See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Q and A with Michigan Tech Masterminds of 3D-printed PPE

By Cyndi Perkins, Senior Content Specialist, Michigan Tech University Marketing and Communications
Posted May 7, 2020, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

Michigan Tech Materials Science and Engineering graduate student Bharath Lavu works with face shields awaiting assembly in the Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

Michigan Technological University’s Van Pelt and Opie Library may be more solitary than ever these days, but it isn't quiet. The library's 3D printers are running full blast, turning out thousands of face shields for community health workers.

Huskies seeking silence would instead find a mini manufacturing center operated by library staff David Holden and John Schneiderhan alongside engineer Joshua Pearce. Together with others across campus and the community, they are tapping the University’s brainpower and equipment to stem the spread of COVID-19. For now, it’s face shields, but plans are in the works to produce other items in short supply, including the swabs essential to COVID-19 testing and National Institutes of Health (NIH) face masks.

John Schneiderhan, who during a typical semester is busy helping students and other library patrons with duplication technology, helps to lead the University's 3D PPE project. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) has been an active partner every step of the way.

"We are very fortunate to have Michigan Tech engaged in the COVID-19 response locally," said Pete Baril, WUPHD director of planning and community preparedness. "This face shield project is a great example of the partnership between MTU and the community."...

Click here to read the rest of this article on Michigan Tech News

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Authorities prepared to enforce Michigan Laws for safety if protests occur at Capitol

LANSING –- Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan State Police Col. Joe Gasper are aware that some Michiganders are expected to protest at the Capitol in Lansing Thursday, May 14, and are reminding residents that public safety should be a priority for everyone and that state laws will be enforced.

The Attorney General’s office is working in coordination with the Michigan State Police (MSP) and the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure any protests that occur at the state Capitol are peaceful and free of violence and intimidation.

"We are in unprecedented times which have called for significant measures to protect the health and safety of Michigan residents. I vehemently support the First Amendment right to protest government actions at the Capitol or elsewhere around the state; however any such activity must be done in a manner that is safe and lawful," Nessel said. "The presence of heavily armed protestors at the Capitol  unnecessarily creates a powder keg dynamic that is dangerous to protestors, law enforcement and public servants reporting to work at the Capitol. My office will work in coordination with local authorities and the Michigan State Police to uphold our commitment to public safety."

"We’re asking the public to partner with us to ensure the Capitol remains a safe forum for everyone," said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. "While our desire is to interfere as little as possible in demonstrations, we will not allow unlawful, threatening or intimidating behavior. Based on safety concerns expressed following previous demonstrations, attendees can expect to see an increased MSP presence on Thursday."

Under Michigan law possession of an openly carried firearm coupled with an intention to create fear in another person could subject an individual to criminal prosecution for brandishing a firearm. Additionally, if a person refuses to obey a lawful directive from a law enforcement officer, that person could be subjected to criminal prosecution for resisting and obstructing.*

Authorities are hopeful that the voices of those who wish to be heard can exercise their rights in safety and that our Legislature and their staff can do their important work without being threatened. Protestors unable to adhere to the rule of law and who behave in a threatening and unlawful manner can expect to be held accountable in our courts.

During recent events at the Capitol, some residents carried firearms in protest of Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, leading some legislators and other employees working at the Capitol to express that they were concerned for their wellbeing. The executive order limits the activities of businesses and people during the COVID-19 pandemic and was issued to protect human life.**

Inset photo: Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. (Photo courtesy Michigan.gov)

Notes:

* See also, posted May 8, 2020, on michigan.gov: "AG Nessel Says Commission Can Prohibit Firearms at State Capitol."

** Read about Gov. Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe executive orders here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Houghton County culvert repair project to start May 18

LANSING -- Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will invest $2.6 million to replace four culverts and repave segments of highway totaling about 9 miles on US-41 from the Houghton/Baraga county line north to the Snake River, and from Golf Course Road north to Cliff Drive; and on M-26 from Cemetery Road north to Green Acres Road in Houghton County.

Work includes asphalt milling and resurfacing, culvert replacement, joint repairs, guardrails, aggregate shoulders, centerline and shoulder rumble strips, and pavement markings. Culvert crossings are expected to be completed by July 22, to be followed by paving. All work is expected to be completed by Sept. 25. This project includes a three-year materials and workmanship warranty.

A map of the project area is available on Mi Drive.

TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS:
The work will require single-lane closures with one alternating lane of traffic maintained by traffic regulators during paving and by temporary traffic signals at the culvert sites.

SAFETY BENEFITS:
This project will permanently replace culverts damaged in flooding in 2018, increasing safety and extending the lifespan of the roadway.

ESSENTIAL WORK:
This road construction project is an essential function. Transportation workers in the field follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to limit their risk of getting sick.

MDOT COVID-19 Construction Information
In Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order, residents are directed to remain home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible to reduce the spread of COVID-19. At this time, MDOT's construction contractors are deemed critical infrastructure workers and will proceed with state trunkline projects (M, I, and US-routes) when they feel their workers can perform work in a safe manner. The situation is very dynamic and the guidance regarding road construction can change with events.

For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

Monday, May 11, 2020

UP Energy Task Force to hold virtual meeting May 12; public may comment

LANSING -- The UP Energy Task Force will meet from 9:30 a.m. to Noon on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, online via Microsoft Teams.

The UP Energy Task Force (UPETF) was created by Executive Order No. 2019-14. The charge to the Task Force according to section 2(a) of the Executive Order is to:
  • Assess the UP’s overall energy needs and how they are currently being met.
  • Formulate alternative solutions for meeting the UP’s energy needs, with a focus on security, reliability, affordability, and environmental soundness. This shall include, but is not limited to, alternative means to supply the energy sources currently used by UP residents, and alternatives to those energy sources.
  • Identify and evaluate potential changes that could occur to energy supply and distribution in the UP; the economic, environmental, and other impacts of such changes; and the alternatives for meeting the UP’s energy needs in response to such changes.
Click here to learn how you can join the May 12 Microsoft Teams Meeting or to learn more about the UP Energy Task Force and access videos of their previous meetings.

Need help joining the meeting? Check out this quick guide to Attending a Meeting in Microsoft Teams!

To join by phone call: +1 248-509-0316  United States, Pontiac (Toll). Conference ID: 182 444 572#

If you would like to share a public comment during the UP Energy Task Force meeting on May 12, please send an email to EGLE-UPEnergy@Michigan.gov with your name and the subject line "Request for Public Comment During May 12 Meeting" and the chairperson will call on you during the public comment period of the meeting.

Members of the public will also have an opportunity to add their name to the public comment roster during the meeting.

The Upper Peninsula Energy Task Force Committee's "Recommendations: Part I - Propane Supply" were submitted to Governor Whitmer on April 17, 2020.*

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Please send your comments regarding the work of the UP Energy Task Force to: EGLE-UPEnergy@Michigan.gov
Comments submitted via the above email address will be shared with all UP Energy Task Force members. Comments submitted will become part of the public record and subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

* See "U.P. Energy Task Force submits propane recommendations to Gov. Whitmer."