Author

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins covers the environment, Native issues and criminal justice for the Advance. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service. When Laina is not writing or spending time with her cats, she loves art and design, listening to music, playing piano, enjoying good food and being out in nature (especially Up North).

Advocates worry federal law protecting Native adoptees could be overturned by Supreme Court

By: - August 6, 2022

As far as Susan Devan Harness knew, she was an only child whose birth parents died in a car crash long ago. Only in her early 20s did Harness — a Native American adopted by a white couple — realize that not only was her birth mother alive and located just 30 miles away, but […]

Haaland, Newland to hear Native boarding school survivors’ stories in Pellston

By: - August 5, 2022

Pellston is the next stop on U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s year-long “road to healing” tour, in which the country’s first Native American cabinet member will hear from survivors and descendants of so-called Indian residential schools. The nationwide implementation of boarding schools — five of which were located in Michigan — was once part of […]

Rebandt concedes to Dixon, but alleges ‘curious activity’ in Bay County

By: - August 4, 2022

Late Wednesday evening, the Rev. Ralph Rebandt became the third GOP gubernatorial candidate to concede to right-wing commentator Tudor Dixon — and the second to call into question the validity of the election results. Far-right activist Ryan Kelley has still yet to concede. In a text message exchange with the Advance Wednesday, Kelley baselessly claimed […]

Kelley says there were ‘unprecedented oddities’ in Tuesday’s GOP gov. primary election

By: - August 3, 2022

After coming in fourth place in the GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday and refusing to concede to nominee Tudor Dixon, far-right activist Ryan Kelley told the Advance Wednesday that he thinks there were “unprecedented oddities” in the process. Unofficial election returns in the five-person race show Kelley received 15.5% of the vote. Dixon, a right-wing commentator […]

SOS Benson: Nearly 2M voted in ‘smooth’ Tuesday primary

By: and - August 3, 2022

In a press conference shortly after polls closed Tuesday night, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called Tuesday’s primary election “among the most secure and safe in the nation” as results continued to roll in. With all but one Michigan county reporting results Wednesday afternoon, unofficial returns show that about 1 million Michiganders voted on the […]

Updated: Dixon clinches early win in GOP gubernatorial primary, Kelley refuses to concede

By: - August 3, 2022

Originally published, 9:03 p.m., 8/2/22. Updated, 10:57 p.m. 8/2/22 and 9:55 a.m. 8/3/22 with additional comments Right-wing commentator Tudor Dixon has won Michigan’s GOP gubernatorial primary, according to unofficial returns, setting her up to challenge Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Nov. 8 general election. Dixon’s primary win comes after a last-minute endorsement from former […]

Sen. Peters stresses need for action in Michigan on PFAS during hearing at MSU

By: and - August 2, 2022

With 224 sites in Michigan, including several military bases, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters called on federal authorities to be more responsive to addressing community concerns over contamination by toxic “forever chemicals.” “Many communities have been waiting far too long for any kind of meaningful action,” Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) said Monday during a hearing at Michigan […]

Former Michigan GOP director says Trump, 11 reps. should be investigated for ‘Big Lie’ efforts

By: - July 29, 2022

State Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) joined the former head of the Michigan GOP and a national elections expert on Thursday to talk Jan. 6 committee hearings in the U.S. House, while doubling down on his call to have some of his GOP colleagues investigated. “An assault on our democracy, to steal the vote from the […]

Michigan Supreme Court rules in favor of LGBTQ+ rights in discrimination case

By: and - July 28, 2022

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is unconstitutional, reversing a decision from a lower court. “It’s an incredible day here in Michigan,” Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel said during a post-ruling virtual press conference. “… It means respect. It means equal dignity under the […]

Whitmer signs executive directive aimed at reducing crime, gun violence

By: - July 26, 2022

A new executive directive signed Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will have state departments and law enforcement coordinate on how to best take advantage of newly available federal funds, with the intent of reducing crime and gun violence in Michigan. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President […]

‘We’re still here’: Indigenous water protectors call for Enbridge to respect treaty rights

By: - July 25, 2022

On a cloudy May afternoon, a short walk from the turbulent Mackinac Straits waters, tribal citizens from Michigan to Siberia marched miles down the streets of Mackinaw City in protest against fossil fuel projects on tribal lands. The date was May 14, 2022: One year and a day since Canadian pipeline company Enbridge became an […]

McMorrow raised $1M in 3 months to flip Michigan Senate

By: - July 22, 2022

Following an eventful few months in the national spotlight, state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) announced Thursday that she has pulled in a more than $1 million fundraising haul to flip the GOP-controlled Michigan Senate. Those funds from more than 11,000 donors came in over the last three months, McMorrow said. “The Michigan Senate has […]