Supreme Court ruling on LGBTQ+ case sparks controversy in state

When the Supreme Court ruled that Lori Smith, a website designer from Colorado, could deny her services to those of the LGBTQ+, it was unclear how the decision would affect LGBTQ+ clients nationwide. But Fenton resident Ky Orvis wasn’t too worried — yet. “Specifically in Fenton, I don’t see it foreseeing it being a problem,” said Orvis, the president of the Fenton Pride Collective. “The concern of a lot of people, not just in Fenton, not just in Michigan, but across the U.S. is like what does this set the precedent of and justify discrimination against a class of people.”

The ruling is sparking controversy as to what this means for groups, such as minorities and LGBTQ+, and raises concerns for those it affects. “Why does this exist?

Early presidential primary could shift campaign strategies

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY: Traditionally, presidential candidates have focused their efforts in Michigan on a handful of heavily populated metropolitan areas such as Detroit and Grand Rapids. But iIf Michigan moves the date of its primary to be earlier in 2024 – and earlier in the nominating process – that could change. The Senate has passed a bill to do that. We hear from a former Northern Michigan University political scientist and legislators from Groveland Township and Royal Oak. With Marquette and Traverse City references By Andrew Roth. FOR DETROIT, MARQUETTE, TRAVERSE CITY, LANSING CITY PULSE AND ALL POINTS.

Federal funds aid efforts to plug orphan wells 

ORPHAN WELLS: Orphan oil wells plague the Midwest, but new federal funds will help plug them. Michigan has around 450 orphan wells throughout the Lower Peninsula, with large concentrations in Manistee and Benzie counties and along the border of Charlevoix and Otsego counties. A Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy official explains. By Jake Christie. FOR MANISTEE, LUDINGTON, BENZIE COUNTY, CHEBOYGAN, TRAVERSE CITY AND ALL POINTS.

Cover of “Clash: Presidents and the Press in Times of Crisis.”

Gerald Ford’s media relations calm compared with others

GERALD FORD COMMENTARY: When Gerald Ford, who represented the Grand Rapids area in Congress, became GOP president in 1974, the nation was in agony after the corruption of the Nixon White House and the trauma of the Vietnam War. Ford’s tenure was unspectacular as he wrestled with still-familiar problems such as inflation and international conflicts. He endured no crises that created major conflict with the press – and thus earned only two short references in a new book on press-presidential clashes during crises. For news and opinion sections. By Eric Freedman. FOR WKTV, HOLLAND, LANSING CITY PULSE, DETROIT and ALL POINTS.

The cover of “Rouge River Revived.”

Book details the rescue of one of the nation’s most polluted rivers

ROUGE RIVER: The Rouge River was so polluted by the 1980s, it emitted a rotten egg smell and a young man who fell into the river later died from rat fever. A new book, “Rouge River Rescued,” details the back story of how a Southeast Michigan community rescued one of the most polluted rivers in America. Co-editors Jim Hartig and James Graham look at the bottom-up efforts, including an annual river clean up day, that might be replicated in other communities. By Anastacia Pirrami. FOR MONROE, DETROIT, DETROIT PLANET, MICHIGAN FARM NEWS and all points.

Michigan’s automotive industry shifts toward an electric future

With Michigan housing several automotive manufacturing plants, the state looks to expand into the world of vehicle electrification. 

“If we want to continue to expand ourselves as a species, we need another way to power and transport ourselves around, a cleaner more sustainable way of doing it, because we’re just going to run out of gas at some point,” said Steve Radosevich, geometric modeler for Rivian. 

General Motors Co. is one of the manufacturers making Michigan a hub for electric vehicle production. The GM factory in Orion Township is  set to become one of the company’s main electric vehicle manufacturers. The plant, which originally produced Chevrolet Malibus and Pontiac G6s, will now build all-electric trucks. 

GM is also shifting its manufacturing in Detroit. The Detroit-Hamtramck plant, nicknamed “Factory Zero,” will construct electric variants of the Hummer, Sierra, Cruise, and Silverado.