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Owosso barber's license unsuspended after challenging 'Stay at Home' order

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

The Owosso barber who challenged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay at Home order has gotten his state license back.

A month ago, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has suspended the license of barber Karl Manke. Manke opened his Owosso barbershop May 4, in defiance of the governor’s orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The state contended that Manke presented a threat to public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Manke became a hero to critics of Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders.

On Monday, the Michigan Attorney General’s office filed a motion to dissolve the summary suspension of Karl Manke’s barber and barbershop license. Tuesday, an administration law judge granted the motion.

"I am pleased with the orders issued today to reinstate my licenses so I can continue to move forward," Manke said in a written statement. "I still believe it is high time for all of Michigan to Stand Up, Open Up for business, and for all the people in our community to Show Up in support."

But Manke’s problems are not over.

The administrative law judge is still scheduled to hold a hearing July 15.

After the hearing, the judge is expected to issue a report on the merits of the formal complaint filed against Manke. The final decision on whether Manke violated the state’s occupational code will be up to the Board of Barber Examiners.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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