Local Government

Biden urges city leaders to take advantage of billions in federal relief funds

BY: - March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday urged local and city governments to continue to use the $130 billion in funds allocated to them from the American Rescue Plan to help during the pandemic. The president of the National League of Cities, Vince Williams of Union City, Georgia, introduced the president to attendees of the […]

New: Prosecutor says Howell woman who tweeted criticism of COVID misinformation won’t be charged

BY: - March 10, 2022

There will be no charges filed against a Howell woman who was investigated for cyberstalking after publicly calling out a nurse educator for spreading medical misinformation. Kasey Helton was accused of harassment by Holly Austin, also of Howell, who filed a report with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office in December after Helton posted a series […]

LARA: Nurse didn’t violate public health code with anti-mask and anti-vax comments

BY: - March 7, 2022

A state agency has determined that a Livingston County nurse did not violate public health codes by her public statements against masks and COVID-19 vaccines. Holly Austin of Howell is a nurse educator with Schoolcraft College who was investigated by the Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs (LARA) after statements she made during government […]

‘I need to heal’: Michigan health officer resigns in wake of mask mandate anger

BY: - March 3, 2022

When Lisa Peacock resigns as the health officer at the Health Department of Northwest Michigan at the end of April, she plans to get as far away emotionally as she can from these past two years.  She plans to heal. Heal from the trauma of the pandemic. From being scared for her life. From receiving […]

Ann Arbor subdivision becomes 1st in Michigan to repeal racist property covenant

BY: - February 25, 2022

With papers filed and a $30 fee exchanged at the Register of Deeds Office, Ann Arbor’s Hannah subdivision on Thursday became what is thought to be Michigan’s first neighborhood to repeal an outdated whites-only housing policy that is baked into many property agreements both across the state and nationwide. “[N]o person of any race other […]

‘We seem to let our guard down too quickly, and the virus comes roaring back’

BY: - February 16, 2022

After going through “far and away the biggest outbreak we’ve seen,” Michigan’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have begun to drop following a months-long surge. That’s because vaccination rates continue to increase and the omicron variant has infected such a large swath of the population that it now has far fewer people to find as hosts, […]

With all Michigan counties dropping mask mandates, schools have decisions to make

BY: - February 15, 2022

Every county in the state is set to drop mask mandates for schools in Michigan and school districts are rolling back their own masking policies in response.  Wayne County was the last of Michigan’s 83 counties to hold on to its mask mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic, but announced Friday it will be lifted by […]

Benson asks police, AG to investigate reports of election equipment tampering in N. Michigan

BY: - February 11, 2022

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Thursday evening that she asked state police and Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate “multiple credible allegations” her office received this week that at least one unauthorized third party illegally tampered with voting equipment in northern Michigan’s Roscommon County and Richfield Township. The party reportedly “gained inappropriate access to […]

New: Whitmer budget plan hikes higher ed by 5%, also boosts nursing home worker pay

BY: - February 8, 2022

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new budget plan will include a 5% funding hike for Michigan’s 15 public universities and 28 community colleges — the highest increase in decades. Universities would have to cap tuition increases. She also will propose that all nursing home workers stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a $2.35 per hour […]

New GOP House bill would let county boards fire health officers ‘for any reason’

BY: - February 8, 2022

Since the early days of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, right-wing state lawmakers, groups and supporters have fought against the implementation of public health restrictions recommended by medical experts. That includes suing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her COVID-19 orders, protesting mask mandates in schools and more. Now almost two years after COVID was first […]

Gilda Jacobs, trailblazing legislative leader, talks loss during COVID and attacks on democracy

BY: - February 7, 2022

After spending four decades in public office, including leadership roles as a Democrat in the Michigan Legislature, Gilda Jacobs’ second act was helming one of the best-known economic justice groups in the state.  Building on her longstanding relationships, she was always there to make the case to lawmakers that Michigan can’t move forward without equity […]

AG opinion says state boards must meet in person, have virtual option for disabled individuals

BY: - February 4, 2022

Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a legal opinion Friday morning ruling that state boards must hold meetings in-person under the Open Meetings Act (OMA), but that individual members with disabilities must be allowed to participate remotely under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the opinion, “it cannot be stated that, in all situations, […]