Workers Sick

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

As Indiana casinos reopen, they’re implementing sanitization and distancing standards at gaming sites, but some workers say one important virus-prevention strategy is being left out: access to affordable health insurance.


Families and parents have questions about how and when they’ll receive new pandemic-related food stamp benefits, but the state says families should be able to call the agency for answers. 


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.


Today the LaGrange County Health Department announced that the Indiana State Dept. of Health will offer mobile COVID-19 testing in the county Thursday and Friday (June 18 and 19.)

More information is below. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana recently closed the book on maybe the most unusual election in its history – a primary, delayed by a month, that featured expanded vote-by-mail.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 42 additional confirmed deaths since Friday, bringing the state’s total to 2,240. The state announced nearly 40,000 total confirmed cases, with more than 348,000 Hoosiers tested.

Peter Ringenberg & Justin Hicks

(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.

(Scott Cameron/IPB News)

The Indiana State Department of Health is making it easier for Hoosiers to get tested for COVID-19 and assess their risk with a map of positive cases by zip code.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Higher education institutions have been asked to take a 7 percent cut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis will wait another week before following state’s lead in lifting more coronavirus restrictions on businesses. The mayor says the city will keep current limits in place until June 19, while a new statewide order from Gov. Eric Holcomb that takes effect Friday will allow movie theaters and bars to reopen and greater number of customers at restaurants and retail stores. Indianapolis has been easing restrictions more slowly than most of the rest of the state, citing a higher concentration of COVID-19 infections and the city’s greater population density.

(Courtesy of Dennis Osborn)

While doctors and nurses are risking their lives working with COVID-19 patients in hospitals, some are risking theirs working in stores and making deliveries. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Rebecca Thiele has been talking with other essential workers whose stories need to be told.

Indiana Business Leader Warns State Faces Long Recovery

Jun 11, 2020
Photo provided by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The leader of Indiana’s largest business group is warning it could be a year or more before the state’s economy fully recovers from the coronavirus-sparked recession that put one in six people out of work. Even as Indiana’s business restrictions are slowly lifted, federal statistics show about 24,000 residents applied for unemployment benefits last week for a 12th week of significant job losses. Indiana Chamber of Commerce president Kevin Brinegar says the state's economy won't be close to its pre-pandemic condition until at least next year.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana had about 24,000 people apply for unemployment benefits last week as the state marked a 12th week of significant coronavirus-related job losses. A federal report released Thursday shows new jobless aid applications submitted last week in Indiana were roughly equal to the week before. The level is about one-sixth of Indiana’s weekly peak of 139,000 in late March when coronavirus business closures first hit hard. Indiana leaders are hoping for an economic recovery as the lifting of state’s business restrictions continues.

Jake Harper/Side Effects

An Indiana Department of Correction policy may increase the spread of coronavirus in prisons by requiring “high risk” and “medium risk” staffers to report to work, Side Effects has learned. 

According to internal documents, Indiana broke with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for prisons, which says that staff should self-quarantine for 14 days after close contact with an infected person. By mid-April, the state required prison employees without symptoms to come to work — even if they live with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. 

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.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

Indiana housing advocates say the Hoosier State faces a rental housing crisis with its eviction moratorium set to expire at the end of the month.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

School leaders and educators are still figuring out what the state's latest guidance on how to reopen buildings means for them. Many worry about how to pay for some of the changes, and whether or not all of them will be needed – or possible – in different parts of the state. 

(FILE PHOTO: Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

Career and Technical Education programs across the state are preparing to offer in-person classes to high school students in July. It could be the first time students take classes in a school building since the pandemic began.

Treva Steele visited her father every day after he moved to Greenwood Healthcare Center in Greenwood, Indiana, in February. Joe Barton, who was 73, was recovering from open heart surgery and on a ventilator.   

On one of her visits, Steele walked into his room and saw him gasping for air. Soon, staff were performing CPR.  

“He was basically dying in the bed in front of me,” Steele says.

Restrictions On PPP Loan Conditions Eased

Jun 9, 2020
(Wikipedia Commons)

The Small Business Administration outlined changes made after President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into law on June 5. 

The law provides relief for small businesses forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the original legislation, 75% of loan money had to be spent on payroll. That number has been reduced to 60%.