West Michigan

Battle Creek Kellogg workers picketing against contract givebacks are part of ‘Striketober’

BY: - October 15, 2021

Almost 1,400 union workers at four Kellogg plants, including Battle Creek, have been on strike since last week — and they’re part of a growing national movement that supporters like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have dubbed “Striketober.” “After years of being underserved and taken for granted – & doubly so during the pandemic – […]

Once lauded as heroes, health care workers are now spit on and ‘threatened every day at work’

BY: - October 5, 2021

When Tom Kelsch heads to his job as a registered nurse in Mercy Health Muskegon’s emergency department, he knows, almost without a doubt, that he’ll be threatened by a patient or their family that day. He knows he may see someone’s fist in his face, as has happened in the past, or have to endure […]

Parents rally for hospital workers, urge statewide school mask mandate 

BY: - October 4, 2021

Michigan parents in three cities rallied on Monday outside hospitals to show support for health care workers and called for universal masking in all schools to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong participated in the Royal Oak rally with her daughter.  “We wanted to come out and support our health care […]

Local health depts. ax school mask orders amid state budget confusion

BY: - September 30, 2021

A wave of local health departments across Michigan are rescinding their school mask mandates after Republicans inserted boilerplate language into the state budget that threatens to cut funding from health departments if they implement mask orders for children.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said while signing the Fiscal Year 2022 budget this week that the GOP language […]

Mobile vaccine clinics aim to bridge the gap for Latinos, immigrants in Kent Co.

BY: - September 29, 2021

Before COVID-19 hit Michigan, registered nurse Melissa Bisel oversaw the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), as well as immunization programs at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).  Now, as a public health program supervisor in KCHD’s health clinics division, Bisel oversees mobile vaccination clinics to combat the spread of COVID-19. […]

COMMENTARY

Susan J. Demas: The Mackinac Conference lauds civility, but Kent Co. conflicts tell another tale

BY: - September 23, 2021

“Civility still lives here at the Mackinac conference,” Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandy Baruah declared while kicking off the (usually) annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Tuesday. But apparently, that value is waning more than 200 miles southwest of the storied island in business-friendly Grand Rapids, once the unofficial home of “Michigan Nice.” While […]

Kent Co. health director tells commissioners after almost being run off the road: ‘I need help’

BY: - September 20, 2021

Updated 6:06 p.m., 9/21/21, with comments from Kent County Board of Commissioners Chair Mandy Bolter and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office After a woman attempted to run Kent County Health Department director Adam London off the road just hours after he issued a mask mandate for some schools last month, the health officer issued a […]

‘This feels like a family reunion’: Kalamazoo hosts 1st live LGBTQ Pride in 2 years

BY: - September 20, 2021

During a year and a half of social distancing during the pandemic, hugging has become rarer — especially with those you don’t know.  But this was a special occasion for Kris Schirripa, 51, and her husband, Nick Schirripa, 47, who sat in the middle of Bronson Park in Kalamazoo Saturday during one of the first […]

Michigan school board members struggle with anger, threats over COVID-19 rules, culture war issues

BY: - September 10, 2021

School board members in Michigan — volunteers who are typically parents or former educators — are facing unprecedented pressure and scrutiny as a third school year dawns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike last year, Michigan does not have a statewide mask mandate, leaving the decision in the hands of county health departments and local school […]

Whitmer punts again on statewide mask mandate while cases rise in schools

BY: - September 9, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer isn’t ready for the state to issue a statewide mask mandate for students, despite reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in dozens of schools across the state.  The state reported, as of Tuesday, 31 K-12 schools and four universities are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. “We are relying on school districts to work […]

Doctors warn horse-dewormer can be lethal, so why are people taking it for COVID-19?

BY: - September 2, 2021

Medication that is usually used to treat parasites has become the latest  COVID-19 conspiracy treatment, but doctors are trying to fight misinformation, stressing it isn’t proven to help treat the virus. In fact, physicians warn the drug can have detrimental side effects in humans if taken incorrectly.  Medical professionals have studied whether or not ivermectin, […]

Federal judge blocks Western Michigan University vaccine requirement on religious grounds

BY: - September 1, 2021

District Judge Paul Maloney blocked Western Michigan University on Tuesday from imposing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on four female soccer players who claimed the requirements infringed on their constitutional religious rights.  Maloney, a GOP former President George W. Bush appointee, issued the temporary restraining order on the day the four athletes, Emily Dahl, Hannah Redoute, […]