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Cheyna Roth

Capitol Reporter

Cheyna Roth

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR.

Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN.

Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker.

Ways to Connect

FLICKR USER 401(K) / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Healthy Michigan means better credit for Michigan’s low-income residents. That’s according to a new study on the state’s Medicaid expansion released Monday. It found that people on the plan improved their financial health after getting the insurance coverage.

Sarah Miller is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. She worked on the study. Miller says they found that because people were in less financial stress health-wise, they didn’t overdraw their credit cards and they paid bills on time. That means their credit scores got better.

Marijuana
USFWS

The state is trying to figure out the “best way forward” for medical marijuana patients and shops. A judge ordered the state to allow all medical marijuana dispensaries to stay open while they wait for their licenses to be approved by a state board.

Attorney Denise Pollicella represents Montrowe dispensary.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder has submitted a waiver to require people on Healthy Michigan to work for their health insurance benefits. 

Christopher Graveline
cg4ag.com

Michigan voters just got another choice for attorney general candidates in the November election.

The Board of State Canvassers certified former Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Graveline as a non-party candidate Friday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan voters will not be able to fill in just one bubble for an entire party in the November election.

A group has been fighting to put straight-ticket voting on this year’s general election ballot. That’s after the Legislature banned the practice several years ago.

Larry Nassar
Michigan Attorney General's office

Larry Nassar’s requests to be resentenced are now in the hands of the Michigan Court of Appeals.

An Eaton County judge denied the former Michigan State University sports doctor’s request. Nassar sexually assaulted his young female patients for years. Lately, he’s been trying to get a new sentencing hearing.

Nassar was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison in both an Ingham County Court and an Eaton County Court. An Ingham County judge had previously denied his request for a new sentence.

pile of one dollar bills
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two measures that were headed to the November ballot are now law. The state Legislature voted to increase the state’s minimum wage and allow employees to get earned sick time. However, the laws do not take immediate effect.

Some supporters of the proposals are now concerned about what the Legislature will do next.

The Legislature passed the measures instead of the voters, so it can make changes to the laws with a simple majority. But if the voters had passed the measures, the Legislature would have needed a 3/4 majority for any amendments.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

The state Legislature is back this week and Democrats want to see action on protecting people from chemicals in drinking water.

The term PFAS describes a family of chemicals that’s been used in things like fire-fighting foam. It’s been found in the water of communities all across the state. The chemicals have been linked to serious health problems, including cancer.  

picture of Lansing capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are finalizing their fall agenda.

There’s only nine session days scheduled between now and Election Day. Lawmakers will try to spend as much time as possible campaigning in their districts.

Democrats in the state House are hoping to hold hearings on the issues surrounding Michigan’s groundwater. Over in the Senate, Republicans are keeping the agenda open.

Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University say the National Collegiate Athletic Association has ended its inquiry into the school’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints.

The school announced the end of the inquiry Thursday.

protesters carrying signs
Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has misled a federal court about whether Iraqi detainees can go back to Iraq.

Christopher Graveline
cg4ag.com

The Michigan Secretary of State is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that an independent candidate must go on the November ballot – despite not having enough valid signatures to qualify.

A federal court recently said that Christopher Graveline must appear on the November ballot if at least 5-thousand of the signatures he submitted are valid. Graveline got more than that, but only about half of the signatures an independent would normally need to get on the ballot in the state Attorney General race. So he sued the state.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Convicted former Michigan State University sports doctor, Larry Nassar, will not get a new sentence – for now.

Nassar was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting seven former patients under the guise of medical treatment.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Democratic Party finalized its portion of the November ballot this weekend.

The Democrats held a so-called Endorsement Convention in April. It was there that they decided which candidates to throw their weight behind for races like attorney general and secretary of state.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Republican party has it’s ticket finalized for the November election.

While multiple people called for unity…there is still some discontent within the party.

The theme was “Results Not Resistance.” The Michigan GOP has been somewhat fractured since the primary.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan State University says it will find a new, permanent president by June of 20-19 – And now it has a committee in place to help find the right person for the job.

Democratic candidate for governor, Gretchen Whitmer, chose her running mate today.

Detroiter Garlin Gilchrist will join Whitmer on the November ballot. Gilchrist is a former director of Innovation and Emerging Technology for the city of Detroit. He was also endorsed by progressive groups in a prior campaign for Detroit City Clerk.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio

Attorney General Bill Schuette has chosen Lisa Posthumus Lyons as his running mate for the November election. Schuette is the Republican nominee for governor – he won about 50 percent of his party’s vote in the primary.

If Schuette is successful in the general election, Lyons will be the state’s next Lieutenant Governor.

larry nassar in court
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Larry Nassar’s attempt to have a new judge consider his appeal in Ingham County has been denied. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

A billionaire took his fight to impeach President Donald Trump to Lansing Monday. This time with a slightly new message.

Tom Steyer, a Democratic activist and hedge fund manager, launched his Need to Vote campaign – with 10 million dollars going toward the effort. The plan is from now until the general election in November, to get as many people to vote as possible. The goal is to elect enough people to national office across the US that are willing to impeach Trump that the president can be removed from office.

Marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A state board has approved 16 medical marijuana licenses. Licenses have been approved at all stages of the medical marijuana system– from dispensaries to testing labs. But there’s been some concern about having enough pot shops open for patients.

Starting September 15th, any dispensary that doesn’t have a license will have to close.

David Harns is a spokesperson for the Bureau of Medical Marihuana Regulation. He says once the deadline hits, there should be enough open dispensaries to meet the need.

Rick Snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder is not endorsing a candidate for governor. Attorney General Bill Schuette won his party’s nomination after Tuesday’s primary. Schuette went up against Snyder’s own Lieutenant Governor, Brian Calley.

Snyder and Schuette have had a fraught relationship. Schuette is currently prosecuting several people in Snyder’s administration over the Flint Water Crisis, and Snyder backed Calley during the primary.

But now, Snyder says he’s just going to focus on being a governor.

A cow.
Amanda Kerr / Unsplash

Michigan dairy farmers are getting a $510 million boost. Two new dairy processing facilities are scheduled to be built in St. Johns, north of Lansing. The plants are expected to create more than 250 new jobs.

“This is a tremendous win for the dairy farmers in our state, for all of Michigan,” said Governor Rick Snyder, who is a fan of Michigan’s cows.

“We have the second most productive cows in the entire nation, second only to Colorado and they’re not even close in terms of number of cows,” Snyder said. “So, we have the best cows in the country.”

hand holding I VOTED sticker
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Michiganders flocked to the polls Tuesday in numbers that haven’t been matched in recent decades.

hand holding I VOTED sticker
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Republican Bill Schuette and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will battle it out for the governor’s seat in November.  Libertarians also had a choice for governor on the primary ticket, for the first time in Michigan’s history.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals will decide if the state can give money to private and parochial schools for expenses that stem from state mandates.

The court heard arguments in the lawsuit today. More than a dozen public school institutions and the ACLU are suing the state over its plans to give millions of dollars to non-public schools. In 2016 Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law that lets the state reimburse nonpublic schools for mandates like concussion training, EpiPens and background checks.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Prosecutors in Michigan say adult witnesses should be able to use emotional support dogs in courts.

Prosecutors in Ingham County have filed an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals said allowing an able-bodied adult to testify with a dog would be an unprecedented change. They said it could only happen through legislation, court rule, or a decision from the Supreme Court.

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Courtesy of Bill Schuette

A progressive watchdog group says the state attorney general has misused his office for political gain – and it has the emails to prove it.

Progress Michigan released a batch of emails Wednesday. They’re part of an ongoing lawsuit the group filed against Schuette.

michigan hall of justice building
Wikimedia Commons

An initiative to change how Michigan draws its political boundaries is headed for the November ballot.

In a 4-3 ruling late Tuesday night, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit challenging a redistricting ballot proposal.

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