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Local News Summary - October 28, 2020 Edition

Lady Cardinals win first ever conference title
The Johannesburg-Lewiston Lady Cardinals won their first ever volleyball Ski Valley Conference title against Bellaire’s Lady Eagles in Johannesburg on Oct. 20. The Eagles trailed, throughout, and, despite a late effort in game three, went three and out.

Both teams showed the ability to recover from their own mistakes in game one, but the Eagles struggled with ball control and body control at the net, crossing the boundary too many times. The Cardinals took game one at 25-12.

The Cardinals led in game two by as many as 15 points before the Eagles made up some ground. Joburg’s Jamie Burke tipped the winning point over the net that ended game two at 25-16, Cardinals. The Eagles took their first lead of the night with the first point in game three courtesy of a double hit on Joburg.

After trailing by as many as seven points early in game three, the Eagles battled to stay within range, threatening the Cardinal lead at 24-22. A spike from Burke ended the threat and the game at 25-22, Cardinals, and secured the first Joburg conference title.

Burke earned eight aces, eight kills and 12 digs. Jayden Marlatt earned two aces, 12 kills and 10 digs. Tara Madej was credited with three aces and six kills, Delaney Hogle and Autumn Vermilya each earned 19 digs, Emily Crandell earned eight digs, Grace Baragrey earned four kills and Kylie Sietman was credited with three digs.

The match left the Lady Cards with an overall record of 26-8. After receiving the trophy, the Lady Cardinals posed under the board on the gymnasium wall that will have to be changed to reflect their historic victory. They host Alcona’s Lady Tigers on Oct. 27 and travel to Forest Area for an invitational on Oct. 31 prior to the start of district competition.

$3.6 million in grants available to target invasive species
About $3.6 million in grants is available to target invasive species in Michigan. A 2020 grant program handbook outlines priorities and application guidelines, and applicants can participate in a two-part webinar on Nov. 5. Full project proposals are due Dec. 11.

The program is seeking projects to detect and control high-risk invasive species and to initiate surveys in high-quality environments like Great Lakes islands. Emphasis is placed on developing strategies to increase public adoption of decontamination practices that prevent the spread of invasive species. Priority is given to supporting Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) to implement strategic plans for outreach, detection and control of regional priority species.

Local, state, federal and tribal units of government, nonprofit organizations and universities may apply for funding to support invasive species projects in Michigan. Grant requests for general projects can range from a minimum of $25,000 to a maximum o $400,000. CISMAs can request up to $60,000 for annual implementation of prevention, detection and control activities and up to $40,000 for specific survey and treatment projects.

Applicants must commit to provide a minimum of 10 percent of the project cost in matching funds. Competitive applications will outline clear objectives, propose significant ecological benefits, demonstrate diverse collaboration and show strong community support. Award announcement is anticipated in March 2021.

“Our state’s natural resources, both land and water, are threatened by invasive species that harm our environment ,economy and even human health,” Gary McDowell, director of Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a press release. “The Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program is a critical tool in addressing these threats, both on the local level with Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas and on a statewide scale by supporting advances in prevention and control.”

77 new COVID-19 testing sites added in state
Nearly 100 free COVID-19 test sites are now available throughout the state with 77 new sites launched through a partnership between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Walgreens as well as the Michigan Primary Care Association. Sites operate in all regions of the state to ensure increased access to free testing.

“We are pleased to partner with Walgreens and the Michigan Primary Care Association to increase access to testing in Michigan,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive with MDHHS, said in a press release. “As we are seeing rising cases and hospitalizations across the state, it is so critical that everyone who needs a test gets a test. This includes anyone who is sick or has been close to anyone who has been sick.”

Testing at Walgreens’ sites is available by appointment, only, and is provided through existing pharmacy drive-thru lanes. When patients arrive, pharmacy staff will walk them through a self-administration of a COVID-19 test. To make an appointment, visit

Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), which typically serve low-income or socially vulnerable communities, already offer low-cost COVID-19 testing, and these newest efforts ensure patients do not face costs for testing at 47 locations.

Federal law requires private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid cover medically necessary COVID-19 tests without any out-of-pocket costs for patients. However, some tests may not be considered medically necessary by insurers. Free test sites may still collect patient insurance information and attempt to bill insurance. State funding will pay for costs not covered by insurance.

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