WCSG News

 
April 10

4/10/20 – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends coronavirus stay-at-home order through April 30

(Mlive) – Michigan will remain under a statewide stay-at-home order until April 30 as the coronavirus pandemic continues, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday, albeit with some additional restrictions. The order, which has been in effect since March 24, was initially due to expire after April 13. During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Whitmer said the continued increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths in Michigan made an extension of the order unavoidable. Michigan’s order requires most residents to stay home unless their work or activity is deemed essential. Most in-person storefronts and businesses are closed, and restaurants are limited to takeout […]
April 9

4/9/20 – Help for those struggling with mental health, fear, substance abuse

There is a concern that an increasing number of people are struggling with mental health, behavior health, fear, and substance abuse during this time. People are encouraged to stay home to stay safe and try to avoid exposing themselves to the coronavirus or spreading it. The Kent County Health Dept. says a number of agencies are coming together to provide tele-health services. Network 180:  616-336-3909 Forest View: 800-949-8439 Pine Rest:  800-678-5500    616-455-9200
April 9

4/9/20 – Stimulus cash being deposited

-Millions of taxpayers could begin receiving stimulus cash by direct deposit this week. The first group would include people who have already given their bank account information to the IRS. Those getting Social Security benefits, who filed federal tax returns that include direct deposit information, will also be included on that list. Meanwhile, watchdog groups are warning of a surging number of scams that target people who fear COVID-19 or need money due to lost income. Many charge people in advance for fake treatments or home test kits, protective gear the sellers don’t have and even overpriced toilet paper that […]
April 9

4/9/20 – US to buy 30,000 ventilators from General Motors

(AP) – The federal government will buy 30,000 ventilators from General Motors by the end of August for $489.4 million. GM says it will cover its costs but won’t make a profit on the devices, which will cost the Department of Health and Human Services just over $16,300 each. HHS says in a statement that the ventilators will be distributed to where they are needed most to treat coronavirus patients. GM will start by delivering 6,132 ventilators by June 1. On March 18, GM began working with Seattle-area ventilator maker Ventec Life Systems to increase the company’s production. The automaker […]
April 8

4/8/20 – Wednesday, April 8: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – Michigan announced 1,749 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 118 new deaths on Tuesday, April 7. In total, the state has 18,970 confirmed cases and 845 deaths from the virus. Second field hospital location set The TCF Center in Detroit – formerly Cobo Center – is preparing to open as a temporary field hospital. Now, a second field hospital location has been set by the state, this one at the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi. Michigan’s state of emergency extended It took hours just to take attendance, but the state legislature eventually approved a 23-day extension of the state of emergency, going through […]
April 8

4/8/20 – Jobs available in West Michigan

-West Michigan Works! says there are local jobs available . Companies looking to hire will hold a virtual Job Fair April 21 and 23. Businesses that are looking to hire are signing up and those interested in a job can sign up for an interview beginning April 13. More information is available at:  westmiworks.org A record number of claims are being filed for unemployment benefits in Michigan and officials say they have already started adding more staff to help take calls and guide residents through the process. More than 440,000 unemployment applications have been filed since March 8, which represents […]
April 8

4/8/20 -Michigan lawmakers extend emergency declaration

LANSING, Mich. (AP) & (Mlive) — The Michigan Legislature has lengthened  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus emergency declaration by 23 days, through April, rather than adopt the 70-day extension she had sought. When the Michigan legislature last convened session three weeks ago, it was nearly business as usual at the Michigan Capitol, albeit with more aggressive cleaning, social distancing measures and fewer onlookers. On Tuesday, lawmakers and members of the public entering the Capitol for session went through a temperature check and screening for COVID-19 symptoms at the door. The House and Senate convened session Tuesday to approve a 23-day extension […]
April 7

4/7/20 – Tuesday, April 7: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – The state has 17,221 confirmed cases and 727 deaths, after adding 1,503 cases and 110 deaths on Monday, April 6. Wear a mask if you leave your home, governor says Officials nationwide have wavered on whether all residents should wear masks when they go into public. The latest? Gov. Gretchen Whitmer advises people wear homemade masks when they go out – but that doesn’t discount other social distancing measures, she said. Also, N95 and surgical masks should be saved for medical professionals. Hospitals in metro Detroit are “running dangerously low” on masks, face shields and gowns, Whitmer said. Recent FEMA shipments to […]
April 7

4/7/20 – Extra help for those off work in the state hospitality industry

LANSING, MI — Michigan’s restaurant industry lost an estimated $491 million in sales and more than 72,000 jobs during the first three weeks of March, according to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association. In an effort to assist employees of the state’s restaurant and lodging industries who have been laid off during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a relief fund has been created. Grants of $500 will be awarded to approved applicants who were furloughed or lost their job in the hospitality industry following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s March 10 state of emergency declaration. Creation of the Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief […]
April 6

4/6/20 – Monday, April 6: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

As Michigan enters another week of battling the novel coronavirus, more hospitals are finding ways to reuse masks, and the state is keeping the emergency orders coming. Meanwhile, more stores are limiting customers, parks are shutting down amenities that have been attracting crowds and the Michigan National Guard is stepping up assistance for food banks. Michigan reports 1,493 new coronavirus cases and 77 more deaths The state counted another 1,493 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, slightly up from Saturday’s daily total of 1,481, but down from 1,953 new cases Friday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends order banning non-essential visits to hospitals and […]
April 6

4/6/20 – Michigan seniors can get free meal delivery, daily wellness checks during coronavirus outbreak

The need for enhanced senior services has grown with the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Michigan, and the state has received new funding to help. A March 18 federal act increased funding to states for nutrition services, and Michigan will get $7.5 million, according to a state news release. Of that, $5 million is set aside for home-delivered meals. Residents 60 and older are eligible for home-delivery or pick-up meals during the outbreak. Fill out the form here. Seniors can also request a daily wellness-check phone calls. “COVID-19 is a threat to Michiganders, particularly older adults who are most vulnerable to […]
April 6

4/6/20 – Meijer works to manage number of customers in stores

GRAND RAPIDS, MI —(Mlive) –  Michigan-based Meijer has announced new rules intended to keep customers and employees safer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Meijer on Saturday, April 4, announced its new rules, among them being the request that customers limit the number of people accompanying them on their visits. Below are the latest steps Meijer has implemented. • Asking customers to limit the number of shoppers per trip, while understanding that some customers may need additional assistance. • Implementing processes to monitor the number of customers in our stores. This includes managing the number of customers shopping to support proper […]
April 3

4/3/20 – Gov. Whitmer: Michigan schools closed for academic year

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says K-12 school buildings will not reopen to students for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Public and private schools have already been shut down for nearly three weeks. Under Whitmer’s order Thursday, face-to-face instruction won’t resume this spring for more than 1.5 million children. Districts must create distance learning programs. Options include online classes, phone lessons or printed materials sent to homes. Seniors will graduate and other students will advance to the next grade, as long as they were on track to do so before the […]
April 3

4/3/20 – Attorney General Dana Nessel warns of video conferences being ‘hijacked’

-Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning resident that their video conferences can be “hijacked” through cybersecurity breaches. The hacks into video conferences comes as more businesses, schools and others are using video to communicate remotely. As individuals continue the transition to online lessons and meetings, the FBI recommends exercising due diligence and caution in your cybersecurity efforts. The following steps can be taken to mitigate teleconference hijacking threats: Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the […]
April 1

4/1/20 – Wednesday, April 1: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

Michigan now has more than 7,500 coronavirus cases and more than 250 deaths. So far this week, southeast Michigan hospitals have been seeking ways to create more hospital space; the epidemic has generated a variety of community reliefs efforts, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said a decision on the remainder of the K-12 school year will be announced Thursday. Below is a look at the most recent developments related to the crisis. Michigan coronavirus cases soar past 7,600. Michigan reported 7,615 total cases Tuesday, including 75 new deaths. Whitmer to announce school decision on Thursday. Whitmer has not yet made a decision on whether to […]
April 1

4/1/20 – National Guard to assist new drive-thru food pantry at Woodland Mall

KENTWOOD, MI -(Mlive) – The Michigan National Guard will be on hand when West Michigan’s newest drive-thru mobile food pantry opens this week in a continued effort to help service workers who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Beginning Wednesday, April 1, Woodland Mall in Kentwood will be added to Feeding America West Michigan’s list of mobile pantries. The mall location will open at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and be open every other Wednesday indefinitely. The Woodland Mall mobile pantry is intended to serve mall employees who are unable to work at this time, but anyone in need can attend […]
March 31

3/31/20 – Gov. Whitmer OKs $150M to fight pandemic, and help the unemployed

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed onto a $150 million funding package to fight the coronavirus pandemic while vetoing $167 million she says should be saved as Michigan confronts likely plummeting tax revenues amid the pandemic’s economic fallout. Just weeks ago, the Democratic governor and Republican-led Legislature agreed to additional mid-year spending to fund their priorities after a budget impasse last fall. Whitmer said Monday “the world has changed.” She blocked $35 million for a new program that would have provided financial assistance for adults age 25 and older to attend community college. Also vetoed was $16 […]
March 31

3/31/20 – Information for West MI businesses and workers

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Mlive) – A coalition of business associations and local governments on Monday announced the launch of a website that provides information to West Michigan businesses and workers who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The website, covidwm.org, was created by the West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition. Members include Experience Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and The Right Place. “This unprecedented situation has created significant operational challenges for many businesses across West Michigan,” Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Chamber, a convening member of the coalition, told MLive Monday, March 30. “During […]
March 30

3/30/20 – Pres. Trump extends virus guidelines

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is bracing the nation for a coronavirus death toll that could exceed 100,000 people. Pres. Trump on Sunday extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April after public health experts presented him with even more projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic. It was a  short time ago that the President said he was working to try and open business back up by Easter. U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Monday, “It would not have been a good idea to pull back.”  
March 25

3/25/20 – How to apply for Michigan unemployment benefits during coronavirus crisis

(Mlive) – Hundreds of thousands of Michigan workers are out of work because of coronavirus-related business shutdowns and slowdowns. A total of 108,710 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Michigan last week compared to a normal average of around 5,000 claims, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. Michigan reported its first two coronavirus COVID-19 cases on March 10. Since then, many businesses have temporarily closed or reduced their hours, especially after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the closing of businesses such as fitness centers and day spas, and limited bars and restaurants to take-out or delivery service only. On […]
March 24

3/24/20 – Michigan is told to Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.

Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives. To combat the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. For at least the next three weeks, all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store. YOU CAN: Go to the grocery […]
March 17

COVID-19 Resources

MISC. INFORMATION – (Mlive) – There is help for West Michigan businesses and workers.  A coalition of business associations and local governments announced the launch of a website that provides information to West Michigan businesses and workers who have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.     The website, covidwm.org, was created by the West Michigan COVID-19 Business Coalition. -(Mlive) – Michigan seniors can get free meal delivery, daily wellness checks during the coronavirus outbreak.  Residents 60 and older are eligible for home-delivery or pick-up meals during the outbreak. Fill out the form here. Seniors can also request a daily wellness-check phone calls. […]
March 13

3/13/20 – List of Schools/Agencies Offering Food Assistance

List of Schools/Agencies offering food assistance during this State of Emergency in Michigan.   Battle Creek Battle Creek Public schools is working on plans to provide meal services to students in need.  To stay up to date, visit – https://www.battlecreekpublicschools.org/   Grand Rapids Kids Food Basket will continue to offer meals to kids through various outlets.  Visit – https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/emergencyresponse/ Grand Rapids Public Schools is working on ways to continue food services to kids in need.  “Resources to address student nutrition and food insecurity are being considered and future updates will be provided. We are seeking direction from the state and […]
March 13

3/13/20 – Governor Bans Gatherings Over 250 People

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order banning all gatherings in Michigan over 250 people.  The ban goes into effect at 5pm today and will last until April 5th at 5pm. Here is the Executive Order. The Governor says the order does not extend to businesses involved in manufacturing or industry, mass transit or grocery shopping. Whitmer’s order states – “This prohibition does not abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution under these emergency circumstances.”
March 13

3/13/20 – Several Sites in West MI Identified Where CoVid19 May Have Turned Up

Oakland County’s Health Department has identified multiple sites in the state and West Michigan where people who may have had the CoVid-19 visited.  The department wants to remind people that these are just some of the possible known locations visited.   March 1, 2020 Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 9000 Middlebelt Rd, Romulus, time and location to be determined March 4, 2020 Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 9000 Middlebelt Rd, Romulus, time and location to be determined March 5, 2020 Burger King, 27700 23 Mile Rd, Chesterfield Township, 12:15-12:35 p.m. White Castle, 27760 23 Mile Rd, New Baltimore, 12:15-12:35 p.m. Hobby Lobby, 4715 24th […]
March 11

Expired: 3/11/20 – 2 coronavirus infections reported in Michigan

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials say two people in the Detroit area have tested positive for the coronavirus infection. A woman in Oakland County had traveled outside the country, while a man from Wayne County had traveled within the U.S. They are in hospitals and are middle-aged. Both cases will be reviewed by federal health experts. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency and urged people to wash their hands and avoid touching their faces. More recommendations are expected in coming days.
March 5

3/5/20 – Grand Rapids Enacts New Pneumatic Gun Regulations

(City of Grand Rapids) — The ordinance, which goes into effect April 1, regulates pneumatic guns, other non-firearm projectile weapons and imitation firearm toys. It was approved by the City Commission in December as part of the City’s safe community strategic priority. The ordinance is designed to prevent the fear, confusion and unsafe situations that pneumatic and imitation weapons can create. “This elevates our commitment to community and police working together for a safe community,” City Manager Mark Washington said. “It also promotes mutual respect between youth and police.” Pneumatic guns and imitation firearms have contributed to public safety concerns […]
February 14

2/14/20 – No ‘Plan B’ for Olympics; questions over Chinese presence

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee say there’s “no case for any contingency plans or cancelling” the 2020 Games because of the fast spreading virus that has caused one death in Japan and about 1,400 in mainland China. A full Chinese delegation is expected when the Olympics open in just over five months. But officials were unclear if Chinese athletes will be able to participate in the remaining 19 test events in Japan. The head of the IOC inspection team heading a two-day visit to Tokyo says he believes many of China’s Olympic athletes are […]
February 14

2/14/20 – Someone’s Getting Seniors Personal Information

WASHINGTON (AP) — A government watchdog plans to launch a nationwide probe into how telemarketers may be getting hold of seniors’ personal Medicare information, a red flag for potential fraud and waste. An official with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office tells The Associated Press that the audit will be announced next week. It follows a narrower probe which found that an electronic system designed for pharmacies to verify Medicare coverage was being used for what appeared to be inappropriate searches. Investigators say sensitive information can get out even when a Medicare beneficiary thinks he or she is […]
February 14

2/14/20 – PFAS Levels Safe But Residents Still Concerned

Despite tests that demonstrate PFAS levels are safe in Portage, some residents are not convinced. State and county health experts met with residents last night to discuss the tests around a monitoring well where higher than normal PFAS results were found.  While wells were found to have safe levels for PFAS, well below safety recommendations, some residents were concerned for both their health and property values. Some residents wanted more regular testing in order to monitor the expansion of any possible contamination zone.  They feel the recommended action wasn’t strong enough to notify them of any potential ground contamination. Several […]
January 16

Expired: 1/16/20 – Retailers Welcome Phase One Trade Deal With China But Say Remaining Tariffs Must End

(AP) – The National Retail Federation today welcomed the signing of a “phase one” trade agreement between the United States and China but said work remains to be done to end the trade war between the two countries. “NRF strongly supports the administration’s efforts to address China’s unfair trading practices but we hope this is the first step toward eliminating all of the tariffs imposed over the past two years,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The trade war won’t be over until all of these tariffs are gone. We are glad to see the phase one deal signed, […]
January 1

1/1/20 – Time To Go, ‘Ok, Boomer?”

Lake Superior State is out with its 45th annual list of words or phrases that should be retired. At the top of the list: quid pro quo. The Latin phrase got new life during the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. The school each year invites the public to nominate words and phrases that seem tired or annoying through everyday speech, news coverage and more. The latest list has more than a dozen, including “artisanal,” “influencer,” “living my best life” and “chirp.” And in a baby boomer revolt, it’s apparently time to scratch “OK, boomer.”