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A maroon 1955 Lincoln Continental
Ken Fischang / Gilmore Car Museum

Ford Motor Company announced this week that it is ending production of one its most famous cars: the Lincoln Continental. Ford will stop manufacturing the luxury sedan at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant at the end of this year.

john auchter cartoon about Facebook
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

I'm sure you've had a similar experience on Facebook — a post from one over-the-edge friend complaining aggressively about how her views are being systematically suppressed next to a post from a befuddled friend who went missing for awhile having been booted for something totally benign. Or maybe one of these people is you. In any case, the common theme (and irony) is that Facebook has done them dirty, and they are telling you about it on Facebook.

Unsplash

The owners of nearly 150 locally-owed bars and restaurants in Michigan have signed on to a promise to meet or exceed all health recommendations during the pandemic.

The owners organized the promise after videos spread online showing some businesses ignoring the recommendations, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered indoor bars in much of lower Michigan to once again shut down.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in certain sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State environmental officials say tests along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers are not showing recent floods caused dioxin and other contamination to spread.

In May, heavy rains and dam failures created a 500-year-flood in Midland County, including areas with histories of contamination from Dow Chemical.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Books about race continue to dominate best seller lists. Weeks after outrage spilled into the streets over the killing of George Floyd, readers - mostly white readers, it seems - are trying to learn more about the work of anti-racism. Clearly, as many have pointed out, reading alone is not enough.

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

Researchers at Beaumont Health have developed a new test that can detect COVID-19 in urine, saliva, and blood. Test results take 30-45 minutes, and don’t require expensive lab equipment to be processed.

Laura Lamb is one of the researchers who worked on developing the test. She says the accuracy of the test was one of the most important considerations. Lamb says the test is very accurate.

 

a police car focused on the illuminated light bar
pixabay

The Lansing Police Department says it will no longer stop drivers for traffic violations that don’t pose a threat to public safety. 

The new policy means Lansing police won’t pull drivers over for so-called secondary violations.  Those include things like cracked windshields, loud exhaust and broken tail lights.  Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green says it’s an effort to protect the constitutional rights of citizens and eliminate bias-based policing. 

Mackinac Bridge
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A Michigan judge ruled Wednesday to keep a temporary restraining order against Enbridge in place while allowing the company to resume operations through the western leg of the Line 5 twin pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. 

Ingham County Circuit Judge James Jamo's order stops short of granting state Attorney General Dana Nessel’s request for an injunction against the company, instead extending and modifying the existing restraining order. 

Sarah Brown / Unsplash

A new law takes effect Wednesday that allows drivers to opt out of personal injury coverage in their auto insurance.

Drivers still have to carry liability coverage -- but now can choose how much medical coverage to buy.

Before now, state law required insurers to provide unlimited medical benefits if someone was injured in a crash.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is shutting down indoor bar service in lower Michigan to slow the spread of coronavirus.

But for some bar owners, it could be “last call.”

The governor signed the executive order Wednesday to combat a rise in COVID-19 cases.  

red for rent sign in front of house
karagrubis / Adobe Stock

Michigan will put $50 million towards paying back rent and keeping residents in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

The program launches on July 16 and will pay for rent incurred after March 1. It will serve residents living within the median income for their area.

Syringe
VCU CNS / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Community organizations can now request free naloxone through a web portal launched by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a medication used to prevent opioid overdoses in an emergency. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A controversial statue that shows a confederate soldier will remain in a West Michigan park.

The Board of Trustees for Allendale Township voted Tuesday night to keep the statue.

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Jul 1, 2020
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Seven large Michigan health systems hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak have received more than $850 million in federal fundsaccording to federal data. The funds are meant to patch budget holes suffered by providers in “high-impact” areas. 

But hospitals — some of which have laid off thousands of workers in recent months — maintain the money falls far short of what’s needed to make up for losses. Some, in fact, continued this week to cut staff.

Michigan Department of Transportation

Federal and state environmental agencies have agreed on a groundwater cleanup plan for a site in Madison Heights where a toxic green-ooze leaked onto I-696 last year.

The green ooze seeped from a former electroplating business.  

Since last December, the federal Environmental Protection Agency has collected more than a quarter million gallons of contaminated groundwater from the site.

He says he arrived in Michigan in March. He came from Mexico with a temporary farmworker visa. He spent his days working with plants in a greenhouse. At night, he lived in worker housing, sharing a room and sleeping in bunk beds.

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A note: We talk briefly about depression and suicide in this episode. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, we have a list of resources available to help here.

Kids these days are stressed. Really. They’re a lot more stressed than generations before them.

Millions of teens have an anxiety disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Mira is one of those teens. She’s a sophomore at Community High School.

Anastasiia Chepinska/Unsplash

Linda Vail isn’t sure how much longer she and her staff can keep working 18-hour days. 

The Ingham County health officer is squeezing in a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast while she does this intervew over Zoom. It’s been a busy couple of weeks: As of Tuesday, her staff tallied more than 100 COVID-19 cases connected to Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub, an East Lansing spot popular with college students. 

wikipedia

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged four sitting Toledo council members and a local attorney in a scheme to take bribes in exchange for votes.

Bribery charges were filed against council members Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Gary Johnson, and Larry Sikes, along with attorney Keith Mitchell. 

They're accused of taking bribes in amounts from $500 to $5,000,  in exchange for favorable votes on rezoning to allow several new internet cafes – and a subsequent moratorium on internet cafes that would compete with them. 

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

Jun 30, 2020
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital

A second wave of job cuts and layoffs have hit a Michigan health care system as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

Layoffs and schedule reductions for 1,000 full-time workers or their equivalents will begin this week and continue through the end of July at Trinity Health Michigan, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health, according to a memo sent to staff Monday by President and CEO Mike Slubowski. 

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge

Lawyers sparred in court Tuesday over Attorney General Dana Nessel’s request for a preliminary injunction against Enbridge Energy. 

The state is requesting a 14-day freeze on operations along Line 5 in the straits of Mackinac in order to review pipeline safety. 

Attorney General Dana Nessel requested the injunction on June 22 after Enbridge announced it had resumed operating the western leg of the Line 5 pipeline following the announcement of “significant damage” to the eastern portion of the line. 

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
State of Michigan

The state's much-anticipated pandemic road map for returning to in-person K-12 instruction was released Tuesday.

The plan includes requirements that all school districts must follow, along with recommendations.  Districts will be permitted to institute stricter measures if they wish.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major U.S. Supreme Court ruling on public funding for religious schools will likely not directly affect Michigan.

On Tuesday, the nation’s highest court made it easier for religious schools to obtain public funds, upholding a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling.

work being done under Mackinac bridge
Enbridge

A Michigan regulatory agency has denied Enbridge's request for quick approval of its plan to put a replacement oil pipeline beneath a Great Lakes channel. The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday voted to conduct a full review of Enbridge's proposal.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan Regents approved a slight tuition increase Monday night.

The regents approved a budget, including a 1.9% tuition increase, on a five to two vote. The board deadlocked on a similar proposal last week.

The budget takes effect Wednesday. 

The U.S. Capitol
user kulshrax / creative commons

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican leaders say they’ve reached a deal to bridge a $2.2 billion budget deficit in the current fiscal year. The revenue loss is due to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.             

The deal bridges most of the shortfall with only three months left in the current fiscal year. It calls for a freeze on new hiring and staff promotions. The state will also pull $350 million from its Budget Stabilization Fund. This would be the first time in six years the state’s raided the fund informally dubbed the “rainy day” savings account.

DPD Chief James Craig and screengrab from Twitter video
Detroit Police Department Facebook Live; Ethan Ketner / @DJEazyTwist

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is defending the officers who accelerated through a group of protesters Sunday night. In a press conference Monday, he said the officers may have believed they were under fire, and says the SUV’s back window was smashed out.

 

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the latest Michigan event to fall victim to the threat of COVID-19.

Organizers Monday canceled the annual event that usually brings hundreds of thousands to metro Detroit to see and be seen in restored classic cars. The Dream Cruise dates back to 1995. 

The Morrow Dam drawdown is polluting the Kalamazoo River

Jun 29, 2020
SEHVILLA MANN

The company that operates Morrow Dam near Comstock faces a state investigation for letting large amounts of sediment wash into the Kalamazoo River, endangering fish habitats and possibly kicking up contaminants, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

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