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A Look Back: Pandemic Dominates Headlines in 2021

COVID-19. Pandemic. Delta variant. Omicron variant. Schools reopening, then closing.

These virus-related issues dominated news headlines in 2021, stretching from mask mandates early in the year to a spike in cases at year’s end. The oddities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic were also numerous. But there was other news in the headlines during the year.

About 400 protesters assembled at the state Capitol to demand an audit of the 2020 election results.

When the year began, state officials activated the National Guard in anticipation of a large protest at the Capitol, but only a dozen marchers showed up.

Amazon announced plans to open a facility in Lansing, creating 250 jobs.

A new 122-room hotel opened in downtown Lansing. The site also included 40 apartments and a Meijer store.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor announced he would seek a second term. He was successful in the November election.

A comprehensive post-election audit confirmed the results of Michigan’s 2020 election results.

Frank Kelley, who served as Michigan’s attorney general for 37 years, died at age 96.

A worldwide semiconductor shortage forced General Motors to shut down its Lansing assembly plants. Shutdowns would plague the automaker throughout the year.

Community activists demanded change at the Lansing Police Department after the April 11 death of Anthony Hulon in the city lockup.

Emergent BioSolutions announced plans to build a plant in DeWitt Township, creating 328 jobs.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ended the indoor mask mandate for fully vaccinated people.

Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green announced his retirement.

The FBI was rebuked for its handling of sexual assault charges against Larry Nassar.

Dozens of people marched in south Lansing calling for action to end gun violence. Homicide levels would be shocking by year’s end.

Tailgaters gathered around Spartan Stadium for the first game in a year where fans could be in the stands.

DeLuca’s Restaurant was being sold after 60 years of serving the area.

East Lansing’s City Council elected Ron Bacon as the city’s first Black mayor.

Sparrow hospital halted elective surgery because of the number of COVID-19 cases in December.