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Coronavirus

Alpena fireworks depend on Whitmer

ALPENA — The Fourth of July fireworks show in Alpena is a go, if Gov. Gretchen Whitmer relaxes bans on large gatherings that are in place currently to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If she does not, the fireworks display could be rescheduled and launched during a different weekend ...

One more Alpena County resident, three Alcona County residents, infected

ALPENA -- Today, Northeast Michigan public health officials reported one more Alpena County resident and three more Alcona County residents have been infected with the coronavirus. The new cases push the number of people who have contracted the illness since mid-March to 95 Alpena County ...

Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order, keeps some places closed

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan’s nearly 10-week coronavirus stay-at-home order Monday, letting restaurants reopen to dine-in customers next week and immediately easing limits on outdoor gatherings while keeping social-distancing rules intact. The governor moved regions ...

APS hosts virtual graduation for seniors

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Alpena High School Student Speaker Alexandria Bruning addresses the Class of 2020 Sunday via the online platform Zoom. This year’s commencement ceremony was held online because of the social distancing requirements designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus ...

Reopening: States vary with summer on the horizon

While the national toll for deaths related to CVOID-19 eclipsed 100,000 this week, states across the country currently find themselves in various stages of their respective reopening plans, which has proven to be a sign of optimism from local leaders that the outbreak is trending in a ...

Michigan’s vaccination rates drop, could lead to outbreaks

DETROIT (AP) — Public health officials worry future outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases could emerge in Michigan as vaccination rates have dramatically fallen during the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccination rates for children 18 and younger fell by more than 20%, according to a study ...

Sewing army makes at least 30,000 masks

ALPENA — One hundred years ago, women fought a war. Their men away, huddling in the trenches of World War I, women stepped out of their domestic lives and found a new role as a great war effort called on their skills and their strength to keep America strong. Sepia-tone posters depicted ...

Fabric store stayed frenzied making masks, mask kits

ALPENA — JOANN Fabrics and Crafts, a sewing and craft store on Alpena’s south side, buzzed with customers on Friday morning. “People are just so happy to be here,” said Amber Sammons, a masked and cheerful employee who has been snipping fabric and bustling about the store since it was ...

Credit union serves customers despite COVID

POSEN — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, employees at Calcite Credit Union’s Posen branch continue to serve members happily. Overseeing the handful of employees at the branch is Manager and Plastics Specialist Diane Cordes, who started at the bank as a part-time teller nearly 20 ...

Whitmer hints at more reopening in ‘coming days’

LANSING – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted Friday that she will soon reopen more regions of Michigan, expressing optimism as long as the rate of new coronavirus cases continues downward and testing increases. She did not specify when she may act, alluding to an announcement on additional areas ...

New mapping tool for local outdoor recreation

As more sectors of Michigan’s economy cautiously begin to reopen for business, state health officials urge the public to continue following guidelines that help slow the spread of the coronavirus. That means keeping social gatherings to no more than 10 people, limiting extensive travel ...

Most locals recovered, but ‘we can’t become complacent’

ALPENA — Over the last couple of weeks, the number of Northeast Michiganders recovering from COVID-19 has outnumbered those newly infected with the disease caused by the coronavirus. Despite that positive trend, health experts at District Health Departments No. 4 and No. 2 say it's still too ...

Downtowns seek state aid

ROGERS CITY — The Rogers City Downtown Development Authority will seek a $27,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to help downtown businesses who have been affected by coronavirus. The state has $1 million to distribute to businesses in traditional or historic downtowns as ...

Local child care centers adapt to pandemic

ALPENA — Area child care providers who stayed open during coronavirus-related closures are learning to adapt and make the best out of a far-from-normal situation. While many licensed daycare centers shut down when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in mid-March ordered all but the most essential ...

Experts: Pandemic, isolation can change your personality

With states enlisting stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the toll that staying home has taken on people has varied. Routines have been disrupted, while communication with friends and family has shifted to the virtual world. And according to experts, such a deluge of ...

Alpena County hit 19% jobless in April

ALPENA — Alpena County’s jobless rate surged to a whopping 18.6% in April as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all but the most essential businesses closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And that was the eighth-best unemployment rate in the state, according to figures out today from ...

Local boy gets a shoutout from guv

ALPENA — Alpena resident Gavin Carr was recognized briefly by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday for giving her a bracelet made from rubber bands. Whitmer showed off the bracelet during a press conference, saying it was sent to her because Carr said everyone needs “to band together.” ...

Court orders defiant barber to close his shop

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan court on Thursday ordered a barber to close his shop and stop defying the state’s coronavirus restrictions, though he vowed to keep cutting hair. The Michigan appeals court overturned a decision by a Shiawassee County judge and directed him to sign an injunction ...

Whitmer: Congress can stop steep cuts; K-12 aid is priority

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that protecting K-12 funding is her priority as Michigan seeks a federal bailout to avoid steep spending cuts during the pandemic, and her budget director signaled the next state budget won’t be complete by a July 1 deadline. The state is ...