This week, 211 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. Only halfway through the month, 24 Michigan public schools have closed temporarily or put in place remote learning plans in January due to COVID-19 disruptions, including Ann Arbor Public Schools, Detroit Public School Community District and Flint City School District, according to Burbio, a data service that aggregates calendars nationwide.
University of Michigan economist Gabe Ehrlich predicts Michigan will almost fully recover the 1 million-plus jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of next year but “high inflation is part of the price we’re paying for a fast recovery.”
While Attorney General Dana Nessel and Enbridge prepare to once again battle it out in court over the fate of the company’s controversial, nearly 69-year-old Line 5 oil pipeline, a regulatory fight is also heating up over Enbridge’s plan to eventually replace a portion of the pipeline and enclose it in an underwater tunnel.
Now that the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved final state and congressional maps, the contours of the 2022 election are becoming clearer for candidates.
Three Rivers Community Schools Interim Superintendent Nikki Nash announced Monday that Three Rivers will be participating in the MI Backpack Home Tests pilot program, which will provide a limited number of free, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests to students and staff.
The disconnect between a federal ban and increasing state liberalization has not stopped the marijuana industry from blossoming where it is legal. Since Colorado and Washington’s moves in December 2012, the federal government has largely stayed away from enforcing federal law in states where the drug is legal. But the policy gap widens as more states join in legalization, touching on everything from banking to tribal jurisdiction.
The Michigan Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by several media organizations that allege the state’s redistricting commission has violated the constitutional requirement of transparency.
The Defend Black Voters Coalition has called on Michigan-based corporations General Motors, Ford, DTE Energy, and CMS Energy to pledge to end campaign contributions to state lawmakers who are working to make it harder for Black people in Michigan to cast ballots with proposed voting restrictions.
A recent ProPublica investigation found that people living in seven areas in Michigan could be exposed to high levels of cancer risk that the EPA labels as unacceptable.
Dr. Farhan Bhatti writes, “While breakthrough cases among those who got the Johnson&Johnson vaccine or the two doses of Pfizer or Moderna do happen, make no mistake — this surge is being driven by unvaccinated individuals.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday an additional 15,385 COVID-19 cases and 351 COVID related deaths since Monday.
A month ago U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, who represents the 6th District encompassing Kalamazoo and a large swath of Southwest Michigan, voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. After that, a flood of phone calls rushed into Upton’s office — more than 1,000 in a matter of days. There were death threats and threats to Upton’s family and staff — a whirlwind of profanity-laced tirades rooted in a political environment more toxic than anything Upton said he’s seen in his 35 years in Congress.
David Hecker writes, “This latest push to defund public schools began in the Legislature, where Republican lawmakers passed bills that would create tax credits for “scholarship funds” that could be used at non-public schools, which is just a more roundabout way of taking public money that should be spent on public education and putting it into private schools. Thankfully, Governor Whitmer continued to stand on the side of public schools and vetoed the legislation, but the fight to stop this latest DeVos-backed initiative isn’t over.”
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has formally ordered the removal of the term “squaw” from federal geographic features, including 31 in Michigan alone, marking a step forward to reconcile place names that are now widely understood as offensive toward Indigenous people.
As of Tuesday, 628 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan. Of those, 93 are new outbreaks reported Monday.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive Monday ordering state agencies to ready plans to quickly replace lead pipes using an influx of federal dollars from the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“This surge is seemingly unending, and we’re told it might not peak until Christmas. If people are waiting for the system to break, I’d argue we’re probably there. We’re caring for so many people in the ER that people are leaving the waiting room before they get seen. People are going to three different hospitals to be seen.” — Dr. Rob Davidson, West Michigan emergency physician
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved its nine collaborative proposed maps and an additional six from individual commissioners for the state Senate, state House and congressional districts earlier this month. The lines will go into effect for the 2022 elections and be in place for 10 years. Now experts are weighing in on the maps as the commission — which is composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and five independents — prepares for another round of public hearings starting in Ann Arbor Thursday.