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Virus shutdown delays major projects

Local News

ALPENA – Many construction projects in the region have been suspended under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s March 23 executive order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The executive order ceasing all but essential businesses allows some construction projects to continue, such as ...

MSU health grads to aid state in fight

Coronavirus

DETROIT — Hundreds of new health care graduates from Michigan State University are available to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the school said Tuesday, as statewide cases rose 17% and deaths topped 250. State officials have made a desperate plea for health professionals, noting that a ...

Firefighters respond to false alarms

Local News

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz The Alpena Fire Department responded to a report of smoke in the basement of a home on Merchant Street on Tuesday afternoon, but no fire was found. A few hours earlier, firefighters responded to a call of a structure fire on Washington Avenue, but there was also ...

Alpena base possible COVID-19 overflow site

Local News

ALPENA — Alpena County is examining whether the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center could be used as an overflow site should MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena be overrun with COVID-19 patients, county commissioners learned on Tuesday. County Emergency Services Coordinator Mark Hall told ...

Policing Whitmer’s orders? ‘Nonsense’

Local News

ALPENA — Rumors of police pulling over residents to challenge their right to be out of their homes have been swirling since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down all but essential business in mid-March to promote “social distancing,” Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett said Tuesday. “That’s ...

Defense in sex assault case: Old evidence should’ve been kept

Local News

ALPENA — The value of destroyed evidence was debated Tuesday in Alpena’s 88th District Court at a hearing for Todd Agar, of Ossineke. Agar, accused of sexually assaulting three women when they were between the ages of 6 and 14, appeared in the courtroom via a videoconferencing system from ...

Unemployment spike makes for frustrating claims process

Local News

ALPENA — New unemployment filings by the thousands have tied up phone lines and slowed Web pages as businesses continue to close their doors and lay off workers as they heed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to limit commerce to essential businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. ...

APS releases educational resources

Local News

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools on Monday released a list of free online resources for students and parents during the state-mandated school closure. Students in grades K-12 now have access to numerous links to help students learn a range of subjects, from math and science to health and ...

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry

Coronavirus

BOSTON (AP) — Neil Diamond posts a fireside rendition of “Sweet Caroline” with its familiar lyrics tweaked to say, “Hands ... washing hands.” A news anchor asks when social distancing will end because “my husband keeps trying to get into the house.” And a sign outside a ...

In PI County first, man sentenced over computer screens

Local News

ROGERS CITY — Faces on a screen weighed in on the future of a Millersburg man Monday as the 53rd Circuit Court went digital. A sentencing hearing for Donald Ivey, 54, who pleaded guilty to delivering cocaine, was held via the videoconferencing software Zoom, a first for Presque Isle ...

Pool, arena, jail project shut down by virus

Local News

ALPENA — Private businesses aren’t the only ones forced to close, causing uncertainty for their owners, amid a statewide shutdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The ceasing of operations at the Alpena County-owned Plaza Pool and Northern Lights Arena could lead to financial ...

Michigan pleads for ventilators

Coronavirus

LANSING — Michigan desperately needs thousands of ventilators to treat victims of the coronavirus and more health care workers willing to pitch in during the crisis, state officials said Monday. TCF Center in downtown Detroit soon will be turned into a 900-bed field hospital for COVID-19 ...

Whitmer OKs $150M to fight pandemic, vetoes other spending

Coronavirus

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed onto a $150 million funding package to fight the coronavirus pandemic while vetoing $167 million she said should be saved as Michigan confronts what are expected to be plummeting tax revenues amid the pandemic’s economic fallout. Just ...

Porch party brings neighbors together

Local News

ALPENA — Inspired by videos of people singing from their balconies in other countries, Deb Ludwiczak took to her porch Sunday in an effort to cheer up her neighbors and motorists passing by. The 72 year-old Alpena resident, who has stayed at home for the last 12 days, had the idea after ...

Jail inmates released to reduce virus risk

Local News

ALPENA — Inmates are being released from jails around the state as the coronavirus threatens the safety of people who can’t stay away from one another. The Michigan Supreme Court Thursday asked county sheriffs to use aggressive measures to reduce jail populations as much as possible ...

House fire early Saturday morning leaves no injuries

Local News

No one was injured but two cats died in a house fire early Saturday morning on Clinton Street. Firefighters with the Alpena Fire Department were dispatched at 2:45 a.m. and arrived to find the back of the home heavily involved in fire, according to an email from Fire Chief Bill ...

Detroit convention center to turn into hospital

Coronavirus

DETROIT — A convention center in Detroit will be turned into a 900-bed hospital in response to the coronavirus, the federal government said Sunday. Construction at TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Center, will begin after contracts are wrapped up in 24 to 36 hours, the U.S. Army Corps of ...

Virus changes snowbirds’ plans

Local News

ALPENA — “I think we got back just in time,” Greg Oke said, back at his kitchen table in Lincoln after a several months’ stay in Florida. One of the many Up North snowbirds who spend the winter months in southern sunshine, Oke cut his visit to Florida short this year, cancelling a ...