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MI Court of Appeals orders defiant Owosso barber to close shop

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Posted at 12:25 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 12:57:23-04

LANSING, Mich. — An Owosso barber who has refused to comply with Michigan's coronavirus restrictions and close his shop balks at a new court order telling him to shut down.

"I'm still open, still working until they cut my hands off," Karl Manke told Fox 47 over the phone Thursday while shop remained open.

The Michigan Court of Appeals issued an order Thursday morning that said Manke's shop posed a public health hazard and must close. The order also mentions that if it remains open Manke could be held in contempt.

As of 11:15 a.m. Thursday, it was unclear how state officials plan to handle Manke's refusal to close.

The state’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, testified Wednesday that Manke's shop is "an imminent threat to public health." She cited photos of the shop that show Manke wearing a mask below his chin and customers sitting close together without face coverings.

Manke, 77, has tried to stop two license suspensions.

Barbershops and salons have been closed for weeks by Whitmer. She believes it's too risky to reopen them.

Manke, however, reopened on May 4, and has stayed open for most of the past month.

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