Beaumont's emergency rooms, vigilante tracks online predators, domestic abuse at Michigan legislature

Beaumont hospital says a staffing shortage combined with an extreme number of patients is causing major problems at the state's largest hospital group.

A worsening staff shortage and the temporary closure of 180 beds across Michigan's largest health system chain means that the 10 hospital locations can't accommodate many more patients.

The pressure on Beaumont is an industry-wide trend, but the situation isn't due only to COVID-19 patients. 

It is related to the pandemic, however. The delays in testing and treatment for other health issues that were implemented due to the pandemic is beginning to metastasize into something worse as most of the beds in use at Beaumont are filled with non-coronavirus patients. 

"Many people delayed getting tests and treatment for medical issues because of their concerns about the pandemic. Now, more than a year and a half after the pandemic began, those delays in care are resulting in medical emergencies," said Beaumont CEO John Fox. 

Meanwhile, the burnout among nurses and doctors that have already gritted their teeth through 18 months of public health crises are taking a toll on the industry that had already struggled to keep people employed.

"People are looking for alternative forms of employment. I also think the schools being closed last year created an issue with parents that needed to stay home with their children and then fatigue," said Dr. David Donaldson, an emergency center chief. "I think fatigue is a big part of it."

On top of all of that, Beaumont is also reporting a blood shortage as well. 

According to a release from the hospital chain Wednesday, the company is actively working to fill its recruitment gap - the main reason behind the closure of emergency beds. 

What happened to our cooling fall temperatures?

Did anyone install a tracker on Fall, cause it feels like it's lost and we should honestly begin looking for it. Kidding aside, we're halfway through September and while fall doesn't officially start until Sept. 22 typically by this time you'd think we'd have least seen a hint of fall weather. Right? Wrong.

Well, wrong at least over the last five years. My memory told me that September is the month where we begin seeing a very quick cool down in Metro Detroit. And in a way, the data backs that up. The average high temperature to end the month is in the 60s with lows in the 40s a very common occurrence. That is, historically speaking - but not recently.

While September 2020 was indeed Fall-like, 2016-2019 surprised me with the amount of heat (and lack of cool fall air) that we actually had. Each and every year was significantly warmer than average (about 2 degrees higher) and had multiple days in the upper 80s and even 90s! In fact, in 218, we had four days IN A ROW over 90 degrees.  In September! Crazy! And the overall lack of sustained cool air is evident in these years too with many years only seeing a few 40 degree days all month long.

The fact is that this September will stay hot, too. Long-range weather models keep up above-average temperatures for the remainder of the month with plenty more mid-80 degree days. Perhaps we'll see more cool fall air in October...because we won't get it in September.

- Derek Kevra

State Rep. under investigation for domestic abuse

A Republican lawmaker has been removed from his committee assignments and had a police report filed against him after a fellow lawmaker accused him of domestic abuse. Rep. Steve Marino (R- Harrison Township) was the chair of the commerce committee prior to the House speaker removing him.

In a statement, Rep. Mari Manoogian said no one was immune from a volatile relationship. "It can happen right here in our legislature where abuse of power and threats to ruin a colleague’s reputation, as well as threats of public shaming, can be used to intimidate fellow members of the legislature."

Jamie Roe, a political consultant, said the decision by House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R-Clare) is not a choice made lightly. "I would hope that we find that there's a misunderstanding, but it sure looks like that there's a problem here that needs to be addressed."

A spokeswoman for Michigan State Police said they were looking into the complaint filed against Marino, which was received late Tuesday. The Republican lawmaker has served in the legislature since 2016.

DPD defends Project Green Light after auto store break-in

Detroit police are defending Project Green Light after one of its members experienced a break-in and subsequently blasted the program and department for not responding quickly enough. "This is an unusual circumstance - unfortunately during this incident, we did not see the break-in happen due to the cameras malfunctioning," said Commander Kari Sloan. 

Sloan oversees the department's real-time crime center where the project is managed. "We do believe that Project Green Light is effective. It has assisted us in closing countless crimes and bringing closure to a lot of families that may not have otherwise gotten that closure without the systems - so we believe in the project," she said.

On Monday, the H&A Auto Parks store on McNichols was ransacked around 1 a.m. after vandals did thousands of dollars in damage, they only stole a couple of catalytic converters. The owner, Hasan Al Jabawi, said the program wasn't worth it. "I thought that if you have Green Light, they're watching 24 hours so you're safe."

When it was broken in, an alarm sounded and the company tried contacting the owner at 2 a.m. But he was asleep. Police said it could not identify that a camera had malfunctioned because the electricity had been disabled when the thieves stole the electrical meter. They hope to use the opportunity to make their procedures better.

Vigilante who exposes child predators confronts Carleton shop owner

Skeeter Jean on his YouTube channel posts videos confronting alleged child predators as a vigilante, then outs them on social media. The latest, alleged predator he outed this week, was an ice cream shop owner in Carleton, in Monroe County, where there is now a for sale sign – and graffiti on the building.  

He ultimately confronted a 63-year-old at Main Street Dairy. He denied everything even though Skeeter brought a chat log from their conversation on a dating app called Grindr where Skeeter posed as a 14-year-old boy.  "I wait for them to reach out to message me," he said. "I set up the accounts on the app, I just let it chill. I hang back and when one comes in and they message me, I let them know off the bat, 'This is how old I am, are you okay with this?'  

Skeeter uses decades-old photos of a friend when he was 14 on his profile. In this case he says,  the ice cream man messaged him first. "It got a little bit sexual and one thing led to another and boom, now we have the videos," Skeeter said.

The man even wrote to the fake teen profile that he could be the boy’s grandfather – then the two planned to meet. Skeeter handed his evidence over to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office which confirmed it is now investigating, trying to locate the alleged sexual predator. "It’s a dirty job but someone has got to do it and that someone is me," Skeeter said. 

What else we're watching

  1. Michigan lawmakers and the governor have reached a budget agreement for the state after negotiations succeeded a week before a scheduled vote. Legislators had a lot of surplus money to use.
  2. A triple shooting has been reported on Roxbury and Whittier, on Detroit's east side. The victims were taken to a hospital but their condition is unknown.
  3. Southfield police responded to an armed robbery where two female victims were found at a hotel. One had been shot. According to witnesses, two unknown males entered the hotel room where they were staying and attempted to rob them.
  4. All traces of gasoline that had entered Flat Rock's sewer system are no longer present, officials said Wednesday. The EPA used a mobile testing unit in 22 different homes Wednesday.
  5. A bank is announcing a $1 million donation to improve a lack of Internet access among families in Inkster. Flagstar Bank's pilot program is in conjunction with an economic development corporation.

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Daily Forecast

It's going to be a good-weather kind of day with expectations in the mid-70s and a mix of mainly sun and some clouds. It'll look and feel pretty similar Friday before a bit of an uptick in temperatures this weekend.

First all-private crew rockets into space on mission of ‘Inspiration’

Whether you call them civilians, amateurs, tourists, or astronauts, four private citizens – strangers to each other and the public a year ago – have now joined an exclusive club, looking down at Earth from orbit.

The Inspiration4 mission, SpaceX’s first flight of an all-civilian crew, blasted off from historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center late Wednesday, kicking off a new level of commercial space flight. 

The Falcon 9 rocket soared into the clear evening just after 8 p.m., lighting up the sky along Florida’s Space Coast. It was just the fourth time since 2011 that a crew rocketed into orbit from the U.S., but this mission was different than any before it.