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.

Whitmer: Trump is ‘the biggest threat to the American people’ on COVID-19

By: - September 10, 2020

Updated, 12:57 p.m. 9/10/20 Six months to the day since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Michigan — and more than 108,595 cases and 6,552 deaths later — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer praised Michiganders’ efforts to contain the outbreak better than most other states. She also laid into the President Donald Trump administration for knowingly […]

Both legs of Line 5 now back in operation after OK from court, regulators

By: - September 9, 2020

After being out of commission for nearly three months, the east segment of Enbridge’s Line 5 dual oil pipeline reopened Wednesday following approval from both federal regulators and a circuit court judge. The eastern leg of the underwater pipeline, which runs for about four miles under the choppy Straits of Mackinac, had first been shut […]

Whitmer slams Trump admin’s refusal to expand health coverage during COVID-19

By: - September 9, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday released a scathing rebuff of President Donald Trump’s inaction on health care protections during the COVID-19 pandemic, after an administration official denied the request of 12 governors to establish a special Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment period for uninsured individuals. “The Trump administration’s cruel and inexplicable refusal to expand health […]

New: Coast Guard concludes Line 5 damage caused by Enbridge vessels, denies anchor ban request

By: - September 8, 2020

Updated, 4:34 p.m., 9/8/20 with comment from Enbridge The U.S. Coast Guard has denied a request from anti-Line 5 groups to ban anchoring in the Straits of Mackinac to prevent future damage to the Line 5 dual oil pipeline, according to a Tuesday letter from the Sault Ste. Marie captain of the port. But Capt. […]

From tackling payroll fraud to suing Trump: Nessel recognized as leading AG on workers’ rights

By: - September 7, 2020

Attorney General Dana Nessel is one of the leading state AGs in protecting workers’ rights, according to a new report published by the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute (EPI) prior to Labor Day. The economic justice think tank details the more prominent role state attorneys general have taken in labor rights issues since mid-2018 and […]

New: Line 5 east leg not damaged, internal tests show

By: - September 4, 2020

The eastern segment of the dual Line 5 oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac did not sustain damage during an incident that left an anchor support significantly bent, according to a court-ordered internal test. Canadian oil company Enbridge had been allowed to restart the east leg to complete an in-line inspection (ILI) on the […]

New: MSP rolls out website with use-of-force, traffic stop data

By: - September 4, 2020

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Friday morning is rolling out new department accountability initiatives, including the creation of a citizen advisory council and a new website devoted to transparency in policing. In an exclusive interview, MSP Director Col. Joseph Gasper told the Advance that the advisory body will help bridge the gap between law enforcement […]

Michigan reports 685 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

By: - September 3, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Thursday that 104,395 total Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,519 have died from the virus — an additional 685 cases and 10 deaths since Wednesday. The state notes that nine of Thursday’s additional deaths come from its most recent review of vital records […]

Michigan ranks 5th in nation for daily COVID-19 testing

By: - September 2, 2020

State advancements in COVID-19 testing are paying off, with Michigan ranking fifth in the country last week for the number of daily tests conducted, Michigan Department Health and Human Services (DHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Wednesday. But Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned at the press conference that “the fight is still far from […]

SOS denies Russian ‘data breach’ of Michigan voter info

By: - September 1, 2020

The personal information of 7.6 million Michigan voters was obtained and posted on a Russian hacker site in an apparent attempt to solicit money from the U.S. government, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Tuesday. Millions of voters from other key swing states including North Carolina and Florida were also targeted in the dark web database, […]

New company offers U.P. propane alternative to Line 5

By: - September 1, 2020

Updated, 7:30 p.m., 9/1/20 with comment from Enbridge State environmental activists are lifting up a new potential source of propane for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, in the hopes that it will give more leeway for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down Canadian oil company Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 pipeline. Line 5 has transported Canadian oil under […]

Lying to get petition signatures is legal in Michigan. Can that change without hurting free speech?

By: - August 24, 2020

As one of 26 states that allow citizen-led ballot initiatives, Michigan’s petition process makes it relatively easy for citizens to enact — and sometimes reject — laws passed by the state Legislature. It also is easy for circulators to mislead voters, as Michigan is just one of a few states that does not prohibit lying […]