Detroit health officials concerned vaccination rates in city as restrictions are eased
As the state slowly returns to normal, a lot still hangs in the balance for us to reach “herd immunity,” and with so many people out enjoying the nice weather, the hope is that most of the maskless folks out and about are vaccinated.
Detroit Tigers prepare for Opening Day amid COVID pandemic
DETROIT – It will be a different Downtown Detroit Thursday for the Tigers’ Open Day game against the Cleveland Indians. READ: Ranking 22 Detroit Tigers questions we can’t wait to learn the answers to this seasonThursday’s game will definitely feel different than what we’re used to for the Tigers’ home opener. “Opening Day is usually my biggest day,” said Curt Ciaravino. He said he and other businesses were thrilled to hear some fans would be allowed in for Opening Day, but 8,000 people is still a fraction of what they’re used to seeing on Opening day.. MORE: Detroit Tigers news
Michigan businesses fear restrictions as COVID numbers spike
Gretchen Whitmer said she’s not actively considering new restrictions as COVID cases continue to surge in the state. March 26, 2021: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 647,899; Death toll now at 16,004For businesses operating at 50% capacity, the rise in numbers is cause for concern. “I mean as far as the numbers going up, it’s scary,” said Nick Waligora, manager at Pitaya. “As far cases are going up, the number of vaccinated people are also going up,” said Joel Padilla. AdHe believes the focus should be on boosting vaccine distribution, rather than increasing restrictions.
Wayne County school officials urge families to remain cautious over spring break
WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – With Michigan’s COVID-19 numbers on the rise and spring break around the corner, Wayne County superintendents are reaching out to parents to ask them to be vigilant in order to keep schools open. In order to keep schools open -- despite the rise in COVID cases -- it will depend on behavior outside of school. READ: Tracking coronavirus cases, outbreaks in Michigan schoolsAdWayne County school officials are asking parents as they head into spring break to skip the parties because of the substantial community spread going on. Officials said the precautions at schools -- daily cleaning, contact tracing and isolating students -- are working and that they don’t want students to return to remote-learning. They said they are concerned that if students and families let their guards down over spring break, the community spread will explode more than it already is.
New restrictions put in place by local hospitals as COVID numbers surge
ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Despite the surge of new coronavirus cases, Gov. Beaumont Health reinstated health and safety precautions at all hospital locations in an effort to protect patients, staff and communities amid a surge in coronavirus spread. READ: Beaumont hospitals restore visitor restrictions amid rising COVID casesThe restrictions went into effect 8 a.m. Thursday. They severely restrict visitation in hopes of slowing the wave of new hospitalizations during the new surge. The Michigan Health and Hospital Association said hospitalizations for those aged 30-39 have gone up 633%, and for ages 40-49, hospitalizations have gone up 800%.
Metro Detroit students have end-of-year concerns
DETROIT – During the coronavirus pandemic, Local 4 has been checking in with students around Metro Detroit on their struggles, successes and how COVID is impacting their lives. It’s no surprise that students are starting to get concerned about end-of-year activities like graduations and proms. Paula Tutman spoke with students from the Walled Lake Consolidated School District, and they thing Michigan lawmakers need to be more efficient with their time. They acknowledge that they are not entitled to a fun senior year, but believe they have earned the right to start making plans. Walled Lake superintendent Kenneth Gutman said he thought there would be more guidance from Lansing, so he could direct his students on what they can and cannot plan toward, but he said he’s heard nothing.
Grosse Pointe teen collects items for less fortunate
GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – A local family is used to volunteering and giving back, but had to find a new way to help others during the coronavirus pandemic. If you can’t drop them off in the box, there’s an Amazon wishlist on the charity’s website. “At first it was just close friends and family, once it gained traction, more distant friends friends and family,” Tengler said. “Now it’s people I don’t even know.”So far, the 17-year-old has collected about 2,000 pairs of socks and underwear. “We’re so fortunate and there are so many people who have been super affected by the pandemic,” Tengler said.
A look inside the bubble at the NCAA Tournament
DETROIT – The National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament is back after a year off. Viewers can expect the same theatrics as always, but off the court, the players are finding it to be a bit lonely. The idea is to limit contact and prevent COVID spread among the 68 teams, so the tournament can be played to completion. They are all wearing small tracking devices for contact tracing and the NCAA Senior VP of Basketball said as long as a team has five healthy players, they can play. 1 seed in 2021 NCAA Tournament; Spartans get No.
Metro Detroit bars optimistic for St. Patrick’s Day sales
Saint Patrick’s Day is a big deal to a lot of Irish bars and restaurants. Irish bars and restaurants missed out on that income in 2020, but even worse, they were fully stocked with extra food and alcohol for Saint Patrick’s Day. “Sunday would have been the parade,” Roberts said. “We had some really good activity, you know people dressed up, people in their green are coming down from the suburbs, just like they used to.”Dunleavy said a normal Saint Patrick’s Day would involved a packed house and more than 20 kegs. Many Irish restaurants are also doing carry out, so if you plan to celebrate at home you can take your corned beef to go.
Detroit chef earns recognition for feeding those in need amid COVID pandemic
DETROIT – For 50 years, Chef Phil Jones has cooked in high-end restaurants and fed those in need. In March 2020, on Friday the 13th, COVID took away Jones’ catering business and cooking classes. “They have thousands of pounds of produce to try and get out to the community,” Jones recalled. “All these wonderful people coming out to TCF to load trucks and cars and vans and trailers,” Jones recalled. His desire to give back during a pandemic led to the Detroit Free Press to name him 2021 Chef of the Year.
How the COVID pandemic has impacted Metro Detroit businesses
DETROIT – In addition to the nearly 16,000 COVID-related deaths in Michigan over the last year, we know the pandemic has been devastating to businesses. AdThere have been a few bright spots with some businesses seeing an uptick in businesses due to the pandemic. Dimitri Polychronou owns Earl’s Dry Cleaning. People have been great to work with during this pandemic,” Millen said. AdThe majority of locally-owned businesses have really struggled, but there is hope of things improving as vaccine distribution expands.
Warren resident sits outside wife’s nursing home window for hours every day
Nothing stops Frank Notaft from visiting Lake Pointe Senior Care in Clinton Township. He drives from Warren, sets up a tent, chair, heater and radio to meet with his wife of the past 60 years. Prior to the pandemic, 83-year-old Notaft would come to have lunch, dinner and to hold 80-year-old Nikki’s hand to walk the hallways. AdThe love story is well known inside Lake Point Senior Care and outside. “A lady gave me the tent,” Notaft said.
Ann Arbor Summer Festival announces adapted 2021 season
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – With summer on its way, Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) is gearing up for an adapted 2021 season. On Thursday, the organization announced this summer’s festival season will include outdoor concerts and pop-up events around Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Instead, from June 11 to July 3 it will hold an adapted season anchored by the Tiny TOPS and Live Here Now outdoor programs. AdThe Live Here Now program will host pop-up concerts and events in public spaces around both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, said A2SF. Learn more about Ann Arbor Summer Festival at www.a2sf.org.
Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival cancels 2021 event, plans 2022 return
Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival will not return in 2021, but organizers are planning to bring the music event back in 2022. In a statement posted to the Mo Pop website:It’s hard to write this again almost a year later, but 2021 is still too soon for a safe return of the Mo Pop Festival that unites us. Mark your calendars for July 30 & 31, 2022, when we can all safely gather at our new location at the Historic Fort Wayne. We can’t wait to see the Mo Pop community come together on a sunny day by the Detroit riverfront. AdThe event moved from the West Riverfront to Historic Fort Wayne last year, but the inaugural event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Metro Detroit woman celebrates 100th birthday after beating COVID
A Metro Detroit woman turned 100 Sunday shortly after she had beaten coronavirus. For her 100th birthday, Stargell knew he had to make it special. “I had to be very careful about going down to the nursing home with this stuff going around,” Stargell said. “I wanted to do something big because reaching 100 is huge,” said Molina Healthcare senior engagement specialist Elizabeth Crenshaw. “It was terrifying because the time that she got it, I had been very very careful,” Stargell said.
U-M students, parents rally for in-person graduation
Parents and students gathered in Ann Arbor Saturday to preserve a big milestone at the University of Michigan. READ: ‘We’re coming no matter what’: Parents, students rally at U-M in Ann Arbor for an in-person graduationA rally was held to push U-M officials to hold an in-person graduation. The attendees of the rally chanted “Big House, big day, in-person graduation all the way,” in front of Michigan Union on State Street. RELATED: Some University of Michigan students and parents push for in-person commencementOther Big Ten universities -- including Michigan State University and Purdue University -- have announced they will do some sort of an in-person graduation, which is why these parents and students believe Michigan can find a way. However, some parents and students think the university can come up with a plan to do it now while the students are still on campus.
Michigan parents push for more in-person learning ahead of March 1 target date
Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her desire to see all school districts off some kind of in-person learning option by Monday. A group of parents spoke with Local 4 about what they think is best for their children. They acknowledged that Whitmer wanting to return to in-person learning by March 1 was a step in the right direction, but they still want her to do more. The parents are urging Whitmer to take more action while it still can be done. “We just need to get them back into what they’re used to and what’s been proven to be best for our children,” Miller said.
Zingerman’s 6th annual fundraiser to benefit SafeHouse goes virtual amid pandemic
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Zingerman’s Community of Businesses is hosting a virtual dinner Tuesday night to wrap up a month-long fundraiser benefiting SafeHouse Center. The sixth annual Jelly Bean Jump Up will feature a three course meal from Zingerman’s Roadhouse, which participants can order online and pick up before the event. The Jelly Bean Jump Up will take place 7 p.m. Tuesday. Funds raised from Jelly Bean Jump Up will benefit Ann Arbor’s SafeHouse Center, who serves domestic violence and sexual assault survivors in Washtenaw County. Click here to reserve your spot at the sixth annual Jelly Bean Jump Up dinner.
Wayne-Westland school staff vaccinated ahead of return to in-person learning
WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – While many teachers are reluctant to return to the classroom for face-to-face education, one district has teachers ready, waiting and excited to return Monday. Wednesday was a big day for the Wayne-Westland Community School district. Of the nearly 1,700 teachers, drivers and staff -- everyone who wants a vaccine has gotten them. The district arranged for clinics set up just for school staff. More information on the district’s plans can be found on the Wayne-Westland Community School district website here.
Metro Detroit business owners ask to be included in eviction moratorium
EASTPOINTE, Mich. – President Joe Biden extended a ban on foreclosures for homeowners and an Eviction Moratorium is in effect until March. Some small businesses said they want to be included in those measures, so they don’t lose what they’ve worked so hard for. Just like many businesses, he had to shut his doors, but he opened back up in August of last year“Slow. “I’m at the stage now where I’m almost faced to close the business down and hopefully try and find another location very soon.”AdGantt said he applied for small business loans and is now waiting for that to be approved. “She extended it to residential, but I believe it should had been extended to commercial as well,” said Gantt..Gov.
17th annual Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon goes digital amid pandemic
DETROIT – Last year, hundreds of women across Metro Detroit came out to celebrate the 16th annual Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon at Little Caesars Arena. Like everything during the coronavirus pandemic, the 17th annual Detroit Go Red for Women Luncheon will be very different, but organizers said that’s a good thing. READ: Complete Heart Month coverageThe 2021 Detroit Go Red for Women Digital Experience will support the fight to end heart disease and stroke. The week-long event culminates in the titular Go Red for Women Luncheon Digital Experience at noon, Feb. 26. Go Red for Women Luncheon Digital Experience Noon to 1 p.m.
Macomb County restaurants file lawsuit seeking compensation for COVID-19 precautions, profit loss
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – The Macomb County Restaurant, Bar, and Banquet Association have asked for a jury trial in an attempt to force Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to pay for the losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first 10 pages of its 17-page court filling goes over the challenges the service industry has faced during the coronavirus crisis. Mount Clemens Recreation and Bowl on Crocker Boulevard -- locally known as Rec Bowl -- opened 70 years ago. But if we can’t open, we’re done.”RELATED: Macomb County’s SMART bus vaccination program draws praise, but doses remain in low supply
Metro Detroit woman brings spa treatments to clients amid pandemic
DETROIT – The stress of the coronavirus pandemic has almost everyone looking for ways to relax. That’s why one Metro Detroit woman decided she was going to bring relaxation to her clients in the safest way possible. “I turned to God and He gave it to me.”She purchased an RV and with her partner, they transformed it into a mobile spa. She spent $40,000 putting Spa Land Mobile Spa together -- an idea Ali had been talking about for years. I’m so proud of myself.”If you’d like to book a session or learn more, visit the official Spa Land Mobile Spa website here.
Metro Detroit catering company cooks up safe romantic plans for Valentine’s Day
TROY, Mich. – Are you looking for something to do Valentine’s Day weekend? Why not turn your dining room into a table for two by learning to cook virtually for one romantic evening. Chef Matt Jenkins, with Celebrity Catering in Troy, is doing personal virtual cooking classes that rival anything on television. It’s all part of a virtual cooking class Friday being offered to keep couples in love at home and safe. The class is easy and takes the guess work out of making food look good, taste good, complete with heart healthy options.
COVID pandemic leads to shortage of referees for Michigan high school sports
The battle over high school sports may be settled for now in Michigan, but there’s a new issue emerging because of the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of referees are choosing to stay on the sidelines and sitting it out, at least for now, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association will have to work around it. He said that’s worst-case scenario because the MHSAA is determined to let student athletes play despite officials being down in Michigan by about 30%. Scott Waldendowski -- who officiates in the Macomb Area Conference -- said he sees firsthand there’s a lot of work for officials like himself. READ: Michigan high school basketball, hockey players have to wear masks during gamesDue to the shortage, MHSAA is currently hiring.
Metro Detroit bars and restaurants prepare for Super Bowl crowd
DETROIT – The drinks are flowing and the food is fresh and hot inside the Brass Rail Pizza Bar in Downtown Detroit. The first week of allowing customers back inside restaurants and bars was a success. Kevin Weathers, the bar manager at Brass Rail on Adams Avenue, said they’re now preparing for the biggest game in the NFL Season. “We do have a private party. “I think we’re going to be open and events will be coming back and Detroit is going to be bustling,” Weathers concluded.
211 lines tied up after MDHHS recommends calling for vaccine help
LANSING, Mich. – Friday brought even more confusion for Michiganders attempting to schedule a coronavirus vaccination appointment -- particularly over the phone. Original Story: Michigan health director says to call 211 for vaccine appointments, but callers say it’s not workingMultiple viewers said they called in and were unable to get through. One viewer said 211 gave them a recorded message that 211 was not scheduling vaccinations and another said the phone rang for 25 minutes with no answer. Michigan senior residents have been struggling to receive their vaccines. People 60-years-old and older account for 24% of the confirmed cases in Michigan but are 90% of the confirmed deaths.
Michigan health director says to call 211 for vaccine appointments, but callers say it’s not working
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is strategizing on how to make sure every resident is vaccinated quickly. Johnson & Johnson asked U.S. regulators Thursday for emergency approval of its vaccine -- the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies. If approved, there would be a third vaccine option and more doses available to residents. Please be patient as we work with local health departments and hospital systems to deliver tje vaccine to every community in the state. Lynn Sutfin, MDHHS Public Information OfficerREAD: Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases
Extending Michigan’s school year? It could happen, teacher representatives say
LANSING, Mich. – The battle to provide education for all during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to become more and more complicated. READ: Return To SchoolState superintendent Dr. Michael Rice called on the state Legislature to extend the school year Tuesday for students to make up for the lost time. “This school year, in and of itself, can’t even last five minutes longer,” said Paula Herbart, the president of the Michigan Education Association. Students need a break.”It’s undeniable that the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years have exhausted teachers. Detroit Public Schools Community District superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said he can’t realistically extend the school year, but he can expand learning opportunities in every neighborhood.
Michigan restaurants reopen indoor dining today: What to know
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – Monday is a big day for restaurants in Michigan -- after nearly three months, restaurants can reopen for indoor dining. READ: Michigan restaurants to reopen with curfew, other safety restrictions in placeIt’s a day Michiganders have been patiently and not-so patiently waiting for -- the return of in-person dining. Restaurants can only open to 25% capacity, but Carter said that won’t be a problem. “The dining room for a Jewish deli is a little bit more than just food. “Obviously we had to go smaller but now we’ve been able to reach out and we’ve definitely had more people join our team.”AdRELATED: Internet crowdfunding keeps many Michigan restaurants afloat amid pandemic
Internet crowdfunding keeps many Michigan restaurants afloat amid pandemic
READ: Michigan restaurants prepare to reopen indoor dining Feb. 1Some restaurants mean more to their local communities than just a breakfast special or ice cream on a hot summer day. The place opened in 2002 and may not make it to 2022, but owner Dave McManaman said a fundraiser gives him some hope. Ray’s Ice Cream, off Coolidge Highway in Royal Oak, is a generational business that’s been around for 60 years. AdMore information on Ray’s Ice Cream can be found on its official website or its official Facebook page here. More information on Dave & Amy’s can be found on its official website or its official Facebook page here.
Parents push for start of winter sports in Lansing
LANSING, Mich. – Parents and student athletes rallied in Lansing Saturday to urge state officials to resume winter sports sooner than the Feb. 21 deadline. “The kids need to play. “Going forward, these kids need something. “The opportunities that these kids are missing out on are building relationships with their friends and community,” Hutson said. It’s absolutely terrible.”More: Michigan parents set to file lawsuit demanding restart of high school sports
Michigan State University issues ‘enhanced’ social-distancing order on campus for 2 weeks
EAST LANSING, Mich. – To slow coronavirus transmission among students, Michigan State University issued more strict COVID-19 precautions Saturday for its students. During the 14-day enhanced physical distancing, students are told to not socialize with others in person — on campus or off. AdThe orders apply to students living on campus and within the East Lansing area. More restrictions will be given to those living on campus in the future. Students are allowed to come to the campus for the following reasons:Accessing secure internet.
Michigan officials considering resuming high school winter sports sooner than planned
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan High School Athletic Association is pushing for high school sports to resume before the current Feb. 21 deadline. There was a legislative hearing Thursday that resulted in an unanimous senate resolution that said high school sports should start earlier. The Michigan High School Athletic Association’s executive director, Mark Uyl, held a press conference Friday where he said their data suggests high school sports are good and not a problem. AdMark Uyl, with MSHAA, said their data suggests high school sports are good and not a problem. More: Detroit schools superintendent urges Whitmer to resume high school contact sports
Will sports resume? MHSAA clashes with MDHHS over winter contact sports ban
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan High School Athletic Association spoke out Friday on the hiatus of winter sports in the state. They are asking for the state to resume practice and competition in the four main contact sports sooner than the Feb. 21 deadline. Let Them Play, Inc. has been threatening a lawsuit unless winter high school sports are resumed by Monday. Mark Uyl, with MSHAA, said their data suggests high school sports are good and not a problem. More: Detroit schools superintendent urges Whitmer to resume high school contact sports
Insurance marketplace reopens for those who lost health care during COVID pandemic
DETROIT – Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Joe Biden plans to reopen the HealthCare.gov insurance markets for a special sign-up opportunity geared to people needing coverage in the coronavirus pandemic. Read: Biden to reopen ‘Obamacare’ markets for COVID-19 reliefYet there are many questions and also concerns about what coverage will be available and at what cost to the user and taxpayers. The Dearborn-based social services organization works to help people navigate the health care changes coming. This will allow those who have lost their insurance due to the pandemic to sign up for coverage. “For President Biden, this is personal,” reads a statement from a White House spokesperson.
Michigan Athletics put on pause -- Athletes, coaches, team-staff asked to quarantine
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – All athletic programs at the University of Michigan will be put on a 14-day pause starting Sunday, a school official confirmed Saturday night. Read: New COVID strain prompts 2-week pause of Michigan Athletics activitiesThe decision was made by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Team members -- student athletes, coaches and team staff -- are asked to immediately isolate or quarantine until further notice. MDHHS sent University of Michigan officials a memo explaining our recommendations, but has not issued any orders for the university to take any actions. Due to possible exposure to the virus in the community, MDHHS has also recommended increased testing in Washtenaw County to the Washtenaw County Health Department.
Online gambling and sports betting goes live in Michigan
DETROIT – Starting at noon Friday, people in Michigan could legally place bets on sports teams or play casino games online. READ: ‘New era’ of gambling in Michigan begins -- Online sports betting goes live FridayIt’s been billed as a new dawn of online sports gambling, but really it is the COVID-recovery plan for the gambling industry. It all starts with downloading your favorite gambling app to your phone or smart device. At sign-up, they all require GPS tracking to make sure you’re betting from inside Michigan. The operators authorized to begin online offerings Jan. 22 are:ResourcesThe MGCB has published FAQs, patron dispute forms and a sports wagering catalog on its website, www.michigan.gov/mgcb.
114 takeaways after Michigan officials discuss COVID variant, recent trends, restaurants reopening
National trends and how Michigan comparesMichigan has the 23rd highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of any state in the last seven days. There were 480 COVID-19 deaths between Jan. 3 and Jan. 9, and the death rate is 8.9 deaths per million residents. We have seen a long decline in COVID-19 cases since the end of November, however, since around Christmas, that decline has plateaued. COVID-19 spread in MichiganThe number of weekly reported COVID-19 cases to public health is remaining about the same. The variant gives Lyon-Callo cause for concern because instead of maintaining a decline in case rate, Michigan might see an increase in trajectory.
Ann Arbor’s Literati Bookstore to host Bill Gates, Simon Winchester at virtual events
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Literati Bookstore has announced it will host Bill Gates and Simon Winchester this winter as part of its ongoing virtual events series. Tickets include access to the event and a hardcover copy of the book with a signed bookplate. At 8 p.m. on Feb. 25, Literati will join Seminary Co-op Bookstores for the Chicago Humanities Festival to host Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates. In “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” Gates outlines a wide-ranging plan for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid a climate catastrophe. Literati Bookstore is at 124 E. Washington St.
Independent theaters in Ann Arbor announce decision to delay full opening until April
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The historic Michigan Theater and State Theatre are taking it slow when it comes to reopening. On Thursday, the Michigan Theater Foundation (MTF), which operates both of the downtown Ann Arbor independent theaters, announced that neither theater would fully reopen until April. According to the Michigan Theater’s reopening plan:“The MTF received permission from the State of Michigan to reopen the historic Michigan and State theaters in downtown Ann Arbor on December 21, 2020. For reasons of safety, the MTF team made the conscious decision to delay a full public reopening for three reasons:The rise in the infection rate after the Christmas/New Year holiday. Virtual events and Michigan Theater concessions are also available.
Metro Detroit schools torn on Whitmer’s goal to return to in-person learning March 1
DETROIT – School districts across Michigan are struggling to meet Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s target to return to in-person learning by March 1. Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said 10-20% of students have been absent since the COVID pandemic started. The Southfield Public School District, has been 100% since March and while recognizing the importance of bringing students back to their teachers, Dr. Jennifer Martin Green said the science dictates the district remain remote. Both districts believe vaccinations are a key part in getting students and teachers back in the classroom safely.
What customers need to know about Loves Furniture’s bankruptcy filing
WARREN, Mich. – Customers of Loves Furniture, the company that took over many closed Art Van Furniture locations, are concerned after the company filed for bankruptcy. If you’re a customer who has paid and haven’t received furniture yet, you should call your bank or credit card company immediately. Loves Furniture put blame on the COVID pandemic and the slow down of shipments from overseas. While that may be true, the new revelations of major financial problems won’t help the situation for many. READ: Customers of Loves Furniture report lengthy delivery delaysIn the bankruptcy filing, Loves revealed it has between 100-200 creditors and owes $10 million to $50 million.
Artini-at-Home: Ann Arbor Art Center’s annual cocktail competition goes virtual
The Ann Arbor Art Center softly reopened on June 30, 2020 after closing its doors to the public in March. Photo courtesy of the Ann Arbor Art Center. ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Join the Ann Arbor Art Center in celebrating art and its yearly cocktail competition, but from the comfort of home. Unlike previous events, the entire fundraiser and cocktail competition will be done online. Each will work with Ann Arbor Distilling Co., who is making and canning each cocktail, to reflect drinks inspired by Ann Arbor Art Center’s A2AC Murals project.
Jim Toy Community Center to close office, starts GoFundMe campaign
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Jim Toy Community Center announced Tuesday that the doors of its physical office space, located at 319 Braun Court, would close at the end of January. Jim Toy Community Center has also launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with the expenses of the volunteer-run nonprofit. If you can, please help by contributing to the GoFundMe Campaign to ensure a vibrant and active countywide #LGBTQ resource center exists in the future. After the Jim Toy Community Center board of directors meeting in December, Joe Schoch was elected as board president in 2021. He is replacing Travis Radina, who was elected as an Ann Arbor City Council member representing Ward 3 in November.
Michigan high schools allowed to reopen today as part of revised COVID order
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan high schools are allowed to resume in-person learning on Monday as a part of Michigan’s revised COVID-19 order issued before the holiday break in December. Indoor venues where people can remain masked and socially distanced -- movie theaters, stadiums, bowling alleys, casinos -- can reopen without food or drink concessions. READ: COVID-19 restrictions stay the same for Michigan restaurants as other venues prepare to reopenTotal capacity at those indoor venues will be capped at 100. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with. And as always: mask up, practice safe social distancing, and avoid indoor gatherings where COVID-19 can easily spread from person to person.
When can we realistically expect schools to reopen?
DETROIT – There could be some good news on the horizon in terms of reopening schools and getting back to normal. During a Harvard webinar, Dr. Anthony Fauci told a group that transmission in schools is lower than originally thought. Read: Michigan high schools allowed to reopen today as part of revised COVID order“When you look at it, the number of children getting it is less than you would have expected, which is good news for keeping the children in school,” Fauci said. “If it spreads in the school, the kids brings it home, parent brings it to work and spreads it there,” Sims said. “We have teachers who are ill, teachers quarantined from home and there’s a substitute shortage,” Roberts said.
2020 is over: When can we realistically expect things to improve?
As the vaccine rollout continues, many people are excited that 2020 is finally in the past. While that doesn’t mean coronavirus disappeared at midnight, experts are weighing in when it’s realistic to expect things to get back to normal. He said mask wearing, social distancing and other precautions will stay in place until at least 70% of the population is vaccinated. Those things will affect how long it takes to reach broad public immunity.”The same thoughts are held on a national level too. Dr. Anthony Fauci said masks, social distancing and other precautions will have to stay in place until the majority of people are vaccinated.
Looking back at 110 stories that define Gov. Whitmer’s handling of COVID-19 in Michigan this year
In promulgating Executive Order 2020-69 and Executive Order 2020-70, the Governor has done just that by placing restrictions on certain activities to limit social interactions. “Good news, sports fans: We are now ready to gradually and safely allow professional sports to resume in Michigan,” Whitmer said. July 14: State of emergency extendedWhitmer extended the Michigan state of emergency until Aug. 11 as COVID-19 cases rose across the state. The five-year lending, investment and philanthropic plan aimed to help improve financial opportunities for Michigan businesses, consumers and communities. Dec. 29: Relief bill, unemployment extensionWhitmer signed a $106 million relief bill and also extended COVID-19 unemployment benefits through March 2021.
Here are the new COVID-19 vaccine priority phases for distribution in Michigan
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials revealed a new list of priority phases for distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated the phases for essential workers and residents at high risk of severe infection. The recommended guidelines for phases 1B and 1C of vaccine distribution were updated Sunday (Dec. 20) to try to balance prevention and societal function. This data is being tracked on the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard. The COVID-19 vaccine will require two doses, separated by three or four weeks, depending on the manufacturer.
Ann Arbor’s Blue LLama Jazz Club entertainment venue, restaurant goes on break
Tables at Blue LLama Jazz Club sit right up against the stage for unobstructed views of entertainment. Photo | Sarah M. ParletteANN ARBOR, Mich. – Blue LLama Jazz Club is temporarily closing its doors and going on hiatus for the foreseeable futureIn a message from proprietor Don Hicks and Blue LLama Jazz Club senior management on Monday afternoon, the restaurant/ jazz venue announced that it and its sister concepts were going on a break for a few months. Thanks to your support, you’ve made the Blue LLama one of the brightest stars in the sheltering indigo sky of jazz venues. Ann Arbor is a major destination for jazz artists again” Blue LLama leadership said in a message on the business’s website. Blue LLama Jazz Club is at 314 S. Main St.To our dear Blue LLama guests, musicians, friends, family, and all those with whom we’ve shared drinks, bites, jams and... Posted by Blue LLama Jazz Club on Monday, December 28, 2020Read the full message below:
Everything you should know about COVID-19 in Michigan before Gov. Whitmer’s briefing (Dec. 29)
Here’s what you should know before the governor’s update:MDHHS orderMichigan is currently under a revised order that heightened COVID-19 restrictions. Michigan’s new COVID-19 order now in effect: Here’s what’s reopened and what’s still closedIn mid-December, MDHHS revised the order to reopen certain entertainment venues, such as bowling alleys, movie theaters and casinos, though concessions are not allowed. Latest numbers updateOn Monday, Michigan announced a two-day total of 3,239 new COVID-19 cases and 60 additional deaths. Unemployment benefits will be delayedThe additional $300 weekly unemployment payments for residents who qualify for COVID-19 relief will be delayed in Michigan, officials said. Congress passed a COVID-19 relief package that extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation federal unemployment programs.
Watch: Gov. Whitmer’s full Dec. 29 update on handling of COVID-19 in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer provided an update Tuesday on the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. READ: Here’s everything you should know about COVID-19 in Michigan before the briefing. Whitmer was joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. You can watch the full replay of the briefing in the video above. Michigan is currently under a revised order that heightened COVID-19 restrictions.
Charles H. Wright Museum to stream 7 Principles of Kwanzaa events
A view of the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History in Detroit during a public visitation for Aretha Franklin on Aug. 28, 2018. (WDIV)DETROIT – Saturday is the first day of Kwanzaa -- a seven day holiday meant to honor the ancestral roots of African Americans. To celebrate, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History will present the seven principles of Kwanzaa. The museum will stream songs, dances, stories, poetry and more every night at 7 p.m. through Jan. 1. The presentations will be live streamed on the museum’s official website here.
Opera adapts to pandemic, hosts drive-thru show in a parking garage -- and the results are stunning
DETROIT – When one thinks of the opera, images of a parking garage are unlikely to come to mind, but some unexpected creativity during the pandemic allowed people to experience the opera from their vehicle. This proves it: When you can’t pack people into a theater, you find another way to perform. Michigan Opera Theatre opened its season in late December this way. Each act performed on a different level of the opera house garage. Watch nextREAD: Michigan Opera Theatre names Yuval Sharon new artistic director
Staffords provide holiday help for families impacted by COVID across Michigan
DETROIT – Every year during the holiday season, Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford and his wife Kelly help several families in need of a pick-me-up. The need is even greater this year due to the COVID pandemic, so the Staffords made it a point to choose families impacted by coronavirus. It was a moment the Wilson family will never forget -- the day Matt and Kelly Stafford connected with them on Zoom. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, but Courtney Wilson and her husband, Chad, also had coronavirus, so they weren’t allowed inside. “Something that’s going to follow us forever and ever.”The Staffords chose ten families impacted by COVID, including frontline workers, people who lost loved ones, struggling businesses and more.
Several Detroit Lions coaches in isolation after COVID contact tracing
DETROIT – Several Detroit Lions coaches must stay away from the team facility until further notice as part of a COVID-19 contact tracing process, the team announced Wednesday. When Matt Patricia was let go as the Lions’ head coach, Darrell Bevell became the team’s interim coach. Now, with two positive COVID cases inside the organization, the Lions might need an interim-interim coach for Saturday’s game against the Buccaneers. Through contact tracing, several coaches are considered close contacts per NFL policy, including interim head coach Bevell. A coach for Saturday’s game has yet to be determined as the Lions and the league continue to communicate.
Wayne County hands out $500 gift cards to restaurant, service workers affected by pandemic
“But it doesn’t make any sense because I’m not working now.”Hinkley visited Eastern Market Wednesday to pick up a debit card from the Wayne County Cares Program. “This is kind of what I would call Wayne County stimulus package, since the feds haven’t been able to figure out how to get it done,” said Wayne County executive Warren Evans. The money is being given to 12,000 Wayne County residents whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic. In addition to the Wayne County Cares program, the county devoted resources to support local small businesses and local nonprofits. More information can be found on the Wayne County Cares official website here.
Michigan will not release daily COVID-19 data on 4 upcoming holidays
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan officials will not release the number of daily COVID-19 cases or deaths on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, the state announced. On Wednesday (Dec. 23), Michigan announced 3,443 new COVID-19 cases and 70 additional deaths, bringing the state totals to 469,928 cases and 11,775 deaths. The next update won’t come until Saturday (Dec. 26), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced. “We wanted to give MDHHS staff some time off during the holidays,” MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said. The same will be true after New Year’s Day, with new numbers being posted Jan. 2 and Jan. 4.
5 Michigan businesses fined for COVID-19 safety violations -- Here’s what state says they did
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)Five Michigan businesses have been fined for violating COVID-19 safety rules and putting workers at risk, state officials said. Here are the five businesses, including how much they were fined and what the violations entailed. Not developing and enforcing policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID19. Reason for inspection: Employee complaintClick here to view the full citation document. Not posting signs at the store entranceReason for inspection: Employee complaintClick here to view the full citation document.
Gov. Whitmer hints at possibility of resuming indoor dining at Michigan restaurants
Michigan restaurants are still fighting to resume indoor dining, which is banned by the state’s COVID-19 order, but Gov. Related stories :Whitmer said she wants to reopen restaurants as soon as she can, but the industry has been on the wrong end of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ restrictions. The owner of Century Bowl, in Waterford Township, said the shutdown order on food and alcohol services at many venues is misguided. Bowling alleys, casinos and other entertainment venues were allowed to reopen Monday, but they can’t serve food or drink concessions. READ: Whitmer commutes sentences for 4 men serving decades in prison for nonviolent crimesPeople aren’t allowed to bowl with anyone other than their families.
MDHHS using 2 ‘core, science-based ideas’ to decide what should reopen, remain closed in Michigan
Michigan’s top health director revealed the two “core, science-based ideas” experts are using to decide what should be allowed to reopen and what should remain closed due to COVID-19 in the state. Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun on Friday to announce an updated COVID-19 order that reopened some venues but extended restrictions on others. As part of the new order, certain entertainment venues that had been closed for the last month can reopen with limited capacity. Restaurants aren’t allowed to resume indoor dining. Gordon said the latest MDHHS order is “based on settled science and Michigan values.”“We are cautiously moving to address other activities based on two core, science-based values,” Gordon said.
Michigan will ‘seriously consider’ lifting COVID restrictions early, depending on progress
Michigan’s new COVID-19 order went into effect Monday and is scheduled to last through mid-January, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state will “seriously consider” lifting protocols sooner if recent progress is sustained. As part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ new COVID-19 order, certain entertainment venues that had been closed for the last month can reopen with limited capacity. But during Friday’s announcement, Whitmer said the state would consider lifting restrictions sooner if the metrics continue in the right direction. “This new order expires on Jan. 15, but if we substantially sustain our progress, we will seriously consider lifting protocols sooner,” Whitmer said.
‘Angry’ Whitmer demands to know why Michigan has only received fraction of COVID-19 vaccine doses
“Where are our doses?” Whitmer asked during the briefing. I’m angry because this virus is raging on in this country.”The governor admitted she’s angry about the distribution of the vaccine. Health care workers at the University of Michigan Hospital began receiving the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 14. But on Friday, Whitmer challenged the White House, demanding to know more about the doses Michigan had already planned to receive. RELATED: Michigan Republicans ‘condemn’ decision to keep many businesses closed through holidaysShe said there are millions of doses of the Pfizer vaccine waiting to be shipped, including in Portage, Michigan.