WCSG News

 
May 22

5/22/20 – Friday, May 22: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – President Trump toured the Rawsonville manufacturing facility Thursday afternoon in Ypsilanti Township. He said the U.S. economy is poised for an “epic comeback” as the country experiences the highest level of unemployment since the Great Depression. Sitting in front of a banner with the words “Transition to Greatness,” Trump pledged to help Michigan’s African American residents recover from the economic and health impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their communities.   Reopening day: Northern Michigan restaurants expect surge as hotels fill fast When news broke Monday that restaurants and shops in parts of northern Michigan could start reopening Friday, businesses across […]
May 22

5/22/20 – Gov. Whitmer lifted more restrictions

LANSING, MI –(Mlive) –  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Thursday morning lifting some restrictions on business and social activity. Gatherings of 10 people or less are now permitted, starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing, the governor’s office announced. Starting Friday, May 29, health care providers can perform nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures, and starting Tuesday, May 26, retail businesses and auto dealerships across the state will be allowed to operate via appointment only. Retail businesses and auto showrooms are limited to 10 people inside at a time. “The data shows that Michigan is […]
May 22

5/22/20 – Failed dam owner fought with state over Wixom Lake levels before flood

EDENVILLE, MI —(Mlive) –  Owners of a collapsed dam that caused major flooding in Michigan say they were pressured by the state to maintain elevated water levels on Wixom Lake behind it, despite concerns about the structure’s ability to handle flooding. It is an accusation a state agency spokesperson calls “misinformation.” Boyce Hydro Power LLC owners accused Michigan regulators of being more concerned with preserving aquatic life and appeasing property owners than ensuring public safety in a statement following the catastrophic Edenville Dam collapse on Tuesday, May 19. The resulting flood has displaced about 10,000 people and focused national attention on Michigan […]
May 21

5/21/20 – Split Decision for Governor and Legislature

The Governor and Legislature can each claim a win in the court of claims. Judge Cynthia Stephens issued her ruling today in the case of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders and if she overstepped her authority.  The judge’s decision shows she believes lawmakers had a legitimate case and the right to bring the case forward.  But she also ruled the Governor has the right to declare a state of emergency, just not the right to circumvent the legislature. Either way this case is expected to be appealed.
May 21

5/21/20 – Thursday, May 21: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – The state’s health department announced 659 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 new deaths associated with the virus. The new additions increased Michigan’s totals to 53,009 confirmed cases and 5,060 deaths   .Michigan county expands drive-thru coronavirus testing to all adults, regardless of symptoms As parts of Michigan gradually reopen and return to some semblance of normal, health officials have said expanded testing for COVID-19 is critical. And one of the state’s hardest-hit counties on Wednesday, May 20, announced it will offer free drive-thru coronavirus testing for all adults 18 and older, especially those who are returning to work.   Mackinac Island […]
May 21

5/21/20 – Gov. Whitmer order sets rules for nursing homes caring for coronavirus patients

(Mlive) – A new order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sets expanded rules for nursing homes caring for COVID-19 patients and specific protocol for how they handle residents who show symptoms. Whitmer issued the order late Wednesday, May 20. The order expands nursing home requirements set down in a previous order. It calls for a “holistic decision-making process” so that hospitalized people affected by COVID-19 are only discharged to a nursing home that can safely isolate them. Any hospital discharges to nursing homes must be made using current CDC and state Department of Health and Human Services guidelines. Also, the new […]
May 21

5/21/20 – Officers issue multiple citations to barbers at state Capitol protest

LANSING, MI – (Mlive) – Barbers and protesters conducted “Operation Haircut” on the lawn and steps of the state Capitol with few confrontations or flare-ups Wednesday. The demonstration, organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, featured barbers and stylists offering free haircuts in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders aiming to slow the spread of COVID-19. The emergency orders closed barbershops, salons and other businesses. The only escalation Wednesday came when a pair of Michigan Militia protesters, one with a rifle, started shouting at Michigan State Police officers for issuing $500 citations to barbers. The violations were for “disorderly conduct,” state police […]
May 20

5/20/20 – 2020 Coast Guard Festival cancelled

— Organizers of the Grand Haven 2020 Coast Guard Festival have cancelled the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All events for this year’s Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival have been cancelled to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. The 10-day festival typically draws 300,000 to 350,000 people to the Grand Haven area. The festival was scheduled to take place July 24 – August 2 but instead will resume July 30 to Aug. 8, 2021.  
May 20

5/20/20 – Michigan residents can watch court proceedings across the state from home with new virtual directory

(Mlive) – The Michigan Supreme Court has created a virtual directory for members of the public to find and stream local court proceedings throughout the state. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, in-person court proceedings have been limited to no more than 10 people, and local courts have been given leeway to conduct proceedings remotely. According to the Michigan Supreme Court, nearly 1,000 judges and court officers now have Zoom licenses, and more than 100,000 hours of hearings have been conducted remotely since April 1.
May 20

5/20/20 – United States and Canada agree to extend border closure to June 21

(Mlive) – The border between the United State and Canada will remain closed to non-essential travel until June 21, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. Officially, the agreement between the North American nations will be extended by another 30 days. The restrictions were announced on March 18 and were extended in April due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19.
May 20

5/20/20 – Governor issues emergency declaration after Midland-area dam failures, urges evacuations

MIDLAND, MI –(Mlive) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an emergency declaration late Tuesday and sent the National Guard to help after two dams failed in the Midland area after heavy rains. She also urged residents in evacuation zones to get out immediately. “Please, get somewhere safe now,” she said in a 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 press conference. About 10,000 people in the city of Midland are being evacuated, along with the village of Sanford, Edenville and Dow Chemical. Officials also are trying to evacuate areas of Tittabawassee Township, Thomas Township and Saginaw Township, she said. The first dam to fail […]
May 20

5/20/20- Court ruling favors Whitmer in lawsuit over emergency orders

(Mlive) – A state Court of Claims judge ruled Tuesday the emergency laws under which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued dozens of executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic are likely constitutional. Whitmer is facing a number of challenges over emergency mandates she’s issued without approval of the state House of Representatives or Senate. Michigan United for Liberty, the group that has organized protests against the governor and her stay home orders at the Capitol, sued Whitmer in the Court of Claims on April 21, challenging the constitutionality of the Emergency Management Act of 1976 and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, the same […]
May 19

5/19/20 – Ravi Zacharias passes away

(Christianity Today) -Apologist Ravi Zacharias died Tuesday, two months after he announced he had been diagnosed with cancer. He was 74. The popular author and Christian teacher was known for his work through Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), which focused on apologetic arguments for the existence of God and the reasonableness of Christianity. He preached in more than 70 countries and authored more than 30 books in his 48-year career, teaching Christians to engage with skeptics and arguing that the Christian worldview has robust answers to humanity’s existential questions. Zacharias was born in India and raised in an Anglican family. He recounted that his conversion to […]
May 19

5/19/20 – Tuesday, May 19: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – Michigan will continue its phased reopening of the economy later this week as the Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower Peninsula will be able to open bars, restaurants and non-essential retail stores with proper safety protocols in place. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday, May 18, that the Upper Peninsula and 17 Lower Michigan counties will take a “big step” in partially reopening businesses, beginning Friday, May 22. The governor hinted that more partial reopenings could be announced later this week. “Don’t descend on Traverse City from all regions of the state,” Whitmer said. “If you’re fortunate enough to […]
May 19

5/19/20 – Here’s what can reopen in which Michigan counties under new state order Updated May 18, 2020; Posted May 18, 2020

(Mlive) — Michigan is taking a big step in the likely long journey back to “normal” as the spread of the coronavirus continues to slow. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the reopening of much of the economy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula surrounding Traverse County beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday, in addition to allowing small social gatherings. “Now this is a big step and it’s right before the holiday weekend,” Whitmer said during her announcement Monday. “We know Memorial weekend is coming up a week from now and so I want to encourage everyone to stay smart and stay safe. “Keep […]
May 19

5/19/20 – Heavy rain storms wash out streets, flood basements, submerge docks in Muskegon

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI — (Mlive) – Heavy rains, coupled with rising waters in county lakes and rivers, are contributing to significant flooding across Muskegon County. The area around Edgewater Street, along the western edge of Muskegon Lake, was one of the areas hit with a vengeance. Docks at the Muskegon Yacht Club, 3198 Edgewater St., have been submerged. The waters at Veterans Memorial Park have seeped out onto the Muskegon Causeway. Homeowners across the county awoke on Monday to find basements and garages flooded. The county declared a state of emergency on Monday to deal with these issues. Residential flooding along Edgewater […]
May 19

5/19/20 – Kalamazoo approves rules to allow recreational marijuana businesses

KALAMAZOO, MI —(Mlive) –  The city of Kalamazoo approved new rules to allow cannabis businesses including growers, processors, retailers, consumption lounges and others. The Kalamazoo City Commission met its self-imposed deadline of June 1 to allow recreational marijuana businesses, approving the ordinances Monday, May 18, at a virtual Kalamazoo City Commission meeting. The new rules will allow growers, processing facilities, safety compliance facilities, secure transporters, retailers, microbusinesses, excess growers and designated consumption lounges in Kalamazoo. The city commission also held a public hearing and received several comments from members of the public before voting. Some were critical in how the […]
May 18

5/18/20 – Monday, May 18: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan Updated 7:05 AM

(Mlive) – The latest figures bring Michigan’s total reported cases of COVID-19 to 51,142 and the death toll is at 4,891. More than 28,000 have recovered. COVID-19 figures reported on Sundays by the state Department of Health and Human Services have tended to be lower than usual, with some county health departments not providing numbers on that day. — Drive in movie theater opens in Coldwater Cars were lined up for an estimated quarter mile or more to get into the Capri Drive-in Theater Friday, May 15, when it opened in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. The family […]
May 18

5/18/20 – Big 3 restart production today in Michigan

American automakers plan to restart factories Monday, putting more than 130,000 people back to work. Industry analysts says it’s not a full return to normal and could be temporary if people don’t start buying cars right away, but automakers say there’s enough demand for new vehicles, especially trucks. Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler says their plants will have extra safety measures in place.  Extra protective measures include health screening, social distancing and employees will have their temperature taken with a thermal screening camera. The UAW released the following statement Sunday: We would like to thank the many UAW members who […]
May 15

5/15/20 – Friday, May 15: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) –  Nearly 200 protesters gathered outside the Michigan State Capitol on Thursday to call for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to end the stay-home order and re-open the economy. The Thursday morning rally was held under in the rain and under occasional cracks of thunder in downtown Lansing, despite the Capitol being locked and the legislature not in session.                     The protest lasted about 5 hours  and total attendance was difficult to estimate.   Michigan coronavirus cases spike; officials cite testing backlog Michigan health officials reported a spike in confirmed cases of coronavirus Thursday, […]
May 15

5/15/20 – Retail ‘probably’ included in next wave of reopenings in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer says

(Mlive) – Retail and pet grooming businesses could be among those that are able to reopen by the end of the month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a Thursday, May 14 video interview with MLive. If the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline over the next two weeks, the governor said retail will “probably be in the next phase,” which she hopes Michigan will enter into after the current stay-home order expires at 11:59 p.m. May 28. “If we continue to see our testing go up and our positive cases continue to decline, that would be […]
May 15

5/15/20 – Gov. Whitmer hopes to allow small gatherings in Michigan after May 28

(Mlive) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hopes to be able to ease some of the state’s stay-home restrictions by the end of the month, including allowing small gatherings. During a Facebook Life interview with MLive on Thursday, May 14, Whitmer said she would like Michigan to take the next step in re-opening after May 28, when her current stay-at-home order expires. “My hope is at the end of this month we can maybe permit gatherings of 10 or less,” she said. “I know that’s not a big gathering but it certainly I think, would be able to give us the […]
May 13

5/13/20 – Working to help kids and parents

-We are now into week 9 of the Kids’ Food Basket’s COVID-19 Emergency Food Response.  They have made, packed and distributed over 191,000 meals for kids and families in West Michigan. They thank those who have given or directly been a part of this effort and anticipate that more families will continue to struggle and they will continue to be there to help.  Next Wednesday evening, May 20th, they plan to hold a Virtual Feast for Kids COVID Response event.  It will include special speakers and auction items. More information at:  https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/   -More children and parents have voiced concerns […]
May 12

5/12/20 – Back-to-Work info available for employees

-The Kent County Health Department says that once more businesses open back up and employees get back to work, they want to make sure that people do what they can to be safe and use caution. The County Health Department has partnered with other groups to develop resources and information for employers to help them reopen safely. The information will be posted to their website, Tuesday, May 12 at:  accesskent.com.
May 11

5/11/20 – Gov. Whitmer extends order allowing recently expired driver’s licenses, plate tabs

(Mlive) – Michigan drivers whose driver’s license or plate tabs expire between Feb. 1 and June 30 are temporarily off the hook for getting a renewal. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-78 on Friday, May 8, extending the expiration date of recently expired or soon-to-be-expired state identification cards, driver’s licenses and operator endorsements to July 31, while also suspending penalties for vehicle registration violations. The order does not apply to people with suspended or revoked driver’s licenses. Friday’s order extends a previous order by one month, as Executive Order 2020-47 excused licenses, plate tabs and more set to expire between Feb. […]
May 8

5/8/20 – Friday, May 8: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – While new segments of Michigan’s economy reopened Thursday, including real estate and construction activity, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also extended her stay-home order, limiting reasons for residents to legally leave their homes.   Stay-home order extended Whitmer said she plans to slowly and safely reengage the economy and social gatherings in a way that will help avoid a resurgence in coronavirus cases. “We have to reengage like a dial, not a switch that goes on or off,” she said during an update Thursday. “But a dial that we can turn, and we can turn the dial up, as long as everybody does their […]
May 8

5/8/20 – Jobless rate spikes to 14.7%, highest since Great Depression

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, as 20.5 million jobs vanished in the worst monthly loss on record. The figures are stark evidence of the damage the coronavirus has done to a now-shattered economy. The losses reflect what has become a severe recession caused by sudden business shutdowns in nearly every industry. Almost all the job growth achieved during the 11-year recovery from the Great Recession has now been lost in one month.  
May 8

5/8/20 – Michigan is in Phase 3 of 6 in coronavirus response and recovery, governor says

(Mlive) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Michigan is in the third of six phases in its strategic response to the coronavirus outbreak. The governor described the strategy in a Thursday, May 7 press conference as a dial that can be turned forward or backward based on COVID-19 trends. Stage six — “the ultimate goal” — is post-pandemic, which likely won’t be until there is a vaccine or a cure for the infectious respiratory virus. “We have to reengage like a dial, not a switch that goes on and off,” she said. “The good news is we are starting to move […]
March 17

COVID-19 Resources

MISC. INFORMATION – (Mlive) – There is help for West Michigan businesses and workers.  A coalition of business associations and local governments announced the launch of a website that provides information to West Michigan businesses and workers who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.     The website, covidwm.org, was created by the West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition. -(Mlive) – Michigan seniors can get free meal delivery, daily wellness checks during the coronavirus outbreak.  Residents 60 and older are eligible for home-delivery or pick-up meals during the outbreak. Fill out the form here. Seniors can also request a daily wellness-check phone calls. […]
March 13

3/13/20 – List of Schools/Agencies Offering Food Assistance

List of Schools/Agencies offering food assistance during this State of Emergency in Michigan.   Battle Creek Battle Creek Public schools is working on plans to provide meal services to students in need.  To stay up to date, visit – https://www.battlecreekpublicschools.org/   Grand Rapids Kids Food Basket will continue to offer meals to kids through various outlets.  Visit – https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/emergencyresponse/ Grand Rapids Public Schools is working on ways to continue food services to kids in need.  “Resources to address student nutrition and food insecurity are being considered and future updates will be provided. We are seeking direction from the state and […]
March 13

3/13/20 – Governor Bans Gatherings Over 250 People

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order banning all gatherings in Michigan over 250 people.  The ban goes into effect at 5pm today and will last until April 5th at 5pm. Here is the Executive Order. The Governor says the order does not extend to businesses involved in manufacturing or industry, mass transit or grocery shopping. Whitmer’s order states – “This prohibition does not abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution under these emergency circumstances.”
March 13

3/13/20 – Several Sites in West MI Identified Where CoVid19 May Have Turned Up

Oakland County’s Health Department has identified multiple sites in the state and West Michigan where people who may have had the CoVid-19 visited.  The department wants to remind people that these are just some of the possible known locations visited.   March 1, 2020 Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 9000 Middlebelt Rd, Romulus, time and location to be determined March 4, 2020 Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 9000 Middlebelt Rd, Romulus, time and location to be determined March 5, 2020 Burger King, 27700 23 Mile Rd, Chesterfield Township, 12:15-12:35 p.m. White Castle, 27760 23 Mile Rd, New Baltimore, 12:15-12:35 p.m. Hobby Lobby, 4715 24th […]
March 11

Expired: 3/11/20 – 2 coronavirus infections reported in Michigan

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say two people in the Detroit area have tested positive for the coronavirus infection. A woman in Oakland County had traveled outside the country, while a man from Wayne County had traveled within the U.S. They are in hospitals and are middle-aged. Both cases will be reviewed by federal health experts. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and urged people to wash their hands and avoid touching their faces. More recommendations are expected in coming days.
March 5

3/5/20 – Grand Rapids Enacts New Pneumatic Gun Regulations

(City of Grand Rapids) — The ordinance, which goes into effect April 1, regulates pneumatic guns, other non-firearm projectile weapons and imitation firearm toys. It was approved by the City Commission in December as part of the City’s safe community strategic priority. The ordinance is designed to prevent the fear, confusion and unsafe situations that pneumatic and imitation weapons can create. “This elevates our commitment to community and police working together for a safe community,” City Manager Mark Washington said. “It also promotes mutual respect between youth and police.” Pneumatic guns and imitation firearms have contributed to public safety concerns […]
February 14

2/14/20 – No ‘Plan B’ for Olympics; questions over Chinese presence

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee say there’s “no case for any contingency plans or cancelling” the 2020 Games because of the fast spreading virus that has caused one death in Japan and about 1,400 in mainland China. A full Chinese delegation is expected when the Olympics open in just over five months. But officials were unclear if Chinese athletes will be able to participate in the remaining 19 test events in Japan. The head of the IOC inspection team heading a two-day visit to Tokyo says he believes many of China’s Olympic athletes are […]
February 14

2/14/20 – Someone’s Getting Seniors Personal Information

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog plans to launch a nationwide probe into how telemarketers may be getting hold of seniors’ personal Medicare information, a red flag for potential fraud and waste. An official with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office tells The Associated Press that the audit will be announced next week. It follows a narrower probe which found that an electronic system designed for pharmacies to verify Medicare coverage was being used for what appeared to be inappropriate searches. Investigators say sensitive information can get out even when a Medicare beneficiary thinks he or she is […]
February 14

2/14/20 – PFAS Levels Safe But Residents Still Concerned

Despite tests that demonstrate PFAS levels are safe in Portage, some residents are not convinced. State and county health experts met with residents last night to discuss the tests around a monitoring well where higher than normal PFAS results were found.  While wells were found to have safe levels for PFAS, well below safety recommendations, some residents were concerned for both their health and property values. Some residents wanted more regular testing in order to monitor the expansion of any possible contamination zone.  They feel the recommended action wasn’t strong enough to notify them of any potential ground contamination. Several […]
January 16

Expired: 1/16/20 – Retailers Welcome Phase One Trade Deal With China But Say Remaining Tariffs Must End

(AP) – The National Retail Federation today welcomed the signing of a “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China but said work remains to be done to end the trade war between the two countries. “NRF strongly supports the administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trading practices but we hope this is the first step toward eliminating all of the tariffs imposed over the past two years,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The trade war won’t be over until all of these tariffs are gone. We are glad to see the phase one deal signed, […]
January 1

1/1/20 – Time To Go, ‘Ok, Boomer?”

Lake Superior State is out with its 45th annual list of words or phrases that should be retired. At the top of the list: quid pro quo. The Latin phrase got new life during the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. The school each year invites the public to nominate words and phrases that seem tired or annoying through everyday speech, news coverage and more. The latest list has more than a dozen, including “artisanal,” “influencer,” “living my best life” and “chirp.” And in a baby boomer revolt, it’s apparently time to scratch “OK, boomer.”