Category Archives: Other News

Muskegon County landscaping company ordered to halt operations after violating stay-home order

Attorney General Dana Nessel


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

Published April 20, 2020

A cease and desist letter was sent to a Muskegon County landscaping company after it was found to be violating Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home executive order.

Attorney General Dana Nessel and Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson said the letter was sent last Tuesday to Land Scape Supplies LLC after witnesses reported to police that company employees were delivering mulch and providing other lawn care services, as well as putting flyers in residents’ mailboxes.

According to the governor’s order, landscaping, lawncare, tree service, irrigation and related outdoor maintenance companies “cannot designate workers to perform these services unless the service is necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of a residence.”

The order does not prohibit homeowners from tending to their own yards.

“The executive order was issued to protect lives and slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and imposes restrictions on the operations of a wide range of businesses and other entities to only those ‘necessary to sustain or protect life,'” a statement from Nessel’s office said.

“Certain functions like hauling waste and compost and operating related facilities are considered essential under the order, and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has contacted businesses that provide those services throughout the state making them aware of that responsibility,” the statement said.

Nessel said such entities, including Land Scape Supplies, received a letter confirming they are permitted to carry out those essential functions.

“However, Land Scape Supplies was misinterpreting its letter from EGLE — which designated it as permitted to operate a compost facility – as confirmation that it is allowed to continue conducting other non-essential operations. Employees of the business were also confronted by police while delivering advertisement flyers to residents’ mailboxes.”

Chief Judge Timothy Hicks sided with prosecutors that the Norton Shores landscaping company must cease its operations.  You can see his ruling here

Violations of the stay-home executive order can result in a $500 fine and/or 90 days in jail for each offense, as well as licensing penalties for businesses and other entities.

Nessel’s office said violations should be reported to law enforcement agencies overseeing the jurisdiction in which the alleged offense occurred.

The Attorney General’s office has a section on its website to provide Michigan residents with more information on the legal rights of employees and employers under the executive order.

“When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan is not out of the woods yet,” Nessel said. “New positive cases of the virus continue to be reported each day, and more people continue to die. This virus is not something to be taken lightly, and I appreciate Prosecutor Hilson for his efforts to help protect the people of Muskegon County. We must stay the course to continue flattening the curve, and regardless of how much we may want our flower gardens to be ready for spring, we must remember that the lives of many Michiganders are at stake.”


 

Metroparks launches virtual Earth Day Challenge to celebrate event’s 50th anniversary

Earth Day falls on April 22 this year and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are celebrating the event’s 50th anniversary with a virtual challenge.


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

Published April 20, 2020

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are celebrating by launching virtual activities for those who want to get connected with nature from the comfort of their home.

Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing health concerns of social gatherings, the Metroparks had to cancel their on-site Earth Day clean-ups at the Metroparks.

However, from April 19 – April 26, the parks will still be celebrating Earth Day by launching the Metroparks Earth Day Challenge.

The Metroparks says it encourages you to join in on their social media Earth Day BINGO or photo sharing challenge that you can do from the safety and comfort of your home with your family.

“We want to challenge everyone to think a little ‘greener’ this week. To give you a little incentive, we will have two opportunities for you to be an Earth Day Supporter and earn the special commemorative Earth Day Volunteer Patch (seen above),” the Metroparks said in a statement.

Here is the website that lays out the entire set of challenges: metroparks.com/earthday

Follow their social media accounts throughout the week for updates and tips on how you can make a difference this Earth Day.


 

Veterans Affairs Agency launches initiative to help veterans, National Guard, Reserve members get benefits

(Pixabay)


Posted by The Huron Hub
April 17, 2020

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) is launching a new initiative called “Check on MIVet,” to get veterans, Michigan National Guard and Reserve members connected to the benefits and services they earned for their service.

Through the initiative, anyone concerned about a veteran, Guard or Reserve member can simply fill out an online form requesting that a representative from MVAA or one of our partner organizations check in on them through a phone call.

Guard and Reserve members are eligible for many of the same benefits and services as their active component counterparts. 

“The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is committed to providing the best resources for support, care, advocacy and service to veterans, Guard and Reserve members and their families who live and work in our communities,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “The ‘Check on MIVet’ program is another means of ensuring the path to these resources is clear.”  

Check on MIVet is not a mental health line or a “wellness” check; veterans experiencing a crisis should call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.  

Instead, the initiative aims to ensure veterans receive employment, healthcare, quality of life and other benefits they need to thrive.

MVAA is available 24/7 through its 1-800-MICH-VET hotline to answer questions and connect veterans to benefits and services. 

The agency is Michigan’s central coordinating agency for Michigan’s 600,000 veterans and their families, according to MVAA. 

“Michigan is committed to serving our veterans through all phases of their lives, whether that means helping them obtain education benefits, find a job, secure long-term care or get connected to the federal and state benefits they earned for their service,” said MVAA Director Zaneta Adams. “Through ‘Check on MIVet,’ MVAA can be that resource that veterans need to stay connected – not just to their benefits, but to a person on the other end of the phone who cares about their well-being.” 

The MVAA can also help veterans with emergency needs during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic – and throughout the year. This assistance includes grants for eligible veterans through the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund for emergent issues such as a temporary inability to pay the mortgage or utility bills.  

To access the Check on MIVet form, visit bit.ly/34EvO4B – or go to the top of the MVAA website, michiganveterans.com, and click on the “Check on MIVet” banner. 

Forms can be submitted by email to MVAAResourceCenter@michigan.gov or the information can be relayed to a technician with the MVAA’s Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET. 


 

State-wide tornado drill set for 1 p.m. Wednesday


Posted by The Huron Hub | Wednesday, March 25, 2020

It’s severe weather awareness week in Michigan on March 22-28, which includes a state-wide tornado drill Wednesday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

Michigan emergency planning officials hope the tornado drill spurs a broader conversation about emergency preparedness.

Some questions you should ask you and your family in the event of severe weather:

Do you have a plan? Where will you go? What will you do?

Also, do you know the alert systems in your area, and how will you communicate?

Here are some useful links:

Michigan’s severe weather preparedness website

Here is Michigan’s emergency preparedness checklist

Here is a family preparedness guide


34th District Court in Romulus closes to public through April 3


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

Published March 24, 2020

The 34th District Court in Romulus is closed to the public through April 3.

The courthouse will be closed to the public with limited staff reporting to conduct only essential functions of the court.

Proceedings scheduled between the dates of March 16-April 3, 2020 at the 34th District Court will be adjourned.

The court says all parties will receive notice by mail of the hearing date.

Other important court related changes or closures include:

●All in custody arraignments will be held by videoconferencing. Walk in
arraignments have been suspended. If you have an outstanding warrant or license
suspension email or call the court for more information.

●Felony cases for in custody defendants will remain as scheduled and will be held
by videoconferencing.

●All reporting probation will be conducted by phone. Work Program and the
Reality Check Program have been cancelled until further notice.

●Civil filings must be mailed to the court or placed in the drop box located outside
of the courthouse entrance with the filing fee attached.

All court users should visit mi34thdistrictcourt.com for the most
current information and updates, as well as online resources for resolving their case.

The changes at the court are in compliance with Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-2, said Brian A. Oakley, chief judge for the 34th District Court.

“We will continue to work with the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court
Administrator’s office along with our local officials to ensure that we are doing all that
we can to combat this health crisis,” he said.


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

For current and up-to-date information regarding the Coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Metroparks will remain open during stay home order; admission free three days per week

Washago Pond at Willow Metropark in New Boston. Huron Hub file photo by Scott Bolthouse.


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

Published March 23, 2020

It’s important to remember that Michigan residents can still go outside and be active during the mandatory stay home order announced today by Gov. Whitmer.

While some businesses and public parks might be closing, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks will remain open, you just have to remember to practice social distancing when visiting the parks.

“The Governor’s order allows us to keep all 13 Metroparks open. This gives you the opportunity to continue using the Metroparks for healthy activities like hiking, biking, running, walking your dog or just enjoying nature, all while practicing the social distancing necessary to keep you and others safe during this emergency period,” a statement from Metroparks said.

If you visit one of the Metroparks during this time, be aware of a few important changes the parks have put in place during the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Programming is canceled through April 13.
  • Playgrounds are closed.
  • Park offices are closed.
  • Interpretive Centers are closed. This includes all nature centers, farm centers and the Marshlands Museum.
  • Restrooms are closed.

“We know this is an inconvenience, but it will be difficult to ensure they are all disinfected properly and allow six feet of distance between visitors. Make sure you use the restroom before leaving home,” the parks said in a statement.

Additionally, the opening of golf courses is delayed through April 13.

The Metroparks are currently offering free admission on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

The parks say they are charging regular admission on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to help them continue to maintain the park properties and keep them operational. On those days, tollbooths will be staffed.

You can also download at-home activities and access videos and other content to stay engaged with the Metroparks at metroparks.com/virtual.


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

For current and up-to-date information regarding the Coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Meijer changes store hours, introduces special shopping times for vulnerable customers


Posted by The Huron Hub – March 19, 2020

Meijer announced Thursday that the grocery chain is adjusting its store hours for the foreseeable future.

The change in hours will allow more time for team members to deep clean and restock its stores, as well as dedicated hours for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its team members, the company said.

New store hours are as follows:

  • Meijer stores will close overnight at 10 p.m. local time, beginning Friday, March 20, and will open each morning at 8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer Express convenience store locations will close overnight at 10 p.m. and open each morning at 8 a.m.; pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will remain available 24 hours a day.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for essential service workers and Meijer team members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.

“These are unprecedented times that require appropriate action to ensure we are supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer president and CEO. “Our adjusted store hours will ensure all of our customers have access to the products they need in the cleanest shopping environment possible.”

Essential service workers include all medical workers, first responders and law enforcement. Meijer is asking its customers and the public to please respect the times for these important groups.

“As we continue to evaluate the store hours that will best serve all our customers, it’s more important than ever for us to work together for the greater good of our communities,” Keyes said. “All of us at Meijer are proud to serve our customers and we will continue to work through these challenging times together.”

Meijer operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.


Metroparks offering free admission on certain days through April 2

A park visitor walks a trail at Lower Huron Metropark. (Huron Hub file photo)


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

Published Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks are promoting social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis by offering free admission to all parks on certain days through April 2.

Admission to the Metroparks is free on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. 

“If you’re looking for things you and your family can do over the next few weeks, your Metroparks have some options for you to consider. Across the 13 Metroparks properties, you can walk, bike or hike a variety of trails, paddle our rivers or just sit back and enjoy the nature around you as spring returns to Southeast Michigan,” the parks said in a statement.

Currently, all parks programming is canceled and the interpretive centers are temporarily closed.

Ideas for your park visit

The Metroparks said they are adding a page to their website where anyone can find resources to use while practicing social distancing and visiting the parks.

“Over the next few days, we’ll be adding downloadable scavenger hunts that can be completed either from your car or from a trail,” the parks said.

For parents looking to keep young minds engaged, the parks are launching a new video series featuring their interpretive staff sharing stories covering things Metroparks-related, including science, art, nature, and history.

Visit metroparks.com/virtual for more information.


 

Dollar General: first hour open dedicated to senior customers

(Photo courtesy Dollar General)

Posted by The Huron Hub on Monday, March 16, 2020

Dollar General announced plans to dedicate the first hour of each shopping day to senior shoppers, as well as amend store operating hours beginning tomorrow, starting March 17.

“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often.”

Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Dollar General says the company wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.

Other customers are encouraged to plan their shopping trips around this window of time to allow the most susceptible customers in our communities the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open.

Additionally, all stores plan to close one hour earlier than current close times to allow employees to clean and re-stock store shelves, as well as for their health and wellbeing. Stores will continue to maintain current opening hours. Normal operating hours by individual store locations are available here.

Dollar General says their stores remain committed to providing customers and employees with a safe, clean and pleasant shopping environment at all stores and seeks for customers to feel confident when shopping its stores.


 

Whitmer signs order restricting price gouging, MDOT lifts weight restrictions for trucks supporting COVID-19 relief


Posted by The Huron Hub on Sunday, March 15, 2020

Governor Whitmer signed an order today temporarily imposing enhanced restrictions on excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies, and consumer food items.

Executive Order 2020-8 says if a business or individual has acquired any product from a retailer, the business or individual must not resell that product in Michigan at a price that is grossly in excess of the purchase price of the product.

Additionally, the order says a business or individual must not offer for sale or sell any product in Michigan at a price that is more than 20 percent higher than what the business or individual offered or charged for that product as of March 9, 2020, unless the business or individual demonstrates that the price increase is attributable to an increase in the cost of bringing the product to market.

The restrictions go into effect on March 16, 2020 at 9 a.m., and will remain in place until April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

“We will continue to take every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” said Whitmer. “In these challenging times, we need to come together as Michiganders. This order will help protect consumers from price gouging. Additionally, I’m working jointly with the Attorney General to enforce these orders, to protect consumers, and to hold bad actors accountable. We will get through this together.”

MDOT lifts weight restrictions for trucks supporting COVID-19 relief

The Michigan Department of Transportation announced Sunday that the department will exempt motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks from seasonal weight restrictions.

“Knowing the importance of getting food and other supplies to retailers during this time, we are taking steps to ensure carriers can make deliveries as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “We are going to get through this by working together and taking collective action for the greater good.”

MDOT said Michigan law, MCL 257.722 Sec (10) allows the state transportation department, or a local authority with respect to highways under its jurisdiction, to suspend these restrictions when necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

Direct assistance according to MDOT means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver to the immediate restoration of essential services, such as medical care, or essential supplies such as food, related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency.

For current and up-to-date information regarding the Coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.