Michigan Judge Rules Absentee Ballots That Arrive up to Two Weeks After Election Day Still Valid

A Michigan state judge ruled on Friday that absentee ballots that arrive after Election Day can still be counted.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that absentee ballots that are postmarked for November 2 can still be counted even if they arrive up to two weeks after polls close on Election Day, according to reporting from CNN and ABC News. Absentee ballots were previously only allowed to be counted if they arrived before 8 p.m. on Election Day.

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Fox News Silences Former Speaker Newt Gingrich After He Points to George Soros as a Major Force Behind Big City Riots

Guess who does not want Newt Gingrich to talk about George Soros? Fox News, that’s who.

Fox News personnel’s reaction to Gingrich’s use of the “Soros” word drew notice on Twitter, a platform on which the former House speaker is currently blocked.

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Bills Aim to Revoke University’s Lawsuit Immunity for Sexual Abuse, Alter Statute of Limitations

Bipartisan bills announced Wednesday aim to break barriers to suing state university employees accused of sexual assault, including former University of Michigan physician Robert Anderson.

Reps. Ryan Berman, R-Commerce Township, and Karen Whitsett, D-Detroit, announced House Bills 6237 and 6238 – dubbed the Empowering Survivors package – from the Capitol steps Wednesday.

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Conservative Clergy of Color Offers Corporate Training Program As Alternative to Racist Narrative Pushed by Black Lives Matter

The Conservative Clergy of Color wants businesses to know they have an alternative to the racist rhetoric being thrown around for diversity training.

The organization this week announced the “Getting to All Lives Matter,” a fact-based, six-step training program that operates on the assumption all Americans want to build a better society. This is an alternative to the rhetoric pushed by Black Lives Matter, which attempts to scare businesses, they said.

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Trump, Benson Spar on Twitter Over Misprinted Overseas Ballots

President Trump and Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sparred on Twitter on Thursday after overseas ballots incorrectly listed a Libertarian candidate in the spot of Vice President Mike Pence.

The Bureau of Election alerted clerks on Tuesday after it was discovered that more than 400 overseas ballots had listed Libertarian vice presidential candidate Jeremy Cohen instead of Pence, according to The Detroit News. The bureau asked clerks to notify the recipients of the ballots and issue corrected ones.

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Report: Line 5 Pipeline Disruption Would Cost Upper Peninsula Taxpayers Tens of Thousands of Dollars

A new report challenges efforts conducted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration and Attorney General Dana Nessel to not only shut down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac but prevent its replacement with a $500 million tunnel 100 feet below the lake bed.

The report also challenges 14 recommendations published last April by the Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force, a group established by the governor and chaired by Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Director Liesl Clark.

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UM, MSU Excited to See Football Return, Fans Have Mixed Reactions

Michigan sports fans had mixed reactions after the Big Ten conference announced it would be bringing back football this year, while conference leaders rejoiced.

The conference, which had originally postponed playing because of the coronavirus pandemic, announced on Wednesday that it will resume games on October 24, according to ESPN.

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Michigan Begins Identifying Schools with COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has begun publishing coronavirus outbreak information broken down by school building.

The state had previously been confirming regions in which outbreaks were taking place at schools, but not identifying the individual schools or school districts.

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Relocated Isle Royale Wolves Form Groups, Reduce Moose Herd

Gray wolves that were taken to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park to rebuild its nearly extinct population are forming social groups, staking out territory and apparently mating — promising signs despite heavy losses from natural causes and deadly fights, scientists said Monday.

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Commission Still Undecided on Capitol Building Gun Ban

Two motions aiming to restrict guns inside the state Capitol failed at the Michigan Capitol Commission meeting Monday.

But the group agreed to meet with leading lawmakers to further discuss the idea.

The Commission voted to schedule a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey of Clarklake and Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield of Levering, both Republicans, either this or next week.

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Enbridge Given Court Approval to Open Both Legs of Line 5 as Early as Thursday

Both legs of Enbridge’s Line 5 have been given the legal go-ahead to resume operations across the Straits of Mackinac.
Ingham County Circuit Court Judge James Jamo approved the resumption of Line 5 activity after receiving authorization from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

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Sale Closes for $800 Million in ‘Rebuilding Michigan’ Bonds

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced Thursday afternoon it has closed an $800 million bond issue.

The $800 million is the first installment in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan program.

The governor is seeking to raise $3.5 billion to repair and expand Michigan’s infrastructure after her plan to raise the state’s fuel tax by 45 cents a gallon became a legislative nonstarter and tremendously unpopular with voters.

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America’s Founding Biblical Values Can Heal Nation from Racial Strife, Conservative Clergy of Color Tells Christian Leaders

America’s biblical founding values can peacefully resolve the racial strife present in today’s culture, Bishop Aubrey Shines, chairman of Conservative Clergy of Color, said Saturday.

Shine delivered his remarks at the inaugural Get Louder Faith Summit at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. The summit addressed the issues dividing the nation and how to fight back based on America’s founding Judeo-Christian values.

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Reps Tom Emmer and Tim Walberg Secure Survivors Benefits for Homeschoolers After Social Security Originally Denied Them Because of Their School Choice

Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN-06), alongside Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI-07), secured survivors benefits for homeschooled children. Prior to this, Minnesota and Michigan blocked homeschoolers over 17 and 18 respectively from attaining benefits.
According to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), both states were cutting off Social Security Administration (SSA) survivors benefits to homeschoolers due to “lack of proof” of their status as full-time students. In both states’ eyes, the students didn’t meet state compulsory education laws. 

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Trump Goes After Whitmer at Rally, Saying She ‘Doesn’t Have a Clue’

President Trump slammed Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during a rally on Thursday, saying that she “doesn’t have a clue.”

“Michigan has already gained and regained more than half of the jobs that it lost — and if your state was ever allowed to safely reopen by your governor, who doesn’t have a clue, just like Joe [Biden], you would have gained far more than that,” Trump said in a rally in Saginaw County, according to FOX 2.

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Meshawn Maddock Commentary: Don’t Let Joe Biden Give the Whole Country a Taste of Whitmer’s Bitter Authoritarian Medicine

Workers and business owners across the state are still waiting to learn what fate Governor Gretchen Whitmer has in store for them.

Of course, businesses that wield political clout and make significant contributions to Whitmer’s budget — say, a crowded Detroit casino — have no such uncertainty to worry about. They’re allowed to open.

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University of Michigan Resident Advisers, Cafeteria Workers Join Strike

The resident assistants at University of Michigan have joined protests over the school’s coronavirus regulations, announcing earlier this week that they would be striking.

More than 100 residential advisers voted to strike in demand of increased coronavirus protections, hazard pay and additional communication about coronavirus statistics at the school, according to reporting by The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper for the University of Michigan. The strike began Wednesday morning and mostly impacts mailroom operations and lock-out services. Participating resident assistants will also not perform duty shifts, although they will informally enforce COVID-19 safety regulations.

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Michigan Bill Allowing Early Vote Counting Still Not Passed

A bill that would allow Michigan polling clerks to begin processing absentee ballots before Election Day is still in legislative limbo, Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said, adding that the Senate continues to “finesse” the proposal.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-14-Holly), who is a former secretary of state and chair of the Michigan Senate Elections Committee. It calls for allowing clerks to begin processing, but not counting, ballots before the election, according to The Associated Press.

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GM to Make Electric Vehicle, Supply Batteries for Nikola

General Motors announced its second major electric vehicle partnership in less than a week on Tuesday, this time a $2 billion deal with startup Nikola.

GM will take an 11% ownership stake in the Phoenix company and will engineer and build Nikola’s Badger hydrogen fuel cell and electric pickup truck. The Badger is expected to be in production by the end of 2022.

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Michigan Launches Ambassador Program To Guide Businesses Through Coronavirus Guidelines

Michigan state employees will visit businesses one-on-one to help them reopen safely under a swath of COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The program, launched by the Department of Labor and Economic and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), features ambassadors that will visit businesses to help them navigate through safety guidelines and regulations. Unlike their MIOSHA counterparts, these ambassadors will not issue penalties or citations.

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University of Michigan Graduate Student Employees to Go on Strike

The graduate student union at the University of Michigan has voted to go on strike beginning Tuesday, the group announced on Monday.

The Graduate Employees’ Organizations represents Graduate Student Instructors and Graduate Student Staff Assistants at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan.

The four-day strike is protesting the university reopening for in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic and has the potential to be reauthorized for a longer work stoppage. The union called the strike a “historic moment.”

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Three Major Unions Sue Michigan Over New Labor Laws

Three of the country’s largest unions sued the State of Michigan on Thursday over new union regulations, which they called “anti-worker.”

The United Auto Workers (UAW), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sued the state over new laws, according to a joint statement. In July, the four-person Michigan Civil Service Commission (MCSC) approved the law changes in a 3-1 vote mandating that union workers manually reauthorize their union membership every year.

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Shelby County Says Woman Dead for Six Months Contracted COVID-19, Needs to Isolate

When is a COVID-19 patient not a COVID-19 patient? When the person has been dead for six months, as has reportedly happened in Memphis.

Media reports have carried the story, including coverage here by KVUE.

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DeVos Tells Michigan Schools Not to Expect Federal Testing Waivers

Michigan schools should not anticipate waivers to allow schools to skip statewide testing for the upcoming school year, according to a letter sent by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to State Superintendent Michael Rice.

Rice and State Board of Education President Casandra Ulbrich had, in light of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, requested waivers from DeVos that would allow Michigan schools to skip student assessments typically required federally.

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Michigan Conservative Coalition to Host ‘Back the Blue’ Event in Frankenmuth

The Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) will be holding a MAGA Back the Blue event on September 13 that will feature a classic car and biker cruise and a flyover in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

The event, which will run from noon to 4 p.m., will be raising money for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and local law enforcement K-9 Units. The Trump Unity Bridge, a touring support team for President Trump, will also be in attendance.

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Michigan to Publish Which Schools Have Coronavirus Outbreaks

Michigan will begin identifying K-12 schools that have coronavirus outbreaks beginning on September 14, a state spokesperson told BridgeMI on Tuesday.

Up to this point, the state has been confirming the regions in which the outbreaks are occurring, but have not provided more specific information, such as the specific school districts in which the outbreaks are located.

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86 Percent of Michigan Schools to Offer In-Person Learning

Eighty-six percent of school districts in Michigan will offer some or all in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year, according to a study conducted by Michigan State University (MSU).

The study, released Friday, showed that 59 percent of Michigan school districts will be offering in-person schooling five days a week and 27 percent will be offering it at least two to three days a week.

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Roger Victory Commentary: Reaping Winning Policies

As a business owner and farmer I have seen firsthand how impactful the presidential administration can be to both large corporations and small business owners. In Michigan, we pride ourselves on contributing to two honorable industries; agriculture and manufacturing; both of which would be negatively impacted if former Vice President Joe Biden were to occupy the Oval Office.

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Michigan and Ohio Secretaries of State Endorse Zuckerberg’s Millions Directed to Elections

Michigan and Ohio state secretaries Jocelyn Benson and Frank LaRose endorsed $300 million directed to elections by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) and Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) announced Tuesday that Zuckerberg and his wife donated in order “to promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities.”

Both Benson and LaRose agreed that the investment was necessary considering the pandemic’s effects on the presidential election. LaRose reposted the press release the day it came out, citing the need for accurate information during voting.

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Saginaw County to Abandon Prevailing Wage Requirement in Bidding Process1

Saginaw County will not enforce the prevailing wage requirements in its purchasing policy, according to a letter signed by an attorney representing the county.

The updated policy is considered a victory for non-union contractors for government projects, as well as for taxpayers who won’t have to foot the bill for higher union labor costs.  

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Minnesota Mayors Endorse Trump Following Biden Announcement of In-Person Campaign to Minnesota

Six Democratic mayors from Minnesota’s Iron Range presented a letter in support of President Donald Trump during Vice President Mike Pence’s Duluth visit on Friday. They announced their support after presidential candidate Joe Biden shared his plans to campaign in Minnesota and other battleground states.

“Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class,” wrote the mayors. “Lifelong politicians like Joe Biden are out of touch with the working class, out of touch with what the country needs, and out of touch with those of us here on the Iron Range and in small towns like ours across the nation.”

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Detroit Public Schools Strike Deal to Return to School Safely

The state’s largest school district has struck a deal with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) union to return 51,000 students to school safely.

The four-page agreement lays out safety precautions for face-to-face instruction at the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), including a 20-person cap on classes and desks separated by six feet.

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Michigan Taxpayers to Foot Major Portion of $20 Million Lincoln Motor Co. Redevelopment

The Michigan Strategic Fund has agreed to subsidize a major portion of a proposed $19.7 million redevelopment of the former Lincoln Motor Co. headquarters in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood of Detroit.

More than half of those funds will derive from public taxpayer assistance, including a $5 million state grant, $2.7 million in additional tax transfers, and another $3.4 million in tax breaks.

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Prison Union Calls for Removal of Michigan Prison Director for Coronavirus Response

A union representing Michigan prison officers has called for the removal of Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington due to the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic inside prisons.

According to a letter obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Corrections Organization says it has lost confidence in Michigan leadership.

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Department of Justice Requests Nursing Home Data on COVID-19 Deaths from Michigan

The Civil Right Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested information about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the state of Michigan.

The request, made on Wednesday, will help the department determine if it will open up an investigation under the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which will identify if the state orders requiring coronavirus-positive patients to be admitted to nursing homes were responsible for the deaths of residents.

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Fraser Public Schools to Charge $175 Per Week for Daycare but Will Offer Mostly Virtual School

Some Michigan parents may pay to drop off kids at daycare this fall in the same classroom kids would typically use for full-time in-person instruction.

Fraser Public Schools is offering virtual school with some small group, in-person learning options through Jan. 22, 2021.

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Virginia Man Arrested on Charges of H-1B Visa Fraud Worth $21 Million

A Sterling man was arrested last week on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and for inducing aliens to come to the United States using fraudulently obtained H-1B visas, the Department of Justice said.

According to court documents, Ashish Sawhney, 48, allegedly used four corporations to orchestrate the improper submission of fraudulent applications for H-1B specialty-occupation work visas, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

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Two Michigan Residents Charged with Defrauding $1.8 Million in Unemployment Scam

Two Michigan residents have been charged in a criminal complaint for their alleged role in defrauding $1.8 million in unemployment benefits from the state.

Jermaine Rose, 41, is an employee of the State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency whose duties include processing and verifying the legitimacy of unemployment insurance claims. Beginning in May, Rose allegedly used his employee access to authorize payment on hundreds of fraudulent claims, specifically overriding “fraud stops” on claims that had been flagged by the state computer system as potentially fraudulent.

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Whitmer Reportedly Lone Governor Preventing Big 10 Football

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could be a “major roadblock” to the start of the Big 10 football season, according to Ohio State insider Jeff Snook.

The Spun reported that Snook is saying that Whitmer against University of Michigan playing football.

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Coalition Files Lawsuits to Stop Gov. Whitmer From Silencing Free Speech in Elections, Secretary of State Benson From Undermining Absentee Ballot Integrity

A coalition filed two lawsuits in Michigan on Monday, a federal case against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for allegedly silencing political speech, and a state suit against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for reportedly circumventing state law protecting the right of Michiganders to have their vote properly counted.

The lawsuits were announced on a new website launched by the coalition: Got Freedom? The website is available here.

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Michigan State University Flip-Flops on In-Person Classes Two Weeks Before Semester Begins

Michigan State University (MSU), two weeks prior to the institution’s fall start date, announced on Tuesday that in-person learning has been cancelled for undergraduates and that students planning to live on campus may have to stay home.

“But given the current status of the virus in our country — particularly what we are seeing at other institutions as they re-populate their campus communities — it has become evident to me that, despite our best efforts and strong planning, it is unlikely we can prevent widespread transmission of COVID-19 between students if our undergraduates return to campus,” MSU president Samuel Stanley said in the announcement.

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Business Leaders Call on Whitmer to Reopen Bowling Alleys, Gyms, and Movie Theaters

Four business groups sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking to reopen industries that have been closed for five months, although they’re open in certain parts of Michigan and surrounding states.

After five months with no revenue and continued fixed costs, some gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys are on the brink of bankruptcy.

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Advocates Sound Alarm Over Wayne County’s Absentee Ballot Signature Verifications, Other Election Issues

Election integrity advocates believe something fishy is going on in Wayne County with absentee ballots, and they say Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is undermining the security of the process there and across Michigan.

Glen Sitek of the Election Integrity Fund provided an exclusive statement to The Michigan Star.

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Detroit Teachers Authorize Strike Over in-Person Education Concerns

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) voted Wednesday to authorize a strike if an agreement can’t be reached over COVID-19 concerns.

The vote, with 91 percent in favor, authorizes DFT leadership to call a strike if the union and the Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) don’t reach an agreement.

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Michigan Fines Businesses More Than $33,000 for Coronavirus Safety Violations

Six Michigan businesses were fined more than $33,000 after they failed to follow safety protocol designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the state announced on Friday.

The businesses were fined under “general duty” citations through the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), rather than through any of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders. The “general duty” clause requires employers to provide a workplace free from recognized harms and carries a fine of up to $7,000.

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Michigan Joins Lawsuit Against U.S. Postal Service’s Changes

Michigan has joined a coalition of states that will be filing a lawsuit Tuesday against the federal government over recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) operations.

The lawsuit argues that the changes proposed and already implemented by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are illegal and threaten the timely mail delivery.

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Michigan Announces 13 Commissioners to Redraw District Voting Lines

Michigan has announced the 13 citizens who will be in charge of redrawing Michigan’s congressional and legislative boundaries for the next decade, drawing their names in a random selection process on Monday.

The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is made of four Democrats, four Republicans and four people not associated with either party.

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