Feds back Michigan businesses in suit against Whitmer’s coronavirus orders

May 29, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

The U.S. Department of Justice announced late Friday that it is backing a lawsuit against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, arguing she “imposed arbitrary and irrational limits” on businesses to fight COVID-19.

How weak regulations failed to prevent catastrophe at notorious Midland dam

May 31, 2020 | Kelly House, Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

Regulators warned for 25 years that mid-Michigan dams were dangerous, yet their problems persisted. Dam safety experts say the failure to fix the dams is emblematic of the country’s broken regulatory system.

Michigan should have protected public from unsafe Edenville Dam, experts say

May 31, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan officials say they needed to wait for a report before demanding repairs to a dam that federal authorities had already deemed dangerous. Experts disagree: ‘You have to take action, not wait.’

Detroit protesters

Pain, strength and agitation underlie Detroit protests against police brutality

May 30, 2020 | Louis Aguilar in Urban Affairs

What happened in Detroit and the streets of at least 35 other cities reflects the raw state of urban America. Months of dealing with a killer virus. Surging economic despair. Then another viral video emerged of a Black man killed while being arrested by a white policeman in Minneapolis.

Coronavirus Tracker: Michigan cases fall to 263

May 30, 2020 | Bridge Staff in Michigan Health Watch

This continuously updated post includes details of Michigan's confirmed COVID-19 cases, maps of locations, state curve data, what the state is doing to contain the spread, and expert suggestions on how you can stay safe.

Michigan continues to stumble in tracking coronavirus in nursing homes

May 30, 2020 | Robin Erb, Jonathan Oosting, Ted Roelofs in Michigan Health Watch

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges its count of nursing home COVID-19 cases is likely inaccurate. And the agency still cannot accurately list how many senior residents have died from virus complications.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

How Michigan can save $80M and give state workers a raise amid coronavirus

May 30, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is utilizing a federal “work share” program to furlough state employees one day per week. Because of federal benefits, many state workers will earn more than they would have working five days per week.

Retail worker in a mask

Michigan stores can reopen. It’s unclear how many shoppers will follow.

May 29, 2020 | Paula Gardner in Business Watch

Coronavirus closed nonessential stores across the state, but now retailers can start to reopen. The return to in-person sales could be the start of a rebound for the struggling sector —  and more jobs for unemployed residents.

Wanted: Michigan blood samples — lots of them — in fight against COVID-19

May 29, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

A biobank at University of Michigan is collecting blood samples from both sick and healthy people as researchers search for clues to treatment and a vaccine.

Michigan’s Beaumont Health cancels merger with Ohio system, vague on why

May 29, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

Neither Beaumont nor Ohio-based Summa Health offered specifics on why the deal was nixed. Beaumont said, however, that its decision was unrelated to financial losses during the coronavirus crisis.

Private school students

A tale of two states: Ohio and New York take different paths to budget cuts for schools

May 29, 2020 | Matt Barnum in Talent & Education

“I am certainly encouraged to see a state leader deciding to shield its high-poverty districts from the bulk of these cuts,” said one expert.

Gov. Whitmer: I didn’t OK Dem firm for coronavirus project, despite emails

May 28, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday disputed a health department official’s characterization that her office gave a “green light” for the state to hire a Democratic campaign consultant’s firm to lead a volunteer COVID-19 contact tracing program.

‘Unusual situation’ pushes 50-year bookstore owner to make survival decisions

May 28, 2020 | Paula Gardner in Business Watch

Some of Michigan’s retailers will still wait weeks to reopen, as they align staffing, their finances and how they’ll follow state guidelines. This is one story among them, as the owner of Curious and Archives in East Lansing grapples with coronavirus impacts.

Coronavirus banner with gloved hands and the Michigan flag

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