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Criminal charges dismissed against Owosso barber who defied COVID-19 orders to close

a man wearing a mask cuts the hair of a man not wearing a mask
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Shiawassee County Prosecutor is dropping charges against an Owosso barber who defied orders to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This summer, Karl Manke kept cutting hair in violation of the emergency orders by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The State Supreme Court recently ruled the governor’s orders were not valid after April 30th.

The state also suspended Manke’s barber’s license in May. A judge restored the license while the Board of Barber Examiners considers whether to revoke Manke’s license. Manke’s attorney is asking the administration to dismiss the pursuit of the revocation. 
Manke became something of a celebrity for those who protested Governor Whitmer's emergency orders to shut down certain businesses to avoid spreading the coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Many who supported Manke's defiance stood outside the barbershop to show solidarity, while others kept the 77-year-old barber busy cutting their hair.
Manke's attorney also called for the dismissal of charges against other businesses that defied the governor's orders to close.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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