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Community updates: Saturday, June 13

Michigan salons and barbershops reopening Monday, most Kent County offices reopening Monday, and LINC UP, Urban Core Collective, and NAACP Grand Rapids respond to city leaders' changes to improve policing.
Cobblestone street near Lafayette Ave. NE in Grand Rapids.

Cobblestone street near Lafayette Ave. NE in Grand Rapids. /Erin Wilson

Salons, barbershops, and overnight summer camps reopening statewide on Monday

West Michiganders due for a haircut are in luck. Starting Monday, salons and barbershops will reopen statewide, along with other personal care services and overnight summer camps.

Gov. Whitmer’s executive order reopening personal care services comes after nearly three moths of the industry being shut down in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Services back in business on Monday include hair salons, tattoo parlors, and massage centers. Overnight summer camps reopening include residential, travel, and troop camps.

“We are still on an encouraging trajectory across the state, and while there are regional differences, we are seeing continued general rates of decline in cases and deaths,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS’ Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive. “Although the risk levels are going down, it does not mean it has gone away. Please remain vigilant, wear your mask, practice social distancing, and remain patient as we continue to fight COVID-19 together.”

West Michigan is presently in phase four of Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan, with the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, and non-tribal casinos not planned until the region’s moved to phase five. All of Michigan’s economic regions in the plan are in phase four, except for two that’ve made it on to phase five: the Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions.

In addition to more industry reopenings, Whitmer signed executive orders on Thursday further extending protections for evictions and jail and juvenile detention center populations. The extensions are aligned with continuing pandemic mitigation.

Tenants and mobile home owners are now protected from being evicted from their homes through June 30. For jail and juvenile detention populations, suspension of transfers to and from Michigan Department of Corrections facilities is extended through July 9, unless jails adopt certain risk-reduction protocols.

More details about Whitmer’s latest pandemic-related orders are available on the Executive Orders page on her official website.


Majority of Kent County departments, offices, and agencies reopening on Monday

Most of Kent County’s departments, offices, and agencies will resume in-person services on Monday, Kent County’s administration announced.

Court operations are open, but will remain temporarily closed to in-person services. Its staff will continue assisting residents by e-mail and phone. Court operations include the 17th Circuit Court, 63rd District Court, and Probate Court.

“We are excited that our state and region are beginning to get back to business,” said Kent County Administrator Wayman Britt. “However, we know COVID-19 is still in our community, so we will remain vigilant in following state and local health guidelines to ensure the safety of our employees and residents.”

Residents visiting county services in-person after Monday will be asked to adhere to physical distancing measures. Kent County administrators are also encouraging residents to visit the county’s website or call 616-632-7590 to determine if their needed services can be fulfilled remotely.


LINC UP, Urban Core Collective, and NAACP Grand Rapids respond to city leaders’ adoption of community suggestions

Responding to Grand Rapids city leadersunveiled plans for improved policing, LINC UP, Urban Core Collective, and NAACP Grand Rapids issued a joint statement on Friday asking them to immediately adopt one of their requests – full funding of the Office of Oversight and Accountability (OPA).

On Wednesday, City Manager Mark Washington, Police Chief Eric Payne, and OPA Director Brand Davis announced their improvement plan that included requests outlined in a petition from the three nonprofits. The petition was signed by more than 3,000 community members, with identifying funding to expand the OPA making it into the city leaders’ plans.

Currently, the Grand Rapids Police Department budget is funded above the City Charter requirements, and the budget for the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability does not meet the national standard of 3% of the Police Budget,” LINC UP, Urban Core Collective, and NAACP Grand Rapids said in their joint statement.

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, we ask you to call for a vote to reallocate existing funding in the Grand Rapids Police Department budget to fulfill the City’s commitment to fully funding the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. Doing so will demonstrate that the City is not only listening to community voices, but taking action on behalf of its residents.”

Grand Rapids’ City Commission meetings are open to the public and continue to take place online in response to the pandemic. They can be watched live on the City of Grand Rapids’ Facebook and YouTube pages, as well as Comcast channel 26. More details about City Commission meetings are available on the City of Grand Rapids’ website.


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