Michigan Rep. Dingell confronts Marjorie Taylor Greene in shouting match over civility

WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell confronted conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Friday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, leading to a shouting over political civility — or the lack thereof. Dingell of Michigan addressed Greene after the Georgia lawmaker was berating a group of Democratic lawmakers about abortion as they held a news conference outside the U.S. House of Representatives about President Joe Biden's agenda. The exchange was captured on video by multiple reporters at the event. "You should all be ashamed," Greene shouted at the Democrats. Dingell called after...

Michigan Gov. Whitmer's office: Ban on orders requiring masks for kids unconstitutional

DETROIT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office plans to a strike a controversial provision embedded in Michigan's new state budget that would ban health orders requiring kids to wear face masks. Whitmer's spokesman Bobby Leddy labeled the language "dangerous" in a Friday afternoon statement, adding that it's unconstitutional and "the governor will declare it unenforceable." "The state of Michigan will not withhold funding from local health departments for implementing universal mask policies or quarantine protocols in local schools that are designed to keep students safe so they can continue learnin...

From Aretha to Eminem, Detroit artist creates portraits with personality

DETROIT — Looking for inspiration for a mural she was painting on the side of the new Meijer Rivertown Market in Detroit, artist Desiree Kelly didn't have to look far. She used her 4-year-old daughter as a reference. The mural — dynamic and bold, as so much of Kelly's work is — features Isabella with pineapple-accented sunglasses, her curly hair in pigtails. Slices of different kinds of fruit are layered in the background. "I wanted to add more personality to it, color, make it resemble one of my pieces you'd find on canvas," said Kelly of the mural on the Meijer store that opens early next mo...

Detroit couple with 7 children die one day apart after falling ill with COVID-19

DETROIT — The family of a Detroit couple with seven children are grieving after both parents were infected with COVID-19 and died less than a day apart. Troy and Charletta Green, married for 22 years, had plans to go to Florida with their seven children in August, Troy's sister Tiki Green said. Charletta's mother died from COVID-19 in May and the Detroit couple had planned an August vacation with their kids, ages 10 to 23, to spend time together and grieve the loss of their loved one, Tiki Green said. Troy and Charletta Green of Detroit both fell ill with COVID-19 in late August. Charletta die...

Defense in Whitmer kidnap case seeks trial delay

DETROIT — Defense lawyers late Wednesday asked a judge for a 90-day delay of next month's trial of five men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, saying they need more time to prepare and investigate the conduct of FBI agents who thwarted the alleged conspiracy. The request comes five weeks before the Oct. 12 trial in federal court in Grand Rapids, one of the most closely watched cases involving alleged violent extremism in the country. Prosecutors say the accused plotters were driven by anger over state restrictions on travel and business during the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

Windmill offers a spin through history in Holland, Michigan

HOLLAND, Mich. — Come for the Dutch heritage, stay for the bullet holes. In 1961, an idea was proposed to bring an authentic windmill from the Netherlands to Holland to celebrate the city's Dutch heritage. The country, though, had recently banned the export of windmills. After three years of negotiations, a suitable mill for export was found in the village of Vinkel in the North Brabant province. Built in 1884 with pieces from at least two other windmills, De Zwaan, which means "the swan" in Dutch, is 125 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the blades. The grain mill was in disrepair and b...

Gov. Whitmer kidnap case jurors to be quizzed on bombs, masks, guns and insurrection

DETROIT — Prospective jurors in the federal case against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer likely will face questions about whether they like the governor, if they belong to a militia, if they've ever detonated a bomb and whether they have strong feelings about the Jan. 6 insurrection. A 32-page proposed questionnaire filed Friday in federal court illustrates the challenge of seating a jury in a heavily politicized case in the age of COVID-19 involving a prominent politician and allegations of violent anti-government extremism amid fallout from lockdown orders aimed ...

Rep. Peter Meijer won't rule out impeachment for Biden over Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — After spending a whirlwind 12 hours in Kabul, much to the chagrin of congressional leadership and Biden administration officials, U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., says he's come home both livid and heartbroken over the "botched" withdrawal from the 20-year conflict in Afghanistan. As some of his peers call for President Joe Biden to be impeached, the freshman lawmaker from Grand Rapids Township isn't ruling it out. "I totally support strong and unsparing accountability," Meijer said in a Friday interview with The Detroit News. "At this point, right now is the time to be responding...

Ex-Rep. Paul Mitchell had a dying wish for Congress: Pass this bill

WASHINGTON — From his death bed, independent former U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell was thinking about the higher education bill he never got passed while in Congress and, in typical Mitchell style, decided to do something about it. On the day his family thought would be his last, Mitchell's wife Sherry helped him draft a letter from his hospice bed to the leaders of the education committees in the House and Senate, urging them to take up the College Transparency Act and pass it this year. "That's literally the last signature of his I have," Sherry said. "He wasn't as much someone who was concerned ab...

Feds seize Larry Nassar's stimulus checks for victim restitution

A federal judge Thursday ordered the seizure of about $2,000 from the prison account of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor accused of sexually abusing hundreds of girls and women. The money will go to five of his victims. The $2,041.57 marks the first substantial payment for victims as part of Nassar's punishment stemming from a 60-year sentence on a federal child porn charge. He also pleaded guilty in Ingham and Eaton counties to state charges of sexually assaulting female gymnasts. The money that is being given to victims is two federal stimulus chec...

Michigan's Gov. Whitmer was briefly asked to remove sheriff probing 'election fraud'

LANSING, Mich. — A Barry County resident asked Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to remove his sheriff, Dar Leaf, contending the conservative officeholder had abused his authority in an investigation of unsubstantiated claims about the 2020 election. Larry Osborne of Delton urged Whitmer's office to take action against Leaf this week, according to a Wednesday email obtained by The Detroit News. But by Thursday evening, Osborne said he had rescinded the request and declined to discuss what prompted his decision. Under state law, the governor can remove a sheriff under certain circumstances, includ...

Proposal to ban critical race theory pits Michigan lawmakers against educators

DETROIT — U.S. history teacher Matt Enochs and his eighth-grade class from Southfield Public Schools watched online together as the mob broke into the nation's Capitol building on Jan. 6. "I had students ask questions about the powers of government that I hadn’t heard before because they were watching it unfold ..." Enochs said. "One question from students: Who is going to stop this? It was a very simple question and very complex answer." That inspired Enochs to go back and review history books and textbooks during the times the government faced tumultuous times in the past. He told his studen...

In Michigan Trump territory, this is what's driving Senate primary race

LANSING, Mich. — Republican voters in the battleground state of Michigan aren't ready to move past the last election, say the GOP candidates vying for an open seat in the state Senate in the next one. In an Aug. 3 special election, seven Republicans are seeking their party's nomination in the most GOP-leaning Senate district in Macomb County, a swing county that former President Donald Trump won twice. Most of the candidates agreed in interviews this week that election integrity was among the top issues in the primary race with the majority listing it as the main subject they're hearing about ...

GM, UAW demand workers at Missouri plant mask up again as COVID-19 cases rise

Nearly 4,000 workers at a General Motors plant near St. Louis must resume wearing face masks and social distancing because of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area. In an alert sent to workers and obtained by the Free Press, the union told plant employees of the change Monday afternoon. The alert read, "We have been informed by the company and UAW International that based on the severe upward trend of COVID cases in the surrounding areas all GM Wentzville Assembly Center employees will be once again required to wear masks upon entering the plant starting tonight with third shift employees....

Detroit considers putting reparations measure on November ballot

DETROIT — The Detroit City Council could ask voters in November whether it should form a committee to consider reparations for residents. The council's proposed question, which is expected to be voted on Tuesday, asks: "Should the City of Detroit establish a reparations committee to make recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against the Black community in Detroit?" Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield has sponsored two resolutions on reparations that acknowledge African Americans have been "systematically, continually and unjus...

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