Michigan News Digest

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Michigan. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Detroit bureau at 800-642-4125 or 313-259-0650 or apmichigan@ap.org. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date. All times are Eastern.

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TOP STORY:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINATIONS

LANSING, Mich. — If Michigan could administer 50,000 coronavirus vaccine doses a day, it could hit its goal of inoculating 70% of people age 16 and older by August. At the current rate, about 29,000 per day, it would not finish until a year from now. The issue is limited supplies — something Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and health officials hope can be addressed as new President Joe Biden takes the helm amid the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history and as more contagious virus variants spread. “That’s our universal frustration,” the Democratic governor said. “We have the capacity and the plan to do a lot more vaccinations quicker. But the federal government … it’s been hard. They have not gotten us what we need.” By David Eggert. SENT: 850 words, photos.

AROUND THE STATE:

VIRUS OUTBREAK-WASHTENAW COUNTY

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Washtenaw County officials are urging residents who visited two retail sites in Ann Arbor to get tested for COVID-19 after cases of a more contagious virus variant were traced to those locations. County health officials said Saturday that five cases of the coronavirus variant originally identified in Britain, and known as B.1.1.7, have been identified and additional tracing continues for other possible positive cases. Officials said that as a precaution, residents should immediately get tested if they visited the Meijer store on Saline Road in Ann Arbor on Jan. 17 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. or Briarwood Mall, located at 100 Briarwood Circle, from 1 p.m.-2 p.m., where the new variant was circulating. SENT: 200 words.

EXCHANGE-BACKYARD ICE

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Bronson Jones finished a recent Monday of virtual school before hitting the ice to work on his hockey skills. The 10-year-old simply had to walk out his back door, lace up his skates and put on a helmet before he was flicking pucks at a net in 26-degree weather. The self-guided hockey practice was possible thanks to his father, Justin Jones, who constructed a do-it-yourself style rink in the family’s back yard in December. The Joneses are among a growing number of Battle Creek families who have constructed their own backyard ice rink this winter as the pandemic left many indoor ice facilities like The Rink in Battle Creek operating at a reduced capacity and without sanctioned hockey games, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. By Nick Buckley. Battle Creek Enquirer. SENT: 810 words, with photos MIBAT101-102.

IN BRIEF:

— PROPERTY TAXES-DETROIT: A property tax assistance program has granted more than 10,500 property tax exemptions to eligible Detroit homeowners and officials are still reviewing hundreds of other applications.

— SOCIAL JUSTICE-MLK STATUES: Two neighboring cities in southwestern Michigan are making a public commitment to social justice by installing statues of Martin Luther King Jr. in both communities.

SPORTS:

HKN–RED WINGS-BLACKHAWKS

Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks go for their second straight win when they host Dylan Larkin and the Detroit Red Wings. Kane had a goal and an assist in Chicago’s 4-1 victory over Detroit on Friday night. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts 12:30 p.m. EST.

BKC–VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE SPORTS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate. The state Department of Health and Human Services issued the mandate Saturday, with the school saying it follows the positive COVID-19 tests for several individuals linked to the athletic department. The entire department could be in quarantine for two weeks. SENT: 280 words.

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