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NE MI - Local News

Updated 04/12/21

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 Mon. Local News Audio


The Tawas Area Schools Board of Education will meet tonight. On their agenda is the extended COVID-19 Learning Plan Reconfirmation Update; approval of the 2021-2022 School Year Calendar; Application to the North Star League and a closed session for a student discipline update. The meeting will be held at 7pm with minimal in-person attendance along with Google Meets Teleconferencing. To join the meeting or for more information visit

The USDA Forest Service is planning to conduct prescribed fires this year in the Huron Manistee National Forest.  Wildfire fuel reduction projects including prescribed fires will be held in Alcona, Iosco and Oscoda Counties. John Norten-Jenson, Huron Zone Fire Management Officer, said prescribed fires are instrumental in reducing hazardous fuels that increase the danger of wildfires and threaten public and firefighter safety. Prescribed fires also play a natural role in many ecosystems in the forest. Species such as white-tailed deer, turkey, butterflies, songbirds, grouse and turtles used burned areas for food, cover and a place to raise their young. Alerts will be placed on the Huron Manistee social media to inform the public that a prescribed burn may be occurring in their area. For more information visit

Alcona County Commission on Aging officials held a Town Hall meeting last week.  The public was able to get their questions about vaccines and masking answered during a virtual town hall meeting last Wednesday. According to the Alpena News, the town hall was hosted by the Alcona County Commission on Aging in conjunction with Alcona Health Center, District Health Department Number Two, Alcona Health Center, Alcona County Emergency Management, Alcona Community Schools, Solid Rock Church of God and Catholic Human Services. Panelists emphasized the importance of wearing masks, continuing to practice good hygiene, and getting the vaccines, especially as variants become more prevalent not only in Michigan, but around the world.

Local Sports

The North Star League announced their winter sports All-Conference teams.

For wrestling, earning first team honors were:

-         Trennon Smith, Tyler Demory, and Brandon Wiltse of Mio-AuSable

-         Zach Ouillete (ooh-let), and Anthony Ward of Oscoda

-         Hayden Hentkowski, Anthony Paull, and Clayton Henry of Rogers City

 Second team honors were awarded to:

-         Noah Mercier of Alcona

-         Dallas Long, and Marshall Socia (So-Shuh) of Mio-AuSable

-         Scott Smith, Xander Kartes, Zea Kartes (Zee Kart-is), Nolan Illig, and Karter Schmidt of Ogemaw Heights

-         James London, Isaiah Spragg and Ian Boboltz of Oscoda

-         Issac Paull, and Austin Bielas of Rogers City

-         Adrian Fragoso of Whittemore-Prescott 

Girl’s Basketball:

First team honorees In the Big Dipper Division were:

-         Lilly Bilbey and Kelsey Hansen of Alcona

-         Macy Kellstrom, Mia Whipkey, and Izzy Hulverson of Oscoda

-         Karissa Rabeau of Rogers City 

Second team honors in the Big Dipper Division went to:

-         Liz Henderson of Alcona

-         Sierra Lunning, and Raquelle Miller of Mio-AuSable

-         Kaitlin Nowicki of Rogers City

-         Allie Schmidt, and Camryn Gibson of Whittemore-Prescott

First team honors in the Little Dipper Division were awarded to

-         Katelyn Bowers of Fairview

-         Abby Parkinson of Hale

-         Nicole Barbeau, and Saige Flaugher of Hillman

-         Ella Szatkowski, and Makayla Kamyszek of Posen 

Second team honorees were

-         Keagen Skacal of AuGres-Sims

-         Jessie Ross of Fairview

-         Claudia Caldwell of Hale

-         Melanie Morrison, and Julia Taratuta of Hillman

-         Elizabeth Romel of Posen 


Boy’s Basketball

First team honorees in the Big Dipper Division were:

-         DJ Howe (How) of Alcona

-         Owen Franklin, Drew Hess, and Gavin Lueck of Oscoda

-         Nick Freel and Matt Newhouse of Rogers City 

Second team honors in the Big Dipper were earned by

-         Zach Stephenson and Gavin Walker of Alcona

-         Brennon Mills, Caleb Nagel (Noggle) and Micahel Gepfrey (Hard G) of Oscoda

-         Drew Flewelling of Rogers City 

First team honorees in the Little Dipper Division were

-         Aaron Cuzzort of Atlanta

-         Keaton Ludwig and David Wanty (Wawnt-ie)

-         Trenton Taratuta of Hillman

-         AJ Brunet of Posen 

Second Team honorees in the Little Dipper Division were

-         Evan Saunders and Parker Nelson of AuGres-Sims

-         Isaiah Ford of Fairview

-         Brendan Bernard of Hale

-         Caleb Hiveley of Hillman

-         Chase Dubie of Posen


 Fri. Local News Audio


After several homes in Gladwin County's Bourret Township were damaged by vandals this week, police have identified three minors as the suspects. M-Live reports the three , two under the age of 10, allegedly splashed paint on walls, poured out some chemicals, and smashed glasses and plates. Police say some marijuana and clothing were stolen. Police say the three siblings, ages 13, eight, and 5 had been placed in the 13-year-old's care while their single mother worked. Information will be forwarded to the prosecutor's office and charges could be issued, but police want to work to help the family get some resources to help them.

Alcona School officials recently made a decision due to COVID-19 cases.  Alcona Community Schools are transitioning to remote learning because newly reported COVID-19 infections and subsequent quarantines are impacting district operations. According to the Alpena News, Superintendent Dan O’Connor said it wasn’t possible for the district to continue operations because one-seventh of its student population are in quarantine and there aren’t enough substitutes to cover employees who either tested positive for the virus or are in quarantine. He said the food service and transportation departments, which are pretty essential to keep students in the classroom, are significantly impacted. Students are in the process of transitioning, with full-scale online remote learning to begin on Monday and end April 19th.

Oscoda County officials are looking to fill a vacancy.  The Oscoda County Board of Commissioners is seeking a Manager for Oscoda County Park. According to the Oscoda County Herald, the position requires the ability to manage the park budget, administrate park reservations and operations, maintain park facilities and supervise seasonal park staff and be responsible for compliance to local, state and federal regulations. Prior experience in the parks and recreation industry and grant writing is also required. Resumes will be accepted through Tuesday, April 20th at 4pm and can be sent via email to  

A streetscape project is close to being wrapped up in Indian River in Tuscarora Township in northern Michigan. They replaced sidewalks and street lights and plan to install benches and bike racks along Straits Highway. The road will also be repaved. The project will reportedly be complete by the Fourth of July.


 Thu. Local News Audio


A Roscommon County man has pleaded guilty to child sex crime. 50-year-old Michael Clune of Houghton Lake pleaded guilty to one count of Child Sexually Abusive Activity and one count of Using a Computer to Communicate for the purpose of Child Sexual Activity. Clune admitted on the record to using the internet to communicate with multiple boys under the age of 15 and coercing them to send him child sexually abusive material. Clune was previously arrested for similar activity in Clare County. He will spend a minimum of 25 years in prison for his crimes. (Police Photo: Clune)

Tawas City officials recently approved a road repair plan.  The Tawas City Council approved the Capital Improvement Plan. According to the Iosco County News Herald, the plan includes major street resurfacing beginning this summer. Streets included to be repaved include Oak Street from East Lake Street to Lake State Railway; First Avenue from Anna Drive to Roberta Drive; from Roberta to Sunset Drive; Sunset to Manor Drive and Manor to Hemlock Street. Total cost for the project is just over $48,000 dollars. Also being resurfaced this summer will be Court Street from the dead end to First Street; Roberta Drive from 5th Avenue to Victoria Lane; Victoria to John Street and John to First Avenue. Total cost for that project is just over $62,000 dollars. The Capital Improvement Plan for Tawas City covers road and bridge improvements through 2026.

Huron County officials will hold a special meeting next week.  The Huron County Planning Commission will hold the special meeting Wednesday, April 14th. According to the Huron Daily Tribune the commission will hold two public hearings for a special use permit and a zoning reclassification. The reclassification comes from Sherman Township, which is requesting that the parcels of land the township hall sits on in Ruth change from residential and agricultural use to general business use. The township is planning on making a 40 by 68 foot addition next to the existing fire hall, with a covered entry and handicapped accessibility. Kurt Geiger, the Sherman Township supervisor, said the new space would be used for township offices, meeting rooms, and a voting area.. The meeting will take place at the district courtroom in the Huron County Building on Huron Avenue in Bad Axe.

The Alcona County Road Commission reports that seasonal load and weight restrictions in the county will be lifted Friday morning at 7:30am. For further information visit the Alcona County Road Commission website at Alcona CRC Dot Com.


 Wed. Local News Audio


Officials with the Iosco Exploration Trail continue to seek funding. 
The Iosco Exploration Trail Committee recently met to discuss funding for Phase Three of the project. According to the Iosco County News Herald, Trustee Bill Palmer told Chairman Fred Lewis that Rowe Professional  Services is seeking a USDA Grant while working to get the necessary match funding. Doug Schultz, Director of Landscape Architecture with Rowe Professional Services told committee members that they are also seeking a Consumer’s Green Planet Grant of $100,000 dollars. Phase Three of the Iosco Exploration Trail is expected to include two extensions running from Oscoda High School to Foote Village and from Foote Village to Old Orchard Park. 

Michigan lawmakers have reintroduced bipartisan legislation making reforms and improvements to dams and hydropower safety. Representatives Debbie Dingell and John Moolenaar originally pushed for the revisions after the breach of the Edenville Dam and Sanford Dam failure. Their proposed measure would enhance safety operation requirements nationwide and modernize existing infrastructure.

The Iosco County Community Foundation recently awarded grant money.  The Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council recently awarded six new grants totaling just over $10,000 dollars to area nonprofits for programs and projects that benefit area youth. The six organizations are Pegasus Springs Therapeutic Riding Center for “Project Renew”; Ascension St. Joseph Foundation for the “Reach Out and Read” program; Oscoda Fish Incorporated for basic needs; Iosco County Coats for Kids for their “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” project; Huron Hockey and Skating Association for its “Skate Rental” program and D & R Acres Hobby & Rescue Farm for repairs. For more information on grant opportunities visit CFNEM Dot Org.

On Monday, the Mathews Street Bridge, between U.S. 23 and 5th Avenue in Tawas City will be closed to all traffic as contractors work to rehabilitate the bridge. It is scheduled to reopen on Friday, May 14th.

The Department of Natural Resources will hold a virtual meeting tonight. The Trails Advisory Council will meet from 6-8pm. The meeting gives residents the opportunity to share input and ideas on policy decision, programs and other aspects of natural resource management and outdoor recreation opportunities. For link information for tonight’s Trails Advisory Council virtual meeting visit 

Local Sports

The Michigan High School Athletic Association is seeking student-athletes to become members of the MHSAA Student Advisory Council beginning in the 2021-2022 school-year. Four boys and four girls from the class of 2023 will be selected and will meet six times per year in East Lansing with additional video meetings and one 24-hour leadership campo. Council topics include MHSAA event planning, the promotion of the educational value of athletics, and the four S’s of educational athletics: scholarship, sportsmanship, safety, and scope. To be eligible for the committee, candidates Class of 2023 students complete an official application, submit a letter of recommendation from a school administrator, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be available for all scheduled meetings. Candidates must also show a history of leadership on athletic teams and also community service and/or in the work place. And also show an understanding of the role of high school sports and have ideas for promoting educational athletics.  Applications are due by email on April 28th and can be found at New members will be notified by May 7th. For more information call 517-332-5046 or email


 Tue. Local News Audio


District Health Department #4 has announced three different vaccination clinics taking place this week, featuring the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.  No appointment is needed for the following clinics:  Tomorrow, 451 walk-in spots will be available at the Cheboygan Knights of Columbus hall.  Thursday 300 spots will be available at the Alpena Mall and Friday at St. Francis Church in Lewiston, there will also be 300 vaccinations available.

The Tawas and East Tawas Fire Departments responded to a house fire last week.  On Monday, March 29th at approximately 2pm, the Tawas City Fire Department along with the East Tawas Fire Department were dispatched to a structure fire. Residing at the home were Mr. and Mrs. Sean Wrathell along with their children. A witness saw flames coming from the outside of the building at the rear side of the home and called 911. Some of the residents were home at the time the fire occurred and were able exit the home safely along with their pet dog with the assistance of the Tawas City Police Chief. The family pet cats also survived the heat and smoke as they were found by firefighters during salvage and overhaul process. Fire personnel quickly extinguished the flames and hot embers and extinguished locations where fire extended inside two walls. The main fire was confined to the outside walls along with one interior room, smoke and water damage also occurred to the interior of the home. The preliminary cause of the fire is still undetermined. Assisting the Tawas City Fire Department were East Tawas Fire Department, Iosco County EMS, Tawas City Police Department and Iosco 911 Dispatch. The Oscoda Fire Department was on standby in the Tawases.

The state of Michigan is moving to revoke the license of a private juvenile detention center near Saginaw after investigators find "physical abuse" and other safety violations.  Wolverine Secure Treatment Center in Buena Vista Township is operated by Wolverine Human Services.  The state is finding other placements for 35 kids. No details were publicly released.  Health department spokesman Bob Wheaton says a report about the investigation has not been finished.  Wolverine Human Services strongly disagrees with the action and plans to appeal. An appeal could ultimately reach the desk of department director Elizabeth Hertel.

A public meeting will be held tomorrow afternoon to discuss a proposed ordinance.  The meeting will be held in the West Branch Township Hall Wednesday to discuss the Public Dock Permit Ordinance. According to the Ogemaw County Herald, the purpose of the ordinance is to regulate the licensing, installation and removal of public docks in West Branch Township. If passed, the ordinance would allow residents to use public road access for any activity such as fishing or swimming. In order to build a new dock at the end of the public road would require a permit. The ordinance would also allow the township to remove any dock that does not meet necessary qualifications. The meeting will begin tomorrow at 5pm in the West Branch Township Hall. The ordinance proposal can also be accessed at the township’s website,

The Ogemaw County Road Commission reports that seasonal weight restrictions will be lifted from all Ogemaw County roads effective Wednesday, April 7th at 8am. For weight restrictions or additional information visit their website at Ogemaw CRC Dot Org or call 345-2337.  


During the virus crises, the Red Cross needs more blood donations than ever.  Please schedule a blood donation appointment.  Give the gift of life.  Due to the health crises, donation restrictions on certain groups of individuals have been eased, please check the Red Cross website for more details.


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Traverse City Area Public Schools will continue virtual learning through the end of this week for middle school and high school students. The school board held a special
meeting Saturday and decided to continue virtual learning this week. This after the district had a four day pause last week because of COVID-19 in the community. The district says when they return to in-person classes , families are asked to screen students each morning before they arrive at school. If a student has even mild COVID-19 symptoms, or is pending the results of a COVID-19 test, they are asked to keep the student home.


A big push is coming to get people vaccinated against COVID-19. The effort comes as Michigan is up to more than 738-thousand total cases following a surge over the last
few weeks.  But don't expect the state to go to a walk-up system for shots. While some local areas are accepting walk-ups, Governor Whitmer said on CBS's Face The Nation yesterday that the current system is working fine...
The Governor also said the state would not be mandating students 12 years and older get a vaccination in order to attend school. She said her administration isn't having any
of those types of conversations and it may be up to local districts.  The state reported nearly 46-thousand cases of the Coronavirus last week.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell are visiting Eastern Michigan University's vaccination site today. The pair is expected to discuss access to vaccines for Washtenaw County residents. Over the past two weeks, the county has reported nearly 19-hundred cases, 71 hospitalizations and six deaths. Data from the state shows that 219-thousand doses of the vaccine have been administered in Washtenaw County with 86-thousand residents, about 28 percent, fully vaccinated.


The government is now providing funeral assistance to families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. People who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020
for someone whose death may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19 can now apply for up to 9-thousand dollars in assistance, per funeral.  Documentation is necessary, such as an official death  certificate that attributes thedeath to COVID-19. Applications are being accepted through a FEMA call center.

More than a year into the pandemic and the virus is spiking again across Michigan, with case rates are up 375 percent since its previous low on February 19th, the most of any
state. Michigan State University Epidemiologist Nigel Paneth says the state and its residents both need to step up their game. He says we need to return to a bit of precaution now because the numbers are going up. While the state's elderly population has been vaccinated, Dr. Paneth says younger people are still vulnerable.


Governor Whitmer's sudden embrace of voluntary restrictions caught Lansing observers by surprise after a long hard year of restrictions and bans through executive
orders. Political analyst Bill Ballenger says part of the reason can be traced back to the change at the White House, with Donald Trump no longer around to be Whitmer's foil.

Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido has been pushing for a criminal investigation into the governor, whom he claims forced nursing homes to take back in COVID
patients. Several seeks ago, he asked those with relatives who died in the facilities to come forward. State Attorney General Dana Nessel says there have been a few calls.
Michigan's elderly COVID death toll ranks about 29th in the nation.

A weak tornado is responsible for damage to several homes south of Grand Rapids in Gaines Township over the weekend. It damaged up to a dozen homes in the Preservation Lakes subdivision, one losing part of its roof while others lost pieces of siding. A couple of cars were damaged by debris. The National Weather Service says the EF-0 tornado, the lowest rated tornado, had winds between 70 to 80 miles per hour and lasted only about a minute late Saturday afternoon. It tracked for about a half a mile, spanning 65 yards in width. No one was injured.

Three people were killed over the weekend when a pickup truck crashed and caught on fire on M-6 in Byron Township, south of Grand Rapids. Michigan State Police say the pickup hit the exit sigh for Byron Center Avenue and caught on fire. Firefighters rushed to put out the fire, but could not save the people inside Saturday night. State Police say speed was a factor in the crash.

A man accused of attacking two teenage girls with a hammer and holding them at gunpoint in Grand Traverse County has pleaded guilty to three charges. 20-year-old
Brandon Reyes was facing close to two dozen charges including assault with intent to murder. The victims were 13 and 14 years old last July when they say Reyes tortured
them at several locations. He'll be sentenced in May.
(Police Photo: Reyes)

A man suspected of flashing students at Calvin University in Grand Rapids and at Cornerstone University has been arrested. The man , in his 20's , was arrested Sunday morning. A couple of incidents happened at Calvin University on Saturday and at a nearby McDonald's.

Kalamazoo Police are investigating a murder that occurred Sunday afternoon in the city's north side neighborhood.  The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says the victim was rushed to the hospital where he died. Anyone with information is asked to call police or Silent Observer.

Walmart is considering new options for their in-store restaurant experiences. After McDonald's and Subway announced that they are closing units in the stores, Walmart is now looking into other food prospects. A rep for Walmart says those spaces will be filled by chains such as Taco Bell and Ann Arbor-based Domino's Pizza. There are
currently 30 Domino's at Walmart locations.

Gas prices in Michigan are down 5 cents compared to a week ago. Drivers are now paying an average of $2.79 per gallon. Triple A says while prices are declining, the state average is still $1.25 higher than this time last year, when the pandemic sent ga s demand tumbling. The most expensive gas is in Marquette, Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. The least expensive gas is in Traverse City, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor.



Are you ready to travel again? Pure Michigan is counting on it. The award-winning advertising campaign with actor and Michigan native Tim Allen is returning in the Midwest to foster spring and summer travel this season. A new television commercial inviting travelers to catch up on lost time this summer will run through the fourth of July.  Travelers are encouraged to take proper precautions while safely enjoying Michigan's great outdoors and visiting destinations across the state while following basic health protocols and getting vaccinated.


Michigan will receive nearly 16-thousand doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as part of a partnership with universities and colleges. The Health Department says
the vaccine will be shipped to local health departments. Officials say the effort is intended to vaccinate students at 26 schools before they return home for the summer.  The President at Northern Michigan University says the additional doses will protect not only the age group that is now seeing a higher rate of infection, but it protects
communities and families across the state.


The City of Ypsilanti has declared a local state of emergency as the city experiences some of the highest COVID-19 case numbers in Washtenaw County. The City Council approved the declaration at its April 6th meeting.
As of April 7th, the health department reports ZIP code 48197 has over 36-hundred confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 380 probable cases and ZIP code 48198 has over
22-hundred confirmed cases, with 180 probable cases.

-Surgeries Delayed-

With Coronavirus cases spiking throughout Michigan, some hospitals are postponing surgeries. Michigan Medicine announced today that it has rescheduled a small number of scheduled surgeries this week and next week due to the rising number of people going into the hospital with the virus and forecasts for continued high demand for
emergency care. Michigan Medicine says it has experienced record high emergency room and admission volumes for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 care this week.

-Latest COVID Stats-

Michigan has now topped 800-thousand cases of confirmed and probable cases of the Coronavirus. The state Health Department reported just over 78-hundred new cases today along with 73 deaths. In the past year there have been 16,400 people who have died as a result of the virus. In addition to the new cases, the state is reporting more than 37-hundred people are hospitalized. Most are in Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties.

A judge has ordered an Oak Park man to pay 500-thousand dollars to his ex-girlfriend for putting naked pictures of her on a porn site without her permission. The practice is
called "revenge porn." 39-year-old Kelley Turner was accused of harassing the woman for eight years. The complaint further alleges that Turner published the woman's name and address, so the pornographic content would be more likely to appear in internet searches for her. Turner has 10 years to pay the judgment.

Manslaughter charges have been filed against five people in the death of a Muskegon County Jail inmate Paul Bulthouse. The Michigan Attorney General's Office has filed
involuntary manslaughter charges against four jail staff members, Jeffrey Patterson, Crystal Greve, Jamall Lane and Sergeant David Vanderlaan and nurse Aubrey Schotts . State prosecutors say the five were on duty the night the 39-year-old Bulthouse suffered 17 seizures in a jail cell before he died in April of 2019. The Bulthouse family has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in his death against the county sheriff, jail administrators, guards and others alleging a cover up in his death.

General Motors will shutdown more plants as a result of a shortage of computer chips.  GM's plant in
Delta Township, near Lansing, will shutdown the week of April 19th, which other plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee and in Mexico will also be closed. The Delta Township factory makes the Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave.  General Motors has said the plant shutdowns and chip shortage will cost the company between one-and-a-half and two billion dollars this year.

Unemployment fraud is rampant in Michigan. About 100-thousand likely fraudulent claims have been filed with the state's Unemployment Insurance Agency since Friday.
The claims were flagged for identity verification and no payments were issued. The agency says the claims are filed by criminals using previously stolen or fraudulent
personal information. Fraudulent claims continue to plague the state agency as the government has increased Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Airports across Michigan will receive millions of dollars for improvements. Michigan's two U.S. Senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, announced Thursday that
Bishop International Airport in Flint will receive 2.4 million dollars while MBS International Airport, near Saginaw, was awarded 1.5 million from the U.S. Transportation Department. Another 1.7 million dollars will be handed over to the Capital Region International Airport while another five million in federal funds will split up among Ford, Sawyer International, Houghton County Memorial, Delta County and Chippewa County International airports. The money will be used for operations, personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, and combating the spread of pathogens at the airports.

The former CEO of a mid-Michigan charity has been arrested on fraud and embezzlement charges. The U.S. Attorney's office says 56-year old John Lynch allegedly used money from the Holy Cross organization to pay for repairs to his own cars, install a new roof on his Grosse Pointe Park house, pay down his personal mortgage, and make payments on a personal American Express account. The Holy Cross organization, which is based in Clinton, helps and provides services to disadvantaged children, adults and the homeless. A federal complaint charges Lynch with wire fraud, mail fraud, and embezzling and stealing funds from an organization receiving federal funds.

Meijer is revealing new shopping trends since the pandemic started last year. The retailer says families are choosing easier meal choices.  Meijer sold 500-thousand hot, rotisserie chickens over the last month alone.  Home delivery and pickup services have also increased, with people making bulk purchases to cut down on their
shopping trips. Shoppers are also looking to add some comfort to their homes with sales of pillows, weighted blankets and candles all increasing. And for ways to beat boredom, shoppers are scooping up things like board games, bikes, pools, grills and fishing poles.



With a jump in COVID-19 cases in Michigan , a petition is being circulated to stop in-person school in the state until the spread slows down. M-Live reports the petition
already has almost three thousand signatures. It's being signed by teachers, students, and parents and has received support from groups like the Michigan Caucus of Rank and File Educators, Black Lives Matter Michigan and others.


Michigan's health director says the state is focusing on getting more people vaccinated, not imposing new restrictions on the economy, despite a wave of COVID-19 cases. Elizabeth Hertel notes that indoor high school sports, a source of infections, are wrapping up soon, and spring sports are outdoors. All teen athletes must be regularly tested. Michigan lately has been No. 1 in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases. The health department says about 37 percent of residents 16 and older has had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The number of people with COVID-19 admitted to Michigan hospitals has doubled
every 12 to 14 days for three weeks.


Michigan State University is opening a Covid vaccine clinic just for students. Starting tomorrow, students will be able to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The student-only
clinic will open by appointment inside the Pavilion for Agricultural and Livestock Education. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are asked to
bring a valid university ID, state ID, passport or driver's license.

-Latest COVID Stats-

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of Michigan is now 715,478 with total deaths at 16,327. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
reported 8,015 new cases and 30 deaths on Wednesday.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein has been living in Dubai (Doo-BY) for the last two months, with no plans to return home any time soon. The 46-year-old
says he was quarantined in Dubai for two weeks on his way to visit Israel in January when Israel closed its borders. He was told he could stay in Dubai or fly home, so he
chose to stay. Bernstein has been living at a hotel on the famous palm-shaped artificial island, and says his case work has not been impacted as court meetings are being held virtually due to COVID.

A baby is being treated for hypothermia after being left alone in the woods in Orion Township.  It started with a report of a distraught woman ringing doorbells and hiding in the woods . Deputies interviewing the woman eventually discovered that she had a baby.  After an all out search involving more than a dozen officers and a tracking dog, the four month-old boy was found face-down near the Orion Township creek. The baby will is being kept overnight in the hospital but is expected to be fine.
The child is in the care of Child Protective Services. The mother is in the hospital as police seek a warrant for child abuse.

After nearly a year of research and field testing by deputies and pressure from community groups, the Grand Traverse County Commissioners have approved buying body cameras for the sheriff's department. Sheriff Tom Bensley says 52 officers will be equipped with the body cams by this summer.

Turkeys are causing problems in Charlevoix. The DNR says the local turkey population there exploded this year, resulting in residents downtown being harassed. Some are
being chased or even jumped on by the large turkeys, according to Charlevoix Police.  The DNR is asking people to stop feeding the turkeys and to remove their bird feeders
for the time being. Turkey hunting season begins this month in Michigan and runs through May.

Law enforcement agencies across Michigan are increasing distracted driving patrols.  The high-visibility enforcement effort begins today and runs through Monday. Officers
will be looking for drivers who are eating, drinking, using a GPS, talking to passengers and texting or otherwise using a cell phone. State police say the fine for texting while
driving is 100-dollars. If you've already been caught once, that fine doubles to 200-dollars.



The Covid-19 positivity rate in northern Michigan is the highest it's been since the
pandemic began. The latest reports show a positivity rate of 16 percent. Health officials say the new surge is being driven by the younger population, mainly because of their low vaccination rates, school interaction and youth sports.


Traverse City Schools are now reporting more than one thousand students are in quarantine. Grand Traverse County Health Department has advised all middle school
and high school classes to go to virtual learning at least through the rest of this week.


The city of Detroit plans to send workers door to door to encourage residents to get the COVID vaccine. The Detroit City Council has approved a contract with Detroit Employment Solutions to hire over 50 people. The effort comes after the Mayor yesterday warned of skyrocketing COVID rates in the city. The number of people in the
hospital has tripled in two weeks. The city's vaccination rate is just 21-percent, well below the statewide average.


New restrictions go into effect today at Wayne State University amid a surge in Coronavirus cases. All face-to-face instruction is suspended for the next 10 days.  Athletics are also being suspended. Access to student housing and libraries will be restricted, and the Student Center will be closed except for the vaccine clinic. The
school will reassess the situation in a week-and-a-half to determine the next course of action.

-Air Travel Checks-

Airline passengers coming into Cherry Capital Airport will now be offered a chance to be tested for free for COVID-19. Starting today, the testing will be available to any traveler as they pass through the terminal on the day of arrival. It is provided as part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' Travel Points Testing Project, which focuses on testing for incoming travelers at ports of entry across Michigan. To be tested, passengers will have to provide proof of passenger travel on the day of testing
before being administered an antigen test. The free post-trip testing is voluntary and performed on a walk-in basis.

More than $90 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been awarded to Michigan to expand vaccine programs across the state. 75% of the total funding must focus on specific programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities; and 60% must go to support local health departments, community-based organizations, and community health centers. Funds may also be used to support hiring community health workers who perform bilingual health outreach.

Muskegon County, like Kent and Ottawa Counties have already done, may extend its state of emergency. WOOD TV reports that's as county officials say cases of COVID-19 have been going up for a month. It would mean the county could hold virtual meetings for no reason because an amendment to the state's open meetings law has expired. Mercy Health Muskegon has declared an internal disaster, which it says allows it to make changes in staffing and resources. The hospital has 19 COVID-19 cases, but says there have been more motorcycle accidents and other sick people.

Two people died in a house fire in Benton Harbor on Tuesday. The roof reportedly collapsed and once the fire was under control, one victim was found in the front room
and one in the kitchen. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Three Metro Detroit attorneys have been arraigned on multiple charges accused of racketeering, forgery and obstruction of justice-stealing over a million dollars in a 3-year period.  Genesee County Sheriff, Chris Swanson says--70-year-old Marc Fishman, his son, 32-year-old Ryan Fishman and 33-year-old Alexandra Ichi, all of the Fishman Group in Bloomfield Hills claimed in court documents that they had legally served defendants in attempts to collect a debt, when they had not.

The Mackinac Island Police Department would like to remind visitors, residents, employers and employees that Electric Bicycles are prohibited on the island with the
exception of those used as mobility devices for those with mobility disabilities as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Being a top tourist destination in the state from April to November, even in the midst of the COVID pandemic, police are obligated to provide a safe environment for visitors and residents whose primary modes of transportation are walking and biking. The presence of an ever-growing number of EBikes on the island precludes police from providing the safe and enjoyable experience that visitors and residents expect.



Sixteen (16) Michigan businesses have recently been fined for being unsafe when it comes to COVID-19 precautions. The violations include: not wearing masks and not disclosing to the health department or other employees when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Among those cited: Brann's Steakhouse in Onsted, Napa Auto Parts in Grand Rapids, and Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream in Holland.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer is rolling up her sleeve today. The governor is set to get her first COVID vaccination this morning at Ford Field. She'll be joined by a group of
student ambassadors who are encouraging other teenagers to get vaccinated.  The shots were made available to anyone age 16 and older yesterday. Teens age 16 and 17 must receive the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only recommended for those 18 years and older.

-School Outbreaks-

At least 76 COVID-19 outbreaks have been associated with educational institutions in past week. Your local health department and school are investigating the outbreaks
and will contact you directly if were possibly exposed to Coronavirus on the school grounds. Some school districts reporting the largest outbreaks include Bay County with
Bay City Central High School reporting 22 new cases. Sparta High School and Frankfort High School also top the list while many outbreaks are reported in Traverse
City, Midland and the Holland area.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson won't testify before a state Oversight Committee hearing on the 2020 elections. Benson says she's concerned the hearing
could serve as a platform for misinformation on the election. This as Senate republicans are trying to pass a bill they say will improve election security with stricter ID requirements and a shorter deadline for returning absentee ballots in drop boxes.

A West Michigan man allegedly put anti-freeze in the water bottle of a co-worker several times. 48-year-old Johnny Castellanos (Cast-ee-ahn-Ose) has been charged with poisoning someone's food, drink , medicine or water supply. He and the female co-worker worked at Packaging Personified in Sparta. The victim had called police in March, according to court records, to say a co-worker had put an unknown substance in her water bottle. She bought a camera to record her work area when she became suspicious and caught the suspect on camera putting a green liquid in her water bottle.  She is not believed to have been harmed.

Robert Grigsby and Vanessa Phillips are due in court later this week for a probable cause hearing on sex trafficking charges and other charges for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of a home in Wayland and motels in the Grand Rapids area.  Unsealed search warrants show that police believe the ring reportedly produced nearly six thousand prostitution ads. Police say the sex trafficking ring goes back to at least 2016.
(Police Photo: Grigsby & Phillps)

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says an Easter card mailed to an inmate was laced with fentanyl. Authorities made the discovery using a "VeroVision Mail Screener," which can detect more than 150 illegal and controlled substances. The handmade card was found on Saturday. Charges are now being sought against the person who mailed the card.



WORLDOMETER provides the latest chart of state rankings for the virus.

Mid-Michigan Health COVID-19 hotline 800-445-7356.

National Disaster Mental Health Hotline

Health Dept. #2 Vaccination Clinic Sign Up

Alcona County
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Register Here:

Mid Michigan Health has begun contacting eligible patients by phone to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination. With the vaccine in high demand and the supply limited, early clinics filled quickly. Paul Berg, president of the Mid Michigan Physicians Group said with proper plans in place, they were able to begin calling eligible patients in an orderly fashion to schedule their vaccine. Berg said he advises everyone to take the time to learn more about the vaccine and how it will help in the fight against COVID-19. Those interested in the latest information on the vaccine distribution can visit


Monday, April 12, 2021

60th anniversary of Russian Yuri Gagarin becoming first man in space. He blasted off from the Baikonaur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in the Vostok 3KA-3 Space Capsule. His first-ever orbit of the earth came just three weeks before the same feat by U.S. astronaut Alan Shepard, eight years before NASA's Apollo 11 moon landings.

Muslim month of Ramadan begins in the U.S. The date varies by country depending on moon sighting. Muslims typically fast from dawn through dusk throughout the month long festival as part of an effort towards self-purification and moral excellence. Ends with Eid ul-Fitr (Festival of the Breaking of the Fast), when Muslims celebrate over three days with special prayers followed by community celebrations.

Congress returns after Easter recess

NHL trade deadline is today

NHL games
Detroit Red Wings @ Carolina Hurricanes
Chicago Blackhawks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens
Winnipeg Jets @ Ottawa Senators
St. Louis Blues @ Minnesota Wild
Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers
Vegas Golden Knights @ Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks @ San Jose Sharks

NBA games
Los Angeles Lakers @ New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs @ Orlando Magic
Brooklyn Nets @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Philadelphia 76ers @ Dallas Mavericks
Chicago Bulls @ Memphis Grizzlies
Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans
Washington Wizards @ Utah Jazz
Denver Nuggets @ Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets @ Phoenix Suns

MLB games
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
San Diego Padres @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners @ Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers
Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers @ Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels @ Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Oakland Athletics @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Cincinnati Reds @ San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Costume Designers Guild Awards held virtually. It’s the 23rd annual event and it will be livestreamed on the CDG Twitter page, rewarding films and TV series in categories including Contemporary, Period and Fantasy. Hosted by Lana Condor.

Thomas Jefferson Day, marking birthday of the third president (born 1743)

Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion Subcommittee hearing on 'The State of Travel and Tourism During COVID', with testimony from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO and President Steve Hill; MGM Resorts International Regional Portfolio President Jorge Perez; Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association President and CEO Carol Dover; and U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes

NHL games
Buffalo Sabres @ Boston Bruins
Philadelphia Flyers @ Washington Capitals
New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils
Calgary Flames @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Nashville Predators
Florida Panthers @ Dallas Stars

NBA games
Los Angeles Clippers @ Indiana Pacers
Atlanta Hawks @ Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Lakers @ Charlotte Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Utah Jazz
Miami Heat @ Phoenix Suns
Boston Celtics @ Portland Trail Blazers

MLB games
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics @ Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners @ Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers
Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals
Detroit Tigers @ Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels @ Kansas City Royals
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds @ San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Joint Economic Committee hearing on 'Vaccinations and the Economic Recovery' (virtual) held via WebEx, with testimony from Nobel Prize-winning economist and NYU Professor Dr Paul Romer; Columbia University Barnard College Assistant Professor of Economics Dr Belinda Archibong; NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases Dr Celine Gounder; and George Mason University Professor of Economics Dr Alexander Tabarrok

Pan American Day, celebrated annually as 'commemorative symbol of the American nations and the voluntary union of all in one continental community' marking anniversary of the day in 1890 when this union was established

National Association of Black Social Workers Annual Conference

2020/21 UEFA Champions League soccer quarter final second leg fixtures: Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City, Liverpool vs. Real Madrid * Semifinals begin 27 Apr * Matches played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

NHL games
Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens
Winnipeg Jets @ Ottawa Senators
Colorado Avalanche @ St. Louis Blues
Arizona Coyotes @ Minnesota Wild
Vegas Golden Knights @ Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers
Anaheim Ducks @ San Jose Sharks

NBA games
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Charlotte Hornets
Brooklyn Nets @ Philadelphia 76ers
San Antonio Spurs @ Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Clippers @ Detroit Pistons
Orlando Magic @ Chicago Bulls
Milwaukee Bucks @ Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks @ New Orleans Pelicans
Indiana Pacers @ Houston Rockets
Golden State Warriors @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat @ Denver Nuggets
Washington Wizards @ Sacramento Kings

MLB games
New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals @ St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels @ Kansas City Royals
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
Cincinnati Reds @ San Francisco Giants
San Diego Padres @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners @ Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers @ Houston Astros
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Thursday, April 15, 2021

World Art Day

celebrated globally on the anniversary of the birth of Leonardo da Vinci in 1452.

HHS Secretary Becerra testifies to House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on budget. Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on 'FY 2022 Budget Request for the Department of Health and Human Services', with testimony from Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra

Latin American Music Awards, celebrating today's most influential and iconic Latin artists, as voted for by fans. Karol G and J Balvin lead the nominations with nine each, followed by Bad Bunny with eight and Ozuna with seven. All four compete for Artist of the Year with Anuel AA, Christian Nodal, Eslabon Armado, Maluma, and Sech. New categories include Favorite Virtual Concert of the Year. Nominees are based on key fan interactions including streaming, sales, airplay and social activity

Indoor live events resume in California as COVID restrictions are eased. It is part of the state's Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework, including the resumption of indoor live events or performances.

8th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Two pressure cooker bomb set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killed three people and injured at least 264 others. The suspects were identified as Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. During the manhunt for the brothers, in which an MIT police officer was killed, Tamerlan died, while Dzhokhar was captured, and subsequently convicted and sentenced to death

Tobacco companies make annual payment to reimburse health care costs. The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement means that the tobacco companies are protected from most forms of future smoking-related litigation, but in return, they pay $9 billion on 15 Apr of each year into perpetuity

WNBA Draft

RBC Heritage PGA Golf: 53rd annual RBC Heritage golf tournament. The field includes Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Lee Westwood, Shane Lowry, Dustin Johnson, Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Sergio Garcia and Tyrrell Hatton * Attendance limited due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Last year's competition was canceled

NHL games
New Jersey Devils @ New York Rangers
Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals
Nashville Predators @ Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers @ Tampa Bay Lightning
 Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Winnipeg Jets @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Dallas Stars
New York Islanders @ Boston Bruins

NBA games
Milwaukee Bucks @ Atlanta Hawks
Golden State Warriors @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics @ Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns

MLB games
Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners @ Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday, April 16, 2021

President Biden meets Japanese PM at the White House. President Joe Biden meets Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House - the first foreign leader visit of the Biden administration * During his visit, PM Suga also meets Members of Congress

50th anniversary of Selena's birth. 50th anniversary of the birth of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, American singer and actress known by her stage name Selena, who was the bestselling Latin artist of the 1990s and often referred to as the Queen of Tejano * Selena was shot and killed 31 Mar 1995 by her friend and former business partner Yolanda Saldivar following a confrontation over accusations that Saldivar had been embezzling funds from the singer's fan club and boutiques

Paul McCartney releases remix edition of latest album. Paul McCartney releases 'McCartney III Imagined', a personally-curated version of December's 'McCartney III' album featuring contributions from the likes of Josh Homme, Beck, Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, Damon Albarn, 3D and Idris Elba, covering and/or re-imagining their favorite tracks from the original album

National Healthcare Decisions Day. National Healthcare Decisions Day - collaborative effort of national, state, and community organizations encouraging patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare, including end-of-life-care, and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes

National Math Festival (virtual). Featuring lectures, hands-on activities, art, films, performances, puzzles, games, and children's book readings

Billie Jean King Cup tennis play-offs ties. Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas - formerly the Fed Cup - women's team tennis tournament play-offs: Poland vs. Brazil, Great Britain vs. Mexico, Serbia vs. Canada, Latvia vs. India, Japan vs. Ukraine, Romania vs. Italy, Argentina vs. Kazakhstan, Netherlands vs. China * Japan's 'home' match is played in Ukraine due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions *

NHL games
New York Islanders @ Boston Bruins
Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens
San Jose Sharks @ Minnesota Wild
Los Angeles Kings @ Colorado Avalanche
Vegas Golden Knights @ Anaheim Ducks

NBA games
Indiana Pacers @ Utah Jazz
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Detroit Pistons
Los Angeles Clippers @ Philadelphia 76ers
New Orleans Pelicans @ Washington Wizards
Charlotte Hornets @ Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic @ Toronto Raptors
Memphis Grizzlies @ Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets @ Houston Rockets
Miami Heat @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trail Blazers @ San Antonio Spurs
New York Knicks @ Dallas Mavericks

MLB games
Atlanta Braves @ Chicago Cubs
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Washington Nationals
St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies
Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians @ Cincinnati Reds
Chicago White Sox @ Boston Red Sox
San Francisco Giants @ Miami Marlins
Baltimore Orioles @ Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Milwaukee Brewers
New York Mets @ Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Twins @ Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners

Soccer FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s world rankings released.


-end ABC News futures-

Every year, tons of trash is illegally dumped in Michigan's forests. Want to help clean it up? Join the
Adopt-a-Forest program and help to keep our woods, water and trails beautiful.

Michigan invasive carp challenge announcement



-news end-

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