Another round of smoke from West Coast wildfires heading toward Michigan this week

Smoke from the wildfires on the West Coast reached Michigan last week, and causing hazy sunrises and sunsets. Seen here is a photo of the sunrise captured Sept. 15 in Huron Township. More of the same is expected this week. 
(Photo by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Sept. 21, 2020

Last week, social media was ripe with photos of the sunrises and sunsets over Michigan that looked especially interesting due to drifting wildfire smoke from the West Coast.

The sunrises and sunsets in Michigan were hazy. Check it out:

 

Forecasters are saying that we can expect more of the same this week.

According to MLive.com forecaster Mark Torregrossa, another smoky sky period is on the way for the skies over Michigan.

“The upper-level winds are swinging to blowing out of the west and southwest. That wind direction is moving an area of wildfire smoke that almost covers the entire western half of the U.S.,” the forecaster said. “The leading edge of the smoke is now moving into Michigan.”

Torregrossa said the weather forecast for this week is for quite a bit of sunshine and fairly light winds, meaning the large area of smoke won’t be pushed out of the sky quickly.

Smoke is expected to stick around through the remainder of the week.

In California, officials said wildfires are likely to grow from wind and low humidity.

The destruction wrought by a wind-driven wildfire in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles approached 156 square miles (404 square kilometers) Sunday, burning structures, homes and a nature center in a famed Southern California wildlife sanctuary in foothill desert communities, according to the Associated Press.

Help people affected by the western wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED CROSS or texting the words WILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

Want to help people specifically affected by the California, Oregon or Washington wildfires? Write “California Wildfires,” “Oregon Wildfires” or “Washington Wildfires” in the memo line of a check and mail it to your local Red Cross chapter with the completed donation form. For California Wildfires you can also text the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


 

Meet the candidates: State Rep. Darrin Camilleri running for reelection in House District 23

Photo submitted by Darrin Camilleri


Meet the candidates column  
The Huron Hub 
Posted Sept. 21, 2020

Editor’s note: As the 2020 election draws near, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Recently, every person running on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard. All letters in this column are submitted by the candidates themselves and are not edited by Huron Hub staff.

Readers can access all candidate letters on a special section of HuronHub.com HERE


The following was submitted by State Rep. Darrin Camilleri:

Dear Neighbor,

Hi, I’m Darrin Camilleri. I’m a lifelong Downriver resident, a former high school social studies teacher, and your State Representative running for re-election.

As an educator and the son and grandson of union autoworkers, I’ve always prioritized working families and our Downriver stories when making decisions in Lansing. That’s why my focus has been on supporting our public schools, protecting and expanding our health care, preserving our environment, holding corporations accountable, and fixing our train issues. I know that Michigan can be a place of promise and possibility for many seeking to build their lives here — and will only improve when we focus on these issues. But we need to do more to ensure that Downriver families can get a fair shot in today’s Michigan.

These past four years, I have listened to your stories and delivered for our community. In Lansing, I’ve stood up to corporations, special interests, and even my own party when I knew that legislation would hurt our community or working people. And I’ve reached across the aisle and across levels of government to get things done — including negotiating a $40 million deal to finally build an underpass on Allen Road in Woodhaven to stop the train from blocking access to the hospital. And now that we have this project as a template, I’m fighting to create a statewide train fund to build more bridges, which would create a pathway to stop the trains in Huron Township and Trenton, too.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Downriver is facing challenges unlike any we’ve ever seen. This crisis has demonstrated how important it is to have good medical care, to create safe workplaces, to invest in students and teachers, to support small businesses, and to have a government that shows up for you when you need it most. I’m running for re-election because we have more work to do to protect our community and deliver for Downriver.

It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your voice in Lansing over these last four years. I hope to earn your support for State Representative again this year. Together, we can build a better Downriver for all of us.

In service,

Rep. Darrin Camilleri
House District 23


 

Frost advisory issued for Wayne County


Posted by The Huron Hub

Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

Issued by National Weather Service
Detroit, MI
11:10 AM EDT Fri, Sep 18, 2020
…FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 9 AM EDT SATURDAY…
* WHAT…Temperatures as low as 34 will result in frost formation
* WHERE…Portions of southeast Michigan.
* WHEN…From midnight tonight to 9 AM EDT Saturday.
* IMPACTS…Frost could kill sensitive outdoor vegetation if left uncovered.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…
Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold.


Meet the candidates: Joshua Monte running for seat on Huron Board of Education

Photo submitted by Joshua Monte


Meet the candidates column 
The Huron Hub
Posted Sept. 15, 2020

Editor’s note: As the 2020 election draws near, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Recently, every person running on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard. All letters in this column are submitted by the candidates themselves and are not edited by Huron Hub staff.

Readers can access all candidate letters on a special section of HuronHub.com HERE


The following letter was submitted by Joshua Monte: 

ABOUT ME:

My name is Joshua Monte, I grew up in Belleville and have been a resident of Huron Township for 18 years. I’ve been married to my wife, Jill, for 20 years and have two daughters, Lila and Lauren, who attend Renton Junior High School. I have been in law enforcement for over 25 years, and currently serve as a Captain with the City of Romulus.
My family chose to move to Huron Township for two reasons; the safety of the community and the quality of education the Huron School District provides.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE:

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and a Master’s Degree in Technology Studies from EMU. I am also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I have experience in strategic planning, developing and maintaining a large budget, grant writing, and policy development. I’ve gained great insight and experience by participating in union contract negotiations as a union president, and recently from the employer side of the bargaining table.

WHY I’M PURSUING A SCHOOL BOARD SEAT:

I believe that children are the foundation of our community and it is the duty of our school system to provide a safe, quality education in order to facilitate their educational and emotional growth.
I was raised with deep roots in public education. My father was a public school teacher and principal for over 40 years, and served an additional few years as principal of St. Stephen Catholic School. My mother retired as a public school elementary school secretary after 30 years.
With my background in education and executive-level law enforcement, I can bring a unique perspective to the school board. Having worked with boards and commissions, I understand the role the school board plays with the school district and community. I will work collaboratively with other board members, parents, school staff, and administrators using a solution-oriented approach. As a new School Board member, I will actively engage in learning new concepts and best practices, while seeking out and engaging in
learning opportunities. Many of the skills I’ve developed in public service are appropriately transferable to the school board position.
Above all, I believe in collaboration, fiscal responsibility and transparency. As a parent of two children in the district, I also understand the importance of effectively communicating decisions based on accurate information. This best practice will alleviate questions, concerns, and fears in both parents and students.

WHY I’M THE RIGHT CANDIDATE:

The global pandemic has been a challenging time for educators, parents, and particularly students. As a Board member I will advocate for the students and the district on a local and state level. I will focus on student achievement and policies that ensure success for all students. I plan to use my professional leadership and collaborative skills to assist school leadership and board members in creating an exceptional educational experience for students, while making sound fiscal decisions. I look forward to serving our community in this capacity.


 

Meet the candidates: John Poe running for state representative for House District 23

Photo submitted by John Poe

Meet the candidates column 
The Huron Hub
Posted Sept. 14, 2020

Editor’s note: As the 2020 election draws near, the residents in Huron Township would like to hear more about each candidate that is running for office or reelection.

Recently, every person running on the Huron Township ballot was invited to use The Huron Hub as a platform to get their voice heard. All letters in this column are submitted by the candidates themselves and are not edited by Huron Hub staff.

Readers can access all candidate letters on a special section of HuronHub.com HERE


The following was submitted by John Poe:

A little bit about me. I am a husband, father, first responder, hunter, firearms instructor, animal conservationist, Christian, Constitutionalist, business owner Public School educated union man. 

John was born in 1968 in Middletown Ohio. He graduated High School in Monroe Ohio and currently lives in the wonderful community of New Boston with his wife of 30 years and his twin children who are 22 years old. 

The first stop in John’s career was that of an Auxiliary Police Officer after which he worked as a Park Police Officer. In 1993 John was hired in full time with the River Rouge Police Department. Throughout his career John has reached many milestones. Holding nearly every rank John rose from Patrolman to Corporal to Sergeant to Detective Sergeant to Lieutenant which is the rank he held when he finally retired. John was the originating officer in one of the first convictions of the Internet Predators Act. He has dedicated his adult life to public service and a run for State Representative is another example. 

Another passion of John’s is his love of reptiles. John lays claim to the fact that he is the founder of the Southeast Michigan reptile rescue. As an Internationally recognized expert on the handling of reptiles John has made several appearances on Animal Planet. This unique ability has prompted John to hold training classes for Local, State and Federal animal control officers. Some people purchase “dangerous” reptiles and release them once they become too much to handle. Currently Michigan has no laws preventing this. 

In one form or another John has volunteered his time to his community for the better part of four decades. John has served on the Library Commission for 10 years, Goodfellows and Autism Awareness Associations. He was a founding member of the River Rouge Civic League as well as a founding member of a Downriver No Child Without a Christmas Chapter. John continues to work for breast cancer awareness and will soon launch a cooperative to help fight child trafficking. 

 John’s life experiences have led him to the decision to run to represent the 23rd District in the Michigan House of Representatives. His core values and willingness to serve make him an attractive candidate for this position. For more information on John or his campaign please visit http://www.poefor23.com or look him up on Facebook @johnpoeformi. 


 

Michigan unemployed workers provided additional $300 per week


Posted by The Huron Hub
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

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.


Whitmer signs bill adding $2.8 billion in supplemental funding to unemployment insurance


Posted by The Huron Hub

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020


Governor Whitmer today signed Senate Bill 745, which appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from federal revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover a temporary $300 per week enhanced federal payment for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.

As part of the FEMA program, the additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits will continue until the federal emergency disaster relief funding made available for this program has been exhausted. At this time, it is unknown how many weeks may be covered by existing funds.

“This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still a short term band aid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need the president, Mitch McConnell, and Congress to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers, and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf.”

At this time, eligible claimants do not have to take any action to receive the additional benefit amount provided by the program.

SB 745 also includes $8 million in funding to facilitate the further development of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Illinois, which will provide a critical barrier to prevent invasive carp from entering Lake Michigan. In addition, the bill provides match funding for disaster flood cleanup in Midland and Gladwin counties, as well as funding to cover costs for flood response and mitigation efforts in the City of Detroit.


Whitmer reopens gyms and pools; permits organized sports with ‘strict safety measures’


Posted by The Huron Hub
Press Release Desk

Sept. 3, 2020 – 3:15 PM EST

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-176 reopening Michigan’s gyms and pools in those regions where they remain closed and allowing for organized sports practices and competitions to resume in those regions where they remain restricted, subject to strict protections meant to limit spread of the virus. Gyms and pools may begin to reopen on Wednesday, September 9. The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-175 outlining strict workplace safety measures gyms and pools must follow to protect people from the spread of COVID-19.

“Throughout this pandemic, we have followed the best science and data available to make decisions that will keep Michiganders safe, and our hard work is paying off. Today we are announcing the reopening of gyms and pools with strict safety measures in place to protect patrons and their families,” said Governor Whitmer. “I urge everyone who plans to hit the gym after these orders go into effect to take these precautions seriously and do everything in their power to protect themselves and their families. Be smart, and stay safe.”

“Individuals can now choose whether or not to play organized sports, and if they do choose to play, this order requires strict safety measures to reduce risk,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “However, we know of 30 reported outbreaks involving athletic teams and facilities in August. Based on current data, contact sports create a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and MDHHS strongly recommends against participating in them at this time. We are not out of the woods yet. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families.”

“On behalf of the Michigan Fitness Club Association, we appreciate Governor Whitmer’s announcement regarding the re-opening of gyms and fitness centers,” said Alyssa Tushman, Vice Chair of the Michigan Fitness Club Association. “The health and safety of our members, staff, and the public in general is our top priority. We are well-prepared to ensure a safe, clean environment and we are excited to offer Michiganders the opportunity to resume their exercise routines. We look forward to working with Governor Whitmer and her administration to help build a healthy Michigan.”

Under Executive Order 2020-175, all gyms and pools that reopen must enforce strict safety measures. Gyms must require wearing of masks at all times, including times of exercise, configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable six feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions, reduce class sizes to enable at least six feet of separation between individuals, provide equipment-cleaning products throughout the gym, and more.

Spectators for indoor organized sports are limited to the guests of the athletes with each athlete designating up to two guests. For outdoor sports competitions, the organizer of the competitions must either limit the audience to the guests of the participants with each athlete designating up to two guests, or limit total attendance to 100 people or fewer, including all participants like athletes, coaches, and staff.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also released guidance todayon organized sports. The document recommends against contact sports at this time, defined to mean those sports involving more than occasional and fleeting contact, including football, basketball, and soccer. It also cites the elevated risk associated with activities that involve “shouting, singing, or breathing forcefully,” and notes there have been 30 reported outbreaks associated with athletic clubs, teams, or athletic facilities. MDHHS’ guidance recommends mitigation measures organized sports teams may take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during training, practices, and competitions. These recommendations include frequent hand washing, not letting players share towels, clothing, or other items they use to wipe their faces or hands, ensuring proper cleaning and disinfection of objects and equipment, prioritizing outdoor practice, and more.

“As we begin to start organized sports back up again, I urge school districts and athletic associations to do everything in their power to protect players, coaches, and staff. That means carefully following the guidelines released today by DHHS,” said Governor Whitmer. “Going forward, we will continue to work with health experts to assess the risk associated with business sectors that remain closed. For the health and safety of our families and frontline workers, it is crucial that we proceed thoughtfully and incrementally so we can measure the effects of today‘s actions before we take additional steps towards re-engagement.”

“We are pleased with the opportunity to move forward. Our Association continues to work with a team from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health to ensure the safety of approximately 90,000 players and 11,000 team officials,” said Thomas Faro, Executive Director of the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association. “We will continue these efforts through our return to play guidelines and in strict accordance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders.”

To view the governor’s executive orders and the DHHS memo on mitigation strategies, click the links below:


Support local journalism: If you’ve valued The Huron Hub’s consistent local news coverage during this pandemic, please consider supporting us.