02-23-2020 COVID-19 case curve eases slightly, Governor stands firm on shutdowns; Locals join Lansi

LANSING BLOCKADE PROTEST… Draws local small business owners; Hagar’s Randy and Deb Frank, and Hartford’s Charlie Weeden all feel that Governor Whitmer has gone way too far with her executive orders that have crippled thousands of small business in the state, many of whom can operate within social distancing rules, but Whitmer deems as “low wage and non-essential”.

COVID-19 case curve eases slightly, Governor stands firm on shutdowns; Locals join Lansing protest rally

By Jon Bisnett While the COVID-19 statistics are showing some slight bending of the curve in most of the state, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer continues to stand her ground with what many are calling over reach in terms of civil liberties and devastating effect on Michigan’s small businesses. Michigan Governor Whitmer continues to draw criticism from members of the state legislature and thousands of Michigan small business owners. Fisherman and boaters, golfers and moms who simply want to take their kids to the local park all wants answers as to why our state has such rigid mandates not seen elsewhere across the country. An April 15 blockade protest of the State Capital in Lansing occurred with landscapers, garden center, construction workers and other small businesses and their supporters participating, all sidelined by the Governor’s recent action. Whitmer countered by saying, “This small group that came together without masks on, passing out candy with bare hands to children, who were congregating together, brandishing their weapons, having posters of being anti-choice – this was a political rally. It was a political rally that is going to endanger people’s lives because this is precisely how COVID-19 spreads.” Local attendees beg to differ. Hartford’s concrete contractor Charlie Weeden and Hagar’s electrician Randy Frank and wife Deb were there. They claim most people stayed in their vehicles with only a small percentage out walking around. They further claim the blockade did nothing to hamper ambulance or employee traffic to and from Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital as was reported by some liberal media. Social media has been on fire again this week challenging Whitmer’s perceived over reach that affects sale of paint, seeds, plants and much, much, more. Online recall petitions continue to grow as unemployment in the state sees record numbers and a UIA website that continues to have technical issues. Countless reports of qualified unemployed workers abound who have not received any benefits since the debacle began. Whitmer reaffirmed her statement from a week ago in regards to reopening the state; saying four areas of concern will guide her action, along with the demands for federal aid in providing more testing. “We must see a sustained reduction in infection rate; enhanced ability to test and trace COVID-19; sufficient healthcare capacity to handle resurgence; and best practices in the workplace. We can’t afford a second wave, and so it’s going to be incredibly important that we do this right.” Cancellations Two more huge Michigan festivals join the dozens of previously announced cancellations. Traverse City has now canceled its nationally recognized Cherry Festival which draws over 500,000 annually. Rothbury’s Electric Forrest has also canceled the 2-weekend event that normally sees in excess of 50,000. The Battle Creek Field of Flight balloon fest and air show is hanging by a thread with events still on for the July dates as planned. Schools Our Tri-City schools are working diligently with implementing their individual remote learning plans. Each school will contact students and parents directly to address how they will proceed. Conversations with our local superintendents confirm that a hybrid approach, where online technology is used when possible. Due to the rural nature of a large percentage our communities, workbooks will need to be implemented when the Internet service is not readily available. Meals will be provided through June 9 along with new Bridge Card benefits to provide families that already qualify for free or reduced lunch receiving $193.80 total for March and April for each eligible K-12 student, and another $182.40 total for the months of May and June. Options are in the works for holding some type of graduation ceremony, but all agree the bulk of decisions hinge upon whatever restrictions are possibly lifted during the first week of May. Stay the course Again, continue following the recommended best practices to slow the outbreak: Wash hands often, cough into your elbow, avoid touching face, keep safe 6’ distance, and stay home if you are able.

Health officials give Berrien Co. COVID-19 update