‘It would force me to lie to patients’: Republicans consider so-called abortion pill reversal...

The latest anti-abortion bill introduced in the Michigan Legislature would require physicians to inform patients who are getting medication abortions of a medically unproven procedure known as abortion pill reversal (APR).  Some doctors are concerned that this legislation, if passed, would require them to lie to patients and give them unsound medical advice.  On June 22, state Rep. Sue Allor (R-Wolverine) introduced House Bill 5086, also known as the Women’s Right to Know Act, which would require doctors to provide information on the abortion pill reversal procedure. Allor said in a press release that she believes the bill will garner bipartisan support,...

Michigan college campuses will be welcoming students back soon. But most haven’t been vaccinated.

As college campuses across Michigan are less than a month away from opening up to students for the fall semester, the state reports only 39.8% of residents 20 to 29 years old have been inoculated with at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Those aged 16 to 19 have a slightly higher rate of 40.3%.  In order to boost confidence in the vaccine and hopefully get more of the Gen Z population vaccinated in the Great Lakes State, the state of Michigan is hosting a series of community town halls with young adults and medical professionals to speak about...

Enbridge ordered to retrieve 7½-ton anchor from Straits lakebed

A contractor working for Canadian oil company Enbridge left an unsecured 15,000-pound anchor between Line 5’s dual oil pipelines on Wednesday, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) disclosed Friday. Enbridge says the contractor was conducting seasonal maintenance on Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac Wednesday when the anchor was placed on the lakebed. The contractor then attempted to retrieve the anchor, but the equipment failed in the process and the anchor was left in the Straits. Enbridge did not immediately respond to the Advance when asked for the name of the contractor. Enbridge informed the state...

BLM nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at committee...

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of Stone-Manning, a Montanan and National Wildlife Federation senior adviser tied to a 1989 scheme to hammer spikes into trees in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. But unless a Democrat splits off, it appears Stone-Manning will be confirmed, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote in...

States still lag in getting assistance to struggling renters, federal data shows

WASHINGTON — State and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June — more than during the entire previous five months — to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, according to U.S. Treasury data released Wednesday. That progress in getting slow-moving federal dollars to struggling renters comes as the Biden administration and housing advocates have been scrambling to avoid an eviction crisis when the national moratorium expires at the end of this month. In June, 290,000 U.S. households received help from rental assistance money provided in the federal COVID-19 relief laws, according to the Treasury data. That’s an increase from...

Feds: 3 states with lower vaccination rates account for 40% of all COVID-19 cases...

WASHINGTON — Amid a rise in infections and hospitalizations from the surging Delta variant of COVID-19, the Biden administration is boosting money and other assistance to the hardest-hit areas of the country. This week, just three states with lower vaccination rates — Florida, Texas and Missouri — accounted for 40% of all cases nationwide. One in five cases occurred in Florida alone. On Tuesday, the last day of state reporting, Michigan's cases were rising. Michigan had 1,028 new COVID-19 cases since Friday and 14 new deaths — although they came from a vital records review of people who were already deceased....

State pushes back against Enbridge’s request to pause Line 5 suit during Canada treaty...

Updated, 8:58 a.m., 7/23/21, with comment from Enbridge In a court filing Friday, Attorney General Dana Nessel shot back against Canadian oil company Enbridge’s “legally unfounded suggestion” that State of Michigan v Enbridge should be put on pause while Canadian and U.S. officials discuss the possibility of a Line 5 closure. Arguing on behalf of the state of Michigan, Nessel challenged the notion by writing, “There is nothing remarkable, legally, or otherwise, about officials for two countries communicating on a topic of shared interest such as Line 5.” Michigan and Enbridge are currently awaiting a decision from a federal judge on which...

Detroit City Council approves reparations measure, but challenges lie ahead

Black Detroiters moved a step closer to receiving long-awaited reparations for systemic racial discrimination, but the historic measure still faces legal and funding uncertainties. The Detroit City Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday that would give residents the opportunity to vote on whether the city should “establish a Reparations Committee to make recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against the Black community.” Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield, who sponsored the proposal, called the vote “a monumental step forward” that will “move the conversation from talk to action and towards making amends for the most egregious...

Senate Republicans block bipartisan infrastructure plan from advancing, but talks continue

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that allows him to bring the motion again later. Both of Michigan's senators, Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing), voted yes. Earlier on Wednesday, Schumer had described the Senate action as intended to move the legislative process forward on approving a sweeping package of funding for road...

Susan J. Demas: Republicans have us trapped in a deadly COVID stupidity loop

Republicans — with the help of four cowardly Democrats — celebrated their ignoble victory Wednesday over common sense and public health, as they ditched a 76-year-old law that makes it easier for governors to respond to catastrophes. It was a pro forma action — the Michigan Supreme Court last year overturned the law when it still had a GOP majority — but Republicans are eager to head into the 2022 midterms chortling that they snatched power away from “Queen Gretchen” Whitmer, as their favored gubernatorial hopeful James Craig woodenly declared in a Grand Rapids speech this week. Indeed, that’s been the...