Michigan State Police visit Owosso barbershop that reopened against governor's orders

Posted at 9:55 AM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 11:58:33-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan State Police paid a visit to an Owosso barbershop that opened up against the governor's orders.

Troopers served paperwork from the Attorney General's Office ordering Owosso barber Karl Manke to shut down his shop again.

Manke had reopened for business on Monday, May 4 in violation of Michigan's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. Under the executive order, now extended until May 28, barbershops and hair salons are deemed non-essential, meaning they cannot open.

The Owosso Police Department warned Manke once and then wrote him two tickets charging him with violating an executive order. Police then turned the case over to the Shiawassee County Prosecutor's Office.

After receiving the order from Attorney General Nessel Friday evening, Manke remained defiant and refused to close the barbershop.

Crowds of supporters have come out to Manke's shop for haircuts. The shop owner said he's been working 15-hour days this week.

But those not rushing to get a trim at the barbershop are a bit concerned.

"The fact that he's open, people gotta live, they gotta earn their money, but I'm trying to follow the rules as best as possible," said Richard Lowe of Owosso.

Amy Ackles wishes social distancing rules and personal protection were enforced more outside Manke's shop.

"Lining up outside, that's why we're going to be home all summer, because if you notice people are congregating. Half of them don't have masks on," she said.

Manke said at 77 years old this is his livelihood. He plans to continue his craft despite the pressure to follow state orders at the risk of arrest, fines or a loss of his professional license.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.