Detroit DJ fixture found dead, $150M lawsuit filed against Bloomfield Hills High School, fatal wreck on I-75
TUESDAY NEWS HIT - John O'Leary was a fixture on Detroit radio since the 1970s and started out as one of the original WABX ‘Air Aces,’ working at multiple radio stations playing rock and roll and connecting with listeners.
On Sunday police say the 67-year-old was found stabbed multiple times in the backyard of his Highland Park home.
"It is just such a shocker – he was the sweetest guy on his own level, sweet," said Detroit radio legend Jim Harper.
"It’s scary because it is right across the street," said neighbor Mrs. Upshaw. "It is right here in the area and when it happens to someone you know – enough is enough."
We're told Highland Park police received calls early last week that John O'Leary was dead in the backyard of his home.
Officers went to the house and checked the backyard of his home on Chandler Street but didn't find anything.
It wasn't until the police returned on Sunday to do a welfare check - they discovered O'Leary's body buried under backyard debris.
Investigators say evidence found nearby led them to the suspect, who actually lived at the house.
Upshaw watched as police brought him into custody.
"They had big, long guns trying to call the people out at 1:55, and they didn’t come out," she said. "And when they finally went in to get him – got a little guy out of there – taking care of what happened."
Police say a possible motive and the suspect's identity will be revealed when he is criminally charged on Tuesday.
In the meantime, longtime listeners and those who worked with him have been posting heartfelt messages on social media.
Detroit morning radio star Jim Harper remembers the days when they worked in the same building. He was at Magic 105.1, O'Leary at 94.7 WCSX.
"It didn't matter what radio format you were in, what kind of show you were doing, he was always happy for everyone else's success," Harper said.
Harper continued those thoughts in a touching Facebook post - calling O'Leary a tremendous talent, one of the nicest guys he'd ever met, and how he will try to live the rest of his life as kind as he was.
"If you ask around, everybody from the listeners he dealt with over the last 40 years to all the people he worked with, you just can't find anyone to say a bad thing about him.
"He was a special guy."
$150 million lawsuit filed against Bloomfield Hills HS
First, it was protests and walkouts, then it was listening sessions between school faculty and students. Now, a $150 million lawsuit has been filed against Bloomfield Hills High School and its administrative leaders for not doing enough to protect the students against racist attacks that have been reported in the building.
Racist graffiti was found twice in the school, reported by the same female student. Both made similar threats. "I have not seen this kind of gross and flagrant expressions of racial hatred than to kill children because of their race," said Attorney Leonard Mungo.
Bloomfield Hills High School has been in virtual learning mode in the past week and will continue to do so through Thanksgiving. While officials have tried to turn down the heat on the district, Mungo is arguing that incidents of racist behavior have been prevalent in the past - like the time a Black doll was hanging from the commons area in the school.
They will be amending that suit – so that if and when someone is found responsible for making those threats, they will go after them, and their families. In a statement, the district said:
"Our work, along with further reflection, rest and healing, will continue tomorrow, as our faculty prepare for reentering their classrooms with students next week. We’ll also review additional materials from Learning for Justice and resources about recognizing bias in the classroom. We know the District will emerge stronger and better as a result of these conversations, undeterred from its commitment to all students and facilitate a school environment of safety and support for every student."
Driver killed after chain of crashes on I75
The driver of a car that crashed on I-75 in Hazel Park was killed when a second vehicle struck him. The initial crash was caused when the driver lost control and struck the guardrail that separated the freeway from the Eight Mile Road exit.
While pulled over, the driver got out of his car and was looking at the damage when he was hit and killed. The chain reaction started around 3 a.m., police said, which blocked the right two lanes.
The male driver was pronounced dead at the scene while the two occupants in the second vehicle were transported to Royal Oak Beaumont with minor injuries.
A witness advised the second vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the crash. The accident is still being investigated.
Expert talks Detroit Thanksgiving parade precautions
A driver’s rampage killed five people and hurt dozens at a Wisconsin Christmas parade last weekend. As the nation mourns the unthinkable, it raises questions about security at Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit. Gerald Collins, of Prudential Security, which has worked parade security in the past, bets that both Detroit police and the security company they hired are beefing up protections.
"In any parade locally in Detroit, they’re going to have identification, and that has the route on the back and all access," he said. Collins showed us his all-access badge from 2012. It's one way in which spectators can identify who’s keeping them safe. He says when his company worked the parade, it used 100 security officers and set up a perimeter from start to finish with some officers roving the route.
"They were in constant communication, 24 hours a day, throughout, on the radio," he said. Which is a good thing since each year, a new threat looms. That's where people in the crowd can become an asset to the police.
"If you see something, snap a picture," he said. "Show it to that officer. that way we’ve got a record of it, and a timeline also."
Rebel Dogs Detroit needs help transforming illegal dumping site into animal rescue
A dog rescue in Detroit is trying to build a new shelter on a former illegal dumping site.
Rebel Dogs Detroit has helped1,500 stray dogs over the past few years. However, the shelter is running out of space to house dogs.
"Currently, the shelters that are available for the populous to bring stray dogs they’ve found or surrendering dogs, they’re getting turned away because there is not space," said Juniper Fleming with Rebel Dogs. "We take on some critical medical cases all the time. We get called from the police about dogs being hit by a car or shot… we’re having to not take those kinds of cases right now."
The rescue has plans for the new shelter, but it is low on the money needed to make the plan a reality. To donate, visit the dog rescue's website or donate to this Facebook fundraiser.
What else we're watching
- The Detroit mayor will be announcing a new protocol for the city related to COVID-19 on Tuesday. Mike Duggan will be speaking at 11 a.m. and FOX 2 will stream the press conference.
- Police are investigating a possible house explosion in Flint late Monday night. Home security footage that captured the blast revealed the sky lighting up.
- Danny Fenster, the recently-freed journalist and Huntington Woods native will be one of the people slated to appear at the Menorah in the D event, one of the region's largest Hanukkah gatherings.
- Is Michigan's caseload leveling off? For the first time in months, the state's 7-day rolling average of new cases was down from the week below. Case rates are still the highest in the country, but it might be a sign the surge is plateauing.
- The transgender employees at Netflix have decided to drop their labor complaint against the streaming service over their criticisms of Dave Chapelle and his standup.
Live on FOX 2
It's the coldest day of the season Tuesday as freezing temperatures were brought down even lower by a brisk wind chill from the Northwest. The sun won't help much either, but plan on temperatures reaching the 40s today. The weather for Thanksgiving break is looking pretty good.
Biden releases 50 million barrels of oil reserves to lower gas prices
President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he’s tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The president announced the Department of Energy will release 50 million barrels of oil held in the reserve as Americans continue to pay more for gas now than they have in years.
The move is in coordination with other countries, including, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom — all major energy consumers. The U.S. Department of Energy will make the oil available from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in two ways; 32 million barrels will be released in the next few months and will return to the reserve in the years ahead, the White House said. Another 18 barrels will be part of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorized.
The move is an effort to bring down rising gas prices. Gasoline prices nationwide are averaging about $3.40 a gallon, more than double their price a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association. "The President stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic," the White House said in a statement.