News | Michigan Radio


Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
Stavrialena Gontzou /

The campaign to add LGBTQ protections to Michigan’s civil rights law has appealed a court decision that stalled the petition drive. The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign filed its paperwork Monday with the state Court of Appeals.

2021 Cadillac Escalade

The Associated Press says President Joe Biden will reinstate Obama-era fuel efficiency rules to address climate change.

But environmentalists say those standards - which the Trump administration scrapped  - are not enough. 

Bacteria clean-up: Should we let nature clean up oil spills?

7 hours ago
Great Lakes Now Episode 1010

Natural populations of oil-degrading bacteria could help to clean up freshwater rivers and lakes after spills from pipelines and trains, researchers have found after experiments that simulated spills in a Canadian lake.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A temporary switch is on tap for Flint’s drinking water source.

The pipeline that brings water to Flint from the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) is in need of some valve repairs. So the city of Flint will be transitioning to its back up water source, the Genesee County Drain Commission (GCDC).

Even for speakers who feel solid about the distinction between "lie" and "lay," they may lose that distinction when "low" is added to the mix.

Recently, one of Professor Anne Curzan's colleagues texted her to say they wouldn't be attending a meeting. They said they were trying to finish an article and would instead be "laying low."

That last part jogged Curzan's memory.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A controversy over elected officials in a small mid-Michigan county giving themselves hazard pay bonuses from federal COVID-19 relief funds is the subject of a meeting Sunday.

Shiawassee County is located between Lansing and Flint.

sandhill crane
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals has returned a case to a lower court for a closer look at the level of risk during an organized hunting event.

The case from Alpena County pits a father against a son, who lost two fingers as the result of an accident during what’s called a “European-style” pheasant hunt.

According to the appeals court opinion, this type of hunt involves several two-person blinds arranged in a circle around a tower. Pheasants are released into the air from the tower and the hunters try to shoot as many as they can until they’re called off.  

Today on Stateside, remembering the life and legacy of former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who died Thursday at 87 years old with his close friend Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Plus, a discussion about whether the Olympics are still relevant, and what this year’s gymnastics competition is doing for a conversation about mental health and athlete safety.

Rachel Denhollander
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Like any Olympic summer, gymnastics is at the center of attention for many viewers. However, the event is seen in a different light this time around—this is the first Olympics since disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar’s widespread abuse towards USA gymnasts and other survivors became known to the public.

The University of Michigan Diag
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Update: 07/30/2021 at 4:40 p.m.

Michigan State University will join the University of Michigan in requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students, staff and faculty on campus this fall.

President Samuel Stanley Jr. announced Friday that all students and employees must be fully vaccinated by August 31 if they plan to be on campus this fall. There are a few medical and religious exemptions. The announcement comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated masking and testing guidelines nationwide to combat the delta variant.

cartoon of a person complaining about mosquitos
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

I'm on vacation this week. Prudently applying mosquito spray as necessary. Hope you're getting to enjoy some time off, too!

Beenish Ahmed / Michigan Radio

The Dearborn primary ballot is unusually crowded this year, with seven candidates vying to be the city’s next mayor. 

Mayors in Dearborn have historically been long-tenured; the city has had just seven since 1929. The current Mayor, John O'Reilly Jr, announced that he would not seek re-election earlier this year. 

a police car focused on the illuminated light bar

The Ingham County Prosecutors office will no longer charge people for crimes where the evidence comes from so-called "pretext stops," if the stops are not related to public safety.

An example of a pretext stop is when an officer pulls over a driver - often a driver of color - for a minor infraction like something hanging from the rearview mirror and then tries to find evidence of a more serious crime.

The new policy is similar to one instituted by Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit  in January.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin, a giant in Michigan politics, has died. He was 87.

Levin represented Michigan longer in the U.S. Senate than anyone else.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that more help is on the way for victims of the June 26 storm that led to major flooding in and around Detroit.

The flooding swamped basements, totaled cars, and caused other damage. Whitmer said she moved quickly to declare it a disaster, which eventually led to a federal disaster declaration—and aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Whitmer said at least 30,000 people have signed up for federal disaster assistance so far.

The Detroit skyline as seen from across the Detroit River.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Proposal P will be decided by the voters of Detroit.

The Michigan Supreme Court is upholding the placement of the ballot question to adopt a new city charter.

According to the state Supreme Court, the Detroit Charter Revision Commission is allowed to submit its proposals without Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s approval. Whitmer rejected the charter earlier this year.

People hanging out along the water in Havana
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a conversation about how the legacy of abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is changing our conversation on athlete health at this year’s Olympics. Then, a Michigan man turns his paddleboard-making hobby into a full-time career, and we learn about the patchwork regulations on using paddleboards on Michigan lakes. And finally, what Michigan farmers could gain from a shift in U.S. relations with Cuba.

Courtesy of Little Bay Boards

Little Bay Boards, a custom stand up paddleboard shop in Petoskey, is known for their beautiful, locally-grown wooden boards. Jason Thelen, the company’s founder and owner, shared what it took to grow the business from a solo project in his parents’ garage to the operation it is today.

Great Lakes Water Authority

The Great Lakes Water Authority’s board of directors accepted CEO Sue McCormick’s resignation on Wednesday.

McCormick and the southeast Michigan regional water utility have been under fire since heavy rains caused major flooding in and around Detroit on June 26. That flooding was exacerbated by problems at a pumping station on Detroit’s east side.

Courtesy of Nada El-Hatooni

Updated at 1:00 p.m. on July 29, 2021

The City of Dearborn will offer sample ballots in Arabic at all polling sites for the primary election next week, following appeals from local and national advocacy organizations.

“We pushed hard,” said Nada Al-Hanooti of Emgage Michigan, a Muslim-American advocacy organization who said she met with Dearborn City Clerk last week to discuss the need for Arabic-language election materials in the city where nearly half of residents are of Arab origin.

David Pilgrim with items on display at the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia is home to over 14,000 items that showcase the nation's racist past. Those items are getting a new home, thanks to a planned $18.5 million expansion.

The museum is currently housed in a campus library at Ferris State University in Big Rapids. The planned expansion would make the museum a standalone building, and would address limitations like "lack of visibility and tight configuration."

close up of Gretchen Whitmer
Photo courtesy of

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has toured much of the state this week to build support for using American Rescue Plan funds for affordable housing.

Whitmer’s stops included Detroit, Jackson, and Kalamazoo. She’s hoping to win legislative approval to commit $100 million from the federal government for housing.

She says that could leverage another $380 million dollars in private sector investment.

“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to give thousands of Michiganders a safe place to call home,” she said at the Detroit event.

Atoms via Unsplash

Under revised guidance released by the CDC Tuesday, residents in six Michigan counties should resume wearing masks indoors, even if they’re fully vaccinated.

Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, considering post-pandemic redevelopment for Michigan’s cities. Also, musician Izzy Johnson plays music for walking the forests, tending the fields, or just being. And, the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Artifacts plans expansion in West Michigan. 

Blogging Guide / Unsplash

A Detroit city councilman has been charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and accused of accepting $1,000 from an undercover law enforcement agent.

Andre Spivey was named late Tuesday in an indictment filed in federal court in Detroit.

The indictment says the bribe allegedly was accepted on October 26, 2018.

A weapon seized from Barry Croft, one of the men on trial for the kidnapping plot.
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for an armed anti-government militia continue to lay groundwork for a trial set for later this year.

The group of mostly-Michigan men, the so-called Wolverine Watchmen, are accused of plotting last year to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The defense has indicated it will show jurors that the plot never would have happened, had FBI informants not drawn the militia members in.

a hospital hallway with people at the end of it
Robin Erb / Bridge

The ACLU of Michigan is asking state regulators to examine a Catholic health system’s policy of not providing tubal ligations.

The ACLU filed the complaint with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) against Ascension.  It’s on behalf of a pregnant woman whose doctor, affiliated with Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield, advised her to get a tubal ligation in conjunction with a planned C-section.

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s not about to announce new mask mandates in Michigan.

That’s despite new guidance from the CDC that people should mask up while indoors in areas that are COVID-19 hotspots.

Whitmer says she’s very concerned about how variants may develop, but she thinks there are better options right now than new state orders.

Rise in COVID cases is among the unvaccinated

Jul 27, 2021
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a news conference with Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Michigan continues to rise.  

Over the past four days the state has averaged 441 new cases, nearly triple the amount in late June.

Most of the new infections - and nearly all hospitalizations - are among unvaccinated people.

Chief Medical Executive Doctor Joneigh Khaldun says the increase in cases is not due to any one cause,  but several.