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Anna Liza Casem, a Beaumont nurse, was on the front lines during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan when she too got sick.
Mandi Wright / Detroit free press

One nurse compiled important documents and passwords in a shoe box, carefully placing it so her family would find it in her study if she died.

An anesthesiologist instructed colleagues to intubate him, knowing he was losing the fight to breathe on his own.

A colorectal surgeon hugged his wife at the emergency room doors, keeping to himself the knowledge that he was likely not to see her again.

an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula were allowed to open for sit down dining. We spoke with two restaurateurs; one who opened and one who stuck to take-out orders. Plus, how one high school senior is preparing for his future amid uncertainty.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

If your building has been closed or only a few people have been using it, the water in the pipes should be flushed before you start up your business again.

“The chemicals that we put in the water to condition it and prevent bacteria growth or corrosion tend to dwindle and go to zero. And you pick up things like bacterial contamination and metals contamination from contact with the plumbing,” said Eric Oswald, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division.

flood waters by a home with for lease sign in front
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Four Midland County homeowners have filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Michigan. The lawsuit alleges the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) knew about the issues with the Edenville Dam, but did not take action.

wood gavel in front of book
sergign / Adobe Stock

The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign filed suit Tuesday in state court seeking an injunction that would reduce the number of signatures required and extend the deadline for the petition drive to amend the state's civil rights law

The group alleges it is impossible to collect the 340,042 signatures required by state law by May 27 due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

testing swab
Shutterstock image

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that allows pharmacists, nurses, and physician assistants to authorize COVID-19 tests.

It also says Michigan residents can not be charged out-of-pocket costs for the test.

drone footage of wixom lake
Clinton Snider for Michigan Radio

Curious Gladwin County residents are being advised to stay out of the bed of the now-empty Wixom Lake.

County health and law enforcement officials held a press conference to update residents on clean up efforts underway after the collapse of the Edenville dam.

Courtesy of the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City

After being shut down for nearly two months, restaurants in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan received permission from the governor to allow sit-down dining at limited capacity just in time for Memorial Day. Some welcomed the flood of tourists for the busy holiday weekend, but others erred on the side of caution and are sticking to takeout-only service for a while longer.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Contractors are busy repairing damage from last week’s record flood in Midland County.

Many are also victims of the flood themselves.

Wave card being used on a bus in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Bus service is expanding in Grand Rapids, to meet an expected rise in ridership as more people venture out of their homes.

The Rapid bus service cut back on its routes in March, then increased frequency of a handful of high-demand routes in April to allow for social distancing on the bus.

Starting Tuesday, service will resume on all but one route in the city, though most routes won’t be running as often on weekdays as they did before the pandemic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand residents of Muskegon Heights and Flint lined up for free COVID-19 testing over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Michigan National Guard teamed up with local health departments to set up the special drive-thru testing centers over the three day weekend.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s recreational marijuana industry last week surpassed $100 million in total sales since the retail industry became legal last December.    

Recently, state regulators expanded a program to help people with marijuana convictions get a foothold in Michigan’s legal cannabis industry.

Clinton Snider / clintonsnider.com

This drone video was shot Friday May 22, 2020  at 7 p.m.

It was three days after the Edenville Dam collapsed due to high water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Across Michigan Monday, Memorial Day observances are different from past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, the sound of taps mixed with birdsong during a Memorial Day ceremony.

Normally, thousands of people come to honor the nation’s fallen servicemen and women in Holly.

family members inside a van decorated with eid decor
Nisa Khan for Michigan Radio

On Sunday, Muslims across the world celebrated the end of Ramadan, a month-long time of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community. 

With Governor Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order in effect, Ramadan as a whole has looked a little different this year. In Dearborn, families displayed Ramadan lights as a way to brighten spirits during the coronavirus shutdown, since friends and extended family were unable to gather together to break fast during an evening meal known as the iftar. In Detroit, Mosques set up virtual connections across YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, and more to bring members together during Ramadan.

A red bridge flooded in Midland
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) are in the Midland area to assess the damage from the flooding there.

Nick Assendelft is a spokesman for EGLE. He says one of the first priorities is helping people who are cleaning out their homes and businesses.

Mike Duggan
detroitmi.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s excited that some Michigan retail businesses will be able to re-open on Tuesday, but warns the city will be vigilant about enforcing health and safety standards meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out those rules in an executive order that allows businesses “engaged in the selling of goods and the rendering of services incidental to the sale of the goods” to re-open. Sit-down restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, and salons remain closed for now.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators say the United States needs to do more to confront China on its crackdown in Hong Kong.

Sunday, Hong Kong police fired tear gas and a water cannon at protesters in a popular shopping district, as thousands took to the streets to march against China's proposed tough national security legislation for the city.

flood waters by a home with for lease sign in front
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Ground Water Association is urging private well owners to have their wells inspected if they live in an area that was flooded this week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators are calling for more regulation of privately owned dams, in the wake of this week’s massive flood on the Tittabawassee River.

Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters toured the flood zone Saturday by air and on the ground with local officials and FEMA’s regional administrator.

The failure of two privately owned dams Tuesday, after days of heavy rain, helped create the record setting flood on the Tittabawassee River that forced thousands to evacuate, and damaged homes, businesses, roads and bridges. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FEMA’s regional administrator says his office will not be conducting the usual door-to-door assessment of flood damage in Midland County.

Last Tuesday, two dams failed after days of heavy rain, unleashing damaging floods along the Tittabawassee River.    

The flood forced thousands to evacuate in the city of Midland. It also devastated the small community of Sanford. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

DTE Energy, the EPA, and the Sierra Club have an agreement that ends a ten year old dispute about some changes the power company made to its Monroe power plant. As part of the deal, DTE will give some Wayne County communities $7.5 million dollars.

State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is extending Michigan’s Safer at Home order until June 12. She’s also extending the state of emergency declaration until June 19.

The governor made the announcement as part of a late afternoon flurry of announcements on Friday related to the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding orders.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The devastating flooding in Midland is causing concern about potential environmental contamination. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy indicates until the flood waters recede, it will be difficult to determine the extent of any contamination.

However, the long-standing problem along the Tittabawassee River has been dioxin contamination from the Dow chemical complex.

The World Health Organization indicates dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.

Unsplash

Remember the question, “Doing anything fun this weekend?” You might not have heard it much these past few months, as the COVID-19 public health crisis and executive orders have kept many people at home and practicing social distancing.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel talks about plans to restart on-campus instruction in the fall. Plus, an epidemiologist's advice for navigating reopened public spaces.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has expanded the state of emergency declaration for this week’s devastating floods to include Arenac, Gladwin, and Saginaw Counties.

The original declaration covered only Midland County.

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov

A conservative legal foundation has filed a new challenge against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s ability to issue new emergency orders related to workplaces and the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Mackinac Center says the governor’s earlier orders have succeeded in slowing the pace of new COVID-19 infections.

The lawsuit says the governor’s orders now exceed her authority under emergency management laws.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many people in Midland County will be spending their Memorial Day holiday weekend cleaning up from this week’s massive flood.

It’s the very beginning of a process that may take months or years to restore or rebuild.

RAWPIXEL

Michigan is currently reporting more than 2,300 COVID-19 cases in nursing homes. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the number of deaths is 748. That’s nearly 15% of the state’s COVID deaths.

 

But information about how well Michigan’s nursing homes have controlled the spread of COVID-19 has been limited. 

 

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