Gretchen Whitmer

Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

All across Michigan, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge. More cases and hospitalizations have been reported, while hospital staff members are leaving in protest of vaccine mandates. As the colder months are upon us, state health departments need to adapt. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia gives a local perspective on these developments with WEMU's David Fair.

Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday tried to stop speculation that local governments and state universities risk losing funding if they have COVID-19 vaccine or mask mandates. Republicans put language to that effect in the state budget the governor signed this week. The governor did not veto the language, but she also said it’s not enforceable. Rick Pluta explains. 

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the final two bills of the new state budget. We have more from Rick Pluta.


For most K-12 students in Washtenaw County, school begins on Monday, August 30th. Meantime, the Centers for Disease Control data tracker has moved the country from substantial tranmission risk to high transmission risk. Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the current state of the public health crisis and what the near future may bring. 

Debbie Dingell
Michigan House Democrats /

Recent heavy rainfall brought significant flood damage to many southeast Michigan communities, including Washtenaw County. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency, but, in order to get further aid, a state of emergency must be declared by Governor Whitmer, as she did in Wayne County. 12th District Representative Debbie Dingell spoke with WEMU's David Fair about the need for immediate help and a massive investment in new transportation and water infrastructure.

Debbie Dingell
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says her recent emergency surgery and eight-day hospital stay was a wake-up call for her and her inside view as a patient of our medical system.

She talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry now that she is out of the hospital and on the road to recovery.


There is progress in the ongoing fight against the coronavirus. Vaccinations are being expanded to include more younger people, and employers will soon be allowed to return to in-person work. Soon, more social restrictions will be lifted. For a local perspective, WEMU's David Fair discussed the latest developments with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.



Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office has confirmed she traveled out of state more than a month ago to visit her father.  This was before the governor was vaccinated against COVID-19.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

The Michigan Bureau of Elections says a petition campaign to initiate a law to curtail the governor’s use of emergency powers has gathered the signatures it needs.  As Rick Pluta explains, the next step is to have that ratified by a state board.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

The number of confirmed cases continues to rise in Michigan, and vaccine efforts will be hampered by news the CDC and FDA have recommended pausing use of the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine.  WEMU's David Fair discussed these recent COVID-related developments with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia.

Dana Nessel
State of Michigan /

To ensure Michiganders remain hypervigilant about protecting themselves from someone stealing personal information and to protect them from increasingly more sophisticated robocalls, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her efforts to stop these crimes. 

They also discuss her reaction to recent public comments calling her and other top women leaders in the state "witches." 

State of Michigan /

It was just over a year ago that residents of Michigan were told to “stay home...stay safe” by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, otherwise referred to as “lockdown” by some people due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor city administrator Tom Crawford to find out what impact that has had on the city and what else has been going on in City Hall as work continues, despite the global health crisis.

Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer /

March 10th is the one-year anniversary of the first cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Michigan.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer about a special remembrance planned for that night and what it's been like for her to lead the state through this global health crisis over the past year.


Eastern Michigan University

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has appointed a new member to Eastern Michigan University’s Board of Regents.

Michigan Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says many of the state’s COVID-19 data trends are moving in the right direction and suggested more restrictions could soon be lifted.  But, as we hear from Rick Pluta, the feud between the governor and the Legislature over the state’s COVID response has not lifted.

US Senate
US Senate /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer told a US Senate committee Wednesday that the country needs a national strategy to tackle failing infrastructure and climate change.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Ann Arbor Public Schools /

Despite calls for the resumption of in-person learning in the Ann Arbor public school district during the ongoing pandemic and a March 1st recommendation to do so by the Governor, there is still no date set for that to happen in the district.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift about her current thoughts and plans for the district.

Wikipedia Media Commons /

A letter and petition is being presented to Ann Arbor school officials asking for a date for in-person learning to resume in the ongoing pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with one of the letter organizers, Dr. Kim Monroe, about the letter.

Felicia Brabec
Michigan House Democrats /

Former Washtenaw County commissioner Felicia Brabec was recently elected as the new 55th state House representative to the Michigan State Legislature.  Brabec watched from home as Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her annual State of the State message virtually due to the pandemic.  Brabec talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about her reaction to the message.

Jeff Irwin
Michigan Senate Democrats /

Despite a very difficult year of 2020, Governor Whitmer's third State of the State address had a very positive tone.  Even though he knew it's what Michiganders needed to hear, Michigan Senator Jeff Irwin of Ann Arbor acknowledged that it will take a lot of work to achieve bipartisanship in the state Legislature.  Irwin talks about his thoughts on the governor's speech with WEMU's David Fair.

Christopher Taylor
City of Ann Arbor /

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer touched on numerous topics in her third State of the State address, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, repairing Michigan's economy, and promoting racial diversity.  In a conversation with WEMU's David Fair, Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor discusses how the governor's speech connects with the City of Ann Arbor and its goals.

Donna Lasinski
Donna Lasinski /

Michigan Governor Gretchen delivered her third State of the State address from her office in Lansing.  Michigan State House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski particularly took note of the bipartisan tone of the address and hopes the rest of the Legislature will take note as well.  Lasinski shares her thoughts on the speech with WEMU's David Fair.

Ann Arbor Reasonable Return
Ann Arbor Reasonable Return /

A group of Ann Arbor parents, medical professionals, and community members are planning a rally for this weekend to show their support for getting students back into the classroom during the ongoing pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with group member and concerned parent Lena Kauffman about their continuing efforts to get students back in the classroom soon.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer lays out her new legislative year agenda for 2021.

Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Michigan restaurants will be allowed to open their doors to indoor diners February 1st.  Indoor dining has been prohibited by state officials since November to curb the cases of COVID-19 in the community.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Don Knight, the owner of Knight’s Steakhouse with two locations in Ann Arbor and one in Jackson, about his excitement to reopen even with state-imposed restrictions and some changes they’ve made to keep diners healthy.

Tony Daunt
Michigan Freedom Fund /

There will be a new Republican serving on the bipartisan state board that certifies election results – most recently President-elect Joe Biden’s Michigan victory last November.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer -- a Democrat -- selected Tony Daunt from a list submitted by the Michigan Republican Party.  We have more from Radio’s Rick Pluta.


Eastern Michigan University Regent Rich Baird has resigned.

Isalita / Facebook

Adam Baru, the owner of Isalita and Mani Osteria in downtown Ann Arbor, already had to close a third restaurant he owned, Mikette, due to the pandemic.  He talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about the challenges he has faced as an Ann Arbor restaurant owner during this global health crisis and his response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's announcement that restaurants may be allowed to open with some restrictions on February 1st.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County /

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently expanded eligibility for the COVID 19-vaccine.  The three-day turnaround for health systems and health departments has put a lot of strain on the system.  And, there isn't enough vaccine to meet demand.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to offer the latest information. 

To help reach the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders over age 16 and bring a quicker end to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services officials announced the state is moving to a new phase of vaccination on Monday, January 11.  Lisa Barry talks with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about how the county plans to handle this updated vaccination plan.