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#Be The Anchor community campaign anchoring community

Our community needs each other now more than ever.

With the endorsement of mayors of Montague and Whitehall, the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is kicking off a #BeTheAnchor campaign to show each other in the White Lake Area that we can do this together, despite the distance.

With Governor’s Whitmer’s recent Stay Home Stay Safe order, it’s our civic duty to stay at home when possible and maintain a social distance or “anchoring” at home. We’re doing a great job so far as Michigan residents have been given an “A” rating for keeping their social distance.

Why #BeTheAnchor?

In a relay race, the last person is called the “anchor.” This is the most reliable person on the team, who after everyone else has done his or her best, can be depended on to have the best chance of winning for the team. This is derived from a more antique use of the concept—to attach a weight to a rope or chain and drop it to the bottom of the sea to help a ship stay stable and not moved by winds or currents.

So “I will be your anchor” means I will do my best to help you succeed, stay afloat, survive, be stable. (As per www.quora.com)

Whitehall Mayor Debi Hillebrand says, “We’re practicing to #BeTheAnchor by staying at home in honor of our daughter, who is currently on the front lines at a hospital in Brooklyn.” Dr. Allix Hillebrand is a OB-GYN resident.

“It’s about the community being there for one another”, says Amy VanLoon, Executive director of the Chamber of Commerce. The anchor “symbolizes strength during the storm or even in the calm.”

Montague Mayor Tom Lohman encourages residents to have fun with the campaign while staying safe. His suggestions for staying safe are shared at the end of this article.

“Color this anchor and display it in a window or door,” he said. “If we practice these things, we will get through this crisis time.”

To participate, display a picture of an anchor in your window, indicating that you are an anchor in our community. Coloring pages are available on Facebook’s White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce page and on their Event Applications section of their website www.whitelake.org. The Chamber of Commerce requests sharing your “anchoring in” experience online by uploading a snapshot of your anchor to Facebook and/or Instagram with the hashtag #BeTheAnchor or share on the White Lake Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. The Chamber’s hope is to spread cheer and be a collective witness to how our community can unite in these extraordinary times. Anchors away!

The White Lake Beacon plans to share some of the photos in next week’s newspaper. You can email your photo of your #BeTheAnchor picture to editor@whitelakebeacon.com or the Beacon will select ones from the chamber’s Facebook Page.

Stay Informed

With much information available at local, county, state and federal levels, be sure what you watch or listen to is reliable.

Stay Home and Safe

Travel only as needed. NOTE: It is OK to go outside and take a walk but please practice social distancing. And if you feel any of the symptoms, follow the health care instructions.

Stay Connected

Connect with others through telephone, email, face book, twitter, etc. Check with your family, friends and neighbors. Please remember the elderly, some of them do not understand why they should be trapped in their home.


News
breaking
First positive COVID-19 test reported in Oceana County

District Health Department No. 10 reported Thursday morning the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 of an Oceana County resident.

Oceana County Emergency Management reports the individual is a dual resident of Oceana and Mason counties, but is currently residing and recuperating in Oceana County. District Health Department No. 10 is investigating the case to identify any close contacts to the individual.

The health department reminds everyone that it is critical that we protect each other, support each other, and work together to slow the spread of this disease. Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place, and we urge residents to continue to follow recommendations:

• Stay at home. Do not leave home except for essential tasks such as getting groceries or seeking medical care.

• If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid any gatherings.

• Wash your hands often and well, especially after being away from home, coughing, or sneezing.

• Do not touch your face or mouth, especially when away from home.

• Check on others. Call your loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk and see how they are doing. If they require something essential, see how you can help.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state, we should assume that it is present in every community. While testing is ongoing, the state is requiring clinicians to follow new CDC guidance for prioritizing tests due to limits on testing supplies.

On Thursday (March 26) District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) received notification of the first local death attributed to COVID-19.

The individual from Mecosta County was an 82-year-old male who was admitted to Spectrum Health in Big Rapids on March 25.

“We wish to express our heartfelt sympathies to the family who lost their loved one,” said Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to our community members and we must all continue to follow all executive orders to help bring this deadly virus to a halt.”

Please rely on official sources for information. District Health Department No. 10 continues to provide the latest information at www.dhd10.org. Michigan updates are available at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, and national updates are at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.


By Greg Means/Beacon Editor

The parking spaces on Ferry Street in downtown Montague were nearly empty Tuesday morning the first day of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order. She has asked Michigan residents to stay in their homes until April 13. Essential businesses remain open, and residents are allowed to travel to destinations.


Coronavirus
Two COVID-19 deaths recorded in Muskegon County

On Friday, March 27, Public Health – Muskegon County confirmed two deaths in Muskegon County from the COVID-19 virus. The victims are an 83-year-old man and a 78-year-old man.

“Our hearts go out to their families during their time of grief,” said Kathy Moore, Muskegon County Health Officer. “It is critical for us to protect each another and take all possible measures of prevention. Please stay home to help slow the spread of this illness.”

“Our thoughts go out to the families and to our community as we begin to grieve for those lost by COVID-19,’ said Gary Allore, president, Mercy Health Muskegon. “These first deaths remind us to all do what we can to stay home, stay healthy, and protect ourselves and those around us so that we can stop the spread of this virus.”

As of Thursday, Muskegon County had reported three presumptive positive tests, the first one made public Monday morning, March 23, during a press conference, and two more were reported later that day. As of Thursday there were 102 COVID-19 test submitted, with 23 negative results and 76 pending.

Statewide, as of 10 a.m. Friday, 92 people have died from COVID-19. Twenty-six of them are from Oakland County, 23 from the City of Detroit and 14 each from Macomb and Wayne counties.

Overall, the City of Detroit has had 1,075 positive tests. Oakland County has had 824 positive tests, Wayne County has had 735 positive tests and Macomb County has had 404 positive tests.

Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place. PHMC urges residents to take these precautions:

• Stay at home. Do not go out except for essential tasks such as seeking medical care or getting groceries.

• If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid gatherings.

• Wash your hands often, especially after going out, coughing or sneezing.

• Do not touch your face or mouth.

• Check on others. Call your loved ones and friends who are most at risk and see how they are doing.

Everyone should follow the above guidance. Testing is ongoing. However, with few tests completed and many pending, everyone needs to take precautions, practice prevention, and assume potential exposure in public places.

For statewide and national information on the virus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus or CDC.gov/Coronavirus.


Beacon continues to serve

The White Lake Beacon is continuing to serve its readers and the community through the COVID-19 pandemic which is hitting Michigan hard.

While trying to stay as safe as possible for our customers and employees, the community media outlet is committed to being a key site for information to those who are sheltered at home.

The Beacon, on its website, www.whitelakebeacon.com and in its E-Edition is posting more current and extensive news coverage than can be published in the print edition which will be having fewer pages because of a decrease in advertising from businesses which have either closed or cut back operations as a result of the Stay Home Stay Safe order.

A key part of our online coverage is a local and national link to Coronavirus news provided by members of the Community Media Group on each of their websites.

To keep Beacon employees and community members safer, we’ve changed our operations. More of the work by the editorial and advertising staff is being done at home, or at safe distances in the office.

Much of our news coverage will be done by phone or email to reduce personal contact. Personal contacts will be done at a safe distance.

Our office will have limited customers hours starting Monday, but we will be available for assistance by phone or email.

The Beacon office will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers can reach Mindy 9 a.m. — 3 p.m. weekdays by phone 231-894-5356 or email mindy@whitelakebeacon.com. Please call the office before coming. Most business can be done without leaving home.

We encourage members of the community to Stay Home Stay Safe and we will get through this together.

(By the way, I wrote this article from my dining room table at home!)


News
featured
WLFA, chief parting ways

WHITEHALL – White Lake Fire Authority Chief Gregory Holman, who was placed on paid administrative leave on Feb. 14, will officially resign after 22 years service on the department.

The authority serves the City of Whitehall and the townships of Fruitland and Whitehall.

The White Lake Fire Authority (WLFA) board, at its March 17 meeting, unanimously voted for a separation agreement which calls for Chief Holman’s resignation effective March 31, 2020. The motion to approve the separation agreement was made by board member Jeff Holmstrom following the board’s 33-minute closed session with WLFA’s attorney David Bossenbroek of Britton & Bossenbroek, PC Muskegon.

Holmstrom, and board members Chair Melissa Beegle, Secretary Marcia Jeske, Judy Marcinkowski, Norm Kittleson and Dennis Kroll voted in favor of the separation agreement. Beegle, Jeske and Marcinkowski represent Fruitland Township, Holmstrom and Kittleson represent the City of Whitehall and Kroll represents Whitehall Township.

According to the agreement, Holman who has served as the WLFA chief since 2011, will receive compensation upon his resignation. Included in that compensation will be payment of unpaid sick days in the amount of $1,298, payment of unused vacation days in the amount of $4,427.20 and an additional payment of $100 on the eighth day following execution of the agreement.

The separation agreement did not state a specific reason for separation other it was a termination by the authority without cause. The agreement reads that “Nothing in this agreement shall be construed as an admission of any unlawful action or conduct by Fire Chief of any violation or noncompliance with any obligation, legal or otherwise. The Authority will not object to any application for unemployment benefits by the Fire Chief.”

In consideration of the WLFA’s payment, he agrees to not make any claims against the authority, contractural or otherwise.

The separation agreement included statements by the WLFA and Chief Holman.

“Greg Holman has resigned from his position as Fire Chief with the White Lake Fire Authority. The White Lake Fire Authority Board is thankful for Chief Holman’s over 22 years of service and wishes him and his family the very best,” was the WLFA statement.

Holman’s statement is as follows, “I have resigned from my position as Fire Chief with the White Lake Fire Authority. I am thankful for the opportunity to provide over 22 years of service to these communities.”


Coronavirus
breaking
First COVID-19 death reported in Heath Department #10 territory

On Thursday (March 26) District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) received notification of the first local death attributed to COVID-19.

The individual from Mecosta County was an 82-year-old male who was admitted to Spectrum Health in Big Rapids on March 25.

 “We wish to express our heartfelt sympathies to the family who lost their loved one,” said Kevin Hughes, DHD#10 Health Officer. “COVID-19 continues to pose a serious threat to our community members and we must all continue to follow all executive orders to help bring this deadly virus to a halt.”

DHD#10 reminds everyone that it is critical that we protect each other, support each other, and work together to slow the spread of this disease. Strong community mitigation and prevention measures are already in place, and we urge residents to continue to follow recommendations:

Stay at home. Do not leave home except for essential tasks such as getting groceries or seeking medical care.

If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid any gatherings.

Wash your hands often and well, especially after being away from home, coughing, or sneezing.

Do not touch your face or mouth, especially when away from home.

Check on others. Call your loved ones and neighbors who are most at risk and see how they are doing. If they require something essential, see how you can help.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state, we should assume that it is present in every community. While testing is ongoing, the state is requiring clinicians to follow new CDC guidance for prioritizing tests due to limits on testing supplies.

Please rely on official sources for information. DHD#10 continues to provide the latest information at www.dhd10.org. Michigan updates are available at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus, and national updates are at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.