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.

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.

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.”

“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.