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).

DHHS updates guidance for students with COVID-19 exposure

By: - September 8, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has updated its recommendations for students who have been exposed to COVID-19 at school, depending on the student’s vaccination status, level of masking, social distancing and more. The new guidance — which is not a mandate — comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to […]

Tlaib joins ‘Squad’ in Minn. to oppose Enbridge’s Line 3, draws parallels to Line 5 fight

By: and - September 8, 2021

Updated, 2:07 p.m., 9/8/21, with comment from Enbridge Over the weekend, four members of the “Squad,” a group of progressive members of the U.S. House — Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — traveled to Minnesota in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 oil pipeline.  Speaking on matters […]

Employees works at Ford Motor Plant

Oxfam: Michigan falls to 29th best state for workers in 2021

By: - September 8, 2021

The Boston-based nonprofit Oxfam has ranked Michigan as the 29th best state for workers overall in its most recent annual report on working policies and conditions. Michigan’s 2021 ranking is a far cry from what it was in 2020 — then 13th in the country overall, nearly cracking the top 10 best states to work […]

Conspiracy-filled House hearing held on vaccine mandate ban

By: - August 19, 2021

A GOP bill to preemptively prohibit mandatory employee vaccinations saw the light of day Thursday, in a House committee hearing saturated with COVID-19 conspiracy theories and anti-vaxxer rhetoric. House Bill 4471, introduced by state Rep. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine), would create the “informed consent in the workplace act” to prevent employers from “discriminating” against individuals who […]

Another delay: Line 5 mediation is likely to wrap by late September

By: - August 19, 2021

Mediation between the state of Michigan and Canadian oil company Enbridge has been pushed back one month due to a cancelation, meaning that a federal judge may not make a decision on which court will preside over Michigan’s lawsuit to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline until late September or early October at the […]

DHHS: This fall could ‘look a lot like last spring’ for COVID-19 spread, hospitalizations

By: - August 18, 2021

Michigan is experiencing a COVID-19 surge comparable to spring 2020 based on current trends, said Sarah Lyon-Callo, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health. Although the number of vaccinated Michiganders is slowly growing, the increase in all COVID-19 metrics is growing much faster. “The Delta […]

Stress, fatigue and fading hopes of ‘normalcy’ as Michigan surpasses 20K COVID deaths

By: and - August 17, 2021

Just over 17 months ago in March 2020, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the first case of COVID-19 had made its way into Michigan — kickstarting a period of uncertainty, change, hardships and a unified desire for “normalcy.” Now, the deadly virus has infected 922,687 Michiganders in total. The state hit the grim milestone of […]

Pain and resilience: The legacy of Native American boarding schools in Michigan

By: - August 14, 2021

Updated, 12:45 p.m., 8/19/21 In May, a horrific discovery in British Columbia caught the world’s attention: The unmarked gravesites of hundreds of Indigenous children, buried near the boarding school they were forced to attend by their government and the Catholic Church in a mass effort to assimilate them into white culture. Since then, over 1,300 […]

CDC: 90% of Michigan counties have ‘high’ or ‘substantial’ COVID-19 spread

By: - August 13, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Friday that a total of 919,133 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,011 have died from the virus — an additional 3,127 cases and 29 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Thursday’s and Friday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average of 1,564 […]

Independent redistricting panel hires GOP-connected law firm, despite concerns

By: - August 13, 2021

Updated, 8:20 a.m., 8/13/21 After hours of discussion, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) voted 9-2 on Thursday to hire the only law firm that applied to be the panel’s legal counsel once its new U.S. House, and state House and Senate district lines are finalized later this year. The consideration of the Washington, […]

Biden nominates U of M professor for key HHS role

By: - August 9, 2021

A Michigander has been tapped for a key role at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the President Joe Biden administration announced Friday. Samuel Bagenstos, who is on leave from his position as the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at University of Michigan, had already joined the Biden administration in January […]

Secretary Granholm joins lawmakers in Michigan to tout Biden’s electric vehicle push 

By: - August 5, 2021

Updated, 7:40 p.m. 8/5/21 Former Michigan governor-turned-U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made her return to Michigan Thursday with a sweeping four-stop visit to highlight President Joe Biden’s new national target for electric vehicle sales. Granholm was first joined by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) for a walking tour of an electronic manufacturing facility in Holly. […]