A Commerce Twp home explosion, early voting begins in Michigan, Breonna Taylor's case stirs Detroit protests

A home is completely destroyed and two men in Commerce Township have been hospitalized with serious injuries after a reported explosion.

The fire department responded just after midnight after reports of an explosion and then a fire at a home on Arbutus Street near Pittsfield and Boncrest.

When crews arrived, they found two young men just outside the home. Emergency services rushed them to care.

"...a pretty significant explosion. When firefighters got here, the entire structure was on fire," said Commerce Fire Department Chief Jim Dundas.

Images from after firefighters put the fire out show the crumbled remains the home. 

Authorities believe butane tanks may have caused the explosion. Several were found both inside and outside the home.

While the cause of the explosion remains under investigation, police are looking into whether the butane tanks were used for drug activity, possibly an illegal marijuana grow operation.

One victim was taken to Beaumont in Royal Oak and the other to Providence in Novi.

Absentee ballots mailed out today

The Michigan Secretary of State will begin mailing out more than 2.2 million absentee ballots to residents on Thursday, the first time citizens will have the chance to cast their vote for the November general election.

With a record number of people planning on voting through the mail this election cycle, the State Department has bolstered up its election infrastructure in preparation for a massive influx of absentee ballots. Due to the public health crisis, Secretary Jocelyn Benson has spent ample time pushing for voters to cast their ballot by mail.

Residents of El Paso, Texas cast their ballot for president of the United States in early voting, October 23, 2000.

Additionally, clerks in Detroit are teaming up with professional sports teams in an effort to push voter turnout up, while also increasing space where ballots can be counted by opening up Little Caesars Arena and Ford Field for the precinct operations.

Clerks have already begun mailing ballots to military and overseas veterans. Voters will have until 5 p.m. on the Friday before election day to request an absentee ballot if they plan on voting remotely. Absentee ballots must have been received by their clerk before election day concludes at 8 p.m.

FOX 2 has created a voter guide to help prepare residents to vote for this election. From registering to vote to locating a polling place for election day, the guide explains it all. Read through the guide here.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is also planning on speaking with FOX 2 about the first day of early voting in Michigan. You can watch the interview live at 8:30 a.m here.

Activists march through Detroit in solidarity with Breonna Taylor

Detroit Will Breathe and other community activists marched through the city in a peaceful protest hours after charges against one ex-police officer from Louisville were handed down in the killing of Breonna Taylor.

For many that took to the streets, the charges didn't go nearly far enough.

"It is shameful," Tristan Taylor, leader of Detroit Will Breathe said. "The whole way the Kentucky attorney general discussed the case, it really makes me sick to my stomach. And the idea that the wall in her apartment had rights than her life, is pretty outrageous."

A Grand Jury decision on Wednesday indicted one ex-officer with three counts of wanton endangerment. Many believed the ex-officer and the two others who remain on the force should have also been handed charges for more severe crimes.

Between 200 and 250 demonstrators had marched until about 10 p.m. Wednesday. A few remained afterward outside the Detroit police headquarters.

While violence was nonexistent in Detroit, it did flare up in Louisville where two officers were shot.

Murder charge against man who fatally 'sucker-punched' victim dropped

The family of a man who died after he was sucker-punched is infuriated after murder charges brought against the suspect were dropped.

Hatum Akrawi was initially given a second-degree murder charge before it was dropped this month. He is still expected to be tried on a manslaughter charge.

"Eye for an eye, I believe," said the victim's mom Kathleen Zelmanski. "That's where I'm at. If that can't happen, he should be put in prison his entire life. (So he can) never to do this to someone else again."

The family hasn't ruled out appealing the judge's decision.

Suspect in fatal 94 hit-and-run turns himself in

Michigan State Police said a man accused of killing a Macomb County road worker Monday after hitting him with his car turned himself in on Wednesday.

The announcement came hours after police had discovered the suspect vehicle.

The fatal hit-and-run happened on I-94 near Nine Mile in St. Clair Shores. 

The worker who died, Zach Morisette, was patching potholes during the time of the impact. He was killed instantly.

Bars and restaurants distancing customers ask 'what about winter?'

While eateries have been successful at distancing customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by using outside space, many are concerned about what happens when it gets too cold.

When temperatures begin to fall, it could mean limiting the number of customers restaurants and bars serve even more.

It could result in even more lost revenue for an already damaged service sector of the economy.

Some businesses are working on some creative solutions when the time comes.

Detroit building $64 million apartment

A 16-floor high rise that will be built in Greektown was announced on Wednesday.

Dubbed 'The Exchange,' it will be built on Brush Street between Macomb and Gratiot.

"Playing off (the) heritage of what Greektown represents," said LIFTbuild Senior Director Marisa Varga. "Very much a mercantile exchange people came here from all parts of the world."

Developers are expected to complete the structure by the end of 2022.

Other Stories

1. Local man sets up fundraiser to help city of Detroit, Oregon after devastating wildfires
2. 18-year-old suspect arrested for shooting up homes in Chesterfield Twp neighborhood
3. Unlock Michigan reports it has over 500,000 signatures in support of revoking Gov. Whitmer's emergency powers
4. Macomb Sheriff arrests suspect involved in fatal accident that killed Ray Township pedestrian

Daily Forecast

Conditions that blessed us for the first half of the week will continue through the weekend with temperatures climbing into the 80s.

2 Louisville police officers shot during protests over lack of charges in Breonna Taylor death

Louisville police say two officers have been shot amid protests over a lack of charges in the Breonna Taylor case. Police say a suspect is in custody.

Police Chief Robert Schroeder said one officer is alert and stable and the other officer is in surgery and stable. He said the officers had gone to an area in the city to investigate reports of shots fired when they were hit by gunfire.

The shootings came hours after a grand jury on Wednesday brought no charges directly against Louisville police for the killing of a Black woman, Breonna Taylor, in a police raid gone wrong.

Police in riot gear, some with assault weapons, staged a heavy law enforcement presence downtown late Wednesday after dispersing hundreds of demonstrators from a downtown Louisville square.