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).

CDC: 32 Michigan counties have high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates

By: - August 3, 2021

The COVID-19 transmission rates in 32 Michigan counties — 21 more than last week — are considered “high” or “substantial,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last week, the CDC had urged all individuals in substantial or high community transmission areas to wear masks indoors in public, regardless of their vaccination […]

Agency: With slowed rates, Michigan won’t be 70% vaccinated until late fall

By: - July 30, 2021

The nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency (SFA) has calculated that, given the state’s current trajectory, it will take until mid-November for Michigan to reach the desired 70% vaccinated threshold to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The agency has been tweeting out adjusted estimates every few days. COVID-19 vaccine rates have been slowing in Michigan and […]

Indigenous activists protest Line 5 in Michigan on 20,000-mile journey to DC

By: - July 29, 2021

Tribal citizens on a 20,000-mile, cross-country journey to highlight sacred Indigenous sites and call on President Joe Biden’s administration to protect them made their ninth and final stop in Mackinaw City this week. The activists were met and welcomed Tuesday morning by Native people from numerous tribes across Michigan, including the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe […]

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

By: - July 27, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Tuesday that a total of 901,683 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 19,902 have died from the virus — an additional 1,762 cases and 19 deaths since Friday. The new numbers combine Saturday’s, Sunday’s, Monday’s and Tuesday’s recorded cases and deaths, with an average […]

Rural Michigan clinics get $5.3M federal boost for COVID vaccinations

By: - July 27, 2021

Rural health clinics in Michigan have received $5.25 million in federal grand awards, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday, as part of the department’s effort to boost COVID-19 vaccination efforts in rural areas across the country. Michigan has the sixth-highest number of Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) in the country, after […]

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 […]