Author Archives: Scott Bolthouse

About Scott Bolthouse

Editor, Founder of www.HuronHub.com.

It’s going to be a hot Fourth of July; authorities urge caution during heatwave


Posted July 1, 2020 | The Huron Hub

With temperatures expected to be above 90 degrees during the July 4 holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is urging residents to take steps to stay safe during the extreme heat.

“Extreme heat can be life-threatening,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “By taking some precautionary steps, you can minimize your risk of heat-related injury and help those who are most affected by severe heat.”

To prevent heat-related injury:

Find places with air conditioning to take a break from the heat.
If you are outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Do not use electric fans when the temperature outside is more than 95 degrees, as it could increase the risk of heat-related illness. Fans create air flow and a false sense of comfort, but do not reduce body temperature.
Avoid high-energy activities.
Check yourself, family members and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness. Learn the signs at http://www.michigan.gov/miready.


Whitmer releases roadmap for schools to reopen in the fall


Posted June 30, 2020 | The Huron Hub

Today, Governor Whitmer released the MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap, a document to help districts create local plans for in-person learning in the fall.

“The Roadmap outlines a number of safety protocols for schools to implement in each phase of the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan,” a statement from Whitmer said.

Whitmer also signed Executive Order 2020-142, which provides a structure to support all schools in Michigan as they plan for a return of PreK-12 education in the fall.

“Our students, parents, and educators have made incredible sacrifices during our battle with COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “Thanks to our aggressive action against this virus, the teachers who have found creative ways to reach their students, and the heroes on the front lines, I am optimistic that we will return to in-person learning in the fall. The MI SafeSchools Return to School Roadmap will help provide schools with the  guidance they need as they enact strict safety measures to continue protecting educators, students, and their families. I will continue working closely with the Return to Learn Advisory Council and experts in epidemiology and public health to ensure we get this right, but we also need more flexibility and financial support from the federal government. This crisis has had serious implications on our budget, and we need federal support if we’re going to get this right for our kids.”

“The most important thing we can do as we prepare to reopen school buildings in the fall is closely examine the data and remain vigilant in our steps to fight this virus,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I will continue to work closely with Governor Whitmer and the Return to Learn Advisory Council to ensure we continue to put the health and safety of our students and educators first. We will remain nimble to protect students, educators, and their families.” 

Executive Order 2020-142 requires school districts to adopt a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan laying out how they will protect students and educators across the various phases of the Michigan Safe Start Plan.

The roadmap sets guidelines as to the types of safety protocols that will be required or recommended at each phase.

Whitmer also announced that she was allocating $256 million to support the districts in implementing their local plans as part of the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the governor announced yesterday.

The safety protocols detailed in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap includes guidance on  the use of PPE, good hygiene, cleaning/disinfecting, spacing in classrooms, screening for symptoms, athletics, and more. The Roadmap also recognizes the impact COVID-19 has had on students’and educators’ metal health, and offers guidance on how schools can address this issue. 

Whitmer said she will continue to use the MI Safe Start Plan as the highest-level governing framework for determining if and when it is safe to resume in-person instruction.  

To view MI Safe Schools Roadmap, click here. 

To view Executive Order 2020-142, click this link.

Asian tiger mosquitoes identified in Wayne County; insect can transmit viruses

 

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This year, the Asian tiger mosquito (seen here) was discovered in an industrial area in Taylor. In 2018, the mosquitoes were again found in an industrial area of Romulus. (Photo/Wikipedia)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 30, 2020

The invasive Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, has again been identified in Wayne County, officials from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Wayne County Health Department announced recently.

The Asian tiger mosquito was discovered in Michigan for the first time in 2017, in an industrial area of Livonia in Wayne County. In 2018, the mosquitoes were again found in Wayne County, in an industrial area of Romulus. This time, the mosquito was discovered in an industrial area in Taylor.

Aedes albopictus, along with Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito), can transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika to people. These mosquitoes are widespread from tropical to temperate regions of the globe, including many parts of the U.S. They do not occur naturally in Michigan, where winters are usually too harsh for them to survive. However, warming climate trends are supporting the spread of these mosquitoes into more northern regions.

“Although we have not had any illnesses associated with these species of mosquitoes in Michigan, it is important to take precautions since other mosquitoes can spread viruses such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors.”

The Asian tiger mosquito can live in areas with climates that range from tropical to temperate, and it has been extending its known range in the U.S. They are considered established in many midwestern states including Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. Occasionally, the mosquitoes will travel in commercial products shipped from states where they are currently established. This is likely how the mosquitoes have shown up in Wayne County.

This summer, MDHHS has again partnered with local health departments in Wayne and 23 other counties in Michigan to conduct surveillance for the two mosquito species that can carry Zika and other tropical viruses. These invasive day-biting mosquitoes breed in containers where water collects, such as old tires, gutters and flowerpots. Continued surveillance to date suggests that breeding populations have not survived the winter in our state.

Industries that import into Michigan items that can hold water and serve as breeding sites for mosquitoes should consider taking precautions to kill mosquito larvae that may be present in these products.

Michigan residents can protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Eliminating sources of standing water such as wading pools, old tires, buckets and containers by dumping water to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching or larvae from developing into biting adults.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors.
  • Applying an EPA-registered insect repellent according to label instructions.
  • Making sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens.

For more information about mosquito-borne viruses and mosquito surveillance in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.


 

Photos: Huron High School 2020 graduation day

Congratulations to Huron High School’s class of 2020. (Reader submitted photo)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 30, 2020

Huron High School in New Boston held graduation ceremonies for 2020 seniors on June 27, 2020.

Families of the graduating seniors shared photos with The Huron Hub to commemorate their special day.

Thank you to all of the families who shared photos.

Here they are:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


 

Whitmer creates bipartisan task force to protect nursing home residents and staff from COVID-19


Posted by The Huron Hub on Friday, June 26, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed executive orders to protect Michigan Nursing Home residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-135 creates the bipartisan Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-136, which extends existing safety measures to maintain restrictions regarding entry to care facilities designed to protect vulnerable populations. Since it was first issued on March 14, this order has prohibited entry into a nursing home without undergoing a rigorous screening protocol designed to protect facilities from COVID-19.

“We have taken great strides here in Michigan to protect families from the spread of COVID-19 and lower the chance of a second wave, but it’s crucial that we stay vigilant and work around the clock to protect our most vulnerable residents and those who have dedicated their lives to caring for them,” said Governor Whitmer. “These actions will help our state protect more nursing home residents and staff in the case of a second wave. Moving forward, I will work closely with the task force and with everyone who wants to help us protect our most vulnerable communities, the heroes on the front lines, and our families from this virus.”

The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force will be charged with, among other things, analyzing relevant data on the threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes, and making recommendations to the governor on improving data quality, and releasing periodic reports to the governor on its findings and recommendations. The task force must produce a recommendation to the governor for an action plan on how to prepare nursing homes for any future wave of COVID-19 cases by August 31, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a particularly dire threat to the health and safety of residents and employees of long-term care facilities across the country,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This task force will help us continue to work to protect our most vulnerable residents and the caretakers serving on the front lines.”

“The impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents has been especially tragic,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan. “I am optimistic this bi-partisan Taskforce will identify best practices to ensure that nursing home residents and staff are better served and protected going forward.”

“SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s nursing home workers are essential and continue to put their lives at risk by going to work daily,” said Andrea Acevedo, President of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. “We believe that every nursing home worker deserves the support, resources and protections to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe throughout this pandemic and beyond. The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force is one of many steps needed to ensure that protection, health and safety standards across the nursing home industry are met. And the most transformative work we can do to ensure the highest quality of care for residents and for workers, is by allowing our frontline nursing home workers to have a voice and seat at the decision making table.”

The Task Force will consist of leaders across state government, including representatives from DHHS and LARA. The task force will also include a representative of the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, bipartisan representation from both houses of the legislature (2 members from each house), and thirteen other members appointed by the governor, including individuals with a personal or professional interest in the health, safety, and welfare of nursing home residents and workers.

Executive Order 2020-136 maintains restrictions on visitation to health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, but authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to gradually re-open visitation as circumstances permit. This order has been in place since March, and consistently prohibited entry into a nursing home by a person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. The order is effective immediately and continues through July 24, 2020.

Source: State of Michigan


Whitmer sets guidelines for return of pro sports


Posted Friday, June 26, 2020 | The Huron Hub

Governor Whitmer on Thursday signed Executive Order 2020-133, which sets guidelines for the safe return of professional sports, without a live audience. The order follows Major League Baseball’s announcement that a shortened 60-game season would begin on July 24 with players reporting for spring training at their home ballparks by July 1.

“Good news, sports fans,” Governor Whitmer said. “We are now ready to gradually and safely allow professional sports to resume in Michigan. While this is an encouraging step in the reopening of our economy, it is critical for athletes to continue social distancing and taking precautions to stay safe. We want to keep our momentum going and keep moving forward, so it’s incumbent on everyone doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Under Executive Order 2020-133, professional sports training and competitions can resume as long as the activities are conducted pursuant to a COVID-19 safety plan that is consistent with any guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Participants must also maintain six feet of distance from one another to the extent compatible with the sport.


Senior graduation parade set for Friday in New Boston

(Photo by Scott Bolthouse– The Huron Hub)


Posted Thursday, June 25, 2020

Huron High School senior graduation parade through New Boston set for Friday evening.

See the attached flyer below for full info.

Huron Public Safety will be escorting the parade.

For the safety of students, Huron River Drive will be closed from Willow to the Renton Middle School Entrance beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Access to the Michigan Memorial Cemetery will still be open using either the Huron River Drive/Merriman gate and/or access to the main gate via Willow Road.

Funeral services will be diverted to enter the cemetery through the Funeral Home Entrance.

“First, I want to congratulate the graduating Senior Class. They have lost so many experiences due to this pandemic and we are honored to be a small part of anything that can be done to make this a special and memorable time for them. We realize that these events could cause traffic issues but hope that the community will be patient so that we can help provide a safe atmosphere for the students and their proud families,” said Everette Robbins, public safetey director.

“We will have fire and police staffing at the blocked areas to assist residents with concerns and questions. Also, a big thank you to the staff at the Michigan Memorial Cemetery for their sacrifice and help in making this happen. We appreciate their community partnership. They asked that I pass on their congratulations to the Class of 2020.”​​


U.S. Court of Appeals bans opening of gyms amid coronavirus

(Photo/Pexels)


Posted Wednesday, June 24, 2020 | The Huron Hub

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted Gov. Whitmer’s request for a stay of a lower court ruling declaring her order closing gyms in southern Michigan because of COVID-19 should be lifted Thursday, June 25.

“Today three Republican-appointed judges got it right: in the fight against a global pandemic, courts must give governors broad latitude to make quick, difficult decisions. The governor will continue to take the actions necessary to save lives,” Whitmer said.

The court was made up of one judge nominated by President Donald Trump and two judges nominated by former President George W. Bush.

QUOTES FROM THE COURT’S RULING:

“Shaping the precise contours of public health measures entails some difficult line-drawing. Our Constitution wisely leaves that task to officials directly accountable to the people.”

“Enjoining the actions of elected state officials, especially in a situation where an infectious disease can and has spread rapidly, causes irreparable harm.”

“Crises like COVID-19 can call for quick, decisive measures to save lives. Yet those measures can have extreme costs—costs that often are not borne evenly. The decision to impose those costs rests with the political branches of government, in this case, Governor Whitmer.”


Statewide plan to fund grade separations at troublesome railroad crossings passes MI House

In Huron Township, blocked railroad crossings, like this one seen here at Sibley Road, are common occurrences. Crossings in Huron can sometimes be blocked for over an hour at a time, posing an obvious safety risk to the community. (Huron Hub file photo)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| June 24, 2020

Relief is in sight for some of the area’s frequently blocked railroad crossings.

Today, House Bill 5861 passed, which is a bipartisan effort between State Reps. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Jason Sheppard (R-Temperance).

The bill, according to Camilleri and Sheppard, helps solve some of Michigan’s most critical transportation issues by setting up a statewide fund within the Michigan Department of Transportation to build grade separations at the most troublesome rail crossings in the state.

Inspired by a successful program in Indiana, the program would allow municipalities to apply for state funding and would put up 20 percent of the cost while the state would supply the other 80 percent from the local grade separation fund for approved priority projects.

“Solving the issue at Allen Road in Woodhaven was a huge victory for our Downriver community, but the fact of the matter is there are so many other crossings like Allen Road across our region and our state, including issues in New Boston and Trenton,” said Camilleri, who helped negotiate the funding for the Allen Road underpass in Woodhaven. “By creating this statewide grade separation fund, we will make our communities safer, provide easier routes to schools and hospitals, and unlock economic opportunity for our region.”

Sheppard said Michigan highways have more than 4,000 rail crossings that increase traffic congestion, cause frustration for residents and delay first responders en route to emergencies. This program would pave the way for future projects to separate the crossings and improve the flow of traffic.

“This is about public safety,” Sheppard said. “Every second matters when police, fire and ambulance personnel are responding to an emergency. Lives are quite literally at risk when first responders get hung up by a train blocking the road on their way to a call. Rail grade separations improve public safety by routing the roadway over or under the rail line, eliminating delays.”

House Bill 5861 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.