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Robert Gordon wearing face mask
State of Michigan

Former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon will receive more than $155,000 as part of a separation agreement, published reports revealed Monday.

The agreement calls for Gordon to drop all claims against the state, though it was not immediately clear what claims may have been included. It also promises legal assistance in matters relating to actions he took while director.

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Today on Stateside, what is the role of primary care doctors in Michigan’s vaccination plan? Plus, one family talks to us about starting a podcast during the pandemic. And, some advice for adults trying to help kids through the mental health challenges of the moment.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest public school district will be re-opening to in-person instruction next week.

Officials with Detroit Public Schools Community District say face-to-face instruction will resume next Monday, March 8. The district suspended in-person classes in November, as COVID-19 case rates in the city climbed in November.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says with infection rates in the city down and teachers having access to coronavirus vaccines, the district can again provide an in-person learning option. 

an electric plug attaches to an electric vehicle
Chuttersnap / Unsplash

Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced a new bill that would provide billions in tax credits aimed at incentivizing auto manufacturers to make products that would reduce carbon emissions.

The senior Democrat introduced the American Jobs in Energy Manufacturing Act on Monday. She says the bill would provide support to the private sector in making the transition to clean energy in legacy manufacturing communities.

A new logo for the newly formed Fiat and Chrysler company.
FCA

Fiat Chrysler officials have pleaded guilty for the company’s role in a corruption scandal.

The automaker says it did make more than $3 million in bribery payments to United Auto Workers union leaders.

The deal, reached in U.S. District Court, will require the company to pay a $30 million fine.

gretchen whitmer wearing mask at podium
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer had an online meeting Monday with Black business leaders. She asked for help getting the Legislature to adopt her budget plans – including COVID-19 response funding.

One of the big controversies is the use of a “social vulnerability index” to help ensure vulnerable populations get their share of vaccines. Whitmer has said that’s also critical to ensuring the most susceptible people can return to work.

An image of two alcoholic drinks.
user Dinner Series / Flickr

Doctors have reported high increases in hospitalizations due to alcoholic-related liver diseases during the coronavirus pandemic. A Kaiser Health News article describes admissions jumping by 30% or 50% at university hospitals across the country since March.  

 

 

And Michigan doctors are seeing it too. 

Alcoholic liver disease, or ALD, is a serious condition that can lead to a buildup of fats and the inflammation or scarring of the liver. Liver damage can lead to cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, chronic hepatitis and liver cancer. The beginning side-effects include bleeding, eyes turning yellow or stomach swelling. It can be fatal. 

We keep track of things, we lose track of things, we run track, and listen to tracks. Sometimes though, we confuse “track” with “tract.”

Recently, a graduate student who works closely with Professor Anne Curzan pointed out a job posting for a “tenure tract” position.

Sheila Steele / Creative Commons

Economists predict Michigan’s economic news should improve rapidly the rest of the year. (See report here.)

The University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics (RSQE) says the falling number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID-19 plus the vaccinations are good signs.

After nearly a year of grief, vaccinations bring joy to Michigan

Mar 1, 2021
Elaine Cromie / Bridge Michigan

For much of last year, Michigan’s nurses and other frontline workers were sometimes called names, cursed at, or lied to.

They scrambled to fill staff shortages, track down masks or other supplies, and, in some cases, as the virus tore through their communities, found there was precious little they could do for thousands of the sick and dying.

Then, finally, vaccines arrived.

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