Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EDT
DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — An entire police department north of Lansing is off duty because of the coronavirus. DeWitt Township closed the department Wednesday due to some positive cases. Township manager Andrew Dymczyk says other officers and staff were told to quarantine. Police in neighboring communities are available to respond to calls in DeWitt, along with state police and Clinton County sheriff’s deputies. The township says anyone who came in close contact with a member of the police department between Oct. 14 and Oct. 27 should monitor their health.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is tightening restrictions on indoor gatherings and shifting the Traverse City region backward in Michigan’s reopening plan. The state health department said Thursday coronavirus hospitalizations have doubled in three weeks and the death rate has risen for five straight weeks. Effective immediately, indoor venues without fixed seating must limit gatherings such as weddings and parties to no more than 50 people — down from a maximum of 500. Restaurants and bars must seat no more than six people at a table. All dine-in establishments must keep customers’ names and phone numbers for contact-tracing purposes, starting Monday.
DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has rejected an appeal from a Democratic state official who wants to ban the open carry of guns outside polling places. The court says voter intimidation already is illegal. The order came two days after a Court of Claims judge said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson had exceeded her authority in prohibiting the open carry of guns within 100 feet of a polling place. Judge Christopher Murray said the policy didn’t go through a formal rule-making process required under Michigan law. Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’ll ask the Supreme Court to take the case.
DETROIT (AP) — An unprecedented convergence of three crises that disproportionately affect people of color — the coronavirus pandemic, joblessness and police brutality — has led many to believe this presidential election is a referendum on race relations in America. Black voters will be decisive in the outcome. Democrat Joe Biden is relying on strong turnout among Black voters in cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Milwaukee to tip critical swing states in his direction. President Donald Trump is focusing on appeals to his core base of white voters. Some of the nation’s leading civil rights leaders and activists say this moment has been years in the making.