Ecology Center
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Founded in 1970 after the very first Earth Day, Ann Arbor's Ecology Center has focused on making many improvements to the environment.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Ecology Center's executive director, Michael Garfield, about the many environmental improvements that have been made during that time period and the many others they are still working to address.

Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

As cases of the COVID-19 virus decline around the country, Michigan remains one of a handful of states continuing to see a surge in the number of cases.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel to get an update on how the pandemic continues to impact the Ann Arbor medical system and whether or not much has changed as to how we move through the world as the global health crisis drags on.

Joe Biden
Rick Pluta / MPRN

President Joe Biden traveled to Michigan Tuesday to pitch his Build Back Better and infrastructure plans to swing-state voters in a politically critical region. His destination was a union hall in Howell. Rick Pluta reports. 

Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy / flickr.com

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. 

Ballot Box
Pxhere / pxhere.com

The Michigan Senate has voted to advance a set of election-related bills. Colin Jackson has more.

Colin Jackson
Michigan Public Radio Network / mprn.org

A bipartisan bill to help teachers recognize mental health needs in the classroom has cleared the state Senate. Colin Jackson has more.

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio Network / mprn.org

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

MaxPixel / maxpixel.net

State employees are being told they once again have to mask up at the office as a health precaution. We have more from Rick Pluta.

Daniel Lobo / flickr.com

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is launching four new disaster recovery centers in Michigan to help address requests for assistance related to the severe flooding in late June. We get the details from WEMU's Taylor Pinson.

Leif Sporck / sporcktileart.com

Leif Spörck says he felt compelled and pulled by the heart to keep the family pottery business going. He played basketball in college and thought about becoming a lawyer but decided to return to northern Michigan and create decorative, ceramic art tiles with the root of his work in nature.

He shares his story with WEMU's Lisa Barry about his tiles, which he sells up north and at art fairs around the state.

Alexandros Maragakis
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

Michigan has a number of underserved urban and rural communities with limited access to quality mental health services for children, yet most children in these communities have access to primary care.

Lisa Barry talks with Eastern Michigan University assistant professor Alexandros Maragakis about the grant he recently received to expand behavioral health services to underserved populations.

Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer / twitter.com

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 / wikipedia.org

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.

Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer / twitter.com

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.


Michigan Capitol
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

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 / senate.gov

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.

Tony Daunt
Michigan Freedom Fund / mifreedomfund.org

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.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Michigan State Capitol Commission adopted a rule Monday banning the open carry of guns at the Capitol.  There are exceptions for law enforcement officers and people with concealed pistol licenses.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

W.R. RICHARDS / Michigan Assocation of Broadcasters - WKAR-MSU

Today, Michigan will convene its 16 electors during a meeting of the Electoral College at the Michigan Capitol Building to cast their ballot for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Live streaming of Michigan Electoral College vote starting at 2:00pm. (Start time could change.)

Dana Nessel
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

State Attorney General Dana Nessel says her office has opened a criminal inquiry and is “actively investigating” whether members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers were the targets of illegal harassment as they met to certify the results of the November 3rd election.

Pixabay / pixabay.com

A bipartisan state board has certified the results of the November 3rd election and awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden

PxHere / pxhere.com

Starting Wednesday, restaurants in Michigan are again limited to delivery and takeout, high school and college classes can only be online, and non-professional sports games are cancelled.  That’s under an order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s public health director.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

President Donald Trump’s campaign has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for Western Michigan to block certification of the state’s election results.  A similar case was also argued yesterday in the Wayne County Circuit Court.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Today’s elections will be historic in many ways: A record number of absentee ballots cast in a swing state in the midst of a health crisis.  Governor Gretchen Whitmer spoke with Rick Pluta about dealing with an election cycle where passions run hot and tempers are short. 

PxHere / pxhere.com

The Michigan Supreme Court is the next stop in a legal fight over whether guns can be openly carried at polling places on Election Day.  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel say guns can be intimidating – especially in a contentious election.  But gun rights advocates say the state can’t step on a right that’s guaranteed under state law.

Gretchen Driskell
Gretchen Driskell

The 7th Congressional District in Michigan includes seven counties, including western Washtenaw County.  Republican Tim Walberg, who is currently in his sixth term in Congress, is being challenged for the third time by Democrat Gretchen Driskell, who served two terms in the state House and as the city of Saline's first female mayor for 14 years.  WEMU's Lisa Barry reached out to both candidates to talk about the election.  Only Driskell responded and talks about why she decided to run again and what issues she believes need addressing in Congress.

Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed bills into law Thursday that show Democrats and Republicans can find room to cooperate on the state’s response to COVID-19.

State of Michigan / michigan.gov

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is once again allowing in-person visits at nursing homes across much of the state.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

Michigan Capitol
Kathy Noble / flickr.com

Republican state lawmakers have presented their version of a COVID-19 response plan.  This state House GOP proposal follows a court ruling that struck down many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s unilateral emergency orders.  We have more from Rick Pluta.

CDC / cdc.gov

The state’s Chief Medical Executive was among those who testified Monday before a joint House and Senate committee examining the state’s COVID-19 response.  We have more from Rick Pluta.