Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 9, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Michigan on Friday eased outdoor stadium capacity restrictions before baseball’s opening day but ordered weekly rapid testing of teen athletes amid a climbing coronavirus case rate that ranks fourth nationally over the past week.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, for now, she does not plan to tighten COVID-19 restrictions her administration had gradually loosened in recent months — noting ongoing vaccinations while also citing concerns about virus variants that more easily spread.

Amway logo
Wikimedia Commons

Amway, the global direct sales giant, said it’s cutting 900 jobs, most of them at headquarters in western Michigan.

The company said it hopes to accomplish the move by offering buyouts and other incentives. The 900 jobs are equal to 6% of Amway’s global workforce.

“We are investing even more in our wellness portfolio — in science, innovation, manufacturing — while also improving our digital capabilities,” chief executive Milind Pant said in a written statement Thursday.

Trump supporters Washington Capitol photo
Julio Cortez / Associated Press

Two more Michigan men were charged Thursday after photos and other evidence showed they were at the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Robert “Bobby” Schornak and Daniel Herendeen, both from Macomb County, traveled to Washington in support of President Donald Trump and got inside the Capitol, according to the FBI.

“Cant stay home, I would not be able to live w myself,” Schornak told Herendeen in a Facebook message obtained by the FBI.

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder photo
michigan.gov

A judge on Thursday rejected a request to dismiss misdemeanor charges against a former Michigan governor in the Flint water scandal.

Lawyers for Rick Snyder said he worked in Ingham County, not Genesee County, so the indictment from a one-person grand jury was returned in the wrong place. But Judge William Crawford II said prosecutors have flexibility about where to pursue a case.

If the former Republican governor goes to trial, a jury will be asked to determine if charges of willful neglect of duty occurred in the boundaries of Flint and Genesee County, Crawford said.

Tesla logo
pngimg.com

For the second time this week, the U.S. government’s road safety agency is sending a team to investigate a Tesla crash in Michigan.

This time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sending a special crash investigation team because a Tesla using the company’s Autopilot partially automated driving system crashed into a State Police cruiser with flashing lights along a freeway.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Michigan had the country’s fifth-highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the last week and is among 14 states where infections rose over the past two weeks, a trend that may be tied to the increasing prevalence of a more contagious coronavirus variant, health officials said Wednesday.

The Contest shipwreck, Whitehall, MI Dec. 10, 2018 file image made from video and provided by WXMI-TV
WXMI-TV / Associated Press

A change in Lake Michigan water levels has revealed a shipwreck from the 1880s that is visible in western Michigan for the first time since 2018.

Experts believe it’s the wooden spine of the Contest, said Craig Rich, director of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association.

The wreckage is along the shore in Muskegon County, near where the White Lake channel meets Lake Michigan.

In 2018, major parts were seen for the first time since 1974, a result of changes in lake current, water levels and sand. Now the wreckage is visible again.

Ford Motor Company emblem
Wikimedia Commons

It's a question occupying the minds of employees who have worked from home the past year: Will they still be allowed to work remotely - at least some days - once the pandemic has faded? On Wednesday, one of America's corporate titans, Ford Motor Co., supplied its own answer: It told about 30,000 of its employees worldwide who have worked from home that they can continue to do so indefinitely, with flexible hours approved by their managers.

COVID-19 vaccine photo
Courtesy cidrap.umn.edu

A nurse staffing COVID-19 vaccinations at a downtown Detroit convention center has been detained by police for suspicion of stealing two doses of the Moderna vaccine. Detroit Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry says the woman was stopped Monday after another staff member at the TCF Center saw her take two syringes. The nurse is employed by a firm that contracts with the city. Berry says no one missed getting vaccinated. Detroit police officers are among about 200 people staffing vaccinations at the center.

Tesla logo
pngimg.com

Michigan State Police say a Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Lansing-area state trooper's patrol car early Wednesday. Police said neither the trooper nor the 22-year-old Lansing man who was driving the Tesla were injured in 1:10 a.m. crash on Interstate 96 in Eaton County. WLNS-TV reports that the crash occurred as the trooper was investigating a collision between a car and a deer. Police said the trooper's patrol car's emergency lights were activated when the Tesla drove into the patrol car.

Jocelyn Benson, Michigan Secretary of State
mi.gov

Michigan's secretary of state is aiming to have Michigan join most of the rest of the country in expanding public information requests to the governor and Legislature. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is kicking off Sunshine Week on Monday by laying out a government transparency plan in which she asked the Legislature to take up the measures. Michigan is one of two states that exempts the governor's office from Freedom of Information Act requests and is one of eight states that exempt elected legislators.

Comerica Park photo
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan appears poised to amend a 1,000-patron limit so more Detroit Tigers fans can attend home games on Opening Day and after. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said Monday that the state health department has had talks with the team "to find a safe path forward to expand capacity limits at the stadium." A state order says outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities can have no more than 1,000 customers gathered. Critics, including Republican lawmakers, say that is too low since Comerica Park holds more than 41,000. Opening Day is April 1.

Downtown Grand Rapids
Wikimedia.org

An old furniture factory in Grand Rapids could become the home of 750 apartments, and many of them would be small "micro units." Developers of the Sligh Furniture building hope to appear before the Grand Rapids Planning Commission in the months ahead. More than 440 apartments would be "micro units" ácovering 475 square feet, according to documents presented to a board that reviews economic development. MLive.com reports the project is led by Detroit-based Sturgeon Bay Partners.

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

Legislation working its way through the Michigan Legislature aims to clean up the state’s voter registration rolls.

The measure calls for those who haven’t voted since the November 2000 election or who have “placeholder” birthdates in the state’s voter rolls to have their registration marked as challenged until they respond to a mailing from the Secretary of State’s office.

Michigan farm photo
michigan.org

Seven farmland preservation programs in Michigan will share $1.8 million in grants.

The funding awarded by Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development along with the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund Board will allow the programs to close on permanent agricultural conservation easements.

The grants cover up to 75% of the costs for purchasing the development rights on agricultural land. It also helps pay for some of the closing costs associated with the conservation easements.

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