Michigan

Flint Water Tower photo
Associated Press

Lawyers who negotiated a $641 million settlement for victims of Flint’s lead-contaminated water are asking a judge to set aside up to 32% for fees and expenses for years of work on the case.

If granted, the request would total $202 million in fees and $7 million in expenses for dozens of attorneys who made a deal with the state of Michigan, Flint, a hospital and an engineering firm, according to a court filing Monday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, January 22, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking Michiganders to turn on the lights outside their homes for an hour to remember thousands of people who have died from COVID-19.

The remembrance will occur from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, one year after the state first confirmed coronavirus cases. Michigan has seen more than 16,600 confirmed or probable deaths tied to the disease and more than 658,000 infections — spurred by surges last spring and in the fall and winter.

The governor said, with an allusion to the COVID-19 crisis, that she’s ready to sign a bill, calling it “the right thing to do.”

“The vaccine for discrimination is legislation. We’re going to administer it so the state can build back better for all Michiganders.”

LGBTQ+ flag photo
pixabay.com

LGBTQ protections will be added to state civil rights law either by the legislative process or Michigan voter approval, two Democratic state legislators vowed Monday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Metro Detroit Sen. Jeremy Moss and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky at a news conference to announce what they believe will be the last push needed to add sexual orientation and gender identity or expression protections to Michigan law, 40 years after the Elliott-Laren Civil Rights Act was signed.

Attorney General Frank J. Kelley,Dec. 16, 1998 file photo
Dale Atkins / Associated Press

Frank J. Kelley, affectionately called the “eternal general” for his 37 years as Michigan’s longest-serving attorney general, has died at age 96, his family said Saturday.

Kelley, a Democrat, served from 1961 to 1999, winning statewide election 10 times. He moved to Naples, Florida, in 2020 and died Friday night, said spokesman Chris De Witt, who didn’t give a cause of death.

Fireworks photo
Thomas Hawk via Wikimedia | CC BY 2.0 / wikimedia.org

A Lake Michigan community in southwestern Michigan is canceling a popular fireworks show months before the July 4 holiday.

Organizers said the spread of COVID-19 would be too risky, despite the availability of vaccines. The South Haven show usually attracts 50,000 people to the area.

“Out of an abundance of caution, city leadership decided to cancel the show this year with hopes to resume in 2022,” City Manager Kate Hosier said.

The summer fireworks show requires work months before the event, especially to obtain a federal permit to use a Lake Michigan pier.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

A war veteran who said he believes in small government explained Friday how he became an FBI informant in a federal investigation of an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The man, identified only as Dan, testified in a Jackson County court at a hearing to determine if three men will face trial. He said he learned about the Wolverine Watchmen by checking social media and was given access to an private online group by answering a few questions.

Redistricting map legislatures and commissions graphic
associated press

Michigan’s redistricting commission will ask the state Supreme Court to push back the Nov. 1 deadline to finalize new political maps, citing an eight-month delay in data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The panel authorized the legal step Friday.

Under a 2018 constitutional amendment forming the commission, it must adopt once-a-decade congressional and legislative lines no later than Nov. 1. It has to propose a plan or plans for public comment by Sept. 17, before the census data will be released.

Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit photo
Carlos Osorio / Associated Press

Detroit this week turned down 6,200 doses of the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, with Mayor Mike Duggan favoring shots from Pfizer and Moderna for now.

“Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best,” he said Thursday. “And I am going to do everything I can to make sure that residents of the city of Detroit get the best.”

wikipedia.com

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and members of Michigan’s congressional delegation visited National Guard troops today in Washington. They were stationed there in the aftermath of the assault on the nation’s capital.

Governor Whitmer had to agree to deploy roughly a thousand Michigan Guard troops to DC and says she has “no plans” to agree to an extension beyond the March 12 return date.

A coalition of business groups is calling on the governor and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration to allow more people to return to offices to do their jobs.

The MIOSHA rule expires April 14th, but it can be renewed for six months. It says people can’t go to the office if they can work from home.

   Veronica Horn with the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

“Zoom is nice, but it simply doesn’t replace the need for in-person work in complex situations. I think we’ve all learned it’s hard to innovate and collaborate from our kitchen tables.”

Gun rights were the center of a passionate state Senate debate today. The issue was a resolution opposing efforts at the federal or state levels to impose new firearm restrictions.
 

The resolution was adopted on a party-line vote. It won’t change laws or policies, but still sparked angry exchanges.

   “How dare you?”

   Senator Erika Geiss is a Democrat from Taylor. She called the resolution an insult with the memory still fresh of armed protestors crowding the Senate gallery last year.

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

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced growing criticism Tuesday after the disclosure of two additional employment-separation deals for former top officials, a day after her administration acknowledged that a key leader in the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was paid $155,000 following his sudden resignation.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, January 22, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced the further loosening of Michigan’s coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and a host of other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The revised state health department order will take effect Friday and last through April 19.

JeDonna Matthews Dinges photo
Clarence Tabb, Jr. / Detroit News via AP

No charges will be filed against a suburban Detroit man who displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in his window next to the home of a Black family. Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the incident in Grosse Pointe Park was "horrible" but doesn't count as ethnic intimidation under Michigan law. Worthy says the law requires physical contact, property damage or threats. JeDonna Dinges says the flag was hanging next door in a window directly across from her dining room. The flag was removed after police with large cloths visited the home and made a switch.

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