Will Callan | Michigan Radio
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Will Callan

Reporter

Will Callan, a reporter for Michigan Radio, hails from the Bay Area, where he lived in Oakland and San Francisco and reported for local newspapers and magazines. He enjoys a long swim in chilly water (preferably followed by a sauna) and getting to know new cities. That's one reason he's excited to be in Ann Arbor, which he can already tell has just the right combo of urban grit and natural beauty to make him feel at home.

RHODA BAER / FLICKR

Michigan has a goal to vaccinate about one million more people for the flu this year than it did last year, and so far, we’re making steady progress. 

RAWPIXEL

Researchers at the University of Michigan say nursing homes might respond better to a second surge of COVID-19 if they have strong formal relationships with local hospitals and health officials. 

A new study looks at how three nursing homes in Washtenaw County responded to COVID-19 outbreaks in April.

 

WILL CALLAN / MICHIGAN RADIO

 

President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at a private airport near Muskegon Saturday night, in a county that then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won by 1.5 percentage points in 2016.

Though the subject of the event was originally billed as “Supporting Law Enforcement,” by Friday it had been changed to “Supporting the American Way of Life.”

 

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Two bills introduced this week in Lansing would increase the legal penalties for large boat operators who don’t pass cautiously through the Straits of Mackinac.

House Bill 6307 is sponsored by Representative Rachel Hood (D-Grand Rapids), and House Bill 6308 by Representative Sue Allor (R-Wolverine). 

 

Credit Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Worker advocates are calling on the Michigan House of Representatives to amend a bill that ties unemployment benefits to strong legal protections for businesses in cases related to COVID-19.

Senate Bill 886 would extend unemployment benefits that were previously provided under one of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.

 

JEFFREY PAUL

Storm chasers and meteorologists observed a record number of waterspouts over the Great Lakes this month, according to the Toronto-based International Centre for Waterspout Research. 

The group confirmed 240 of the spectacular weather events over the Great Lakes between September 28 and October 4. 

 

A waterspout can form on a cloudy day, when cold air passes over warmer waters. The resulting vortex sucks down condensation from the cloud cover, creating a phenomenon that looks like a tornado.

 

GUNDULA VOGEL / PIXABAY

In August, during a drive-through parade at the Medilodge of St. Clair nursing home, Jane Ogden jumped from her idling car, popped open a beer, and rushed it to a wheelchair-bound man in a t-shirt and pajama bottoms. “Drink it quickly,” she said, “or they might take it away from you.” 

She squeezed her dad’s arm and made to return to the car. Ogden ran into a nurse, who mildly reprimanded her. But she felt, after months of lockdown, that her dad needed the excitement. 

 

SARAH CWIEK / MICHIGAN RADIO

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released a planning guide that draws a strong connection between climate change and people’s health.

The document, called the Climate and Health Adaptation Planning Guide for Michigan Communities, is the result of 10 years of research funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is tweaking how the state decides which nursing facilities can safely accept recovering COVID-19 patients. 

Under an executive order issued on Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will replace regional hub facilities with “care and recovery centers.”

 

The two are essentially the same.

 

Both of them — recovery centers and regional hubs — are isolation wings within nursing homes where residents with COVID-19 can recover. Both are supposed to be able to accept COVID patients from long-term care facilities that aren’t able to set up an isolation wing, or from hospitals, when patients can’t safely return to the facility where they live.

 

JODI WESTRICK / MICHIGAN RADIO

A class action lawsuit filed in federal court this week alleges that Vision Property Management, a company based out of South Carolina, scammed low-income Black residents looking to buy a home in the Detroit and Flint areas.

Four legal groups filed the suit, including the ACLU of Michigan and the Michigan Poverty Law Program. They allege Vision lured about 1,000 consumers into contracts that seemed to promise future homeownership. 

 

WILL CALLAN / MICHIGAN RADIO

 

Last week, along with the rest of Adrian College’s nearly 2,000 students, Hunter Causie returned to in-person classes.

Credit VCU CNS / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan is receiving nearly $80 million in federal funding to help counter the opioid crisis across the state. 

 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will be distributing the grant money to programs that aim to improve the prevention and treatment of opioid addiction, and reduce harm stemming from the crisis. 

 

To that end, part of the funding will increase the distribution of naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan), a drug use to reverse an opioid overdose. 

 

DETROIT HEALTH DEPARTMENT

The Detroit Health Department wants to make the flu vaccine more accessible to city residents this fall.

 

One prong of the distribution effort is to provide 6,740 free shots to people living in emergency shelters, adult foster care facilities, and senior living facilities between October 14 and Christmas. 

 

METRON OF CEDAR SPRINGS

Visitation restrictions at long-term care facilities will ease up slightly on September 15. 

An order from the state health department will allow certain skilled nursing facilities, homes for the aged, and other long-term care facilities to hold outdoor visits for their residents, while maintaining safety measures such as distancing and mask-wearing requirements. 

DAVID CASSLEMAN / INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO

A legal challenge to COVID-19 testing requirements on Michigan farms has been dismissed in the federal court system. 

Two Michigan farms — True Blue Berry Management in Grand Junction, and Smeltzer Orchards in Frankfort — and several workers filed the lawsuit against the state in August, claiming the testing requirements discriminated against Latinos, who make up the majority of farm workers in the U.S.

 

LESTER GRAHAM / MICHIGAN RADIO

The Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic heard testimony Wednesday on recommendations issued last week by the state’s nursing home task force.

State lawmakers spent about an hour questioning Henry Ford Health System’s Dr. Betty Chu, who co-chaired the nursing home task force, about the report. 

 

RAWPIXEL

For the second week in a row, a comprehensive report has been released recommending how Michigan’s health department could better manage COVID-19 in nursing homes. 

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Michigan colleges and universities have reported more than 930 COVID-19 cases since the start of August, according to publicly available numbers compiled by Michigan Radio.

That number is likely an undercount because many private universities do not post regular coronavirus updates on their public websites. One of the largest outbreaks in the state is at Adrian College, where college president Jeffrey Docking confirmed 131 positive cases as of last Monday. The Adrian Daily Telegraph reports the number rose to 200 cases by the end of last week, though the college hasn’t confirmed that total.

DAVID MARK / PIXABAY

In an executive order issued last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said gyms and swimming pools could re-open September 9, with added health and safety measures in place. 

Some gym owners, however, are approaching the re-opening process with caution.

US Department of Agriculture

A federal appeals court in Ohio has denied a request from some Michigan farms to suspend testing requirements for Michigan workers while it makes a decision about the related lawsuit.

GUNDULA VOGEL / PIXABAY

A task force charged with recommending how nursing homes should manage COVID-19 in the event of a second wave submitted its report to Governor Gretchen Whitmer this week.

MICHIGAN FARM BUREAU

Advocates for migrant workers voiced their support on Thursday for a state order that requires farm operators to test their employees for COVID-19. 

The order, which also applies to food processing facilities and migrant labor camps, has faced legal resistance from Michigan farmers. 

 

Senator Kamala Harris

Vice Presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) encouraged Black women in Michigan to vote early by mail this year at a virtual campaign event held Wednesday. 

MICHIGAN TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY


STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

The City of Flint has a new deadline to replace lead water service lines in its neighborhoods.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley said during a press conference Thursday that the city had agreed with the Natural Resources Defense Council to extend the deadline for replacing the pipes to November 30.

 

“We’re pleased to say that we came to a negotiated term, with the NRDC, that gives us an extended period of time to make sure that we get to every resident,” he said.

 

MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT

After nine months without a permanent police chief, the City of Flint announced today it has filled the position. 

Terence Green will take over for Interim Chief Phil Hart by September 1st. Hart’s term ended Monday.

 

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Detroit area residents who are older than 50 tend to die earlier compared to people older than 50 in other parts of the state.

That’s according to a study from the Detroit Area Agency on Aging and researchers at Wayne State University.

 

JODI WESTRICK/MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office might bring charges against long-term care facilities that don’t follow an executive order designed to protect residents and staff. 

 

“Willful violations of this executive order are considered a misdemeanor offense, which carry a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail,” read a Thursday press release

 

UNSPLASH

All but one of Michigan’s 21 regional hubs for nursing home patients recovering from COVID-19  have been cited for an infection-control deficiency in the last four years, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Four of those facilities were cited for infection-control violations that occurred in the weeks just before the state designated them as hubs. 

 

PAULETTE PARKER/MICHIGAN RADIO

Some of the first volunteers in a new COVID-19 vaccine trial received their injections at Henry Ford Health System on Wednesday.

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