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 rolls out reforms to prevent police brutality

By: - June 3, 2020

As large-scale protests against police brutality and racism continue in Michigan and beyond, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday announced a series of policy proposals to increase accountability for Michigan law enforcement officers. Whitmer also noted a number of actions being taken by the Michigan State Police (MSP) to support the goal of a more transparent […]

Michigan ranks 3rd worst in nation for Black educational attainment

By: - June 2, 2020

Structural racism in Michigan and across the country can be traced back to racial inequities that have persisted for decades. One significant contributor to overall racial inequity is disparities in educational attainment, which is highlighted by a new report from the Lansing-based think tank the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP). According to the MLPP, […]

U.S. Reps. demand answers about fed, state roles in dam failure

By: - June 2, 2020

U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) and Tim Walberg (R-Tipton) have sent letters to both agencies involved in overseeing the now-collapsed Edenville Dam, seeking answers about what happened in the lead-up to the catastrophic May 19 flooding event in Midland and surrounding counties. Dingell and Upton announced in a joint press release […]

Legislature’s taxpayer-funded contract with GOP-connected firm in Whitmer suit raises transparency concerns

By: - June 2, 2020

For months, Republican legislative leaders have slammed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, alleging a lack of transparency while she exercised emergency powers, even going so far as to create a special oversight committee to investigate her administration’s COVID-19 response.   One of the issues Republican lawmakers have zeroed in on is the Democratic administration last month awarded contracts […]

Baldwin prison confirms 1st inmate COVID-19 death

By: - June 1, 2020

North Lake Correctional Facility, the private, for-profit immigrant prison in rural Baldwin that has been plagued by hunger strikes and other controversies in the eight months since it opened, has confirmed its first inmate death due to COVID-19. The death appeared on the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) website on Friday. A spokesperson for GEO […]

Michigan reports more than 57K COVID-19 cases, 5,516 deaths

By: - June 1, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports Monday that 57,532 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,516 have died from the virus — an additional 135 cases and 25 deaths since Sunday. The outbreak has reached all but four of Michigan’s 83 counties. The city of Detroit, which is the only […]

Another meeting, another delay on banning guns at the Capitol

By: - May 30, 2020

Despite an opinion from Attorney General Dana Nessel earlier in May, the Michigan State Capitol Commission (MSCC) voted Friday to hire external legal counsel to decide whether the panel has the authority to ban firearms at the state Capitol. “The attorney general’s opinion notwithstanding, we felt that we needed to further clarify, really what kind […]

GOP senator calls female colleagues ‘shrill,’ accuses them of ‘feigned’ outrage during COVID-19 crisis

By: - May 28, 2020

Tensions boiled over in the state Senate chamber during session Thursday, with one Democratic state lawmaker saying she walked out of session after hearing a Republican senator describe her female colleagues in dismissive and sexist terms. “The ability to simply generalize who is and who isn’t in support of your district or your people … […]

Michigan reports more than 56K COVID-19 cases, 5,372 deaths

By: - May 28, 2020

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports Thursday that 56,014 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,372 have died from the virus — an additional 406 cases and 38 deaths since Wednesday. The outbreak has reached all but four of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state also notes that 17 of Thursday’s […]

Gaps identified in Line 5 protective coating, Enbridge says pipeline remains safe

By: - May 27, 2020

Canadian oil company Enbridge is once again defending the integrity of its controversial Line 5 pipeline, which lies beneath the environmentally sensitive Straits of Mackinac and is approaching 70 years old. Enbridge revealed Tuesday that during seasonal maintenance work on the pipeline this month, workers found four spots on Line 5’s east segment where the […]

Gov. directs state environmental dept. to probe Midland dam failures, review statewide safety

By: - May 27, 2020

A week out from the rainy Tuesday night in mid-Michigan that saw the collapse of at least two dams, widespread flooding and evacuations, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced that an investigation will be done to determine what caused the failures. In a letter to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Wednesday, […]

UWash COVID-19 Mich. forecast adjusts once again — this time, for the better

By: - May 27, 2020

The data model from the University of Washington, known as the most optimistic forecast of the COVID-19 outbreak, has seen some major updates over the course of the past few months and at least three in May alone. The latest two UWash updates for Michigan this week come with relatively good news — although, given […]