Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 9:40 p.m. EDT
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.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The Trump administration has removed gray wolves in most of the U.S. from the endangered species list. Thursday’s action ends longstanding federal safeguards for the predators in the Lower 48 states, except for a small population of Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest. The announcement just days ahead of the election could allow hunting of the animals to resume in Great Lakes states — a battleground region in the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Gray wolves have recovered from near extinction in parts of the country but remain absent from much of their historical range. Biologists who reviewed the administration’s plan to strip protection from wolves say it lacked scientific justification.
SEATTLE (AP) — Fair housing organizations are accusing Redfin of systematic racial discrimination, saying in a lawsuit the online real estate broker offers fewer services to homebuyers and sellers in minority communities. The National Fair Housing Alliance described that as a type of digital redlining that has depressed home values and exacerbated historic injustice in the housing market. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday, the groups said a two-year investigation showed Redfin was much less likely to offer realtor services, professional photos, virtual tours, online promotion or commission rebates for homes listed in overwhelmingly minority neighborhoods. Redfin’s CEO said the company has not violated fair housing law but the lawsuit raises important questions.