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.

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ADOBE STOCK

Five current or former Catholic priests from Michigan dioceses have been charged with sexual abuse crimes.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel made the announcement Friday. This is part of an ongoing investigation into each of the seven Catholic dioceses in the state for potential abuse, which Nessel said earlier this year could take two years or more.

“This really is just the tip of the iceberg and our work continues day in and day out as we seek justice for the hundreds, perhaps even thousands of victims of clergy abuse in our state,” said Nessel.

The list of who can administer emergency opioid overdose medication in Michigan could grow.

Michigan Heartbeat Coalition

A Michigan group wants to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This would effectively ban abortions after around six weeks. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed ballot petition language with the Secretary of State Tuesday.

Michigan students are a signature away from getting four snow days forgiven after a brutal winter left some schools closed for weeks. The state Senate sent the bill to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk Thursday. 

A state Senate committee approved a budget provision to financially penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. 

Michigan students may not get any additional snow days forgiven this year. 

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would have forgiven four state declared emergency snow days. But after that vote, several Democrats voted to not give the bill immediate effect. It’s a procedural move which renders the bill useless because it would not take effect until well after the school year has ended.

CARLOS OSORIO / AP

Originally published on April 25, 2019 8:07 pm

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A federal court in Michigan says that the state's Republican-controlled legislature unfairly drew some of Michigan's state legislative and U.S. House district lines and that a divided government will have to come up with new boundaries.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A federal court in Michigan says that the state's Republican-controlled legislature unfairly drew some of Michigan's state legislative and U.S. House district lines and that a divided government will have to come up with new boundaries.

A panel of three judges said that 27 of 34 challenged districts diluted the weight of people's votes and that every challenged district is unconstitutional.

The leader of the state Senate Republicans says he’s not in favor of the Secretary of State’s call for candidates to disclose their financial information.

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday. 

Max Pixel

State lawmakers want to put in place a final deadline for medical marijuana facilities to get a license, or not be able to stay open.

A state House committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday. It gives a June 1st deadline for facilities – and if they stay open without a license, the facility can’t get a license for a year.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

The state Attorney General’s Office is trying to show that the former Michigan State University president lied to investigators to protect the university.

Lou Anna Simon was in court Monday for the second day of a hearing to determine whether Simon should stand trial for charges that she lied to law enforcement.

The governor’s office, Legislature, attorney general’s office and the Michigan Supreme Court are joining forces to try and prevent the abuse of vulnerable and elderly adults.

The National Council on Aging estimates one in ten older adults are victims of elder abuse in the United States. It can be physical abuse, keeping people isolated, even theft.

Nessel says elder abuse is a problem that transcends geography, religion and race.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her first bill into law Thursday. The new law will keep a judge’s seat in a court in the Upper Peninsula. 

It could be a challenge to end the practice of shifting money meant for K-through-12 education to higher education. 

Michigan’s cash bail system needs an overhaul. That’s the message of bipartisan legislation introduced in the state House and Senate.

Hourly workers at schools are concerned about a bill in the state House that saves schools from having to make up some snow days. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointees for top level offices are in the clear. The state Senate has 60 days to object to Whitmer’s appointments. It has not objected to her picks to lead departments like health and human services, natural resources, and agriculture. And the clock has run out for the Senate to stop those and other appointments.

ZOE CLARK / MICHIGAN RADIO

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented her first budget proposal to the Michigan Legislature Tuesday. Whitmer says the spending plan will help improve Michigan’s roads, clean water and education. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is slated to include an increase in spending for kindergarten through 12th grade education. 

Whitmer will present the plan as part of her budget proposal Tuesday. She wants to put more money toward students with additional educational needs. That includes special education, low-income, and career and technical education students. 

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Last October more than 70 police officers, special agents and government officials executed search warrants on each of the seven Catholic dioceses in Michigan simultaneously. They loaded vehicles with boxes and filing cabinets – everything they could find related to potential sexual abuse by priests who have worked in Michigan from 1950 until now.

 

Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a press conference on Thursday that Michigan is the first state to execute a search warrant on the Church in this way.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is scheduled to give her first public briefing on three major state cases this week. Nessel said she’ll be joined by Michigan State Police Colonel Joe Gasper and Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.

These are all cases that Nessel inherited from former Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Nessel has been tightlipped about her plans for these cases.

Since Governor Gretchen Whitmer took office, it’s been a lingering question whether the Republican-led Legislature can work with a Democratic governor to solve the state’s problems. During her first State of the State address, Whitmer made bipartisanship a central theme. 

The state Attorney General is working with lawmakers to make sure the wrongfully imprisoned are compensated.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plans to restructure the state Department of Environmental Quality could be over.

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