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Display honors Huron High School class of 2020

The front lawn of Huron High School in New Boston was transformed into a tribute featuring a wall of photos to honor this year’s graduates. (Photos by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


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

Posted May 17, 2020

The staff at Huron High School in New Boston are making sure this year’s graduating class does not go unnoticed.

The class of 2020 will begin their final week of school on Monday as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

To honor this year’s graduating class, staff at the high school placed a wall of photos on the school’s front lawn featuring each senior.

Principal Steven Hudock said in a social media post that the tribute will be up for about two weeks before the lawn signs are disturbed to families.

Grads and the community are welcome to stop by and check out the tribute.

“HHS Class of 2020, congrats on your last week! This is a tribute to all of you! Feel free to drive by and take pictures. Please practice social distancing. I’d like to leave these up for 2 weeks,” Hudock said.

Photos: Huron High School honors 2020 graduates 
Photos by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub


 

Whitmer extends stay home order through June 12


Posted by The Huron Hub| May 22, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-100 to extend Michigan’s “Safer at Home” order until June 12.

The governor’s order also extends the temporary closure of certain places of public accommodation such as theaters, gyms, and casinos.

The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-99 to extend the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was upheld by Judge Cynthia Stephens on May 21, 2020.

The governor says her “aggressive measures are working, but there is still more to be done. For instance, cases in some counties in Western and Mid-Michigan are now doubling approximately every 10 days.”

“To continue to protect Michigan families from both the public health and economic impacts of the virus, and to lower the chance of a second wave, the governor’s emergency declaration is extended until June 19, 2020.”

“While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet. If we’re going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home,” said Governor Whitmer. “If we open too soon, thousands more could die and our hospitals will get overwhelmed.  While we finally have more protective equipment like masks, we can’t run the risk of running low again. We owe it to the real heroes on the front lines of this crisis – our first responders, health care workers, and critical workers putting their lives on the line every day – to do what we can ourselves to stop the spread of the virus.”

Executive Order 2020-100 also clarifies and, as necessary, extends the duration of a number of previous executive orders designed to protect Michiganders and to provide them the support they need.

The extended orders cover protections for workers who stay home and stay safe when they or their close contacts are sick, restoring water service to those whose water has been shut off, the affirmation of non-discrimination policies in the provision of COVID-19 care, and more.

“All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again,” said Governor Whitmer. “We’ve already loosened some restrictions on construction, manufacturing, landscaping, retail, and more. But the worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made.”

Governor Whitmer has taken a number of actions to safely re-engage Michigan’s economy in a way that protects workers and their families. Most recently, she signed executive order 2020-96 to reopen retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. Effective on Friday, May 29, the governor also lifted the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide. And the governor also authorized small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.

Businesses that the governor has authorized to reopen must provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

To view Executive Orders 2020-99 and 2020-100, click the link below:

Photos: Air Force One flies over Huron Township, lands at Detroit Metro Airport

Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub


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

Posted May 21, 2020

Air Force One’s flight path to Michigan took it directly over Huron Township Thursday afternoon.

President Donald Trump is in Michigan to tour Ford’s Ypsilanti plant. (read more about Trump’s visit here)

Here are photos as the plane approached Detroit Metro Airport:
Photos by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub


 

Whitmer reopens auto dealerships and retail businesses by appointment; authorizes nonessential medical, dental, veterinary procedures


Posted by The Huron Hub | Press Release Desk | May 21, 2020

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-96 to reopen retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. The governor’s executive order also lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide beginning on Friday, May 29. And the order authorizes small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.

“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.”

“As businesses continue to reopen, it’s crucial that they adopt strict safety measures to protect their employees, customers, and their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I know that as medical professionals begin offering nonessential procedures again, they will do everything in their power to protect patients and their families from COVID-19. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our partners across Michigan to protect our families and lower the chance of a second wave.”

“This is great news for dealerships across the state,” said Doug North, President of North Brothers Ford. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership, and we welcome the opportunity to serve our customers in a way that helps keep everyone safe from the showroom floor to the open road.”

The governor also signed a separate order, Executive Order 2020-97, updating a prior rule on workplace safety. Per the amended order, reopened outpatient health-care facilities, including clinics, primary care physician offices, and dental offices, will have to adopt strict protocols to prevent infection. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will issue guidance to aid those facilities in adopting appropriate safeguards.

As before, businesses maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers. They must, among other things, provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

“With today’s announcement, physicians and health care providers in Michigan are ready to resume taking care of patients,” said Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, president of the Michigan State Medical Society. “It is time for patients to catch up on the care that has been deferred for the past two months. We encourage the citizens of Michigan to tend to their health and protect each other by following public health guidance to prevent spread of this virus.”

Consistent with the governor’s previous Safer at Home orders, any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—like a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space. Michiganders who are not working as critical infrastructure workers or at a business that has been authorized to reopen should stay home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19.


 

DNR conservation officers evacuate people, pets during Midland County flood

A DNR vessel is prepared for launch by an officer Wednesday morning to assist a stranded driver whose vehicle was stuck in a flooded intersection. (Photos courtesy of Michigan DNR)


Posted by The Huron Hub | May 20, 2020

Nearly 24 hours before the Edenville Dam in Midland County collapsed Tuesday, conservation officers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources began evacuating people in homes and businesses positioned downriver of the dam. With historic flood levels expected, the officers remain on scene and are providing emergency response as needed.

Shortly before dark Tuesday, the dam collapsed, creating life-threatening, flash flood conditions that forced a mandatory evacuation for the city of Midland, including residents, businesses, medical facilities and Dow Chemical’s headquarters – all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will continue working with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to assist with patrol vessels anywhere we can,” said Lt. Jeremy Payne, the DNR’s district law supervisor in Bay City.

The view from a conservation officer’s patrol vessel as they search for stranded people and animals Wednesday morning in Midland County.

The initial dam breach caused the failure of a second area dam – the Sanford Dam. As a result, the Tittabawassee River is overflowing its 24-foot flood stage and is expected to crest around 38 feet today. At 7 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said the flood stage was over 34 feet and rising.

More than 20 conservation officers from throughout the region responded with 10 DNR patrol vessels and search and rescue equipment to help continue the evacuation of flood victims.

“Conservation officers are specially trained and strategically placed in communities throughout the state with the equipment they need to respond to natural disasters and emergency situations such as this,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “This is a difficult time for our state and the people in the Midland community affected by the flooding, and we are here to help.”

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.


 

Amid coronavirus scams, state reps introduce bills to protect Michigan consumers

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri speaking on the House floor.


Posted by The Huron Hub | Press release desk | May 20, 2020

In light of Coronavirus-related scams and citing Michigan’s label as one of the “terrible two”[1] in consumer protection nationwide, State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) introduced legislation today that would strengthen Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act.

“Michigan has some of the weakest consumer protection regulations in the nation, and throughout this crisis we’ve seen the detrimental effects of that,” said Camilleri. “It is unacceptable that current law prohibits our Attorney General, the person intended to be our top consumer watchdog, from outlining new unfair trade practices— as we’ve seen throughout this pandemic, those are emerging all the time. By empowering our AG with stronger tools to protect Michigan consumers, we can make sure more people across our state aren’t being unfairly taken advantage of, which is something Michiganders need and deserve now more than ever.”

“This pandemic continues to shine a bright light on the deficiencies in many of our laws, and in particular our consumer protection standards,” said Hammoud. “It is critical that we enhance our laws and the ability for our Attorney General to do the job of adequately protecting our residents, and prevent bad actors from taking advantage of people in a time of crisis. This legislation is an integral next step toward providing the protection that our residents depend upon when using their hard-earned money to make purchases, and we must hold all industries accountable.”

The two-bill package would do the following:

● House Bill 5793: Allow the Attorney General to enumerate new unfair trade practices to be included in the Consumer Protection Act (Camilleri)

● House Bill 5794: Expand the Consumer Protection Act to apply to regulated industries like utilities and insurance (Hammoud)


Michigan receives $35M in federal funds to help struggling households pay energy costs


Posted by The Huron Hub | Press release desk | May 19, 2020

The State of Michigan has been awarded more than $35 million in additional federal funding to help vulnerable households struggling to afford utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, as radio broadcasters across the state air public service announcements alerting Michiganders to the assistance available to those in need.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced it was releasing $900 million in supplemental funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for federal Fiscal Year 2020 from the CARES Act. Michigan’s share of the funding was $35,130,421.

The funding is in addition to the more than $162 million in regular LIHEAP funding provided to Michigan for this fiscal year. The additional funding will be used for crisis assistance to help struggling households pay part of their energy costs.

The LIHEAP funding increase comes as 84 radio stations across Michigan have agreed to air a public service announcement throughout May. Created by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy in consultation with the Michigan Public Service Commission, the ad lets Michiganders know that if they’re struggling, they can contact their energy providers for flexible payment plans and other assistance, and call 211 or go to http://www.mi211.org for help with energy bills and other needs. The PSA is available here.

The MPSC, Michigan Department of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have taken steps to ensure Michiganders impacted by layoffs or drops in income related to the pandemic can maintain energy service at their homes. Energy providers across the state have agreed to pause shutoffs for low-income and senior residential customers until the emergency is lifted and to provide flexible payment options. Customers in financial trouble during the pandemic can find additional information here.

MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg urged utility customers who are struggling to reach out right away to their energy providers to seek help.

“Utilities have special protections because of the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic, but customers need to reach out and apply for utility assistance while it’s available,” Talberg said. “We want to make sure that people who need help receive it during this crisis.”

Lewis Roubal, senior deputy director for opportunity at MDHHS, said the state has several options to help people who are struggling to pay utility bills.

“Many Michiganders are more vulnerable as a result of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy,” he said. “MDHHS is working hard during the pandemic to expand public assistance benefits and provide easier access to financial help for residents who are struggling to pay their bills. The additional LIHEAP funding allows us to help more people who need assistance.”

Anyone facing financial distress because of COVID-19 is urged to:

-Contact your utility or propane supplier to ask what kind of protections, funding, flexible payment options, or energy saving tools and resources are available.
-Call 211 or go to mi211.orgfor information about getting help paying your utility bill or how to contact agencies that may assist you with your energy bill.
-Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) directly through the MI Bridges program for bill payment assistance if you are in jeopardy of losing heat or electric services, have already had service shut off, or are in need of a deliverable fuel, or call 855-275-6424. You can also get assistance with the application process by calling 211 to be referred to a MEAP grantee that can help.
-Apply for a Home Heating Credit. Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury’s website to see if you qualify. Even though this funding is distributed by the Department of Treasury, you do not need to file taxes or wait for a tax return to receive this credit, so apply now if you are eligible. For more information, read the MPSC’s Home Heating Credit consumer tip.

For information about the MPSC, visit www.Michigan.gov/MPS.


 

HVA paramedic receives Star of Life Award for going beyond call of duty

HVA paramdeic Shane Flynn was honored with The Star of Life Award. (Photo courtesy HVA)


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

Posted May 19, 2020

Shane Flynn, a paramedic employed by Huron Vally Ambulance, was recently announced as the 2020 EMS Star of Life Award recipient.

Flynn, a resident of Van Buren Township, joined Huron Valley Ambulance in 2014 and has since been promoted to senior paramedic.

Flynn serves as a field training officer responsible for mentoring and training new employees.

According to HVA, the award is a national honor given to EMS providers across the country, and is presented to EMTs and paramedics who go above and beyond the call of duty and who provide exemplary frontline care.

“Shane is a strong leader, one who teaches by example. His mentality is ‘service above self,’ he is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to help anyone in need. Shane is a knowledgeable paramedic with excellent patient care skills. He is able to balance expertise with a compassionate bedside manner, allowing him to put patient needs at the forefront of all he does. When caring for a patient Shane also considers the needs of their family, making an extra effort to explain the procedures he’s performing and why they’re needed,” said Paul Hood, vice president of Huron Valley Ambulance.

In addition to his years working at HVA, he served for six years at Berlin Township Fire Department and four years at Concord EMS.

Outside of work, Flynn likes to spend time with his son, Liam, and his wife Whitney, and enjoys outdoor activities, especially hiking and fishing.

Huron Valley Ambulance is the EMS provider for Huron Township, Washtenaw County, southwestern Oakland County, and parts of western Wayne County.