Hospitals begins second vaccine round, new prosecutor removes cash bail, Christmas day crash injures family

Another series of COVID-19 benchmarks will be set this week when Beaumont Hospital begins administering the first of its second-round of doses for the coronavirus vaccine to its health care workers. 

Already vaccinating 1,600 people a day with a raised capacity for administering more than 3,200 doses, one of Michigan's largest hospital chains is strongly encouraging its workers to get the injection. But fears of a post-holiday surge remain.

This coming as the state bursts through another grim threshold on Monday when the state reported its 500,000 positive case of COVID-19. So far, more than 12,500 residents have also died from the virus.

"Beaumont is up to where it can vaccinate 3,200 people a day. That's a lot. That's a lot of people. The more people that get vaccinated, the better we're going to be about keeping this under control," said Matthew Sims.

There has been national criticism about the country's rollout of its vaccine since the early days of administering injections. Supply chain disruptions, bad actors tainting doses, and mistrust of the vaccine have made it difficult to innoculate more citizens.

"It's a difficult message but there's a lot of fear," Sims said. "While you want to vaccinate medical workers first, there's a point where if frontline workers are not coming to get it, it's time to move on."

It will be around mid-spring when the vaccine becomes available to people who aren't working in health care and won't be among the most threatened demographics. 

There are known side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA says swelling around the injection site, tiredness, fever or headache, as well as muscular or joint pain. There have also been incidents of a fever reported after the second dose that's more severe than after the first dose.

However, side effects after receiving a vaccine are normal and health officials have stressed there is nothing to be concerned about getting vaccinated.

Beaumont will host a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday to discuss the first series of second doses that will be administered.

Suspect accused of double shooting in South Lyon faces judge

Fadi Zeineh was already on probation when he was arrested and charged with the murder of a 17-year-old from South Lyon.

Five days after the killing, he appeared in front of Judge Travis Reed. Zeineh was charged with 10 felony counts after allegedly shooting Dyland Stamper and shooting his dad, Kevin Stamper. 

It was a drug deal gone bad.

Detective Sgt. Sam Marzban, of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office testified that Zeineh went to the Stampers' South Lyon home to buy marijuana from Dylan.

After the deal inside the house, the detective said, "Fadi asked to use the bathroom and when he came back from the bathroom and stated 'Give me your (expletive).'"

When Zeineh came out,  it was allegedly with a handgun, pointed at Dylan, his girlfriend, and Kevin Stamper. 

"Dylan and Kevin attempted to intervene and began to struggle with Fadi, for the handgun," the detective testified. "Fadi fired two rounds striking Kevin and a third round, striking Dylan."

A neighbor's security camera showed Zeineh jumping into the passenger seat of a waiting vehicle and fleeing. Reed denied Zeineh's bond, who will be back in court later this month.

New Washtenaw County prosecutor eliminates cash bail system

Eli Savit knows institutional changes like the one he just enacted will be hard pills to swallow. People are reluctant to stray from the way things have always been done, he said. 

But Washtenaw County's newest prosecutor believes eliminating the cash bail policy for those that are arrested will reduce disparities among who are charged.

"Cash bail treats people differently based on how much money you have in your bank account.

"Folks that may not have a lot of money on hand, can sit in jail for days and weeks even though the crime they are accused of is relatively minor and not a threat to the community," said Savit.

That doesn't mean the county doesn't have other means of keeping people honest, however.

"We won't be opening our jailhouse doors to anybody," Savit said. "What we are saying is that your money is no longer going to determine your freedom."  

Instead, his office will be asking for GPS tethers, house arrest, drug testing, and other conditions on a case-by-case basis. He understands this could be a hard pill to swallow at first. 

One person he has the support of is the county sheriff, Jerry Clayton.

"I’ve always advocated that we need to be more thoughtful in our criminal justice policies because they do result in disproportionate treatment," Clayton said.

But the sheriff cautions if the crime rates go up, they will have to be willing to pivot back. 

Christmas head-on collision leaves family seriously injured from suspected drunk driver

A tragic incident in Van Buren on Christmas night has injured two parents and left their 22-month-old son with a back injury that will take a long road of physical therapy to recover from.

Mariah Miller is counting her blessings that the crash didn't more seriously injure her or her fiance. Both were released from the hospital. But their son Dominic is now in a wheelchair and wearing a brace on his back.

"He’s just not able to walk himself right now, just like me," she said. "So it’s just a whole life-changing event."

When Miller was about a mile away from home, a woman driving southbound on Belleville Road crossed into northbound traffic, slamming head-on to the family of three.

"It happened within seconds there was really no reaction that you could do about it," Miller said.

Police say the at-fault driver died in the crash. investigators suspect alcohol was a factor. Miller says, for now, she and her fiance are unable to work because of their injuries - but is thankful her family survived.

3 Michigan Republicans to object to Biden's electoral victory

Three of Michigan's Representatives in Congress plan to object to Joe Biden's electoral college victory when both governing bodies convene to count the electoral votes for Biden.

Newly-elected Rep. Lisa McClain from Michigan's thumb, Rep. Jack Bergman from the upper peninsula, and Rep. Tim Walberg from Washtenaw County all plan to join a likely futile effort to protest the counting of electoral votes.

"While the easy answer is ignoring election irregularities — we will not stand idly by without taking every lawfully available option to ensure the outcomes of our elections can be trusted," read a statement from Bergman and Walberg.

The unprecedented move by some members of the GOP has driven a schism in the Republican party, between those that have accepted Biden's victory and those that haven't.

Trump Campaign lists wrong phone number, inundates former resident with calls

For O Rose, a former Michigan resident who now lives in Oakland California, the first few calls were amusing. But it wouldn't take long for a constant stream of calls from unknown numbers to become less funny.

Over the weekend, the Trump campaign posted phone numbers for two Michigan Republicans, telling supporters to "Hear the evidence ... Correct false statements ... Demand vote on decertification."

But one number, the one for Lee Chatfield, was wrong.

"People are calling me from every single state. It’s weird, very weird," Rose said in a phone interview Monday with The Associated Press. The 28-year-old provided a first initial but withheld their full first name because of concerns about security.

Rose unsuccessfully tried to notify the campaign and enlisted friends to post messages explaining the mistake to the president’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Those, too, drew a barrage of denials and accusations from Trump backers.

Michigan high schools return to in-person learning

Restrictions on in-person learning in high schools were lifted Monday after modified orders from the health department OK'd the reopening of school districts.

Not every community is rushing to bring students back to class, including Michigan's largest district - Detroit Public Schools. That's because the city hasn't pushed its positive test rate down far enough.

But in other districts, hybrid approaches are being used to bring kids back. 

"Here at Novi we have a hybrid format where students come on either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday," said Dr. Steve M. Matthews, the superintendent of Novi Community School District. Wednesday all students learn virtually so a deep cleaning can take place.

Other Stories

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2. Man, woman in 'Jesus' headband wanted for assault, robbery at Detroit store
3. Meet the 2 Inkster brothers whose Christmas wish was to give food to the homeless
4. 8-year-old girl shot in the head; 20-year-old brother in custody
5. Community rallies around family that lost home after fatal plane crash

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With temperatures hovering around just above freezing, Tuesday flurries, fog, and a bit of mist are likely in the late morning. From there, it's mostly overcast for the rest of the day.

Georgia Senate runoff races: Why they matter and what you need to know

Georgia voters will head back to the polls on Tuesday to determine the balance of power in Congress as they cast votes in two pivotal Senate runoff races.

Republican Sen. David Perdue faces Democrat Jon Ossoff in one election. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, also a Republican, faces Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock in another election.

Millions of dollars have poured into the hotly contested races. Georgians have been bombarded by advertisements and messages urging them to vote, and both sides have sent their heavy-hitters to help turn out voters.

A record number of Georgia residents have already turned out to vote early, with more than 2 million people having voted in person and nearly 930,000 voting by mail ahead of the Jan. 5 races.