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Coronavirus

2 more Presque Isle County residents infected

ALPENA — District Health Department No. 4 today reported two new Presque Isle County residents infected with the coronavirus. The new infections push to 15 the total number of Presque Isle County residents infected since mid-March. No more residents from Alpena, Montmorency, or Alcona ...

Massage parlors, barbers, salons see surge in business

Hair cuts. Massages. Tattoos. Pedicures. Manicures. These were just some of the luxuries lost as businesses faced mandatory shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet as states began to reopen last month, most areas saw the resurgence of these businesses as longtime customers clamored to ...

Virus delays Van Lare Hall

ALPENA — Delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic have put renovation of Alpena Community College’s Van Lare Hall slightly behind schedule. The project was delayed, briefly, during the state’s shutdown meant to prevent the virus’ spread while college officials urged the state to ...

Voting changes, COVID-19 change Michigan election

LANSING (AP) — Michigan county and municipal clerks are finding it challenging to meet the needs of voters amid the coronavirus pandemic and following changes in 2018 when state voters approved of same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee voting. The Secretary of State’s Office ...

Inspectors: MediLodge failed to follow virus protocol

ALPENA — Staff members at MediLodge of Alpena — where 92 residents and employees have been infected with the coronavirus and nine infected residents have died — did not follow many safety protocols designed to prevent the spread of the disease, state regulators say. The Michigan ...

With nothing to ship, Great Lakes freighters lay up

ALPENA — At least a dozen freighters —at least three of which have Northeast Michigan ties — have been tied up in shipyards, some for the rest of the sailing season. The Great Lakes shipping industry, usually in full swing in the mid-summer months, has been hit by the rocky waters of ...

Grad ceremonies delayed by virus happening this month

HILLMAN — Hillman High School graduates will have to wait a couple more days to receive the sendoff they deserve. The school’s commencement ceremony originally planned for Friday night was canceled because of storms and rescheduled to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a post on the school ...

First Montmorency County resident infected since April 22

ALPENA — A sixth Montmorency County resident was confirmed infected with the coronavirus, District Health Department No. 4 reported today, the first time a resident of that county has tested positive since April 22. The five Montmorency County residents previously infected have all ...

Libraries push summer reading programs despite outbreak

ALPENA — As libraries in Northeast Michigan transition to more virtual programming for summer reading programs, many are seeing fewer children enroll. Enrollment is down slightly from previous years at Alpena County and Presque Isle District libraries, officials said, while enrollment ...

Preteens adjust to living during a pandemic

Being a kid or a teen has its ups and downs — and that’s even without having to endure a global pandemic. Adjusting to not seeing friends for several months during the COVID-19 quarantine period has been hard for some young people, but others say it’s actually been a stress reliever. ...

Whitmer cracks down on face mask rules

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today toughened a requirement to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic, mandating that Michigan businesses open to the public deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear one. The governor also expanded where people must have a face covering ...

Nessel to oversee any cases stemming from large lake party

LAGRANGE TOWNSHIP (AP) — The state Attorney General’s Office has agreed to handle the prosecution of any crimes stemming from a large party on a southwestern Michigan lake in which hundreds of people ignored state orders to wear masks or socially distance. The Cass County Prosecutor’s ...

UPDATED: Alpena air passenger infected, Health Department says

ALPENA -- An airline passenger who flew into Alpena on July 3 has tested positive for the coronavirus, District Health Department No. 4 said in a news release today. The passenger flew into the Alpena Regional Airport on Delta Air flight DL4252 from Detroit, the Health Department said. The ...

49 Alpena businesses got millions in PPP loans, feds say

ALPENA — Forty-nine Alpena businesses received combined between $17.4 million and $43.5 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration in the form of Paycheck Protection Program loans, the federal government said this week. The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide ...

Hiding infection may cost you

In hopes of slowing down the spread of the coronavirus, health departments across the country have turned to contact tracing. Finding those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and monitoring their symptoms is being done by epidemiologists from state to state. Melanie Myers, public information ...

State’s virus count highest since May

LANSING (AP) — Michigan’s new coronavirus infections topped 600 Wednesday, the highest daily number since late May. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has warned that restrictions are possible if cases heat up, plans to speak to reporters Thursday. The state reported 610 new cases and 10 ...

Whitmer extends water shutoff protections

LANSING (AP) — Protections to prevent water shutoffs during the coronavirus pandemic are being extended to the end of the year under an order signed Wednesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Since March, 2,477 Michiganders have had their water restored through a grant to help utilities reconnect ...

Amid pandemic, 4-H shows, auctions, lessons go virtual

ALPENA — Northeast Michigan 4-H programs continue for area youth, although many are transitioning to an online format. In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, for example, Michigan State University Extension officials asked all staff and volunteers not to participate in ...

Target Alpena gets $3.5M to help small businesses

Target Alpena, the city’s economic development firm, has received another $3.5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Small Business Restart Program to help small businesses impacted by coronavirus. Target Alpena was among 15 economic development organizations selected to ...

Health officials playing catch-up amid COVID safety measures

ALPENA — Officials with District Health Department No. 4 and MidMichigan Health say their staffs are working to catch patients up on immunizations, reschedule non-urgent procedures, and complete other health screenings. The Health Department in March, began providing only essential services ...