Associated Press

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine distribution photo
Jake May/The Flint Journal / Associated Press

Michigan will begin vaccinating seniors and front-line workers such as teachers and police against the coronavirus next week. State officials on Wednesday announced a plan to accelerate access for people who are at least 65 years old. The state had planned to next immunize those 75 and older and essential workers including first responders, prison guards and child care providers. But residents age 65 to 74 will be included, too. Seniors can book appointments by contacting county health departments and other local vaccine clinics.

Meijer storefront photo
Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pocket vetoed proposed tax breaks for retail chain Meijer and separate legislation that would have let certain businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic defer their property tax payments without facing penalties or interest.

The Republican-led Legislature passed the bills largely along party lines before adjourning last month. The Democratic governor, who let them die at the close of a 14-day review period Monday, did not specify why.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Nearly 2,300 additional cases of the COVID-19 virus and 189 more deaths have been reported by health officials in Michigan. The numbers posted Tuesday on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website brings the total number of confirmed virus cases in the state to 504,410 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Total deaths due to the virus have reached 12,867. Of the deaths reported Tuesday, 117 were identified during a review of vital records. More than 350,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus.

Betsy DeVos U.S. Secretary of Education portrait
wikipedia

In a farewell letter to Congress, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate. Monday's letter does not explicitly acknowledge President Donald Trump's election defeat nor does it refer to Biden by name. Instead, it gives lawmakers "some encouragement and closing thoughts" as DeVos prepares to exit the Education Department. DeVos' letter offers an unemotional farewell to a Congress that had a chilly relationship with her from the start.

U.S. Rep. Candice Miller portrait
wikipedia

Candice Miller says she won't run for Michigan governor in 2022. Miller is a popular public works commissioner in Macomb County who has tackled environmental problems since leaving Congress. Miller, a Republican, was just re-elected to another four-year term. Miller says improving water quality and maintaining local infrastructure are her priorities. Miller comes from a large county and has statewide name recognition as a former secretary of state. It's a significant name to scratch off the list as the Republican Party looks for candidates to challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2022.

UAW logo
wikipedia

A judge has cut 18 months off a 5 1/2-year prison sentence for a former Fiat Chrysler executive who looted a training center for auto workers. Al Iacobelli's sentence reduction was a reward for cooperation in an investigation of corruption at the United Auto Workers. Iacobelli was the head of labor relations at Fiat Chrysler. Iacobelli admitted to showering more than $1.5 million in cash and gifts on high-ranking members of the union to gain an advantage during negotiations, including a $262,000 mortgage payoff.

Fiat Chrysler logo
Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Shareholders of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Peugeot have voted to merge the U.S.-Italian and French carmakers to create world's 4th-largest auto company. The merger is built on the promise of cost savings in the capital-hungry industry. But what remains to be seen is if the long-sought tie-up will be able to preserve jobs and heritage brands in a global market still suffering the shakeout from the pandemic. Shareholders of both companies on Monday overwhelmingly approved the deal to for the new company, which will be called Stellantis.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Screenshot

Michigan survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their families will have an added level of privacy through a confidentiality measure signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Jail cell bars photo
Wikimedia

A program that seeks community-based alternatives to the practice of locking up youth offenders or placing them in rehabilitation facilities outside their homes has come to communities in Michigan.

The nonprofit Youth Advocate Programs is working with Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services on the effort in Saginaw, Mecosta, Osceola, Ogemaw, Roscommon, Isabella and Clare counties.

Funding from Ballmer Group to Youth Advocate Programs Inc., is helping with startup costs.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Michigan averaged about 3,000 new coronavirus cases a day from Thursday through Saturday, the state health department said.

The state also reported 265 additional deaths from COVID-19, including 211 from days or weeks ago that were confirmed through a records check. Michigan is close to 12,600 deaths since last March.

More than 71,000 people in the state have received a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 500 clinics are scheduled in upcoming weeks, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.

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