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).

Massive signature fraud scandal upends Michigan GOP gubernatorial race

By: - May 24, 2022

The state Bureau of Elections has recommended that five of the 10 Republican candidates hoping to oust Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should be kicked off the ballot prior to the Aug. 2 primary due to tens of thousands of forged signatures. In total, elections staff identified 36 individual petition circulators who submitted fraudulent petition sheets […]

Whitmer declares emergency after rare EF3 tornado leaves 2 dead, 44 injured in Gaylord

By: - May 23, 2022

A rare northern Michigan tornado ripped through the city of Gaylord just before 4 p.m. Friday afternoon, causing widespread damage, injuries and two deaths. “My heart goes out to the families and small businesses impacted by the tornado and severe weather in Gaylord,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday, after declaring a state of emergency for […]

Fiscal leaders project $5B more in state revenue after ‘difficult deliberations’

By: - May 20, 2022

With a healthy dose of caution, given economic uncertainty and international issues, state fiscal leaders concluded Friday that Michigan’s economic forecast has once again greatly exceeded projections. “Our revenues are in a great position, and there is a lot to be optimistic about,” state Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. Combining the current fiscal year (FY 2022) […]

Indigenous Siberians, barred from fighting fossil fuels back home, join Line 5 fight

By: - May 19, 2022

In the United States and Canada, Native citizens can point to long-held treaty rights as attempted recourse against encroaching fossil fuel projects. Such is the case with the Great Lakes tribes that oppose Canadian company Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in Michigan and Line 3 in Minnesota. However, there is no such recourse available for Indigenous […]

Michigan reports 29,267 new COVID-19 cases in the last week

By: and - May 18, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 2,501,863 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 36,218 have died from the virus — an additional 29,267 cases and 78 deaths in the last week. The new COVID-19 numbers reported by the state Monday combine recorded cases and deaths […]

Report: DePerno met with Trump State Dept. official on Jan. 6, 2021

By: - May 17, 2022

Republican Attorney General candidate Matthew DePerno met with former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro during the right-wing insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Destro confirmed to the Washington Post. DePerno, who is endorsed by the Michigan GOP and former President Donald Trump, frequently espouses conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election […]

Grand Rapids Starbucks unionizes, 10 more Michigan stores slated for June votes

By: - May 17, 2022

A Grand Rapids store has become the first Starbucks location in Michigan to successfully unionize. The 15-3 vote last week from workers at 2480 Burton St. SE in Grand Rapids comes as a first major victory for state organizers, who have been fighting for the vote as part of a nationwide movement that began in […]

GOP Rep. Brann: Expanding Elliott-Larsen to LGBTQ+ people is the ‘right thing to do’

By: - May 14, 2022

Updated, 1:06 p.m., 5/16/22 GOP state lawmakers in Michigan and beyond are in the midst of a coordinated legislative pushback on gay and transgender rights, which includes rhetoric equating LGBTQ+ people with pedophiles and attempts to ban transgender student athletes from sports. Not all Republicans are on board, however, including a GOP lawmaker from West […]

Indigenous citizens from U.S., Canada, Siberia converge for Line 5 ‘eviction’ anniversary

By: - May 13, 2022

If Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had her way, Friday would have marked one year since the two 20-inch underwater pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac last saw a drop of Canadian crude oil. Instead, the flow of oil through the twin Line 5 pipelines has not ceased — although neither has the rising tide of international […]

New: Sault Tribe chair resigns amid censure, heated tribal election

By: - May 11, 2022

Aaron Payment has resigned Tuesday as chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians after leading the tribe for 10 years. The exact reasons for and nature of his departure are so far unclear. Payment did not return several requests for comment, nor did Vice-Chair DJ Hoffman. But Payment’s tenure had been the […]

Indigenous women leaders say Line 5 reroute project would be cultural, environmental ‘genocide’

By: - May 10, 2022

Indigenous water protectors from Great Lakes tribes and their supporters are calling on a federal agency to fully review and reject a Line 5 project in northern Wisconsin, which they say would be “an act of cultural genocide” if permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The embattled Line 5 pipeline originates at […]

State reports 48 new COVID-19 outbreaks in schools in the last week

By: - May 10, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports that 122 pre-kindergarten-12 schools are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks as of Monday. Of those, 48 K-12 schools in 14 counties are experiencing new outbreaks or clusters as of Monday that total 287 COVID-19 cases. The state reports school- and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on […]