Detroit ramps up testing, leadership shuffle on Farmington's school board, GOP files to impeach Whitmer

The way Mike Duggan sees it, anything Michigan enacts to combat COVID-19, Detroit has to do it more. The safety and welfare of residents depend on it.

"Given the fact that African Americans die of Covid more than caucasian Americans, the city of Detroit can't just do what Michigan is doing," he said.

As Michigan readies up for its most restrictive lockdown in months, Detroit is ramping up testing for everybody. By identifying who is carrying the virus, regardless of their symptoms, the city can better control potential exposure to others.

While businesses and gathering limits will see new rules in place for only three weeks, public health experts believe the damage done by the pandemic could go on much longer. Duggan anticipated a "three-month fight" against the latest surge, which dwarfs any previous increase in new cases.

"We are providing immediate testing to all residents. Call and get an appointment tomorrow."

Currently, 142 residents are hospitalized with the virus. If previous trends continue, then 10% of those people will die. Compared to March and April, those are uplifting numbers when set next to the at-capacity reports that came out during the last surge.

Part of the reason for fewer hospitalizations is there are fewer reported infections in Detroit. Its positivity rate is half that of surrounding communities. Duggan believes residents in the city have done a better job following safety measures like mask-wearing and social distancing than other communities. 

In Oakland County, the infection rate is 13.1%. In Macomb County, it's close to 17%. That would be Detroit's future if its restaurants and bars didn't abide by the same rules restricting amenities elsewhere in the state, which so far has a 6.8% infection.

In addition to urging all residents to get tested, the health department is prioritizing testing at nursing homes while enforcing state rules alongside the Detroit Police Department.

Testing will be free to the public, with options for receiving a test both in one's car or inside the community center - depending on the nature of the exposure and if residents are experiencing health effects.

Dr. Rob Dunn, who has acted as a liaison between hospitals and the city, said people should definitely take precautions if they had close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

That means if anyone spent 15 minutes within six feet of that positive case, they should quarantine in their home for 14 days. They should also consider getting a test within 5-7 days of exposure. 

It'll be open Monday through Friday from 9 - 5 p.m. Learn more here.

Resignations and censures reported on the school board of Farmington Public Schools

A dramatic virtual call between Farmington's School Board would see the resignation of the district's superintendent, the board president, and the vice president amid what looks like apparent bad blood between members.

Additionally, another board member was censured by fellow members for conduct unbecoming of a member of the governing body.

The leadership shuffle began when district Superintendent Dr. Robert Herrera's resignation was accepted via a resolution from the board. He had recently filed a complaint against board member Angie Smith for harassment, read a press release from the district.

Herrera will serve in his role through the end of the first semester of 2020-21 school year. He will fill in as a consulting role for the district through the second semester and be paid severance of $105,000 upon termination on June 30, 2021. He was selected to serve in 2019.

“While this is not how or the time that I wanted to leave the District, I felt it was necessary to do what was in the best interest of our entire school community,” stated Herrera. 

While the resignation invalidates Herrera's complaint, Smith, who serves as Board Secretary, was censured due to comments and posts she had made disrupting school district meetings and operations which interfered with the ability of the Superintendent to perform his duties. 

After that, both Board President Pamela Green and Board Vice-President Terry Johnson resigned their positions, officially ending their roles in November.

The Board of Education will decide in the weeks to come how to best fill vacant positions on the board. 

Servers and bar staff stare into the unknown amid COVID-19

There's another way Michigan's next lockdown will look different than previous restrictions from the spring - those struggling won't have the financial backup plan to shore up space for a lack of work.

With a three-week lockdown looming for restaurants, servers and bar staff will find themselves without work for 21 days as indoor service will be suspended in eateries. 

This time, there won't be any extra financial aid from the federal government. The pressures could soon mount on thousands of workers.

"Right now it looks like we are going to be unemployed and we don't get anything," said server Danetta Kwasny said.

"I was just in shock because I can't afford it right now. This is really hard for me," said server Deborah Wandrie.

Unemployment funds won't be $600 a week, however. They'll climb to $362 per week.

4 children hospitalized after I-94 crash

Four children were injured after a two-car crash on I-94 in Detroit at Cadieux late Monday night.

Of those hospitalized, a 6-year-old has serious injuries while a 4-year-old is listed in temporary serious condition. Both the 9-year-old and the 14-year-old are in stable condition at St. John Hospital.

Police say two vehicles both tried exiting at Cadieux at the same time when one vehicle sideswiped the other, leading to one vehicle striking the right concrete shoulder wall.

Police closed the freeway to investigate the accident, opening it hours later.

The conditions of the children remain unknown at this time.

Republican lawmaker file for impeaching Gov. Whitmer

Republican lawmakers have filed for the impeachment of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, citing what they describe as a power grab during the pandemic, as well as the deaths of seniors.

State Rep. Matt Maddock is leading the charge of a band of GOP legislators who believe Whitmer should be removed from office.

"People are upset," former GOP Rep. Klint Kesto said. "Whether it be because of the lockdowns, or anything else, and Rep Maddock is pushing this forward, and he is trying to represent his constituents."

Maddock prefaced kicking off the legal proceedings with a Facebook post that followed Whitmer's newest announcement that she would be closing several sectors of the economy.

However, impeaching a governor would require a two-thirds majority vote in the state Senate - something that Republicans don't have.

But for some business owners, the politics that politicians are playing mean nothing compared to the financial hardship on the way.

Introducing FOX 2's How2Help, a means to support local restaurants

The pending pause on the service sector of restaurants and bars will hit servers and bar staff hardest. 

FOX 2 has unveiled How2Help - an impromptu directory where local restaurants can put their name up so everyone knows they are open and ready for business.

Businesses might also get a visit from Rob Wolchek, who is going around helping spread the word for struggling places of work.

Learn more by going to how2help and we will let everyone know you are open and ready to serve.

Other stories

1. The pandemic isn't going anywhere and neither is the need for more food and supplies. That's leading to long lines at food banks.
2. Nov. 18 and Nov. 30. Those are the two dates any household affected by the summer flooding near Midland needs to be paying attention for if they want to file a claim.
3. Thanksgiving represents a perilous holiday for health experts as families converge amid a spiraling pandemic increase. Here's how to do it safely.
4. Don't tell Fredi Bello how to act during COVID-19. A small business owner married to an ICU health care worker with three kids, he's well aware of the strain the pandemic brings.
5.  Not ready to give up yet, the Trump campaign is appealing a ruling from a circuit court judge on Friday that dismissed a lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Detroit.

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Daily Forecast

Yes, there are snow showers expected for Tuesday. With a cloudy forecast and a high of 36 expected, it's going to be one of 2020's colder fall days. Plan for a mid-week warm-up though with will peak by Friday.

The one thing Americans could agree on this election: Weed

The 2020 election helped prove how broadly accepted marijuana has become throughout the United States, with measures to legalize recreational pot also breezing to victory in progressive New Jersey, moderate Arizona, and conservative Montana. Fifteen states have now broadly legalized it, while 36 states allow medical marijuana.

Voters in Mississippi overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana this month, giving the drug another foothold in the South.

A Gallup Poll released Nov. 9 indicated that 68% of Americans favor legalizing marijuana — double the approval rate in 2003. That wide margin was evident in the election, with marijuana measures passing with strong bipartisan support.

In South Dakota and Montana — where Republicans swept to victory in the key races — recreational marijuana passed with at least 16 percentage points more support than Democratic President-elect Joe Biden received. South Dakota also approved medical pot, which outpolled Biden by 34 percentage points.