Associated Press

Photo of gavel
Unsplash

Michigan residents whose unemployment claims were wrongfully rejected as fraudulent by a computer system can sue the system’s developers and state officials, a federal judge has ruled.

Five plaintiffs sued FAST Enterprises LLC, CSG Government Solutions and five state employees in 2017, alleging that the staffers’ actions and flaws with the automated computer system put them at financial risk and even bankruptcy.

In an opinion issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson dismissed one plaintiff and three defendants but ruled that the case will move forward.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, February 24, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday again vetoed about $652 million in proposed COVID-19 relief spending after the Michigan Legislature passed it without negotiating with her administration.

Majority Republicans reapproved the funding following the Democratic governor’s first veto weeks ago during a fight over an attempt to link federal funds to her agreeing to cede certain pandemic powers solely to local health departments.

Dana Nessel, Michigan Attorney General photo
Associated Press

The investigation of Michigan State University’s handling of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar is over because the university has refused to provide thousands of documents related to the scandal, Michigan’s attorney general said Friday.

Dana Nessel’s announcement came after the university said it would not change its position that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege.

Ron Weiser, left, chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, and Ronna Romney McDaniel, National Republican Committee chairwoman August 2020 photo
David Guralnick/Detroit News / Associated Press

The leader of Michigan’s Republican Party referred to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and two other top Democratic elected woman as “witches” that the GOP wants to “soften up” for a “burning at the stake” in the 2022 election.

He also joked about assassination when he was asked how to remove two GOP congressmen, Reps. Fred Upton and Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.

Ron Weiser’s statements Thursday during a local Republican meeting, which are on video, were first reported by The Detroit News on Friday.

voting sticker
Vox Efx via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 / Flickr.com

The GOP-controlled Legislature is planning a maneuver that would enable it to pass contentious election changes into law and effectively nullify a likely veto from the state’s Democratic governor, a top Michigan Republican said.

Ron Weiser, chair of the state Republican Party, told activists Thursday that the party will spearhead a ballot initiative assuming Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoes new bills that Democrats and voting-rights groups say would suppress voting. Under state law, lawmakers can enact such initiatives without a gubernatorial veto or let them go to a public vote.

Flint Water Tower
Associated Press

A judge on Friday rejected a sudden effort to extend Monday’s deadline to register for a share of a $641 million Flint water lawsuit settlement.

U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said she won’t upset a well-publicized 60-day deadline that was baked into a settlement involving Flint, the state of Michigan, residents who were exposed to lead-contaminated water, and other parties.

“Get all hands on deck and get the job done,” Levy told a group of lawyers during a hearing on Zoom.

Redistricting map legislatures and commissions graphic
associated press

Michigan’s redistricting commission will ask the state Supreme Court to delay the deadline to finish new congressional and legislative maps by nearly three months and give candidates 25 extra days to file to run.

The pending request is due to an eight-month delay in data from the U.S. Census bureau.

The 13-member panel, which had previously authorized legal action, on Thursday specified which dates to propose to the court.

Eastern Michigan University logo
Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Michigan University “turned a blind eye” to the sexual assault of students by other students, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by 11 women who said they were victims.

The lawsuit in federal court targets the university, campus police and two fraternities. It states that the assaults were committed by four men between 2015 and 2020; one, Dustyn Durbin, is facing multiple criminal charges in Ypsilanti.

Prescription drugs photo
U.S. Army via Wikimedia | Public Domain / Wikimedia.org

A series of bills that aim to make getting medication and medical care easier, more affordable and transparent passed the Michigan House Wednesday.

One area of concern has been the growing cost of insulin to manage diabetes. According to the state health department, about 870,000 adults in Michigan in 2016 had been diagnosed with diabetes, which amounts to 1 in 10 adults.

One bill would cap copays on 30-day prescriptions of insulin at $50.

Rep. Mark Tisdel said he hopes the bill will make things better for those who struggle to afford insulin.

Flint Water Tower
Associated Press

More than 30,000 registration forms have been received from people who want to participate in a $641 million Flint water lawsuit settlement.

The deadline is next Monday.

“The registrations are coming in at a pretty brisk pace but timing matters so I just want to repeat that deadline,” U.S. District Judge Judith Levy said Wednesday during a status conference that was livestreamed on Zoom.

Special Master Deborah Greenspan reported 33,341 registration forms were received as of Monday.

Your Vote Counts button
wikipedia

Michigan Republicans on Wednesday proposed a slew of election bills that would require voters to submit a photo ID, prohibit the unsolicited mass mailing of absentee ballot applications, and restrict the hours in which people could drop their ballot in curbside boxes.

basketball referee photo
pixabay

 

A Michigan high school basketball referee who pushed a coach has been suspended for the rest of the season, officials said Monday.

chalk and chalkboard in an education classroom
Public domain image via Wikimedia / wikimedia.org

Starting Monday, hundreds of Michigan school districts had to offer at least 20 hours a week of in-person instruction to receive all of a minimum $450-per-student increase in emergency pandemic funding.

The provision affects 206, or 38%, of the state’s 537 traditional K-12 districts — those with higher numbers or percentages of children from middle-class and wealthy families.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Michigan is set to expand vaccine eligibility starting Monday, a move that comes as public health experts voice fresh concerns about the state’s rising COVID-19 infection rate.

Residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccines starting Monday. Ford Field in Detroit is set to open Wednesday as Michigan’s first federally run mass vaccine site.

However, the state’s COVID-19 cases have been increasing. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said the state’s case rate spiked 77% over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million people.

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney sits in the courtroom during her arraignment, Friday March, 19, 2021 photo
Nicole Hester / Ann Arbor News via AP

Supporters boarded the doors at a western Michigan restaurant to show authorities that the owner will keep it closed, a condition necessary to spring her from jail for violating court orders related to COVID-19.

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, meanwhile, remained in custody Saturday, 90 miles away at the Ingham County jail.

Holly Shashaguay said she helped board up Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland on Friday night.

“When I painted that ‘complied’ sign, I was crying the whole time,” Shashaguay told MLive.com. “We didn’t want to do it, but we did.”

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