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A new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Saturday.

The new variant, B.1.1.7, was identified in an adult woman from Washtenaw County. She had recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where the variant was first identified. MDHHS says the woman’s close contacts have been notified and are in quarantine. Two of those contacts have tested positive for COVID-19, though it’s unclear if they have the B.1.1.7 variant.

delapidated Detroit house
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Detroit is ready to restart its sweeping demolition program, Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Friday.

Detroit voters approved Proposal N, a $250 million bond proposal, in November. The city will use that money to both demolish and rehab many of the city’s remaining abandoned properties.

Win a ticket to The Moth National Mainstage virtual event coming up January 27 at 7 p.m. 

Michigan Radio is giving away five tickets (links) to the show. Each ticket is good for one household online admission. Deadline to enter is Monday, January 25, 2021. Winners will be notified by email or telephone on Tuesday, January 26,  Contest rules available here

On April 25, 2014, Flint officials toasted each other as they flipped the switch to the Flint River.
WNEM-TV

Rich Baird, a former top advisor to Republican Governor Rick Snyder, has resigned his post as a regent of Eastern Michigan University, after being charged with four felonies by state prosecutors for his role in the Flint water crisis.

Baird is accused of perjury in an interview during the investigation into the crisis, extortion, for allegedly threatening investigators looking into the cause of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the crisis, obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to influence and/or interfere with ongoing legal proceedings arising from the Flint water crisis; and misconduct in office, for improperly using state personnel and resources.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated Michigan National Guard units ahead of protests expected Sunday at the state Capitol.

The coordinated law enforcement effort also includes the FBI and local police departments.

Police agencies have ramped up intelligence gathering and a visible presence following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that turned violent and out of control.

Courtesy of Eddie Gillis and Third Man Pressing

When Frank Solis found the tapes, he almost threw them out.

He and his family — as well as the music world — had assumed that his father, Michigander and Tejano music pioneer Martin Huron Solis Jr., had never recorded the songs that made him a pioneer in Detroit’s music scene of the 1940s and ‘50s. Though Martin was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame in 2018, he was best known for his compelling live performances and hadn’t ever released an album with his fellow musicians, who made up Los Primos.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has set special elections to fill a pair of vacant state senate seats.

The former holders of the 8th and 28th state senate seats won elections to other offices in Kent and Macomb counties in the November election.

The 8th Senate District seat was previously held by Peter Lucido, who was elected as the Macomb County Prosecutor.   

The Michigan’s 28th Senate District seat was previously held by Peter MacGregor, who was elected as the Kent County Treasurer.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

Today on Stateside, the Mayor of Flint talks about the charges filed against former state officials for the city’s water crisis. Plus, we review new work by Michigan poets, including a nominee for the National Book Award. We end show with story of a collaboration between 3rd Man Records and the family of a Tejano music star from Detroit.

City of Flint

Flint's residents, many of whom experienced serious medical problems, including a lethal outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease, may be able to take part in a multimillion-dollar civil settlement, but the question of accountability remains. That's why many were heartened by the news Thursday that criminal charges were being filed against Governor Rick Snyder and other state officials for their parts in the water crisis. We wanted to check in with the man currently leading Flint right now about what all this means for his community.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Michigan — so far — has not seen a large spike in COVID-19 cases since the winter holidays.

 

“While I am concerned about the slight uptick in cases after the holidays, we are not seeing the surge of hospitalization that we saw in the beginning of November,” Michigan’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said at a press conference Jan. 13.

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