Morning Edition | Michigan Radio
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Morning Edition

Weekday mornings from 5:00 - 9:00 a.m.

Weekday mornings on Michigan Radio, Doug Tribou hosts NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to news radio program in the country. The show brings listeners up-to-the-minute news, analysis, commentary, interviews, and coverage of the arts and sports. Morning Edition on Michigan Radio features work by our team of reporters, Doug's in-depth interviews, and observations from our sports commentator John U. Bacon. You'll also hear special features, including It's Just PoliticsStoryCorps, and Mornings in Michigan

A maroon 1955 Lincoln Continental
Ken Fischang / Gilmore Car Museum

Ford Motor Company announced this week that it is ending production of one its most famous cars: the Lincoln Continental. Ford will stop manufacturing the luxury sedan at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant at the end of this year.

Anastasiia Chepinska/Unsplash

Linda Vail isn’t sure how much longer she and her staff can keep working 18-hour days. 

The Ingham County health officer is squeezing in a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast while she does this intervew over Zoom. It’s been a busy couple of weeks: As of Tuesday, her staff tallied more than 100 COVID-19 cases connected to Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub, an East Lansing spot popular with college students. 

empty baseball stadium
Simon Johnson

For a time with very few sporting events, it's been a very busy week for sports news. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon shared his thoughts on bringing back sports during the COVID-19 crisis and the Detroit Lions' ownership change.

kid on swing
Myles Tan / Unsplash

School's out for summer, though that change may seem less significant when your kids have already been home from school for months. With many camps and vacation plans on the scrap heap this year, keeping your kids' mental health – and your own – in check may take some extra work this summer.

dumpster on fire with protesters gathered around it
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis prompted large protests in Grand Rapids. But Grand Rapids has its own history of troubling interactions between police and residents. Now the city is having tough conversations about the future of policing there.

Sen. Peter Lucido

In an often emotional hearing that raised more questions than it answered, the state Senate health policy committee heard testimony on a bill that would prohibit nursing homes without COVID-19 positive patients from caring for patients with the disease. 

Nursing home residents account for more than one third of Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths, according to the state health department. 

 

screenshot of TouTube video of students playing instruments
Monroe High School

Michigan schools are wrapping up a year like no other. As COVID-19 closed K-12 buildings, teachers and students struggled to recreate the chemistry of some group activities.

Downtown Ann Arbor
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Starting Monday, Michigan’s restaurants and bars can reopen to dine-in customers at half capacity. Business districts have welcomed the news, but as customers return, there are also concerns about spreading COVID-19.

Traverse City recently voted to close two blocks downtown to vehicle traffic to allow for more outdoor seating. And last week, the Ann Arbor City Council passed its own plan for some downtown streets.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Following two nights of protests in Detroit over the police killing of George Floyd, where police released tear gas on protesters in attempts to divide and separate the crowd, a mandated curfew seemed to help quell activity in the city on Sunday evening.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

For many people in Michigan, one of the most pressing issues during the coronavirus pandemic is how to handle K-12 education. Parents and kids are still navigating the final weeks of this school year, but there are major questions about what will be possible in the fall.

Michigan's State Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice spoke with Michigan Radio's Morning Edition about the posssibilities and concerns. 

sewing machine and fabric on table
Tami Davis

On a recent Saturday morning I sat down at my sewing machine. Normally I like to sew clothes, but lately I've been making cloth masks. I tapped into my mom’s seemingly endless supply of fabric and so far I’ve made about 30 for family and friends.

“Everyone who sews has always secretly known that one day their stash would save the world and that day is now,” says Saginaw resident Tami Davis.

Davis leads the Mid-Michigan Mask Makers group – also known as 4-M. In March, an online post about mask making got her attention.

Woman looking at closed window blinds
Needpix / Needpix

For many people, staying at home has provided some sense of safety during the coronavirus pandemic. But for Michigan residents who live under the threat of domestic violence, staying home during an especially stressful time feels anything but safe.

Shelters that take in victims and their children are trying to protect their guests on multiple levels right now. People fearing abuse at home arrive at shelters where group settings present an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.

PAULETTE PARKER/MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan’s first field hospital is no longer accepting COVID-19 patients, less than a month after opening its doors to the public. COVID-19 hospitalizations are leveling off, and health systems no longer need TCF’s beds as an option for overflow. 

The TCF Regional Care Center, in downtown Detroit, opened on Friday, April 10, and admitted its first patient that Sunday. On May 1, MDHHS confirmed that the field hospital would accept no more transfers, and the final patient was discharged on Wednesday. All told, the hospital cared for 39 people.

woman in personal protection equipment talking to woman in wheelchair
Wikimedia Commons

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 infections now stands at just over 45,000 thousand cases according to the state of Michigan.

Lately, the daily number of new cases has been trending downward.

But in a briefing last week, the state’s top Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun noted an emerging concern.

“To date, the vast majority of cases have still been in Southeast Michigan,” Khaldun said. “However, while the rate of rise is slower in Southeast Michigan, we are seeing an increase in the rate of rise in other parts of the state, particularly in the Western part.”

man welding, sparks
Daniel Wiadro / Unsplash

Picture this: you're going to college half-time and working half-time - at a low-paying job - to get by. Then a global crisis hits and you lose that part-time job. Soon, you realize you need help from the state to get food on the table, but to qualify you have to drop out of school.

Some Michigan college students had been facing that dilemma until a rule change that was announced Tuesday. 

Looking up into the rotunda of the Michigan Capitol.
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Some intense scenes played out at the state Capitol in Lansing Thursday. Armed demonstrators stood in the Senate gallery and angry protesters tried to demand access to the House chambers. All of this was driven by tensions over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Lee Chatfield joined Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about the protests and the political impasse between Whitmer and Republican legislators.

close up of cross inlay on front of church
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

United States Attorney General William Barr issued a memo on Monday instructing U.S. attorneys to watch for state and local orders tied to the COVID-19 pandemic that could be violating the constitutional rights of citizens. Barr named the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Matthew Schneider, as one of two people to oversee that process. He spoke to Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou.

msu beaumont tower
Wikimedia Commons

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security – or CARES – Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump in March included nearly $14 billion in emergency relief funding for higher education. Michigan State University is slated to receive more than $29.8 million, the most of any individual campus in the state.

married couple smiling with sign
Bryce Huffman

Big weddings are out during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown in Michigan. So, one bride and groom scaled down their plans when they got married earlier this month in Detroit.

Michigan Radio reporter Bryce Huffman was there to see it because his brother was the groom. Bryce said his brother and new sister-in-law, Eric and Naomi Huffman, had big plans when they first got engaged.

Michigan needs big boost in coronavirus testing to reopen economy

Apr 22, 2020
testing swab
Shutterstock image

Michigan plans to begin reopening its economy in 10 days. To do so safely, public health experts agree widespread testing for the coronavirus is key.

But with chronic shortages of testing supplies, and no solutions on the near horizon, the state is not close to meeting testing benchmarks experts have set, making it difficult to predict which parts of the economy can safely reopen, and when.

john u. bacon running with friends
Christie Bacon

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon had Monday April 20, circled on his calendar for a long, long time. Before COVID-19 hit, that was the date of the Boston Marathon, and John was supposed to be in it. The marathon is on hold, so John came up with an alternative: he drew up his own 26.2 mile course in Ann Arbor and invited people to cheer him on – at a distance – over the weekend.

white casket with flowers on top being carried by pallbearers
Pixabay

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it here in Michigan.

It’s also changed death.

As more people die from the disease, funeral homes are making radical adjustments to help families mourn their loved ones without putting more lives in danger.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek has spoken with some funeral directors about the changes they’re making. Here is a summary of what they reported.

Congressman Justin Amash
Facebook

West Michigan Congressman Justin Amash is considering a run for president. This week, Amash revealed that he has paused his Congressional reelection campaign while he considers running for the White House.

Libertarian columnist Shikha Dalmia joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about Amash's possible run and personal liberties in the time of stay-home orders. 

MICHIGAN.GOV

On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the TCF Center would begin accepting its first 25 COVID-19 patients.

The announcement also stated that Henry Ford Health System, Beaumont Health, McLaren Health and Detroit Medical Center would be stepping in to provide administrative support, and that a FEMA strike team would provide initial staffing.

bible and torah
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This is a holy time for believers in both the Jewish and Christian faiths, but the traditional worship services and gatherings associated with Passover and Easter aren’t following their traditional format this year.

Rabbi Amy Bigman leads Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing, and Rev. Solomon Kinloch Jr. is the senior pastor at Triumph Church in Detroit. They spoke with Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about worship in the time of COVID-19

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order ending face-to-face instruction for the current school year. But Whitmer also wants kids to move forward.

“What we want to make sure is that no student is penalized because of COVID-19, that they are not held back because of this global crisis that we’re confronting,” Whitmer said in a press conference Thursday.

Lisa Hagel is superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District. She spoke with Michigan Radio’s Doug Tribou about how the new order will affect students and families.

In Michigan, parents of school-aged children are now in the third consecutive week with their kids out of school. For many, there's a daily mish-mash of video calls with teachers or friends, homemade lesson plans, and a touch of cabin fever ... all while trying to work from home.

For tips on helping your family navigate all of that, we turned to Dr. Jenny Radesky. She's a developmental behavioral pediatrician, researcher, and professor at the University of Michigan. 

hospital room
Dan Stevens / Pexels

With a surge of COVID-19 patients beginning at some hospitals here in Michigan, healthcare workers on the front lines of the outbreak may soon have to make some tough decisions about serving their patients, and protecting their co-workers, families, and themselves.

governor whitmer
State of Michigan

As of 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Michigan is under an official stay-at-home order. People are allowed to go outside for exercise and for essential activities like grocery shopping and medical appointments.

But, the order requires non-essential businesses to close any of their in-person operations and prohibits any gatherings with people who aren’t members of your household.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the order Monday.  It lasts until April 13. She joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to discuss its scope and other effects of the coronvirus pandemic.

child swinging
Olivia Bauso / unsplash

The new coronavirus is making child care complicated. For some people working from home, it turns into an iPad while they're on a conference call. But people who simply have to go to work still need reliable, safe child care.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday to ease child care licensing restrictions with the goal making more care available to health care providers and other essential workers.

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