THURSDAY NEWS HIT - An Oakland County-based mortgage company has been ordered to enforce social distancing and other measures to protect employees after more than 50 workers at the mortgage lender were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. United Shore, one of the country's largest mortgage lenders and based out of Pontiac, received an order from health officials to abide by safety protocols laid out by the state, or face fines and possibly jail time.
Oakland County's health department has apparently received complaints from company employees after dozens of their coworkers had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In response, health officials warned United Shore to follow mask rules and social distancing ordinances, or face months in jail or a fine of $200 a day.
Currently, office-based businesses are allowed to have employees come to work, but they must abide by standards established by the county aimed at reducing the spread of the virus. Among those standards includes using six feet of social distancing, requiring face masks, and implementing daily screening processes.
In a statement from United Shore, they've said the company is currently working at half-capacity and any employees in the office are either required to be there or decided to return to in-person work. Anyone working from home can do so until January 2021.
While an outbreak at a business isn't unexpected, most of the positive cases originating from people congregating have come in the form of graduation parties and crowdings at teens' homes. Instances like these have forced Michigan's COVID-19 caseloads back up, although the past week has seen a plateauing of new positive tests.
Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy charged with rape, domestic violence while attending EMU
A sheriff's deputy at Washtenaw County is facing three counts of criminal sexual conduct and one for domestic violence during instances that took place when he was a college student.
Deputy D'Angelo McWilliams committed the alleged sex assaults two-and-a-half years before becoming an officer. McWilliams was a member of EMU's Delta Tao Delta and was at the fraternity's house when the attacks took place. McWilliams is the second member of the frat to be charged with rape in the last week.
In the separate case, Dustyn Durbin, who is a friend of McWilliams, was also charged with rape last Friday. In a court appearance on Wednesday, a prosecuting attorney requested a judge order the two to have no contact.
Durbin, who was a frat brother at Alpha Sigma Fi was permanently expelled as a brother, was charged with nine counts of criminal sexual conduct. He also allegedly intimidated a victim by saying he was going to be a police officer one day and that his best friend is an officer.
Both have pled not guilty and are expected to be back in court on the same day next week.
Shady contractor gets nailed after wandering into the Hall of Shame
Darrin Ballard is a remodeler with a rap sheet. A handyman with as many criminal convictions as he has excuses for not finishing his job. And watch out, he just flaked out on another one.
Michelle needed some work done on her house. After spying a construction crew on her Dearborn Heights street, she wandered over to talk to them, where she met Ballard.
"He showed me a stack on contracts like mine. He wouldn't let me read them, but he had a stack of them,” she said.
With all that business, she thought Darrin and his company; Hatt Construction must be pretty good. He said he was licensed. So, she gave him money to get started, and he kept saying he needed more until she had paid him over $4,000.
But when the work was supposed to start, Ballard dipped out. A month and a whole lot of excuses later, Michelle decided to do some digging, coming across a 23-page 'record' of past offenses around the Metro area.
Despite the past offenses of fraud, larceny, and other felony uttering and publishing cases, Ballard clearly isn't done.
So FOX 2's Rob Wolchek went to investigate.
Suspect in crash that killed mother of 7 was scheduled to be sentenced for other crimes
An 18-year-old man behind the wheel of a car that ran a red light and struck an SUV being driven by a mom of seven and killing her had been scheduled to be sentenced for past crimes of felony gun charges and resisting arrest. But that sentencing had been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Police say Zaire Vaughn had gotten out on bond for the initial crimes but had still wandered into more trouble in the following months. According to court records, he was involved in carjacking and several other felony weapons charges for a case in July.
Then, the fatal crash last weekend happened.
While driving a stolen Dodge Challenger with a 17-year-old friend, Vaughn collided with a black Trailblazer at the intersection of Chalmers and Seymore Saturday afternoon. He had been fleeing from the police.
"Had (police) done their job correctly and kept him in there, she would still be here," said Shirley Butts, Jiywana Harlan's sister. "That car would've never gotten stolen; they never would have been running from the police, none of this would have ever happened."
Temperatures are still slowing rising, with forecasts showing a high of 80 on dry Thursday.
Biden on cognitive test: 'Why the hell would I take a test?'
Joe Biden is pushing back at Republican assertions that he should take a cognitive test to disprove President Donald Trump’s claim that the Democrat isn’t fit for the Oval Office.
Biden grew testy when CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett asked the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee about the matter in a recent interview.
“No, I haven’t taken a test? Why the hell would I take a test?” Biden said.
He then told Barnett: “That’s like saying … before you got on this program, you’re taking a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”
The former vice president, who is 77, also tried to turn the matter back around on the 74-year-old president in the latest jousting over the two men’s fitness for office.