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.

New civil rights chief to be chosen next week

By: - March 3, 2020

After more than six months without a permanent executive director, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) will have its final candidate for the position chosen by next week. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has been conducting a national search for a permanent department director since October. The commissioners fired former MDCR director Augustin Arbulu […]

As Michigan preps for coronavirus, groups demand end to Detroit water shutoffs

By: - March 3, 2020

Citing heightened concerns over public health risks, a coalition of Michigan-based social justice organizations released a letter Friday calling on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to force an end to water shutoffs in Detroit. The groups, led by the People’s Water Board Coalition, say continuing to shut off water for Detroit-area residents who haven’t paid their bills […]

Michigan lawmakers call out xenophobic reactions to coronavirus

By: - March 2, 2020

In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching national public health emergency status, two Democratic Michigan lawmakers are condemning heightened hostility and racist sentiments toward people of Asian descent as a reaction to the illness. The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, and has so far affected at least 89,000 people and killed more than […]

Michigan depts. release plan to cut Lake Erie phosphorus

By: - February 29, 2020

This week, Michigan’s three environmental departments released the state’s targeted plan to reduce phosphorus in Lake Erie by 40% over the next five years. Michigan’s departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Natural Resources (DNR) collaborated on the effort, which they are calling the draft Michigan Lake Erie […]

Michigan’s first PFAS rules for drinking water move forward

By: - February 27, 2020

A state environmental rulemaking panel voted Thursday afternoon to approve draft rules for setting limits on toxic contaminants known as PFAS in Michigan’s drinking water. The rules now head to a panel of state lawmakers for final consideration. If they are passed, Michigan will go from having no rules at all on per- and polyfluoroalkyl […]

How Michigan progressives built an activist army for Sanders

By: - February 27, 2020

“Raise your hand if you got involved with politics for the first time because of Bernie Sanders.” About 30 hands went up — roughly half the students and area locals filling the seats of the MSU classroom. The “Barnstorm for Bernie” event organized by the Michigan State University student organization Spartans for Sanders, with help […]

Warren joins Sanders, Buttigieg in call to decommission Line 5

By: - February 26, 2020

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined two of her fellow Democratic presidential candidates in calling for Michigan’s embattled Line 5 oil pipeline to be shut down. “Michigan’s Line 5 pipeline is a threat to millions who rely on the Great Lakes for clean water and a healthy economy. My plans for a #GreenNewDeal will rebuild […]

Consumers Energy to eliminate carbon footprint by 2040

By: - February 26, 2020

Consumers Energy, the state’s largest energy provider, has a new, ambitious goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The public utility in 2019 rolled out its “Clean Energy Plan,” which details how it expects to meet the state’s natural gas and electricity needs through the next two decades. Consumers Energy announced Monday that […]

Michigan House adopts pro-2nd Amendment resolution on Moms Demand Action day

By: - February 25, 2020

Michigan’s Republican-led state House voted Tuesday afternoon to adopt a resolution reaffirming the right of residents to keep and bear arms. House Resolution 227 is one of several resolutions that state Rep. Gary Eisen (R-St. Clair Twp.) has introduced at both the state and local level to uphold citizens’ rights to bear arms. The measures […]

Buttigieg tweets opposition to Line 5

By: - February 24, 2020

Updated, 8:35 p.m. 2/24/20 with comments from AG Nessel In a tweet Monday evening, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg became the second Democratic presidential contender currently in the race to call for Enbridge’s controversial Line 5 oil pipeline to be decommissioned. “With such a high risk of an oil spill under the Great […]

Enviros applaud state for rejecting DTE Energy’s 15-year plan

By: - February 24, 2020

One of Michigan’s largest public utilities must go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan to provide electricity to customers over the next 15 years, a state regulatory body decided last week. Detroit-based DTE Energy, which provides electricity in Michigan to 2.2 million customers and natural gas to 1.3 million, […]

House Dems call on EPA for stronger Lead and Copper Rule

By: - February 21, 2020

A group of 50 House Democrats led by U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) is pushing for more robust federal rules for protecting consumers against lead and copper in their drinking water. In a letter sent Tuesday to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Democrats urged the federal agency to strengthen proposed changes […]