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

Spartan stadium
Flickr/Ken Lund / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

The Big Ten Conference will play football this fall. After postponing the season – and a lot of behind-the-scenes back and forth since then – the leaders of the member universities voted in favor of a plan to start the season next month.

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Doug Tribou on Morning Edition to discuss the decision.

kids reading. one sitting in the grass and the other sitting in a tree
Libby Johnson

For a lot of Michigan kids, the first day of school this fall means another day at home. And if the spring was any indication, even parents who have kids in a fully online school program will still need some home-schooling skills.

aerial view of empty University of Michigan football stadium
Alex Mertz / Unsplash

Pop-up tents, coolers, and cornhole sets will be sitting, unused, in sheds and garages across the state of Michigan Saturday morning.

African-American man in blue suit standing in front of green outdoor space
Courtesy of the City of Flint

The City of Flint has a new police chief. Terence Green comes to the department after several years as chief in the Flint suburb of Mount Morris Township.

Green is a Flint resident and also worked for the Genessee County Sheriff's Department for more than 20 years.

Green talked to Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about his priorities for city’s police department.

prison exterior
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

In April and May, Michigan prisons saw a wave of COVID-19 infections among inmates. Things simmered down in midsummer, but have spiked again recently with a large outbreak at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Throughout the pandemic, prisoners have raised concerns about how the Michigan Department of Corrections is responding to COVID-19 in the state's prisons. 

Joey Horan is a reporter with Outlier Media. In an investigation for Bridge Magazine, he found that once the virus enters a facility, prison officials rely heavily on punitive measures to control its spread.

entrance to Comerica Park
Cacophony / Wikimedia Commons

One prediction about the Tigers' 2020 season is a sure thing. It will be like no other season baseball fans have ever seen. 

Detroit will play its first game of the shortened campaign Friday night in Cincinnati against the Reds.   

In addition to a schedule cut from 162 games to 60, the Tigers will be playing under a host of new rules designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. They include limited seating in the dugouts, and a ban on spitting and high-fives.

Michigan radio sports commentator John U. Bacon says MLB is getting it right when it comes to safety.

senior couple holding hands, wearing backpacks
pasja1000 / Pixabay

A joke about how to use a smartphone. A wink between colleagues about a current pop culture reference. Unneeded help with routine tasks.

Those are some of the ways older people experience ageism. 

The University of Michigan looked at bias against older people and other quality of life issues in its National Poll on Healthy Aging, which has just been released.

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
User wolfpeterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Housing advocates are asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to extend the moratorium on evictions. The moratorium was originally put in place in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has been extended four times via executive order. It is now set to expire at 12:01 a.m. on July 16

 

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.

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