City hall, county government and the state legislature



Michigan Legislature passes $6.6B in federal virus aid

LANSING — The Michigan Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to allocate nearly $4.4 billion in federal COVID-19 aid to K-12 schools after Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration reached an agreement.

Muskegon County hosting free virtual Pride event and resources fair

HealthWest and the Muskegon County Sexuality And Gender Advocates Collaborative are partnering to host Muskegon Pride, a free virtual conference and resource fair for the Muskegon LGBTQ+/SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression) community.

City commission purchases Kent County Road Commission site

The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved an amendment to an option agreement with the Kent County Road Commission for the sale of the current home of the Kent County Road Commission.

Whitmer proposes use of $1.4B in federal child care aid

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday outlined how Michigan should spend more than $1.1 billion allotted for child care under the most recent federal coronavirus rescue, proposing to make it more affordable and to give workers $500 retention bonuses every three months.

Alma considering request to house migrants

ALMA — A city in central Michigan is considering a request to turn a former nursing home into temporary housing for young migrants.

Trademark rule changes could provide more opportunities for owners

Trademark owners will have to adhere to some new rules and procedures later this year, courtesy of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA.)

Gov. Whitmer seeks $250M for parks; Senate has $1.5B bridge plan

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday called for spending a "historic" $250 million in federal coronavirus relief aid to upgrade state parks and trails, a day after Senate Republicans announced a $1.5 billion plan to fix deteriorating local bridges across Michigan.

Grand Rapids grows micromobility pilot with more e-scooters, bikes

Grand Rapids is expanding its shared e-scooter and bike share service pilot with micromobility partner Lime.

East Grand Rapids announces lineup for summer concerts, movies

The East Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting two free summer entertainment series, Concerts and Movies in the Park, for all ages at John Collins Park, 650 Lakeside Drive SE.

Gov. Whitmer: Expand preschool to 22,000 4-year-olds in Michigan

EAST LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday proposed expanding government-funded preschool to 22,000 eligible but unenrolled 4-year-olds in Michigan, saying too many cannot access an "incredible opportunity" because of inadequate funding.

Ex-Detroit councilman gets probation for misconduct charge

DETROIT — A former Detroit city councilman was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years of probation after pleading guilty last month to accepting an illegal cash campaign contribution.

Grand Rapids Police Department hires first chief of staff

The Grand Rapids Police Department hired Karianne Thomas as the department’s first chief of staff.

Whitmer: Spend $300M of virus aid to hike hourly wage to $15

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday proposed spending $300 million in federal COVID-19 funding to help Michigan businesses pay workers $15 an hour.

Downtown Holland seeks DEI consultant

The city of Holland’s Principal Shopping District is seeking an individual or a firm to serve as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant for downtown Holland.

Grand Rapids combines social districts and adds four more

The city of Grand Rapids combined the existing downtown social district areas — also known as “refreshment areas” — into one to streamline operations and simplify the boundaries for businesses and visitors.

Michigan finalizes bias training rule for all health workers

LANSING — Michigan on Tuesday finalized a requirement that all 440,000 licensed or registered health workers in the state undergo annual hidden bias training to help address disparities in how patients are treated.

Virus rules eased outdoors in Michigan; last call gets later

LANSING — Michigan crossed a threshold in the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday with a lifting of certain restrictions at outdoor events and inside bars and restaurants.

Gov. Whitmer proposes eliminating longtime school funding gap

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed using a budget surplus to finally eliminate a funding gap among K-12 districts, 27 years after Michigan overhauled the financing of public education.

Mel Trotter launches public phase of capital campaign

Mel Trotter Ministries is well on its way to improving how it addresses the city’s homelessness crisis.

Firm advises employers on return-to-office plans

While many employees are celebrating the impending return of in-person work, their employers’ focus is on ensuring a smooth transition.

State aligns hemp guidelines with federal standards

Updates to Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Growers Act are giving hemp farmers and growers more latitude to expand.

Michigan bills look to tighten the definition of marijuana

LANSING — Legislation to close a gap in Michigan marijuana law that has allowed some untested products similar to marijuana to be sold passed Thursday in the state House.

Neighborhood summit allows residents to connect, advance equity

The Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit returns in a new format next week to optimize access in neighborhoods.

Grand Rapids plans $26 million in street and sidewalk improvements

As Grand Rapids begins its eighth season of ramped-up road construction, residents can again expect to see improvements to streets and sidewalks throughout the city this summer.

GOP senators revise ID requirement for ballot requests

LANSING — Michigan Republicans on Wednesday revised a contentious bill that would have required voters to attach a copy of their photo ID when mailing an absentee ballot application, saying they could include their driver's license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number instead.