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Published 4/6/2020
9:30pm

Argus-Press Announces Coronavirus Scale-Back, Layoffs

"Subscribers like you will be the key to our ability to survive," Publisher says

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Shiawassee News photo

The Argus-Press Publisher, Tom Campbell, and wife Cathy, posted a message to the newspaper's Facebook page on Monday morning, April 6th, announcing that the daily paper is shrinking.

"In order for The Argus-Press to continue to publish each day, the number of pages has declined. We apologize for this," the note reads. "As many businesses remain closed due to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “stay home, stay safe” order, they have placed their advertising space on hold." Not only is the decline in revenue impacting the physical publication, the Campbells revealed it's also impacting personnel, saying "As a result of that loss of revenue, we have begun to lay off employees — something The Argus-Press has never done in its 166-year history. The employees and our delivery carriers we have been able to retain are showing great courage coming to work every day and putting themselves on the front lines so our readers can have great local coverage of events and coronavirus news from our county at this critical time in all of our lives."

 The Argus-Press isn't the only newspaper struggling. We applaud the Campbells for doing what it takes to save the daily paper. In Eaton County, The County Journal and Flashes Advertising & News have suspended printing. The same is true for Jackson County's The Grass Lake Times and Springport Signal, and most certainly many other community papers.

 The Campbells addressed the paper's readers and subscribers, saying "Subscribers like you will be the key to our ability to survive. We greatly appreciate your readership and pledge that we will rebuild the physical newspaper as quickly as possible after the pandemic has passed and as the economy is revived," adding "We hope to be full strength once again after this difficult time passes. Thank you for sticking with us."

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Update 4/5/2020

Benteler Automotive Corporation in West Michigan will lay off 1,000 employees.  The company notified the state of the temporary layoffs due to global impacts on the supply chain.

Cease and desist letters were sent to three non-essential Upper Peninsula businesses for remaining open when only essential businesses should be open.  Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all in Menominee County, were hand-delivered the letters by Michigan State Police.

Michigan State University is launching virtual courses aimed at anyone interested in gardening.  The Cabin Fever Conversations series features a different guest speaker each week.

Meijer is now conducting health-screenings of employees before each shift.  The West Michigan-based retailer joins other companies taking extra steps to keep employees and customers safe.

The Treasury Department has announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive the direct payment being made to Americans as part of the CARES Act, Congressman John Moolenaar said, noting that he supported the initiative. Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return, do not need to file one to receive the payment.

Lansing Police are asking for help locating a missing teen.  Demasio Nino Perez is 14 years old, 6'1 and 155 pounds, police say, and was reported as a runaway/missing person last seen in the 500 block of Riley Street in Lansing.  He was wearing black and grey sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.  Call 517-483-4600 with information.

Saginaw parks and playgrounds have closed to vehicle access effective immediately.  Anyone wishing to utilize a city park will have to enter on foot until further notice.

The MHSAA has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter and sports seasons.  This marks the first year since 1942-1943 that finals will not be played.  World War II forced the cancellation of many final sporting events.

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