Author Archives: Scott Bolthouse

About Scott Bolthouse

Editor, Founder of www.HuronHub.com.

Public Safety Department rescues multiple people from local waterways over Memorial Day weekend


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

Posted May 26, 2020

The Huron Township Department of Public safety was busy keeping the waterways in the community safe over Memorial Day weekend.

The department responded to multiple calls on May 24 and 25.

Every call involved people on or near waterways without life jackets on who had fallen in.

On May 24th at 9:06 a.m. Huron Township Emergency Dispatch Center received a call of a disoriented man on a local dock.

Reports state the male had fallen from his boat into the water and had been in the cold water for an extended period of time.

The man was transported by Huron Valley Ambulance to a local hospital. He was not wearing a personal flotation device.

A few hours later at 4:30 p.m. emergency dispatch received a call of two adults and one child in the river hanging onto logs.

Fire and police personnel responded and initiated a water rescue. Only the child was wearing a personal floatation device.

For the third time on the same day at 6:14 p.m., public safety responded to the Lower Huron Metropark’s south fishing area for three people in the river who lost their canoe.

The occupants were rescued from the river safely. Only one of the three people rescued were wearing personal flotation devices.

On May 25 at 12:23 p.m., dispatch received a call regarding four people who had fallen from their kayaks and were trapped in the Huron river near Huron River Drive and Kass Streets.

Huron Township Fire Personnel entered the river at the original location and rescued two people from the water.

One person was pinned beneath a log and was freed by fire personnel.

The two other people were rescued further down the river by police officers who entered the river to save them.

None of the four people rescued were wearing personal flotation devices.

“Our fire personnel climbed down the steep riverbank, got into the water quickly and without hesitation were able to free to young lady who had become trapped. Luckily experience and instinct took over and everyone was able to escape harm with only minor injuries,” said Everette Robbins, Huron Township director of public safety.

“Any one of these incidents could have had a much different outcome. It is interesting to note that out of the eleven people that were rescued this weekend, only two were wearing some type of personal flotation device. While the river may not look intimidating, water levels are up, and the current is flowing quickly. It is easy to lose control no matter how experienced you may be. It is important that if people choose to go out on the water, they must protect themselves. The need to be rescued could put a lot of people, including first responders, unnecessarily in harm’s way.”

Robbins said the dispatch center played a crucial role in helping locate the people who needed the help from emergency response.

“Dispatch received conflicting reports about the location of victims that had gone into the river. To make the situation even more complex, even after locating the first two victims, we had two more unaccounted for,” he said. “Dispatcher Amanda Iott did an incredible job working with on scene personnel, as well as multiple callers, to give first responders the location of the victims. Dispatch never gets the credit they truly deserve and when time was most critical, she really came through for everyone involved.”

 


 

New Michigan website provides COVID-19 risk and trend data

Seen here is a May 26, 2020 screen shot of the new MI Start Map website launched by the state of Michigan.


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| May 26, 2020

A new online dashboard launched today visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan

The website provides residents with information about the pandemic status where they live and work.

You can visit the website at this link: https://www.mistartmap.info/

The website was developed through a collaboration between Michigan’s departments of Health and Human Services and Labor and Economic Opportunity, and the University of Michigan.

The dashboard data is divided into Michigan Economic Recovery Committee (MERC) regions.

“MERC regions were developed by merging Michigan’s Emergency Preparedness Regions and Michigan’s labor sheds – the major areas of the state where people live and travel to work based on U.S. Department of Labor data – so that any outbreak resulting from a return to work could be handled effectively under public health laws,” a statement from the state of Michigan said.

The COVID-19 data displayed on the dashboard represents publicly available case, death and test data analyzed to determine overall level of risk and key trends.

Graphs, numbers and trends provide a snapshot of how much virus is in a community, and whether it is increasing or decreasing.

Risk levels were developed by MDHHS and the U-M School of Public Health using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national Guidelines for Opening America and several other leading national organizations.

“The risk levels tell us whether there is high, medium or low risk of COVID-19 spread in a community and can help highlight areas where more social distancing may be needed, or where vulnerable individuals should be particularly careful,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.

The dashboard was designed and created by faculty at U-M School of Information and School of Public Health and presents risk and capacity indicators that inform implementation of the MI Safe Start Plan.

These indicators fall into three categories: epidemic spread, health system capacity and public health capacity.

Each indicator displays a level of risk. The indicators, along with other epidemiologic information, inform the overall risk level for a region.

It also incorporates on-the-ground knowledge, such as whether new cases of COVID-19 are localized to a single outbreak or represent community-wide spread.

“The U-M team is very excited to build this dashboard for the people and State of Michigan,” said Sharon Kardia, Ph.D., associate dean at U-M School of Public Health. “This precision public health dashboard is very unique as it clearly shows everyone why some regions can open up more rapidly than others.”

In addition to the risk and capacity indicators, other considerations such as the availability of mitigation measures, the risk posed by certain activities and other economic factors also inform decisions under the MI Safe Start Plan, officials said.


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

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

Whitmer extends validity of watercraft registrations

(Photo/Pexels)


Posted by The Huron Hub| May 26, 2020

Governor Whitmer signed an order May 22 extending the validity of watercraft registrations that expired after February 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

“As temperatures continue to warm up, recreational boaters should not have to worry about their watercraft registration expiring at no fault of their own,” Whitmer said. “This Executive Order will allow all watercraft users to safely take full advantage of this beautiful weather and Michigan’s pristine lakes and rivers, while minimizing in-person work in order to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”

New watercraft can be operated in Michigan waters until July 31, 2020 without displaying an identifying number and decal, provided the operator of the vessel possesses a proof of purchase or equivalent evidence that the vessel was acquired after January 1, 2020.

Additionally, law enforcement cannot issue tickets as a result of watercraft decals that expired after September 30, 2019. The state cannot assess late fees for expired decals as long as boaters renew their registration by July 31.

Boaters are asked to complete their watercraft registration renewals during the state’s emergency and disaster declarations at www.michigan.gov/sos.

“I appreciate Governor Gretchen Whitmer extending these expirations,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “It will give flexibility and peace of mind to watercraft owners across the state, and reduce in-person interactions at Secretary of State branch offices.”


 

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.