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Country Regional : United States : Michigan

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".


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Michigan Latest News

Firefighters respond to fire at Wyoming car wash

Authorities responded to a fire at a ca wash in Wyoming Friday morning.

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities responded to a fire at a car wash in Wyoming Friday morning.

It happened around 10:20 a.m. at the car wash near the Shell gas station located on at the intersection of Division Avenue S and 54th Street SW.

Kent County dispatchers told News 8 it was initially reported that there was a car inside at the time of the fire.

There are no reports of injuries, according to dispatchers.

The Wyoming Department of Public Safety responded to the fire.

The cause of the fire is unknown.


July Fourth weekend will test Americans’ discipline

The U.S. is heading into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control.

The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans’ self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.

With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.

Health experts agree this will be a pivotal moment in determining whether the nation slides into a deeper mess. The fear is that a weekend of crowded pool parties, picnics and parades will fuel the surge.

“We’re not going to be arresting people for having gatherings, but we’re certainly going to discourage it,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health director for Seattle and King County.

Those who decide they must gather with a small group of family members need to be careful, he said: “Don’t share utensils, don’t share objects, don’t pass them back and forth, because you’re passing that virus around as well.”

The warnings were sounded after a Memorial Day weekend that saw many people emerge from stay-at-home orders to go to the beach, restaurants and family gatherings. Since then, confirmed infections per day in the U.S. have rocketed to an all-time high, more than doubling.

The U.S. set another record on Friday with 52,300 newly reported cases, according to the tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have been hit especially hard.

Despite it all, there will still be fireworks and community events scattered across the nation, with many taking social distancing into account. In Ohio, Upper Arlington’s July Fourth parade will take a much longer route through its neighborhoods so residents can watch without crowding the streets.

“We’re calling it the front porch parade,” said organizer Sam Porter. “We can’t just not do something.”

Fireworks will be launched from four spots across Albuquerque, New Mexico, so that people can ooh and aah from home instead of gathering in a single place.

President Donald Trump was set to travel to South Dakota on Friday for a fireworks show at Mount Rushmore before returning to the nation’s capital for military flyovers Saturday and a mile-long pyrotechnics display show on the National Mall that his administration promises will be the biggest in recent memory. Up to 300,000 face masks will be given away but not required.

The big party will go on over objections from Washington’s mayor.

“Ask yourself, do you need to be there? Ask yourself, can you anticipate or know who all is going to be around you? If you go downtown, do you know if you’re going to be able to social distance?” Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

Beaches that had been open for the traditional start of summer over Memorial Day weekend will be off-limits in many places this time, including South Florida, Southern California and the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised Americans who do go to the beach to wear face coverings, though not in the water.

Delaware’s governor ordered bars in some beach towns to close ahead of the holiday, saying people were getting complacent about masks and social distancing. The Jersey shore town of Wildwood canceled its fireworks, and the Lake Erie resort village of Put-in-Bay in Ohio did the same after health officials linked a small number of coronavirus cases to bars on the island.

After hearing Michigan’s governor warn about the need to be smart amid an uptick of cases, Mary Halley of Jonesville said her family canceled plans for a weekend outing on Lake Michigan.

“We had some disappointed kids, but we knew as a family we couldn’t do that,” she said.

The problem, she said, is that too many people aren’t listening to the experts. “Even in my small, little town, there are lot of people who didn’t comply with the orders,” she said.

Dr. Don Williamson, head of the Alabama Hospital Association, said he is “really, really worried about the Fourth of July.”

“I think that will likely determine the trend for Alabama for the rest of the summer,” he said.

___

Associated Press reporters from around the world contributed to this report.


Trump’s Rushmore trip draws real and figurative fireworks

President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore before a crowd of thousands

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore before a crowd of thousands, but even in a part of the country where many remain supportive of the president, the event has drawn controversy and protests.

Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he previewed on Thursday as a “display like few people have seen.” The president will likely enjoy a show of support, with the state Republican Party selling T-shirts that feature Trump on the memorial alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. But concern about the coronavirus risk and wildfire danger from the fireworks, along with protests from Native American groups, will also greet the president.

Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, a Trump ally, has said social distancing won’t be required during the event and masks will be optional. Event organizers will provide masks to anyone who wants them and plan to screen attendees for symptoms of COVID-19.

The Republican mayor of the largest city near the monument, Rapid City, said he is watching for a spike in cases after the event, the Rapid City Journal reported.

“We’re going to have thousands of people, shoulder to shoulder at these events — someone in line to see a president and being able to see fireworks at Mount Rushmore — they are probably not likely to disqualify themself because they developed a cough the day of or the day before,” Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender said.

Leaders of several Native American tribes in the region also raised concerns that the event could lead to coronavirus outbreaks among their members, who they say are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because of an underfunded health care system and chronic health conditions.

“The president is putting our tribal members at risk to stage a photo op at one of our most sacred sites,” said Harold Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

Some Native American groups are using Trump’s visit to protest the Mount Rushmore memorial itself, pointing out that the Black Hills were taken from the Lakota people against treaty agreements.

Protests are expected in Keystone, the small town near the monument. Chase Iron Eyes, a spokesman for the Oglala Sioux president, said protesters would like to make their voice heard at the memorial itself, but it’s not clear they’ll be able to get close.

Security is expected to be tight, with the road leading up to Mount Rushmore shut down. The governor’s spokesperson, Maggie Seidel, would not say whether the South Dakota National Guard was being deployed, but said organizers are making sure it is a safe event.

But several people who once oversaw fire danger at the national memorial have said setting off fireworks over the forest is a bad idea that could lead to a large wildfire. Fireworks were called off after 2009 because a mountain pine beetle infestation increased the fire risks.

Noem pushed to get the fireworks resumed soon after she was elected, and enlisted Trump’s help. The president brushed aside fire concerns earlier this year, saying, “What can burn? It’s stone.”

The National Park Service studied the potential effect of the fireworks for this year and found they would be safe, though it noted that in a dry year, a large fire was a risk. Organizers are monitoring the fire conditions and were to decide Friday if the fireworks are safe.

Trump made no mention of the fire danger in fresh comments Thursday.

“They used to do it many years ago, and for some reason they were unable or unallowed to do it,” he said. “They just weren’t allowed to do it, and I opened it up and we’re going to have a tremendous July 3 and then we’re coming back here, celebrating the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.”


Michigan Liberty Militia: We ‘preserve rights to peacefully protest’

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Armed militia members continue make a statement by attending protests across Michigan, and members of one group are trying to explain their mission, which they say is often misunderstood. The Michigan Liberty Militia (MLM) was founded in 2015 by three Barry County residents who are passionate about standing up for their constitutional rights.   Like many...

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Armed militia members continue make a statement by attending protests across Michigan, and members of one group are trying to explain their mission, which they say is often misunderstood.

The Michigan Liberty Militia (MLM) was founded in 2015 by three Barry County residents who are passionate about standing up for their constitutional rights.  

Like many private militia groups, MLM co-founder Phil Robinson said the overreach of the government infringes on their constitutional rights, especially when it comes to their right to bear arms.  

Robinson and his fellow MLM members began making national headlines in the spring as they were among the heavily-armed protesters that rallied against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order.  

Strapped with their guns, the group attended anti-shutdown protests in Lansing and Grand Rapids, where demonstrators claimed the governor’s orders violated their rights.  

Recently, the MLM members have been making a new name for themselves by attending different demonstrations, often serving as security at the request of protest organizers.  

“It’s to keep the peace,” Robinson said. “It’s to keep everyone safe.” 

From attending Black Lives Matter marches in Grand Rapids to pro-militia rallies in Lansing, the group says its goal is to preserve everyone’s rights to peacefully protest. 

“Some of the events we’re at we don’t actually agree with, but as constitutionalists, you have the right to protest as long as you’re peaceful,” MLM co-founder Bill Null said.  

At the demonstrations, MLM members are often seen diffusing tense situations. When asked what makes them effective at keeping things peaceful, Robinson said their presence alone often deters people from getting violent.  

“They see us and they don’t want to act stupid,” Robinson said. “It’s like a bully. A bully is never going to stop until they’re faced, until they’re confronted.” 

Whether they’re at a demonstration as protesters or serving as security, they say each one has remained peaceful. The only event that came close to turning violent was a protest held last weekend where demonstrators debated whether to keep or remove a Confederate soldier statue in Allendale.   

“The closest thing we had to a heated moment was in Allendale when that man un-holstered his weapon and we kicked him out as soon as it happened,” Robinson said. 

No matter the movement or protest, MLM members say they show up not only to keep the peace, but to educate others on the mission of their militia.  

Feeling misunderstood, Robinson wants people to be comfortable approaching him or other members at demonstrations.  

“If you don’t understand what we’re doing, come ask us questions, come talk to us,” Robinson said. “Don’t judge us by the way we look, or the weapons we’re wearing. Come talk to us, get to know us and I guarantee you’ll change your mind about us.” 

There are a number of different militia groups in Michigan. It’s important to note that the members of the Michigan Liberty Militia can only speak about the actions and mission of their individual group.


Confirmed coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 states

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Four U.S. states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — reported a combined 25,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend. With the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide climbing past 50,000, an...

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Four U.S. states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — reported a combined 25,000 new confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday as the infection curve rose in 40 of the 50 states heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend.

With the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide climbing past 50,000, an alarming 36 states saw an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus.

“What we’ve seen is a very disturbing week,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, said in a livestream with the American Medical Association.

In a major retreat that illustrated how dire things have become in Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the wearing of masks across most of the state after refusing until recently to let even local governments impose such rules.

The surge has been blamed in part on Americans not covering their faces or following other social distancing rules as states lifted their lockdowns over the past few weeks. Fauci warned that if people don’t start complying, “we’re going to be in some serious difficulty.”

The U.S. recorded 51,200 new confirmed cases Wednesday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. That represents a doubling of the daily total over the past month and is higher even than what the country witnessed during the most lethal phase of the crisis in April and May, when the New York metropolitan area was easily the worst hot spot in the U.S.

All but 10 states are showing an upswing in newly reported cases over the past 14 days, according to data compiled by the volunteer COVID Tracking Project. The outbreaks are most severe in Arizona, Texas and Florida, which together with California have reclosed or otherwise clamped back down on bars, restaurants and movie theaters over the past week or so.

Nebraska and South Dakota were the only states outside the Northeast with a downward trend in cases.

While some of the increases may be explained by expanded testing, other indicators are grim, too, including hospitalizations and positive test rates. Over the past two weeks, the percentage of positive tests has doubled in Georgia, Kansas, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and Ohio. In Nevada, it has tripled. In Idaho, it is five times higher.

In Texas, where new cases in the past two weeks have swelled from about 2,400 a day to almost 8,000 on Wednesday, the positive rate ballooned from 8% to 14.5%. In Arizona, it has gone from 5.7% to 10.3%.

Abbott, who in May began one of the most aggressive reopening schedules of any governor, ordered the wearing of masks in all counties with at least 20 COVID-19 cases.

Abbott said in a video posted on Twitter that the state’s lower infection rate and case counts after his stay-home order in April might have led some to think the “coast was clear.”

But the number of people hospitalized in Texas because of COVID-19 has quadrupled since late May, after businesses began reopening.

“We are now at a point where the virus is spreading so fast, there is little margin for error,” Abbott said. “I know that wearing a face covering is not the convenient thing to do, but I also know that wearing a face covering will help us to keep Texas open for business. And it will help Texans earn the paycheck they need.”

The surge comes as Americans head into a Fourth of July holiday that health officials warn could add fuel to the outbreak by drawing big crowds. Many municipalities have canceled fireworks displays. Beaches up and down California and Florida have been closed.

Florida reported more than 10,000 new confirmed cases for the first time Thursday. That is six times higher than the daily count of less than a month ago. The state also reported 67 deaths for the second time in a week and 325 new hospitalizations, one of the biggest 24-hour jumps in Florida yet. Georgia likewise saw its biggest single-day increase yet, nearly 3,500 cases.

“I’m discouraged because we didn’t act fast enough to shut things down, and we could have done a much better job getting a handle on the virus,” said Megan Archer, a 39-year-old woman from West Palm Beach, Florida, who lost her job with a county parks department during the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the government reported that U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1% in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs. But that figure may be outdated: The data was collected during the second week of June, before many states began to backtrack on restarting their economies.

Several Northeastern states have seen new infections slow down significantly, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey, which allowed its Atlantic City casinos to reopen Thursday, though with no smoking, drinking or eating.

Pennsylvania, an outlier among Northeastern states, reported its highest one-day total of new cases since May, with more than 830, more than one-quarter of them in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County, which will impose a one-week shutdown of bars and restaurants and all gatherings of more than 25 people starting Friday.

Other states, like Colorado, a major summer destination where increases in infections have been less dramatic, are keeping a close eye on their neighbors.

“I’ve been watching that map. … We’re well aware of what’s going on around us and we’re very anxious,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, medical director of infection prevention and control at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. “The next couple of weeks are critical.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday seemed confident the virus would soon subside, telling Fox Business: “I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

The U.S. has reported at least 2.7 million cases and more than 128,000 dead, the highest toll in the world. Globally there have been 10.7 million confirmed cases and over 517,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ count. The true toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of limited testing and mild cases that have been missed.

Other countries are also reporting an upswing in cases.

“We have now entered a new and treacherous phase in the life cycle of this pandemic,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned in a broadcast to the nation, which recorded more than 8,100 new infections, a one-day record, and has the biggest caseload on the continent.

India, the world’s second-most populous country with more than 1.3 billion people, has reported nearly 100,000 new cases in the past four days alone.

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Associated Press’ Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami; Kelli Kennedy in Fort Lauderdale; Cara Anna in Johannesburg; and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report. Coyle reported from New York.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES


BLM protest in Portage Saturday

Protesters will come out in Portage Saturday to call for racial justice.

PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Protesters will come out in Portage Saturday to call for racial justice.

They’re calling it the ‘Juneteenth in July’ or the ‘July 4th Blackout.’ Organizers say they’re calling for several changes, including the proper funding of schools, police to be defunded and the Louisville officers who shot Grand Rapids-native Breonna Taylor to be charged.

It starts at 3:30 p.m. and protesters will meet at the Crossroads Mall in the upper-level Sears parking lot. They’ll begin marching in the streets at 4 p.m.

Organizers ask that those attending wear a mask, follow social distancing guidelines and remain peaceful. It’s scheduled to end at 6 p.m.

Organizers also say since it will be extremely hot, they will have cold drinks available.

They also say you should bring a sign and they will have materials there for you to make one.


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