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).

Hemond: A lot is negotiable, but not your ‘basic rights as a human being’

By: - June 23, 2020

Adrian Hemond doesn’t want you to look away from this moment. And even as the CEO of a bipartisan political consulting firm, he’s not afraid to tell you so. Hemond, an African American Democrat who heads the Lansing-based Grassroots Midwest, has never been one to pull punches. A scroll through his Twitter feed is a […]

Nessel calls for court-ordered emergency Line 5 shutdown

By: - June 22, 2020

Updated with comment from Enbridge, 8:20 p.m., 6/22/20 Citing violations of Canadian oil company Enbridge’s longstanding agreement with Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday called for a judge to put an emergency halt to Enbridge’s operation of the controversial Line 5 pipeline. The motions for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction were filed […]

Legislature OKs $880M spending bill, rejects Dem asks for mental health, sick leave

By: - June 17, 2020

After a long Wednesday session that continued into the evening, the Michigan Legislature passed an $880 million supplemental spending plan now headed for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. Those funds include millions in support for small businesses, health care providers, local governments and more that are struggling with the financial impacts from Michigan’s COVID-19 outbreak. Senate […]

Michigan 1 of only 3 ‘low risk’ states for coronavirus

By: - June 17, 2020

Michigan has now effectively “flattened the curve” enough to be categorized as having a “low risk” level for COVID-19, according to one of the models used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team to evaluate the state’s response to the virus. COVID Act Now is also known as the most aggressive, or pessimistic, data model. Since early […]

State makes nursing home COVID-19 testing mandatory

By: - June 15, 2020

Testing all nursing home residents and staff for COVID-19 is now mandatory,  the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Monday. The emergency order mandate was announced as part of a series of changes to Michigan’s COVID-19 policies related to nursing homes, which came in response to sustained complaints that data on the […]

Michigan’s dam problem isn’t just in Midland — and it’s part of a larger infrastructure crisis

By: - June 14, 2020

Michigan has a dam problem, as the Midland disaster has shown. We’re not alone — but the Great Lakes State faces unique challenges in remedying the issue. Across the country, dams are increasingly becoming a relic of America’s infrastructural past. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) estimates that the average age of the country’s […]

Michigan has $2.8B left in federal COVID-19 relief, some lawmakers want flexibility to spend it

By: - June 12, 2020

Michigan has yet to spend $2.8 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds, and some legislators are hoping that Congress will allow that money to fill substantial budget holes. So far, Michigan has received $3.1 billion in federal relief money through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. But as the Detroit Free Press […]

Michigan has almost 5,800 COVID-19 deaths, model predicts 9K by October

By: - June 12, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports Friday that 59,621 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,745 have died from the virus — an additional 125 cases and eight deaths since Thursday. The virus has now spread to all but one of Michigan’s 83 counties. The first two cases of COVID-19 […]

Court of Appeals rules Enbridge tunnel deal is constitutional

By: - June 11, 2020

Updated with comment from Nessel’s office, 11:28 a.m., 6/12/20 In another legal win for Canadian oil company Enbridge, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel ruled Thursday that Enbridge’s plan to build a new tunnel-encased oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac is constitutional.  Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a legal opinion last year that it […]

Lawmakers advance bills to push back July budget deadline, urge congressional help

By: - June 11, 2020

Both chambers of the Legislature on Thursday took steps on the budget process, as measures were introduced to compel Congress to provide more flexible financial assistance to states and to waive the Legislature’s quickly approaching deadline to present a budget to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. House Concurrent Resolution 26, sponsored by state Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) […]

NAACP protest in Lansing draws more than 1K

By: - June 10, 2020

Sweltering, nearly 90-degree weather did not deter a crowd of more than 1,000 protesters who took part in a peaceful march down Michigan Avenue Wednesday afternoon to the state Capitol as a show of solidarity against police brutality and systemic racism. The “We Are Done Dying March” was hosted by the NAACP Youth and College […]

Republican sues Michigan to purge voter rolls, SOS says suit uses old data

By: - June 10, 2020

Michigan’s election officials are being sued in federal court for failing to “clean up the state’s voter rolls,” according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Grand Rapids. The Republican activist who filed the lawsuit, Tony Daunt, alleges that Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has not done enough to purge ineligible voters and other irregularities […]