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Michigan’s seeing a small, but hopeful, drop in daily new COVID cases, and there’s optimism that hospitalizations may have peaked in this third wave as well. At Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital – where nurses like Maddie Schrauben care for COVID patients like 6
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Jeanne Bishop and Kathleen Marble are huddled together over their laptop and notes, quietly trying to figure out where they’re going to put all the kids and infants coming into Sparrow Hospital with COVID-19. It’s Tuesday, April 20, and the 8 a.m. incident command meeting has just wrapped. Now the real work begins.

We're not exactly sure what effect the internet and other changes in technology are having on English. It could be that changes in the language are speeding up.

What we do know is that English is spreading around the world in a way we've never seen before. In the process, it's coming into contact with languages all over the world.

As we've seen in the past, language contact is one of the things that can speed up language change.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Sunday marks the seventh anniversary of the start of the Flint water crisis.

On April 25, 2014, officials pushed the button switching Flint’s drinking water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River.

The river water was not properly treated, resulting in lead leeching from old pipes into the city’s drinking water. 

Cherry Capital Airport sign in front of trees and a blue sky
Traverse City Capital Airport

The state health department is trying to encourage more people to get tested for COVID-19 by making it convenient.

The state is beginning to offer testing at travel sites. Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City is the first airport to offer free rapid tests.

U.S. Supreme Court building
Claire Anderson / Unsplash

For years, states around the country had laws that made a sentence of life without the possibility of parole mandatory for children who committed serious violent offenses. In Michigan, that meant that some 360 juvenile defendants were sent to prison for life. Over the past decade, a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions found that those mandatory sentences were unconstitutional. But on April 22, the Supreme Court released a decision — with conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh penning the majority opinion — that complicates those years of reform.

exterior photo of a bar, BS & Co in wolverine, MI
Google

The owners of a Cheboygan County bar can be sued for failing to protect a patron from racist assaults on the sidewalk in front of the business. That decision came from this week from the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The two assaults occurred outside B.S. & Co. in Wolverine. Details that were part of the written opinion say the victim stopped by the bar to pick up a pizza and was taunted by a patron, who used the “n” word, followed him outside and punched him unconscious.

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

Today, on Stateside, an impending crisis among Michigan’s home care workforce and others in direct care. Plus, what the Supreme Court's ruling on Juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison without parole means for Michigan.

The University of Michigan West Quad
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who live on its Ann Arbor campus this fall.

President Mark Schlissel said Friday that shots won't be mandated for faculty, staff and others students "at this time," but he strongly encouraged everyone to be vaccinated.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Nurses in the Henry Ford Health System say they're feeling the strain of the latest COVID-19 surge.

When Lauren Varley saw her first COVID-19 case in the ICU last year, she told her parents she couldn't see them for a month. That month stretched into six as she worried about exposing her parents to the virus that claimed the lives of so many of the patients she risked her own life to treat.

"It made me feel extremely hopeless and very helpless as a nurse because I knew that any patient that I saw with COVID, I knew there was a very high possibility that they just were not going to survive," Varley said.

A Catholic priest
Adobe Stock

ONTONAGON, Mich. (AP) — A former priest who left Michigan decades ago pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually abusing teens in the Upper Peninsula in the 1980s, the attorney general’s office said.

Gary Jacobs, 75, pleaded guilty to four counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ontonagon County and will serve at least eight years in prison before he’s eligible for parole, authorities said.

Andrea Piacquadio for Pexel

Michigan nurses took their concerns about COVID-19 workplace issues to members of Congress Thursday.

Many Michigan hospitals are at or near their capacity limits as the state struggles with another surge in COVID cases.

During a zoom conference with Michigan congresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib, nurses said the recent surge in COVID cases is showing again problems in Michigan hospitals that have existed since the pandemic began.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s talk of a major investment in Flint Community Schools.

But at this point, it’s still just talk.

Flint public schools have been caught in a downward spiral for years, declining enrollment fueled by aging buildings.

But key players in Flint have been talking behind the scenes about a plan to build new schools.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

I hate to provide the man with any additional media attention, but Michigan's own Ted Nugent was in the news this week having recently proclaimed that COVID-19 was not real, and shortly thereafter announcing he contracted it (and, as advertised, it was not pleasant for him). No additional comment.

Sarah Sutherlin and Carmela Palamara
Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press


A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

There are early signs that demand for COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan has started to level out and drop off.

State data show that 664,349 COVID vaccine doses were administered across the state during the week of April 5, which is when Michigan opened up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 years or older. The following week, it dropped to 607,517 doses.

Metro Detroit is helping to drive that trend. The city of Detroit and surrounding regions — Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties — all saw drops in the number of vaccine doses administered between the first two full weeks of April.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state House Oversight Committee approved a subpoena Thursday to require former state health department director Robert Gordon to testify.

Republicans have questions on the use of confidentiality agreements when Governor Gretchen Whitmer and top administration officials parted ways. Also whether Gordon differed with Whitmer’s decisions on the state’s COVID-19 response.

people signing petitions
Fraitag.de / Adobe Stock

Michigan's Board of State Canvassers deadlocked Thursday on certifying a petition that seeks to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of Governor Act that Governor Gretchen Whitmer used early in the pandemic to issue COVID-19 orders.

The tie vote of 2-2 was along party lines.

The vote means the Unlock Michigan initiative does not move on to the Republican-controlled Legislature for a vote that would be veto proof. 

Diana Polekhina / Unsplash

Despite some snow on the ground this week, spring has officially sprung in Michigan. For some, it’s not the calendar that clued them in, but instead, their itchy eyes and runny noses. Whether you're experiencing allergy symptoms for the first time or you feel like your normal allergies are coming back with a vengeance, you may be wondering just what’s going on this year.

“Right now what we're seeing is that environmental allergens are increasing, especially in the Midwest and the state of Texas, randomly. That seems to be our path. But we've reached record levels that we've never reached before,” said Dr. Kathleen Dass, an allergist, immunologist, and medical director with the Michigan Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center in Oak Park. 

a nurse holds a vial of one of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Spectrum Health

Today on Stateside, what it could take to get Michiganders who are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine to roll up their sleeves. Also, no, you’re not imagining it — why your seasonal allergies seem to be getting worse. Plus, the effort to make the great outdoors safe and accessible for Black and brown Michiganders.

Exterior of fence and prison grounds
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Lawmakers in Michigan's House of Representatives have introduced a package of bills designed to make changes to existing laws regarding public safety.

The seven-bill package has bipartisan support, and seeks to lower recidivism rates and provide support to victims of crimes.

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy

The Michigan Public Service Commission will consider the environmental impact of greenhouse gasses in its decision on the future of Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. That’s part of an order issued Wednesday.

The Public Service Commission decision is one of several administrative and legal challenges faced by Enbridge. The company wants approval for a plan to bury a replacement section of the pipeline inside a tunnel, and continue to use it to convey petroleum products beneath the Great Lakes.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

The state confirmed another 5,584 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic above 800,000. More than 17,000 people in Michigan have now passed away due to COVID-19.

a group of people gather in detroit, one holding a black and white Black Lives Matter sign
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Now that a jury in Minnesota has convicted Derek Chauvin on three counts for the murder of George Floyd, the United States has entered a new chapter in its national conversation about police and use of force. But how different will this chapter be from what’s come before — and how much might change within the country’s criminal justice system and the violence it disproportionately enacts against Black Americans?

Photo taken from a BLM protest in Detroit this summer
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, how activists who took to the streets after the death of Geroge Floyd are feeling after the police officer who killed Floyd was found guilty of murder. Also, how much that verdict changes about the future of policing and criminal justice in America. And, the cross-cultural exchange between Detroit and Berlin that helped shape the sound of techno music. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Part of the $641 million Flint water crisis settlement might be in jeopardy.

McLaren Flint Hospital agreed to contribute $20 million to the settlement. The rest of the money is coming from the state of Michigan, the city of Flint and Rowe Professional Services.

The hospital faces lawsuits tied to deadly Legionnaires' Disease cases after the city of Flint’s drinking water was switched.  At least a dozen people died and scores more fell ill with the pneumonia-like illness. Roughly half the cases had links to the McLaren hospital.

Michigan seeks to delay redistricting by nearly 3 months

Apr 21, 2021
Michiganradio.org

Michigan’s top election official and its redistricting panel asked the state Supreme Court on Wednesday for more time to adopt new congressional and legislative maps, pointing to delayed census data.

The lawsuit, which was expected, seeks a Jan. 25 deadline — nearly three months later than the Nov. 1 date set in the state constitution. Due to setbacks from the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau is not expected to release redistricting data until mid- to late August and it might not be available in an easy-to-use format until Sept. 30.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel at podium
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan's college towns are quieter this spring than they would be in a normal year. As University of Michigan students and faculty wrap up another COVID-19 semester, UM President Mark Schlissel hopes the fall will bring impressive vaccination rates and the return of an ebullient campus. 

The pandemic school year

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Members of the Michigan-based protest movements that formed in the wake of George Floyd’s killing say Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction is a vindication of their cause.

Leaders from the protest movement called Detroit Will Breathe gathered with supporters in the snow in front of Detroit Police Headquarters just after the Chauvin verdict on Tuesday evening. They said the verdict shows the power of their movement, but it’s hardly the end point.

“Today is certainly a victory for the movement and defense of Black and brown lives. Unfortunately, it falls short of freedom,” said Nakia Wallace, a co-founder of Detroit Will Breathe.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday she will veto Republican-sponsored election bills if they are sent to her desk. But she does not expect that will end the fight. The bills would, among other things, require voters to show IDs at polling places or to get an absentee ballot. They would also limit the use of ballot drop boxes.

Whitmer registered her opposition during an online interview with The Washington Post.

beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest health system is straining under the weight of the state’s third COVID-19 surge.

Beaumont Health System CEO John Fox says it currently has around 800 COVID-19 patients in its eight hospitals.

Fox was a guest on Stateside on Tuesday. He says this COVID surge puts Beaumont and other Michigan hospitals in an incredibly difficult situation.

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