Category Archives: Other News

USDA confirms detection of destructive plant pathogen in Michigan greenhouse geraniums

(Geraniums photo/Pixabay)


Posted by The Huron Hub
May 12, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified Ralstonia solanacearum race 3 biovar 2 (RS r3b2) in a symptomatic geranium plant in a commercial greenhouse in Michigan. RS r3b2 is a bacterial pathogen causing a wilt disease in geraniums and several important food crops, including potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. It can be transmitted through contaminated soil, irrigation water, or equipment. Once an infection is present, there is no effective chemical control to manage the disease in the plants.

This incident was first identified by a vigilant Michigan grower who noticed unusual wilt symptoms on his geraniums and sent them for testing.

“Ensuring this issue is dealt with quickly and safely is crucial to protecting the state’s agriculture economy,” said Gary McDowell, Director, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). “Thanks to the grower’s alertness, combined with MDARD’s and USDA’s collaborative response, we have helped avert the establishment of this devastating disease into U.S. agricultural production systems.”

“This is the first introduction of the pathogen in the U.S. since 2004, when this disease was detected and eradicated in 27 states, including 14 facilities in Michigan,” said Mike Philip, Director of MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “It’s important to note the bacterium does not pose a threat to public or animal health or to food safety.” MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, oversees the department’s plant health programs and will lead Michigan’s efforts to rid the state of this disease.

The geranium that tested positive was a Fantasia ‘Pink Flare’ variety imported from a production facility in Guatemala. The USDA determined an additional 288 plant growers in 39 states received affected shipments from the Guatemalan facility, including 41 growers in Michigan. The impacted businesses are being notified and will be working with state and federal officials to identify and safely dispose of infected plants.

“This incident is a serious threat to our industry,” said Geoff Hansen, Executive Director of the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council. “The affected facilities must work aggressively with MDARD to contain and eliminate this disease.”

In 2018, the wholesale value of Michigan’s floriculture industry totaled $467 million, the third largest in the United States. Potatoes are Michigan’s second leading produce commodity, generating $182 million in farm gate sales each year while Michigan-grown tomatoes are valued at $35 million annually.


 

Blue Angels to fly over Metro Detroit on Tuesday

(Photo/Pexels)


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

Posted May 11, 2020

Keep your eyes to the sky late Tuesday morning.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels Michigan flyover in support of COVID-19 frontline workers is scheduled to take place Tuesday.

The entire fly over will be from 11:30 to 11:51 a.m.

Check it out:

Residents should observe the flyover from the safety of their home and should refrain from traveling to see the flyover.

The flyover is part of Operation America Strong, an effort by the military to salute health care and essential workers across the country.

Both the Blue Angels and the US Air Force Thunderbirds are performing flyovers of major cities in the U.S.


 

Bulk waste collection in Huron Township resumes May 11

Waste Management resumes bulk collection after suspension due to COVID-19 crisis


Posted by The Huron Hub | Monday, May 4, 2020

Bulk pickup by Waste Management in Huron Township will resume on May 11.

Yard waste collection in Huron Township resumed April 20.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Waste Management temporarily suspended its bulk item collection and yard waste collection on April 1 to focus on the performance of essential services.

“I am pleased to inform our residents that bulk item collection will resume the week of Monday, May 11, 2020” said Township Supervisor David Glaab. “While bulk item collection will resume, because of anticipated heavy volumes, bulk item waste may not be picked up on the regular service day. However, Waste Management crews will work to recover the material as quickly as possible based on crew availability.”

[File image courtesy/Waste Management]


MDOT lifts remaining spring weight restrictions on state highways

(File photo)


Posted by The Huron Hub | Monday, May 7, 2020

As of 6 a.m. Friday, May 8, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will lift remaining spring weight restrictions on all state trunkline highways in the entire state of Michigan. State routes typically carry M, I, or US designations.

This spring weight restriction update does not alter or affect the direction given in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-44 (COVID-19). Permits will still be required for loads exceeding the normal legal limits.

County road commissions and city public works departments put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually, but not always, coincide with state highway weight restrictions. Signs are generally posted to indicate which routes have weight restrictions in effect.

Weight restrictions on state highways are implemented during the spring frost thaw period and are now completed for the 2020 season. A typical timeframe for these restrictions is from February to May, with specific dates determined by weather and road conditions. They will be posted again when the 2021 season starts.

For weight restriction information and updates, call 800-787-8960, or you can access this information on MDOT’s website at www.michigan.gov/truckers, under “Restrictions.” All-season routes are designated in green and gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map, which is available online. You also may sign up to receive e-mail alerts.

Trucking companies located in New Jersey and Canada can obtain information by calling 517-373-6256.


 

Romulus canned good distribution serves 200 residents


Posted by The Huron Hub
Romulus news tab
May 1, 2020

The city of Romulus held a canned and dry goods distribution Thursday outside of the Romulus Senior Center.

About 200 residents received much needed food supplies during the distribution, according to the city.

Residents were asked to stay in their vehicles and have their trunk empty and open when approaching the pick-up location to protect the volunteers working at the distribution.

For the latest news in Romulus click this Huron Hub link


 

Here are some tips for keeping the energy bill low during stay-home order

(Photo/Pixels)


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

Published April 29, 2020

People everywhere are spending more time at home due to the current stay-home order, and thus using more power.

Also, because of a colder-than-average spring, households may find their heating bills higher than usual and the air quality inside their home decreasing.

Michigan’s Weatherization Assistance Program at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has some tips to help.

The Weatherization Assistance Program works with low-income families, the elderly and people with disabilities to improve both the energy efficiency and air quality of their home.

“The Weatherization Assistance Program is one way that MDHHS provides access to important services that give Michigan residents the opportunity to improve their well-being and health,” said Lewis Roubal, MDHHS chief deputy director for opportunity. “We know many people are struggling to pay the bills during these unprecedented times as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We want to help them save energy and save money.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program is free to residents who qualify and provides extensive energy efficiency and air quality improvements.

If you are interested in applying for the program, or becoming a contractor with the program, find a local Weatherization Provider by visiting michigan.gov/weatherization.

A few steps you can take – whether you live in a house, manufactured home, or apartment – to help improve indoor air quality and lower energy bills:

Stop heat loss

If you have access to the attic through an opening in the ceiling – sometimes it’s a small passageway in a closet or hallway – make sure it is closed tightly so the warm air stays in living areas and doesn’t float up into the attic.

Filter facts

Check the filter in the furnace or air conditioner every 30 to 45 days, and change it if it is dirty. A dirty filter makes the heating system work harder because it can’t move the air as easily.

Dial down

Lowering the thermostat even a degree will save money. Start with the usual temperature settings, then drop it one degree at a time to determine what your comfort level is. For example, if you keep the thermostat at 70 degrees, try lowering it to 69. If you use an air conditioner, do the same in reverse. If you usually keep it at 67 degrees, try 68.

The best temperature for hot tap water is 120 degrees. If it’s hotter than that, you’re likely adding cold tap water to cool it for uses such as bathing and handwashing. Save money by turning down the temperature on the water heater. If the temperature dial does not have “degree” markings, fill a glass with hot water from the tap and check the temperature with a food thermometer. If it’s over 120 degrees, turn the dial down slightly, Give the water heater time to adjust and then check the temperature again.

Air it out

If there are working exhaust fans in the bathroom or kitchen, use them to remove excess moisture produced during bathing and cooking. That moisture can build up and cause mold.


 

Double lane closures begin Monday on I-94 near Detroit Metro Airport


Posted by The Huron Hub
Saturday, April 25, 2020

East and Westbound I-94 between I-275 and US-24/Telegraph near Detroit Metro Airport will have daily double lane closures starting Monday, April 27 for pavement markings and other work.

The closures are scheduled to last through early May, MDOT said.

Additionally, Ecorse Road at southbound US-24/Telegraph will have intermittent ramp closures from Ecorse to SB US-24.

Road work is an essential function. MDOT says transportation workers in the field follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to limit their risk of getting sick.

For information on road work or crash locations on MDOT roads (roads with I, M, & US) check Michigan.gov/drive.


 

Whitmer announces temporary pay increase for direct care workers

(Google images)


Posted by The Huron Hub
April 24, 2020

Governor Whitmer on Thursday announced a temporary $2-per-hour pay raise for direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services to vulnerable residents during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The pay increase will apply to direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term care services for children and adults. The program will apply to services provided between April and June.

Whitmer said the initiative is part of ongoing efforts to support front-line health care workers risking their lives to protect the health and safety of vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“It has never been more important to care for our most vulnerable residents, and these direct care health workers are risking their lives every day to make sure we continue to flatten the curve,” Governor Whitmer said. “It is our duty as Michiganders to ensure these front-line heroes have the financial support they need to continue doing their critical work while caring for themselves and their families.”


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

Huron-Clinton Metroparks are open, but staff will monitor attendance, continue with distancing measures

A visitor walks on a path at Lower-Huron Metropark.


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

Published April 22, 2020

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks will continue to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the park system will be monitoring park attendance.

Metroparks police and park staff are performing parking lot counts three times a day to ensure that total parking spaces within each park do not exceed 60% of their full capacity, according to the Metroparks.

When overcrowding occurs, the parks may use temporary closures to certain areas within the parks or entire parks.

“Depending on the time of the day that capacity is reached, the park may reopen as visitors leave. Those visitors already in the park when a closure starts are welcome to enjoy the rest of their visit,” Metroparks said.

Other safety measures implemented at the Metroparks include:
  • Closing all interpretative center buildings (including nature and farm centers), restrooms, food service, playgrounds, golf and disc golf courses, volleyball courts and offices.
  • Closing boat launches to motor boating.
  • Cancelling all Metroparks public programming through June 5 to coincide with school closures.
  • Offering free admission on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive orders.
  • Starting summer hours so Metroparks are open longer each day, giving residents more options for their visit.
  • Having Metroparks police officers patrolling regularly and reminding visitors about safe social distancing practices as needed.
  • Providing Metroparks team members working toll booths during admission days with protective gloves, hand sanitizer and encouraging them to wear face masks. For vehicles, with an annual pass (which can be purchased online), there is no direct contact with the toll booth attendant and visitor. For those purchasing daily passes on the days needed, the interaction is minimal and brief.
  • Implementing a requirement for all toll booth attendants and police officers to wear a face mask and encouraging all other staff to wear one as well. Staff are asked to have a face mask in their possession to use if they come within six feet of co-workers or visitors.

“We know it can be inconvenient for everyone involved, but we assure you our only goal is keeping you safe and being able to keep the Metroparks open,” Metroparks 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.

Facebook says it’s fact checking posts, limiting misinformation on COVID-19

Facebook


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

Published April 21, 2020

Facebook announced measures last week that it’s taking to prevent and limit the spread of misinformation posted to the social media platform during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Stopping the spread of misinformation and harmful content about COVID-19 on our apps is also critically important. That’s why we work with over 60 fact-checking organizations that review and rate content in more than 50 languages around the world. In the past month, we’ve continued to grow our program to add more partners and languages,” the social media company said in a statement.

“Once a piece of content is rated false by fact-checkers, we reduce its distribution and show warning labels with more context. Based on one fact-check, we’re able to kick off similarity detection methods that identify duplicates of debunked stories,” Facebook said.

Facebook said during the month of March, they displayed warnings on about 40 million posts related to COVID-19 on Facebook, based on about 4,000 articles by their independent fact-checking partners.

“When people saw those warning labels, 95% of the time they did not go on to view the original content,” Facebook said.

To date, Facebook says it has removed hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm.

“Examples of misinformation we’ve removed include harmful claims like drinking bleach cures the virus and theories like physical distancing is ineffective in preventing the disease from spreading.”

Additionally, Facebook is informing users who interacted with fraudulent COVID-19 claims, and added a new section to their COVID-19 Information Center called “Get the Facts” that includes fact-checked articles from our partners that debunk misinformation about the coronavirus.


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.