Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the official Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Photo of the Outside of Mercy Health Saint Mary's clinic in southwest Grand Rapids
Mercy Health Saint Mary's

Despite facing a $4 million dollar loss in government grant funding Mercy Health has announced it will not be closing Clinica Santa Maria located in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood in the southwest side of Grand Rapids. Doctor Hyung Kim who heads Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, says their plan is to not just continue to offer health services to uninsured and underinsured patients at the clinic but expand them. 

Gretchen Whitmer campaign photo

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Feb. 4. Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas will deliver the Spanish-language response. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement Friday.

Voting booths photo

A liberal group has dropped part of its lawsuit challenging Michigan's law regarding same-day voter registration at polling places, after the state clarified people can register at satellite locations. Super PAC Priorities USA filed an amended suit Tuesday in the Court of Claims. It pointed to a memo in which the state told local clerks satellite offices can also be used for voter registration including on Election Day. The guidance also said it is permissible to establish a satellite office at a polling location.

Lunch table setting photo

A group has launched a ballot drive that would target lobbying in Michigan's Capitol by banning free food and drink for state elected officials, requiring former lawmakers to wait two years to become lobbyists and creating a new system to track lobbying activities. The Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes filed language for the proposed constitutional amendment with the state elections board on Thursday. The effort is being spearheaded by Progress Michigan, a liberal advocacy organization.

Dr. Paul Isely, 2020 Economic Forecast, DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI
Valerie Wojciechowski /

West Michigan’s economy is in the midst of a manufacturing recession. The details were revealed during Thursday’s 2020 Colliers Annual Economic and Commercial Real Estate Forecast was held at DeVos Place.

Both the U.S. and Michigan’s manufacturing sector are in recession.

“Right now, as we stand here in the United States and in West Michigan, have a sectoral recession happening in a part of the economy that is 20% to 25% of Michigan.”

Person holding a newspaper with a front-page that has the words "business"

The investment fund is based in Grand Rapids to support business owners of color. The fund is a partnership with Bank of America and the Consumers Energy Foundation. Each of them have provided $200,000 in initial start up capital. Birgit Klohs from the Right Place says the goal is to raise between $15 and $25 million in capital over the next year to launch the fund in 2021.

A liberal advocacy group has taken an early step to put a proposed amendment to the state constitution on the ballot this year. It would place new controls on lobbying state elected officials.

The proposed amendment is lengthy – eight pages. It includes limits on gifts and meals for state elected officials and senior staffers. It would require logs of meetings, phone calls and other communications between lobbyists and lawmakers. Also. a two-year period before a legislator could become a paid lobbyist.

Peterson Farms sign photo
Clark Communications

Peterson Farm Incorporated annually processes 150 million pounds of fruit products including apples, sliced apples, sweet and tart cherries, peaches, blueberries and more. It also seven million gallons of apple juices and ciders.

It's now expanding into juice bottling, applesauce lines from out-of-state facilities along with plans for apple peeling and additional blueberry processing.

A $22 million dollar investment will expand production space by more than 35,000 square feet allowing Peterson Farms to process an additional 115 million pounds of Michigan grown fruits.

Republican leaders in the Legislature say they are ready to adopt a petition-initiated bill to place new restrictions on abortion.
                Republicans are looking to press the limits of the Roe versus Wade decision.

Republicans in the Legislature are waiting for state elections officials to certify the petition signatures are valid. The initiative would outlaw the procedure known medically as dilation and evacuation.
                House Speaker Lee Chatfield says he knows the votes are there because the House has already adopted an almost identical bill.