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Coronavirus

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 ...

‘Bike boom’ as people turn outdoors during pandemic

There’s nothing like catching one’s breath on a downhill, cool breeze after a lengthy uphill stretch of trail in direct sunlight. On the Montour Trail, which covers 46 miles across Washington and Allegheny counties in Pennsylvania, many residents have rediscovered bicycling in the ...

Lions, Austin Brothers team up to make hand sanitizer

Earlier this month, the Alpena Lions Club, on behalf of District 11E2, applied for and received a $10,000 grant from Lions Club International to allow the club to work with Austin Brothers Beer Co. to produce hand sanitizer. Austin Brothers is working with Grand Traverse Distillery to create ...

Alpena has met its fireworks fundraising goal … Now what?

ALPENA — The money for the Fourth of July fireworks display in Alpena has been raised. In a few days, the picture on when and if the show will go on at its normal time, be pushed back, or be postponed until next year will become clear. Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce President Adam Poll ...

COVID-era seniors still look to bright futures

ALPENA — The future is exciting, but graduation for the class of 2020 is bittersweet, for many reasons. Seniors Miya Ayala, of Alpena High School, and Christina Andrews, of Rogers City High School, are two of the millions of graduates in the U.S. who share that sentiment. After Gov. Gretchen ...

Up North judge leads effort to test virtual trials

ALPENA — A jury box used to mean a space with 12 chairs in the front of a courtroom. Now — with courtroom rituals rattled by a virus — a jury box may well mean a square on a computer screen as jurors play their part in the American judicial system by way of their home ...

8 Alcona County residents infected over 10 days

ALPENA — Two positive tests for COVID-19, the sickness caused by the coronavirus, were reported today among residents of Alcona County, where eight new positive cases have been reported in the past 10 days. Northeast Michigan has seen a stabilization in its testing results, with no new ...

Michigan State: Fall term to mix in-person and online classes

DETROIT— The fall term at Michigan State University “will look different from any previous semester” when it starts Sept. 2 with a mix of in-person and online classes, the president of the state’s largest school said Wednesday. President Samuel Stanley Jr. posted a letter on MSU’s ...