News | Michigan Radio


Courtesy of Jewell Jones

State Representative Jewell Jones has been released on a personal bond and ordered to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

That’s after a probable cause hearing on Friday.

A magistrate determined there’s enough evidence for a case to proceed against the lawmaker – who is charged with drunk driving and resisting a police officer stemming from an April 6 crash along Interstate 96 in Livingston County.

Amanda Darche with the Ingham County Health department says she's seen how prescription opioid abuse can lead to heroin use.
United Nations Photo

Drug overdoses in Michigan were on a downward trend before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2019, there were 2,354 fatal overdoses in Michigan. 1,768 of them—or about 75%--were opioid-related.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Though COVID-19 vaccination appointments are becoming more widely available by the day, scheduling a dose can still be a tricky task. Depending on where you live, it might be easier for you to get vaccinated if you cross state lines. Some Southeast Michiganders have gone to get their vaccines in Ohio, where — at the moment — supply seems to be outpacing demand.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, hospitals in Michigan’s Thumb region feel the toll of a massive COVID-19 surge. Plus, we talk to the Michigan woman who just broke the world record for fastest 50k. And, we hear about the Michiganders who are crossing state lines to score a vaccine in northern Ohio. 

a teen receiving a vaccine shot in her left arm
klavdiyav / Adobe Stock

The average age of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Michigan has been dropping as the total number of people hospitalized with the disease rises, health officials said Thursday.

Two-thirds of people hospitalized at Munson Healthcare, a network of hospitals and clinics across Northern Michigan, were under 65 years old, said the organization’s chief medical officer, Christine Nefcy.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

Bridge Michigan has done an excellent job summarizing the voting plan Michigan Republicans are proposing. They compare this plan with the package recently put into law in Georgia. It's a good way to get some context because there has been a lot of exaggeration and misinterpretation.

Unemployment office sign

About 11,000 people who’ve been getting extended unemployment benefits will lose them this week.

Michigan qualified for the federal extended unemployment benefits because its unemployment rate was so high. But Michigan has had three months below the threshold and the feds put the state on notice.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit family facing eviction after apparently being scammed by a fake landlord has been given a reprieve of sorts.

The group Detroit Eviction Defense announced Thursday that the family will be given at least 30 days before moving out, plus additional assistance from the city of Detroit.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Hearings are expected to begin soon in the Michigan Legislature on a 39-bill Republican election package aimed at reversing absentee ballot access and early voting policies in the battleground state.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, on Thursday slammed the bills, describing them as a response to a problem that doesn’t exist, and that would tamp down legal voting.

stun gun
bibiphoto / Adobe Stock

Anyone 18 years and older would be allowed to possess and use a stun gun for self-defense in Michigan under legislation that passed this week in the House by a vote of 78-32.

The bill (HB 4029) now moves to the Senate where a similar bill died in committee last year.

Stun guns are devices that need to be held in direct contact with a person. They use an electrical current to create enough pain to temporarily disable an assailant.

picture of back with tattooed flowers
Courtesy of Carrie Metz-Caporusso

There's a new generation of tattoo artists working right now that are pushing for a more inclusive approach to the industry. For a long time, much of the tattoo world was dominated by men, mostly white, who were a little rough around the edges, and focused on American traditional style tattooing. But the artists of today are changing the industry and looking at bodies and design in new ways. 

headshot of peter meijer

Today on Stateside, Congressman Peter Meijer, an Army veteran, reacts to news that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11. Meijer talks about the prospect of ending the so-called “forever war.” Also, a restaurant owner in Port Huron discusses how soaring case rates in Michigan’s Thumb region have affected his business. Plus, an Ann Arbor-based tattoo artist on making the tattoo world more inclusive.

Michigan Radio was presented with fifteen awards from the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors on Wednesday. These awards recognize excellence in news coverage throughout 2020. The station was honored with six First Place awards, including Best Documentary and Best Investigative Reporting.  The station also received nine Second Place awards.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new University of Michigan study finds female nurses’ risk of suicide is twice as high as the general population.

Researchers examined CDC data from 2007 through 2018.

Christopher Friese is the Director of the Center for Improving Patient and Population Health. He’s worried nurses in the U.S. have been in trouble for a long time and they were in trouble before the pandemic began.

A big fight in Lansing over fishing rules on the Great Lakes

Apr 15, 2021
Kelly House / Bridge Michigan

Dana Serafin still hauls in 20,000-pound boatloads of whitefish to supply regional restaurants and markets, but in recent years, the Saginaw Bay fisherman has found it more difficult to fill his orders.

Native whitefish, the main livelihood for Serafin and other Great Lakes commercial fishers, have been in decline for years amid changes to the food web, replaced in Serafin’s nets by healthier populations of walleye and lake trout that he’s not allowed to keep.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A former employee of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is facing embezzlement charges.

The Attorney General’s office filed charges against Joseph Pettit. He worked in EGLE’s Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division. One of his jobs was to make sure when an oil or gas well changed hands, the original owner got back the conformance bond money that was required by the state before drilling or operating a well.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hospitals and health care systems around Michigan are feeling the strain of increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Over 4,000 patients are currently hospitalized with the disease, and test positivity rates are up in many regions.

One of those regions is the Thumb, where three counties have positivity rates of over 30%: Tuscola at 30.5%, Sanilac at 35.3%, and Huron at 36.9%.

Detroit skyline
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is in real danger from COVID-19 again, and things are likely going to get worse.

After months of relatively few COVID-19 cases, the virus is surging in Detroit once again. The city’s test positivity rate is now over 20%, and more than 400 Detroiters are hospitalized.

restaurant closed sign
Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, they’re heeeeere! Host April Baer, noted cicada enthusiast, talks with an entomologist about once-in-17 years emergence of Brood X. Plus, how the new COVID surge in Michigan is affecting businesses and Michigan’s plans to handle the crisis.

Adobe Stock

For nearly two decades, they’ve lain in wait underground. They’ve bided their time, digging through the soil beneath our feet and feeding on tree roots with their piercing, needle-like mouth parts. And now, they’re coming.

Brood X.

Woman with IV in arm
Adobe Stock

Editor's Note: This article was originally published February 3, 2021. Some of the information regarding research and the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies has likely changed since its original publication. However, we are re-sharing this content following Governor Gretchen Whitmer's April 14, 2021, press conference where she mentioned monoclonal antibodies as a treatment for COVID-19. There is still valuable information on how the treatment works, but how difficult it may be to use it given the current number of cases in Michigan.

arm of a person receiving an infusion in a hospital bed
smolaw11 / Adobe Stock

Michigan will expand the use of a COVID-19 treatment in hopes of substantially reducing climbing hospitalizations and deaths. Additional doses of monoclonal antibodies will be given to hospitals and other providers, which will be asked to add infusion sites.

The treatment has concentrated doses of lab-made antibodies to fight coronavirus infections and is geared toward people who are at high risk for severe symptoms or hospitalization.

Courtesy of Michigan American Civil Liberties Union

A Black Farmington Hills resident has sued the City of Detroit, its police chief, and a city detective for wrongful arrest and wrongful imprisonment. 

Robert Williams was arrested in his own driveway in front of his wife and daughters. He was held in an overcrowded cell for 30 hours.

The federal lawsuit says Williams' arrest for shoplifting was based on a flawed match made by a facial recognition algorithm with no other corroborating evidence.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Two brothers accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have to keep wearing electronic tethers as they await trial.

A judge made the decision Wednesday. 

William and Michael Null are facing numerous charges in Antrim County, including providing material support for terrorist acts.

Grand Traverse County

At times, Keli MacIntosh had to take a deep breath before getting her words out.

During an emotional testimony Tuesday, she explained why she decided to sue Commissioner Ron Clous and Grand Traverse County.

“I will act, even though quite honestly, based on what has happened thus far, I am concerned for my safety,” she said.

The litigation stems from a virtual public meeting in January, when MacIntosh asked county officials to denounce violence from the Capitol insurrection, and specifically from the Proud Boys.

Mark Edlund / St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Science Museum of MN

Right now, scientists are on a ship taking samples and measurements of the Great Lakes. They’re trying to determine how the lakes will fare this year and watching for trends.

One trend, the warming climate, could mean changes for the base of the food web in the lakes. But, the researchers are not yet sure what those changes might be.

Courtesy of Four Way Books

Some poets construct images as immediate as a freshly snapped Polaroid. Others form lyrical landscapes like meticulously composed oil paintings. Detroit-born poet Tommye Blount’s writing lands a little like a powerful short film — its themes, characters, and worlds linger in your head long after you read it. Blount’s debut poetry collection, Fantasia for the Man in Blue, presents the head-on collisions of one queer Black American’s experiences with the mythos of white America. The collection, published by Four Way Books in March 2020, was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan is heeding the advice of federal agencies, and pausing its use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

That throws a wrench in efforts to ramp up vaccination as the virus resurges. And that’s particularly true in Detroit, where vaccination coverage lags the rest of the state.

The city is adjusting on the fly, for now.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The leaders of three dozen major Michigan-based companies, including General Motors and Ford, have announced their objection to Republican-sponsored election bills that would make it harder to vote in Michigan and other states.



Michigan members of Congress are once again pushing legislation to speed the cleanup of sites contaminated with PFAS.

PFAS are a family of industrial chemicals linked to serious human health problems. PFAS can be found in a variety of commercially-produced products, ranging from housewares to firefighting foam.

The Environmental Working Group says there are 2,337 PFAS contamination sites in 49 States. There are 162 sites in Michigan.