News Update

[COVID=19]WVBI COVID=10 Update for June 26,2020

A Michigan circuit judge has ordered a shutdown of the controversial pipeline under the straits. The order comes after two recent reports of damage to the line. The order came in response to a request filed by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. The judge said the potential for damage to the great lakes was both substantial and in some cases irreparable. The order will remain in effect until the court acts on a request for a preliminary injunction at a hearing scheduled for June 30. Then, the court may extend the shutdown or allow operations to resume. Both the court and the attorney general were critical of Enbridge’s failure to provide information about the cause of the damage. Enbridge says the line is safe, but that it has been shut down for now.
Governor Whitmer’s latest order allows pro sports to restart-but with no live audience and subject to safety guidelines including participants staying six feet apart subject to the extent that’s compatible with the sporting activity. It’s effective immediately. Meantime, after being whipsawed by the courts with conflicting rulings, owners of some downstate gyms went ahead and opened yesterday despite the latest order saying they could not. Multiple gyms had already opened ahead of yesterday-ignoring the governor’s orders. Police say they will issue citations, but that it isn’t their job to shut the gyms down. They say that task falls to the health department.
There’s been lots of discussion in social media among islanders about how seriously social distancing and the importance of masks is being taken on the mainland. Probably fair to say your experience may vary. But, the Grand Traverse County Health Department has issued a notice identifying a number of T-C area sites as possible COVID-19 exposure sites. Included are bars, wineries, restaurants, and a food truck court where people admitted they failed to follow social distancing and prevention measures.
Meantime, asymptomatic exposure is being blamed for an outbreak of COVID-19 in west Michigan. Health officials say contact tracing found that the asymptomatic workers exposed their co-workers to the virus, as well as family and household members, who eventually became infected by the virus.
The COVID-19 data from state health officials yesterday shows a jump again in cases and, for the first time, in deaths. 353 new cases were reported yesterday bringing the total in the state to 62,324. 18 new deaths were reported, up from 11 new ones yesterday. The death toll in Michigan is now 5,868. Seven day moving average of cases is up again to 241. Average for deaths is at 10.
On the Island, total tests run still stands at 89. 84 tests results are back. 83 of those are negative. Still only one back as positive.
In our region, total confirmed case count is steady at 234. Death toll steady at 22. So no changes in county by county numbers, the current data are in today’s script online if you are interested. [Otsego confirmed case count is at 104 with 10 deaths. Emmet is at 23 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 38 cases with six deaths. Charlevoix has 18 cases including one from the island, and two deaths. Kalkaska has 19 confirmed cases two deaths. Antrim 15 cases, still no deaths, Leelanau at 12, no deaths. And Benzie is at five cases and no deaths.] Up in the U-P, they are steady at 140 cases. The majority of cases are in Marquette County, which has 63. Meantime, Ontonagon County remains the only county in the state with no cases. Death toll in the UP is steady at 16.
Legal consequences are accumulating for those who allegedly turned protest into an excuse to loot and destroy. 14 people have been arraigned in connection with the riots in Grand Rapids with authorities using social media posts to identify some of those charged. The first of those charged was ordered to stand trial yesterday. He’s charged with rioting, larceny and malicious destruction of property. The riot charge is a ten-year felony.
Legal consequences will likely also accumulate for a woman who lead police on a 70 mile chase yesterday northbound on I-75. Police deployed stop sticks that deflated the driver’s tires. She drove across the Mackinac bridge on rims-no word if on the grates or off-and wound up stopped at the toll booth.