New Michigan jobless claims are lowest since virus shutdowns

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LANSING — New unemployment claims in Michigan dropped last week to roughly 69,000, the lowest number since payrolls were cut because of the COVID-19 outbreak, according to figures released Thursday.

More than 1.3 million people in the state have filed for unemployment benefits since March 15.

People out of work can get benefits for about nine months, roughly three months longer than usual. They will receive an additional $600 a week through late July under a federal relief package.

A Macomb County man who barely survived COVID-19 repaid a hospital by delivering pasta and garlic bread — by helicopter.

“I just thought it’d be something very unique, to fly it in and give them something to see and basically salute them for all the great work they’re doing,” Jim Santilli said.

He arranged for 400 meals from a restaurant, Villa Penna, for staff at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, MLive.com reported.

All meals didn’t fit in the helicopter Wednesday so some pasta arrived by truck. The county sheriff’s aviation unit donated the use of the helicopter, pilot and fuel.

Santilli said doctors were running out of options for him in March before giving him a last-ditch drug combination. He returned home to Bruce Township in a few days.

“They’re seeing a lot of suffering in there,” Santilli, 38, said. “They’re true heroes.”

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