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The state capitol building against a cloudy gray sky
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan House Republicans have proposed a $3.5 billion coronavirus recovery plan that threatens to withhold billions to K-12 schools unless Governor Gretchen Whitmer gives her administration's power to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments.

dearborn ford community and performing arts center
R. M. Hermen / Wikimedia Creative Commons

Dearborn City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to change the name of the Hubbard Ballroom in its civic center, the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. The venue used for weddings and other events will now be called the Lincoln Ballroom in honor of President Abraham Lincoln.

Orville Hubbard was the longest serving mayor of Dearborn, but gained notoriety for his racist remarks and fervent support of racial segregation. 

Federal prosecutors have reached a plea agreement with one of the men charged in the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Under the agreement, Ty Garbin of Hartland Township, agrees to plead guilty to the charge of conspiring to kidnap the Governor. The charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison, but under the agreement, prosecutors have agreed to recommend a lesser sentence.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is set to give her third State of the State address Wednesday, January 27 at 7 p.m. According to the state, Whitmer will reflect on "actions she has taken as governor to support Michiganders, eradicating COVID-19 and strengthening the state’s economy, and fixing the road ahead." 

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Vaccine distribution in Michigan has been geographically uneven. But there’s a reason for that, says a public health official in the Upper Peninsula. The hard part, she says, can be explaining that to residents anxious to get vaccinated.

Courtesy of Anthony Adams For Mayor

Anthony Adams, a former deputy mayor under Kwame Kilpatrick, announced on Tuesday that he will run for mayor of Detroit against incumbent Mike Duggan who is seeking a third term. 

 

In an announcement on Facebook Live, Adams listed off the local businesses he frequents — from shoe shiners to jazz clubs — and his record in public office, which includes serving as the Executive Assistant to Former Mayor Coleman Young and as President of the Detroit Public School Board. 

basketball hoop with falling basketball
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, how the new COVID variant, present on the University of Michigan campus, is affecting the school and what it could mean for the rest of the state And, shelters in Grand Rapids are seeing an increase in the demand for services as the economic fallout from COVID pushes people out of housing. Plus, how new guidelines for vaccine priority have cut off much of the supply of doses for the Upper Peninsula.

Protesters stand in downtown Detroit the night of May 31, 2020.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit.

Scio Residents for Safe Water

Gelman Sciences wants a Washtenaw County judge to pause court proceedings in the 1-4 dioxane pollution cleanup case.

Gelman is responsible for a plume of contaminated groundwater that's been spreading in the Ann Arbor area for at least 37 years.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys for former Governor Rick Snyder are formally asking a judge to toss two misdemeanor charges tied to the Flint water crisis.

Snyder was formally charged with willful neglect of duty as part of an investigation by the Michigan attorney general's office into alleged criminal activity tied to Flint’s lead tainted tap water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has denied bond for a Michigan man charged in connection with this month’s riot at the nation’s Capitol.

During a detention hearing Monday, assistant U.S. Attorney Hank Moon called 29-year-old Michael Foy “one of the most violent of the capitol rioters.”

Moon showed video and still photos purporting to show Foy allegedly striking a Capitol police officer ten times with a hockey stick during the riot.

Arguably, the most powerful pro-business-advocacy group in the state is the Detroit Regional Chamber. They have announced that they’re changing the way it handles political contributions in light of the insurrection at the United States Capitol. Dozens of Republican lawmakers, including some from Michigan, voted in favor of rejecting election results that same day on January 6.

KATIE RAYMOND / MICHIGAN RADIO

It’s going to take about a week for the state’s lab to answer an urgent question.

“Can we take some more proactive and aggressive action [against the more contagious COVID-19 variant] and really control these clusters that we're currently seeing?” Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, a Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson, said Monday. “Or is, in fact, the variant already circulating more than we've detected?”

testing swab
Shutterstock image

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials say they are very concerned about a new variant of COVID-19 that’s been found in Michigan. And that could affect the course of the state’s response and the pace of re-opening more schools, sports, and businesses.

The state capitol building against a cloudy gray sky
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Democrats in the Michigan House of Representatives are introducing legislation to ban guns in and around the state Capitol.

House Bill 4023 would add the Capitol building, its grounds, and the Anderson House Office Building and Binsfield Senate Office Building to the list of places in Michigan where possessing a firearm is illegal, with the exception of law enforcement.

Jeff Daniels
Luc Daniels

Michigan’s favorite son is back, and is biding his time at home like the rest of us. Jeff Daniels, esteemed actor, playwright, and musician, released his new album late last year. It’s aptly titled “Alive and Well Enough,” which pretty much sums up how many of us are doing these days. He joined Stateside to talk about the album, politics, and his virtual concert at the Midland Center for the Arts on Friday, January 29.

Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, a pro-business advocacy group says the insurrection and denial of election results will fundamentally change how they make political endorsements. Plus, we talk with acclaimed actor and musician Jeff Daniels about writing songs during COVID. And, a conversation with former Detroit Mayor and NBA legend Dave Bing.

student writing on paper
Ben Mullins / Unsplash

The Michigan Department of Education again has asked the U.S. Department of Education to waive standardized testing for the 2020-2021 school year so Michigan teachers can focus on making sure students are caught up in their education.

vaccinator giving someone a covid vaccine through the window their car
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Many Michigan counties are looking for volunteers to help vaccinate people against COVID-19. And in some counties, those volunteers are able to get their shots as well.

Washtenaw County is offering that option, said county health department spokeswoman Susan Cerniglia. The county is currently operating one mass vaccination site, with plans to open another when vaccine supplies increase. They also use volunteers on mobile teams that go out to vaccinate vulnerable populations.

A DDOT bus in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

President Joe Biden's long-time reliance on Amtrak to get between his home and work in Washington, D.C is well-known.

And Pete Buttigieg, the man Biden has nominated for U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, says he hopes to carve out $1.5 billion for public transit across the U.S.

Courtesy to Michigan Photography

The University of Michigan has put its athletic activities on hold. Athletic facilities are closed, and practices, training sessions, and competitions are all shut down.

This comes after several people associated with the athletic department tested positive for the new COVID B.1.1.7. variant.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court is likely to be the last stop for a group that's trying to put a fracking ban on the ballot.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a controversial process involving pumping large amounts of water, sand and chemicals into deep into the ground to break up shale deposits releasing oil or natural gas.   

Fracking has boosted oil and natural gas production. But critics say it damages the environment.

The rule about when to use "between" and when to use "among" seems straightforward, until you look more closely. Then it's not straightforward at all.

Our listener Lowell Boileau wanted to know what we think about this rule:

"My understanding is that 'between' is for 'between two parties' and 'among' is for 'among three or more parties.'  Yet I hear and read 'between' frequently used in reference to three or more."

Many of us grew up with this exact same rule, but Lowell is right. Not everyone follows it.

ice cover on the great lakes january 21 2021
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Great Lakes have been slow to freeze this year, compared to years past. Currently, around 2.4% of the Great Lakes are covered by ice, concentrated in the Green Bay region off Lake Michigan and Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron. That's lower than 11% cover at this time last year.

Jia Wang is an ice climatologist for NOAA. He says it's been a warm winter in the Great Lakes region.

"[Ice cover] is very very low, unusually low this year, compared to other years and compared to the average. This year, air temperatures are so warm. Air temperature has a negative correlation with ice cover. Of course, if it's warmer, there's less ice cover," he says.

ADOBE STOCK

More than half a million Michiganders have received a first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, according to the state's health department. But a smaller cohort, as participants in clinical trials, have received vaccines made by other companies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A lottery ticket purchased in Novi is the winner of Friday’s $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The top prize drawn on Friday is the third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

According to the Michigan Lottery, the winning ticket was bought at the Kroger store, located at 47650 Grand River Avenue in Novi.   The holder of the winning ticket has not yet come forward.

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

COVID-19 tests, rent payment and food were the top three pandemic-related issues for state residents who reached out to Michigan 211, a subsidiary of the Michigan Association of United Ways that connects people to resources for free through text, chat or calling 211.

 

MDHHS

Michigan Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon announced his resignation on Friday via Twitter, without offering explanation. 

“Today, I am resigning from the Whitmer Administration,” Gordon said in a tweet Friday around 3 p.m. “It's been an honor to serve alongside wonderful colleagues. I look forward to the next chapter.”

Gordon’s resignation came just hours after signing a revised public health order allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining on February 1. Then Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office released a lengthy press release announcing Gordon’s appointed successor: Elizabeth Hertel, who until now was the Senior Chief Deputy Director for Administration for MDHHS.

Health organizations in Grand Rapids are setting up a vaccine clinic that they hope will eventually be able to vaccinate 20,000 people per day. The clinic will be at the DeVos Place convention center in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health are working together to create the clinic.

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Today on Stateside, what President Biden's executive order on deportation will mean in Michigan. Also, ready for some reads? The annual list of Michigan Notable Books might give you a new lens on strange times.

 

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