Boutique's errant email goes viral on TikTok, Michigan AG to probe election profiteers, historic spelling bee

"I apologize for something I did yesterday," said Chuck DeGrendel in a Facebook Live video. DeGrendel is one of the owners of a local boutique in Auburn Hills. However, it may be a little too late to ward off the damage from a mistaken email he sent this week.

In the email the was intended for his wife, DeGrendel offered critiques of a job applicant who had applied to be a brand representative for Ava Lane Boutique.

Instead, it went to the applicant, 21-year-old Gracie Lorincz. Who subsequently shared the contents on Tik Tok, sending the errant email viral.

"This girl is fresh out of college and not that cute," it read. "She applied to the sales model position are you sure you want me to interview her?"

"And their motto is beauty through confidence and this is the email I got from the VP," Gracie said in a TikTok video - where she gave her response. "Not that cute, not that cute, okay ..." she said in the video.

Lorincz's video has brought backlash to the boutique in the form of angry emails and phone calls. 

Her mother Heather has also said she feels terrible for her daughter, describing her mood as "crushed."

In response, Chuck Degrendel posted a tearful Facebook Live apology.

"And I didn't feel she was that cute," he said. "So I didn't know if I wanted to proceed with an interview. I don't know why I said that, but I did, and I am very sorry for saying that."

Those tears may not find a very forgiving audience. "I don't want this woman's business to suffer," Heather Lorincz said. "I don't but I feel my daughter deserves a real apology, not a Facebook Live."

Michigan AG takes Republican Senator's request, will probe bad actors

Michigan's attorney general is investigating after a Republican-led state legislative committee said people are making baseless allegations about 2020 presidential election results in a northern Michigan county to raise money or publicity for their own ends. 

A spokeswoman for Democrat Dana Nessel says the department accepted the request from state Sen. Ed McBroom and the Senate Oversight Committee he chairs. 

State police are assisting. Election night results in rural Antrim County initially erroneously showed a victory for Joe Biden over then-President Donald Trump. 

But it was attributed to human errors, not any problems with machines, and corrected. A hand recount validated the results as accurate.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

Police shut down I-75 for freeway shooting

A freeway shooting on I-75 Friday morning prompted a shutdown of the roadway for several hours as Michigan State Police investigated. The incident happened around 1:50 a.m. when a trooper patrolling the southbound lanes of I-75 near Clark heard gunfire coming from behind his vehicle.

Two SUVs then sped around the patrol car in the right lane at a high rate of speed. The troopers activated their emergency lights and siren and gave chase to the speeding vehicle. The suspects failed to stop for the lights and fled. 

One of the vehicles, a Chevy Equinox, lost a tire and stopped at I-75 near Dearborn. Police shut down the I-75 at I-96 later in the morning to investigate the shooting. 

The Equinox had several bullet holes in the windshield and back of the vehicle. The second SUV was last seen on I-75 but police have yet to locate the vehicle. Law enforcement is working to determine the relationship between the two suspects. An investigation continues.

Brighton's Wooden Spoon can't keep up with demand after closure announcement

A popular restaurant in Brighton announced this week it was closing its doors after a successful run in the food and dining business.

Much to the heartache of many regulars, the Wooden Spoon said Monday it would be closing after 10 years in operation. It appears the shock of seeing the well-trafficked restaurant ending its reign has sparked a surge in demand.

In an update posted Wednesday, staff said on Facebook that it was ending carry-out orders and closing in the afternoons on Thursday and Friday to accommodate the uptick in volume.

"With heavy but grateful hearts, we announce that our last day of serving you will be July 10th. We will forever remember and cherish the years we have spent with the people of our beautiful town. Words will never fully express our gratitude to all of have been a part of this journey," read a social media post on June 5. "Please drop by this week so we may hug you goodbye and share one more meal with you."

It appears the restaurant's fandom took that last request seriously. Wooden Spoon staff can't keep up with demand, leading to the decision to reduce the number of orders coming in and only serve food in-house.

Cleanup efforts continue after storms

DTE is continuing to chip away at the massive number of residents without power after storms swept through Michigan this week. Some 53,000 people still didn't have power by Friday morning.

Most of the storm victims without electricity in their homes are in western Oakland County. Farmington Hills and neighborhoods north of it will be without power until late Friday night, the utility company estimates.

Knocked-over trees and downed power lines remained a hazard for some roads and neighborhoods Friday morning as cleanup efforts continued. In Detroit and other parts of Wayne County, federal officials began their assessment of flood damage after six inches of rain fell on the area in late June. 

That's only the first step, however. Any that do get reimbursed for their damages won't see any money for several weeks. 

What else we're watching

  1. Toyota will no longer contribute campaign funds to Republican legislators who voted against certifying Joe Biden's presidential election win. Social media backlash against the company's stance has been staunch.
  2. A new report on shoreline damage along the Great Lakes concluded that another $2 billion would be needed over the next five years to repair erosion-afflicted beaches after high water levels ate into states that border them
  3. The Michigan elections bureau has determined organizers of a ballot drive to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ people failed to collect enough signatures. The organizers were about 40,000 signatures short, the bureau said.
  4. The Motor City Mile Swim Across America event which takes place at Belle Isle will kick off again today when swimmers of all skill levels embark on a series of races.
  5. Oakland County is launching a series of free local business community events that will help channel resources to small companies. The first is next week in Oak Park. We'll have a schedule of what's going down for the rest of the month on FOX 2 Detroit.

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Daily Forecast

Another string of brutal summer weather is lifting as a high-pressure system moves over Southeast Michigan. It's expected to stave off any wet weather, which Metro Detroit will manage to avoid for Friday and Saturday. Some rain may fall Sunday, but the lack of humidity in the air means it won't be anything to worry about.

Zaila Avant-garde breezes to National Spelling Bee win

Whether dribbling a basketball or identifying obscure Latin or Greek roots, Zaila Avant-garde doesn't show much stress.

The 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana, breezed to the championship at the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night, becoming the first African American winner and only the second Black champion in the bee's 96-year history.

Zaila has described spelling as a side hobby, although she routinely practiced for seven hours a day. She is a basketball prodigy who hopes to play someday in the WNBA and holds three Guinness world records for dribbling multiple balls simultaneously.

Only one word gave her any real trouble, "nepeta," a genus of Old World mints, and she jumped even higher when she got that one right than she did when she took the trophy.