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).

More than 1,500 Michiganders will get their student debt forgiven

By: - January 18, 2022

Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Thursday that more than 1,500 student borrowers in the Great Lakes State will benefit from a settlement between student loan servicer Navient and nearly 40 states, including Michigan.  Delaware-based Navient is one of the country’s largest companies that service and collect student loans. It faced litigation brought by several state […]

New: State enviro panel recommends coal plants close by 2035

By: - January 14, 2022

After a year of development and “thousands of hours” of work, the panel tasked with helping Michigan become carbon neutral by 2050 and combat the effects of climate change has released its draft plan for public comment. According to the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), an environmental group involved in the effort, the plan is a […]

11 lawmakers absent from first session day of 2022, Senate OKs anti-vaccine resolution

By: - January 13, 2022

Three Republican and eight Democratic members of the Michigan Legislature were excused from session Wednesday, the first time both chambers have met since 2021. In the 38-member state Senate, Sens. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes), Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and Jim Ananich (D-Flint) were excused from session. The House has 106 members and four vacancies. State Reps. […]

Rep. Damoose: ‘Everybody in this room is a little sick’ at Chatfield allegations

By: - January 12, 2022

State House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare), who succeeded former House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), didn’t talk on Wednesday about the sexual assault accusations against his predecessor. But other GOP House members, including the legislator who took over Chatfield’s seat, are speaking out. “I know nothing more than anybody else does about this. I’m just disgusted […]

1/3 of Michigan inmates have been boosted against COVID-19

By: - January 12, 2022

Michigan is one of just four states to publicly disclose how many of its 32,000 state inmates are receiving COVID-19 booster shots, a national report has found. About one-third of prisoners have gotten a booster dose so far. The Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) is also one of just 22 of the country’s state correctional […]

Details surface of former Speaker Chatfield’s alleged sexual abuse of sister-in-law

By: and - January 10, 2022

The person former House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) is accused of sexually assaulting for more than a decade, beginning when she was a child, is his sister-in-law. The Michigan State Police is investigating the complaint, which was first filed with the Lansing Police Department on Dec. 24, 2021. Rebekah Chatfield, now 26, said the assaults […]

As Michigan tops 20K cases a day, state gets first shipment of oral COVID-19 meds

By: - January 7, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Friday that the state has received an initial, limited supply of the new oral COVID-19 treatments paxlovid and molnupiravir. Both medications were recently authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meant to treat mild to moderate COVID-19, the quantity of […]

Enbridge seeks to dismiss expert testimony warning of explosion risk for Line 5 tunnel

By: - January 7, 2022

While Attorney General Dana Nessel and Enbridge prepare to once again battle it out in court over the fate of the company’s controversial, nearly 69-year-old Line 5 oil pipeline, a regulatory fight is also heating up over Enbridge’s plan to eventually replace a portion of the pipeline and enclose it in an underwater tunnel. That […]


Here are the worst Michigan takes on the Jan. 6 insurrection anniversary

By: - January 6, 2022

Alongside posts reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the violent pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and what it has meant for democracy, a litany of right-wing takes Thursday continued to prop up conspiracies about both the 2020 election and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On a recent appearance on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” U.S. Rep. […]

‘The playbook for authoritarianism counts on this’

By: and - January 6, 2022

When U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint) arrives at the U.S. Capitol Thursday, he will do so to tell the truth: That, one year ago, armed rioters attempted to overthrow a democratically elected government in a fatal attack that followed a months-long campaign by former President Donald Trump to claim victory in an election he lost […]

Sault Tribe chair faces censure from board, possible historic removal from power

By: - January 5, 2022

Ongoing conflict within the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ tribal government has led to an attempt to oust its chairperson of 10 years, Aaron Payment, over nearly a dozen allegations of misconduct. Ten of the 12 members on the Sault Tribe’s Board of Directors — the governing body of the tribe — voted […]

While you were out: Gov. signs school sub bill, woman isn’t charged for tweets on COVID lies

By: - January 3, 2022

Michigan news and politics stop for no one. But in case you took a much-needed break for the holidays, here is your Michigan Advance roundup of some key news developments from over the break. Through the end of the 2021-22 school year, legislation signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 23 will allow “trusted staff […]