Duggan's state of the city address, an elderly powerlifter, airlines want U.S. to standardize health papers

One of the last things we all bore witness to was a state of the city address from Detroit's mayor given to a crowd of onlookers. Shortly after the speech, the city shut down in the wake of the year-long pandemic.

This year, it will be delivered virtually.

Mayor Mike Duggan is expected to unveil two big pieces of news for residents: new vaccine sites and another poverty program.

After initially refusing to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, arguing that Pfizer and Moderna offered more protection to those administered, and calling them "the best," Duggan said Detroit is expected to receive its first shipment on the 22nd. 

He'll reveal the site the city is setting up later this evening.

Duggan also plans to outline the details of his $50 million People Plan, which a release labeled as an "unprecedented proactive approach" that intends to break cycles of generational poverty that have burrowed themselves in the city.

While COVID-19 has brought hardship not felt in decades, it's also shined a light on some of America's most glaring disparities - chief among them is the difference in health outcomes for Black and white Americans. Support for services like rental assistance and outlawing water shutoffs have been popular topics in that vein. 

The mayor will also address the next move intended to reduce auto insurance rates, which had their first update in years in 2019.

Duggan will speak a 7 p.m. from an undisclosed location. 

St. Clair County teen found dead after routine walk

Saturday morning, Leah Conner told her family she was going on a walk - nothing out of the ordinary. When she failed to come home, her parents dialed 911. Her body was found on a walking trail a few miles from home the next day.

"We live in a bubble, we're out in the county," said Lisa DeGrande, a family friend. "We have a small community of three thousand people that live in the town of Yale. You just don't think things would ever happen like this."

Police have assured there is little threat to the public. But Conner's death has shaken the tiny St. Clair community. One of five sisters, the high school junior, Conner could make anyone feel special when she was around.

"She would rather (have) you be happy. And that's how she was with her sisters, too, and her mom," said Kayla Harris, another family friend. "She would just walk through the kitchen and just hug them and say 'I love you' just because. That is who she was."

If you'd like to contribute to the family's gofundme, you can find more information here

Whitmer: Keep outdoor lights on Wednesday night to honor Covid victims

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking all Michigan residents to turn their home's outdoor lights on for an hour Wednesday night to mark the one year anniversary that COVID-19 was detected in the state.

The request asks for lights to be on from 8 to 9 p.m.

So far, 16,000 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the coronavirus, while another 658,000 people have tested positive for the virus. 

Whitmer said Monday that turning on porch lights will "remember those we’ve lost and remind ourselves that even in times of darkness, we’re in this together."

Meet the 78-year-old powerlifting star breaking records

When Nora Langdon wandered into a Royal Oak gym 13 years ago, she spied a group of powerlifters preparing for a meet. Her future coach remembers the first question she asked.

"I'll never forget it; 'Do you have any old broads doing that?' And I said 'Yeah,'" said Art Little.

Since then, Langdon has broken 19 world records for her age group, deadlifts 400 pounds, squats 380, and bench presses 185.

"Get up off that couch, go walking, walk a mile starting, then you can end up with five miles," Langdon said. "You just have to be consistent and keep doing it and don't let your mind or people tell you you can't."

Carryout only: How Michigan bars and restaurants weathered a storm

A year unlike any other for Michigan commerce and business, the 2020 pandemic reshaped the restaurant and bar industry after thousands of eateries were forced to navigate a public health crisis not seen in a century.

Only days after the first case was detected, the governor announced restaurants would be carryout only. Since then, it's been a wild year full of varying restrictions, imperfect solutions, historic closures, and remarkable perseverance.

"The government, they did not protect us, the businesses, from the landlord, from DTE, from the debt, from no one," said George Giza, with Assaggi in Ferndale. "How can you survive?"

Many didn't. Michigan's restaurant industry won't ever look the same after pandemic rules made it impossible for some storefronts to weather the tiny margins and uncertain futures. 

FOX 2 is showcasing every aspect of Michigan's pandemic year this week. Read more here.

What else we're watching

  1. Jackson County has identified the first case of B.1.351, the Covid variant from South Africa known to cause more severe symptoms among those infected. It was found in a male child.
  2. A slow-moving problem in the Whitmer administration is continuing to bubble more controversy as more Detroit media is reporting several cases of heft severance being paid to outgoing government members.
  3. A recent survey from American Express found that among things people miss the most is travel, going so far as to opt-out of social media for weeks if it meant just getting a little more vacation in. 
  4. A Michigan judge adjourned a court hearing after discovering the defendant was in the same place as an alleged assault victim. It happened in Wayne Township.
  5. If one needed any motivation for breaking a habit or getting over an ex, welcome to that motivation: today is National Get Over It Day. Seriously. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Another warm day is on the way, this time temperatures will climb close to 60 degrees, hitting the Tuesday high around 4 p.m. Clouds will be in the sky until about 6 p.m.

Airline industry pushes US to standardize health papers

Leading airline and business groups are asking the Biden administration to develop temporary credentials that would let travelers show they have been tested and vaccinated for COVID-19, a step that the airline industry believes will help revive travel.

Various groups and countries are working on developing so-called vaccine passports aimed at allowing more travel. But airlines fear that a smattering of regional credentials will cause confusion and none will be widely accepted.

"It is crucial to establish uniform guidance" and "the U.S. must be a leader in this development," more than two dozen groups said in a letter Monday to White House coronavirus-response coordinator Jeff Zients. However, the groups said that vaccination should not be a requirement for domestic or international travel.