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PFAS foam on lakeshore
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Minnesota-based company 3M is suing the state of Michigan over its regulations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or the PFAS family of chemicals. Michigan's regulations on PFAS in drinking water were finalized in August 2020, and are among the most stringent in the country.

U of M Bentley Historical Library

The late Doctor Robert Anderson committed sexual misconduct on “countless occasions” during his nearly four decades at the University of Michigan.

That’s the conclusion of an independent investigation conducted by the firm WilmerHale, and released on Tuesday.

young Black teen receives a vaccine in his right arm
Seventyfour / Adobe Stock

Now that the FDA has expanded its emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, allowing it to be used for kids 12-15, the whole thing gets kicked over to the CDC’s advisory council on Wednesday.

Picture of the Lansing capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

A legislative committee is moving ahead with measures to enact stricter ethics standards for Michigan lawmakers and the people who work for them, including restraints on the ability to move directly from the Legislature to lobbying former colleagues.

“It may not be perfect in many people’s minds, but it is moving ahead in a direction that I think is more transparent and that can hold those of us that are elected to office more accountable,” said Representative Ann Bollin (R-Brighton), who chairs the House Elections and Ethics Committee.

UAW
UAW

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman sentenced former United Auto Workers president Dennis Williams to 21 months in prison. That will be followed by one year of supervised release. Williams has also paid $132,517 in restitution to the UAW.

Williams pled guilty last August to a multi-year conspiracy to embezzle funds for personal benefit.

The money went to pay for private villas, rounds of golf, and high end meals, liquor, and cigars for himself and his friends.

Michigan vows to seek Line 5 profits if Enbridge defies shutdown order

5 hours ago
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

If Line 5 is still pumping petroleum through the Straits of Mackinac on Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has notified Enbridge Energy, she will consider all resulting profits to be property of the state of Michigan.

Courtesy of Megan McIntosh

There have been a few big title wins for collegiate athletics in Michigan this spring, despite the challenge of competing amid a public health crisis. The women’s gymnastics team at University of Michigan won the NCAA national championship, and both the women’s field hockey team at U of M and the women’s golf team at Michigan State University won Big Ten Conference titles.

A teenage girl in a striped shirt looks down at her arm as a doctor in protective gear administers a vaccine
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, what Michigan parents should know about the news that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to kids as young as 12 years old. And speaking of vaccinations, the state hit its first benchmark in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “MI Vacc to Normal” plan with 55% of Michiganders now having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Plus, why recycling in Michigan isn’t as green as it could be.

Great Lakes water diversions could be more numerous

11 hours ago
J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue

When Monica Evans gets together with her friends they talk economics, politics, the weather. They also discuss a subject that arises periodically in the news - the prospect that Great Lakes water could be diverted to other parts of the country. 

Evans, who is known in the Traverse City region as an effective environmental activist, has long worried that water could become in the 21st century what oil was in the 20th. As the global climate warms and water scarcity mounts, Great Lakes water is more valuable than ever before. 

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan residents have a first-ever opportunity to be directly involved with the re-drawing of political district lines tonight when the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) hosts its first of 16 public hearings on the redistricting process.

The hearing from 6-9pm tonight at One American Event Center in Jackson will also be livestreamed. Any Michigander can RSVP to attend the in person or online, and submit public comments virtually, here.

inside a prison
Adobe Stock

A Dearborn man accused of joining and supporting ISIS was denied bond by a federal court judge on Monday. 

Ibraheem Musaibli is charged with supporting the Islamic State and taking part in its military training. The 30-year-old could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted. 

Musaibli has denied membership in the terrorist organization despite his name appearing on one of its rosters. Musaibli told the FBI that he was forced to feign the role of an ISIS supporter because the terrorist organization was monitoring communications of those within its territory.

A photograph of the exterior of Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state House committee is expected to vote Tuesday on bills that would set tougher ethics standards for lawmakers.

The package has bipartisan support and it’s expected the bills will be sent to the House floor.

The legislation would require both the House and the Senate to create bipartisan ethics committees, with the chairmanship rotating between Republicans and Democrats every six months.

arm of a person laying in a hospital bed
Shutterfly/thaiview

Today on Stateside, Michigan sees a boom in the use of monoclonal antibodies to keep COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. Plus, the coach of the University of Michigan's women's gymnastics team talks about a tough pandemic year that ended in a national championship. And, singer-songwriter Rachel Curtis talks about new ways of producing and releasing music during a pandemic.

City of Detroit

Detroit police chief James Craig plans to talk to reporters today amid speculation that he will retire after eight years and consider a turn to politics.

Craig told The Detroit News that he will hold a news conference Monday.

“I’m a lifelong public servant,” Craig said. “I want to continue to serve.”

The 64-year-old Detroit native has been chief since 2013. He returned home after a long police career in Los Angeles and short stints as chief in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine.

Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It felt like a war. And the doctors, nurses and health care workers at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing were losing.

“We’re battling out there, but no new troops are coming,” said Dr. Paul Entler, Sparrow’s Vice President of Quality and Performance Improvement.

It was March, and Michigan’s third COVID-19 surge seemed to have no end in sight: 3,000, then 4,000, eventually more than 7,000 new daily cases on average at the peak in April.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The push is on to get Michigan parents with children under 17 years old to file their federal tax forms to qualify for an expanded child tax credit. The credit will include children who turn 17 in 2021.

As part of federal COVID-19 economic relief, a child tax credit will provide families with a monthly payment up to $300 per child starting in July, running through December.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

National Republican Party leaders say they plan to target three incumbent Michigan Democrats in next year’s Congressional elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee helps elect GOP candidates with direct financial contributions, as well as technical and research assistance. The group also organizes voter registration and election turnout programs.

It can be helpful, as well as potentially confusing, to have vague expressions of time such as “by and by.”

The more we thought about this expression, the more trouble we had trying to think of how we even use “by and by.”

Sure, it shows up in poetry and music, but those contexts don’t exactly lend themselves to everyday use.


A cell phone with the apps Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pulled up
dole777 / Unsplash

Some stories, there's just not a lot of gray area.

A few months ago, I was driving behind a vehicle that kept lurching from one side of the lane to the other. It was pretty bad. I thought the driver was drunk.

Finally, I passed the car, and I saw that the motorist was driving with one hand on the wheel, whilst her other hand held a cell phone aloft, the better to conduct a Facetime chat.  

She was driving about 70 miles an hour down the highway. Yikes. Not good.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan is planning for a mostly in-person fall semester after the COVID-19 pandemic forced many operations to go remote. 

Part of that process is getting faculty and staff who have been working remotely back on campus for in-person work. President Mark Schlissel announced today that the school is beginning a gradual phasing-in of on-site work.

Spectrum Health

Plenty of Michiganders went to neighboring states like Ohio and Indiana to get the COVID-19 vaccine, especially when availability was more limited at home. Now, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is asking them to notify their primary care provider.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced a plan for the state's reopening called MI Vacc to Normal. The plan will relax COVID-19 restrictions to the percentage of residents that are at least partially vaccinated.

Courtesy of Roberta King

Patti Kornoelje says that when her son Casey Kornoelje was a teenager, she worried about the direction in which he seemed to be heading. He had multiple encounters with law enforcement over marijuana use, which led to cannabis-related convictions and changed the trajectory of his career.

But, Patti says, sometimes certain doors open for a reason.

A photograph of the exterior of Michigan Capitol building
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A commission has recommended salary increases of 2% a year for the governor, legislators and other state elected officials.

The State Officers Compensation Commission adopted the proposal Friday. The increases would take effect in 2023 and 2024, after next year’s elections.

But it’s not a done deal. An amendment to the Michigan Constitution requires the Legislature to ratify the recommendation. And that hasn’t happened in a while.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Black residents faced disparities in hospitalizations during the third coronavirus wave, according to data from the University of Michigan. 

The MI Safe Start Map’s latest complete data spans from March 30 to April 27. This covers the middle of the recent hospitalization peak, which came close to surpassing spring 2020’s heights. (The dashboard's disparities feature updates every Tuesday for the last week.)

Jars of marijuana strands
Rob / Adobe Stock

Today, on Stateside, misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine and fertility has made some people hesitant to get a shot. We’ll talk to a doctor about how the rumor started and what she’s telling patients. Plus, in a year of social distance, one college lecturer connected to her students through letters.  

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Using asparagus in a cocktail seems odd. I mean, if you throw it in with the messy mix of garnish in a garish, way over-the-top Bloody Mary complete with celery, olives, banana peppers, and bacon, okay, it might work. But, really, asparagus as a ‘real’ ingredient in a cocktail? Sounds weird.

Well, weirdly delicious.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings had a couple of bottles of spirits, some concoction in a plastic bottle and asparagus on the cutting board.

Courtesy of Derrick L. Turner/Michigan State University

Forty-two years after the state of Michigan became the state of Michigan, a botanist named William Beal buried 20 open bottles of seeds to see how long they could remain viable.

A few weeks ago Frank Telewski, a professor of plant biology at Michigan State University, along with a few colleagues, continued the decades-long experiment by digging up one of those bottles on the MSU campus.

Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michigan farms during the harvest.
Craig Camp / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Each year, Michigan becomes a temporary home to tens of thousands of migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and Lupita Perales with the United Farmworkers Foundation says some of them have been arriving with unfounded fears about the COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s tough to know what kind of information those workers have gotten before their arrival in Michigan, so she’s working on distributing flyers and holding Facebook live sessions to disseminate the facts.

cartoon showing an employee, business owner, and politician
John Auchter for Michigan Radio

I usually try to stay away from sweeping generalizations — all workers good, all politicians bad — that sort of thing. But there has been so much partisan hackery lately (especially in Lansing) that I felt a need to comment, and sweeping generalization seemed to be the best angle to take.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

COVID-19 conspiracy theories and misinformation were prominent in the Michigan House Oversight Committee’s first hearing Thursday on a bill that would preemptively outlaw government-sponsored “vaccine passports.”

The bill’s supporters expressed concern about privacy and government overreach if people are required to prove they’re vaccinated.

“Although the conversation at this point in time is specific to a COVID-19 vaccine passport, we must ask ourselves the question: if this is allowed, what might the next step be?” said Representative Sue Allor (R-Wolverine), the bill sponsor.

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