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Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Michigan's Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Arbor Hills Landfill in Northville.

The lawsuit says the landfill has repeatedly violated state environmental laws since at least 2014. 

That includes failing to control methane and other noxious-smelling emissions, as well as failing to keep pollutants from leaching into the groundwater.

Monya Ibrahim lives near the landfill, and her son attends school next to it.

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

The Ottawa County health department has temporarily shut down a Christian school in West Michigan, and the related legal battle is one of the first to challenge the state health department's recent orders.

Ottawa County issued a final "cease and desist" letter to Libertas Christian School in Hudsonville this week, alleging the school didn't report two teachers' COVID-19 infections and has refused to provide students' information to contact tracers. A judge denied Libertas Christian's request for a temporary restraining order against the county.

screenshot of hearing in Jackson County District Court

A Jackson County judge lowered the bond amount today for one of the 14 men charged in the alleged plot to kidnap the governor.

The bond amount for Pete Musico had been set at $10 million. It’s now set at $100 thousand. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

What is Proposal N?

Proposal N (“N” stands for neighborhoods) is a measure Detroit voters have on their ballots this election year.

If voters approve Proposal N, the city will have the go-ahead to issue $250 million in bonds for blight remediation—that is, either taking down or rehabbing much of the city’s remaining stock of vacant homes. Proposal N proposes to tackle around 16,000 of those vacant properties, with around 8,000 salvageable homes targeted for rehab, and another 8,000 for demolition.

farm with barns and silos
Creative Commons

At a town-hall-style listening session with US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Michigan farmers praised federal support of farmers during the pandemic.

Representatives from the state’s dry-bean, soybean, dairy, and sugar industries thanked Perdue for his support during the pandemic. Farmers said they were particularly happy with the way the federal government listened to them in developing the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Spartan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Big Ten football returns this weekend. A sports columnist talks us through what collegiate football games will be like in a pandemic year. Also, a look at what life was like for African American people in Michigan prior to the Civil War. Plus, a Black family wonders whether they’re still welcome in their home in Cadillac.

football stadium signs for MSU and U of M
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Big Ten Conference opens its 2020 football season Friday night, but the games people care about in these parts are happening Saturday. Michigan State will host Rutgers in East Lansing in the afternoon. Michigan will visit Minnesota Saturday night.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Morning Edition to discuss a season altered dramatically by COVID-19 before it even begins.

The Breath Project

Today on Stateside, we’ll hear about the Native Justice Coalition’s call to action in support of missing and murdered indigenous people. Also, we talk to artists working for a Flint theater project borne out of the civil rights protests sparked by George Floyd’s death.

Patricia Beck / Detroit Free Press

Some hospital executives in southeast Michigan received bonuses this year, shortly before their health systems laid off thousands of workers and asked the federal government for a bailout as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the nation.

Two of Michigan's largest nonprofit hospital systems, Beaumont Health and the Henry Ford Health System, awarded those bonuses in March. And then, as the novel coronavirus caused a financial crisis at their hospitals, Beaumont and Henry Ford turned to the federal government for help.

stateside blue and green logo with host april baer
Chettara T. Photography

Do you ever feel like you’re just…overwhelmed by the headlines? Those almost constant news alerts?

You are not alone. 

Our daily Stateside podcast, hosted by April Baer, is here to cut through the noise with conversations that matter to Michigan. 

a billboard with a picture of a Native woman and red hand print over her mouth
The Native Justice Coalition


gretchen whitmer and joneigh khaldun at podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Thursday that show Democrats and Republicans can find room to cooperate on the state’s response to COVID-19.

The bills are the result of bipartisan deal-making. They offer employers more protection from lawsuits and employees more guarantees they can’t be forced to work in situations that could place their health in danger.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

About 800 people trudged across a muddy field to get to the airport in Waterford Township where Vice President Mike Pence was to speak. Speakers blared country music and 70s rock songs while a crowd of about 800 waited for Pence, half of them not wearing masks.

He said he and President Donald Trump created the greatest economy in the history of the world, made the military strong again, and saved lives in how they handled the coronavirus pandemic. More than 210,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. Pence promised a vaccine is coming soon.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Doctors in charge of Michigan hospitals are asking people in Michigan to voluntarily "do the right thing" to slow the spread of COVID-19, now that the Michigan Supreme Court says Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer does not have the authority to issue executive orders on COVID-19.

The statement, signed by 28 top medical officers of hospital systems across the state, was issued after COVID-19-related hospital admissions surged by more than 80% in recent weeks.

Dr. Gary Roth is Chief Medical Officer for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

morgueFile

Health care workers are slated to be in the first group to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan if it becomes available, according to a draft COVID-19 vaccination plan submitted last week to the Centers for Disease Control by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

In November of 1974, Richard Vander Veen was elected to the U.S. Congress from what was then Michigan’s fifth district.

Vander Veen was from Grand Rapids. He had won a special election earlier that year, after the previous incumbent, Gerald Ford, was named Vice President. Vander Veen was the first Democrat in 60 years to be elected to represent the area in Congress. But, two years later, he lost re-election, and no Democrat has held the seat since.

kyo azuma / Unsplash

Stateside for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today on Stateside, we take a look at the troubling rise in COVID-19 cases in Kent County. Also, a conversation about Jackson County’s history as a birthplace for  Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party. Plus, we talk to two election attorneys about the possibility of contested election results after the presidential election.

Mladen Borisov for Unsplash

 

For one elementary school teacher, it feels like “the wheels are coming off the bus.” 

It was around the third week of school when her coworker, a fellow teacher at Dieck Elementary in the Flint suburb of Swartz Creek, tested positive for COVID-19.

Unsplash

This Election Day is likely to be a bit different from those of years past: State election officials have been warning voters that it’s possible we won’t know the outcome of the presidential election and all the down-ballot races by election night. That’s because there’s been an increase in absentee voting, which is allowed for all Michigan voters and offers a safe alternative to voting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Some environmental groups are criticizing the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for a planned carbon offset program.

The DNR is planning a pilot program that would account for the carbon taken up by the Pigeon River Country State Forest. The forest absorbs carbon dioxide. That has value on a voluntary carbon market. Polluters can buy that carbon value as a way of offsetting their greenhouse gas emissions.

Grand Valley State University

Michigan philanthropist and entrepreneur, Peter Secchia, died Wednesday morning. A spokeswoman for the family confirmed COVID-19 "was a contributing factor in his death."

Secchia had an enormous influence in the Republican Party, at the state and national level. He once served as vice chair of the Republican National Commitee and was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy during George H. W. Bush’s presidency.

Brandon Esch
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Between now and Election Day, we’re asking how 2020 has changed voters’ lives and how they think about politics.

Brandon Esch is a farmer near Fowlerville in mid-Michigan. He says he’s too busy to pay much attention to political news, but he is exhausted by the negativity of campaign season.

Pixabay

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an order to allow more in-person visits with people in nursing homes.

The order applies to facilities in counties the state has identified as “low risk.”

Voting errors a bigger risk than voter fraud in Michigan

Oct 21, 2020
voting stickers
Unsplash

President Trump and many of his supporters have called into question the validity of voting by mail. But documented instances of voting fraud are few and far between. Rather than fraud, perhaps absentee voters should be focused on following the rules.

Here in Michigan, Macomb County GOP Chair Mark Forton says his faith that President Trump will be re-elected is limited by just one thing.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In the last presidential election more than 250,000 Michigan voters cast their ballots for third-party or write-in candidates. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes.

Shikha Dalmia is an avowed Libertarian, but sees a bigger concern than supporting her party in the 2020 presidential election.

RHODA BAER / FLICKR

Michigan has a goal to vaccinate about one million more people for the flu this year than it did last year, and so far, we’re making steady progress. 

Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum / Unsplash

Stateside for Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Today on Stateside, democrat Haley Stevens tries to hold on to a swing seat in one of the tightest congressional races in Michigan. Then, a conversation around “unschooling” as an alternative to the hectic school year. Plus, how the FBI turns insider tips into a viable case.

straight-party voting
Lars Plougmann

More than half of the three million requested absentee ballots have already been cast, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said at a press conference on Tuesday. 

Benson said that voters have received nearly all of the three million absentee ballots they have requested with two weeks left to go before Election Day. 

"When you reflect on the fact that just under 4.8 million voted in the November 2016 election, the fact that two weeks out, already three million are on track to vote early in this election is just extraordinary," said Benson, predicting that the number of absentee ballot requests will continue to climb.

Michigan Capitol Building
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Republican state lawmakers have presented their version of a COVID-19 response plan.

The state House GOP proposal follows a court ruling that struck down many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s unilateral emergency orders.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A new report found Michigan’s energy use changed dramatically during the first few months of the pandemic.

In the second quarter electricity use dropped by 32% in the industrial sector compared to the same time period last year. That's the biggest drop in the country.

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