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STATE NEWS for FRI 09APR21
you ready to travel again? Pure Michigan is counting on it. The
award-winning advertising campaign with actor and Michigan native Tim
Allen is returning in the Midwest to foster spring and summer travel
this season. A new television commercial inviting travelers to catch up
on lost time this summer will run through the fourth of July.
Travelers are encouraged to take proper precautions while safely
enjoying Michigan's great outdoors and visiting destinations across the
state while following basic health protocols and getting vaccinated.
Michigan will receive nearly 16-thousand doses of the Johnson and
Johnson vaccine as part of a partnership with universities and colleges.
The Health Department says
the vaccine will be shipped to local health departments. Officials say
the effort is intended to vaccinate students at 26 schools before they
return home for the summer. The President at Northern Michigan
University says the additional doses will protect not only the age group
that is now seeing a higher rate of infection, but it protects
communities and families across the state.
The City of Ypsilanti has declared a local state of emergency as
the city experiences some of the highest COVID-19 case numbers in
Washtenaw County. The City Council approved the declaration at its April
As of April 7th, the health department reports ZIP code 48197 has over
36-hundred confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 380 probable cases and ZIP
code 48198 has over
22-hundred confirmed cases, with 180 probable cases.
With Coronavirus cases spiking throughout Michigan, some hospitals
are postponing surgeries. Michigan Medicine announced today that it has
rescheduled a small number of scheduled surgeries this week and next
week due to the rising number of people going into the hospital with the
virus and forecasts for continued high demand for
emergency care. Michigan Medicine says it has experienced record high
emergency room and admission volumes for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19
care this week.
-Latest COVID Stats-
Michigan has now topped 800-thousand cases of confirmed and
probable cases of the Coronavirus. The state Health Department reported
just over 78-hundred new cases today along with 73 deaths. In the past
year there have been 16,400 people who have died as a result of the
virus. In addition to the new cases, the state is reporting more than
37-hundred people are hospitalized. Most are in Macomb, Oakland and St.
A judge has ordered an Oak Park man to pay 500-thousand dollars to
his ex-girlfriend for putting naked pictures of her on a porn site
without her permission. The practice is
called "revenge porn." 39-year-old Kelley Turner was accused of
harassing the woman for eight years. The complaint further alleges that
Turner published the woman's name and address, so the pornographic
content would be more likely to appear in internet searches for her.
Turner has 10 years to pay the judgment.
Manslaughter charges have been filed against five people in the
death of a Muskegon County Jail inmate Paul Bulthouse. The Michigan
Attorney General's Office has filed
involuntary manslaughter charges against four jail staff members,
Jeffrey Patterson, Crystal Greve, Jamall Lane and Sergeant David
Vanderlaan and nurse Aubrey Schotts . State prosecutors say the five
were on duty the night the 39-year-old Bulthouse suffered 17 seizures in
a jail cell before he died in April of 2019. The Bulthouse family has
filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit in his death against the county
sheriff, jail administrators, guards and others alleging a cover up in
General Motors will shutdown more plants as a result of a shortage
of computer chips. GM's plant in
Delta Township, near Lansing, will shutdown the week of April 19th,
which other plants in Spring Hill, Tennessee and in Mexico will also be
closed. The Delta Township factory makes the Chevy Traverse and Buick
Enclave. General Motors has said the plant shutdowns and chip
shortage will cost the company between one-and-a-half and two billion
dollars this year.
Unemployment fraud is rampant in Michigan. About 100-thousand
likely fraudulent claims have been filed with the state's Unemployment
Insurance Agency since Friday.
The claims were flagged for identity verification and no payments were
issued. The agency says the claims are filed by criminals using
previously stolen or fraudulent
personal information. Fraudulent claims continue to plague the state
agency as the government has increased Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
Airports across Michigan will receive millions of dollars for
improvements. Michigan's two U.S. Senators, Debbie Stabenow and Gary
Peters, announced Thursday that
Bishop International Airport in Flint will receive 2.4 million dollars
while MBS International Airport, near Saginaw, was awarded 1.5 million
from the U.S. Transportation Department. Another 1.7 million dollars
will be handed over to the Capital Region International Airport while
another five million in federal funds will split up among Ford, Sawyer
International, Houghton County Memorial, Delta County and Chippewa
County International airports. The money will be used for operations,
personnel, cleaning, sanitization, janitorial services, and combating
the spread of pathogens at the airports.
Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs is calling out General Motors for
failing to support Black-owned media. Combs wrote an open letter
Thursday saying his publishing company REVOLT fights for crumbs while GM
makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community.
His letter comes after a group of black media owners ran ads in national
papers, calling CEO Mary Barra racist for what they describe as years of
refusing to meet with them.
GM has responded by saying the automaker has agreed to hold several
meetings and boost the amount of ad dollars it spends with Black-owned
A student is being blamed for racist graffiti found in a dorm at
Albion College last weekend. Albion Police Chief Scott Kipp says a
21-year-old African American student was questioned and admitted to
creating most of the graffiti. The student was released. Kipp says the
information will be submitted to the Calhoun County Prosecutor's office
for any possible charges once the investigation is complete. The student
has been removed from campus and placed on temporary suspension.
The former CEO of a mid-Michigan charity has been arrested on
fraud and embezzlement charges. The U.S. Attorney's office says 56-year
old John Lynch allegedly used money from the Holy Cross organization to
pay for repairs to his own cars, install a new roof on his Grosse Pointe
Park house, pay down his personal mortgage, and make payments on a
personal American Express account. The Holy Cross organization, which is
based in Clinton, helps and provides services to disadvantaged children,
adults and the homeless. A federal complaint charges Lynch with wire
fraud, mail fraud, and embezzling and stealing funds from an
organization receiving federal funds.
A Lansing man causing quite a disturbance on I-96 east of Lansing
Thursday afternoon. The Ingham County Sheriff's Department closed the
eastbound lanes of I-96 because the 38-year old was jumping on cars and
a semi. Authorities say the man was showing signs of "excited delirium"
and wouldn't get off the semi truck. The man finally jumped onto a
Sheriff's car and was taken to the hospital for a mental evaluation. No
one was hurt. The eastbound lanes of the freeway were closed for about
The city of Monroe wants to hire an expert to try to reach a
community consensus over the future of a monument dedicated to General
George Custer. Custer lived in Monroe and has long been recognized as a
heroic Army officer, first during the Civil War. But critics note that
he also went to war against Native Americans before dying at the Battle
of the Little Bighorn in 1876. Custer is immortalized in a statue that
shows him on a horse in downtown Monroe. The city council voted to seek
a consultant who would work with the community. Options include adding
more information about the Indian wars, moving the monument to another
location or removing it from public view.
Meijer is revealing new shopping trends since the pandemic started
last year. The retailer says families are choosing easier meal choices.
Meijer sold 500-thousand hot, rotisserie chickens over the last month
alone. Home delivery and pickup services have also increased, with
people making bulk purchases to cut down on their
shopping trips. Shoppers are also looking to add some comfort to their
homes with sales of pillows, weighted blankets and candles all
increasing. And for ways to beat boredom, shoppers are scooping up
things like board games, bikes, pools, grills and fishing poles.
STATE NEWS for THU 08APR21
a jump in COVID-19 cases in Michigan , a petition is being circulated to
stop in-person school in the state until the spread slows down. M-Live
reports the petition
already has almost three thousand signatures. It's being signed by
teachers, students, and parents and has received support from groups
like the Michigan Caucus of Rank and File Educators, Black Lives Matter
Michigan and others.
Michigan's health director says the state is focusing on getting
more people vaccinated, not imposing new restrictions on the economy,
despite a wave of COVID-19 cases. Elizabeth Hertel notes that indoor
high school sports, a source of infections, are wrapping up soon, and
spring sports are outdoors. All teen athletes must be regularly tested.
Michigan lately has been No. 1 in the U.S. for new COVID-19 cases. The
health department says about 37 percent of residents 16 and older has
had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The number of
people with COVID-19 admitted to Michigan hospitals has doubled
every 12 to 14 days for three weeks.
Michigan State University is opening a Covid vaccine clinic just
for students. Starting tomorrow, students will be able to get the
Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The student-only
clinic will open by appointment inside the Pavilion for Agricultural and
Livestock Education. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served
basis. Students are asked to
bring a valid university ID, state ID, passport or driver's license.
-Latest COVID Stats-
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of
Michigan is now 715,478 with total deaths at 16,327. The Michigan
Department of Health and Human Services
reported 8,015 new cases and 30 deaths on Wednesday.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein has been living
in Dubai (Doo-BY) for the last two months, with no plans to return home
any time soon. The 46-year-old
says he was quarantined in Dubai for two weeks on his way to visit
Israel in January when Israel closed its borders. He was told he could
stay in Dubai or fly home, so he
chose to stay. Bernstein has been living at a hotel on the famous
palm-shaped artificial island, and says his case work has not been
impacted as court meetings are being held virtually due to COVID.
A woman is dead after the vehicle she's riding in went airborne on
a Detroit freeway ramp and crashes on top of another car. It happened
around 10:30 last night on the
northbound M-10 ramp to westbound I-94. State Police say a driver was
speeding when he lost control and hit the embankment wall. His vehicle
launched into the air, landing on another vehicle. A 36-year-old woman
in his car was killed. The driver ran off but was seen by firefighters
peeking down at the crash scene. He was taken to the
hospital for treatment. No one in the other vehicle was injured.
A baby is being treated for hypothermia after being left alone in
the woods in Orion Township. It started with a report of a
distraught woman ringing doorbells and hiding in the woods . Deputies
interviewing the woman eventually discovered that she had a baby.
After an all out search involving more than a dozen officers and a
tracking dog, the four month-old boy was found face-down near the Orion
Township creek. The baby will is being kept overnight in the hospital
but is expected to be fine.
The child is in the care of Child Protective Services. The mother is in
the hospital as police seek a warrant for child abuse.
The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office in west Michigan is asking for
the public's help to find a missing woman, who walked away from an
assisted living facility . 60-year-old
Dixie Ausema, walked away from Serenity Homes in Marne (MARN) on
Tuesday. The sheriff's office says she left without her medicine and she
struggles with mental health
issues. She's five foot ten , 250 pounds with short black hair.
nearly a year of research and field testing by deputies and pressure
from community groups, the Grand Traverse County Commissioners have
approved buying body cameras for the sheriff's department. Sheriff Tom
Bensley says 52 officers will be equipped with the body cams by this
Turkeys are causing problems in Charlevoix. The DNR says the local
turkey population there exploded this year, resulting in residents
downtown being harassed. Some are
being chased or even jumped on by the large turkeys, according to
Charlevoix Police. The DNR is asking people to stop feeding the
turkeys and to remove their bird feeders
for the time being. Turkey hunting season begins this month in Michigan
and runs through May.
enforcement agencies across Michigan are increasing distracted driving
patrols. The high-visibility enforcement effort begins today and
runs through Monday. Officers
will be looking for drivers who are eating, drinking, using a GPS,
talking to passengers and texting or otherwise using a cell phone. State
police say the fine for texting while
driving is 100-dollars. If you've already been caught once, that fine
doubles to 200-dollars.
College Electronic sports are coming to Northwestern Michigan
College in Traverse City. The college has announced it's creating two
varsity E-sports teams this Fall. The college currently has more than 90
students participating in E-sports at the club level and plans to
recruit about a dozen students to compete in the first year of varsity
STATE NEWS for WED
Covid-19 positivity rate in northern Michigan is the highest it's been
pandemic began. The latest reports show a positivity rate of 16 percent.
Health officials say the new surge is being driven by the younger
population, mainly because of their low vaccination rates, school
interaction and youth sports.
Traverse City Schools are now reporting more than one thousand
students are in quarantine. Grand Traverse County Health Department has
advised all middle school
and high school classes to go to virtual learning at least through the
rest of this week.
The city of Detroit plans to send workers door to door to
encourage residents to get the COVID vaccine. The Detroit City Council
has approved a contract with Detroit Employment Solutions to hire over
50 people. The effort comes after the Mayor yesterday warned of
skyrocketing COVID rates in the city. The number of people in the
hospital has tripled in two weeks. The city's vaccination rate is just
21-percent, well below the statewide average.
New restrictions go into effect today at Wayne State University
amid a surge in Coronavirus cases. All face-to-face instruction is
suspended for the next 10 days. Athletics are also being
suspended. Access to student housing and libraries will be restricted,
and the Student Center will be closed except for the vaccine clinic. The
school will reassess the situation in a week-and-a-half to determine the
next course of action.
-Air Travel Checks-
Airline passengers coming into Cherry Capital Airport will now be
offered a chance to be tested for free for COVID-19. Starting today, the
testing will be available to any traveler as they pass through the
terminal on the day of arrival. It is provided as part of the Michigan
Department of Health and Human Services' Travel Points Testing Project,
which focuses on testing for incoming travelers at ports of entry across
Michigan. To be tested, passengers will have to provide proof of
passenger travel on the day of testing
before being administered an antigen test. The free post-trip testing is
voluntary and performed on a walk-in basis.
-Latest COVID Stats-
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of
Michigan is now 707,463 with total deaths at 16,297. The Michigan
Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,964 more cases and 58
more deaths on Tuesday.
More than $90 million from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention has been awarded to Michigan to expand vaccine programs
across the state. 75% of the total funding must focus on specific
programs and initiatives intended to increase vaccine access,
acceptance, and uptake among racial and ethnic minority communities; and
60% must go to support local health departments, community-based
organizations, and community health centers. Funds may also be used to
support hiring community health workers who perform bilingual health
Muskegon County, like Kent and Ottawa Counties have already done,
may extend its state of emergency. WOOD TV reports that's as county
officials say cases of COVID-19 have been going up for a month. It would
mean the county could hold virtual meetings for no reason because an
amendment to the state's open meetings law has expired. Mercy Health
Muskegon has declared an internal disaster, which it says allows it to
make changes in staffing and resources. The hospital has 19 COVID-19
cases, but says there have been more motorcycle accidents and other sick
Some students at Grand Valley State University protested at the
Allendale Campus yesterday, calling for the university to end its
contract with Aramark. M-Live reports
students say Aramark does not align with the university's vales and does
not provide all students with equitable food options. A spokesperson for
Grand Valley, Mary Eilleen
Lyon says they have several people in discussions with the students
about their concerns.
Two people died in a house fire in Benton Harbor on Tuesday. The
roof reportedly collapsed and once the fire was under control, one
victim was found in the front room
and one in the kitchen. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
The driver of a vehicle who allegedly hit three children and took
off in Sherwood Township, south of Battle Creek , has been found. The
42-year-old man is cooperating with police and gave a sample of his
blood for toxicology testing. The man was located through a tip. A
13-year-old boy was airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo
and was last listed in critical condition. A six year old boy had
surgery for a femur fracture and a 14 year old girl was treated for less
A federal lawsuit filed against Eastern Michigan University
claiming the school turned a blind eye to rape is growing. The lawsuit
was initially filed on behalf of 11 women who
claim they were assaulted at two fraternities between 2015 and 2020.
Now, 11 more women have joined the case. The lawsuit claims the school
failed to follow federal law, which bars discrimination based on sex.
The university says there has been no cover ups of the alleged assaults,
and they are investigating.
Three Metro Detroit attorneys have been arraigned on multiple
charges accused of racketeering, forgery and obstruction of
justice-stealing over a million dollars in a 3-year period.
Genesee County Sheriff, Chris Swanson says--70-year-old Marc Fishman,
his son, 32-year-old Ryan Fishman and 33-year-old Alexandra Ichi, all of
the Fishman Group in Bloomfield Hills claimed in court documents that
they had legally served defendants in attempts to collect a debt, when
they had not.
The Mackinac Island Police Department would like to remind
visitors, residents, employers and employees that Electric Bicycles are
prohibited on the island with the
exception of those used as mobility devices for those with mobility
disabilities as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Being a
top tourist destination in the state from April to November, even in the
midst of the COVID pandemic, police are obligated to provide a safe
environment for visitors and residents whose primary modes of
transportation are walking and biking. The presence of an ever-growing
number of EBikes on the island precludes police from providing the safe
and enjoyable experience that visitors and residents expect.
STATE NEWS for TUE 06APR21
(16) Michigan businesses have recently been fined for being unsafe when
it comes to COVID-19 precautions. The violations include: not wearing
masks and not disclosing to the health department or other employees
when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Among those cited: Brann's
Steakhouse in Onsted, Napa Auto Parts in Grand Rapids, and Hudsonville
Creamery and Ice Cream in Holland.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is rolling up her sleeve today. The
governor is set to get her first COVID vaccination this morning at Ford
Field. She'll be joined by a group of
student ambassadors who are encouraging other teenagers to get
vaccinated. The shots were made available to anyone age 16 and
older yesterday. Teens age 16 and 17 must receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are only recommended for
those 18 years and older.
At least 76 COVID-19 outbreaks have been associated with
educational institutions in past week. Your local health department and
school are investigating the outbreaks
and will contact you directly if were possibly exposed to Coronavirus on
the school grounds. Some school districts reporting the largest
outbreaks include Bay County with
Bay City Central High School reporting 22 new cases. Sparta High School
and Frankfort High School also top the list while many outbreaks are
reported in Traverse
City, Midland and the Holland area.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state of
Michigan is now 702,499 with total deaths at 16,239. The Michigan
Department of Health and Human Services reported 10,293 more cases and
21 more deaths on Monday.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson won't testify before a
state Oversight Committee hearing on the 2020 elections. Benson says
she's concerned the hearing
could serve as a platform for misinformation on the election. This as
Senate republicans are trying to pass a bill they say will improve
election security with stricter ID requirements and a shorter deadline
for returning absentee ballots in drop boxes.
A West Michigan man allegedly put anti-freeze in the water bottle of
a co-worker several times. 48-year-old Johnny Castellanos (Cast-ee-ahn-Ose)
has been charged with poisoning someone's food, drink , medicine or
water supply. He and the female co-worker worked at Packaging
Personified in Sparta. The victim had called police in March, according
to court records, to say a co-worker had put an unknown substance in her
water bottle. She bought a camera to record her work area when she
became suspicious and caught the suspect on camera putting a green
liquid in her water bottle. She is not believed to have been
There was a house fire in St. Ignace in the U-P on Monday near the
St. Ignace Schools. The home was heavily damaged, but no one was
Robert Grigsby and Vanessa Phillips are due in court later this week for
a probable cause hearing on sex trafficking charges and other charges
for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of a home in Wayland and
motels in the Grand Rapids area. Unsealed search warrants show
that police believe the ring reportedly produced nearly six thousand
prostitution ads. Police say the sex trafficking ring goes back to at
least 2016. (Police Photo: Grigsby &
State Police are looking for the driver of a vehicle that hit three
children and took off in southwest Michigan's Sherwood Township Monday
afternoon. Michigan State Police say a silver Chevy Equinox hit three
siblings while two were riding bikes just before four yesterday
afternoon. A 14-year-old boy was airlifted to the hospital, while a
seven year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl were taken to the hospital.
Police say the Equinox should have extensive damage to the right front
and right side.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says an Easter card mailed to an
inmate was laced with fentanyl. Authorities made the discovery using a "VeroVision
Mail Screener," which can detect more than 150 illegal and controlled
substances. The handmade card was found on Saturday. Charges are now
being sought against the person who mailed the card.
An ambulance was involved in a two vehicle crash in west Michigan
last night. WOOD TV reports the accident happened in Oakfield Township
in Kent County at about ten last night and four people were hurt. State
police say three of those injured were in the ambulance. The crash is
Lake Superior State University n the Upper Peninsula is now
the first in the country to offer a cannabis scholarship. Steadfast
Labs, based in Hazel Park, has launched a yearly 12-hundred dollar
scholarship for students majoring in cannabis chemistry at Lake Superior
State in Sault Ste. Marie. Those applying must be at least sophomores
and have at least a three point grade point average.
STATE NEWS for MON 05APR21
A 26-year-old woman is dead after a crash in southwest Michigan's
Prairieville Township, north of Kalamazoo last night. WOOD TV reports
deputies in Barry County say the vehicle went off the roadway and hit a
tree. No other vehicles were involved.
A grass fire in southwest Michigan's Almena Township nearly spread
to homes before firefighters were able to put it out over the weekend.
M-Live reports the Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Department were able to put
out the fire . One home has minor damage, but no one was injured.
Ann Arbor Police have identified a possible suspect in the
stabbing of three women in a hotel room.
Police say they were called to Sonesta Suites around 1-30 Easter
morning. When they arrived, they found the three women injured. One of
the victims, a 27 year old from Ypsilanti, is in critical condition. The
other two, both in their thirties, are in stable condition. The
relationship between the victims and the suspect is unknown.
A 55-year-old man has died after crashing his motorcycle in Grand
Rapids yesterday afternoon. Police say the man hit a vehicle that was
pulling out of a driveway. Police believe speed was a factor in the
A motorcyclist is in critical condition after crashing along a
Detroit freeway. Police say the man was among a group of motorcycles on
northbound I-75 near the Davison about 8:30 last night when he
rear-ended another vehicle. The man was thrown from
his bike about 20 feet. He was taken to the hospital with critical
injuries. No one else was hurt. The crash remains under investigation,
though police say speed appears to be a factor.
A faulty air compressor is being blamed for an explosion and fire
at a home in Macomb Township. It happened around 4 yesterday afternoon.
Neighbors report hearing a boom and several loud noises that sounded
like gunshots. The family was able to get out and no one was injured.
Investigators are now trying to determine what caused the air compressor
to blow up.