Cheyna Roth

Capital Reporter

Cheyna Roth

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR.

Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN.

Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker.

Ways to Connect

The November election is weeks away, and Tuesday is the last day for Michigan residents to register to vote.

The election will decide the state’s next governor, attorney general and secretary of state among many other races.

State House and Senate, U.S. Senate and ballot initiatives – oh my.

After a high turnout in the primary, Michigan’s former state Elections Director is predicting about four million voters will head to the polls on November 6th – which would be a pretty high turnout for a midterm.

MARK BRUSH / MICHIGAN RADIO

Governor Synder says he's reached an agreement to eventually decomission and replace a controversial pipeline that runs under the straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge's Line 5 transports crude oil and natural gas liquid.

The plan is to build a multi-use utility tunnel under the Straits, with a new line inside the tunnel.

Environmental groups have been concerned about the devastating impact a spill could have on the Great Lakes.

Mike Shriberg is with the National Wildlife Federation, he says environmental groups aren't impressed with the plan.

Governor Rick Snyder still can’t build a bridge between a union and a construction trade association to end a roadwork stoppage across the state.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might be in for a shakeup – and Michigan could feel the effects.

President Donald Trump has been negotiating with the US’s neighbors to the north and south. Mexico, the US and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new trade deal for about a year.  While Mexico seems to be on board with small changes – the bigger impact on Michigan has to do with Canada.

Cheyna Roth

Michigan State University has named a search committee to find a new president.

Larry Nassar’s attempt to have a new judge consider his appeal in Ingham County has been denied. Nassar is the former Michigan State University sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.

Nassar is working through the appeals process – and he wants to be resentenced. But first he wants a different judge to consider his request for a new sentence. Nassar says Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was not fair and impartial when she sentenced him to up to 175 years in prison.

Kenny Eishoff, WDIV

The Republican candidates for governor have been battling it out for months. There’s more money being spent on the Republican primary than recent years – and it’s being used to help the candidates go after each other.

The Michigan primary is fast approaching. Democrats and Republicans will head to the polls Tuesday to decide who they want to represent their party in the November governor’s race. Three Democratic candidates hope they’ll be chosen, and money – and the television ads it buys – has played an interesting role in the Democratic race so far.

Aaron Selbig

Some lawmakers in Lansing say the entire Straits of Mackinac need to be an anchor free zone – permanently.

Governor Rick Snyder temporarily made the Straits an anchor free zone. That was after an anchor damaged the oil and gas pipeline, Enbridge Line 5, and caused cables to leak mineral oil into the water.

A group trying to get a redistricting measure on the November ballot says arguments against the measure by the state Attorney General are redundant.

 

Michigan Department of Corrections

Michigan’s prisons face a crisis: The state cannot find enough corrections officers to staff them. Older officers are retiring, others are quitting, and there are hundreds of officer positions waiting to be filled.

For corrections officers, like Lorraine Emery, that shortage means an exhausting, dangerous job is getting even tougher.

Michigan’s top prosecutor is on board with proposed changes to how the state parole board determines if an inmate can be released from prison.

 

Medical experts in Michigan say reducing the stigma of HIV is key to stopping the spread of the disease.

 

State lawmakers have a plan to encourage Michiganders to produce their own clean, renewable energy. A bipartisan group introduced a package of bills Tuesday.

Some of the bills focus on removing barriers to net metering. Net metering lets people who produce their own renewable energy – like solar – get hooked up to the public-utility power grid. They can use the power they make at any time, plus they can essentially sell the energy they don’t use to the utility.

People who want a license to grow or sell medical marijuana in Michigan have yet more uncertainty to deal with when it comes to getting licensed.

 

The state says it can improve low student test scores and get more kids into skilled trades.

The so-called “nation’s report card” came out Tuesday. It ranks Michigan near the bottom third in areas like 4th grade reading and math and 8th grade reading. Michigan has made little progress over the years in improving student scores.

Lawmakers says there’s no doubt that Michigan State University failed to protect its students from Larry Nassar. He’s the former MSU sports doctor who sexually assaulted patients for years under the guise of treatment.

A state House inquiry into the school released its findings Thursday.

Lawmakers say Nassar was able to exploit multiple loopholes in MSU’s policies. The House inquiry also found that the school botched an internal investigation into Nassar arising from a complaint about his “treatment” in 2014.

A major firearms case will be debated in front of the Michigan Supreme Court next week. But advocates on both sides say it’s about more than whether someone can carry a firearm on school grounds.

Ann Arbor and Clio school districts in Michigan got sued for banning guns on school grounds.

State law generally prevents local gun rules – and the court will decide whether that applies here- which could have a broader impact.

Lindsey Smith/Michigan Radio

The Michigan DEQ has approved a permit from Nestle Waters North America to increase the amount of groundwater it pumps from its well near Evart, Michigan.

The state says Nestle has to complete a monitoring plan and submit it to the DEQ for approval. After that happens, Nestle will be authorized to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from its White Pine Springs well.

The fallout from the Larry Nassar scandal at Michigan State University continues. Nassar’s boss and former Dean of MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, William Strampel, was arrested late Monday and arraigned Tuesday on felony and misdemeanor charges.

The state Legislature began discussions Wednesday on the newest plan to make people work for Medicaid.

 

The bill would require able-bodied adults to perform an average of 30-hours of work, job training, or education every week. Pregnant adults, people with medical disabilities, and others would not be included.

 

An effective food system in the state’s prisons should go beyond just feeding prisoners. That’s the message of some lawmakers in the state Senate.

The governor announced he wants to end privatized food service in the state’s prisons. Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph) said this is an opportunity to go a step further. He’s put together a work group to explore training inmates in food services. Proos said there are thousands of available jobs across the state in the restaurant industry.

Abdul El-Sayed for Michigan

In the race for Michigan’s next governor, a Democrat crossed a significant hurdle today. Abdul El-Sayed was the first Democrat to file his signatures to get on the ballot.

But there have been questions about whether El-Sayed is even eligible to run. Bridge Magazine first reported that his voting history could derail his campaign. 

High schoolers, lawmakers, and concerned citizens held a rally at the state Capitol Thursday for changes to the state’s gun laws.

The rally comes the week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 17 students and staff members were killed.

Participants called for a ban on assault rifles, stricter background checks before buying a gun, and more money for mental health services. But most of all, the high school students at the rally want to feel safe in their schools.

Lawmakers in Lansing want to put 175 million dollars toward the state’s roads. The state House passed the spending bill Wednesday.

Governor Rick Snyder initially proposed a similar spending bump for the next budget cycle. But lawmakers say the potholes and crumbling roads need to be addressed as soon as possible. They want the money available in time for construction season.

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