Court of Appeals Rules Against Owosso Barbershop Proprietor

A defiant Owosso barber must shutter his business for the remainder of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus lockdown.

The Michigan Court of Appeals determined by a 2-1 vote Thursday that Owosso septuagenarian Karl Manke’s business presented an “imminent danger” to public health during the coronavirus pandemic, deciding with the plaintiff, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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Owosso Barber Granted Legal Reprieve from Governor’s Lockdown Order

The ongoing saga of Owosso barber Karl Manke’s battle against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to shutter businesses during the coronavirus pandemic turned another page on Thursday.

Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew J. Stewart determined state attorneys failed to convince him Manke’s refusal to comply with the governor’s order posed an imminent threat to the public. As a result, Manke’s shop on Owosso’s Main Street will remain open and the 77-year-old barber will be cutting hair for the foreseeable future.

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Owosso Barber Draws Support After License Suspended for Violating Gov. Whitmer’s Shutdown Order

Throngs of people waited for as long as three hours in an Owosso downpour to see Karl Manke, a local 77-year-old barber, speak on Monday afternoon.

Manke has gained celebrity status and a certain amount of notoriety for his refusal to adhere to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown of what are deemed non-essential businesses. Manke’s barbershop falls under that rubric as defined by the governor’s executive orders.

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