Emma Winowiecki | Michigan Radio

Emma Winowiecki

Digital Producer

Emma is a producer and reporter for the digital news team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from reporting news online to producing videos to creating maps and graphics for other reporters.

A native of northern Michigan, Emma is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a dual degree in Communication Studies and Film Studies. As such, she is a movie and TV junkie, and is always up for a game of trivia. Her other passions include reading, cooking, and taking too many pictures of her dogs: Gus and Seamus.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Thursday morning that ends all face-to-face K-12 schooling for the 2019-20 academic year. 

Instead of meeting in person, the order establishes guidelines for distance learning, which will continue.

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

For weeks, we've been hearing all about "flattening the curve." 

The idea is if everyone stays home and practices social distancing, the number of COVID-19 cases will increase at a rate that won't overwhelm the health care system. 

COVID-19 has changed life in Michigan. The disease is spreading quickly, and the news is changing right along with it.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives" order remains in effect til April 13. But what does that mean? There are a lot of questions surrounding COVID-19 and what we're supposed to do to stay safe. 

We've gathered some answers for you below. Do you have a question? Send it our way!

People across social media are sewing their own facemasks, but they don't do much to protect against coronavirus.
Adobe Stock

If you're on social media, you've probably seen some sort of crafting video that involves making a homemade facemask. With the supply of N95 respirators rapidly shrinking, people are turning to other options to try and protect themselves from coronavirus.

There's no need to race to the store and begin hoarding food. Grocery stores will remain open, and the food supply chain will remain operational.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all Michiganders to stay at home for the next three weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, only "essential" businesses will be allowed to operate for the next three weeks, and all other businesses are ordered to suspend in-person operations. Michiganders are instructed to stay home as much as possible, but there are exceptions. 

gretchen whitmer sitting at table

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a "stay at home" order during an 11 a.m. press conference Monday as an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, and will remain in place for at least the next three weeks.

The first person in Michigan has died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus

Beaumont Health announced Wednesday that a man in his 50s who tested positive for COVID-19 and had other underlying medical conditions died at Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County.

Noah Fortson/NPR

The White House coronavirus task force is briefing reporters on the latest on the pandemic. Watch the update live starting at 11:30 a.m.

Adobe Stock

As the nation begins to cope with the coronavirus pandamic, Michiganders are doing their part by staying home. Social distancing is key to slowing the spread of the virus, but being stuck at home can be, well, a bit boring after a while.

To help cope with the monotony, we put together a list of Michigan books and authors for you to check out while you practice social distancing. Peruse the list below, and if you see anything you like, consider ordering it online from your local bookstore.

Adobe Stock

Starting at 3 p.m. Monday, many businesses in Michigan will temporarily close.

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A number of universities in Michigan are suspending face-to-face classes now that there are known cases of COVID-19 in the state.

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, and Oakland University all announced Wednesday that they will be moving to online classes. 

coronavirus symptoms sheet
Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday night that there are two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. The cases are in Wayne and Oakland counties. They have not yet been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Whitmer also declared a state of emergency, saying, "We are taking every step that we can to mitigate the virus spread, and keep Michiganders safe."

Sanders speaks to thousands of supporters during a rally on the University of Michigan campus Sunday.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan dominated the Democratic presidential campaign trail this weekend.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off the weekend with a rally in Detroit Friday night.     

At the TCF Center, Sanders told thousands of his supporters he and former Vice President Joe Biden have pledged to support the Democratic Party’s nominee. He says defeating Donald Trump is what matters most.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has endosered for Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination. The endorsement comes five days before Michigan's primary.

Whitmer announced her endorsement Thursday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "He's got my enthusiastic support and my vote on Tuesday," she said, adding, "When Michigan needed help ... Barack Obama and Joe Biden had our backs."

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

After months (years? decades?) of campaigning, the 2020 presidential primary is finally coming to Michigan. Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, March 10 to decide which Democratic candidate will take the majority of Michigan’s 125 pledged delegates.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This primary season, absentee ballots are all the rage.

Michigan voters passed a ballot measure in 2018 that allows for no-reason absentee voting, and the March 10 primary will be a major test for the new policy.

The Secretary of State says absentee ballot requests are up more than 70% from the same time in 2016.

sick child
Adobe Stock

The disease COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus, continues to spread throughout the world. 

At the moment, the World Health Organization says it appears to be deadlier than the flu, although it may not spread as easily.

A sign in Ann Arbor warns passing drivers of a massive pothole in the road.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It is a fact universally acknowledged that Michigan has terrible roads.

Well, unless you are state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), who said this month that he is not convinced there is a need for new road spending.

While there are a lot of arguments to be had about how to actually fix the roads by politicians and policy advisors and opinion columnists, there are some facts about Michigan’s roads that are indisputable.


Thirty years before toxic green ooze spilled onto a Madison Heights road, the state's Pollution Emergency Alerting System hotline received a complaint about chemical storage pits dug into the basement of Electro-Plating Services (EPS).

For three years, it appears the state took no action. Then, in 1993, another complaint was made to the hotline. This time, the state investigated.

dog cbd oil

CBD, the non-psychoactive compound of marijuana, is becoming popular for people and pets alike. You can find CBD oil in cookies, gummies, teas, lotions, and, yes, pet treats. These products claim to treat stress, anxiety, pain, and more — although research on the subject is still undecided.

But if you were to go to a veterinarian in Michigan and ask about the possible benefits or side effects of marijuana for your pet, they legally could not discuss it with you.

green ooze
Michigan Dept. of Transportation

On December 20, a neon green slime was discovered leaking onto I-696 in Madison Heights. 

Cars in a snowstorm
Adobe Stock

The National Weather Service is predicting a massive storm across the Midwest this weekend. 

In Michigan, a variety of snow, freezing rain, and flood warnings have been issued, and are in place from 10 p.m. Friday until 10 p.m. Sunday. That could mean widespread power outages, downed trees and wires, and difficult traveling conditions throughout the state.


Former Michigan State University head football coach George Perles has died. He was 85.

At MSU, Perles was a player, coach, athletic director, and university trustee. 

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

After a years-long battle, two class-action lawsuits against the Michigan Department of Corrections have reached a settlement. The lawsuits were brought by hundreds of juvenile prisoners who allege the MDOC failed to protect them against sexual abuse while serving time in adult prisons.

These are the stories only Michigan Radio reporters could bring you. 

When it's a big year for news, political cartoonists have plenty of material. Michigan Radio cartoonist John Auchter definitely took advantage of this year's chaotic news cycle.

2019 was such a big year for news, we couldn’t fit it all in a single round-up. But here are some of the biggest stories that has Michigan talking this year.

2019 was one of the hottest, wettest years on record.