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Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Energy has been eager to show news media its new Enbridge Straits Maritime Operations Center in Mackinaw City. Its purpose is to try to prevent another anchor strike or other damage to Line 5, the dual pipelines carrying oil and natural gas liquids.

Michael Lynn, Jr.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

People in Michigan have some big decisions to make on November 3. So with the election just over a month away, we’re talking to voters across the state to hear what’s on their minds.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

I met Kyla James in her front yard on a hot day in the middle of a global pandemic. She sat in a chair in the shade of a tall tree, legs folded underneath her.

It had been almost three months since her former student – the one with the beautiful smile and the crazy good computer skills – was killed. Three months of knowing her coworkers were the ones responsible, that all of her former students had been traumatized by it.

She always knew Lakeside had problems. She thought she was helping make it better. Then she saw the report from the state documenting what happened. She learned about the years of violations at Lakeside.

“Even for someone working there, even seeing what I did in being there every day, it was still stunning,” James says. “It was stunning.”

MSU Belmont Tower
EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

Update, Thursday September 23: Michigan State University has updated its online COVID-19 dashboard to reflect cases reported by the Ingham County Health Department, two days after the county's public health director revealed the health department's case count was far higher than what the university was publicly stating. 

The university notified the public of the change, says spokesman Dan Olsen, by contacting reporters Thursday morning and sending out a notice in the campus newsletter that afternoon. 

"The university’s COVID-19 dashboard now reflects the total number of positive cases of MSU students and employees reported by the Ingham County Health Department," the newsletter reads. "It does not include students and employees tested outside of the county and does not necessarily include those who self-reported a positive case to the university." 

That change means the case numbers listed on MSU's site essentially doubled overnight, from 548 cases at the start of this week, to 1,239 cases since July 27th. A spokesperson for MSU said the university is "continuing our ongoing partnership with [the health department] to report this information weekly (each Monday.)" 

Those case numbers are still slightly lower than the 1,250 MSU-related cases Ingham County Health Director Linda Vail said her department had recorded in the last 30 days. Those cases only include those the health department can verify are MSU students, faculty, or staff, Vail said Tuesdsay, and do not include secondary cases in the broader East Lansing community. 

This story will continue to be updated. 

Original post, Tuesday September 22: Michigan State University is knowingly underreporting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff, according to information released by the Ingham County Health Department on Tuesday.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office is ready to prosecute any efforts to use intimidation or misinformation to illegally swing the November elections.

Nessell, a Democrat, has compiled a list of laws that are supposed to deter election meddling. She says meddling includes threats that registering to vote could put government benefits at risk, or misleading people on where or how to vote.

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan voted to end their strike late Wednesday night.

An overwhelming majority of members voted to accept U of M's second offer to the union, which included COVID relief options such as expanded options for childcare, support for international graduate students, and increased transparency in the university's COVID-19 testing protocols.

The offer also included incremental movement on GEO's anti-policing demands.

EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

The Big Ten has reversed course. There will be college football this fall.

The Big Ten announced Wednesday that the fall football season will begin October 23. The conference has not said when or if other fall sports will also get the go ahead. 

Credit Paul-David Rearick

  

The Michigan Opera Theatre has a new artistic director: renowned opera director and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Yuval Sharon. He’s bringing his experimental approach to Detroit right from the start: his first project at the helm of the organization will be a condensed, drive-in staging of Richard Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods, set in a parking structure. Stateside spoke with Sharon, who is succeeding the theatre’s late founder David DiChiera, about his work and his hopes for how opera can evolve in the years to come.

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. 

The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 2000.
Joshua Schwimmer / Flickr

The state of Michigan owns public parks, roads, buildings, and even some historic artifacts. Among those artifacts are the original architectural drawings of the World Trade Center.

This is a story of how the state of Michigan – its taxpayers – came to own the works.

Thousands of people visit the 9-11 Memorial in New York every day.

Children play by the fountain that surrounds the footprint of what once were the world’s tallest buildings. Some people take the time to read at least some of the names of the people who died here on 9-11.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization overwhelmingly voted to reject an offer from the University of Michigan late Wednesday night. 

GEO has been on strike since Tuesday, canceling classes for thousands of undergraduate students. The strike is set to end Friday, but could be extended.

Kristen Dage

Way up in the Andes mountains sits a little bit of East Lansing. On the Cerro Pachón mountain in Chile, the Southern Astrophysical Research, or SOAR, telescope looks out at the stars. It’s a partnership between four institutions including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michigan State University. Talk about working remotely.

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Bills to punish anyone who tries to use other people’s personal information to get and return absentee ballots are under discussion at the state Capitol.

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving many Michiganders to take advantage of state laws giving more access to absentee ballots. The August primary saw a record number of absentee ballots cast.

Rodrigo Sarsfield / Unsplash

Gyms and pools in Michigan can re-open next week, but with new rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s under two executive orders signed Thursday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

She is also allowing organized sports practices and competitions to resume in regions where they’ve been banned.

a large expanse of lake surrounded by trees at dusk with a purple blue sky
Amy Sacka

In the latest edition of National Geographic, you'll find a big spread dedicated to exploring how ice coverage has dramatically decreased on the Great Lakes over the past 40 years. The photos you'll see, of not-so-solid lakes, and people navigating warmer Michigan winters, were taken by Detroit photojournalist Amy Sacka.

people marching with a banner in Hamtramck
Simon Albaugh / Yemeni American News

Southeast Michigan – specifically cities like Hamtramck and Dearborn – is known as a hub of Arab American culture. But that group is not a monolith. Individual ethnic groups have their own cultures, cuisines, and stories about how they settled down in Michigan. That includes the more than 30,000 Yemeni Americans living in the region.

Eric Milikin

It’s been difficult to honor those who have passed due to COVID-19 with social distancing guidelines making memorial gatherings impossible. Rochelle Riley, the director of arts and culture for the city of Detroit wanted to change that.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists are taking the city of Detroit to court over the tactics used by the police department in breaking up Black Lives Matter protests in recent months.

The protests in Detroit started after the death of George Floyd. Floyd died while being restrained by several Minneapolis police officers during an arrest. 

Native American protesters of the George Armstrong Custer monument dance in front of the monument
Katybeth Davis

Which historical figures deserve a monument? Many Americans are asking that question as the nation continues to reckon with racial injustice in the current moment. There are campaigns across the country to remove public monuments that honor people from America’s past who upheld racist systems, including slavery and the removal of Native people from their ancestral lands. That debate reached the city of Monroe this summer after a petition to remove its downtown statue of George Armstrong Custer received nearly 14,000 signatures.

First, I want to stress that I'm not making a "both sides do it" point with the cartoon. Well, okay, I am, but it's nuanced (and like political conventions, political cartoons are not particularly well suited for nuance).

In my sampling of the Democratic and Republican Conventions over these past two weeks it was clear that fear was the featured technique to attract my vote. For the Democrats it was, "Can you imagine four more years of Donald Trump?" And for the Republicans it was one long, extended, panicked scream.

Sara Habbo

As protests against police brutality toward Black Americans continue across the country and in Detroit, reports that Detroit Police Department officers are using excessive force on nonviolent demonstrators are increasing. And this violence isn’t solely directed at protest participants. A volunteer Legal Observer said police officers beat, pepper sprayed, and arrested some of her fellow Legal Observers at a protest Saturday, too.

The Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions canceled their practice Tuesday to protest police brutality, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday.

Blake was shot in the back multiple times by officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is now paralyzed.

he University of Michigan has received nearly 400 complaints against Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Let’s begin with the people whose names we don’t know.

The hockey player on scholarship who picked the University of Michigan over other Division I programs because it was his favorite and first choice.

The wrestler who grew up in a large family in a blue-collar neighborhood, where a university coach sat on the couch of his parents’ home and promised the team would take care of their son.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

Even as some colleges and universities blame students for hosting off-campus parties and contributing to the risk of COVID-19 spreading on campus, Dr. Preeti Malani believes administrators can rely on students to follow public health advice to prevent outbreaks that could lead to the cancellation of in-person classes.

An excerpt from "Men to Avoid in Art and Life."
Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  

You never know what can happen on Twitter. Just ask Nicole Tersigni, a writer and comedian currently based in metro Detroit. What started as a single joke on her Twitter evolved into a viral tweet thread, which ultimately became a book that was published this month. The topic — and title — is Men to Avoid in Art and Life

Flint water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is a developing story. Last update was Thursday August 20 at 5:17 p.m. 

Michigan will pay $600 million to compensate Flint residents whose health was damaged by lead-tainted drinking water after the city heeded state regulators’ advice not to treat it properly.

State Attorney General Dana Nessel confirmed the preliminary settlement Thursday morning, after the details had been leaked to news outlets late Wednesday.

a protester at the university of michigan holds a sign that says leaders and best should test
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

Some faculty and staff at the University of Michigan are worried about the influx of students returning to campus. Around 40 faculty, staff, and graduate student employees gathered in front of the administration building on Tuesday. It was the first of a planned three days of protests, asking for the administration to let faculty opt out of in-person instruction and demanding a more robust testing infrastructure for COVID-19.

Courtesy of Jenn White

Jenn White’s public radio career has taken her from Michigan to Chicago to D.C. She’s interviewed everyone from local politicians to major public figures like Oprah and former President Barack Obama. Now, she’s behind the mic as host of NPR’s 1A.

Stateside spoke with White about her career in public radio, what she’s learned, and what it’s like to take over a national show amid a daily news cycle like no other.

post office vehicle
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

New work rules implemented by new U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are significantly delaying delivery of the mail in Michigan, according to Roscoe Woods, Jr., President of Michigan Postal Workers Union Local 480-481.  

And Woods says the removal of several mail sorting machines at two of the state's mail distribution centers could cause problems closer to Election Day, when mailed-in ballots are expected to surge.

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