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Police close Hobby Lobby stores that reopened amid coronavirus

by Iva Timm (2020-05-14)

Police in Wisconsin and Indiana had to step in and close multiple Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts stores this week after they reopened in violation of restrictions on non-essential businesses that have been imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It also has emerged that all 19 Hobby Lobby locations in Ohio were back in business after only a brief hiatus, despite a stay-at-home order that was issued by Gov Mike DeWine on March 23.

The company reopened nearly all of its stores in Wisconsin, where Gov Tony Evers signed a 'safer at home' order on March 24 mandating, among other things, the closure of all non-essential businesses. 

A Hobby Lobby store in Jeffersonville, Indiana, was closed by police on Monday, just hours after it reopened after a brief hiatus amid the coronavirus crisis 

The Indiana store is one of several locations in the Midwest that were shuttered by police for flouting stay-at-home orders 

A sign on the door reads: 'To our customers, Based on guidance from public health officials, we are closed effective 03/24/2020 due to the Covid 19 coronavirus. We will reopen when the situation improves, and look forward to returning to normalcy' 

These latest developments come a week after obtained a letter sent to Hobby Lobby stores by CEO David Green, who wrote that his wife Barbara had had a heavenly vision from God telling the chain to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Between Monday and Tuesday, police in suburban Milwaukee shuttered five Hobby Lobby locations in the area, some of which had signs on their Atom Doors Garage Door Repairs Residential Garage Doors claiming they were open because they were essential businesses. 

'We made contact with the business around 11am and found that it was open,' West Allis Deputy Police Chief Christopher Botsch told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, referring to a local Hobby Lobby store that was shuttered on Monday. 'We took this as an opportunity to educate the business on the specifics of the governor's order. The business was cooperative and closed without incident.'





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The following day, police arrived at the arts-and-crafts store in Menomonee, Wisconsin, and shut it down after explaining to staff that it did not fall into the category of essential businesses in the governor's order. 

Signs outside Hobby Lobby locations in