TUESDAY NEWS HIT - Robert Spearman can usually find humor in most situations. But the only thing he feels sitting from his hospital bed is lucky and blessed.
The Detroit radio host, comedian, and actor had only straight talk to dish out as he recounted the details of a car crash that nearly left him paralyzed.
"I’m lucky. I’m blessed," said Spearman. "But friends of mine have lost daughters, sons, all because of people driving crazy out here. They're not driving crazy across Eight Mile. They’re driving crazy in the hood."
For those who don't know him as Spearman, he might be recognized by his stage name: Foolish. He works at WJLB, a hip-hop and R&B radio station in Detroit.
But on Detroit's west side last Wednesday, he was the unsuspecting victim of a hit-and-run when while traveling on Grandville near Joy Road on his way to perform a comedy show, he was struck by another driver.
"A guy blows the yield sign going 60 or more and hits my Charger. spins me around and leaves me for dead," he said.
Spearman said he gave chase, trying to tail the driver to get his plate number. They raced to the Southfield Freeway, but that's where Spearman's car gave out. Too heavily damaged, it couldn't keep up. When he stopped, he realized he couldn't feel anything in half his body.
"So when I pulled over, my whole right side was paralyzed," he said. "I couldn’t even do nothing."
State troopers arrived at the scene and helped get Spearman transported to a hospital. He had a spinal cord operation that released a lot of tension and enabled him to walk again.
The crash is the latest vehicle-related incident that Detroit and Michigan State Police have been trying to get a handle on. Tragic stories from the freeway that sometimes include shootings if they're not high-speed crashes have become commonplace the past few months.
In Spearman's case, his crash forced him to cancel shows for weeks. Police are looking for the suspect's vehicle, a newer model white Jeep Grand Cherokee with front-end damage. He wants repair shops to be on the lookout for it.
"When you talk about car accidents that you can prevent, it’s the most ignorant thing I see out there on the street," he said. "I just want people to wake up, and stop acting like this is regular. This isn't regular."
Warren councilman illegally sold Trump merchandise
It's not the first time that Eddie Kabacinski has spent time in jail - it's not even the first time he's been arrested while serving as a Warren city councilman. But there he was over the weekend being arrested and charged for violating a city ordinance when he allegedly sold Trump goods without a license.
"We are concerned," said Council President Patrick Green, "he hasn't been elected two years yet." Kabacinski was in Utica on Saturday at a Trump rally. The die-hard supporter was selling Trump-themed merchandise.
In previous arrest cases, a year ago a bizarre scene played out when Kabacinski attempted a citizen's arrest and chased down a woman and handcuffed her for putting Black Lives Matter stickers on Trump signs in Eastpointe. She shot silly string at him. He was arrested for impersonating a police officer.
Green said it's not the first case of erratic behavior to play out recently. An important decision needed to be postponed recently because of an unrelated rant that Kabacinski had gone on. "We had to call a recess because he wouldn't stop talking and that's the only way we can turn our microphones off, is to call a recess," said Green.
Owners promises rebuild after blaze tears through SW Detroit operation
Dewitt Products has been in the same building since 1938. A roofing supplies manufacturer, they've been in business since 1931. But in just one day, the 90-year-old company saw its operations at a total loss when a fire tore through the manufacturing complex. It would take all morning Monday to put out the blaze.
"It is a little overwhelming now," Jared McClellan, a fourth-generation owner of the business said. "I know we have a lot of work ahead of us. We have been in business for 90 years and hope to move forward with at least another 90. "
This isn't the first fire to disrupt operations. About 15 years ago, the business suffered a different fire - one that it bounced back from. McClellan said they'll do it again.
"I don't think we have a choice," he said. "We have a lot of families, including my own, that rely on this business for their income.
WMU athletes, MSU employee sue schools over vaccine rules
Four female Western Michigan University soccer players have filed a lawsuit against their university over the athletic department's requirement for a COVID-19 vaccine. They filed the litigation on the grounds the rule violates their Christian beliefs.
The lawsuit was filed days after an employee at Michigan State University sued to block the school's mandate, which applies to all students and staff.
"Defendants' policies violate the First Amendment by punishing students who exercise their religious beliefs in connection with their personal medical decisions," said the suit against WMU read. But the school has argued it has a "compelling interest" in acting to avoid an outbreak of coronavirus cases during the school year and during school activities. "Prohibiting unvaccinated members of the teams from engaging in practices and competition is the only effective manner of accomplishing this compelling interest," the school said in a statement.
The case is the latest legal challenge to vaccine mandates that are becoming increasingly commonplace as concerns over a revival of COVID-19 become all too real in some parts of the state. The state on Monday reported about 5,000 new virus cases over three days, a daily average of 1,673. The seven-day average as of Saturday, 2,005, was up from 1,433 two weeks earlier, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Hurricane Ida could raise Michigan's gas prices
Michigan may not see much weather rippling from Hurricane Ida, but the massive storm may still impact residents here. That's because the oil refineries operating in the gulf and in states that were hit by the hurricane have ceased production following mass power outages.
Energy analysts expect the cost of a gallon of gas to rise 10-20 cents over the next few days as production grinds to a halt in Louisiana, Mississippi, and to a lesser extent in Texas and Alabama.
"In order to get personnel back to these launching areas, the roads need to be cleared of trees and downed powerlines. So this process is going to take several days to just get staff out there to assess the damage," said Andy Lipow, an analyst with oil associates.
The timing could create complications for Labor Day travelers already dreading seeing high prices at the pump. Drivers won't see anything go back down until production ramps back up at the refineries - which can't start until the states impacted by the hurricane can get their power back on.
What else we're watching
- The Detroit Institute of Art has a new outdoor art installation called DLectricity. FOX 2 will speak to the director of arts and culture for Midtown Detroit and producer of the installation.
- The Michigan GOP is launching a ballot proposal aimed at tightening the state's voting and election laws. The tactic will enable the Republican-controlled legislature to get around a probable veto from the governor.
- Police have arrested and charged a man for taking photos of a teen girl at a clothing outlet in Utica last week. The accused, Kristopher Murray, is on the sex offender registry and previously was caught taking photos up a woman's skirt at Somerset Mall in Troy last year.
- A new study out of China found the use of a salt substitute with 25% less sodium can lead to a decline in strokes, heart attacks, and premature death.
- The Detroit Lions have finalized their 2021-22 roster for the upcoming season. All that's left is to see what a year of franchise rebuilding can do.
Live on FOX 2
The day is going to start out cool before warming up into the 80s as Metro Detroit looks at pleasant conditions all week. No day is expected to see rain before the weekend.
The last soldier to leave Afghanistan
With news that American forces have been completely withdrawn from Afghanistan, a viral photo has come to symbolize the end of America's longest war.
The photo, described by officials with the 18th Airborne Corp as that of the last soldier to leave Afghanistan, has been liked over 11,000 times and retweeted over 2,700 times on Twitter. "Our troops displayed grit, discipline and empathy," read a portion of the post.
While the tweet did not identify the soldier, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) as well as a Facebook page belonging to the 18th Airborne Corps, identified the soldier as Major General Chris Donahue.