Category Archives: State & Region

Study says Huron-Clinton Metroparks generates more than $90 million in visitor spending annually

Metroparks advertisement


Redbud trees in full bloom at Lower Huron Metropark in this May 14, 2020 photo. A recent study shows that the Metroparks system plays a critical role in generating significant economic, health and environmental benefits and enhancing quality of life before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse
The Huron Hub
Oct. 14, 2020

The 13 parks in the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system in Southeast Michigan generate more than $90 million in direct visitor spending each year, a new study by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) says.

In addition, millions more in other economic, environmental and health benefits are felt each year across the five counties and hundreds of communities the parks system serves.

The TPL study is the first study the organization has completed in Michigan.

TPL emphasized the value that the public lands and outdoor recreation activities hold during times like the coronavirus pandemic that crippled the state in Spring and early summer.

“We’ve seen people flock to outdoor spaces during the pandemic and we can all agree the substantial benefit that has provided just this year alone. This report helped us understand and quantify just how much these amenities, and access to them, benefit and matter to our communities and residents, now more than ever. The parks have incredible power to help improve our health and wellbeing and safely connect us with nature and each other, as well as bolster our local and regional economies,” said Amy McMillan, Director of the Metroparks, which commissioned the study. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to protect, preserve and enhance this regional treasure.”

TPL researchers and economists found that the Metroparks provides seven categories of major economic benefit throughout Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. All were calculated using the most recent data and conservative methods available to ensure the most reliable report. These categories are:

  • Generating substantial recreational value
  • Enhancing property values
  • Boosting economic development
  • Providing healthcare cost savings
  • Attracting and retaining visitors/tourists and talent
  • Reducing stormwater management costs
  • Improving air quality

According to Jennifer Plowden, a senior conservation economist at The Trust for Public Land and the report’s lead author: “Our research unequivocally shows that the Huron-Clinton Metroparks are strong, smart investments, which provide significant returns to local residents, communities and businesses throughout the region. We hope that this demonstration of the enormous value of parks will encourage health advocates, business leaders and policy makers to continue to support their parks.”

Plowden pointed to the following key economic impact findings of the Metroparks study:

  • $92.4 million. The amount of annual direct spending by visitors to Metroparks in local communities and the tourism economy. Beyond being home to the parks, trails, facilities and programming that attracts visitors, the system hosts a variety of events, including fireworks shows, national fishing tournaments, marathons, farm festivals, outdoor concerts, and more.
  • $68 million. The overall amount nearby residential property values are raised, providing value to local homeowners.
  • $62.3 million. The Metroparks value of recreation ($32 million) and health benefits ($30.3 million) to residents annually. Popular activities include picnicking, visiting with family and friends, visiting playgrounds and beaches, walking, hiking, biking, paddling, taking photos, and observing wildlife.
  • $1,250. The health care savings each year of an average adult by being physically active in the park system. Those savings are doubled for those 65 and older.
  • $30.3 million. The amount of savings to the community due to Metroparks reducing storm water and contaminated runoff.
  • $2.25 million. The amount air pollution costs are lowered annually due to trees and vegetation in Metroparks.
  • $678 million. The total sales generated by 272 sporting goods stores in the region. This spending on recreation equipment, which is supported by but not exclusive to Metroparks, helps provide industry specific jobs (3,180 employees) and propel economic impact and development.

The Trust for Public Land has measured the economic benefits of parks and trails across the country, from Los Angeles, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado to the Metroparks Toledo, Ohio most recently.

The report as well as an infographic summary can be downloaded at http://www.tpl.org/economic-benefits-hcma or http://www.metroparks.com/EconomicBenefits.


Whitmer signs bipartisan “Clean Slate” criminal justice reform bills


Posted by The Huron Hub 
Oct. 12, 2020

Governor Whitmer today signed bipartisan House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 reforming Michigan’s criminal expungement laws making it easier for people who have committed certain felonies and misdemeanors to have their record expunged. Changes in the bills include allowing a person to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after December 6, 2018  when recreational marijuana use by adults became legal in the state,  due to the referendum that voters approved to legalize marijuana in 2018. During her 2018 campaign for governor, Governor Whitmer made expungement for marijuana convictions one of her key priorities, and today she is following through on that promise.

“This is a historic day in Michigan. These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is also an opportunity to grow our workforce and expand access to job training and education for so many people. I am proud to sign these bills today alongside Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and many of the bipartisan leaders who worked on them.”

Research conducted by the University of Michigan law school, which was recently published by the Harvard Law Review, found that people who receive expungements see a 23% increase in income within a year. This means more resources for families and communities, and a broader tax base, without any negative impact on public safety.   

The changes proposed by House Bills 4980-4985 and 5120 include the following:

  • Creates an automatic process for setting aside eligible misdemeanors after seven years and eligible non-assaultive felonies after 10 years.
  • Expands the number and revises the types of felonies and misdemeanors eligible to be set aside by application.
  • Revises the waiting periods before being eligible to apply.
  • Treat multiple felonies or misdemeanor offenses arising from the same transaction as a single felony or misdemeanor conviction, provided the offenses happened within 24 hours of one another and are not assaultive crimes, or involves possession or use of a dangerous weapon, or is a crime that carries penalty of 10 or more years in prison.
  • Expands expungement eligibility to various traffic offenses
  • Allow a person to petition to set aside one or more marijuana offenses if the offense would not have been a crime if committed after the use of recreational marijuana by adults became legal in the state.

“Thousands of Detroiters who want to work and be a part of Detroit’s comeback have been held back for too long because of mistakes they’ve made in their past,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the Governor and our state legislators, more than 80,000 more Detroiters now will be eligible to have those past mistakes removed from their record and a chance at a new start. Detroit’s Project Clean Slate has helped hundreds of people get their records expunged already. It’s free, helps clients through the entire process and connects them to opportunities through Detroit At Work.”

Governor Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist have worked to enact criminal justice reforms since the day they took office, the governor says.

In April of 2019, Governor Whitmer created the bipartisan Michigan Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, which  reviewed the state’s jail and court data to expand alternatives to jail, safely reduce jail admissions and length of stay, and improve the effectiveness of the front end of Michigan’s justice system. The task force has produced a report and made recommendations.

In May of 2019, Governor Whitmer signed into law, bipartisan bills reforming “Civil Asset Forfeiture,” limiting and in some cases ending the ability  of law enforcement agencies to seize a person’s property before that person has been judged and convicted. Additionally,  Governor Whitmer signed “Raise the Age” into law which was an 18-bill package that increased  the age of who is legally considered a juvenile or an adult in the criminal justice system from 17 to 18 years old With the passage of “Raise the Age,” Michigan joined 46 other states in ending the unjust practice of charging and punishing children as adults when they make mistakes.


 

Associated Press: 13 charged in plots against Michigan governor, police

Governor Gretchen Whitmer as a recent press conference. (Photo/State of Michigan)

Posted Oct. 8, 2020 - 3:00 PM EDT

DETROIT (Associated Press) — Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch Whitmer at her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court, while seven others accused of trying to target police and the state Capitol were charged in state court.

“All of us in Michigan can disagree about politics, but those disagreements should never, ever amount to violence. Violence has been prevented today,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider told reporters.

The six men charged in federal court plotted for months, consulting and training with members of a group that federal authorities described as a militia, and undertaking rehearsals in August and September, according to an FBI affidavit.

Four planned to meet Wednesday to “make a payment on explosives and exchange tactical gear,” the FBI said in the court filing.

The FBI quoted one of the accused as saying Whitmer “has no checks and balances at all. She has uncontrolled power right now. All good things must come to an end.”

The six men charged in federal court were arrested Wednesday night and face up to life in prison if convicted. They were due in court Thursday. Andrew Birge, the U.S. attorney in western Michigan, called them “violent extremists.”

Whitmer has been praised but also deeply criticized for the state’s response to the coronavirus. She put major restrictions on personal movement throughout the state and on the economy, although many of those limits have been lifted. The Michigan Supreme Court last week said a 1945 law used as the foundation for many of the governor’s orders is unconstitutional.

The government said the plot against Whitmer was stopped with the work of undercover agents and informants.

Through electronic communications, two of the alleged conspirators “agreed to unite others in their cause and take violent action against multiple state governments that they believe are violating the U.S. Constitution,” the FBI said.

The criminal complaint identified the six as Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris, Brandon Caserta, all of Michigan, and Barry Croft of Delaware.

Fox said he needed 200 men to storm the Capitol building in Lansing and take hostages, including the governor, according to the FBI. He said he wanted to try Whitmer for “treason” and would execute the plan before the Nov. 3 election, the government said. The group later shifted to targeting the governor’s vacation home, the FBI said.

The government said the scheme appeared to have roots in a June gathering in Dublin, Ohio, attended by more than a dozen people from several states, including Croft and Fox.

“The group talked about creating a society that followed the U.S. Bill of Rights and where they could be self-sufficient,” the FBI affidavit said. “They discussed different ways of achieving this goal from peaceful endeavors to violent actions. … Several members talked about murdering ‘tyrants’ or ‘taking’ a sitting governor.”

Link to original Associated Press article 


 

Drivers risk tickets after license, vehicle registration extension expires Sept. 30


Posted by Scott Bolthouse 
The Huron Hub
Sept. 30, 2020

Michigan residents have the remainder of Wednesday to renew their expired driver’s licenses, state identification cards and vehicle registrations before they will be assessed late fees and risk a ticket from police.

All such credentials with expirations after March 1 were extended by the state Legislature through Sept. 30, and no additional extension is expected.

For driver’s licenses and IDs required to be renewed in person, such as those requiring a new photo, Secretary of State offices have been offering special appointments since Aug. 24, and they continue to be available through Sept. 30. Those that don’t require an in-person renewal must be renewed online or by mail.

The quickest way to renew vehicle registrations is at one of the more than 120 self-service stations located across the state. The average transaction time is two minutes, and customers walk away with their tabs in hand. Vehicle registrations also can be renewed online and by mail. Branch visits are not required for registration renewals.

“I strongly encourage all Michiganders with expiring licenses, IDs or vehicle registrations to act now and avoid late fees or possible tickets,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “We have done everything we can to support Michiganders during this uncertain time and want to make sure they renew before the expiration extension ends.”

To schedule an appointment, conduct a transaction online or find a self-service station, visit Michigan.gov/SOS.


 

Kroger, Ocado announce high-tech customer fulfillment center will be built in Romulus

Advertisement

Kroger and Ocado’s new customer fulfillment center – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities, also known as a “shed”. (PRNewsfoto/The Kroger Co.)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Sept. 28, 2020 - 4:15 p.m. EDT

The Kroger Co. and Ocado, a technology company that supports grocery e-commerce, announced Monday that the latest location for a customer fulfillment center (CFC) will be built in Romulus.

The facility will be located at 15675 Wahrman in Romulus and is expected to become operational 18 months after the site breaks ground.

The facility will support customers in several markets, including Michigan, Northern Ohio, and Indiana.

The location confirms a previous announcement stating Kroger and Ocado would construct a CFC in the Great Lakes Region.

“Kroger is incredibly excited to develop one of our industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers in Michigan in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers faster than ever before,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. “We continue to invest in and constantly improve our e-commerce capabilities, focusing on cost-effective solutions. Our partnership with Ocado is an essential part of our evolving seamless ecosystem. In Michigan, we are engineering a smaller model for the region, leveraging advanced robotics technology and creative solutions to redefine the customer experience and respond to the growing demand for grocery e-commerce services.”

Kroger has partnered with Ocado to accelerate its ability to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.

The CFC model – an automated warehouse facility with digital and robotic capabilities – will be used to serve customers across the region. Kroger is designing a flexible distribution network, combining disaggregated demand and the proximity of its stores and facilities that vary in design and size.

“Grocery ecommerce has reached an inflection point in 2020, and with Kroger we are developing a game-changing ecosystem for serving online grocery across the United States. Powered by Ocado’s state of the art technology, this site illustrates the unique flexibility of Ocado’s technology, as we are able to deploy sites of different sizes in different regions, to maximize penetration across diverse markets,” said Luke Jensen, CEO of Ocado Solutions. “Ocado’s proven technology will allow Kroger to achieve the lowest cost-to-serve in the market, combined with the best freshness, accuracy and service.”

“Kroger’s decision to invest $95 million and create 250 new jobs in Romulus further demonstrates that Wayne County is a global leader in logistics and fulfillment industries. Kroger’s continued commitment to our region with the innovative new grocery delivery service provided by this high-tech facility will help improve access to fresh foods in southeast Michigan at a time when this service is more important than ever to keep residents safe and healthy,” said Warren Evans, Wayne County Chief Executive.

This new 135,000-square-foot CFC will accelerate Kroger’s ability to expand its products to a larger footprint. This facility will create 250 new jobs, benefitting the City of Romulus/Aerotropolis region.


 

Fall bird migration fills the skies at your Metroparks

Advertisement

(Photo by Scott Bolthouse–The Huron Hub)


Posted Sept. 29, 2020

The Huron Hub

At the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, September is known as Bird Migration Month and at Lake Erie Metropark it is known as Raptor Month. As the summer winds down and fall takes over animals start preparing for the winter and birds start their migration.

Less than half the bird species in the United States are year-round residents of their home range. For animals to survive the winter migration is key. It is a common assumption that migration is solely due to the weather, but there are several factors that determine migration. Some animals migrate to breed, some to find more favorable living conditions, but most migrate to find food.

Some species are migrating short distances, from county to county or from higher elevation to lower elevation, such as the Red-winged Blackbird. Some species migrate moderate distances, from state to state, such as the Eastern Bluebird. But the truly impressive species are those migrating great distances from country to country, such as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird and our raptors, like hawks, eagles, osprey and turkey vultures.

At Lake Erie Metropark, you can view the great migration, as a designated watch site for raptor migration. Influenced by geography, weather, and other factors the numbers of raptors streaming over the watch site have ranged from as low as 30,000 birds for the three-month season, to over 600,000 birds. Although Broad-winged Hawks and Turkey Vultures often make-up the largest percentage of these numbers, there are a total of 16 different species that can be seen with some consistency. These include such birds as Bald Eagles, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles and others.

For over 35 years, the Detroit Hawk Watch has been conducted in one form or another at Lake Erie Metropark; and the boat launch in the park has been the primary site for over 20 of those years. A paid counter, sponsored by the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and the Hawk Migration Association of North America, along with numerous volunteers can be found at the watch site seven days a week from September 1st through the end of November. The site is opened to everyone, and information is provided by the volunteers; as well as an interpretive kiosk provided through donations from Hawk Watch volunteers.

Huron-Clinton Metroparks Interpreter, Paul Cypher said, “The fall signifies a special time at Lake Erie Metropark, we gear up for our Raptor programs, where we can share the beauty, strength and pure awesomeness of raptors. This year, we were able to restart outdoor programming so we can get out there and enjoy the season’s migration.”

Be sure to add your Metroparks to your fall bucket list and experience the wonder of the fall bird migration! Explore raptor and programs at https://www.metroparks.com/events/list/?tribe-bar-search=raptor.


 

Whitmer reopens movie theaters, strengthens mask requirements in schools


Posted by The Huron Hub

Press release desk

Sept. 25, 2020


Governor’s order increases limits on mass gatherings for regions in phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan

Governor Whitmer on Friday signed Executive Orders 2020-183, which amends the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues and 2020-185, which requires face coverings for students in grades K-5. 

“Michigan took some of the most aggressive action against COVID-19 in the country, and as a result, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states. As a result, we are now able to reopen movie theaters and performance venues with strict safety measures in place. I know these business owners have made incredible sacrifices during this crisis to protect our families and frontline workers, and my administration will continue working to help them get back on their feet,” said Governor Whitmer. “We are not out of the woods yet, and we will continue to monitor the effects of these incremental changes. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must stay the course and continue fighting this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.” 

Beginning October 9, a number of previously closed businesses are slated to reopen statewide, including indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and more. 

Under Executive Order 2020-183, instead of being limited to 10 people, non-residential indoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 20 people per 1,000 square feet or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in Michigan’s largest venues. Non-residential indoor venues must require a face covering. Instead of being limited to 100 people, non-residential outdoor gatherings and events now must limit attendance to 30 people per 1,000 square feet or 30 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 1,000 people. Regions 6 and 8 are subject to the same rules covered in the revised MI Safe Start order, except non-residential indoor venues may allow up to 25 people per 1,000 square feet or 25 percent of fixed seating capacity, with a maximum of 500 people in the regions’ largest venues. 

Executive Order 2020-185 requires all students in grades kindergarten and up in regions 1-5 and 7 to wear a face covering in classrooms. Prior orders had recommended, but not required, a face covering for grades kindergarten through five.  

“With the 2020-2021 flu season approaching, we are in a precarious moment in our fight against COVID-19,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This new mask requirement is so important to protect students and educators, and to keep our schools open. This year, it’s more important than ever that Michiganders across the state get their flu vaccine as soon as possible, mask up, and maintain at least six feet of physical distancing. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.” 

“We applaud the governor’s strong leadership during this time and appreciate the guidance she has provided,” said JD Loeks, President of Studio C, Parent Company of Celebration Cinema. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees, patrons, and their families. We are eager to reopen our doors with strict safety measures in place and look forward to working closely with the governor and her team as we continue to fight this virus.” 

“One of the many unfortunate side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that bereaved families across Michigan have not had the opportunity attend the rituals, services, and ceremonies that allow them to pay their respects and process their grief over the loss of a loved one,” said Phil Douma, Executive Director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.  “Increasing the number of people able to attend a funeral is the right thing to do, and grieving families across our state can now more properly mourn their losses and honor those they love.” 

The governor today also signed Executive Order 2020-184, which updates the governor’s previous order on workplace safeguards to reflect the changes in the MI Safe Start Order.


MDOT is hiring: learn more at Oct. 6 virtual career fair


Posted by The Huron Hub
Sept. 22, 2020

Fast facts:

MDOT full-time and seasonal positions are available throughout the state.
MDOT’s will be hosting a virtual career fair 6:30-8 p.m. Oct. 6.
Registration is open now until Oct. 6 at https://app.brazenconnect.com/a/Michigan/e/4q9Mn.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a virtual career fair 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, to help fill a number of seasonal and permanent positions.

MDOT has partnered with the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to give prospective candidates a chance to engage with MDOT staff, ask questions, and learn about current and future career opportunities through chat and video conversations.

The department is currently in need of more than 100 limited-term, winter maintenance workers in all regions of the state. The minimum requirement for these positions is a valid Michigan Class B CDL. All other training will be provided. This is a great entry point into the department and could lead to future full-time opportunities.

Other available positions include electricians, internships (including veterans, engineering, and Transportation Diversity Recruitment Program positions), transportation engineers, transportation maintenance workers (seasonal and full-time), transportation planners, transportation technicians, and other skilled trades and professional positions.

Interested candidates are encouraged to look over current positions as new ones are being posted each day at http://www.Michigan.gov/MDOTJobs. The virtual career fair is open to all experience levels. Hiring requirements are based upon the individual position.

For more information, contact MDOT Workforce Programs and Recruitment Unit Manager James Fults at MDOT-Recruitment@Michigan.gov.

Article source: MDOT


 

Another round of smoke from West Coast wildfires heading toward Michigan this week

Smoke from the wildfires on the West Coast reached Michigan last week, and causing hazy sunrises and sunsets. Seen here is a photo of the sunrise captured Sept. 15 in Huron Township. More of the same is expected this week. 
(Photo by Scott Bolthouse — The Huron Hub)


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

Sept. 21, 2020

Last week, social media was ripe with photos of the sunrises and sunsets over Michigan that looked especially interesting due to drifting wildfire smoke from the West Coast.

The sunrises and sunsets in Michigan were hazy. Check it out:

 

Forecasters are saying that we can expect more of the same this week.

According to MLive.com forecaster Mark Torregrossa, another smoky sky period is on the way for the skies over Michigan.

“The upper-level winds are swinging to blowing out of the west and southwest. That wind direction is moving an area of wildfire smoke that almost covers the entire western half of the U.S.,” the forecaster said. “The leading edge of the smoke is now moving into Michigan.”

Torregrossa said the weather forecast for this week is for quite a bit of sunshine and fairly light winds, meaning the large area of smoke won’t be pushed out of the sky quickly.

Smoke is expected to stick around through the remainder of the week.

In California, officials said wildfires are likely to grow from wind and low humidity.

The destruction wrought by a wind-driven wildfire in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles approached 156 square miles (404 square kilometers) Sunday, burning structures, homes and a nature center in a famed Southern California wildlife sanctuary in foothill desert communities, according to the Associated Press.

Help people affected by the western wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED CROSS or texting the words WILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

Want to help people specifically affected by the California, Oregon or Washington wildfires? Write “California Wildfires,” “Oregon Wildfires” or “Washington Wildfires” in the memo line of a check and mail it to your local Red Cross chapter with the completed donation form. For California Wildfires you can also text the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


 

Michigan unemployed workers provided additional $300 per week


Posted by The Huron Hub
Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has started processing payments for Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) for eligible Michiganders. Due to the large volume of payments to be processed, workers will begin receiving LWA payments over the next week to ten days.

LWA is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide $300 per week to supplement unemployment benefits for those who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. To be eligible for LWA, a claimant’s weekly benefit amount must be at least $100 (before deductions).

“Initially, eligible claimants will receive LWA for the benefit weeks ending Aug. 1, Aug. 8 and Aug. 15, 2020,” said UIA Director Steve Gray, “An estimated 910,000 claimants will receive these much-needed additional benefits.”

Workers do not have to file a separate claim or application for LWA. To qualify, claimants must self-certify whether they are unemployed due to COVID-19. For claimants who have already provided a self-certification on their claim filing application, no further action is needed to qualify. Also, all unemployed workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) have already completed this step.

Claimants who need to self-certify will receive notification to answer a question in their MiWAM account starting this week. If a claimant has chosen to receive US mail, notification will be mailed.

FEMA has recently alerted states that LWA funds will only be available for a total of six weeks. States were initially granted three weeks of LWA benefits and must apply for additional weeks. UIA has applied for all available weeks of benefits which will be payable until the week ending September 5.