Indoor dining returns in Michigan, Wayne County vaccine efforts hampered, Trump loses lawyers before trial

Michigan's restaurants and bars will reopen their doors for the first time this year as the beleaguered industry hopes to regain some traction during the pandemic.

Amid the second lull in COVID-19 infections in Michigan, food and drink businesses will reopen in-person dining with 25% capacity limits and a 10 p.m. curfew on Monday.

The restrictions have been devastating to the sector of Michigan's economy, which has been confined to outdoor dining and carryout service since mid-November.

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's health department gave the order to cease indoor dining, its test positivity rate was among the highest during the pandemic. Its hospitalizations had been climbing, while the COVID-19 caseloads were exploding.

Several sections of Michigan's economy were forced into retreat after orders from MDHHS amid fears that a second surge could force unmitigated death worse than the spring outbreak. 

Currently, metrics from the state show a 6.1% positivity rate for COVID-19 tests which is still too high for some health officials, but far less than the near 20% positivity rate some counties were reporting late last year.

While the industry limped into its second set of restrictions, it's not clear what the bar and restaurant industry will look like coming out of the second wave of closures. While small efforts like loan programs and charities have helped in some places, far more haven't some reports show.

Roughly 3,000 restaurants and bars have closed in response to the COVID-19 restrictions. 

The state intends on reviewing the restrictions and potentially altering their rules after three weeks of reopenings. 

Wayne County hamstrung by available vaccine doses

Wayne County says it could vaccine 30,000 people a week, but the number of available doses it's receiving doesn't even reach half of that.

Instead, this week it received a shipment for 8,300 first doses and 2,900 second-doses. The lack of incoming supplies is keeping the county from further protecting its most vulnerable populations which were rocked during the early onset of the pandemic.

The county executive also believes they're not getting an equitable share of the incoming doses.

"I appreciate that the state is working to distribute a very limited vaccine supply to the entire state, but I think more work is needed to ensure a reliable and equitable supply," said Warren Evans.

The county will begin vaccinating K-12 teachers and education workers this week as schools look to reopen some form of in-person learning in all districts. 

Clawson police uncover disturbing scene after arresting man for assault

Clawson police came across a disturbing sight Sunday morning after reports a man wrapped in an American flag who appeared to be on drugs was running up and down a block Sunday morning. 

Police say around 12:30 a.m., the 37-year-old was wandering on Nakota Street rambling incoherently before he walked into a neighbor's house and threw a beer bottle at a resident inside.

He left and tried getting into other houses before police found and arrested him. Further investigation revealed a victim had been shot dead inside the suspect's house. 

Several emergency services vehicles were on-site by 3:30 a.m. Police said they plan to release more information later Monday.

Eastpointe Footlocker honors former employee who was murdered

About 12 girls got to go on a spending spree at a Footlocker in Eastpointe after the retailer decided to honor one of their former employees who was gunned down last month.

After Wayne State student Casey Willis was killed while sitting in a car with a friend, her former employer decided to donate money to Alternative for Girls. Willis had been a board member of the nonprofit.

Family and friends say Willis was a role model for younger people and always had a big heart. 

"I feel like I’m shopping with her and for her, because it’s in honor of her without her being such a good person, I don’t think we would have gotten in today," says Cassidy Hill, a peer educator for Alternatives for girls.

Community transforms vacant lot into skating rink

An empty plot of land in Detroit got a makeover this winter when community members enlisted the help of the city to build an ice skating rink.

In the 5600 block of Fischer, Kaytea Moreno Elst says she purchased the vacant lots from the land bank. Using the help from a Detroit Fire Department, Elst helped build the rink.

About 15 families donated to help build the rink, which is now enjoyed by dozens of kids.

If you would like to donate any equipment, please email the block club at

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Daily Forecast

A few light snow showers may linger throughout Monday with temperatures hovering below freezing at its warmest. Expect clouds then lots of sunshine by Wednesday.

Trump loses lead lawyers days before impeachment trial

Former President Donald Trump has parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers little more than a week before his trial, two people familiar with the situation said Saturday. The change injects fresh uncertainty into the makeup and strategy of his defense team.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both South Carolina lawyers, have left the defense team in what one person described as a "mutual decision" that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case.

The two people familiar with the legal team discussions insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations. One said new additions to the legal team were expected to be announced in a day or two.

Bowers and Barbier did not immediately return messages seeking comment.