Daily Briefs

Court orders defiant barber to close shop


DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan court on Thursday ordered a barber to close his shop and stop defying the state’s coronavirus restrictions, though he vowed to keep cutting hair.

The Michigan appeals court overturned a decision by a Shiawassee County judge and ordered him to sign an injunction sought by state regulators.

Karl Manke, 77, said he’s not backing down. He told The Associated Press that he got the news while cutting someone’s hair and he doesn’t intend to comply with it.

“I could care less,” he said by phone from his shop in Owosso, about 70 miles northwest of Detroit. “If they want to put me in jail, put me in jail. ... I will be governed — fair governing — but not ruled. This is a police state action.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has kept barbershops and hair salons closed for weeks, citing a high risk of virus transmission as stylists cut hair and people wait for their turn.

“Uncontroverted evidence revealed that COVID-19 is spread by infected persons showing no symptoms that could serve to warn others of the possibility of infection,” the appeals court said.

Manke’s attorney, David Kallman, said he would appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Manke reopened his shop on May 4, saying he needed to make money and declaring that the “government is not my mother.” He has been ticketed for violating Whitmer’s orders. Separate from the court case, he’s had his shop and barber’s licenses suspended. Nonetheless, customers have traveled from all over the state to get a haircut and endorse his defiance.

Manke gave free haircuts last week during a protest at the state Capitol.

 

Michigan Secretary of State branches reopening Monday
 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will reopen Monday by appointment only for essential transactions not available online, it was announced Thursday.

Beginning next week, all 131 branch offices in Michigan will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for transactions including driver licenses and state ID transactions that must be done in-person; title transfers; operator, commercial drivers license, chauffeur, mechanic and motorcycle testing; and seasonal commercial vehicle renewal, the announcement said.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said that while offices were closed to the public amid the coronavirus outbreak, her staff conducted more than 3,000 emergency appointments for essential workers “and planned and implemented protocols so that we could reopen in a way that ensures the safety of employees and all Michiganders.”

Branch staff will follow strict health and safety protocols, including wearing masks, standing 6 feet apart, using desk shields, and continuously disinfecting shared or common surfaces. Branch doors will be locked, and each branch will have a greeter to let customers with appointments in at scheduled appointment times.

Anyone scheduling an appointment or receiving an appointment reminder will also be instructed on how to safely attend their appointment by arriving at the appointment alone; wearing a mask or homemade face covering over their mouth and nose; waiting in their vehicle or outside prior to the appointment time; and taking other precautions.





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