The leak of a cancer-causing chemical from a nearby manufacturing plant in Wixom prompted officials to close Kensington Metropark to visitors Tuesday and again on Wednesday. It's an inconvenience for beach goers but a necessary precaution, officials say.
"I'm a little bummed," said John Wethington, who planned a trip to the popular park Wednesday.
"This is my first time here and the beach is not open," said Kristen Reest. Instead, she said she'd be going to Turtle Cove further along the river. "They have an amazing splash pad."
An uncharacteristic sight on a hot August day, but the beach's closure is key to public health. Amy McMillan, the director of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks, said that regulators needed more information about the leak of hexavalent chromium into the river.
Regulators from the state were notified Monday that several thousand gallons of the carcinogen were released into the river by Tribar Manufacturing. The spill could have started as early as Saturday morning.
It is believed that much of the chemical had made its way through the treatment plant in the sewer by the time the release was discovered.
"It was news to us," McMillan said after hearing of the spill Tuesday. "The beach was packed. There were a bunch of people in the water. We sent our staff down and told people to come on out of the water."
The spill is enough to prompt officials to ask residents to avoid all contact or ingesting of water from the Huron River.
The areas of concern include Island Lake Recreation Area to Kensington Metro Park, through HUbbell Pond and the Proud Lake Recreation Area.
Hexavalent Chromium - the same material found in the green ooze spotted flowing from a Madison Heights mettalurgy facility - can wreak havoc on the body if inhaled or ingested.
"If you live in the area, and people haven’t heard about it yet. I would provably pass the message along but take whatever they tell you seriously," said Dr. Gjon Dushaj, of Beaumont Health. "Once you’re exposed to it, it’s a little too late."
The beach's closure will remain in effect Thursday as the investigation continues. Environmental monitors say there is no timetable for how long access will be shut off.
3-year-old gets hold of gun, shoots self
A 3-year-old girl is recovering from an accidental gunshot wound she suffered after getting her hands on a firearm early Thursday morning.
Detroit police say the child was listed in temporary serious condition after undergoing surgery for the injury. They first responded to a home in the 9000 block of Littlefield near Chicago and Schaffer on the city's west side for the shooting.
Police are still investigating the incident, telling media they've received conflicting details around how the girl got ahold of the weapon. It happened around 2:30 a.m. According to police, the girl was taken to Henry Ford Hospital with the injury before she was taken to Children's Hospital for surgery. She remains at the hospital, but is alert and playing around, police said.
Police have since towed the SUV that the girl was transported in as they investigate. No other details were given. The incident follows a deadly weekend in Detroit that left seven people dead from gun violence.
Read the full story here.
Downed trees and 25K without power after severe weather
One of the busiest rounds of severe weather this summer swept through Southeast Michigan Wednesday night and Thursday morning, knocking out the power for thousands and causing some notable damage from falling trees and branches.
High winds up to 65 mph and heavy showers contributed to a loss of power for more than 25,000 Metro Detroit residents. The worst of the damage was spotted in Livonia, where trees fell down, as well as St. Clair Shores and Clinton Township, where highway flooding started early.
In Detroit, ponding was reported as well as fallen branches. At a home on Outer Drive in the city's east side, a tree crashed through the roof of a two-story home. Neighbors told FOX 2 that kids may have been sleeping in the room where the tree struck, but no one was injured.
For anyone coming across downed power lines, DTE recommends staying 20 feet away from them and contacting authorities. The utility company says it should have power back on for most of the region by the end of Thursday.
Whitmer expects 'ugliness' of GOP Primary to extend to Nov. election race
Governor Gretchen Whitmer showed up before a packed house at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit Wednesday night. "So we know there’s gonna be a stark choice in 97 days, not that I’m counting," Whitmer quipped. One day after Tudor Dixon clinched the GOP gubernatorial nomination in the primary election, Whitmer spoke to voters.
"We cannot understate how stark the difference is," she said. "But we, in this room, and across our state, we are working to make sure Michigan continues moving forward," she said. Dixon, meanwhile, spent much of her time during her acceptance speech on Tuesday night attacking her opponent.
Whitmer’s response: "I am going to stay focused on delivering for the people of Michigan, that’s what I want to be judged on. Some of the ugliness that has been a part of that Primary, and looks like it will continue into the general election, doesn’t serve the people of Michigan."
"I feel like Gretchen is for everyone - not just for women, not just for me, but for everyone," said voter Melissa Hallock. "And I’m a woman raising two gay sons so it goes way further for me." Tarence Wheeler says he is standing up for women’s reproductive rights and commended Whitmer for doing her part to protect abortion.
Driver wanted for fatal hit-and-run at gentleman's club arrested
Detroit police say they have arrested a man wanted for the intentional hit-and-run of a father who was trying to protect a woman at a gentleman's club on Eight Mile. The announcement came weeks after 30-year-old Lamar Waller was killed after being followed to a CVS in Detroit. His family said he was protecting a woman the suspect was harassing.
Police Chief James White said his police department and the Southfield Police Department worked together to arrest the suspect, who police did not name. Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren said they received a notification about the suspect from Detroit Police on Monday. The notification said the man was in the front passenger seat of a black Lincoln MKZ on Greenfield north of 8 Mile.
When Southfield Police tried to pull the car over, the female driver fled. A PIT maneuver was done to spin the car out in a parking lot and the car was stopped with the passenger door pinned against the cruiser.
The suspect then climbed over the woman who was driving and ran on foot. He ran into a nearby pharmacy where he was arrested in the lobby. No one was hurt in the chase.
Live on FOX 2
What else we're watching
- The U.S. is proposing to increase refund protections for air travelers following a brutal flying season for customers constantly marred by changing flights and delayed transit times.
- The next stage of the battle over abortion in Michigan has begun after Whitmer renewed a request to the Michigan Supreme Court to clarify the state's protections of abortion. Recently, an Appeals court said county prosecutors were free to pursue charges for administering an abortion, which was quickly blocked by Oakland County Circuit Court.
- In EV news, Michigan is joining Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin to build a 1,100+ mile drivable shoreline along Lake Michigan that's conducive for electric vehicles. It'll include the construction of charges along the network.
- Police say they found a baby located in a field at 6102 Lawton. The child was taken to a hospital, police say. Its condition is unknown as of Thursday morning.
- The U.S. Health department is hosting a telebriefing about monkeypox and updates about the virus's spread. It'll be held at 11:15 a.m.
Klondike looking at bringing back Choco Taco after consumer uproar 'in the coming years'
Klondike officials on Wednesday said they would look to bring back the apparently beloved Choco Taco "in the coming years" after facing uproar over its removal.
"We know this is disappointing - we’ve heard our fans, and we’re hoping to bring this favorite treat back to ice cream trucks in the coming years," the ice cream dessert maker said in a tweet. The message was a direct response to one heartbroken customer who said she had been looking all over in her "area and surrounding cities" for the last of the Choco Tacos but had come up short.
"Absolutely heartbreaking," she wrote.