A competitive District 4 race in Detroit, teen off life support after drive-by, the Moroun land deal

District 4 in Detroit is home to nearly 100,000 people and tomorrow they decide who represents them on City Council in a race that will likely come down to the wire between ML Elrick and Latisha Johnson.

When the last vote is counted tomorrow a fresh face will be elected to represent the 4th district in Detroit.

Johnson has 14 years of experience volunteering in the community.

"I have a 14 year proven track record of the integrity of working on behalf of residents in the community, and just making sure that people know who I am - because I think that speaks volumes," she said.

Elrick is a former FOX 2 and Detroit Free Press reporter who says his experience holding people accountable will directly translate to public service.

"I really look forward to using my knowledge of how government should work, how it hasn’t worked and applying that to make sure government does work," he said.

Both candidates are vying for a position that was vacated after Andre Spivey stepped down this year after he pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges.

"When I gave up my job as a reporter, I thought we had a problem with corruption in City Hall," Elrick said. "It turns out, it’s worse than I thought. So it feels like the right candidate at the right time to get us back on the right track.

"It has a lot to do with people being in office for a longer period of time, where they get comfortable," Johnson said. "They may have some friends that they have acquired over the years, and they get a little relaxed - and that is something I am extremely mindful of."

In terms of they can navigate the waters of public service without getting caught up in the scandal, they say the answer is transparency.

"The problem with City Council right now is they won’t answer any question," Elrick said. "I will answer every question."

Even when some question who is contributing to her campaign, Johnson maintains she can't be bought.

"I know who I am," she said. "I know why I am doing this, and it’s really because so many residents reached out to me and said, 'Latisha, we need you to do this, because you know who we are. You know who we are dealing with in our communities, and you have the experience to lead.'"

Community volunteer Latisha Johnson, left and former reporter ML Elrick.

Community volunteer Latisha Johnson, left and former reporter ML Elrick.

Both candidates have approached this race in a similar fashion using relentless ground games. They are knocking on doors and talking to voters, so when the polls close on Tuesday - they both say they plan on leaving nothing left on the table.

Detroit teen taken off life-support after drive-by shooting

The 15-year-old Detroit boy that was struck during a drive-by shooting while sleeping at a friend's house on Stahelin Avenue last week has been taken off life support. Kenneth Merritt Jr. was hit when at least a dozen shots were fired into a home on Oct. 26.

While he wasn't the intended target Detroit police say, he was hit in the head. It's left his family shell shocked. "We’ve been in a daze. We can’t believe this is happening to us," said his stepmother. "Watch your kids, watch their surroundings. Just keep them at home with you, keep kids at home."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for funeral arrangements for Merritt Jr. The boy's father said the family is now mourning two deaths after Merritt's mother died from cancer last year. "I'm the head man," he said. Everyone is looking at me like what am I going to do, and I don’t know what to do."

Detroit police are still looking for the vehicle involved in the shooting. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP or 1800SPEAKUP.org.

Detroit residents want community benefits agreement before Moroun land deal

A six-lane bridge linking Motown and Windsor is close to its final deal, but a land transfer is still needed from the Detroit City Council. Residents in Hubbard Richards and Hubbard Farms neighborhoods believe valuable land like the plot at 3805 W. Jefferson should come at a price. 

"We cannot allow that valuable piece of land, our public parkland, that the Morouns say they need, to just give it away," said Deb Sumner, a southwest Detroit resident. That's why the residents are asking for a community benefits plan that makes the deal more amicable. "We need money to fortify these buildings, to make sure they don’t further deteriorate because of ground shaking. I mean the health and public well-being of our neighborhood is affected by this," said Sam Butler, another resident.

The Ambassador Bridge currently has four lanes. Residents say an expanded bridge would bring more pollution, noise, traffic, and property damage. It's also applied for a permit to transfer hazardous materials. "So what if a truck explodes? What if it spills? What guarantees do you have for existing and incoming residents?" asked resident Myett Risker.

The City of Detroit received about $3 million for park improvements in the deal and would get a couple million more after it’s cemented. But just down the road, where the Gordie Howe Bridge is going in, the land transfer deal looks a lot different than this one. And if that’s the case in Delray, people who live near the Ambassador Bridge ask, ‘Why not there?’

3 people injured as Camaro is hit by train and dragged in Detroit

Three people were injured when a train hit a car at the crossing near Seven Mile and Mount Elliot in Detroit Monday night.

One of the victims was severely injured in the crash, which happened at about 8 p.m.

A Chevrolet Camaro was t-boned by the train and pushed about 500 yards down the tracks.

All three people were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital. The circumstances of the crash are not known at this time. Stay with FOX 2 for more information as it becomes available.  

Detroit police report quiet Halloween night

It’s a very different post-Halloween story than what we’ve told in the past about Detroit, where Halloween and the night before, known as "Devil’s Night" used to be chaos. "We had over 300 planned events, and not one incident," said Chief James White. "Twenty years ago, we all know the stories they weren’t fun times, for the community and for the police officers."

From violence to arson. First responders in the city in droves, would run from one call to the next. But, this year, Chief James White says – it was relatively quiet. "I want to say we had a good weekend," he said. "We all know historically we have not been able to say that." 

There were two homicides on Devil’s Night, Oct. 30th. But White says those were isolated, and not Halloween-related in any way.  Detroit Fire says they had six building fires between the two nights and can’t say any were arson at this point.  

White credits proactive policing – part of his strategy since he started in June and letting data – on where crime has happened - dictate where his officers patrol.

What else we're watching

  1. It's election day again, which means people will be heading to the polls all day Tuesday. The temperature may not be as hot as last election, but there are still significant races to be paying attention to. Make sure you're all set to go with our FOX 2 voting guide here.
  2. The NAACP's Detroit branch is ready to assist voters as well with its "Take your soles to the polls" campaign. The group will be up and running at 8220 Second Avenue where a Hotline "War Room" will be set up to safely social distance and assist voters with any questions they may have.
  3. Michigan's redistricting commission has voted 11-2 to advance a proposed map that approves state Senate lines that would be fairer to Democrats than previous maps drawn by Republicans. It's the first map that the panel has passed along for the closing 45-comment period.
  4. As part of the Pure Michigan Governor's Conference on Tourism readies for kickoff, volunteers with the industry are teaming up with the Detroit Zoo as part of MC4T volunteer clean-up event.
  5. Unsafe driving behaviors like red-light running, drowsy driving, and driving impaired on cannabis or alcohol have declined over the past three years, a report from AAA found. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's gonna be a bit chilly this election Tuesday as temperatures hover in the mid-40s while a low-pressure system in Canada instigates some clouds and wet weather on the west side of the state. Don't be surprised if some showers make their way to Metro Detroit - and even maybe some snowflakes.

NASA astronauts pick peppers in space for the first time on International Space Station

Humans introduced a new life form to outer space on Friday as NASA astronauts harvested the first-ever chile peppers onboard the International Space Station.

The Hatch chile pepper seeds arrived at the space station on a SpaceX resupply mission in June and were promptly planted by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. 

"Finally, I made my best space tacos yet: fajita beef, rehydrated tomatoes & artichokes, and HATCH CHILE," astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted.

Astronauts have access to a wide variety of freeze-dried and prepackages meals that they are regularly re-supplied with, but learning how to grow fresh produce millions of miles from earth will be key to longer missions.