Dallas Salon Owner Who Defied Government Travels to Michigan To Lend a Hand


The Texas salon owner who was jailed for violating stay-at-home orders traveled to Owosso, Michigan, to support a barber whose license was suspended after he reopened his shop for a week.

Shelley Luther, the owner of Salon a la Mode in Dallas, Texas, called Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a “tyrant” for suspending 77-year-old Karl Manke’s license, CBS News reported.

“Gretchen, the state of Michigan will vote you out,” she said.

“Stop being a tyrant,” she added. “Open up. You don’t get this control. We control you. We have the power.”

Manke reopened his shop on May 4, defying Whitmer’s executive order for salons, barbershops and other businesses to stay closed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I’ll be open until Jesus walks in or until they arrest me,” the owner of Karl Manke’s Barbershop told MLive.

He added that he didn’t need the governor to be his mother.

“I can take care of myself and run my own business the way I feel that I need to run it,” Manke said at the time.

Manke faces two misdemeanors with a $1,000 fine and is expected to appear in court on June 23.

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His professional license and the license for his barbershop were both suspended on May 13, according to Michigan’s Department of Attorney General.

“Why does your governor think that it’s OK to open up for marijuana, liquor sales?” Luther asked.

“Can’t you get an abortion? But you cannot get your hair cut. What is wrong?”

Luther had been jailed on May 5 for opening her business in defiance of Texas’ lockdown order but was released after less than 48 hours when Gov. Greg Abbott dropped jail as a possible punishment.

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Both Luther and Manke have said that they reopened to pay bills and support their employees and the community.

“Karl has made it clear,” Manke’s attorney David Kallman told The Detroit News.

“He has no animus toward anyone — the governor, the attorney general — he just wants to work, and he wants to do it in a safe responsible way.”

As of Tuesday morning, there are 51,915 cases of coronavirus in Michigan, including 227 in Shiawassee country where Owosso is located, according to data from the state.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith