FRIDAY NEWS HIT - A parent of a Birmingham student was removed from a school board meeting Tuesday after giving a Nazi salute. The incident happened during a debate about whether masks should be required in schools.
After another parent spoke in support of masks, the man stood up, rendered the Nazi salute, and said, "Heil Hitler." While school board meetings are recorded, that portion was edited out because of the nature of the action, officials said.
"We don't want to show our children that this is OK, that it's OK for someone to get away with something this hateful," said a parent whose child attends Birmingham schools.
The parent, who is Jewish, does not want to be identified. She said she was watching the meeting on a monitor in an overflow room.
"He did a what? Because we all saw the arm go up but we had no idea what happened because we were in a separate room," she said.
The parent said that the meeting continued. When the parents in the overflow room realized what happened, they found a police officer in the school and asked for the man to be removed, and the man was told to leave.
The parent who spoke with FOX 2 said the man left the meeting but stayed in a nearby hallway for about 30 minutes. She also said she wants to press charges against the man.
"My children are Jewish. I have to show my children what you do to stand up for yourself and what's right," she said.
State lawmakers Mari Manoogian and Jeremy Moss, who are graduates of Seaholm High School and Groves High School denounced the anti-Semitic outburst.
"This community, the entire world has gone through a really traumatic past 18 months, and to have this be the reaction of a member of our community is incredibly disappointing," Manoogian said.
Moss shared a story from his family's history to exemplify the horrors of the Holocaust.
"I think about my own family history that we know of, that my great grandparents' siblings perished in the Holocaust. They literally were taken out of their homes, into a Polish field, and were forced by Nazis to dig their own graves up until the point where the Nazis shot them to death in those graves," he said. "That was the Holocaust. A Birmingham School Board Meeting is not the Holocaust."
The school district released a statement saying it is against behavior like what happened at the meeting and it will not be tolerated. It is unclear what will happen to the man. An investigation is ongoing.
Malcolm X's former Inkster home turned into museum
A house where Malcolm Little lived in Inkster before he was known by the world as Malcolm X will be preserved. A group called Project We Hope, Dream and Believe has fought for years to make the former home of the civil rights leader a landmark.
"It’s been 13 years of fighting," said Aaron Sims, the executive director of the organization. "We can say the fight is finally over to restore the Malcolm X house." Those with Project Hope, Dream and Believe say that the house on Williams Street is where it all began for the activist in early 1952.
"We didn’t know the house still existed or not so we pulled up the FBI file and in the FBI file, it said, 'Malcolm Little, 4336 William St.," Sims said. After the group confirmed it was his house, they were motivated to bring new life to it.
"We want to also thank the National Park Service and we want to thank the Historical Preservation Fund for providing us with a $380,850 grant to preserve, renovate, and transition the former home that Malcolm lived in into a museum dedicated to his life and contributions," said Dr. Tareq Ramadan, the research manager and grant writer for Project We Hope, Dream and Believe. Because Malcolm X was an advocate for empowerment, the organization believes the renovation should also include a space that helps to empower others. There will be a community center and garden.
Work is expected to be completed in 2023.
Michigan man sentenced to life for murder, beheading
Kenny McBride, 45, of Temperance, was sentenced to prison for 114-180 months without the possibility of parole after he murdered and beheaded his step-grandma last year. The gruesome murder happened on Feb. 16 at Cecilia Gibson's home in Temperance, where she lived with her son Kenneth Reece.
McBride, who is Reece's son, told his father he didn't know what happened the day Kenneth came home from work early and saw a body and blood in the living room and called 911. Testimony from McBride was refuted by prosecutors who argued no one would have broken into a home with four cars in the driveway. Attorney Allison Arnold added they wouldn't have beat Gibson with a piggy bank and baby gate, nor would they have decapitated her, all while McBride was in the home.
According to police, a fight over McBridge's children led to the initial assault. McBride's bloody jeans, DNA, cell records, and fingerprint evidence linked him to the murder. "This gruesome case presented some challenging evidentiary issues, but the efforts of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and hundreds of hours of diligent and outstanding work by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Allison Arnold and Leah Hubbard helped secure this conviction." said prosecuting attorney Michael Roehrig.
Another son of Gibson, Billy Jo Gibson, spoke during McBride's sentencing, saying that he hopes McBride "spends the rest of his life suffering like the rest of us have."
I-696 ramps at I-75 closed until Labor Day
Pavement repairs at a major Metro Detroit interchange will close travel between I-75 and I-696 this weekend. The Michigan Department of Transportation will close eastbound and westbound ramps from I-696 onto northbound I-75 beginning Saturday morning for pavement and barrier construction.
MDOT's closure will remain in place for several weeks before opening up in time for Labor Day weekend travel - weather permitting. Road crews are staggering the road closures beginning this weekend:
- Saturday, Aug. 21 at 5 a.m. - Eastbound I-696 ramp to northbound I-75 will close
- Sunday, Aug. 22 at 4 a.m. - Westbound I-696 ramp to northbound I-75 will close
- Both ramps will reopen by sunset on Thursday, Sept. 2 in time for Labor Day
Also, beginning Monday, a single lane closure will begin on southbound lanes on I-75 between Coolidge Highway and Livernois Road. MDOT says it will do punch list work that will require closing the right lane at 7 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23. It will remain closed until Friday, Aug. 27.
The DNR will pay you $75 for pine cones
The Department of Natural Resources is taking pine cones for cash as part of a state program to plant trees in state forests.
For the entire month of September, residents that collect a bushel of pine cones and return them to one of six DNR locations will earn $75 - as well as that intangible sense of joy for helping restore the environment.
From Sept. 1-30, people can collect and return red pine cones before dropping them off at locations in Marquette, Newberry, Manistique, Gaylord, Roscommon, and Cadillac.
There are a few rules to follow if one is going to embark on this tree-planting quest. Cones can be found in felled treetops from recent timber sales, state forestlands, and squirrel caches. If someone is getting them from a timber sale, they'll need permission from the loggers and should wear protective gear. However, the DNR said it's easiest just to pick them from living red pine trees where branches are near the ground.
What else we're watching
- The DNR has closed Belle Isle's beach to swimmers due to dangerous levels of E. Coli being detected in the water. The Detroit health department said the beach would not reopen until new samples showed levels had diminished.
- The city of Southfield is launching a petition that demands DTE be held accountable for the mass power outages Southeast Michigan was hit with this summer.
- Steve Hood, a Detroit political consultant has died at the age of 58 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. The issues he focused on mattered to the African American community.
- Michigan's first redistricting commission is officially underway after a 10-2 vote approving a schedule for the 12 members to start mapping the state's next districts.
- A Charlotte man will stand trial on terrorism charges after he made a false bomb threat at the state capitol and threatened a Detroit lawmaker.
Live on FOX 2
It's going to be another hot one today - and Saturday and Sunday. Fog this morning will likely have cleared up by now while the chance of a shower later today is still possible - though unlikely. Expect temperatures to hang in the high 80s until mid-week next week.
Unruly airline passenger fines top $1 million, FAA says
Rowdy airline passengers have now racked up a record $1 million in potential fines this year, a toll of the tumult in the sky as travelers have returned after most were grounded by the pandemic in 2020.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced the latest cases Thursday, involving 34 travelers who flew between January and May. Their offenses ranged from refusing to wear a face mask, as required by a federal rule, to punching a flight attendant in the nose.
Those are just the latest among dozens of enforcement cases that the FAA called part of its crackdown against passengers who interfere with airline crews. Airlines have reported about 3,900 incidents of unruly passengers this year, and three-fourths involve refusal to wear a mask, according to the FAA.