Author

Todd A. Heywood

Todd A. Heywood

Todd Heywood is an award-winning journalist with over 30 years of experience. He's worked in print, online, radio and television. His reporting has been cited by the U.S. House of Representatives as well as in the United Nations reports on HIV. He's an avid vintage Star Wars collector and lives in Lansing with his three dogs.

New: Michigan Capitol bomb threat suspect got Secret Service visit over 2014 Obama threat

By: - March 18, 2021

Newly released documents from the Michigan State Police show Michael Varrone, who was accused of making a bomb threat on Jan. 7 to the Michigan Capitol, has a lengthy history of contact with law enforcement — including a 2014 visit from the Secret Service for threatening then-President Barack Obama by email.  The heavily redacted police […]

Cafe Rosetta gets food license back

By: - March 11, 2021

The recalcitrant cafe in Calumet that has been the source of protest and conflict as well as court actions has been authorized to open its doors again. On Thursday, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Stokes dissolved a Jan. 22 injunction.  No date for a reopening of the Upper Peninsula restaurant has been announced, WLUC-TV […]

After being reshaped by extremism, Houghton County faces an uneasy, uncertain future

By: - March 10, 2021

With an average of 200 inches of snowfall a year, Houghton County is a winter lover’s dream. At the end of January, the weather was warmer than usual in the western U.P. But it didn’t stop the “sled heads” — as locals call them — from driving to area hotels with their snowmobiles in tow.   […]

How Cafe Rosetta became the nexus of Houghton County’s conflict over the COVID crisis

By: - March 9, 2021

Sitting on the corner of Fifth Street and Scott Street in Calumet’s business district sits a nondescript building, the entrance of which is pushed back under the roof by about 15 feet, obscuring the view. It stands in the shadows of looming large brick buildings created during the Upper Peninsula village’s heyday as a center […]

‘It’s become toxic’: Houghton County wrestles with its past, Trump and coronavirus

By: - March 8, 2021

There’s an unwritten, and unquestioned, rule in the Upper Peninsula, including in the far-western area where Houghton County lies between the shores of Lake Superior. Generally, folks stay out of each other’s business and leave each other alone. But if there is a problem, and one can help, it’s an expectation. It’s known as the […]

Michigan Senate GOP fundraises off Shirkey controversies as fight against ‘cancel culture’

By: - February 25, 2021

The Michigan Senate Republican Committee sent a fundraising email Feb. 24 claiming the party and members were being subjected to “cancel culture.” The letter, signed by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) alleges “The far-left groups want to ‘cancel’ us and you!” “The far-left is targeting me, the Senate Republicans, and our supporters. They are […]

Racial inequities resurface in coronavirus vaccinations

By: - February 16, 2021

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun has been knee-deep in coronavirus data for nearly a year. As the state’s chief medical officer and the chief deputy director for health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), she has weighed racial disparities, partnering with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist last spring to remove barriers related to race […]

Rep. Johnson says she feels ‘used and abused’ after Trump impeachment team shows manipulated video

By: - February 12, 2021

On the fourth day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Michigan was once again in the limelight. State Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson (D-Detroit) is furious that an edited version of her early December Facebook video was selectively edited down even more making it appear […]

Updated: U.P. lawmakers postpone planned coffee hour at cafe ordered to close

By: - February 11, 2021

Updated, 3:26 p.m., 2/11/21, with new comments from McBroom and court details Two Upper Peninsula lawmakers were planning a coffee hour from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday at Cafe Rosetta in Calumet. But the meeting of state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock) could be a violation of a temporary injunction prohibiting […]

Officials push to erase racial disparities in COVID vaccination rates

By: - February 11, 2021

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) had a message for constituents hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine.  “I was scared to death to get this shot,” she said Wednesday night during a Facebook Live event to address coronavirus vaccine concerns in the Black community. “Then I began to realize I was being stupid. It is safe. […]

After paying $7,500 fine, U.P. eatery hit with contempt order for defying COVID measure

By: - February 9, 2021

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Stokes has found Cafe Rosetta, and owner Amy Heikkinen, in contempt of court for refusing to obey an injunction she issued just last week for the Upper Peninsula restaurant.  The order arises out of enforcement action taken by local and state health officials in the wake of the Nov. […]

New: Criminal charges against ‘Operation Haircut’ protesters dismissed

By: - February 8, 2021

Updated with AG comments, 10:31 a.m., 2/9/21 Six barbers cited for disorderly conduct during a May protest at the state Capitol have had their criminal charges dismissed.  David Kallman, an attorney for the Kallman Legal Group and leading legal voice defending dissenters of health orders and executive orders related to coronavirus containment, said the charges […]