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.

capitol

Lansing braces for wave of ‘armed, violent’ protests before Biden’s inauguration

By: - January 13, 2021

With images of a screaming, furious mob over running a weak defense of the U.S. Capitol a week ago, Michigan state and local officials are bracing for a possible armed, violent demonstration on Sunday at the state Capitol in Lansing.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has received intel that armed protests are being planned […]

Rep. Johnson demands apologies from leadership, committee assignments restored

By: - January 11, 2021

Detroit state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson is calling on legislative leadership to refuse to seat any lawmaker who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C., or a partner rally that occurred simultaneously at the state Capitol.  “Anyone who was at that Capitol at that demonstration, at that thuggish behavior, that you were just […]

New: ‘This is absolutely racism’: Rep. Johnson says death threat wasn’t investigated for weeks

By: - January 8, 2021

Updated, 9:23 a.m., 1/11/21 A Black female lawmaker from Detroit is accusing the Michigan State Police of “racism and implicit bias” in its handling of a death threat issued against her on Dec. 12.  Chad Michael Varrone, 48, of Charlotte, was identified in mid-December as the man who called state Rep. Thomas Albert (R-Grattan Township) […]

At pro-Trump rally, militia leader claims accused Whitmer plotters are ‘not guilty’

By: - January 6, 2021

Phil Robinson, leader of the Michigan Liberty Militia, said Wednesday at a pro-President Trump rally at the state Capitol that the men accused in a plot to kidnap and kill Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are “not guilty.” “All I can say about that is that they are not guilty. I know them guys personally and […]

A GOP senator told a heart-wrenching story about a hometown bar hurt by COVID-19 orders. But almost none of it was true.

By: - January 5, 2021

A floor speech from state Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) last month alleged that Michigan Liquor Control Commission (LCC) inspectors preyed on the “human compassion” of the owners of Charlie’s Bar and Grill in Potterville by suspending its liquor license for operating despite a state-ordered shutdown during the pandemic. Barrett’s video has gone viral in conservative […]

What are the powers and limits of public health officials in a pandemic?

By: - December 19, 2020

When Rudy Giuliani, the erstwhile attorney for outgoing President Donald Trump, sat in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee to expound upon false and unproven allegations of voter fraud in Michigan’s November election, no one knew he was already playing host to coronavirus. With each breath Dec. 2, he likely sent ten of thousands […]

‘It was a digital lynching’: Rep. Johnson discusses video and punishment 

By: - December 10, 2020

Detroit Democratic state Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson didn’t hold back when asked about the findings of an Advance investigation into how her personal Facebook live video was edited and moved through the right-wing mediasphere.  “It was a public lynching,” she said. “It was a digital lynching is what it was. And it was accepted by […]

COMMENTARY

Todd A. Heywood: Down the right-wing rabbit hole: How did the video of Rep. Cynthia A. Johnson go viral?

By: - December 10, 2020

Updated, 3:12 p.m., 12/10/20 It started with a Facebook Live Video that was sucked into the underbelly of the internet. There it churned and clipped and passed from person to person. Someone slapped a label on the video accusing the speaker of being a domestic terrorist. As it slushed around the far-right social media site […]

County health officer, House Business Office huddle on possible COVID-19 exposure from Giuliani hearing

By: - December 9, 2020

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said Wednesday that she had a “very good conversation” with the state House Business Office Director Doug Simon late Tuesday about procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This comes after a House Oversight Committee meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in which two of President Trump’s lawyers, Rudy Giuliani and Jenna […]

Ingham Co. health officer is ‘unaware’ of Michigan House doing COVID-19 contact tracing

By: - December 8, 2020

While the Michigan House will not be holding committee meetings or sessions for the remainder of the week over concerns about COVID-19 spread, Ingham County officials are struggling to get cooperation from chamber to address contact tracing.  “I have left a message for the clerk of the committee,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail. […]

State extends COVID-19 restrictions amid ‘alarmingly high’ hospitalizations

By: - December 7, 2020

Facing record hospitalizations for COVID-19 infections across the state, Michigan health officials are extending the state’s pandemic control orders for 12 more days.  The move comes after a call by the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) to extend the current health orders.  “Michigan was on the path to record COVID-19 case rates, deaths and […]

New: Ingham Co. orders mandatory quarantine for Oversight Committee participants after Giuliani’s COVID-19 diagnosis

By: - December 7, 2020

Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail on Monday ordered lawmakers, staff and others who attended the House Oversight Committee hearing in Lansing last Wednesday to quarantine. The reason? President Trump lawyer and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani testified before the body and has since tested positive for coronavirus. “Unfortunately, Mayor Giuliani has been hospitalized […]