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steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are spending the weekend campaigning in Michigan ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Former President Barack Obama served as Joe Biden’s lead in at a pair of drive-in rallies Saturday in Flint and Detroit.  

Obama’s main message focused on voting.

“Get out there and vote,” Obama told the crowd gathered in a high school parking lot in Flint.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A number of Michigan police and sheriffs’ departments are increasing staffing levels on Election Day, just in case.

There could be more poll watchers and poll challengers than usual this year, and the Michigan Supreme Court has yet to rule in a lawsuit over whether the Michigan Secretary of State can ban people from openly carrying guns into and near polling places. 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Homeland Security officers arrested a former University of Michigan professor yesterday in Ann Arbor, on charges of bringing a minor across state lines for sex. A reporter talks us through what we know so far—and how we know it. Also, the president of the state’s largest teacher’s union on the need for masks in schools. Plus, a man whose job takes him to Michigan’s most haunted places.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Who’s going to vote on Tuesday?”

President Donald Trump drew cheers from his supporters when he asked that question during a rally Friday in Oakland County.

The days are dwindling down until Tuesday’s presidential election.  

And President Trump is planning on spending a significant part of those final hours of the campaign in Michigan.

Mathew Schwartz

Thursday morning, on a quiet Ann Arbor street, agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit arrested a master violin teacher and former longtime University of Michigan music professor at his home. 

Stephen Shipps, 68, was charged with two counts of transporting a minor girl across state lines in 2002, “with the intent that such individual engage in sexual activity,” according to an indictment unsealed the same morning. 

"Michigan "Michigan State" flags waving side by side
Michigan Photography

The Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans will meet on the football field Saturday afternoon for the 113th time. The teams will kick off at noon at a nearly empty Michigan stadium in Ann Arbor. 

Sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou for a preview.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s hard to keep up with all the new distilleries in Michigan. There are so many around the state. But, that’s not the half of it. These inventive distillers keep coming out with new spins on spirits and different kinds of things to mix with them.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings was about to spring a new one on me. She had a bottle from Mammoth Distilling from the small town of Central Lake. The label said “cherry bounce.”

Never heard of it.

Adobe Stock

A number of major hospital systems across the state are warning they may have to cancel certain medical procedures if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

As of Thursday, the state reported a total of 1,545 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a 47% increase compared to last Monday, when 1,050 people were hospitalized.

books with mask
Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced this week that teachers and support staff who worked through the pandemic will be eligible for state grants.

The state’s budget set aside $53 million for teachers and $20 million for support staff to receive payments recognizing their work in the spring.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

What can be said about this election that hasn't already been said? It seems like it has all been covered. And with that comes a temptation to slow down when we see the finish line. But now is not the time let up — we all gotta run through the tape and complete the race at full speed.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

Today on Stateside, the role of election challengers at the polls. Also, a Mt. Pleasant photographer uses striking portraits to call attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women. And a conversation about the Arab American voting bloc in Michigan.

Courtesy of Michigan Department of Attorney General

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced multiple felony charges Thursday against Justen Watkins, the self-proclaimed leader of The Base, a white supremacist group that advocates violence, along with another man associated with the group, Alfred Gorman.

Watkins, 25, of Bad Axe, MI, and Gorman, 35, of Taylor, MI, were arrested at their homes early Thursday and taken to the Washtenaw County Jail. 

State health department officials are imposing new limits on indoor gatherings to curb surging rates of COVID-19.  

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is dropping the number of people permitted at indoor gatherings from 500 to 50. This would apply to events like weddings. 

sign marking poll distance banning campaigning at polling places
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Michigan appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Democratic state official who wants to ban the open carry of guns outside polling places. The court says said voter intimidation already is illegal.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Washington Post’s The Fix politics blog has named three public radio reporters in Michigan as “outstanding politics reporters to follow” in the state. They include Michigan Radio’s Zoe Clark, Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network, and Abigail Censky from WKAR.

gary peters headshot
Gary Peters for Senate

Michigan voters will choose a U.S. senator on Election Day. Republican John James is challenging Democratic Senator Gary Peters, who is seeking his second term. 

Peters spoke with Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou.

Stephen Shipps
University of Michigan

Former University of Michigan professor Stephen Shipps was arrested Thursday morning at his Ann Arbor home on two charges of transporting a minor girl across state lines to engage in sexual activity. 

Khadijah Brown
Courtesy of Khadijah Brown

We’ve been talking to folks across the state to hear what’s on their minds this election season in our series Voter Voices.

For performing artist and activist Khadijah Brown, policing is very much on her mind as she heads to the polls.

Earlier this year she co-founded a group called Uplift Kalamazoo to help the Black community and address systemic racism in the city.

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. 

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel say it’s not too late to reinstate a ban on openly carrying guns at or near polling places on Election Day.

They are appealing a court ruling that struck down a directive from Benson that banned open carry in and near polling places on Election Day.

HOLLAND HOSPITAL / Used with permission

Some hospitals in metro Detroit are prepared to accept COVID-19 patients from regions of the state that are experiencing a sharper rise in hospitalizations. 

Beaumont Health’s chief operating officer Carolyn Wilson told Michigan Radio that the system’s eight hospitals currently have enough space in their COVID units to accept transfer patients if needed. 

 

“We still have some capacity there, and that is where Beaumont is willing to work with the state and those that need it to transfer some patients in,” she said. 

 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s place as a pivotal swing state in next Tuesday’s presidential election is clear, based on its frequency on the itineraries of the major presidential campaigns.  

Vice President Mike Pence is the latest candidate to make Michigan a stop on the presidential campaign trail.

2020 Census
Adobe Stock

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and  U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) say they may appeal the U.S. Census Bureau's population tally for Detroit when it is announced. 

They described the Bureau's counting efforts in Detroit as "deficient and haphazard," and said that puts the city at risk for an undercount.

"The truth of the matter is, they started later in Detroit, understaffed Detroit, and shut it down earlier for one reason," said Duggan. "There appears to be a national strategy to undercount cities, and it appears to be hitting Detroit most effectively."

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel have appealed a judge’s October 27 decision to block a ban on firearms at polling places this year. Benson has argued that open carry amounts to a form of voter intimidation at polling places. But some gun rights advocates disagree.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk about Detroit voters and what turnout looks like in the Motor City. Plus, a conversation with the Sheriff of Livingston County about Secretary Benson’s order against firearms at the polls.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

A top executive at West Michigan’s largest health system issued a sobering update to staff Tuesday, saying he’s worried they’re standing at “the base of a mountain” of new COVID-19 cases.

The video update by Spectrum Health West Michigan president Darryl Elmouchi was posted online with limited access, so that only people with the link to the video could view it. The video is available here.

Dave Todd is a police officer in Southeast Michigan.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

People in Michigan have some big decisions to make on November 3. So with the election just around the corner, we’re talking to voters across the state to hear about what’s on their minds in our series, Voter Voices.

Dave Todd has worked as a police officer for over 20 years in Southeast Michigan. Like many people, he's thinking about the future of policing.


Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Michigan, with 2,367 new cases reported on Tuesday. Over the past week, the state has hit a new peak for the average number of new daily cases, though deaths remain far below where they were in the spring. 

Health officials across the state have been urging people to take precautions to stop the spread of the virus: to put off gatherings, keep a distance from others and wear a mask.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has rolled out a proposed plan he said would help many Detroiters who were overtaxed by the city between 2010 and 2013 due to property tax overassessments. The stated goal is to help Detroiters who were hurt by the overassessments, including many who lost their homes due to tax foreclosures. 

Five city council members have co-sponsored Duggan's proposal, and a resolution was introduced Tuesday at a formal session of the city council. 

sign marking poll distance banning campaigning at polling places
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A judge has blocked a ban on the open display of guns near Michigan polling places on Election Day. Judge Christopher Murray acted Tuesday, just a few hours after hearing a challenge from gun-rights groups.

Unless it’s reversed by a higher court, it applies to voting places and absentee counting boards November 3. The only exception would be churches and other places that are already allowed to forbid the open carry of guns.

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