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).

4 events, 24 hours and 1 blizzard: My Veterans Day with Rep. Slotkin

By: - November 14, 2019

I’ve decided I’m never going outside again. On Monday, I was assigned to cover U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and her team as they traveled around her district – and beyond – for a full itinerary of Veterans Day events. I jumped at the chance to follow the congresswoman, who made news last year as the first […]

Slotkin talks traveling to Turkey and Iraq, fixing the VA 

By: - November 14, 2019

For Veterans Day, I spent the day following U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) and her campaign team as they embarked on a full itinerary of events. This happened to coincide on mid-Michigan’s first day of real, sustained snowfall, and as a result, I ended up on a 24-hour odyssey.  I was finally able to speak […]

Shirkey offers no apology for comparing abortion to slavery in radio interview

By: - November 8, 2019

In a recent radio interview, Michigan’s Senate GOP leader compared the “scourge” of abortion to slavery – and he’s not backing down from the comparison. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) made the comments on Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM on during a Monday discussion about Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s push to expand abortion access to women […]

Bills you may have missed: SOS wait times, oil subsidies and horse-drawn carriage crackdowns 

By: - November 8, 2019

Ahead of the Legislature’s rapidly approaching hunting break, here is this week’s Michigan Advance roundup of noteworthy recent legislation you may have missed. Regulating horse-drawn vehicles State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R–Clarklake) and state Sens. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington) and Jim Stamas (R-Midland) have introduced Senate Bills 642-644 to place more regulations on horse-drawn carriages, […]

Enviros, tribes call on Whitmer to shut down Line 5 before extreme weather hits, fearing oil spill

By: - November 6, 2019

A coalition of more than a dozen Michigan organizations have sent a formal request to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, urging her to take immediate action to shut down Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline ahead of potentially hazardous winter weather.  The Oct. 25 letter, which was made public Wednesday, calls attention to the “serious threat” a Line 5 […]

Enbridge denies state’s report that it could evade oil spill cleanup costs

By: - November 5, 2019

Canadian oil giant Enbridge has promised to fund almost $2 billion in cleanup costs in the event of a Line 5 pipeline rupture in the Great Lakes. According to a new state-commissioned report, however, that promise may not be legally enforceable. “In the event of a catastrophic oil spill, the people of the state of […]

Opponents say ‘fake’ emotional support animal crackdown bills could violate federal housing law

By: - November 2, 2019

Is it time to crack down on tenants who misrepresent their pets as emotional support animals? A state Senate panel heard testimony this week that was split on this question. The Senate Committee on Local Government met Thursday to consider Senate Bills 608-610, all introduced by Committee Chair Dale Zorn (R-Ida). During the meeting, Zorn […]

Judge rules for Enbridge over state in Line 5 tunnel suit

By: - October 31, 2019

Enbridge Energy, the Canadian oil company at odds with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over its Line 5 oil pipeline and a proposed underwater tunnel to house the aging pipes, has won a Court of Claims lawsuit against the state. The decision from Judge Michael Kelly was announced Thursday afternoon. In the ruling, Kelly states that the […]

Whitmer signs bipartisan ‘Raise the Age’ juvenile justice bills into law

By: - October 31, 2019

In a big step for criminal justice reform in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed into law legislation that will change the definition of “adult” in the criminal justice system from age 17 to 18.  The new laws will also establish funding to ensure that age-appropriate rehabilitation services are accessible to 17-year-olds, and prohibit […]

Bills you may have missed: Wrongful imprisonment, disability accommodations and taxes for mosquito spraying

By: - October 29, 2019

Here’s this week’s Michigan Advance roundup of noteworthy recent legislation that has mostly gone under the radar. Wrongful imprisonment claims Bipartisan legislation to resolve conflicting timelines for filing wrongful imprisonment claims was introduced earlier this month by state Reps. Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield) and Julie Calley (R-Portland). House Bills 5117 and 5118 are reintroductions of Senate […]

Former MSU president headed to trial, university trustee resigns over transparency concerns

By: - October 28, 2019

The Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal continues to roil Michigan State University. Former MSU President Lou Anna Simon was ordered Monday to stand trial and Board of Trustees Member Nancy Schlichting resigned over the “lack of transparency” among the panel. Eaton County District Court Judge Julie Reinke ordered that Simon will head to trial for […]

DHHS announces vaping test results from lung-injury patients

By: - October 28, 2019

While the exact cause of vaping-related lung injuries is still unknown, preliminary test results collected from Michigan patients by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are starting to look into possible answers. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Friday that it had received test results from the FDA analyzing e-cigarette […]