politics

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.

Dana Nessel photo
Dana Nessel / mi.gov

Joshua Docter has been charged with one count of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. Each count is a 20-year felony offense. The 21-year old Holland, Michigan man made death threats in January using a social media platform against President Joe Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

City of Wyoming Twitter logo
Twitter

The Wyoming [re]Imagined Master Plan was approved by its City Council on March 1st. After months of community input, the [re]Imagined Master Plan is a framework for investment, reinvestment and growth.

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.

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.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, March 2, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Allegations that New York intentionally manipulated data regarding COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes has led Republicans to demand an investigation in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — early in the pandemic — told such facilities to admit or readmit COVID-affected residents under certain conditions.

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

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday set policies regarding severance agreements with departing state employees, letting such deals continue despite criticism of payouts to some top administration officials that included confidentiality clauses.

The executive directive specifies that Michigan’s executive branch cannot agree to deny the existence of a deal or withhold its details. The measure also allows payments for something other than services rendered if the worker waives potential legal action, and the state determines it will mitigate financial risk and protect taxpayer money.

Flint Water tower photo
Associated Press

A former state official charged in the Flint water scandal asked a judge Friday to give him an opportunity to hear the evidence that led to an indictment.

Rich Baird, who was a key adviser to then-Gov. Rick Snyder, said he’s entitled to challenge the charges at a hearing known as a preliminary exam, where a judge decides if there’s probable cause to move the case forward.

Enbridge Line 5 pipeline Straits of Mackinac TV screen shot
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy / Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration released a plan Friday to make sure Michigan will have enough propane if a controversial pipeline is shut down.

The strategy addresses a frequent objection to the Democratic governor’s demand that Enbridge Inc. decommission its Line 5, a leading carrier of natural gas liquids that are refined into propane to heat many Michigan homes.

U.S. Capitol riot photo
NPR

A Michigan man accused of striking police with a hockey stick at the U.S. Capitol riot was defending other protesters who were being crushed by officers, his lawyer said.

Michael Foy, 29, of Wixom is asking a judge in Washington to release him on bond. He’s been in custody since mid-January.

Prosecutors said Foy, a former Marine, was one of the most violent protesters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, striking police at least 10 times. But his attorney offered a different version of what happened, claiming Foy saw a woman being trampled and took action.

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

Michigan announced Friday that all residents age 16 and up will become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine on April 5, nearly a month before the May 1 date pledged by President Joe Biden.

People age 16 to 49 with certain medical conditions or disabilities will qualify starting March 22, when 50- to 64-year-olds can begin getting shots under a previous announcement. Two days later, March 24, a federally selected regional mass vaccination site will open at Detroit’s Ford Field to administer an additional 6,000 doses a day for two months.

State Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township photo
David Eggert / Associated Press

The prosecutor for Michigan’s third-largest county said Thursday he will investigate nursing home-related coronavirus deaths, saying there are questions about whether the transfer of recovering patients into facilities led residents and staff to be infected.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., attends a news conference, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. photo
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

A landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that won final congressional approval on Wednesday includes a provision meant to force states to allocate aid to schools quickly, following Michigan’s ongoing delay in disbursing emergency K-12 funding that was authorized in a previous round of coronavirus funding.

Flint Water Tower
Associated Press

The Biden administration said Wednesday it was delaying the effective date of a policy intended to prevent lead pollution of drinking water, continuing a decades-old debate over how to remove a serious health hazard to children.

The Environmental Protection Agency said it was suspending a regulatory rewrite completed by the Trump administration in December, which is being challenged in court by numerous states and advocacy groups.

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