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Monday - September 21, 2020

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dies from Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer
From 9 & 10 News - The Supreme Court says that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died from metastatic pancreatic cancer. The court says that she died at her home in Washington, D.C. surrounded by her loved ones. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. Justice Ginsburg spent a large portion of her career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. She was known for her progressive views on social issues. Ginsburg was 87-years-old.

US Obesity Rate Hits New Record
From 9 & 10 News - The obesity rate in the U.S. has hit a new record. A new report from “Trust America’s Health” - says the U.S. adult obesity rate now stands at 42.4%. That’s the first time it’s ever passed the 40% mark. The report found the rate of childhood obesity is also on the rise. The latest data shows 19.3% of those from 2 years to 19 years old are obese. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Alma ranked sixth in nation for increased home sales
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - While many businesses have struggled financially during the COVID-19 pandemic… one industry appears to be weathering the crisis better than others - real estate sales. Between April and July the average rate of homes on the market sold month to month increased nationally by nearly 15 percent. Among those with the biggest surge was the city of Alma. According to a study by Insurify, Alma ranked 6th in the nation for having the greatest uptick in home sales during the pandemic. The average rate of monthly home sales in the city from April to July was up nearly 51%.

Powerball results for 09/19/20, jackpot worth $20 million
From MLive - A player in Michigan came close, but there was no winner of the $20 million Powerball jackpot - over the weekend. That means this Wednesday’s drawing - will be worth $22 million, with a cash option of $17.6 million. Tickets cost $2 each.

CMU upgrades COVID-19 health screen app
From CMich.edu - CMU’s COVID-19 health screening mobile app and website are getting a new look! Their vital importance — and functionality — will not change. The app’s available for Apple and Android phones and tablets - and supports mandatory daily self-screening by CMU employees and students. Upgrades rolling out this weekend will provide a better user experience and match updated language used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CMU requires all faculty, staff and students to self-screen each day for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to CMU's main campus or other satellite location.

USDA Announces Additional Direct Assistance to Farmers Impacted by COVID-19
From 9 & 10 News - More money is coming to farmers impacted by market disruptions and other costs brought on by the coronavirus crisis. $14 billion will go to agricultural producers. The money from the CARES Act and Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act will support crops, livestock, specialty crops, dairy and other commodities. There is a payment limit of $250,000 per person. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program starts September 21 and is open through December 11.

Friday - September 18, 2020

Trump Administration to Ban TikTok and WeChat from U.S. App Stores

From the New York Times - Today, the Trump administration said it would ban Chinese-owned mobile apps, “WeChat” and “TikTok” from U.S. app stores. As of this Sunday, the restrictions will ban the transferring of funds or processing of payments through WeChat within the United States. In the case of “WeChat”... the restrictions will also prevent any company from offering internet hosting, content delivery networks, internet transit, or peering services to WeChat. As for TikTok… the app is currently in talks of being acquired by the American software maker, Oracle. In its announcement, the Commerce Department said that the president had given until November 12th for TikTok’s national security concerns to be resolved. If they were, the prohibitions in the order could be lifted. TikTok would also face some changes, but would still be allowed to function until November 12th. At which point - it would face the same ban as “WeChat” if there was no deal that satisfied the administration’s concerns.

For the Next Few Years - Interest Rates to Stay Low
From CNBC - On Wednesday, the Fed projected that it will hold interest rates near 0% through at least 2023. They say it’s to maintain its current level of open market transactions - as it continues to leverage monetary policy - to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Through at least 2023… the Fed says interest rates will stay between 0 and .25%. For more, click CNBC.com.

Emergency stay-home order issued for Grand Valley State University students
From MLive - All Grand Valley State University students living in Allendale Township have been ordered to stay in their on- or off-campus residence at all times, with some exceptions, for the next 14 days… It’s a result of escalating coronavirus cases tied to GVSU. The Ottawa County Department of Public Health issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for all GVSU students - which started yesterday morning and ends at midnight on October 1st. The release states that Students cannot return to their home address - unless it’s for an emergency. Since August 23rd… there’ve been more than 600 coronavirus cases tied to GVSU.

Canada to extend U.S. border closure until pandemic is ‘managed efficiently’
From MLive - Americans won’t be able to cross the border into Canada for at least another month as that country’s government waits for the COVID-19 pandemic to be “managed efficiently” in the United States. Canada will keep the border with the United States closed to non-essential travel until at least October 21st. The closure is set to expire on Sept. 21.

Oregon Governor Calls for More Federal Aid
From 9 & 10 News - Oregon’s governor is desperately calling for more federal aid as wildfires continue to scorch the western U.S. Tens of thousands of people have left their homes in California, Washington, and Oregon. With fires moving quickly, firefighters are doing everything they can to reduce the damage. Crews have covered entire neighborhoods in fire retardant. Meteorologists think the blanket of smoke hanging over central California is not likely to clear up before October.

Mt. Pleasant Public Schools continues meal program as the school year starts
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Mt. Pleasant Public Schools - has been providing meals to students since the school closed last March - due to COVID-19. Now that Mt. Pleasant Public Schools has started the school year with online and in-person learning… the meal program has continued with some new additions! For in-person students, they’ve implemented regulations for students to follow during their scheduled lunch hours. This includes wearing masks when picking their meals, social distancing, and having cafeteria staff serve students food rather than students serving themselves. In terms of the meal pick up program, students can order breakfast and lunch through an online service called “Nutrislice”, then can pick up meals at the Mt. Pleasant High School and Gainard Elementary. For more information, visit MtPleasantSchools.net.

$10 million wastewater COVID-19 outbreak surveillance program coming to Michigan
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Michigan is launching a new three-month pilot program to monitor wastewater for COVID-19 outbreaks. Municipalities, health departments, universities and others throughout the state will have access to $10 million in grant funding to facilitate the program in partnership with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The grant was allocated from Michigan’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding. The departments are seeking to create a coordinated network of monitoring systems by Oct. 1. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

Thursday - September 17, 2020

Mt. Pleasant Police seek assistance identifying suspect
From WNEM - The Mt. Pleasant Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in identifying a suspect. Police say - the female suspect stole more than $500 in merchandise from Hobby Lobby on Mission Street, on Monday. The suspect is a female in her 50s with dark hair. She was wearing a cheetah print shirt, drawstring khaki pants, and carrying a large black purse. Security camera photos can be found on WNEM.com. If you have any information, please call the Mt. Pleasant Police Department's anonymous tip line.

Academic senate extends online classes through Spring, Summer 2021 semesters
From CM-life - Earlier this week, the CMU academic senate approved a proposal that officially extends online options for classes through the 2021 spring and summer semesters. Normally for a class to be offered online - it would need to move through a curricular approval process. The academic senate approved a one-time exemption of the process in April for the Fall 2020 semester. To put it into simple terms - the new proposal extends that exemption of the curricular process into next year… meaning already busy professors won't have to go through the approval process to move online.

CMU President Davies Pledges to Make the University Anti-Racist
From 9 & 10 News - The President of CMU posted in a blog Tuesday that said - starting immediately - the university is to become an anti-racist institution. President Bob Davies says this comes after he and the Board of Trustees read a book by an American professor - called “How To Be An Antiracist.” The book says… rather than just be diverse and accepting, anti-racism is a pledge for racial equality, locating the roots of problems in power and policies, and confronting racial inequities. To become an anti-racist institution, CMU is furthering its support for people of color as well as those who identify as LGBTQ+. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Special Olympics Michigan Sets the Bar Even Higher for 2020 Virtual Fall Games
From 9 & 10 News - After a successful run of their 2020 Summer Games, Special Olympics Michigan is now hosting its annual Fall competition virtually. They plan to continue the same flow from the Summer, as well as add even more of the “team” component. The 2020 Virtual Fall Games will be October 4th through the 6th… The games are open to all athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities across Michigan. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Volunteers make pantry packs to help those in need in Midland County
From Mid Michigan Now - Corteva is partnering with United Way, the Great Lakes Loons, and local nonprofits to impact the lives of people in need! Recently, volunteers came together to pack 1,000 Pantry Packs and provide more than 40,000 pounds of food to Midland County! In recent months, Midland County has seen a 214% increase in the demand for food with many seeking assistance for the first time. For more, click nbc25news.com.

M-46 upgrade begins near St. Louis
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - During the next few days - motorists traveling a section of M-46, between Alma and St. Louis, should expect some traffic backups. MDOT will be resurfacing a 1.2 mile section of the road from Graton Road east to the driveway at Hidden Oaks Golf Course. Work started yesterday and will be completed by 5 a.m. Saturday.

Wednesday - September 16, 2020

Hazy shade of ... summer? Sun tinted orange courtesy wildfire smoke
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Did you look out the window yesterday… Could you see the sun? If it looked more hazy than normal, that’s because right now - it is hazy! You're seeing smoke from the wildfires on the west coast! At least 35 people have died in fires raging across California, Oregon and Washington. More than 4 million acres have burned, including 300,000 in Oregon. California has been hardest hit.

Apple Unveils Two New Watches, No iPhone 12
Two new Apple watches are coming out Friday and one lets users check their blood oxygen level. The Series 6 Watch also has a brighter face so it's easier to read in sunlight. It comes with a 400-dollar price tag, while a budget version starts at 279. The tech giant also unveiled an updated iPad Air, but no iPhone 12. That was to be expected though since the pandemic caused a delay. Some experts are guessing the phone will be revealed in four weeks.

Youth Advisory Committee program aims to discuss racial issues through young adult literature
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee will be presenting the two-part program, "Explore Racism in Modern Day America." That committee - is a group of students from schools throughout Isabella County that focuses on fundraising, volunteering, and grant-making… while learning about leadership and civic engagement. The program will discuss racial bias and discrimination in America. The Youth Advisory Council says it starts by encouraging participants to read “The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas. That focuses on racial bias and discrimination. Then, it’s followed by a virtual panel discussion. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

Gratiot homeless shelter to limit capacity due to pandemic
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - The staff at Gratiot County Hope House is already busy preparing for the shelter's second full season. But things will be a bit different due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Last year the county's only homeless shelter had to close March 17, nearly 3 weeks earlier than planned, in an effort to combat the spread of the virus. That decision came after Hope House, located at the St. Louis Church of the Nazarene, was placed on lock-down a few days before that. This year's opening is scheduled for Nov. 1.

Lake man dies in Isabella car-motorcycle accident
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - A Lake motorcyclist was killed Tuesday after he ran into the side of a pickup truck in Gilmore Township just south of the Isabella/Clare county border. The 74-year-old man was driving his Yamaha motorcycle north on Vandecar Road at approximately 11:55 a.m. when a silver pickup driven by an 82-year-old Farwell man traveling southbound started to turn left onto eastbound Herrick Road. The motorcycle ran into the side of the pickup. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The Farwell man was uninjured. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

Massive Settlement In Breonna Taylor Case
There's officially a settlement in the Breonna Taylor case. Louisville’s Mayor - announced the details today after Taylor was shot and killed in March during a no-knock raid. The deal includes a payment of 12-million-dollars, but police reforms are also part of the package. Her family’s attorney - said a deal like the one that was reached is very rare. She also noted there are many layers to getting justice for Taylor – among them – criminal charges for the officers involved.

Midland Police Department Announces Name, Start Date for New K9
After a community naming contest and several months of offsite training and preparations… the Midland Police Department has a new officer… K9 LEO. The 2-year old German Shepherd was selected by the department with assistance from Mid-Michigan Police K9. He’ll be trained to assist in search and recovery and article tracking. He’ll also interact directly with the public and be actively engaged in MPD’s community policing efforts.

Tuesday - September 15, 2020

Data Breach Affects The VA
From The Hill - Nearly 50,000 veterans are being told their personal information may have been exposed. The Department of Veterans Affairs is sending out letters after a data breach. It seems one of the online applications, for help in paying medical care,was targeted, with the medical payments diverted to the hackers. The VA confirms its system is shut down now as investigators piece together what happened. It's also offering free credit monitoring services. The affected forms are down until there can be a fix.

Amazon to hire 100,000 to keep up with online shopping surge
From the Associated Press - Amazon will hire another 100,000 people to keep up with a surge of online orders. The company said new hires will help pack, ship or sort orders, working in part-time and full-time roles. The Seattle company reported record profit and revenue between April and June as more people turned to it during the pandemic to buy groceries and supplies.

Hurricane Sally Rain Bands Begin Hitting Gulf Coast
From CNN - New Orleans might be in for the worst… but Hurricane Sally is already starting to hit the Florida coast. The National Hurricane Center reports the category 2 storm's outer rain bands are already moving onshore over the Florida Panhandle. It's creeping along at just 3-mph, meaning it will stall... possibly gaining strength and causing more damage than a faster moving storm. President Trump says the Feds are ready to help.

USDA Extends School District Meal Service to December
From 9 & 10 News - School districts across the state will be able to continue their free meal programs after the United States Department of Agriculture approved an extension of waivers until Dec. 31. Now with the school year underway, they’re still offering students breakfast and lunch, whether they are learning in-person or remotely. Students get a variety of food in their meal package. The extension of the meal program to Dec. 31 gives the school more flexibility with what they’re able to offer.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade going virtual due to coronavirus pandemic
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will not go on as a live television event this year… Instead, the parade will be 'reimagined' as a virtual event, similar to Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show, which included a series of taped fireworks shows in various areas of the city. No other details were provided.

Michigan State Legislature Announces 2021 Budget Agreement
From 9 & 10 News - Last night, the state legislature announced it reached an agreement over the state’s 2021 budget. The agreement ensures no reduction in funding for K-12 public schools. There won’t be any cuts to revenue sharing for local governments either. Now the legislature will work with state departments and the budget office to finalize the details. A final vote on all the budget bills is expected next week ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

Trump Puts Iran On Notice About Ambassador Threat
From NDTV - President Trump is putting Iran on notice. He made the move after reports claiming the Islamic Republic - is plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador. The report in Politico said the assassination plan would be retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in January. Iran initially responded to the drone strike by launching ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq, but many experts believe they're biding their time for a more substantial response. As for Iran… government officials deny that such a plot exists.

Monday - September 14, 2020

Paused Covid Vaccine Trial Resumes
Last week AstraZeneca had hit the pause button on its Covid vaccine clinical trials after an unexplained illness affected one of the volunteers. The great news? The safety review is complete and the trial has resumed. Albert Bourla, the chairman and CEO of Pfizer says he expects to know whether his company's coronavirus vaccine is effective by next month.

Wildfires Continue To Devastate Western States
Wildfires blazing across the West have killed at least 35 people and scorched millions of acres and the misery is forecast to continue with high winds and hot temperatures fanning the flames today. Officials say 24 have been lost in California, 10 in Oregon and one in Washington state. The majority of the lives lost have been in California, where President Trump is scheduled to visit today. Dozens of people are listed as missing in all three states. Smoke from the massive fires has spread to neighboring states making the skies hazy in places that aren't even dealing with wildfires. One of the largest blazes – the El Dorado Fire – was started by a pyrotechnic device at a gender reveal party.

Marijuana dispensary and grow operation in Clare holds grand opening
The Hempire Collective, the first licensed medical cannabis grow operation in Isabella County, held their grand opening this past weekend. Started by the Porter family after they saw how medical marijuana helped their son in his battle against cancer, the family run business can now grow enough plants to sell high grade medical and recreational products from their own dispensary. For more of this story, click themorningsun.com

Longtime St. Louis Fire Chief Set to Retire
Fighting fires for more than half his life, St. Louis Area Fire Department chief, Richard Apps, is hanging up his helmet. Apps, who has served as the department’s chief for the past 21 years, is set to retire on December 31st.

DNR Hunting Forecast Predicts Great Conditions for 2020 Deer Seasons
The Michigan DNR just released their annual hunting forcast, and this year may just be better than last year. Hunting in the U.P; the DNR says look for deer trails near oak groves as they’re producing a lot of acorns this year. The northern lower peninsula is full of well-developed door. They say the number of deer in southern Michigan is also high.

Free mask distribution set for 6 mid-Michigan counties to prevent spread of coronavirus
The Central Michigan District Health Department is giving away free masks this month to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You can pick them up at the Health Department offices. Today in Arenac and Gladwin counties. Friday the 19th in Roscommon County. Monday the 21st in Clare and Isabella counties. And Tuesday the 22nd in Osceola County. One mask for each household member while supplies last. 

Friday - September 11, 2020

Michigan Sets Record for Absentee Ballot Requests for November Election
From 9 & 10 News - With the General Election coming in the middle of a pandemic… absentee ballots are expected to break records nationwide. The state of Michigan has already set one! The Secretary of State says more than 2.1 million people in Michigan have requested absentee ballots for the November election. That sets a new record for the most absentee ballots ever requested in a Michigan election. About 1.7 million have been submitted since the August Primary. By this time in the 2016 presidential election, there were only about 445,000 absentee ballots requested.

Gov. Whitmer Announces Start of Futures for Frontliners Program
From 9 & 10 News - Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced the start of a program - meant to help frontline workers! It’s called Futures for Frontliners… It provides tuition free college to eligible frontline workers. The program is a $24 million investment from the Governor’s emergency relief fund which is part of the CARES Act. Applications for the program are due by December 31st. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Teen e-cigarette use declined in 2020
From TheVerge.com - E-cigarette use among US high school and middle school students dropped by 1.8M over the last year. That’s from a new report from the FDA and CDC. While the drop represents a 33% decline, the report noted that 20% of high school students and 5% of middle school students still use e-cigarettes today.

Trump Administration Denies Request to Fully Fund Michigan’s National Guard COVID-19 Response
Governor Whitmer’s office says a Trump Administration official left a voicemail yesterday - announcing that her request to fully fund the Michigan National Guard’s COVID-19 response was denied. She asked President Trump to fund the guard 100% as opposed to the 75% funding the state has received from the federal government for about a month now. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Michigan Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Lawsuit Challenging Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order Powers
From 9 & 10 News - The governor’s case over the use of powers during the pandemic continues. The Republican-led State Legislature says the governor overstepped her authority when she continued issuing executive orders after the state of emergency expired in April. After the court listened to hours of arguments on the issue last Wednesday… They now want both sides to file briefs on key portions of the 1945 law - that the Governor cited to declare an emergency.

New MDHHS Order Allows Outdoor Visits at Residential Care Facilities
From 9 & 10 News - As Michigan continues to reopen sectors of the economy, visitors will now be allowed at nursing homes with restrictions. The new order signed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services allows visitors at nursing homes, while still protecting residents from COVID-19. Visitors can visit their loved ones - outdoors… The MDHHS director says allowing outdoor visits with proper procedures like requiring social distancing and masks is good for residents and can keep everyone safe. The order officially goes into effect next Tuesday, the 15th.

Thursday - Sepember, 10, 2020

Street Closure Notice: Thursday, September 10, 2020
From the City of Mt. Pleasant - Today, a series of road closures will be in effect, while a March takes place in Mt. Pleasant. The “Legalize Being Black: Our Live Matter Too” March starts at 6:00 outside the Bovee University Center. During that time, some roads will be closed in between campus and downtown Mt. Pleasant. Mission street will also be partially closed, between 6:15 and 6:45 p.m. After the March visits Town Center in Downtown, they’ll return to CMU’s campus. All event participants are reminded that face coverings are required.

Gov. Whitmer signs order clarifying face covering rules for organized sports
From WXYZ.com - Last night, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that clarifies rules on face coverings for organized sports. Under the executive order, athletes are required to wear face coverings at all times during training, practice and competitions where they cannot maintain 6-feet of social distancing, this includes sports such as football, soccer, or volleyball. Yesterday, the MHSAA also confirmed - that officials will not have to wear face coverings while "actively officiating" high school sporting events. The MHSAA’s Media & Content Coordinator did clarify that officials will be required to wear face coverings during all other times of competition, including pregame conferences.

Barryton Voters to Decide on Dissolving the Village this November
From 9 & 10 News - You know what they say… it takes a village to dissolve a village….. Well - it’s something like that. In just a matter of weeks, Barryton voters will decide if their village should be dissolved. A petition received enough signatures - earlier this year - to put the question of dissolving the village of Barryton on the November 3rd ballot. Last night, the village held an informational meeting on the proposal of dissolving the village. Voters make a decision November 3rd.

Local Gyms Reopen to Members for First Time in Months
From 9 & 10 News - Wednesday was a big day for gyms across the state. They finally reopened after being closed for months. Masks are required for everyone, including those exercising. Gyms in the Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions have been open since June, but the rest of the state had to wait until yesterday.

Alma elementary school halts in-person classes due to COVID-19
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Earlier this week, Alma elementary school decided to halt all in-person classes for at least 2 weeks due to a report of a second positive COVID-19 case. Both occurred in the same 1st grade classroom at the Luce Road Early Childhood Learning Center, which houses preschool through first graders. 2 days ago, all students began taking classes online until at least Friday, September 19th. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

Enbridge to Resume Operation of East Segment of Line 5 in Straits of Mackinac
From 9 & 10 News - Enbridge is set to restart the east segment of Line 5, running under the Straits of Mackinac. The company says they got authorization from the pipeline and hazardous materials safety administration. It was also approved by the Michigan Circuit Court. All after an inspection of the segment near where the pipeline was damaged by a vessel earlier this year. The west segment has been in operation since July.

Wednesday - September 9, 2020

State reminds fall fun spots to stay safe amid COVID-19
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - As fall arrives… so do apples and pumpkins, cider mills, corn mazes, haunted houses, and more fall fun! State officials are reminding operators and visitors - don’t forget about changes, due to COVID-19. Here are some key notes to remember, while enjoying fall in Michigan, during a global pandemic. Operators must have a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan - and make it readily available to employees and customers; train employees; and make sure it’s implemented. U-pick and agri-tourism operations must screen staff daily for symptoms and those with symptoms should not be permitted to work until they subside. Customers must also take steps to maintain social distancing. A minimum of 6 feet between guests must always be maintained. If you’d like to refresh yourself on safe, social distancing - while enjoying fall in Michigan - click 9and10News.com.

Graduate students who teach launch strike at U-Michigan
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Graduate students who teach classes were on strike Tuesday at the University of Michigan over in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. The strikers chanted and held umbrellas while marching in the rain. The Graduate Employees' Organization, which represents more than 1,000 instructors, has called for a 4-day strike. The vast majority of classes at the University of Michigan have shifted to online - but the union said the university isn't doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

After KKK link found, Alma College to change name of Nisbet Hall
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Alma College is joining the growing list of other colleges and universities around the country in renaming campus buildings after discovering the namesake had a questionable racist past. Alma President has announced that the college will find a new name for Nisbet Hall after learning Stephen S. Nisbet, who the building was named after, was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The decision to rename the residence hall, located on West Superior Street, came after what college officials learned from findings in a probe by the Michigan State University Board of Trustees, which revealed Nisbet to be a member of the KKK. MSU also has a campus building named after Nisbet, which is now in the process of being changed.

EGLE Announces MI Dam Safety Task Force at First Public Meeting
From 9 & 10 News - Yesterday, the Department of Environement, Great Lakes and energy announced the 19 members of the new Dam Safety Task Force. That was created in response to the failure of the Edenville dam and catastrophic 500-year flood in Gladwin and Midland counties. Gov. Whitmer appointed the members. They hold a wide range of expertise from local governments, key dam safety stakeholders and state agencies.

California Wildfires Blaze Through Record 2 Million Acres
From 9 & 10 News - More than 2 dozen fires are now blazing in California and things are only expected to get worse. Wildfires have now burned more than 2 million acres across the state. That’s already the highest recorded total on record and peak fire season just started. Cooler weather began moving in on Monday. While that’s good news for sweltering residents… it’s not so much - for firefighters, who say the windy weather will only stoke the fire.

Facebook to Pay Some Users to Deactivate Their Accounts
From 9 & 10 News - Facebook will reportedly pay some of its users to quit using the app for a while. It’s part of a study into the impact of social media on political attitudes and behaviors during the upcoming election. Those users could earn up to $120. The Washington Post posted a screenshot of a survey sent to some Instagram users. It claims if they opt-in, they would deactivate their Facebook or Instagram accounts later this month. They could be inactive for 1 or 6 weeks. Then users would take a survey before reactivating their accounts. Facebook expects up to 400,000 people will participate. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bill to Provide Funding for Additional Weekly Unemployment Benefits
From 9 & 10 News - Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill allowing Michigan residents who qualify for unemployment to earn an extra $300 per week. The bill appropriates $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from FEMA to cover a temporary $300 per-week payment - for eligible unemployed workers in the state. That boosted funding will continue until the federal funding has run out, which as of right now, is not known. Anyone eligible for the benefits - doesn’t have to take any action - to receive the additional benefits.

Michigan State University Reports 124 New Cases of COVID-19 Among Students
From 9 & 10 News - Michigan State University says 124 students tested positive for the coronavirus last week. Most of the students live off campus… officials say the increase is likely connected to large student gatherings. Health officials in Ingham County have limited outdoor gatherings in East Lansing to 25 people. The city also requires masks on streets and sidewalks in popular commercial areas near campus.

Tuesday - September 8, 2020

Special Olympics Michigan Virtual Fall Games Announced for October 4-6 - As Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) continues to prepare for a gradual return to in-person activities, SOMI is excited to announce a new virtual event: the first-ever Virtual Fall Games…The Virtual Fall Games will give thousands of athletes across the state a new way to train and compete safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic…Registration is open now through September 24 at SOMI.org/virtualgames…

Biden, Trump Both Campaigning In Michigan This Week- From 9 & 10 News, today, we’re 8 weeks out from Election Day and after 6 months of tamped down campaigning due to COVID, it looks like Michigan is going to be hosting a sprint to the finish…Later this week, both Biden and Trump will be in the state of Michigan…Biden on Wednesday and Trump on Thursday…Both major candidates will campaign through Michigan as we hit the final stretch in the election.

Isabella sheriff's deputies bring charges against suspect - From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom, The Isabella County Sheriff's Department has made an arrest in a crime that was committed more than 5 months ago…A 31-year-old male from Mecosta has been charged - with home invasion 1, assault with a dangerous weapon, and domestic violence - in an incident that occurred March 23rd in Coldwater Township…The 25-year-old female victim, had told deputies that the suspect forcibly entered her home…At the time… the suspect was arrested on an outstanding warrant from another county…The sheriff's department sought a warrant for the man from the Isabella County prosecuting attorney's office for the March 23rd incident, which was obtained…  The suspect turned himself in to authorities on Friday and was arrested…For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

MSU To Rename Human Resources Building After Learning of KKK Ties  - From 9 & 10 News,    Michigan State University will rename a building after discovering it was named after a Ku Klux Klan member…Stephen Nisbet’s 1920s Klan membership card was found earlier this year at a CMU library…Nisbet was on the MSU’s governing board from 1962 to 1970…After he died in 1986, MSU named it’s human resources building after him…The university’s board of trustees will vote this Friday to change the building’s name.

Judge Temporarily Bans Certain Detroit Police Response Tactics - Afederal judge has temporarily banned Detroit police from using certain types of force against peaceful protesters…   After a group accused the city of using excessive force against people practicing freedom of speech, officers are now barred from using tear gas, rubber bullets, batons, shields, chokeholds or sound cannons against peaceful protesters…The Detroit Police Chief defended the department, saying they only use force when demonstrators aren’t peaceful…He says this will not impact how his department approaches these situations…The temporary ban is in effect for 2 weeks.

Gov. Whitmer Calls on Pres. Trump to Fully Fund Michigan National Guard - From 9 & 10 News - More than a month later, the Governor’s Office says it’s still waiting for a response from the president asking for a phone call.  She wants him to explain why the federal government is not fully funding Michigan’s National Guard’s coronavirus response but is fully funding other states responses.  At the end of March, Michigan was granted Title 32 authority meaning the federal government would fully fund the guard’s response.  But in August, President Trump ordered most states to fund 25% of the response and only kept full federal funding for Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, and Texas.  Governor Whitmer wants full federal funding of the Michigan National Guard through the end of this year.

Friday - September 4, 2020

Public facade intended to give new Isabella jail a school-like look
The Isabella County Board of Commissioners got a peek at what the new Isabella County Jail will look like. The 187 bed facility is being designed to not look like a jail, but more like a school. At Tuesdays meeting commissioners discussed the purchase of land for the project, currently a 36 acre parcel in Union Township. For more on this story, click TheMorningSun.com

Two Clare County men accused in 'shots fired' case
Clare County deputies were called last Thursday night for reports of "shots fired" in the area of Old State and Surrey Road in Surrey Township, between Lake and Farwell. Now, Justin Brian Baker, 24, and Connor McFalls, 21, both of Lake, are facing charges. Baker, who has convictions for fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2013 and failing to register as a sex offender in 2018, is charged with aiding and abetting the discharge of a weapon from a vehicle, two counts of fourth degree fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine, and being a four-time habitual offender. McFalls is charged with discharging a weapon from a vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon. Both men were arraigned on the charges Tuesday in 80th District Court. They face an initial court hearing Sept. 14 and a preliminary examination on Sept. 21.

Former Michigan Gov. Snyder Backs Biden for President
Earlier this week, Michigan’s Former Governor-Rick Snyder - endorsed Joe Biden for President. He’s the latest high-profile Republican to support the Democratic nominee. The announcement comes with the launch of Republicans and Independents for Biden. That’s the latest group of Republicans supporting Biden - to come out publicly. More on this story at 9and10news.com

Numbers point to softening in CMU COVID outbreak
Despite CMU reporting its highest total COVID numbers yesterday and Isabella County seeing its highest single day number of new cases...signs are suggesting it may be slowing. The average number of new cases has dropped from the 60’s, to around 55, and now to 32. “The cases have started to decrease” said Steve Hall, Central Michigan District Health Department health officer. More on this story at themorningsun.com.

Gov. Whitmer Signs New Order Extending State of Emergency
Yesterday, Governor Whitmer signed an executive order extending Michigan’s state of emergency until October 1st. The order allows the governor to issue orders like wearing masks, and limiting capacities at gatherings. The order allows the state to continue to take precautions to protect Michigan residents against COVID. The governor also announced that starting September 9th, gyms and pools may reopen (with strict safety measures including reduced capacity and masks being required) and high school sports, including football, can resume. An adjusted, 6 game season will start on the 18th.

Michigan Health Officials Confirm First Case of West Nile Virus in Humans
It’s official, Michigan has its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year. The virus, which has shown up in Wayne County, can cause severe illness and in extreme cases death. The health department recommends that if you’re outdoors, wear long sleeves and pants and use a bug spray that contains deet on exposed skin.

CMU Urges Students to Practice COVID -19 Precautions Over Labor Day Weekend
In a letter sent to students yesterday, CMU President Bob Davies and CMU Student Body President Katie Prebelich urged students to take precautions over the Labor Day weekend to help slow the spread of COVID. The letter urged students to stay home, limit travel, and avoid parties and gatherings. The hope is that taking these steps will help keep the number
of cases from rising any higher within the community.

Agreement Reached To Avoid Government Shutdown
the government is going to avoid a shutdown at the end of the month. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration have reportedly informally agreed to work on a stopgap funding bill. It is separate from ongoing talks on a new coronavirus stimulus package. The agreement was apparently made Tuesday, but details such as how long funding would last were not released. The federal government was set to run out of funding on September 30th.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Clare residents warned of poisonous caterpillar
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - A poisonous caterpillar that was first found last year in Clare County 1 year ago - is back… this time - in the city of Clare! On Tuesday, another American Dagger caterpillar was found behind the Clare Train Depot. The Clare Area Chamber of Commerce is reminding people, "These cute caterpillars may seem harmless, but they are indeed - poisonous. Both children and adults can be affected by them… Symptoms include a stinging sensation, followed by a burning itching sensation on the skin, which can develop into a rash. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

Text-to-911 now available in Gratiot County
You can now text 911 in Gratiot County! At the beginning of August - the Gratiot County Central Dispatch Authority began familiarizing and training their 911 Dispatchers with new technology - that allows the public to text 911, when in an emergency. There are some severe limits to this new technology. For that reason - Gratiot County Dispatch encourages everyone who needs emergency services - to “Call 911 if you can, text if you can’t.”

Two Teens Arrested for Vandalizing Buildings, Stealing from Liquor Store in Isabella Co.
State police say they caught 2 teenagers - after reports of vandalism and theft in Isabella County. On Monday, troopers say they began investigating vulgar graffiti at an apartment complex in Union Township. They believe a nearby liquor store was also broken into by those responsible for the graffiti. Troopers recovered about $3,500 worth of merchandise from the liquor store at a home. They arrested an 18-year-old from Mount Pleasant and a 14-year-old from Maple Rapids. The 18-year-old was taken to jail and the 14-year-old was dropped off to their parents. Both will appear in court at a later date. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Michigan State Fair goes online this year
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - This Labor Day Weekend, the cows, sheep, and giant gourds are staying home… That’s because the Michigan State Fair is going on Online! Rather than bringing the show to Novi, like in years past - the virtual State Fair starts today @ 9am, and runs through Monday! Every day will bring hourly programming to the fair’s social media outlets. Viewers can see different examples and exhibits virtually - like sheep shearing, cow and goat milking, butter cow building, cooking and gardening demonstrations - plus more! Click MichiganStateFairLLC.com for full schedules and other details.

New bill would eliminate adhesive registration tab on license plates
From NBC25News - If a bill passes in Lansing… those registration tags you’ve put on your license plate every year - may be a thing of the past. It’s called House Bill 5250. If passed, the bill would prohibit the Secretary of State from issuing a tab designating the month and year of expiration - or other registration info - or requiring such a tab to be used on a registration plate. The Republican who wrote up the bill, said nearly 60% of people heading to the Secretary of State in person - are there to get tabs. He thinks removing the requirement entirely - could sharply reduce lines. He also thinks the bill would save the state money, noting the “tremendous cost” of printing out and mailing tabs. The State Department estimates removing the cost of processing and mailing vehicle tabs could equate to about $500,000. For more, click NBC25News.com.

US says it won't join global effort to find COVID-19 vaccine
On Tuesday - the Trump administration said - it will not work with an international cooperative effort to develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. Their reasoning - is to not be constrained by multilateral groups - like the World Health Organization. Some nations have worked directly to secure supplies of vaccines, but others - are pooling efforts to ensure success against the disease that doesn’t have any geographical boundaries. More than 150 countries are setting up the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or better known as COVAX. For more, click UpNorthLive.com.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Apple, Google build virus-tracing tech directly into phones
From the Associated Press - Apple and Google are trying to get more U.S. states to adopt their phone-based approach for tracing and curbing the spread of the coronavirus by building more of the necessary technology directly into phone software. That could make it much easier for people to get it on their phone even if their local public health agency hasn't built its own compatible app. Last Tuesday, the tech giants launched the second phase of their "exposure notification" system, designed to automatically alert people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus. Until now, only a handful of U.S. states have built pandemic apps using the tech companies' framework, which has seen somewhat wider adoption in Europe and other parts of the world. For more, click APNews.com.

House to vote on historic marijuana decriminalization bill
From WNEM TV-5 - The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote on a landmark bill next month that would decriminalize the use of marijuana. The "Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019," also called the MORE Act, would remove cannabis - from the list of federally controlled substances. It would also expunge federal marijuana convictions and provide grant funding for people impacted by drugs. The bill would not legalize marijuana; that decision would be left up to states. If the bill passes the House, it could still stall in the Republican-led Senate.

Uber Riders May Soon Have To Take A Mask Selfie For Service
From ABC News - Try to take an Uber without a mask and you’ll have to prove that you have one next time. That’s according to a new policy that the company is rolling out. Of course, the ride-share company has required drivers AND riders to mask up since May, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s cooperating. With that in mind non-maskers will be required to send a ‘mask selfie’ in order to schedule a ride.

Seeking Information for the Farwell Museum
From the Clare County Cleaver - The Farwell Museum has received a concrete slab that was a part of the Lochabar School. It wasn’t a cornerstone… instead - It was in the center of the front, above the window. Inscribed on it… “Lochabar School, Dist #2, Surrey, 1910.” It was found at the Putnam House in Farwell - which is currently being restored! Since - the stone was donated to the museum and they’re looking for anyone with information on the Putnam House, the Lochabar School, or any connection between the Putnam and Littlefield families. If you have any info, please click ClareCountyCleaver.com.

Facebook Claims Russia Targets Left-Wing Voters
From Reuters.com - Russia agents are targeting left-wing voters in the U.S. and United Kingdom. That’s the word from Facebook, who says it shut down 13 accounts and 2 pages that were set up in May. Analysts say it appears the goal was to steer left-wing groups away from the campaign of Joe Biden. A Facebook official says they closed the accounts on Monday - after getting information from the FBI.

Report: Thousands Of PPE Loans Awarded Improperly
From USA Today - News reports are showing that thousands of Paycheck Protection Program loans aren’t going where they’re supposed to be. A House Oversight Committee report shows about ten-thousand loans worth over a billion dollars went to companies that received more than one PPP loan, which is a violation. Another 11-thousand totaling three-billion were given to businesses that did not include complete information from applicants. As you’ll recall, the program was meant to help small companies navigate economic hardships brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pres. Trump Pledges Millions to Help Kenosha Police, Businesses
President Trump is now vowing to provide millions of dollars in aid to Kenosha police and to rebuild businesses destroyed during protests. The president visited the city after days of unrest following the controversial police shooting of Jacob Blake. He spent most of the day surveying the damage and talking with law enforcement. The president said he would pledge nearly $50 million to support the city and state of Wisconsin. While President Trump toured the city, tension continued to boil over with protesters - with both sides clashing. During his time in Kenosha, the president did not meet with Jacob Blake or his family. There’s more on 9and10News.com.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

USDA Extends Summer Meal Programs to Provide Free Meals for Kids
Yesterday, the USDA extended federal waivers - which will allow Michigan children in need - to get properly fed. The waivers for the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option are being extended through the end of this calendar year, or until available funding runs out. Meals will continue to be provided to children - ages 18 and under - at no cost to the families. For more, 9and10News.com.

Student Food Pantry continues distributions following coronavirus guidelines
Despite coronavirus difficulties - the student food pantry at CMU has reopened for the fall semester. After classes went fully online last semester - the food pantry was forced to shut down… That won't happen again, even if classes go fully online this semester. Students can now do their food pantry shopping, online - which now includes meal types that include vegan and gluten-free. The CMU Student Food Pantry is underneath the North Campus Success Center. For more, click CM-Life.com.

August 24-30: CMU Confirms 63 New COVID-19 Cases
From 9 & 10 News - Within the last week, CMU’s confirmed more than 60 new coronavirus cases. Some students have voiced concerns about the school, still holding in-person classes. From last Monday through Sunday, the university confirmed 63 new cases… This week, the university began FREE on-campus COVID-19 testing for staff and students… Today, the school will begin updating its case numbers, daily!

Amazon Announces Halo, a Fitness Band and App
Last week, Amazon got into the health gadget market - with a new fitness band and subscription service, called Halo. Unlike the Apple Watch or other smartwatches - like Fitbits… the Amazon Halo Band doesn’t have a screen. The Halo Band costs $99.99 and the service - which is required for Halo’s more advanced features - costs $3.99 per month. That Halo service is a separate product that is not part of Amazon Prime. For more, click TheVerge.com.

New bookstore to open in Alma
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Over the weekend, pages were flipped and doors were opened - for the very first time! Ballyhoo Books, in Downtown Alma welcomed customers for the first time, Saturday morning! The store offers a variety of general interest books, as well as a large children's section, and science fiction and fantasy selections!
For store hours, click TheMorningSun.com.

Mild is the mid-Michigan forecast's watchword as August gives way to September
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Mild… noooo we’re not talking about wings… instead - weather. This week, you can start saying goodbye to the slew of hot, humid weather - and say hello to cozy and comfy! With temperatures to stay in the upper 70s’ through the days, and upper 50s’ at night - it’s a sign that Fall’s on the way!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Harvard institute recommends stay-at-home order for Isabella County
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - Isabella County is at a tipping point for COVID-19, warranting a stay-at-home order. That’s according to the Harvard Global Health Initiative… Yes - Harvard. It’s currently also - the Michigan County with the highest risk of contracting the disease. The county was designated a red risk county, the only in Michigan, because it's 7-day moving averages of new cases - is 18 per day. The county's cases have accelerated since CMU students returned… For more from the people at the Harvard Global Initiative, click TheMorningSun.com.

Walmart partners with Microsoft for TikTok bid
From Reuters.com - Last Friday, Walmart announced a partnership with Microsoft - in a bid to buy TikTok. The app’s parent company, ByteDance, has been in talks to sell TikTok’s North American, Australian, and New Zealand operations - which could be worth 25 to 30 billion dollars! President Donald Trump has demanded that China’s ByteDance, which owns TikTok globally, sell its U.S. operations, citing potential national security risk. For more, click Reuters.com.

Powerball results for 08/29/20; jackpot worth $47 million
There was no winner of this weekend’s Powerball jackpot… The jackpot now climbs to $56 million, with a cash option of $44.1 million. Tickets for Wednesday night’s drawing cost $2 each!

Whitmer Administration Receives Federal Approval to Require More Insurance Coverage in Opioid Crisis
Governor Whitmer’s Administration just received federal approval - to require more insurance coverage, in the fight against the opioid crisis. The state says they can now add 2 new benefits to treat opioid use disorder to Michigan’s Essential Health Benefits benchmark plan for the 2022 plan year. The centers for Medicare and Medicaid services approved the proposal last Friday. For more, click 9and10News.com.

Federal Judge Temporarily Stops CARES Act Rule Pushed by Secretary of Education DeVos
From 9 & 10 News - A federal judge is halting a rule from the U.S. Secretary of Education - that would’ve allowed federal COVID-19 relief funding to be kept away from K-12 public schools. Michigan has partnered with California to lead a coalition of states and school districts in a lawsuit against education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. She issued a rule that would have limited the ability of public schools to use federal funds provided under the CARES Act. Under the rule, funding meant for lower income districts - would have been steered toward private schools. The judge has granted a preliminary injunction meaning the department can’t enforce the rule until a decision on the case is made.

Veteran Finishes 280 Mile Walk for Suicide Awareness
Travis Snyder has walked 22 miles a day for the past 2 weeks. Each mile representing the 22 veterans who die by suicide every day. With every step, Afghanistan veteran Travis Snyder wanted to honor those that have served our country and suffer from mental illness. His biggest goal is to start a conversation. He says, “Talk more about this, and find solutions, and help guide each other through these challenges. But also, help those that are grieving from losing somebody that they care about.” For more, click 9and10News.com.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Alma gets $173,000 grant for park restroom upgrades
From the CFX-Morning Sun 24 Hour Newsroom - For the past 2 years the city of Alma had failed to qualify for a state grant that would have provided funds for restroom upgrades at three parks. This year, however, the outcome was different. Alma has been awarded a $173,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Development Project Grant that the city will match - to construct new restrooms at Wright Park and for renovation of facilities at Pine River/Conservation Park and Riverside Park. For more, click TheMorningSun.com.

UPDATE: Man Arrested, Four Children Safe After Standoff in Mancelona
From 9 & 10 News - Michigan State Police say a man has been arrested and 4 children are safe after an 8 hour standoff on US-131 in Mancelona. Police say Officer Brock Kimball was responding to a complaint of a man swerving at another vehicle in Emmet County yesterday. The suspect then threw hot coffee on the officer and fled the scene. Law enforcement caught up to the man in Mancelona... that’s where the standoff started. After the standoff closed US-131 in both directions, it reopened around 5pm. The suspect is now in the Antrim County Jail.

Enter for a Chance to Win a 2-Year Car Lease While Supporting Special Olympics Michigan
You can help support Special Olympics Michigan, and enter for a chance to win a new vehicle! The grand prize is a 2-year lease on a 2020 Chevrolet Equinox. The 2nd-place winner takes home $1,000 in gift cards. Third-place is $500. Tickets are $5 each. Special Olympics Michigan helps more than 23,000 people with intellectual disabilities each year – with sports and training programs, free health and wellness services, and anti-bullying education. Winners to be drawn on Tuesday, January 12, 2021… For a link to enter, click 9and10News.com.

Detroit's Little Caesar's franchise winning America's pandemic pizza war
There’s data on just about everything these days from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to economic factors that have caused concern. One of the more lighthearted data sets, is who has won the pandemic pizza war? Across America the role of the takeout pizza has been important for decades but even more so during the pandemic. As for who was the busiest? That would be Little Caesar's. They were Michigan’s preferred choice, a


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