AG Human Trafficking Annual Report

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Media contact:
Lynsey Mukomel

Monday, January 31, 2022

AG Nessel Announces Human Trafficking Commission’s Annual Report

LANSING – To conclude Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today is sharing the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission’s 2021 Annual Report, which is now available on the Department of Attorney General’s website.

Earlier this month – for Human Trafficking Awareness Day – the Department highlighted resources available and important work being done to combat trafficking.

The annual report is provided to the Governor and Legislature each year to summarize those efforts. Copies will be delivered today.

“As we look ahead, I am encouraged by continued attention to the crime, its victims and survivors and efforts to prevent trafficking. I continue to be impressed with the Commission’s accomplishments, especially considering its lack of funding. Yet, through the dedication and passion of the Commission members, community partners and Department of Attorney General staff, the Commission continues to make excellent progress,” Nessel said.

Seven committees make up the Commission:

  1. Data Collection and Research
  2. Funding and Resources
  3. Policy and Legislation
  4. Public Awareness
  5. Training and Education
  6. Victim Services
  7. Courts/Summit

One of the biggest accomplishments from 2021 was bolstering public awareness resources and training that the Commission made available through its website.

Every time a new resource is available, it’s announced through the Commission’s updates page online. You can sign up online to receive updates when they go out.

The Commission also approved a Commission sponsored training: Sex Trafficking Investigations for Law Enforcement: Sleuthing Force, Fraud or Coercion–Dispelling the “Consensual” Myth.” This training was a culmination of ongoing conversations across the Policy and Legislation, Victim Services, and Funding and Resources committees. The training is expected to be developed by early 2022 and offered early in the year.

Also stemming from collaboration with the Policy and Legislation Committee, early planning is underway on creating a training for the defense bar for those who may be (unknowingly) representing victims of sex trafficking with a view toward highlighting statutory protections available for sex trafficking victims.

250,000 Free COVID-19 Tests for Michiganders 

250,000 Free COVID-19 Tests for Michiganders 

Header 2021


January 31, 2022

Contact: [email protected]


Gov. Whitmer Announces 250,000 Free COVID-19 Tests for Michiganders


LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today announced a partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation to ship 250,000 free tests to 50,000 households to help get COVID-19 at-home tests into the hands of vulnerable Michiganders.


“Testing is critical to helping Michiganders protect themselves and their loved ones as we face the Omicron variant of COVID-19,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for teaming up to deliver 250,000 tests to families in counties across the state. Earlier this month, we surged 300,000 tests to schools and other group settings too. Together, we can keep ourselves safe by testing, getting vaccinated and boosted, and wearing a mask in high-transmission areas.”


Households in eligible ZIP codes in Berrien, Genesee, Kent, Macomb, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw and Wayne counties, and the City of Detroit are eligible to order one test kit per household from the Project Act website. Each kit contains five tests and should arrive in Amazon packaging within one to two weeks of ordering. Michigan has 250,000 tests, which will be made available to 50,000 households in this first phase of the program, with additional test availability anticipated in the future.


Individuals seeking to order tests will input their ZIP code to see if they live in a qualifying area. Individuals without Internet access can contact the COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136, or contact 211 for assistance ordering tests.


“Testing is an important tool to limit the spread of the virus and at-home tests allow individuals to very quickly determine if they are positive for the virus and take actions to isolate and seek treatment if needed. I urge Michiganders to order their tests today in addition to getting the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and their booster dose when eligible, as the vaccine is our best defense against the virus,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We are grateful for this partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation that will put more tests into the hands of Michiganders most in need as we continue battling COVID-19.”


The public-private public partnership program brings together five other state health departments in Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico and Ohio along with test manufacturer iHealth, health technology company CareEvolution, and logistics provider and distribution leader Amazon.


This program is in addition to free at-home tests available through the federal government partnership with the United States Postal Service.


Michiganders also have numerous options for accessing COVID-19 testing such as MDHHS supported community popup testing sites, which include testing at welcome centers and airports in addition to 22 neighborhood testing sites across the state. Michiganders can also locate testing sites near them through an online search tool.


Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control is partnering with two counties to host high throughput COVID-19 test sites in Macomb and Wayne counties.

Whitmer Announces 10 Million Free KN95 Masks for Michiganders   

Header 2021


January 27, 2022

Contact: [email protected]


Governor Whitmer Announces 10 Million Free KN95 Masks for Michiganders  

Highly-effective masks will help Michiganders protect themselves from COVID-19


LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is distributing 10 million free KN95 masks to ensure Michiganders can protect themselves from COVID-19 as the state continues to face the Omicron variant.


Free KN95 masks provided by MDHHS will be distributed by community organizations, including local MDHHS offices, health departments and Area Agency on Aging offices.


“We have the tools and we know what works as we face down the Omicron variant of COVID-19,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “By distributing 10 million highly-effective KN95 masks, we can keep families and communities safe. I encourage Michiganders to pick up a free KN95 mask at their local MDHHS office, public health department, or community organization. Together, we can keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”


Residents who need masks can pick one up from partner sites across the state. Find a distribution site at Michiganders are asked to refer to partner websites or social media sites to find out about mask availability as opposed to calling sites.


“We are urging Michiganders to mask up to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities from COVID-19,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “Wearing masks are important in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, particularly the easily spread omicron and delta variants. Today’s distribution of KN95 masks will help more Michiganders limit the spread of COVID to save lives and get back to normal sooner.”


As of Jan. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its consumer web page describing the types of masks and respirators used to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. According to CDC, loosely woven cloth products provide the least protection, while layered finely woven products offer more protection.


Well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer even more protection, and well-fitting NIOSH-approved respirators (including N95s) offer the highest level of protection. KN95 masks are similar to but should not be confused with N95 masks that are often used by health care workers as part of their work in higher-risk settings or as a replacement for NIOSH-approved respirators if required by your employer.


In addition to MDHHS offices, local health departments and Area Agency on Aging offices, the free masks are available from Community Action AgenciesFederally Qualified Health Centers and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Some agencies will further distribute the masks to local partners such as homeless shelters. This is the second time the department has distributed KN95 masks for the public, having distributed 3.5 million masks in January 2021.


The masks being provided by MDHHS are in addition to 400 million N95 masks being made available by the Biden administration to pharmacies and health centers from the Strategic National Stockpile. CVS, Costco, Meijer, Walgreens, Kroger, Rite Aid, Walmart and Sam’s Club are among the many Michigan retailers that joined the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program to begin free distribution of N95 masks.


Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at

Keenest takes over at Holly

Keenest takes over at Holly

Around the OAA.

This is a blog that is devoted to the OAA. We cover 23 schools from Oakland County to Wayne County. From Oxford to Harper Woods. This blog will give insight and projections around the OAA.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

by Sammy Taormina

Keenest takes over at Holly.

Written Wednesday January 26th at 8:40 AM

Updated Wednesday January 26th at 10:15 AM

In a surprising move there will be a new coach at Troy Athens next season.

Coach Billy Keenest has stepped down at Troy Athens and accepted the coaching position at Holly.

“Over the last four seasons there have been a few things I have enjoyed more than being your head coach. Leading the Red Hawks has been an incredible experience in my life and I won’t forget Hawk mornings, practices, Friday night lights, some of the greatest memories I will ever have. Over the last few years life has taken me in many directions and to new opportunities. Today I am resigning as your head football coach. I will always love the Hawks and forever have red and gold in my heart. I want to thank all of my former players first and foremost. I love you guys more than you know. Secondly to all our assistant coaches I love you guys and appreciate all your hard work. The fine board is still running. Thank you so much to the parents who have supported me and this program. I’m sad to leave Athens but it’s time to move on. Thank you and GO HAWKS.” Keenest said on Twitter to Red Hawk nation on Tuesday.

Keenest was 11-22 in his four seasons at Troy Athens. He also spent one season at Berkley in 2016.

Keenest was the offensive coordinator at Troy Athens under then coach Josh Heppner for a time. He also played his high school football at Oxford under Bud Rowley.

The Red Hawks should a pretty good team despite losing Keenest. They will be in the Blue next season. Whoever comes to Troy Athens has a ton of experience on both lines with linemen Alex Afhan and Luke Summerall coming back along with linebacker Jaden Najm on the defensive side of the football. The offense will be very interesting to see if they keep the same offense or go with something different. They need to find a quarterback but have proven skill players wide receivers Austin Pokley and Noah Vivian along with running back Anthony Ashor coming back as well. Program strength looks to be getting better with Troy Athens and it will be very important for the new coach to keep the program at a high level.

It will be very interesting to see what happens with Troy Athens football program and who becomes the new head coach next season.



I was very surprised to see Keenest leave Troy Athens after four years coaching the program. Keenest is not the first OAA coach to leave for the Flint Metro League. Coach Brad Zube left Stoney Creek to take the Brandon job in 2017.  Holly is a very interesting program. The Bronchos are 19-33 since 2016. The Flint Metro League has a ton of proven challengers in Lake Fenton, Brandon, Linden, and Fenton. Holly will be going through a transition period and should be one of the teams to watch next season. The Red Hawks should be pretty good next season with the experience coming back but whoever takes over the program

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

New Playscape at Lake Orion’s Lakefront Park Thanks to Grant

Children Will Play on New Playscape at Lake Orion’s Lakefront Park Thanks to Grant

​Pontiac, Michigan  – The Village of Lake Orion, a member of Main Street Oakland County,  was one of 25 communities nationwide – and the only one in Michigan – to receive a $50,000 T-Mobile Hometown Grant. The village will use the grant to enhance Green’s Park with a new playscape and pavilion.

“The Village of Lake Orion is the only small town in Michigan to receive the first round of the nationwide T-Mobile Hometown Grants,” said John Bry, supervisor of Main Street Oakland County. “Molly LaLone, executive director of Lake Orion’s Downtown Development Authority, identified the grant opportunity and helped Village Councilmember Teresa Rutt, serving on the parks and recreation committee, begin the grant process last year.”

Rutt applied for the grant last June.”We are grateful to T-Mobile for the opportunity to invest in recreation space in a way that will improve the quality of life in our area by creating a gathering space for the community,” Rutt said. “This is the largest grant the committee has received during my eight plus years on the village’s parks and recreation committee.”

The grant will cover the cost of the playscape but not the estimated $15,000 installation costs. The additional costs include labor, tools, equipment, concrete, unloading and sorting materials, prepping the site, providing safety and landscape restoration. Rutt said the parks and recreation committee will schedule a “Community Build Day” in the spring of 2022 to help defer these expenses. To volunteer, contact the Village Hall at 248-693-8391. Look for updates on the village website at

The village’s Department of Public Works will help, and an engineer from Penchura, LLC, Brighton, Mich., will be on hand to make sure their Tree Tops playscape is installed to appropriate specifications. Green’s Park is two acres with 560 feet of frontage on Lake Orion. It is the only one of the village’s six parks with lake access.

T-Mobile’s Hometown Grants are designed to help jumpstart community development projects and reenergize small towns, building upon what makes them unique. T-Mobile partnered with Main Street

America and Smart Growth America, two consulting partners with a combined experience of more than 60 years working to help build stronger, more prosperous small towns and rural communities. Together, they determined the grant recipients based on several factors, including detail and fullness of the submission, community impact and viability of the project.

“These incredible projects spark innovation, ingenuity and hard work that have always been the hallmark of our nation’s small towns,” said Jon Freier, executive vice president of T-Mobile’s Consumer Group. “From beautifying historic Main Streets to building all-new retail spaces, pop-ups and parks, this is part of our commitment to rural America. We can’t wait to see all these creative plans come to life.”

This group of 25 communities is just the first round of recipients. T‑Mobile has committed $25 million to small town grants over the next five years and plans to award Hometown Grants on a quarterly basis to towns with populations of less than 50,000. For more information on applying, visit:

Since 2006, the Lake Orion DDA has been a MSOC nationally accredited community. Its mission is to enhance the economic potential and preserve the historical character of the Lake Orion DDA District, the heart and hub of the Orion Community, through promotional activities and an organizational structure that focuses on community involvement with local businesses, residents, and other stakeholders.

To date, nearly $963 million in public and private investments have been made to Main Street downtowns, establishing 1,254 new businesses, and generating 8,303 jobs. Oakland County is the first and only county in the U.S. to operate a full-service, countywide Main Street coordinating program. MSOC has 25 designated communities currently in the program.

LAKE ORION Playground Equipment 211115.JPG

LAKE ORION T Mobile Big Check 210923.JPG