Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST


Whitmer: Virus response to be better coordinated under Biden

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the United States will have a coordinated, science-based response to the coronavirus once President-elect Joe Biden takes office. She expressed optimism about the election result Monday while warning that Michigan’s surging cases will likely continue to grow in coming months. The Democratic governor’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic has led him to lash out at her. Whitmer told The Associated Press that Biden will “be a wonderful partner as we confront a lot of hard issues going forward.”


AP Explains: Trump’s baseless tweets about vote in 4 states

President Donald Trump is tweeting a series of claims about four states where he is currently trailing President-elect Joe Biden. In all four cases, his tweets were baseless or misstated how the electoral process works. While The Associated Press and other media outlets have already declared Biden the winner, Trump has pursued legal challenges in several states and repeatedly made a barrage of false or dubious claims about voter fraud and the counting of mail-in ballots. On Monday afternoon, he tweeted about four states: Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The AP has called three of those states — Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — for Biden.


Michigan rolls out statewide coronavirus exposure app

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is rolling out statewide a voluntary, free coronavirus app that notifies users if they have potentially been in close contact with infected people. Monday’s launch comes weeks after the state began piloting the technology in Ingham County, including at Michigan State University. State Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon is encouraging all Michiganders to download the app onto their smartphones, especially as COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations are surging after an initial wave subsided last spring. App users who possibly were within 6 feet of infected people for at least 15 minutes are notified.


Warren shuts down city hall due to spike in virus cases

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Warren City Hall in suburban Detroit has been closed to the public due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases among city employees in several departments. Mayor James Fouts says the building will be closed this week and disinfected. Confirmed virus cases also are up at the city’s police department and district court which also are being disinfected. Fouts said Warren currently has more employees testing positive for the virus than at any other time during the coronavirus pandemic. Steps are being taken to make sure all city employees receive testing. Virus cases have been going up across Michigan. On Saturday, state health officials reported 6,225 new coronavirus infections.


‘This is proof’: Biden’s win reveals power of Black voters

DETROIT (AP) — Black voters were the main constituency to push Democrat Joe Biden to victory in the presidential race. Activists tell The Associated Press that the Biden campaign owes Black voters and the organizers who worked tirelessly to turn them out for that victory. According to AP VoteCast data, an expansive survey of the electorate, 9 in 10 Black voters nationwide supported Biden over President Donald Trump. Black organizers say they intend to follow through with a set of demands for the new administration.


Hospital worker allegedly set off explosives in trash cans

PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A 59-year-old man has been arraigned on charges accusing him of setting off explosives in trash cans at the eastern Michigan hospital where he works. The Detroit News reports that Michael Patrick Barna, of Cylde Township, faces charges of explosives violation of a vulnerable target and explosives with intent to frighten. His arraignment was Sunday and his next scheduled hearing is set for Nov. 17. Police say no one was hurt and there was no major damage when three incendiary devices detonated Wednesday afternoon at McLaren Port Huron Hospitals, but the blasts “frightened and terrorized staff inside the hospital.”


Trump faces long odds in challenging state vote counts

Republican surrogates for President Donald Trump have resumed their legal fight to try to stop the vote count in key battleground states, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. But they face long odds given the Electoral College tally and recent court rulings that found no evidence of widespread vote fraud. Some Republican officials are invoking the Trump mantra that only “legal votes” should be counted before the election is certified. Others are coming forward to urge voters to accept the results. Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has claimed the White House and started working on his agenda, although Trump has yet to concede the race.


Groups fight to keep gray wolf protections for most of US

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates and environmental groups are challenging the removal of federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. Two coalitions of groups have filed notice that they plan to sue the U.S. Interior Department in federal court unless protections are restored. The Trump administration last week ended longstanding federal safeguards for gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. That put states and tribes in charge of overseeing the predators and opens the door to more hunting. Gray wolves have recovered from near extinction in parts of the country but remain absent from much of their historical range. Colorado wildlife officials plan to reintroduce wolves in coming years.


Biden shores up fragile ‘blue wall’ in industrial north

Joe Biden shored up the Democrats’ “blue wall” to rebuild the party’s path back to the White House. He did it more sturdily in Michigan, but more tenuously in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. While The Associated Press had called all three states and their combined 46 Electoral College votes for Biden, the Democrat’s relatively narrow margins there reflect the nation’s continuing deep divisions more than a newly strengthened Democratic bulwark in the industrial north. Trump had stunned the country four years ago by winning by a total of 77,000 votes the three that had been carried for decades by Democrats. 


GM to add 3,000 tech jobs to develop vehicles and software

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will hire 3,000 more technical workers by early next year to help with virtual product testing and to develop software as a service. The automaker says it will offer more remote work opportunities to help develop electric and autonomous vehicles. GM wants to hire electrical system and infotainment software engineers as well as developers for Java, Android, iOS and other platforms. The company says it wants to increase diversity with the new hires to build on its existing software expertise. Spokesman Stuart Fowle says most of the jobs will be at GM’s Technical Center in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan. Others will be at GM data and technical centers in Phoenix, Austin, Texas; Oshawa, Ontario; and Atlanta.