Michigan election audit: Hand recount matches machine recount within 1%
LANSING, Mich. – A statewide election audit confirmed that Michigan’s vote-counting machines are accurate, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Hundreds of Republican, Democratic and nonpartisan municipal and county clerks from more than 1,300 local jurisdictions participated in the audit. Jocelyn BensonREAD: Michigan Secretary of State makes push for major election reformAdIn the hand count, President Biden received more votes than former president Donald Trump. In Wayne County, which uses Dominion machines, Biden received 68 percent, while Trump received 31 percent. In Oakland County, which uses Hart machines, Biden received 57 percent while Trump received 41 percent, and in Macomb County, which uses ES&S machines, Biden received 44 percent and Trump received 54 percent.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer questioned on state health director’s sudden resignation
Gretchen Whitmer did not answer questions about what led to the sudden resignation of former Michigan Dept. Gordon announced suddenly on social media last Friday that he was leaving his position without giving a reason. Just minutes later the Governor’s office announced Gordon’s senior chief deputy director Elizabeth Hertel would be taking his place, but did not thank Gordon for his time as health chief during the pandemic. A new report from The Detroit News raised concerns about her position as a board member on the Michigan Public Health Institute and its ties to the Whitmer administration. That staff member did not have guidance on this story.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer makes appointments to the Office of Children’s Ombudsman, Michigan Public Service Commission
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that Suzanna Shkreli will serve as Director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) and Katherine L. Peretick will serve as a Commissioner with the Michigan Public Service Commission. READ: Michigan Gov. Katherine will be the first engineer in recent memory to serve as a member of the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Prehistoric human remains found along shoreline of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes
View of a section of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore park and fog-obscured Lake Michigan beyond, Michigan, November 2013. (Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)LEELANAU COUNTY, Mich. – Human remains, which are believed to date back to prehistoric times, were found in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The remains were returned to the National Lakeshore in February 2019 and then sent to Western Michigan University. Sleeping Bear Dunes officials are responsible for notifying The Tribes that a notice has been published. Public Notice published in the Leelanau EnterpriseTo claim ownership, contact: Scott Tucker, Superintendent, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630, telephone (231) 326-4702, before January 24, 2021.
EGLE report: Overall air quality improved across Michigan in 2019
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s Air Quality Division has released its Annual Air Quality Report for 2019. The overall air quality improved across Michigan in 2019, according to the report. The report focuses on information for specific pollutants, including those with National Ambient Air Quality Standards and toxic air contaminants, air quality trends, and an overview of the air monitoring network. A nonattainment area is considered to have air quality worse than the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. View the full report below:More information on the Air Quality Division’s annual program activities can be found in the Year End Air Quality Program Report or at Michigan.gov/Air.
Here’s where you can get a free COVID-19 test in Michigan
DETROIT – As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan had risen to 373,197, which includes 9,405 deaths, according to state officials. READ: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Dec. 3, 2020While the rate of new COVID-19 cases is slowing, deaths continue to rise. READ: Everything you should know about COVID-19 in Michigan before Whitmer’s Thursday (Dec. 3) briefingFree COVID-19 testing site opens in Highland ParkA free COVID-19 mobile testing site has reopened to the public at the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic in Highland Park. How to find free COVID-19 testing anywhere in MichiganThe state of Michigan has a website available where you can put in your address or zip code and find a COVID-19 testing site near you. VIEW: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 testing dataVIEW: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schools
Officials: Don’t panic buy toilet paper, paper towel or other items because it causes a ripple effect in the supply chain
LANSING, Mich. – Officials are reminding Michigan residents that they shouldn’t panic buy products like toilet paper, paper towel and other items. “Michigan has an ample supply of food products and other items. But, when shoppers panic buy products like toilet paper, paper towel and other items, it creates a ripple effect within the supply chain,” said McDowell. Consumers should plan for essentials in weekly increments to ensure that supply levels remain steady over the next few weeks. READ: Metro Detroit grocery stores face second wave of supply demand amid COVID-19 pandemic
Kamala Harris, Mike Pence make final push to get Michigan votes on Election Day
DETROIT – Election Day is here. In Michigan, the last minute push for votes continued with Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris making a stop in Detroit. Although millions have already cast their ballots, many across the country and in Michigan waited until Election Day to fill in the bubble for their candidate. On Tuesday, Local 4 spoke to both Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris as they appealed one last time to voters in Michigan. READ: Complete Election Day coverageWhy would you make yourself available to voters?
President Donald Trump’s campaign focuses on Michigan ahead of Election Day
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Election Day is just one day away and those in the running are in their final sprint for the White House. President Donald Trump and his campaign were heavily focused on Michigan on Monday. By the time the polls open on Tuesday, he will have made three stops in a little more than 48 hours. READ: With post-election lawsuits looming, a final push for votesTrump was in Washington Township on Sunday. He made a stop in Traverse City on Monday and he will round out the night with a rally in Grand Rapids.
3 million rapid COVID-19 tests sent to Michigan -- What makes these tests different?
DETROIT – Three million rapid COVID-19 tests are on their way to Michigan. The rapid tests are produced by Abbott Labs and are called the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card. There was a prior Abbott rapid test called the ID Now, which had been criticised in some studies for an unacceptable rate of false negatives. They have a low false negative rate, meaning they correctly find infected individuals. READ: Michigan announces 77 new, free COVID-19 testing sitesThe new rapid tests don’t require any special equipment and only take about 15 minutes.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer announces grants for teachers, support staff who were impacted by COVID-19
Gretchen Whitmer and state treasurer Rachael Eubanks announced a new grant program for Michigan teachers and support staff. Those who worked additional time and incurred additional costs during the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19 can receive grant money through two new grant programs. Under both the Teacher COVID-19 Grant and the Support Staff COVID-19 Grant programs, eligible teachers can receive up to $500 and eligible support staff can receive up to $250. The state of Michigan’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget provides $53 million for eligible K-12 classroom teachers and $20 million for eligible support staff. “Our teachers and support staff have made incredible sacrifices this year to ensure our kids can get a great education while Michigan fights the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fall undergraduate enrollment at University of Michigan steady, officials say
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Undergraduate enrollment at the University of Michigan is on par with rates from last fall, according to university officials. University officials said this is a signal the state’s number of high school graduates is decreasing. Among in-state undergraduates, about 27 percent pay no tuition, according to university officials. Overall, the campus enrollment fell less than 0.5 percent over last fall, from 48,090 to 47,907 students, with 16,578 graduate and professional school students, officials said. The university approved 217 student deferments this fall for out-of-state first-year students, about as many as the past five years combined.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer extends unemployment benefits until end of year
LANSING, Mich. – A major move by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will extend unemployment benefits to those in need. The state of Michigan has already paid out more than $25 billion in unemployment benefits since the pandemic started. More than 2 million people have applied for unemployment and received help.tREAD: Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs bills extending unemployment benefits until end of yearNow, the help will continue through at least the end of the year because Whitmer signed bills extending unemployment benefits.
‘We’re sounding the alarm’: Michigan Gov. Whitmer addresses uptick of new COVID-19 cases
LANSING, Mich. – An uptick of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases was the focus of a news conference from Michigan Gov. Whitmer urged Michigan residents to wear masks when they’re in public, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Oct. 21, 2020 -- Michigan coronavirus cases up to 150,989; Death toll now at 7,086“That’s why we are sounding the alarm bell right now. We’re at a dangerous moment where there’s the possibility of it just becoming community spread that becomes out of control. Whitmer on possibility of another Michigan shutdown: ‘We’re at a dangerous moment’
Group calls for unified response from Michigan’s political leadership to mitigate spread of COVID-19
LANSING, Mich. – A group of healthcare, public health, university, labor and business leaders called on Michigan’s political leadership to demonstrate a “complete unity of purpose” to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The group stated support for mandatory standards for mask usage, workplace practices and public gatherings. They said the recent orders by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration should be deployed across the state with “discipline.”“We commend the Governor and legislature for working together on legislation to extend unemployment protections and provide common sense liability protections,” the letter said. “Now we need that same spirit of cooperation focused on reigning in surging case levels. Read the open letter below:
Michigan bans open carry of firearms at voting locations on Election Day
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials have banned the open carry of firearms at voting locations, clerk’s offices and absent voting counting boards on Election Day. “The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk’s office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present. READ: Is Michigan an open carry gun state? “Michigan voters have the right to vote in person on Election Day free from threat and intimidation. If you are in danger at the polls you should call 911 before alerting an election worker.
Detroit Pistons work to get out the vote, record turnout expected
LANSING, Mich. – We are less than three weeks away from the United States Presidential election and the work continues to help make sure everyone’s voice is heard. The Detroit Pistons worked Thursday to reach out to Detroiters to offer critical information to get them to the polls. Pistons were making sure residents knew how to register, where to vote and how to get the help they need. Michigan Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson, said the voter turnout is expected to be record breaking. Whitmer signs historic legislation giving clerks more time to process absentee ballotsBe prepared: 2020 General Election in Michigan: Key dates, deadlines to know
Federal court hearing for suspects in Whitmer kidnapping plot -- what we’ve learned as of Tuesday
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Federal prosecutors and FBI agents detailed the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Federal officials said Kaleb Franks, of Waterford, advocated for someone to impersonate a pizza delivery driver and shoot Whitmer at her home. Brandon Caserta, of Canton, may have been the reason federal officials moved to arrest the men. According to federal officials, the men were angry over COVID-19 shutdown orders and also contemplated attacking the governor of Virginia. The plot against Whitmer and an attack on the State House were the main focus.
Michigan’s COVID-19 cases are trending upward as temperatures drop
LANSING, Mich. – The number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan has started trending upward as temperatures have been dropping. This has prompted a call from public health officials to increase vigilance and preventative measures. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), hospitals and local health officials are asking everyone to take steps to prevent a surge in COVID-19. “At the height of the COVID-19 response in Michigan, our frontline hospital workers were working around the clock to treat COVID-19 patients. READ: Researchers find that coronavirus can survive 28 days on currency, glass and stainless steel in a controlled environment
New information emerges in court about plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – New information emerged in court about the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Whitmer, according to FBI testimonyFive men accused in the domestic terror plot were in court in Grand Rapids on Tuesday. VIEW: Mugshots, names for all 13 people charged after FBI uncovered plot to kidnap WhitmerThe six men are all accused of plotting to Kidnap Whitmer. READ: Deep dive into the details of a scheme to kidnap Gov. Police said he told them his plan was to kidnap Whitmer from her vacation home, escape with her by boat and leave her in the middle of Lake Michigan.
After six months, Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys reopen
NOVI, Mich. – Movie theaters and bowling alleys are some of the last industries to be allowed to reopen in Michigan. Starting Friday, movie theaters, bowling alleys, trampoline parks and other entertainment venues are now allowed to open their doors for the first time since the pandemic began. Related: Emagine to reopen Michigan theaters on Oct. 9 with free tickets for frontline workersCustomers are required to wear a mask and there are attendance restrictions. As movie theaters received the green light to reopen, theaters -- like Emagine -- are looking forward to welcoming back guests. There is always the potential for outbreaks to happen in the midst of a pandemic and if that happens, Emagine theaters will rely on their rewards program to contact trace.
Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys can reopen today
NOVI, Mich. – After more than six months of being closed, movie theaters and bowling alleys can finally reopen on Friday in Michigan. Previous: Coronavirus order chaos in Michigan: Here’s where things stand“It’s going to be a slow rebuild. We don’t expect a full attendance right away -- especially with the capacity restrictions,” said Emagine Entertainmen CEO Anthony Laverde. This goes for cinemas, bowling alleys and live theater. MORE: Reopening Michigan
ACLU launches website detailing what voters need to know before Election Day
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shouldn’t stop you from voting. Engage Michigan is teaming up with the ACLU and many other organizations to create MichiganVoting.org, a website that provides information for voters. The website is expected to have information on how to get to the polls on election day. Watch the video above for the full report
Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs historic legislation giving clerks more time to process absentee ballots
LANSING, Mich. – With less than a month to go until Election Day, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed new legislation hoping to help local clerks manage the record turnout that’s expected. Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson spoke out on Tuesday and revealed what’s being done to ensure every vote will be counted. Whitmer signed historic legislation giving clerks more time to process ballots. Because of the turnout expected, the election may not be certified until the Friday after votes are cast.
Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys can reopen Oct. 9
NOVI, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer amended the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues. READ: Michigan Gov. Whitmer reopens movie theaters, strengthens mask requirements in schoolsThe decision comes as Whitmer has been under increasing pressure to explain why businesses like casinos can open but theaters could not. We don’t expect a full attendance right away -- especially with the capacity restrictions,” said Emagine Entertainmen CEO Anthony Laverde.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer reopens movie theaters, strengthens mask requirements in schools
Gretchen Whitmer amended the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues. That includes indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and more. As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place. Non-residential indoor venues must require a face coverings. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.”The governor today also signed Executive Order 2020-184, which updates the governor’s previous order on workplace safeguards to reflect the changes in the MI Safe Start Order.
Protesters gather outside Michigan Capitol for Let Them Play rally aimed at allowing high school sports
The rally was organized by the group Let Michigan Football Play. READ: Michigan High School Athletic Association cancels fall football season due to coronavirusTwo 16-year-old students named Aiden Dale and Max Jones came from Macomb Township to plead for their football season to be given the green light. I wrestle too and I dont know what I would do if I couldnt play sports. Both he and Jones play for Dakota High School as a middle linebacker and a free safety, respectively. Whitmer to reinstate high school footballAll of these sports are in jeopardy and were not whiny and its not about me watching sports. READ: More high school sports coverage
Michigan House to view return-to-school agreement
LANSING, Mich. The Michigan governor and legislative leadership announced they reached a return-to-school deal just ahead of Saturdays special Senate session. READ: Heres what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemicThe agreement, which does not include state school funding for the state fiscal year that begins in one-and-a-half months, was criticized by superintendents and backed by teacher unions. Schools' funding is based on their number of students. Districts also would have to administer a benchmark assessment to K-8 students twice, including once in the first nine weeks. Michigan is bracing for a $3 billion budget shortfall because of lower tax revenues associated with the virus outbreak.
Gov. Whitmer, legislative leaders reach bipartisan deal ahead of new school year
Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders issued a joint statement after reaching a bipartisan deal regarding the upcoming 2020-21 school year. The agreement comes one day before a rare Saturday session meant to tackle the debate centered around forcing school districts to offer an in-person option. READ: Heres what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemicRead the full statement below:Today, we reached a bipartisan deal that will give students, parents, educators, and support staff much needed support, flexibility, and certainty as we approach the new school year. They deserve peace of mind about what the next few months will hold in store, and this legislation will provide it.The joint statement was released by Whitmer, Sen. Mike Shirkey, Sen. Jim Ananich, Rep. Lee Chatfield, and Rep. Christine Greig. READ: More return to school coverage
Legislature, Whitmer reach deal on return-to-school bills
The bills, which were approved 23-15 and 24-14 by the Senate in a rare Saturday session, reflect a deal announced late Friday by legislative leaders and Gov. The agreement, which does not include state school funding for the state fiscal year that begins in one-and-a-half months, was criticized by superintendents and backed by teacher unions. Many districts, facing pressure from teachers and mixed reaction among parents, are starting with remote-only instruction due to COVID-19. Schools' funding is based on their number of students. Districts also would have to administer a benchmark assessment to K-8 students twice, including once in the first nine weeks.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer reminds residents to wear masks in public to help stop spread of COVID-19
LANSING, Mich. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pleading for all Michigan residents to stay the course and wear a mask when in public. Whitmer was at a press conference on Tuesday and she hinted at a timeline for a decision about reopening schools and in-person learning. READ: Here are the 6 stages in Michigan Gov. Whitmer said no matter what happens for the first day of school -- the state will be short on cash.
Michigan health officials to provide free naloxone to organizations, individuals
LANSING, Mich. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched an online portal where organizations can request free naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid overdoses and saves lives. A recent study found that only 25 percent of people using opioids in southeast Michigan had access to naloxone. Individuals can request free naloxoneNEXT Naloxone has with MDHHS to offer individuals free naloxone delivered by mail. NEXT Naloxone is a free, online service that makes naloxone available to people who use drugs, their families and friends, and others who may witness and respond to an overdose. READ: Naloxone available over the counter at registered Michigan pharmaciesMDHHS has also released a memorandum on the states strategy and guidance on naloxone distribution.
Officials provide update on devastating floods in Midland County
MIDLAND, Mich. Officials provided an update on devastating floods in Midland County on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.Officials from Midland County Emergency Management, the City of Midland, and the County of Midland will provide an update to the public regarding ongoing flooding conditions. The flooding, caused by dam failure in mid-Michigan, has left shocking damage to roads, houses and entire cities in the area. Gretchen Whitmer declared a State of Emergency due to the flooding. READ: Shocking mid-Michigan flood pictures show ravaged roads, underwater houses, floating carsWatch the update above. MORE: Looked like Niagra Falls -- Dam that created Wixom Lake gives way, flooding mid-Michigan communities