Business groups say pre-pandemic operations may never return

POST PANDEMIC BUSINESS: Hours of operation, the labor force, services and even a business’ physical shape were altered during the COVID pandemic. Don’t expect them to go back anytime soon. We talk to business experts who see some of these changes solidifying into the new normal for doing business in Michigan. We talk to officials at the Small Business Association of Michigan and Michigan Retailers Association. By Andrew Roth. FOR BUSINESS AND NEWS PAGES OF ALL POINTS

Passenger train from Detroit to Petoskey could be prioritized under new majority

HIGH SPEED RAIL: Plans for high-speed rail connecting Detroit and Ann Arbor to Traverse City and Petoskey are chugging along. A Traverse City nonprofit is studying the possibility of using existing freight lines for passenger travel, a necessary step in the process. Some say the Democratic majority in the Legislature could help and signs indicate the Whitmer administration is on board. By Andrew Roth. FOR DETROIT, TRAVERSE CITY, PETOSKEY AND BUSINESS AND NEWS PAGES OF ALL POINTS.

Metro Detroit braces for influx of visitors during potentially record-setting summer

CROWDED DETROIT: A record number of highly attended sporting and entertainment events scheduled this summer is good news for the Detroit economy. But out-of-towners may struggle to find a nearby place to stay the night or an easy way to get around town. Tourism officials say more rooms are needed for Detroit to take the next big step as a destination city. By Andrew Roth. FOR DETROIT, CORP! AND BUSINESS AND NEWS PAGES OF ALL POINTS

Polluter-pay laws could return under Democratic majority

POLLUTER PAY: During the governorship of John Engler, Michigan weakened laws intended to make polluters foot the bill for cleanup of contaminated land and water. Now there are lawmakers calling for holding the polluters financially liable rather than relying on tax money for cleanups. We hear from Clean Water Action, Ann Arbor and Royal Oak senators and the Attorney General’s Office. Andrew Roth: FOR PLANET DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, CORP! DETROIT AND ALL POINTS.

Whitmer’s agenda will face a friendlier Legislature

STATE OF THE STATE: When the governor takes center stage Wednesday for her State of the State address, she’ll face the Legislature’s first Democratic majority in four decades. It will launch her effort to bring to fruition some past proposals that died when the GOP controlled the House and Senate. The lieutenant governor puts a higher tax credit for working families, a reduced maternal mortality rate for Black women and repeal of the pension tax among them. We hear from legislative leaders from Royal Oak, Porter Township and Richland Township. By Andrew Roth. FOR HOLLAND, DETROIT, WKTV, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson holds a press conference to discuss her 30-minute guarantee on Dec. 12, 2019.

Secretary of state warns Michigan could be last to report in 2020 election

East Lansing’s November 2019 election was a small preview. More than 1,000 people registered to vote on Election Day, and the city experienced a 20% increase in absentee ballots.

There are concerns for higher-profile elections such as the state’s March 10 presidential primary. Michigan’s new laws allow no-reason absentee voting, Election Day registration and automatic registration when people apply for a state ID.

East Lansing aims for greeting card mural by summer

East Lansing may become the latest in a string of cities to commission the creation of a mural designed to attract tourists if a proposal from the Arts Commission is approved. The mural, which would be part of the national Greetings Tour, would feature a postcard-like design using classic lettering, bright colors and depictions of the city’s icons. So far, 41 Greetings Tour murals have been installed in 20 states. Wendy Longpre, assistant director of the East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts Department, said the murals have a following of their own and could increase traffic to the city. “Once you found one of these murals you kind of look for them, then, as you’re traveling,” Longpre said.