Outlook mixed on Michigan’s effort to ‘fix the damn roads’

ROADS: The governor is again pushing the Legislature for more generous funding of infrastructure projects, although her pleas have fallen on death Republican ears in the past. Advocates of more money to fix deteriorating roads, bridges and sewer lines say they hope the new Biden administration will be more generous than the Trump administration in supporting state and local projects. We hear from the Michigan Municipal League, road officials in Chippewa, Wayne and Montmorency counties and the Michigan Association of Counties. By Shel Krause. FOR MONTMORENCY, SAULT STE. MARIE, DETROIT, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS AND ALL POINTS.

‘Local government is where the rubber hits the road:’ how local governments are responding to COVID-19

In Michigan, all eyes are on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to see how she responds to the COVID-19 outbreak. But when it comes to searching for an end to the pandemic, it’s local governments that are on the front lines, said Mason Mayor Russell Whipple.

“This problem will not be solved by the federal government, or the state government, or even the county government,” he said. “It’s going to be solved by local governments, because local governments are going to be the ones that have to actually deal with the day-to-day. We take directions from the state and county health departments. But we’re the ones that make it happen.”

Township officials upset about mailing absentee ballots out late

Meridian Township Board members blasted the township’s clerk at its most recent meeting for mailing absentee ballots out late. The rest of the agenda included updates on the new marihuana dispensaries and Michigan State University’s solar panel project.

WATCH: Cruise ship passengers detained for coronavirus, Kobe Bryant’s wife breaks silence, Super Bowl halftime updates

Thousands of passengers aboard cruise ship Costa Smeralda may have been inflected with the coronavirus. The cruise line is taking necessary sanitary precautions, and passengers are expected to be quarantined for the next several weeks. Meanwhile, Vanessa Bryant has broken her silence following the unexpected death of her husband, former NBA player Kobe Bryant, and their 13-year-old daughter Gianna. She posted family photos on Instagram and announced a fund that will go to the families of the victims.

Super Bowl LIV kicks off on Sunday. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez are scheduled to perform at the halftime show.

Local tourists spots voice concerns over Pure Michigan cut

Governor Gretchen Whitmer cut the proposed $37.5 million budget from the 2020 state budget. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MEDC, tells Focal Point News, “Governor Whitmer and the MEDC remain committed to the Pure Michigan Campaign and the positive impact it has had on the tourism industry in Michigan.” They continued to say the cut is a “recognition that the Legislature cannot continue to pass record-high budgets for Pure Michigan while funding for other economic development initiatives is cut to record lows.” Greg Taucher, an advertising professor at Michigan State, said you can’t just turn off the lights on Pure Michigan. “I think that if Michigan killed their tourism campaign, they’d be in a deficit position,” he said.

Watch Focal Point: General Motors Strike, East Lansing rent increase and more

On this edition of Focal Point News, General Motors workers are on strike for equal benefits. Also, students moving into the newest East Lansing sky rise, The Hub, experienced some unexpected complications. Plus, East Lansing and Ann Arbor were listed in the top ten for fastests growing rent. 

In sports, Michigan State football had a homecoming date with Indiana last week, with a high scoring affair between the two teams. 

In entertainment, Spider Man is set to return to the big screen. 

These stories and more on Focal Point. 

Watch Focal Point: Vaping ban, becoming a ‘no-kill’ state and more

On the first episode of Focal Point News this semester, we look at the vaping ban Governor Whitmer enacted. Also, Michigan is now a ‘no-kill’ state, what does that mean? Plus, MSU adds new bike lanes to make biking safer. In sports, we recap the women’s golf journey in the Mary Fossum Invitational and how a new emerging sport is rising in popularity. The trailer for the new “Frozen” came out this week, we’ll look at it in our entertainment segment.