Defund police or reform? What a city in Oregon can teach Michigan

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

In Eugene, thousands of 911 police calls involving the mentally ill are routed to a mobile crisis team that’s been on the road more than 30 years. That gives police more time and focus to handle violent crime for which they are better trained.

Poll: Slim majority opposes drive to limit Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s power

August 6, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Fifty-two percent of Michigan voters oppose a petition drive that would repeal a 1945 law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has used to continue an emergency declaration during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new statewide poll. But that may not stop the GOP-led Legislature from enacting the initiative anyway.

Michigan passes absentee ballot voting test. November could be another story.

August 5, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

Despite fears of multiple-day waits and long lines, Michigan’s primary Tuesday experienced few major issues. Even more absentee voting is expected this fall and clerks say there’s no guarantee of smooth sailing without new laws.

GOP’s advantage wanes in last year of Michigan ‘historical’ gerrymander

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Michigan’s political districts are some of the nation’s most notorious gerrymanders. But the maps drawn to give the GOP an advantage are facing their final election, complicating the party’s effort to reclaim a majority in Congress and maintain its edge in the state Legislature.

Poll: 3 in 10 in Michigan reluctant to take a free COVID-19 vaccine

August 5, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

The rush to develop a vaccine quickly is the very reason many COVID vaccine skeptics say they don’t trust it. If not enough people take an approved vaccine, it would be difficult to achieve herd immunity to protect residents from the virus.

Absentee ballots favor Democrats in Michigan, causing worry among GOP

August 5, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

In an election with record numbers of absentee votes, Democrats were far likelier to remotely cast ballots than Republicans, who say they need to change or face trouble come November.

downtown Detroit

Detroiters who left for the burbs during pandemic are hardest for Census to count

August 5, 2020 | Bisma Parvez in Michigan Government

Downtown, Midtown and Corktown neighborhoods — filled with residents who have homes, parents or friends in the suburbs — have the lowest Census responses in Detroit.

Michigan primary results: Rashida Tlaib cruises, Peter Meijer wins big

August 5, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

An absentee ballot surge that broke records during the coronavirus pandemic delayed some counting, but Michigan’s congressional delegation was taking shape by Wednesday afternoon.

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

August 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House in Michigan Environment Watch

Facing a host of lawsuits, companies that operated the dams that failed during historic flooding seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, using the filing to list a litany of grievances against federal regulators and neighbors.

With deadline looming, MSU students debate returning to campus amid COVID

August 4, 2020 | Ron French in Talent & Education

Will 18-year-olds eager for a college experience opt to stay home to be safe? Michigan State University is about to find out.

Whitmer governs by ‘fiat,’ GOP argues in suit over Michigan pandemic powers

August 4, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

The Michigan Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in a high-stakes case challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency authority amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican-led Legislature sued the governor and is expected to take the fight to the Michigan Supreme Court if necessary.

Poll: Half of Michigan says their schools aren’t safe during COVID-19

August 4, 2020 | Ron French in Talent & Education

Despite planned safety protocols in schools, half of residents surveyed aren’t sold on the notion of returning children to classroom settings in the midst of a global pandemic. Thirty-six percent said schools would be safe, a drop since earlier polling.

Michigan Gov. Whitmer orders state police to enforce COVID executive orders

August 4, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

As coronavirus cases rise in Michigan — and enforcement of social distancing rules is spotty statewide — the governor orders state police to enforce her executive orders like any other law and requires state agencies to consider pulling licenses of violators.

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