Michigan Judge Allows Restart of Disputed Oil Pipeline

A Michigan judge Wednesday allowed Enbridge to resume pumping oil through a Midwestern pipeline, nearly a week after shutting it down because of damage to a structure that anchors a section of the line running through a Great Lakes channel.

Enbridge’s Line 5 moves crude oil and liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, passing through parts of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. A four-mile-long (6.4-kilometers-long) segment divides into two pipes that cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan.

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Michigan Bars Closed for Indoor Service, Restaurants Now Allowed to Deliver Alcohol

Michigan restaurants and bars will now be allowed to sell to-go alcoholic beverages, thanks to a new package of bills signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday.

Bars and restaurants will now be able to sell drinks to-go, as well as deliver them, until December 31, 2025. Whitmer’s office said the bills are aimed at providing relief for restaurants and bars impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according WXYZ.

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Michigan Publishes Reopening Guidance for Schools, Allocates $256M

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a set of health and safety guidelines on Tuesday for schools returning to in-person classrooms among the pandemic.

The “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” outlines safety protocols for schools in each stage or reopening and includes information on the proper use of personal protection equipment, disinfecting, spacing in classrooms and identifying symptoms, among other things. Guidance is distinguished by phases and includes both required and recommended protocols.

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Reddit Bans Pro-Trump Group in Latest Attack on Conservative Speech

Reddit, one of the top internet sites in the world, on Monday banned a major pro-President Donald Trump group that had about 800,000 members, citing “hate speech.”

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Whitmer Proposes Police Reform Policies, Including Chokehold Ban, Duty to Intervene Policies

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released a proposal for additional police reform policies on Monday after nearly a month of protests against police brutality and racial inequality across the nation.

The four-pronged plan features policies such as a ban on chokeholds, retention of disciplinary records and a requirement of “duty to intervene” policies.

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Scrutiny Intensifies as Congressional Republicans Probe Michigan’s COVID-19 Reponse

senior citizen

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

They also sought investigations into four other state governors who set similar policies.

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Appeals Court Orders Most Michigan Gyms Closed

Hours before Michigan’s indoor fitness centers were allowed to open for the first time in months, a Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel told the gyms to keep their doors shut.

A three-judge panel issued an emergency stay sought by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, freezing the preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney that would have allowed gyms to open at 12:01 am Thursday.

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Facebook, Contractor Pass the Buck on Who Fired HR Manager Who Said ‘No One Has the White Man’s Back Anymore’

Leslie Brown, the woman who appeared in a Project Veritas video about Facebook who made incendiary comments that debuted Thursday, has been fired.

That’s according to a text message received by Project Veritas CEO James O’Keefe. Project Veritas made the announcement here.

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U.S Republicans Ask Nessel to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Policy; Whitmer Creates Nursing Home Task Force

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

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Meshawn Maddock Commentary: Trump Showed Leadership When Michigan Needed It Most

President Trump is standing up for Michigan workers and business owners at a time when our own lawmakers and elected officials have refused to do the same. 

The riots that swept through America had a devastating impact on local communities throughout the country, including Michigan. In Grand Rapids alone, the radical Antifa thugs caused nearly $1 million in private property damage, as well as costing taxpayers over $1.3 million in police overtime and damaged municipal property.

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Ypsilanti Mayor Resigns After Controversial Comment During Council Meeting

Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert resigned on Tuesday after receiving criticism for controversial remarks about a Black city official during a virtual council meeting.

During a Zoom meeting on June 16, Bashert said that she would be “crucified” for not voting to reappoint city human relations commissioner Ka’Ron Gaines.

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Judge Declines to Pause Order Reopening Gyms, Despite Whitmer Request

A federal judge refused on Monday to pause an order to reopen indoor gyms in Michigan, despite Gov. Gretchen Whiter filing an appeal in a higher court.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney ruled on Friday that indoor gyms could reopen on June 25. Gyms are not explicitly permitted in the MI Safe Start plan, which denotes when certain industries can reopen in Michigan. Maloney said in his opinion that gyms would be held to the same standard as other workplaces.

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University of Michigan to Offer In-Person and Remote Classes This Fall

The University of Michigan will start the fall semester on Aug. 31 at its Ann Arbor campus with a mix of in-person and online classes, President Mark Schlissel said in a video Monday.

“Thanks to the thoughtful and deliberate efforts of hundreds of members of the U-M community, our cautious optimism about the fall has coalesced into a path forward,” Schlissel wrote.

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Enbridge Continues to Run Line 5, Despite Whitmer’s Concerns About Damage

Enbridge Inc. rebuffed a request from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down Line 5 after one of the supports for the pipeline sustained damage, according to a statement released by the company on Saturday.

Enbridge owns Line 5, a set of two 20-inch pipelines running under the Straits of Mackinac that pump crude oil. The company notified the state on Thursday that an anchor support on one of the pipelines had “incurred significant damage,” according to a statement from Whitmer’s office. The damage was reportedly discovered on or around May 26.

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Federal Judge asks Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Emergency Power Questions

A federal judge asked the Michigan Supreme Court to settle questions regarding whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to issue executive orders under two state laws.

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney certified two questions to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Michigan Gyms to Reopen June 25, Judge Rules

Indoor gyms in Michigan will be able to reopen this month after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders that continue to keep indoor gyms closed.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul Maloney said in an opinion published Friday that the state had given a “blanket ‘trust us’ statement that is insufficient to uphold a no-longer-blanket rule.”

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Michigan’s New Unemployment Claims Continue to Tick Downward

Michigan residents filed 19,552 new unemployment claims during the week ending June 13, down 8,284 new claims from the prior week. The total number of unemployed Michigan residents is 726,513.

The downward trend of new claims in the state continues unabated. Michigan ranked fourth in the nation in largest decreases of new unemployment claims in the week ending June 6.

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Target, Best Buy Declare Juneteenth Company Holiday, GOP Senator Moves to Make Federal Holiday

Both Target and Best Buy have announced plans to make Juneteenth a company-wide holiday, an idea that Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wants to institute on the federal level.

“One of the most defining days in our nation’s history was when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, finally freeing all slaves in Confederate territory. But slaves in Texas wouldn’t learn this life-altering news for two and a half years,” Cornyn said during a Senate floor speech Thursday.

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House Passes Resolution Opposing Whitmer Nursing Home Policies

The Michigan House of Representatives approved a concurrent resolution on Thursday demanding transparency from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about information related to the coronavirus in Michigan and officially opposing her coronavirus nursing home policies.

Michigan only recently began publishing data about coronavirus cases and deaths in the state’s long-term care facilities like nursing homes.

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Requests Major Disaster Declaration from President Trump Over Michigan Floods

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday requested a major disaster declaration from President Trump in response to the flooding in mid-Michigan.

The failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams last month caused catastrophic flooding in Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland and Saginaw counties. Whitmer previously declared a State of Emergency for the area, as well as requested that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy launch an investigation into the cause of the failures.

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Michigan Schools Will Hold In-Person Classes in Fall, Whitmer Announces

Michigan schools will be allowed to reopen and hold in-person classes in the fall, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday.

Schools will be required to follow strict safety measures. Whitmer said she plans to release an executive order and a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” on June 30 that will contain the requirements and recommendations for schools. It is currently unclear what those requirements may be.

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911 Dispatcher Watching Floyd Death Alerted Police Supervisor of Incident

A 911 dispatcher who was apparently watching in real time as a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into the neck of George Floyd called a supervisor to tell him what she saw, not caring if it made her look like a “snitch,” according to a recording of the call made public Monday.

In the call, the dispatcher calls a police sergeant and says what she was seeing on live video looked “different” and that she wanted to let him know about it. The dispatcher was in a 911 call center at the time and was watching video from a surveillance camera posted at the intersection where police apprehended Floyd, according to city spokesman Casper Hill.

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Democratic Michigan Congresswoman Says She Doesn’t Believe Polls Showing Biden’s Major Lead

Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell told Democratic voters not to become complacent with recent polls that have shown Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with double-digit leads over President Donald Trump.

Dingell warned against voters taking anything for granted, especially with the election still nearly five months away, The Detroit News reported, citing her response at an online event. The event, which took place Monday, included prominent female elected officials from around the state.

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Truck Drivers Say They Won’t Deliver to Cities That Defund Police Departments

Tennessee Star

As Minneapolis prepares to “abolish” its police force, a recent survey found that most truck drivers won’t deliver to cities with defunded or disbanded police departments.

According to a survey from CDLLife, a resource site for the trucking industry, 79 percent of truck drivers said they will refuse to deliver freight to cities with defunded police departments.

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Seven Minneapolis Officers Quit, More Expected to Resign: ‘Everybody Hates the Police Right Now’

At least seven Minneapolis police officers have quit and another seven are in the process of resigning, citing a lack of support from department and city leaders as protests over George Floyd’s death escalated.

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University of Michigan Leadership Moves to Block President Trump’s Action to Combat Chinese Theft of U.S. Research

In response to new restrictions on Chinese students and researchers in the U.S., recently announced by President Donald Trump, the University of Michigan issued a statement vocalizing the school’s opposition to the Republican administration’s latest move.

Signed by the college’s President, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Research and Dean at Rackham Graduate School, the letter says that these restrictions have “led to understandable worry.” They express resistance to the restrictions on the grounds that “our Chinese students, post-doctoral scholars and faculty have enriched our institution through teaching, learning, research and impact on society.”

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MyPillow Refuses to Join Advertising Boycott of Tucker Carlson

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said he won’t join other major companies in boycotting Tucker Carlson’s prime-time show on Fox News.

“MyPillow is not changing its advertising. I make all my advertising decisions based on what is best for my customers and my employees,” Lindell said in a statement provided to Newsweek. “MyPillow believes all lives matter and values all our employees and customers, treating them like family.”

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Senate Approves Measure to Protect Electronic Data from Unreasonable Search and Seizure

 The Michigan Senate unanimously approved a measure that aims to require a warrant for search and seizure of electronic documents.

The federal and state Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure of people’s “houses, papers, and effects” without a warrant, but Senate Joint Resolution G clarifies that electronic data and communication fall under those protected items.

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Overnight Camps To Reopen June 15, Whitmer Announces

Overnight summer camps will now be allowed to meet beginning June 15, according to an executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday.

Day camps were allowed to open on June 8 per an order from Whitmer handed down on June 1. The most recent order comes as the state continues to open various services and businesses, including restaurants, gyms, and salons.

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Michigan Publishes Data on Coronavirus Cases in Long-Term Care Facilities

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now providing data about the confirmed cases of coronavirus in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes on its website.

During a reporting period between June 3 and June 10, 98 percent of skilled nursing facilities in Michigan gave reports on the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in their facilities, according to the MDHHS website. The numbers are expected to be updated daily.

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Michigan Unemployment Claims Continue Upward Trend

More than 28,500 Michigan workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in the week ending June 6, bringing the total number of state residents filing unemployment claims to 870,772 since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan unemployment claims are among the highest in the nation.

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Whitmer Touts Report Showing Stay-At-Home Order Decreased Infection Rate Even As Experts Warn of Second Wave

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touted her stay-at-home policies on Thursday after a new report showed a drop in infection rates after the implementation of the orders, even as the report itself warns that the pandemic is not yet over.

The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team released a report on May 24 detailing how stay-at-home orders and other interventions impacted the infection rate in individual states in the U.S. The report shows that Michigan’s rate of infection fell as Whitmer instituted various polices such as closing restaurants and schools. It continued to fall when she instituted a stay-at-home mandate on March 23, crossing the threshold of infection rates fewer than one around March 30.

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Michigan Publishes Map of WiFi Hotspots to Increase Accessibility As Residents Continue to Work, Learn At Home

Michigan has released a map of WiFi hotspots available in the state as a way to assist residents who may not have reliable internet access while they continue to work or learn at home during the pandemic.

The WiFi mapping — spearheaded by the Michigan Public Service Commission, Connected Nation Michigan, the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, and the Department of Education — highlights locations where public internet access is available, such as libraries, public schools and parks. More than 300 locations have already been added to the map, which also includes information about the location and the password used to access the internet there.

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Minneapolis Police Chief Withdraws from Negotiations with Police Union

The Minneapolis Police Department will withdraw from police union contract negotiations, Chief Medaria Arradondo said Wednesday, as he announced initial steps in what he said would be transformational reforms to the agency in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Faced with calls from activists and a majority of City Council members to dismantle or defund the department, Arradondo also said he would use a new system to identify problem officers and intervene if there are early warning signs of trouble.

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Democratic PAC Supporting Gary Peters Criticized for Taking $1 Million from UAW

A Democratic PAC that has spent millions attacking Republican Senate candidate John James took donations from the United Auto Workers (UAW), whose former president pleaded guilty to embezzlement last week.

Former UAW President Gary Jones pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $1 million in union dues in addition to charges of racketeering and tax evasion. He is one of 14 former UAW officials convicted in an ongoing federal corruption investigation.

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Antifa Militia Wing Says They Believe in Abolishing ‘Everything, Including the Police’ in New Project Veritas Video

Project Veritas on Tuesday released a third installment of the #ExposeAntifa series, in which members of the militia wing talk about abolishing everything, including the police.

The video is available here.

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Federal Court Upholds Enbridge’s Great Lakes Spill Plans

Enbridge has produced legally acceptable plans for dealing with a potential spill from oil pipelines that cross a Michigan channel linking two of the Great Lakes, according to a federal appeals court.

A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week overruled a district judge who had agreed with an environmental group that the pipeline company’s plans failed to adequately consider potential harm to fish and wildlife in the Straits of Mackinac.

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House Republicans Ask Whitmer to Rescind COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

House Republicans on Monday asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her policy that requires recovering COVID-19 patients to be placed in isolated parts of designated nursing homes.

“Nursing homes have the very frailest of our population,” Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, told The Center Square. “Very many of them are bedridden. Nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the daily needs of people who are in nursing homes.”

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Lawsuit Filed Against Michigan for Inaccurate Voter Rolls

A voter filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the Bureau of Elections Director Jonathan Brater and other officials, claiming that voter rolls in at least 16 counties have not been properly maintained.

According to a report by Fox News, Republican Tony Daunt said that the Michigan voter registration rates are “suspiciously high” as old voter records have not been cleared of ineligible voters.

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Civil Service Commission Proposes Rule Changes for Union Dues Authorization and Service Fee Collection

The Michigan Civil Service Commission last Friday issued a notice of proposed changes in the how unions collect money from state employees.

The two proposed changes pertain to payroll deduction of union dues, discontinuing of union service fees, and authorization to collect union dues from employees.

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Whitmer Extends Suspension Requirements of Youth Work Permit Application

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended an executive order last week that temporarily suspended certain requirements relating to the youth work permit for Michigan workers.

The order allows suspends applications “to the extent it requires an application of a work permit to be made in person,” according to the order. It allows applications to be submitted by mail, email, fax or a web-based form.

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Standoff Between Michigan State Agencies and Boyce Hydro May Have Sealed Dams’ Fates

Adversarial relations between Boyce Hydro and state agencies may have had a pronounced contribution to the massive flooding that required the evacuation of nearly 11,000 Midland and Gladwin county residents last month and destroyed or significantly damaged hundreds of homes when the Edenville Dam in Gladwin County failed, causing the Sanford Dam in Midland County to breach.

Added to the already contentious relationship between Boyce Hydro, the private owner of four dams situated on the Tittabawasee River, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE; formerly known as the Department of Environmental Quality or DEQ) was legal action initiated by the Michigan Office of the Attorney General and enforced by EGLE.

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Michigan Supreme Court Tosses Owosso Barber’s Order to Close

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday ruled overturned a lower court’s order that directed 77-year-old Owosso barber Karl Manke to close his shop.

The top court said the Court of Appeals erred in its 2-1 decision.

Justice David Viviano said a split decision couldn’t grant peremptory relief. He said the court should have held a full briefing and oral arguments.

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Michigan Had 17 of 25 Counties with Highest Unemployment Nationally in April

Michigan was home to 17 of the 25 counties with the highest unemployment numbers in the nation in April.

According to a database from Lansing State Journal, Cheboygan County led the nation in unemployment with a 41.2 percent unemployment rate. Second in the nation was Mackinac County at 38.1 percent.

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Five Democratic Senators Kneel at George Floyd Memorial

Five Democrat senators knelt during a moment of silence for George Floyd in a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) knelt, which lasted for eight minutes and 46 seconds, The Hill reported. That was the length of time fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died. Chauvin faces a second-degree murder charge over the incident.

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UAW Former President Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Over $1 Million from Members

Former United Auto Worker (UAW) President Gary Jones pleaded guilty this week to embezzling more than $1 million in dues money from members, as well as charges of racketeering and tax evasion.

Over eight years, top UAW officials sought reimbursements for what they claimed were conference-related expenses in California and Missouri but were personal expenses.

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Whitmer Seen Not Practicing Social Distancing at Thursday Protest

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was seen protesting the death of George Floyd on Thursday in Highland Park with hundreds of other people in a way that appeared to break social distancing practices, despite voicing concerns in recent weeks about similar demonstrations spreading coronavirus.

Tiffany Brown, a spokesperson for the governor, denied that Whitmer had violated the executive order issues on Monday. The order, which moved Michigan into phase four of the MI Safe Start plan, says that people should remain six feet apart at public gatherings and that gatherings should consist of 100 people or fewer.

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