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).

Nessel, Oregon AG join lawsuit against feds for delisting gray wolves from endangered species list

By: - July 27, 2021

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined the fight against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) delisting of gray wolves from the endangered species list. Nessel’s office announced Monday that she and Democratic Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum submitted an amicus brief Friday in the federal Defenders of Wildlife et al v. U.S. Fish and […]

What four new wilderness areas would mean for the U.P.

By: - July 27, 2021

Updated, 10:06 p.m., 7/27/21 “There are better views than this. This isn’t the most scenic,” former wilderness ranger Doug Welker tells me, unimpressed, as we peer down hundreds of feet onto a breathtaking panorama of dense green forest, uninterrupted and wild up to the horizon. Welker, who still regularly hikes the area since leaving his […]

Enbridge ordered to retrieve 7½-ton anchor from Straits lakebed

By: - July 23, 2021

A contractor working for Canadian oil company Enbridge left an unsecured 15,000-pound anchor between Line 5’s dual oil pipelines on Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) disclosed Friday. Enbridge says the contractor was conducting seasonal maintenance on Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac Wednesday when the anchor was placed […]

State pushes back against Enbridge’s request to pause Line 5 suit during Canada treaty talks

By: - July 22, 2021

Updated, 8:58 a.m., 7/23/21, with comment from Enbridge In a court filing Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel shot back against Canadian oil company Enbridge’s “legally unfounded suggestion” that State of Michigan v Enbridge should be put on pause while Canadian and U.S. officials discuss the possibility of a Line 5 closure. Arguing on behalf of […]

Legislature yanks Whitmer’s emergency powers used during pandemic — and governor can’t veto

By: - July 21, 2021

As expected, the GOP-led Michigan House voted Wednesday mostly along party lines to permanently topple a 76-year-old state law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used during the first months of COVID-19. The vote came down to 60 members in favor of repealing the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act (EPGA), with 48 opposed and two […]

Air Force begins sampling groundwater wells at Oscoda PFAS site

By: - July 21, 2021

Oscoda residents had a chance to ask questions and hear updates from state officials Tuesday on how the U.S. Air Force’s cleanup of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is coming along at the decommissioned Wurtsmith Air Force Base. The base was found to have significant PFAS groundwater contamination more than a decade ago. The U.S. […]

State reports 1,028 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

By: - July 20, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Tuesday that a total of 898,626 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,862 have died from the virus — an additional 1,028 cases and 14 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s, Monday’s and Tuesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average […]

State reports surge in Legionnaires’ disease

By: - July 19, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and local health departments are investigating a recent spike in Legionnaires’ disease cases across the state. The DHHS announced Monday that in the 13 days between July 1 and Wednesday, 107 cases of the respiratory infection were reported in 25 counties — representing a 569% increase […]

At Michigan-Wisconsin border, enviros and tribes fight to keep new mine at bay

By: - July 17, 2021

For years, Indigenous and environmental groups have been standing up against Calgary-based Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, arguing a rupture could harm the areas’s freshwater and ecosystem. And about 200 miles west across Lake Michigan, in the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, a similar story is unfolding. On Friday, […]

Michigan joins 47 states seeing COVID-19 cases rise in last 2 weeks

By: - July 14, 2021

Michigan is now one of many states experiencing a rise in COVID-19 rates, according to the New York Times tracker. Over the past 14 days, all but two states (South Dakota and Iowa) have experienced some percentage increase in new cases. Forty-one of those — including Michigan, with a 33% increase — are seeing an […]

How many Michigan prison workers have been vaccinated? The state doesn’t know.

By: - July 14, 2021

As of Tuesday, about 63% of the 32,732 inmates housed in Michigan correctional facilities are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — which is higher than the state average of 57.1%. That was made possible by a coordinated state effort, according to Michigan Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesperson Chris Gautz. But as for how many of the […]

State reports 650 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

By: - July 13, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Tuesday that a total of 896,717 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,832 have died from the virus — an additional 650 cases and 31 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s, Monday’s and Tuesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average […]