State suspends license of Owosso barber that reopened shop against governor's orders

Posted at 2:42 PM, May 13, 2020

The state of Michigan has suspended the license of a barber operating in Owosso.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs suspended the license of Karl Manke.

“Mr. Manke’s actions in violating Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders as well as other health orders put the public at risk for contracting COVID-19,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Anytime you have a barber or other professional providing services to numerous citizens in close proximity to each other and those citizens are then returning to their various residences, there is a risk of contracting and spreading the virus. It is paramount that we take action to protect the public and do our part to help save lives.”

Manke, 77, opened up his shop about a week ago after the state legislature refused to extend a state of emergency.

On Monday, a judge refused a restraining order from the state attorney general that would have closed down the shop.

“I’ve gone six weeks without a paycheck," he said. "I’m 77, always worked and never wanted a handout. I don’t want food stamps. (I) want to work and the whole emphasis for this, 28 more days knocked me to my knees. I had to get back to work. I’ve never seen this type of oppression by a government.”

The Shiawassee County Sheriff also is not enforcing the executive order. Manke still faces two misdemeanors for reopening and more than $1,000 in fines as donations pour in from supporters.

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