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Teaching in person, surrounded by outbreaks, unable to get vaccinated

For so many teachers right now, trying to get the COVID-19 vaccine can feel like a distilled version of everything that’s been so stressful and challenging about the last 10 months: Nothing’s working the way it’s supposed to.

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has told the University of Michigan to stop all athletic activities in all sports for possibly up to two weeks.

That includes all games, team and individual training sessions, and closing U-of-M athletic facilities.
The mandate follows positive test results for the new COVID B.1.1.7 variant from several people associated with the Athletic Department.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A lottery ticket purchased in Novi is the winner of Friday’s $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The top prize drawn on Friday is the third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

According to the Michigan Lottery, the winning ticket was bought at the Kroger store, located at 47650 Grand River Avenue in Novi.   The holder of the winning ticket has not yet come forward.

MDHHS

Michigan Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon announced his resignation on Friday via Twitter, without offering explanation. 

“Today, I am resigning from the Whitmer Administration,” Gordon said in a tweet Friday around 3pm. “It's been an honor to serve alongside wonderful colleagues. I look forward to the next chapter.”

Gordon’s resignation came just hours after signing a revised public health order allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining on February 1. Then Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office released a lengthy press release announcing Gordon’s appointed successor: Elizabeth Hertel, who until now was the Senior Chief Deputy Director for Administration for MDHHS.

Health organizations in Grand Rapids are setting up a vaccine clinic that they hope will eventually be able to vaccinate 20,000 people per day. The clinic will be at the DeVos Place convention center in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health are working together to create the clinic.

Courtesy of the Library of Michigan

Every year, the Library of Michigan releases a list of Michigan Notable Books, which features books that are about or set in Michigan — or that were written by authors from the state. But in 2020, the selection committee faced a unique challenge: compiling a list of notable works published in a year like no other.

machine gun on the ground with someone's feet standing next to it.
U.S. Attorney's Office

One man has decided to plead “guilty” for his role in the alleged plot to kidnap the governor.

A total of 14 men have been charged for the alleged plot – eight in state court, six in federal.

Ty Garbin, a 25-year old from Livingston County, is charged in federal court. Prosecutors alleged he hosted the other men at his property in northern Michigan, and went along with surveillance of the governor’s vacation home.

diner wearing masked being served a sandwich from a waitress wearing a mask
hedgehog94 / Adobe Stock

Beginning February 1, indoor dining can resume in Michigan, but can only reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced in a press conference Friday. Concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums, as well as personal services requiring mask removal will be able to resume as well.

In addition to capacity restrictions, restaurants and bars must close by 10 p.m. Restaurants must also collect contact information from diners for contact tracing purposes.

President Biden speaks at an event in Jackson, MS standing in front of an American flag
The White House / whitehouse.gov

Today on Stateside, President Joe Biden signed a stack of executive orders on his first day in office, including an end to President Donald Trump’s travel ban on a number of countries with large Muslim populations. A reporter discusses the state's Muslim American communities’ responses to the controversial ban’s reversal. Also, a look at the debate over absentee ballots — during the American Civil War. Plus, a grocery store tackles food insecurity in Grand Rapids with tools from social justice.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting at noon Friday, legal online sports wagering and casino gaming goes live in Michigan.

Nearly a dozen casinos have partnered with online firms to offer apps that will allow gamblers across the state to place bets, without having to set foot in a casino. 

A lot of readers may be confused and not recognize much about a cartoon referencing the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group that finalized this week. But that's kind of the point.

It's remarkable that such a big, big story in the automotive world would seem to have so little resonance with Michiganders. That certainly wasn't the case when Chrysler acquired American Motors, or when Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler, or when they divorced later. Those were top headlines. Especially in Michigan.

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