Brawl at Fox Theatre, a hiccup to pausing state's gas tax, making Daylight Saving Time permanent

As Michigan drivers continue to wade through high gas prices, a Republican-sponsored bill that would suspend the state's gas tax for the next six months reached a hiccup during voting proceedings.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has already signaled she would veto the bill, which would save drivers 27 cents a gallon. However, because two-thirds of the state Senate did not approve the bill - following a 24-14 vote on Tuesday - the gas tax suspension would not take effect until 2023. 

The Republican-led legislature first passed the bill in the state House last week along mostly party line votes. The state gas tax suspension plan was announced shortly after the Democratic governor and several other state leaders called for a suspension of the federal gas and diesel tax.

Michigan drivers are paying around $4.23 a gallon, amounting to about $60 to fill up a 15-gallon tank of gas. 

The short-term fix was rejected in exchange for a more bipartisan fix. State Democrats instead proposed a measure where the state could temporarily pause the 6% sales tax on fuel and keep intact funding for schools and municipalities that benefit. 

"We all know there are potholes everywhere that need to be filled and massive road and bridge projects in our districts and around the state that need to be completed," said Sen. Stephanie Chang of Detroit.

The price for a barrel of oil has declined in recent days. However, the cost for gasoline has remained at near-record levels.

According to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency, Michigan drivers on average buy 557 gallons a year. They pay $151 in per-gallon taxes and, at current prices, $125 in sales taxes. They would save roughly $75 under the bill heading to the governor.

Detroit-area woman suing baby formula maker

Powdered Similac baby formula that is made in Michigan is now blamed for the deaths of two infants - and making many other children sick. Although the formula is being recalled, one Detroit-area mother says that's not enough. She's now planning to file a lawsuit.

Wendy Jackson turned to the powder formula for her son Daxton after she failed to produce enough milk, on the recommendation of the hospital. But what happened instead was bad constipation and skin problems. "He had thick, scaly scalp issues, he had exhibited thick scales on the side of his body. And as soon as we changed, it stopped, it cleared up. Within a couple days, everything cleared up."

Now she's planning legal action. Abbott Nutrition has recalled certain powders - Similac, Alimentum and Elecare infant formula products made at its plant in Sturgis, which is in southwest Michigan. The FDA says it is investigating complaints of bacterial infections in four infants that consumed the formula. All of them were hospitalized, and the infection may have played a role in the deaths of two infants.

In a video statement on the Similac website, Dr. Karyn Wulf of Abbott Nutrition says, "We regret the situation and the impact it will have on parents, caregivers, patients, and healthcare professionals. We are doing everything possible to resolve the situation with a sense of urgency - because we know nothing is more important than our families."

2 years after giving birth to twins amid pandemic, a family grows with a daughter

A young Clarkston woman delivered a set of twin boys after she and her husband became extremely ill from COVID-19. Nearly two years later -- those two little boys are now big brothers. Mom and dad -- recovered from the virus and were recently blessed with a precious little girl.

Cradling her newborn baby girl, Jennifer Laubach admits the circumstances are far different - and better - than the last time she gave birth. "It's been really nice to have this time with her because we missed that last time with the boys," she said. "We didn't even meet the boys until they were 21 days old."

In the early phases of the pandemic in 2020, Andre remembers lying in bed, barely able to move. He didn't know if he would survive the ordeal. Then, his wife's water broke. Jennifer had to drive herself to the hospital. After giving birth, her kids were immediately separated from her due to possibilities of a Covid infection.

The couple's third child, named Liv, had a more normal birth. Doctors now know Covid can contribute to premature birth and high blood pressure - both of which Jen experienced two years ago. They also know how dangerous Covid is for pregnant moms and their babies, but they also say that the vaccine can make all the difference.

Man being transported by police say officer fell asleep before crash

A man who was arrested for outstanding parking tickets out of Detroit was hurt Monday when he said the officer who was transporting him from Warren fell asleep twice and ultimately rear-ended another car.

Xavier Cramatie was being driven back to Detroit from the Macomb County Jail to the Detroit jail. According to Cramatie, he was picked up for possession and outstanding parking tickets when he was handcuffed in the back of the police car when the Detroit Police Officer fell asleep at the wheel.

He said he noticed the officer fall asleep once. But then it seemed he got it together, Cramatie said. But down near I-696, he swerved into the turning lane before falling asleep again and hitting the back of a passenger vehicle. 

DPD Second Deputy Chief Harper Rudy Harper said the officer was not believed to be asleep at the time. "We have no evidence to support that the officer was sleeping. In fact, the officers were having a conversation seconds before the accident," Harper said.

Brawl breaks out at Lil Durk concert at Fox Theatre

A brawl broke out Saturday in the audience of a hip-hop concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. During Lil Durk's show, a group of people started throwing punches and pulling hair. It isn't clear what started the fight that Detroit police say they broke up.

"They called our officers in. We were able to come in and quell the matter, and the concert was able to go on," Deputy Chief Franklin Hayes said. Hayes noted that the police department's Downtown Services Department can assist venues with security preparations for big events.

"We will continue to have a presence and continue to work with our partners, and make sure that these incidents are the anomaly and not the norm," he said. Hayes added that if you ever end up in a similar situation to Saturday's fight, contact security and let them take care of the problem.

 "Don’t let anyone else interrupt your experience or put you in position to make a bad decision. Let it go, look for your venue security, look for a police officer. We will handle it," he said. FOX 2 reached out to the company behind the concert, 313 Presents, for comment but has not received a response. 

What else we're watching

  1. Attempts at repealing the state's diaper tax were tossed from the Michigan House on Tuesday. The bill was introduced shortly after the state repealed the tampon tax last year. 
  2. Michigan Congressman Fred Upton has tested positive for COVID-19. The mid-Michigan lawmaker said he had mild symptoms from the virus. He is vaccinated but not boosted. 
  3. The teen that was struck by a train in Wyandotte in 2012 had his case reinstated by an appeals court after they ruled a judge misinterpreted a related case from more than 120 years ago.
  4. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the U.S. Congress Wednesday morning to discuss potentially stronger sanctions and more meaningful action against Russia. He'll speak at 9 a.m.
  5. Both the governor and officials from MDOT and Detroit will discuss planned improvements for I-375 during a press conference Wednesday. The outdated freeway will be replaced with an "urban boulevard to spur economic development."

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

A pair of good weather days are on the horizon Wednesday and Thursday after a brief chill this morning. Temperatures will climb into the 60s on both days before settling back into more mild condition over the weekend. 

Senate votes to make daylight saving time permanent

Americans are one step closer to never having to "fall back" or "spring forward" with resetting their clocks after the U.S. Senate approved a measure that would make daylight saving time permanent.

Senators on Tuesday unanimously voted for the Sunshine Protection Act, or S.623, sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

The proposed bill will now move to the House. If House members approve, it would then go to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

"No more switching clocks, more daylight hours to spend outside after school and after work, and more smiles — that is what we get with permanent Daylight Saving Time," Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the original cosponsor of the legislation, said in a statement.

Markey was joined on the chamber floor by senators from both parties as they made the case for how making daylight saving time permanent would have positive effects on public health and the economy and even cut energy consumption.

"Changing the clock twice a year is outdated and unnecessary," Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said.

"I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Americans want more sunshine and less depression — people in this country, all the way from Seattle to Miami, want the Sunshine Protection Act," Sen. Patty Murray of Washington added.