Michigan Radio
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John Auchter / Michigan Radio

As we come up to the one-year anniversary of the initial shut down here in Michigan, there have been plenty of headlines around our education systems and the challenges the pandemic continues to bring. These three in particular served as food for thought:

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, two-thirds of Washtenaw County's COVID-19 cases are affiliated with the University of Michigan. A campus health official discusses efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Also, a look at Michigan’s possible future as a haven for those escaping the worst effects of climate change.

A photograph of the exterior of Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Republican-controlled state Senate adopted a COVID-19 budget bill on Thursday over the objections of Democrats.

The bill includes money for schools, help for struggling businesses, and rent assistance.

But it also holds back some federal funds that could be used to bargain with Governor Gretchen Whitmer over COVID restrictions.

Michigan House approves change to lame duck sessions

17 hours ago
State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan House backed a proposed constitutional amendment on Wednesday that would require two-thirds majority votes for bills to pass during lame duck sessions of the Legislature, if voters ultimately approve of the change.

Michigan State Spartans
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she might be forced to close the investigation into Michigan State University and Larry Nassar if the university does not release approximately 6,000 documents to investigators.

MSU requested that then-attorney general Bill Schuette's office investigate in 2018. The university's board of trustees says the contents of the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege, and has withheld them from investigators for over two years.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says the state of Michigan has a lot to do to reduce the risk of future dam failures.

Last May, heavy rains contributed to the failure of two dams in Gladwin and Midland counties.  The dam failures contributed to a 500-year flood event which caused tens of millions of dollars in damage.  More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.   The area is still recovering.

Republican state lawmakers are raising questions about the Democratic governor’s policies concerning COVID-19 and Michigan’s long-term care and nursing homes.

Since the outbreak began a year ago, about a third of Michigan's 15,453 coronavirus-related deaths were people in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

empty classroom
Adobe Stock

Many Michigan students will take some type of standardized test this school year, despite the pandemic. But there’s a lot that’s still unclear.

Michigan's third-through-eighth graders usually take a statewide assessment, the M-STEP, every year. M-STEP was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this school year has been anything but typical, and Michigan and some other states again sought standardized testing waivers from the federal government.

gretchen whitmer wearing mask at podium
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday that the country needs a national strategy to tackle failing infrastructure and climate change.

Whitmer was part of a panel that testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. During her time, the governor referred to her promise to fix roads and to address climate-related flooding events that have bedeviled parts of the state.

ann arbor public schools district office building
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

After weeks of deliberation and discussion, Ann Arbor Public Schools has set dates for a return to in-person learning, the first of which is March 25. The plan is a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning, and families still have an entirely virtual option if that is what they prefer.

During the school board meeting, which took place at noon on Wednesday, the board voted 6-0 to approve the plan. Trustee Ernesto Querijero abstained, due to concerns about the time change for the meeting being in violation of the board's bylaws.

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