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).

State OKs revised DTE 15-year plan beefing up energy efficiency

By: - April 17, 2020

Updated, 6:53 p.m., 4/17/20, with comment from DTE Two months after a state regulatory body rejected its first try, Detroit-based DTE Electric Co. saw its revised 15-year energy resource plan approved Wednesday afternoon. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) had rejected DTE’s original plan in February, after many months of sustained criticism from environmental groups, […]

California loans 50 ventilators to Michigan

By: - April 16, 2020

More than four dozen ventilators from California are scheduled to arrive in Lansing Wednesday, as a loan from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to aid Michigan in its COVID-19 response. California, an early adopter of restrictive policies to fight the disease’s spread, has had signs that it’s bent the curve. The state also has sent ventilators […]

Whitmer: Protesters flouting social distancing could ironically cause a longer stay-home order

By: - April 15, 2020

“I support your right to free speech, and I respect your opinions. I just urge you: Don’t put yourself at risk, and don’t put others at risk, either,” Whitmer said as she addressed the public during her latest Michigan COVID-19 update at Lansing’s Romney Building on Wednesday afternoon. Just across the street, hundreds of protesters […]

After crush of unemployment claims, state says it’s upgraded servers

By: - April 14, 2020

The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) website saw higher traffic Monday night than any other time in the last few weeks, according to Director Jeff Donofrio. Donofrio gave a video press update Tuesday on how the department is dealing with the historic number of unemployment claims after a slew of complaints from […]

Michigan reports 27K COVID-19 cases, 1,700+ deaths

By: - April 14, 2020

There are now 27,001 positive cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, in Michigan as of 3 p.m. Tuesday, although state officials believe the actual number of cases is much higher. This is an additional 1,366 cases since Monday. A statewide coronavirus hotline is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. […]

Breaking: 3 staffers at Baldwin immigrant prison test positive for COVID-19

By: - April 13, 2020

Updated, 5:53 p.m. with Monday’s numbers for the Milan facility. Three employees at a federal immigrant prison in Baldwin have tested positive for COVID-19, the Advance confirmed Monday. A spokesperson for the owner of the private prison, Florida-based GEO Group, said that no inmates have tested positive at the North Lake Correctional Institute, although it […]

New: Hunger strike at Baldwin immigrant prison enters 5th day

By: - April 10, 2020

A group of at least 10 inmates at Michigan’s only private, for-profit immigrant prison are on day five of a hunger strike to protest against what they describe as inhumane living conditions and discriminatory treatment from staff. Letters and phone calls to advocacy groups, which have been obtained by the Advance, describe concerns from at […]

Enbridge submits construction permit for Line 5 project, enviros want Whitmer to delay due to COVID-19

By: - April 10, 2020

If an oil pipeline company requests permits for a controversial project during a pandemic, does it make a sound? Not nearly enough, if you ask many of the state’s environmental, civic and tribal leaders who oppose Canadian company Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 tunnel project. The Oil and Water Don’t Mix coalition, made up of more […]

Republicans move ahead with Tues. session to check Whitmer’s COVID-19 orders

By: - April 6, 2020

Michigan’s GOP-led Legislature appears ready to make its move to try and limit the Democratic governor’s power to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.   Session will be held in both chambers Tuesday, despite widespread health concerns, even as it was announced Monday that another Michigan lawmaker, state Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), tested positive for the virus. […]

Here’s the surprising way Michigan is tracking COVID-19 cases in prisons

By: - April 4, 2020

Those who have been regularly tuning in to Michigan’s daily statewide tally of COVID-19 cases and deaths know the drill by now: Around 3 p.m. every day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) takes data from each county’s health department, adds it to a spreadsheet and publishes that county list on a […]

Violating COVID-19 orders could cost you $1,000 a day

By: - April 3, 2020

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Robert Gordon has issued an emergency order setting a fine of up to $1,000 and other possible enforcement action for those who violate three of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s key executive orders on COVID-19. The penalties will apply to those who violate Emergency Order (EO) 2020-11, which […]

Doctors, enviros want water shutoff moratorium extended after COVID-19 pandemic

By: - April 2, 2020

On Saturday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced an executive order directing public water utilities to immediately restore water service for every Michigander whose water has been shut off due to non-payment. The order is effective for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, although some social justice groups and medical professionals argue that it should continue for […]