Anti-Semitic graffiti in Royal Oak and Oak Park • Overnight freeway shootings • Lions GM talks 2023 Draft

Authorities in two Metro Detroit communities are investigating incidents of vandalism after anti-Semitic imagery was spray-painted on a synagogue and a baby stroller outside a Jewish family's home. 

A swastika was found painted on the Woodward Avenue Shul synagogue in Royal Oak Friday. Underneath read the word "Azov" - a term associated with a military brigade that has anti-Semitic leanings. 

A swastika was also found spray-painted on a stroller in Oak Park.

The two instances are now being investigated as hate crimes. 

"Jews are people who are targeted in society," said Rabbi Mendel Polter. "Unfortunately, we've seen a rise in the past few years. And I think that you know it's something that we should just take precautions about and not just that Jews should be aware that anti-Semitism exists but the non-Jewish community should also be aware."

The swastika was scrubbed from the surface of the synagogue within a few hours, according to Polter. 

U.S. Rep Haley Stevens also made a statement on social media, saying "targeted hate and antisemitism have no place in Michigan's 11th District."

"I am devastated to learn of the graffiti at the Woodward Ave Shul. To our Jewish community: you are loved, you are supported, and we will root out hate wherever it may rear its head. Thank you to the Royal Oak Police Department for your swift actions as we continue to uplift this synagogue in love," she wrote.

Cases of anti-Semitism have been growing in the U.S. over the past few years. The Anti-Defamation League reported a 36% increase in incidents of harassment, vandalism, and assault in 2022. 

Read more about the vandalism here.

Two overnight freeway shootings 

Michigan State Police responded to two overnight freeway shootings where two people were struck in one incident and a semi-truck driver was arrested in another incident. Both cases happened on separate Metro Detroit freeways - but within an hour of one another.

A shooting on I-75 led to one person dying and another in critical condition after someone started firing shots. The victims were driven to the hospital where one was pronounced deceased and the other was listed in critical condition.

In the second incident, a semi-truck driver who was possibly drunk was involved in a traffic crash. They left the scene and was followed by the passenger vehicle before the semi-truck driver fired multiple shots at them. The truck eventually became disabled and the driver fled. He later returned and was arrested.

The shootings led to closures on I-75 and I-96 at I-94 for a search for shell casings. 

Brad Holmes talks NFL draft

The Detroit Lions had a busy week - and one that many other teams and fans weren't expecting. Their first draft pick was a running back. They also traded their first-round pick for a later pick and a second-round pick. 

That was before they traded D'Andre Swift for two more picks, later picking up help in their backfield as well as a receiver and a potential star quarterback. General Manager Brad Holmes, who helped get Detroit back into the green with a positive record last year, did not wait to start making moves this year.

"It always comes down to Dan (Campbell) and I get the players we love - and I totally get the narrative of position value and all that - but if you talk about Jahmyr Gibbs, we didn't draft a running back in the first round, we drafted an elite weapon to keep our offense explosive in the first round."

A lot will be discussed about Holmes' approach to the draft, defying what experts had anticipated would have been a week of reloading on defense. Instead, the GM traded down in exchange for more picks. 

Watch Brad Holmes' full interview here.

Metro Detroit high schools helping students with disabilities

At Warren Woods Tower High, Bradly Welch is defying the odds. Though if you ask him, the enjoyment he gets from working at the school cafeteria is more intrinsic. "It's more than the job itself, it's more of the interaction I have with my coworkers and the students."

Welch has cerebral palsy. He is one of thousands of people with a disability that have found work placement through the region's school-to-work transition program. There are 17 Southeast Michigan districts involved. 

The program also comes with both teaching of classroom skills for academia, and the soft skills that help outside of school. But in discussions with the students involved, the program also helps them go beyond what they believed they were capable of.

One has hopes of being a vet. Another has wishes of being a barista. And a third sees himself as a teacher. 

See the full report here.

Ready up for a major highway closure

The construction hits keep coming - this time at I-275 and I-94 where the interchange ramps will be closed for the next two months. Work on the nearby bridge, ramp, and freeway will last through early July.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says beginning May 1, northbound I-275 ramps to I-94 will close. The detour will be to follow Ecorse Road north back onto I-94. 

Also on May 1, the eastbound I-94 ramp onto I-275 will close. Next week, the westbound I-94 ramp will close. 

The construction on I-275 is part of a massive $270 million project. 

See more construction news on FOX 2's MDOT tab.

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Daily Forecast

A rainy start to the morning will ease off with chances of precipitation returning later this afternoon. Cloud cover and temperatures in the 40s will dominate the next two days.  

What else we're watching

  1. Gas prices tumbled another 13 cents from last week. That drops prices to 3 cents below where we were at one month ago. Metro Detroit gas prices on average add up to $3.48 a gallon.
  2. In addition to the freeway shootings, Michigan State Police also seized a 9 mm pistol that had a loaded magazine in Oak Park. The 27-year-old Oak Park resident admitted he had a gun without having a concealed pistol license. 
  3. Health Works on FOX 2 Monday will go into Melanoma. The first day of May means the sun will be out more soon. So will the summer air. That comes with the danger of sun damage for those who are vulnerable. A good way to prevent the worst is to scheduled skin cancer screenings.
  4. Westview Orchards and Winery is kicking off its Farm Market season today. See more at the Washington Township location every week. 
  5. A lobbyist pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to pass bribes along to the head of a Michigan marijuana licensing board. He was the third conviction in the widening probe. 

Uber lost and found list includes unique items like lightsaber, fake blood and teeth

Uber Technologies Inc has released the annual list of items left in vehicles by riders, which includes several odd things, such as an ankle monitor, people’s pets, dentures and teeth.

The rideshare company released its annual list on April 27 to give people a snapshot of the most forgotten items, as well as some of which are truly unique.

The list breaks down which cities are the most forgetful, what time of day and days of the week people are the most forgetful, and global forgetfulness trends.