WHITE CLOUD, MI - The White Cloud Rotary Club recently inducted Amy Stockwell as its newest member in the Club. Amy is the recently appointed Director of the White Cloud Library replacing Nancy Harper, who is retiring soon. District Governor Jon Catlin performed the induction while visiting the Club recently. Jon joined the White Cloud Rotarians in welcoming Amy into the Club and all look forward to her contributions as a Rotarian.
White Cloud Rotary is a volunteer organization based on the principle of ‘Service Above Self’ and the advancement of high ethical standards, goodwill and civic responsibility. The Club meets every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. at City of White Cloud Offices.
VanSingel, Bumstead condemn actions, praise law enforcement
A plot to kidnap the Governor went awry as 13 suspects were arrested after an undercover FBI initiative foiled their plot.
The alleged scheme included plans to overthrow several state governments.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced that six people were charged federally with conspiracy to kidnap, and seven other people, associated with the militia group "Wolverine Watchmen," were charged by the state.
"The individuals in (state) custody are suspected to have attempted to identify the home addresses of law enforcement officers in order to target them, made threats of violence intended to instigate a civil war, and engaged in planning and training for an operation to attack the capitol building of Michigan and to kidnap government officials, including the governor of Michigan," Nessel said at a press conference.
“I'm horrified to learn of the plot to harm the governor,” said State Representative Scott VanSingel. “ Violence has no place in our nation's political process and I hope these individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I'm proud of the law enforcement officers who uncovered this plot before it could be carried out.”
State Senator Jon Bumstead also condemned the action
“Threatening the governor’s life or plotting to kidnap her is appalling. Any policy or political differences that people may have with the governor, or any elected official, should be settled at the ballot box.
“Today’s news announcement confirms the importance of and need for our brave women and men in law enforcement. Their ability to protect not only our governor, but everyone in Michigan, is vital to ensuring we have safe communities throughout our state.
“I am grateful the governor and her family were able to stay safe through this shameful act, and I am thankful for the tireless work of our law enforcement who dedicate their lives to protect us all.”
At her press conference the Governor called out President Trump stating, “This should be a moment for national unity. Where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head-on – with the same might and muscle that put a man on the moon. Seeing the humanity in one another and doing our part to help our country get through this.
“Instead – our head of state has spent the past seven months denying science. Ignoring his own health experts. Stoking distrust and fomenting anger. And giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division.”
Whitmer also cited a speech by Ronald Reagan delivered in 1981:
“A few isolated groups in the backwater of American life still hold perverted notions of what America is all about. Recently in some places in the nation there's been a disturbing reoccurrence of bigotry and violence.I would like to address a few remarks to those groups who still adhere to senseless racism and religious prejudice, to those individuals who persist in such hateful behavior.
“You are the ones who are out of step with our society. You are the ones who willfully violate the meaning of the dream that is America. And this country, because of what it stands for, will not stand for your conduct."
Here's the Skinny on the COVID Emergency Order issued Monday
From our friends at MDHHS:
On October 5, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an Emergency Order under the Public Health Code restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces, and places limitations on bars and other venues.
The order covers the following categories:
In the Emergency Order, there are exceptions for Region 6 – Region 6 includes Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, and Emmet counties. Below is a breakdown of those exceptions.
All other categories spelled out in the Emergency Order are the same for all regions across the state.
The new Emergency Order is issued under MCL 333.2253 of the Public Health Code, which gives the director of MDHHS this authority. It states: “If the director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws. Emergency procedures shall not be limited to this code.” This authority is not tied to the Executive Orders that were overruled by the Supreme Court. We expect additional guidance in the future.
In addition to the guidance above, we remind the community of the following:
District Health Department #10 wants to be sure that the public understands that basic public health work will continue unchanged. All basic public health operations including contact tracing, quarantines, and food and water sanitation are still required by law and must go on.
Please note that the new guidance issued is referred to as an “Emergency Order” and should not be confused with the "Executive Orders" vacated in a recent Supreme Court ruling. Persons with suggestions and concerns about this order are invited to submit comments via email to COVID19@michigan.gov.
This Ford Ranger is not an amphicar and likely wasn’t anticipating an October swim but when its driver lost control of her car the vehicle jumped a seawall and ended up in the waters of Hess Lake.
The driver and her passenger were unhurt, but the pickup is going to require some major drying out
And then...the rescue
Emergency order gives schools 24 Hours to inform their community of probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases
From our friends at MDHHS:
LANSING, MICH. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order requiring K-12 schools to provide public notice to the school community about probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours.
The order requires local health departments to notify schools within 24 hours of learning of a probable or confirmed school-associated case of COVID-19. Upon notification, schools must provide public notification on a highly visible location on the school’s website that covers the impacted building or location within 24 hours. Schools are encouraged to provide information about measures in place at the school to prevent transmission of COVID-19, as well as measures that individuals can take to prevent transmission.
“Recent outbreaks throughout the country demonstrate that COVID-19 can spread quickly in the school setting,” said Gordon. “Timely communication from schools to parents, guardians, students, teachers, staff and other persons affiliated with schools enables members of the school community to take measures to prevent spread of the virus.”
In addition to the public notice, local health departments will continue to provide direct notification to individuals who are, or are suspected, of being a close contact of school-associated case.
This order goes into effect on Monday, Oct. 12. Information about school outbreaks is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. Additional Epidemic Orders are available online.
Health Department Reissues Orders On Masks, Gatherings, Bars, Etc.
The response to the decision by the Michigan Supreme Court invalidating the executive orders surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic came quickly as Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order that reestablishes those put into place by the Governor.
“Michigan was hit hard by COVID-19 early in the pandemic,” said Gordon. “Strict preventive measures and the cooperation of Michiganders drove those numbers down dramatically, greatly reducing the loss of life. As we head into flu season, this order is necessary to protect vulnerable individuals, ensure the health care system can provide care for all health issues, keep schools open, and maintain economic recovery.”
This order is effective immediately and remains in effect through Friday, Oct. 30. Individuals with suggestions and concerns are invited to submit comments via email to COVID19@michigan.gov.
Today’s orders largely reinstate, under the department’s authority, three major aspects of prior emergency orders:
From FPS Superintendent Ken Haggart:
Dear Fremont families:
You may have heard news reports about the latest decision of the Michigan Supreme Court stating, for a number of legal reasons, that the issuance by the Governor of executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer valid moving forward.
What does this mean for FPS?
First, the staff spent a lot of time putting together a “Preparedness and Response” plan for the 20-21 school year. The plan is a culmination of many different entities including the Governor’s leadership team, the many people including health experts and educators who put the Michigan Safe Start Plan together, and most importantly the state legislature which approved the process.
The FPS plan was finalized and approved by the Board of Education on August 15. We have been guided by this document for the first month of school.
After careful consideration, and unless or until we receive additional or other guidance from lawful authority, we will be maintaining our way through the 20-21 school year as is articulated in our “Return to School” plan adopted under the guidelines of the Safe Schools Roadmap and approved by the Board.
For the time being, we will continue to follow those plans and procedures as incorporated in the plan as it relates to COVID-19. This means we will continue all our current masking procedures that were in place during the first month of school, on buses, in classrooms, in hallways, at lunch, etc. At the K-5 level we will continue wearing masks using the same procedures we have had in place since school started, and not through the full school day.
Our primary concern is watching out for the safety and well-being of our kids, staff, and Fremont school community. As always if you have questions or concerns, please call at 924-2350, email, or stop by. And thanks for choosing Fremont Public Schools.
Allows for up to 59 weeks of unemployment benefits to those impacted by economic uncertainty created by COVID-19
LANSING- The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today announced that the unemployment insurance benefits period has been lengthened under the Federal Extended Benefits (EB) program. The UIA implements the EB program that pays unemployment benefits during periods of high unemployment to workers who exhausted their basic entitlement to regular state and federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. EB is a program that provides an extension of benefits to those who can establish/have established a state unemployment claim.
EB provides up to 20 weeks of additional benefits to workers who have exhausted their regular benefits (26 weeks maximum) and PEUC (13 weeks). Primarily federally funded, the EB program kicks in when the state’s unemployment rate averages 8% or higher for three consecutive months.
"The Extended Benefit program will provide a much-needed safety net for Michiganders who have exhausted their current benefits and are still dealing with the long-term effects of unemployment due to COVID-19," said UIA Director Steve Gray.
Eligibility for EB will be determined in the same manner as regular unemployment benefits. Claimants must be unemployed or underemployed and be able to work and available for work. The program’s weekly benefit amount is the same as the individual received for regular state unemployment insurance. Claimants can expect to be notified through their chosen communication method of the extension. They must continue to file their bi-weekly certification and will not need to complete a separate application.
September 29, 2020 – District Health Department #10 received notification that a Newaygo County resident died due to COVID-19 on September 24. The individual was a male in his 70's who died at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids.
“We are saddened to learn of this death and wish to convey our deepest sympathies to the family who lost their loved one,” said Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “We continue to urge the public to be vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a proper face covering, social distancing, avoiding touching your face, and washing your hands often.”
Please rely on official sources for information. DHD#10 continues to provide the latest information http://www.dhd10.org/coronavirus. Michigan updates are available at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, and national updates are at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
Clerk’s office to reissue ballots to voters
From Newaygo County Clerk Jason VanderStelt:
On Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 2:30 PM, it was brought to my attention that the 78th District Judge race was not included on the Newaygo County ballots. Judge H. Kevin Drake filed with the State Bureau of Elections to run for the 78th District Court Judge on January 31st, 2020. Due to unknown reasons, he was not listed on the preliminary candidate listing from the State.
As of September 26, 2020, approximately 6145 Absent Voter Ballots were sent to Newaygo County voters that had previously submitted applications for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Out of these ballots, only 41 have been returned to the local clerks.
The Newaygo County Clerk's Office has been in contact with the ballot printers and the correction has been made. New ballots are being printed at the time of this statement and shall arrive on Thursday, October 1, 2020 to the local clerks.
Upon arrival of these new ballots, our clerks will be diligently working to reissue new Absent Voter ballots to all voters who have already been sent a ballot. These new ballots will be accompanied by a letter explaining the error and the voter's options.
These options include:
If the voter has not already returned the original ballot, they are requested to vote and return only the replacement ballot and destroy the original ballot.
If the voter has already returned the original ballot, they have two options:
Vote and return the replacement ballot even if they have already voted and returned their original ballot. The original ballot will not be counted.
If they do not vote and return the replacement ballot, their original ballot will be counted, but they will have no vote recorded for the 78th District Court race.
Every voter will have their vote counted. Newaygo County has procedures in place that will ensure only one ballot for each voter will be counted per State Election Laws, Policies and Procedures.
In a communication released to the community of Grant, GPS announced their plan for moving forward after 4 staff and 7 students tested positive for Covid-19 at the middle and high schools.
From the district's Facebook page on Sunday, September 27, 2020:
"GPS Interim Plan Communication
To the Families, Students, and Staff of Grant Public Schools
Attached is the plan for the next couple of weeks. There was a significant amount of communication, thinking, and discussions the past few days. It is obvious that people really care about our students and staff."
The plan states that nearly 100 middle and high school students have to quarantine for 14 days, therefore making the decision necessary to move to virtual for those two buildings while the elementary and primary will continue face to face instruction due to no Covid cases there at this time.
Remaining details can be found in the letter from Superintendent Zuver below.
In a social media post put out by Grant Public Schools Superintendent Brett Zuver, it was announced that students would be sent home at 12:30 on Thursday, September 24 in order to assess the ongoing Covid situation within the district.
According to Zuver, the Health Department will be administering guidance on how the district will be moving forward after two additional employees tested positive for Covid.
This after a video that was released Wednesday of Zuver saying a "couple" of positive cases in both the Middle and High School buildings. The district transportation had been shut down because of the evolving situation.
Schools are being closed Thursday afternoon and Friday all day. The district hopes to have further guidance about next week's plan before the weekend.
Local partnership getting ready for reopening
By Lola Harmon-Ramsey
As they say in Hollywood, “the show must go on,” and in Fremont, Michigan a last minute partnership will help Fremont Cinemas continue to light up the two screen facility for your local viewing pleasure.
The new partnership between Ken Terveer and Tanya Mendoza is another example of Newaygo County connections and the past coming back into focus. Tanya owns the former drive in movie property located close to White Cloud, Michigan. She saw the recent postings from the former cinema owners indicating their upcoming closure and selling of equipment. Tanya was interested in purchasing the film projectors and after some discussion with the former owners realized that perhaps, she may be interested in purchasing everything. Tanya was the assistant manager of Fremont Cinemas in 1991 and had experience with the facility. Tanya’s name remains visible on the timecard holder that still hangs in the back room today.
With a very tight timeline for acquiring financial support to make this purchase possible, Tanya reached out to Ken Terveer, a local entrepreneur who owns Season’s Pizza and works in sales at Freedom Chevrolet in Fremont. An out of state buyer had been identified for the contents of the theatre, but a final deal had not been executed at that time.
Both Tanya and Ken wanted to keep a small-scale family theatre in the area for everyone to enjoy. “Muskegon or Grand Rapids is the closest theatre if this wasn’t here. We don’t want people out on the roads late at night or having to leave town to have a fun night out with their kids,” said Ken. “We also don’t need another vacant building in the area. We wanted to save the business.”
“This is a good place for families to go,” stated Mendoza. Tanya has three children, a daughter and two sons with Autism. “We want to keep up with the sensory showings and be a place that welcomes people with special needs. You don’t see that a lot these days,” said Tanya.
Both Tanya and Ken showed a commitment to try and employ individuals with special needs and have already brought on one of Tanya’s sons, Caleb Tyink. Caleb is interested in running the projector and learning everything about the theatre. Caleb stated, “I am going to be running this place soon.”
Another past employee, Melissa Millis, has joined the team and will be consulting with Ken and Tanya to get the theatre ready for action. Melissa worked with Tanya at the theatre in the early nineties and remembers watching the films on Friday before the first official showing and meeting people at the theatre that would impact her future. “If not for this theater, I wouldn’t have my daughter today,” said Millis.
The current State of Michigan Executive Order due to Covid-19 does not allow for movie theatres to be open to the public. The new team is using this time to complete renovations, acquire different equipment, replace some seating, clean, and make the necessary improvements for their inevitable re-opening.
“Our landlord has been very gracious with us and accommodating to ensure we can stay here and be ready to be open when the restrictions are lifted," said Terveer. "We don’t know when that will be, if it is next week we won’t be ready to open yet but, we are working hard on getting this place ready soon,”
After nearly a decade of service to Newaygo County, Carla Roberts, president and CEO of Fremont Area Community Foundation, has announced her intention to retire from her position by the end of 2021. Roberts will continue in her leadership role at the Community Foundation until a successor is announced and brought on staff.
Roberts provided notice to the trustees in 2019 of her plans for retirement and a small planning committee was formed to consider the necessary steps to move forward. Following the public announcement, a search committee to find Roberts’ successor will be led by board chair Joe Roberson and vice-chair Lori Tubbergen Clark. “The search committee will be representative of the entire region served by the Community Foundation,” said Roberson. “In the interest of transparency and public engagement, we determined it was best to make an announcement sooner rather than later.”
According to Tubbergen Clark, “A process for filling a position of this nature is expected to take 12-16 months. We are pleased that Carla is willing to continue in her role as president and CEO until we have completed the search.”
Next March, Roberts will celebrate 10 years as president and CEO. During her tenure,
the Community Foundation moved to a more strategic form of grantmaking in order to fulfill the organization’s mission—to improve the quality of life in Newaygo County—in deep and lasting ways. An inclusive process that involved trustees, staff, and community residents further defined “quality of life” as a vibrant economy, an effective public sector, and well-being across socioeconomic levels. Roberts was instrumental in the organizational process to identify the Community Foundation’s three decade goals: community and economic development, education, and moving residents from poverty to prosperity.
“It has been a privilege to serve the people of this community,” said Roberts. In
reflecting on the upcoming transition period, she expressed confidence in the staff and board to continue as good stewards of the Community Foundation resources. “The team that is in place is a group of solid professionals who know how to deliver on our mission in partnership with donors and the local nonprofit sector.”
“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Carla for her years of service and significant
impact on Newaygo County,” said Roberson. “We are exceedingly grateful for her
leadership and look forward to finding another exceptional individual to guide our
Community Foundation into the future.”
Gerber Products will invest $36 million and add up to 50 new jobs
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH - Today, The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Newaygo County and the City of Fremont, announced that Gerber Products will be investing $36 million and creating approximately 50 additional jobs.
The world's largest producer of baby-food products, Gerber Products, Inc., was founded in 1927 in Fremont by Daniel Frank Gerber, owner of the Fremont Canning Company, which produced canned fruit and vegetables. Today, Gerber produces nearly 190 food products labeled in 16 languages and distributed to 80 countries around the globe.
Gerber’s investment will support new product lines and programs, and further reinforces its commitment to Fremont. The Right Place worked closely with Gerber and the MEDC to solidify the investment in West Michigan. The Right Place also connected the company to workforce development resources at Michigan Works! West Central to assist with workforce recruitment and training, as well as Consumers Energy, which helped to reduce costs and promote clean energy business practices.
The Michigan Strategic Fund has authorized a 10-year Renaissance Zone in support of the project and both Newaygo County and the City of Fremont have passed resolutions of support for the Renaissance Zone.
“Gerber’s Fremont facility has been a critical component of our regional economy for decades,” said Birgit Klohs, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “Beyond providing hundreds of quality advanced manufacturing jobs with competitive wages, Gerber also supports the regional agribusiness industry and has strong relationships with local growers and suppliers. This investment will strengthen Gerber’s presence in the region and position the agribusiness industry for continued growth.”
“Gerber is an important employer in West Michigan, and the company’s decision to expand in Fremont means good jobs for area residents and underscores the strength of the state’s manufacturing talent,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “We’re pleased to work with our local partners and support this investment, and we look forward to working with this longstanding Michigan company as it continues to grow and add jobs for Michiganders.”
“Consumers Energy is excited to help Gerber Products make investments to create jobs here in West Michigan,” said Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience. “We have made a Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan’s prosperity, which our collaboration with Gerber Products illustrates perfectly in Fremont. When Michigan wins, we all win.”
“We are pleased Gerber has chosen to continue investing in Newaygo County,” said Christopher Wren, Newaygo County Administrator. “They provide quality jobs for local residents and we look forward to seeing their continued growth in our community.”
“As stated in our original Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zone (APRZ) agreement in 2008, the City of Fremont is fortunate to acknowledge Gerber Products beginnings here in Fremont and their continued commitment to our community,” said Mayor Rynberg, City of Fremont. “Our City Council unanimously endorses the application for this new Michigan Strategic Fund Renaissance Zone (MSFRZ) and enthusiastically supports these continuing policies promoting sustainability and partnership.”
What’s Going On: NHS Closing Monday, Book Event Tuesday, Market Kudos, Show Us Your Pictures and Picture Show Stays
From Newaygo Superintendent Dr. Peg Mathis:
“This is to let you know that Newaygo High School will be closed on Monday, Sept. 21 due to more than 1 positive COVID case. The individuals affected do not ride our buses and do not have family members at our other buildings, therefore, the Elementary and Middle School will stay open.
“This is out of an abundance of caution and will give us time to complete contract tracing and make a decision about the rest of this week.
“Thank you for your patience.”
Jennifer Graeser Dornbush who made an appearance at the FADL earlier this year will be in town again on Tuesday for an outdoor book launch party starting at 7pm . Attendants should bring their own chairs and must call 231-928-0256 to register for the event. The event will also be livestreamed on the Fremont Area District Library Facebook page.
“Hole in the Woods” is based on the true-life murder case in 1989 of Shannon Siders from Newaygo County, Michigan. Ms J G D will be signing books and sharing a few words including a bit of a reading from her book we have heard..
The Newaygo Farmer’s Market ended it’s summer-long run last Friday and we are sending kudos to Ramona Deters Renee Finkbeiner and Danya VanderLugt the market triumvirate who breathed life back into the weekly community gathering that had fallen by the wayside last year.
The vendors we most enjoyed were Happy Hog Farm, Kaufman’s Produce and Little Mitten Soaps.
You can visit Little Mitten’s website https://www.littlemittensoaps.com/ to check out their distinctive creations .
Happy Hog Farm has a facebook page where you can peruse their porcine products.
Kaufman’s Produce? No website nor facebook page but their stand at 7547 Croswell is a cornucopia of great looking veggies and the farm has become a regular stop for N3WH.
One of the possible side effects of the pandemic has been a resurgence of hiking in and around our area. We have noted the facebook and Instagram posts folks are tossing out depicting their hiking adventures.
Well hikers, have we got a contest for you.
NCCA Artsplace is having their annual Fall Photo contest, a free competition that challenges entrants to capture a slice of fall and submit it for judging. Details at https://www.nearnorthnow.com/features-and-fun/ncca-artsplace-fall-photography-contest9712939
And Fremont Cinemas has been rescued by a new owner and will reopen at a date to be announced soon.
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan taxpayers with past-due tax debts should be aware of an aggressive scam that’s making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill, asking individuals to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve an outstanding state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s assets ― including property and Social Security benefits ― if the debt is not settled.
“This is a tricky scam that has been reported throughout the state,” said Deputy State Treasurer Ann Good, who oversees Treasury’s Financial and Administrative Services programs. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”
The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts that’s pulled directly from publicly available information. The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could make a payment to a criminal.
The state Treasury Department corresponds with taxpayers through official letters sent through the U.S. Postal Service, providing several options to resolve an outstanding debt and information outlining taxpayer rights.
Taxpayers who receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about their state debts should call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.
To learn more about Michigan’s taxes and the collections process, go to www.michigan.gov/taxes or follow the state Treasury Department on Twitter at @MITreasury.
Rescheduled Halloween date cancelled
Originally scheduled for late May, the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day was postponed due to the COVID-19 situation and rescheduled for October 31st.
The Newaygo County Board of Public Works announced they have decided to cancel the collection day for this year citing the inability to effectively comply with required social distancing, the amount of PPE resources that would be necessary and the logistical problem in maintaining a safe exchange of materials.
The BPW is looking at a date in Mid May next year for a tentative rescheduling of the popular Newaygo County event. The date will be announced as arrangements are solidified
Aerial treatment planned to combat deadly mosquito-borne disease
in 10 counties
From our friends at MDHHS:
LANSING, Mich. – In an effort to prevent spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced plans to conduct aerial mosquito control treatment in certain high-risk areas of Michigan.
In order to prevent the loss of life and protect public health, MDHHS has determined a targeted aerial treatment plan is necessary. When there are high rates of animal infections, humans are just as at risk.
Treatment areas are selected based on occurrence of cases. Treatment is scheduled for the 10 impacted counties: Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland. Additional areas may be selected for treatment if new human or animal cases occur outside of the currently identified zones.
“We are taking this step in an effort to protect the health and safety of Michiganders in areas of the state where we know mosquitoes are carrying this potentially deadly disease,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “As people are spending more time outdoors because of COVID-19, they also need to be protecting themselves from mosquito bites.”
Treatment is scheduled to occur starting the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 16. However, treatment can only take place under certain weather conditions, so the schedule may need to change. Residents are encouraged to visit Michigan.gov/EEE for up-to-date information.
The Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development (MDARD) has issued an emergency rule temporarily amending the rule on notification and participation for community pesticide applications for aerial spraying treatment across affected counties. This means mosquito control treatment will be required for those areas that are identified by the aerial treatment plan with exception of federal properties and tribal lands.
“As recent history has shown us, EEE can strike fast and it can be deadly to humans and animals,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “MDARD fully supports the work and commitment of MDHHS to protect public health, which is why we have removed an obstacle that might have prevented them from taking action quickly.”
Aerial treatment is conducted by specialized aircraft, beginning in the early evening and continuing up until the following dawn. State-certified mosquito control professionals will apply an approved pesticide as an ultra-low volume (ULV) spray. ULV sprayers dispense very fine aerosol droplets that stay suspended in the air and kill adult mosquitoes on contact. This is a method many other states have also used to combat EEE. Aerial treatment is provided by Clarke from St. Charles, Ill., which provides mosquito control to protect public health. Clarke pioneers, develops and delivers environmentally responsible products and services to help prevent vector-borne disease, control nuisance and create healthy water bodies.
Treatment will be conducted using Merus 3.0, the same product used in 2019. Merus 3.0 is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and MDARD, and is labeled for public health use over residential areas. It contains 5 percent pyrethrins, a botanical insecticide extracted from chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethrins are commonly used to control mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, ants and many other pests, and are approved for use in organic agriculture as well.
In general, health risks are not expected during or after spraying. No special precautions are recommended; however, residents and individuals who have known sensitivities to pyrethrins can reduce potential for exposure by staying indoors during treatment. Aerial treatment is not expected to have any impacts on surface water or drinking water. Monitoring in 2019 when more than 557,000 Michigan acres were treated found no increased human, animal or insect adverse effects associated with aerial treatment.
Aerial treatment will be conducted in the nighttime hours as this is when mosquitoes are more active. It is also when fish are less likely to be at the surface feeding and honeybees are most likely to be in their hives. However, owners should cover small ornamental fishponds during the night of spraying. While it is not necessary to bring animals indoors during treatment, concerned pet owners can choose to bring animals inside during this time.
To reduce the potential for people to be bitten by mosquitoes, MDHHS is continuing to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly activities involving children. This would include events such as late evening sports practices or games or outdoor music practices. The recommendation is being made out of an abundance of caution to protect the public health and applies until the first hard frost of the year.
Although the aerial treatment is considered necessary to reduce human risk, it will not eliminate it. Residents must continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:
Additional information about aerial treatment and other health-related information is available in a Frequently Asked Questions document at Michigan.gov/EEE. You can also call the MDHHS hotline, which will now take calls for general questions about both COVID and EEE, at 1-888-535-6136. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
From our friends at the NC Sheriff’s Department:
On September 12, 2020 at approximately 0830 hours the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office responded to the address of 1471 W 136th St in Ashland Township for a possible felonious assault in progress. Upon arrival the male suspect discharged the firearm and barricaded himself in a bedroom with a handgun. All the other occupants were escorted out of the residence and the
The Newaygo County Emergency Response Team was called to the scene. When ERT made entry into the room they found the male suspect deceased.
The name of the suspect is being withheld until notification can be made to next of kin.
The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Michigan State Police Hart Post, DNR, and LIFE EMS.
Additional $300 will be retroactive to beginning of August
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to ten days.
LWA is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide $300 per week to supplement unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To be eligible for LWA, a claimant’s weekly benefit amount must be at least $100 (before deductions).
“Initially, eligible claimants will receive LWA for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2020,” said UIA Director Steve Gray, “An estimated 910,000 claimants will receive these much-needed additional benefits.”
Workers do not have to file a separate claim or application for LWA. To qualify, claimants must self-certify whether they are unemployed due to COVID-19. For claimants who have already provided a self-certification on their claim filing application, no further action is needed to qualify. Also, all unemployed workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step.
Claimants who need to self-certify will receive notification to answer a question in their MiWAM account starting this week. If a claimant has chosen to receive US mail, notification will be mailed.
FEMA has recently alerted states that LWA funds will only be available for a total of six weeks. States were initially granted three weeks of LWA benefits and must apply for additional weeks. UIA has applied for all available weeks of benefits which will be payable until the week ending September 5.
Drop ‘em off this Saturday
The Board of Public Works will be holding a tire collection day this Saturday from 8am-noon at the Newaygo County Road Commission 935 One Mile Rd in White Cloud.
“We’re taking up to ten tires per household,” said NC Drain Commissioner Dale Twing. “Just car tires though, no tractor or semi tires.”
There is no charge but donations toward the recycling program will be accepted enthusiastically.
For more information call the Drain Commission offices at 231.689.7213.
From our friends at MDOT:
M-82 will be closed over Penoyer Creek (just west of M-37) for bridge work 7 a.m. this Monday September 14th through October 31. Traffic will be detoured onto Evergreen Drive to M-37. The pedestrian walkway will remain open.