Last week, we reported about a small business owner in Owosso, Michigan, a small community in Shiawassee County, who defied his state’s executive order and opened his barber and beauty shop to the public.
WLNS spoke to the 77-yr-old owner, Karl Manke, of Karl Manke’s Barber and Beauty Shop. Manke has been in the Owosso community since 1961, and last week the owner decided to open the doors again, despite state orders to remain closed.
After being denied twice by unemployment, Karl Manke said he had enough.
“The governor decided she was going to go another two weeks, and then another two weeks, and now this last time when she said we weren’t going to come back May 1st, that we were going to be secluded here until the 28th– it brought me to my knees.,” Manke said.
Karl says support has come from all over.
“I had a policeman stop by this morning, and I thought, okay here it is—it’s done. He said, ‘I love you,’ and walked out,” Manke said.
Owosso police last week cited Manke for a civil infraction and two misdemeanors. A court date is set for June 23, and he faces a more than $1,000 fine.
Governor Whitmer made it clear that Manke will face the consequences of defying her order.
In a Monday news conference in Lansing, Whitmer warned that her executive orders carry the force of law. There are quite a few novel coronavirus cases in Shiawassee County, she said, and the hospital system is concerned.
Through Monday, the county had accumulated 211 cases and 17 deaths since the first COVID-19 cases were reported statewide more than two months ago. Michigan has more than 47,550 cases and nearly 4,600 deaths.
With roughly 15,000 residents, Owosso is the largest city in the mostly rural Shiawassee County. The population density in Shiawassee County is a tenth that of Oakland County, one of the hardest-hit counties in Michigan and roughly 20 miles southeast of Shiawassee County.
“Most businesses in the state have a license that is granted from the state, and they are putting themselves at risk by putting their customers and themselves at risk by opening prematurely,” Whitmer said.
Manke promised to fight the restrictions on his business “until Jesus comes.”
Karl Manke’s barbershop is located in Shiawassee County, MI. Yesterday, Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole announced that he would no longer enforce Governor Whitmer’s lockdown orders.
Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole said in a written statement he decided to share his office’s position on the governor’s executive orders after receiving “many calls” from local residents and businesses on the matter and “especially since the Michigan Legislature did not extend the state of emergency beyond April 30 as required by law.”
“The legality of that is a judicial branch determination,” BeGole said, noting his office’s “responsibility to serve and protect the citizens of Shiawassee County and to ensure their rights as described in both state and federal Constitution.”
“With limited resources, staffing and facilities, our priority focus will be on enforcing duly passed laws for the protection of Shiawassee County citizens,” he added. “I have decided, within my authority, that our office cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts towards enforcement of Governor Whitmer’s executive orders.”
The move comes about a week after two county sheriffs in Arizona said they would not enforce Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R-Ariz.) stay-at-home order, citing the Constitution, and days after a California sheriff said he would not enforce similar coronavirus measures in the state because it was “time to get back opening up.”
American Greatness reports – A Michigan judge denied an attempt by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration to immediately shut down an Owosso barbershop whose owner has been cutting hair in defiance of the governor’s coronavirus shutdown order.
The judge denied the state’s claim that the 77-year-old Karl Manke was to close his shop because he was allegedly in violation of Whitmer’s executive order to shut down all non-essential businesses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
BREAKING NEWS – A judge has denied the state’s cease-and-desist order against Owosso, Michigan barber Karl Manke. He reopened his shop last week despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order. Katie Heid reports from the scene.
Posted by Great Lakes News on Monday, May 11, 2020
“This is not only a big victory for Mr. Manke, but also for other small businesses,” she said. “Who else will open their doors?”
The state Attorney General lost in its effort to obtain a temporary restraining order, NBC 25 reported.
The A.G. said:
The Attorney General’s court action, filed on behalf of MDHHS, seeks to enforce the MDHHS Director’s Public Health Order that deemed Mr. Manke’s business an imminent danger to public health in light of the COVID 19 pandemic and directs him to immediately cease operations at his barbershop. The State is seeking to schedule a hearing as soon as possible.
The state claimed that Manke’s open business presents “clear public health dangers”.
Great Lakes News reports about how overnight, Michigan’s Attorney General “yanked” his license. According to Katie Hyde of Great Lakes News, there are several sources who’ve reported that the National Guard is on their way to his shop.
BREAKING NEWS: Shiawassee County Barber Karl Manke continues to cut hair even after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel yanked his license overnight. Katie Heid is on the scene.
Posted by Great Lakes News on Wednesday, May 13, 2020
The barber had been repeatedly fined for allegedly violating the shutdown orders, but supporters paid the fines. “I just couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do that,” Manke told radio host Steve Gruber about continuing to operate his business. “I don’t care really if I have to spend all of the money I’m making right now to pay my fine. It’s worth it,” he said.
If it’s true that Michigan’s overreaching governor is sending the National Guard to 77-year-old Karl Manke’s Barber and Beauty Shop, things could get very ugly very quickly in the state of Michigan, where the unpopular governor has made it clear that campaigning for Joe Biden’s VP spot is her first priority.