Abortion on the ballot • When DTE will have power back on • Monroe family mourns daughter's loss

Will abortion be on the ballot in November?

The issue is already a defining feature of the midterm election cycle. But on Wednesday, the state election board that oversees what qualifies for Michigan ballots will decide whether a petition that would legalize abortion in the state constitution can be voted on Nov. 8.

The proposed amendment would overrule the prevailing law in Michigan that outlaws abortion without exception for rape or incest. The Michigan Election Bureau recommended the new petition for the ballot last Thursday after verifying it had enough signatures to qualify. 

It will now be up to the State Board of Canvassers to approve the measure during a hearing Wednesday. 

The legality of getting an abortion in Michigan is about as gray as it comes. The only law on the books is from 1931 that only allows for an abortion if a mother's life is at risk. The overturning of Roe V. Wade in June would have triggered the law but a judge ordered the law suspended if that were to happen. 

Several more court rulings later and an injunction on the law remains in place after an Oakland County judge upheld the order after a two-day hearing in August. Judge Jacob Cunningham ordered the injunction remain until after the election.

The State Board of Canvassers doesn't always accept the election bureau's recommendation as was the case when the office said several Republican candidates for governor should not qualify for the ballot after submitting fraudulent signatures earlier this year. 

The board, made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, tied on the vote, which kept the candidates off the ballot and upheld the recommendation. 

If Wednesday's ruling on the abortion petition deadlocks, it will also mean the petition will be rejected. However, a final decision would likely come from the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Here is background on abortion in Michigan

DTE estimates for restoring power

More than a day after severe weather blew through Southeast Michigan and about 60,000 homes have had their lights turned back on. But 207,000 homes still report having now power, according to DTE's outage map, which is about 9% of the energy provider's total customer base. 

As DTE has continued restoring power to homes across the metro region, the picture of when electricity will be restored to the region has come into clearer focus. While the company says about 80% of its customers should have power back on by Thursday, the map has more specific estimations about when power will be restored.

One area across Farmington affecting thousands can expect to see power back on by 10 p.m. Thursday. In eastern Oak Park, another area with slightly fewer people without power will see it restored by Wednesday at 10 p.m.

A note on the utility company's map said the "majority" of customers should be able to get a sense when they can see power back on.

Illegal pot operation in Detroit explodes

An investigation into the cause of building explosion Monday in Detroit continues. Firefighters responded to the 16000 block of Schoolcraft between Greenfield and Southfield at about 7:20 p.m. While the cause of the blast is unknown, authorities did say that the building housed an illegal marijuana operation.

Authorities are also working to determine how long the illegal grow operation was in the building.

"I see people run out butt naked. They didn’t have any clothes on. At first, it was a big explosion. We thought it was thunder. The next thing you know they came out hooping and hollering," said a neighbor who witnessed the aftermath.

Firefighters said Monday that five people were hurt in the explosion. "Everybody could’ve gotten hurt. It was a bad explosion. I hate for it to have happened. Things happen for a reason," the neighbor said.

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Remembering Monroe girl killed by downed wire 

The past 24 hours for Elizabeth Jacobsen's family have been surreal after the 14-year-old was electrocuted after mistaking a downed power line for a tree branch. The family had been preparing to send her off to high school. Now, they're planning her funeral.

"I had to feel her soul one last time, where it left her body," said her father Edward Jacobsen. "It helped with the closure. Even though she was a girl, she loved being into cars, a very big tomboy, she helped me build a hot rod that I race."

"Everybody knew who she was, everyone loved her," said her mom, Martha Jean Hunter. "She was an outdoors, girl, an animal lover. Like, she wanted to be a police officer when she got older. She had her life figured out at 14." Elizabeth had been out for a walk with her friend when they came across the downed wire. First responders found her still in contact with the line when they arrived.

DTE implored people to tell their kids to avoid power lines during periods of live wires being down. "We beg our customers to stay aware from down wires and to warn their children as well. Especially now that some schools are back in session. Energized lines may be hidden by debris as well."

Here's what else family said about their daughter

Teen phenom to perform at Detroit Jazzfest

Anissa Lea is in the studio rehearsing for a big show - the biggest yet for the 17-year-old. She will be performing at the iconic Detroit Jazz Festival - billed as the world’s largest free jazz festival, featuring world-class talent, for more than 40 years.

Lea started singing when she was 5. The Metro Detroit native said jazz was what always stuck out to her when she dove into "all types of genres." Her mom became her vocal coach after that. "She told me - she said, 'Anissa - you just believe in yourself and you continue the path that you want to continue, follow your dreams and that's what I'm doing."

Lea has already recorded one album and has two more in the works. Her performance at Jazzfest will mark a special occasion since she'll be the youngest to ever be featured at the festival. 

"I can't stop smiling - it's like - someone pinch me," she quipped. "I'm so thankful - I'm honored to be able to perform there - especially to be able to enjoy the crowd and be able to perform with such amazing musicians."

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Daily Forecast

Weather in Metro Detroit will remain calm and manageable this week as Wednesday kicks off with a breeze before temperatures rise into the low 80s. 

What else we're watching

  1. The 19-year-old suspected of a shooting spree that killed 3 people in Detroit Sunday could be arraigned on charges Wednesday. He was arrested after a manhunt lasting several hours Sunday located him when his aunt called police. 
  2. The Metro Detroit Career Expo, a massive hiring event in Novi is open to job seekers Wednesday. They can submit their resumes for full-time and part-time positions that could turn into immediate jobs. Several companies will be participating at the Four Point Sheraton Hotel.
  3. The Detroit Lions dropped David Blough from their roster and intend to sign Nate Sudfeld to backup quarterback, local media reports. It comes after a recent Hard Knocks episode featuring the QB aired.
  4. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to be in Michigan Wednesday to campaign for multiple Michigan Republicans, including Tom Barrett who is challenging Elissa Slotkin in the 7th and John James who is running in the 10th. 
  5. State police had a productive day Tuesday while doing traffic enforcement on I-696 between 75 and 275. The North Post did 77 traffic stops, issued 25 verbal warnings, six misdemeanor arrests, and one towed vehicle. One driver was caught on the shoulder during a construction zone. 

DOJ says classified docs at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate 'likely concealed and removed' to obstruct probe

The Justice Department said Tuesday that classified documents were "likely concealed and removed" from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an effort to obstruct the federal investigation into the discovery of the government records.

The FBI also seized 33 boxes containing more than 100 classified records during its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago and found classified documents stashed in Trump's office, according to a filing that lays out the most detailed chronology to date of months of strained interactions between Justice Department officials and Trump representatives over the discovery of government secrets.

The filing offers yet another indication of the sheer volume of classified records retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. It shows how investigators conducting a criminal probe have focused not just on why the records were improperly stored there, but also on the question of whether the Trump team intentionally misled them about the continued, and unlawful, presence of the top secret documents.