THURSDAY NEWS HIT - After Detroit police released a sketch of a man believed to be the suspect in an assault of a 13-year-old girl walking home from school, community members and officers began canvassing nearby neighborhoods Wednesday night in hopes of finding the individual.
Calls to action went out across the city with residents patrolling streets and handing out fliers. A few even believe they've seen the man sketched in the photo.
"He’s got a lot of distinguishing features like his ears," Christine Calhoun said. "Just be more vigilant and watch my surroundings coming and going."
The activism has also spurred interest in the Detroit Police Citizens Patrol, which is run by Myra Gracey. She thinks interested residents could benefit from the training they offer.
"When I hear things like that I wish we could have the whole city of Detroit out," she said. "We have a training program very similar to a Detroit police academy but on a milder level."
Meanwhile, George Preston, a retired officer who monitors school routes in the city, is keeping tabs on anything out of ordinary.
"We are looking for anything that's unusual, things that are out of the ordinary," Preston said. "We are doing all that we can to make this society better for the younger people. When I hear something like this happen it's sickening to see something like this happening."
The suspect, depicted in a sketch released by Detroit Police earlier this week, is described as a Black man in his 30s, standing 5 feet, 8 inches, weighing 150 pounds with bloodshot brown eyes. He has a medium brown complexion with a slim build and ungroomed black hair.
The girl said he was wearing a dingy white T-shirt, dirty blue jeans, and had a foul body odor.
Disabled man sues Hamtramck attorney for mocking his paralysis
Charles Blackwell, a Farmington Hills man, has sued the city attorney for Hamtramck for allegedly harassing him and mocking him for being confined to a wheelchair. The tensions between Blackwell and attorney Jim Allen began when Blackwell had his Freedom of Information Act Request denied.
In response, Blackwell sent what he calls a political parody - a meme showing Allen's face alongside his colleagues in front of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice - a courthouse in Detroit. In response, Blackwell says Allen mocked him for being confined to a wheelchair, calling him a "pathetic little wheel boy" and "Chuck who can't (expletive)."
"To say you got paralyzed, hahaha for the rest of your life, stay there, you are nothing, make sexual references saying I can’t have kids, but he can spread his DNA, it’s just appalling," Blackwell said. He eventually filed a suit after saying Allen threatened to go after his internet usage.
Allen didn't deny sending the emails, but argued the case has no merit. "I'm confident that the process will work itself out in court," said Allen. Blackwell is hoping a judge will discipline the city attorney and compensate him for his pain and suffering.
Smoking out sketchy dope deliveries
A strictly off-the-books bootleg marijuana business that anyone can access online is getting some sunshine after some of their pot products failed tests showing traces of pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides.
Yet Exclusive Delivery Services, which sometimes goes by Cargo 420, has managed to maintain a transient business model delivering cannabis products for cheap prices all around Southeast Michigan. That's despite there being no such legal licensed stand-alone delivery service.
Rob Wolchek took a tour of UBaked and got to see how the marijuana is made. Inside is a highly regulated industry that's new to the state and must follow strict rules to maintain safe products. Contrasted with Exclusive, which seems to live entirely online without the same safeguards.
It took some digging and tailing, but FOX 2 located the headquarters and the man's who name is registered to delivery trucks. FOX 2 also had cannabis tested. Turns out, this ganja is garbage. "They kind of look like dog turds and they're also full of poison," said one tester. Read the entire story and watch Wolchek's meeting with the marijuana retailer here.
Duggan imploring eligible residents to get 3rd vaccine shot
The city's health director says Detroit is at a high rate of transmission - and if you’re eligible for a booster shot, act on that as soon as possible. Détroit has recorded more than 56,000 cases of COVID-19 since March of last year.
"Here is the issue, Covid infectious are about to go up at the same time protection is dropping," said Mayor Mike Duggan. Duggan said he sees the spread of Covid intensifying and he’s bracing for the worst - but trying to prepare to put Detroiters in the best position.
"Two months from today is Thanksgiving," Duggan said. "If this continues to migrate over the next two months, we could lose another holiday season with our families." Detroit residents who are 65 and older, have underlying health conditions, or are at higher risks of getting Covid because of work, are strongly encouraged to get the booster shot now at any city-run vaccination site.
"You saw President Biden get his (booster) on TV in the last day or so," Duggan said. "I’ve gotten my third shot." Fully vaccinated people can get a third shot if they had their last Pfizer dose at least six months earlier.
Dollar Tree breaks the $1 barrier
Dollar Tree embedded in its very name what it stands for: Behind these doors, everything can be had for just $1. The mantra to which the Chesapeake, Virginia, company has held true for decades will now be only mostly true.
After expanding nationwide from only a handful of stores in Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, Dollar Tree is breaking the mold and will sell items in some locations that exceed the tantalizing $1 grab-n-go price. The cost of clothes, cars, food and just about everything else has soared this year as the global economy emerges from a pandemic uppercut and Dollar Tree has not been untouched.
Last month the retail chain said that rising shipping costs would take a bite of $1.50 to $1.60 out of its per-share profits this year. That’s a huge hit for any business, perhaps more so for one founded decades ago steadfastly calling itself "Only $1.00 Inc."
"For decades, our customers have enjoyed the ‘thrill-of-the-hunt’ for value at one dollar - and we remain committed to that core proposition - but many are telling us that they also want a broader product assortment when they come to shop," said CEO Michael Witynski in a prepared statement. Raising some prices will certainly give the national chain some flexibility and likely more variety on its shelves. But a dollar this year will not buy you what it did in 2020.
What else we're watching
- A Troy real estate broker has been sentenced for a gambling scheme that defrauded investors of $23 million after he used the funds for Daily 3 and Daily 4 games at the Michigan Lottery. Viktor Gjonaj will spend four years in prison.
- No charges have been filed in the shooting incident that injured a Cass Tech alum who plays football for Washington State University. The shooter's claim of self-defense is still being investigated, police say.
- The Oakland County prosecutor and attorneys from the Michigan Innocence Clinic will appear in front of a judge at 9 a.m. today to announce a decision of whether to re-try a man convicted of arson and murder. Juwan Deering's case has received new attention after missteps were reported in his trial more than a decade ago.
- The NAACP's Detroit Branch is hosting a major career expo that features job readiness clinics and resume workshops today between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. It will be held at the Fellowship Chapel on Outer Drive in Detroit.
- Survivors of Larry Nasser and Robert Anderson are teaming up for a testimony before the Michigan House Oversight Committee in support of a legislative package that bolsters protections for victims of sexual assault.
Live on FOX 2
The End of September will be a warm one with sunny skies and highs in the low-70s. Friday will look and feel pretty similar. It's the weekend when things begin to turn rainy before temperatures take a dip at the beginning of next week.
Congress races to prevent government shutdown ahead of midnight deadline
Congress on Thursday was racing to avert a partial government shutdown with U.S. government funding set to expire at midnight.
The U.S. Senate is poised to approve a stopgap measure that would fund the federal government through Dec. 3. The House is expected to take up the measure later Thursday following the Senate vote.
The Senate is set to convene at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The bill's expected approval will buy lawmakers more time to craft the spending bills that will fund federal agencies and the programs they administer. If not enacted, the government would face a partial shutdown when the new fiscal year begins Friday.