Inflation relief checks • Weed delivery drivers getting robbed • 7-year-old boy dies in house fire

The Michigan governor wants to send inflation relief checks to residents as part of the Democrats' new tax cut plan. She will reveal the dollar amount the governor wants in the rebate checks Monday.

Gretchen Whitmer will hold a press conference with the details behind the plan at 9:15 a.m. FOX 2 Detroit plans to stream the conference live. 

The checks would be sent to every taxpayer in the state. The idea spawned from a back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats over how to spend the state's massive budget surplus it's sitting on coming out of the pandemic. 

Democrats had already pushed for other tax relief, like boosting the earned income tax credit for low income residents and cutting the estate tax on Michigan retirees. Both plans have already been introduced in the state House and Senate.

But Republicans have pushed for more. They want Michigan to lower the state income tax rate, dropping it from 4.25% to 4.05%.

Michigan could afford it, since it has billions of dollars in extra cash. But the lowered rate would siphon about $600 million from the state budget - which Democrats fret could come back to bite the state in five or six years when the surplus dries up.

A lower income tax rate would amount to savings - but wouldn't be realized until someone gets their taxes and sees how much less money went to the state. The rebate check would be money sent to residents.

Pot delivery drivers targeted for robberies

Drivers could have up to $5,000 of marijuana products with them when they’re making deliveries –and that can make them targets of robberies. Ripped off, roughed up and even carjacked - that’s what’s been happening to your neighborhood reefer delivery driver.

The Cannabis Regulatory Agency says there’s been 13 thefts of pot products from delivery drivers across southeast Michigan between December and January. The robberies happened in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Westland, Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck, and Utica. Some drivers were even held at gunpoint and assaulted.

The CRA warned pot entrepreneurs in November that there had been more than 100 break-ins at weed shops the past seven months. The marijuana business is a multimillion-dollar industry in Michigan and while the recreational use of it is lawful here, it’s still illegal on the federal level - making most businesses cash only.

"It’s a target-rich environment," said Ralph Godbee, a former Detroit police officer. "It scares me, the safety of the drivers. So from a worker’s safety standpoint the industry really has to take a look at some of its protocols, because if they don’t, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen."


Detroit pot delivery drivers targeted amid rise in robberies, carjackings

Drivers could have up to $5,000 of marijuana products with them when they’re making deliveries –and that can make them targets of robberies.

7-year-old boy dies in Detroit house fire

Investigators are still working to uncover the cause of a house fire that left a 7-year-old dead over the weekend. Detroit Firefighters responded to the 15800 block of Lindsey Street on Detroit's west side around 4 p.m. after getting a 911 call.

Detroit Fire Chief James Harris said crews were dispatched after getting the call. They did "an awesome job responding, but unfortunately it was too late when we arrived," he said. "This is a very unfortunate situation. It's the worst nightmare, it's the worst scenario you can have as a firefighter."

By the time crews had arrived, the home was already engulfed in flames, according to authorities, giving them little chance of recovering the boy. He reportedly died of smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. "We are still in the preliminary stages of the investigation," Harris said. "We did hear there may have been someone else in the house, but like I said, we are still investigating." If you know anyone about the blaze, please call investigators at (313) 596-2940.

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Gas prices dip in Michigan

Michigan gas prices fell 8 cents from last week. Amid an increase in prices for fuel in the Midwest, Michigan drivers are caught paying prices around $3.50 in come parts of the state, including in Metro Detroit where unleaded fuel is around $3.45 a gallon.

Gas prices are cheapest in Marquette at $3.33 a gallon. In Michigan, motorists will be paying around $50 to fill up a 15-gallon tank of gas. 

"Michigan motorists are seeing some slight relief at the pump," said Adrienne Woodland, of the AAA-The Auto Club Group. "If demand does not spike, drivers could continue to see pump prices drift lower through this week."

While demand has been increasing in the market, it has been outpaced by the supply of fuel entering the pipeline. 

Is the U.S. ready for the four-day work week?

Some companies are figuring out whether a four-day workweek is realistic in the U.S., as new research shows it could benefit employees and employers alike. The nation is still seeing low unemployment numbers, and many businesses say it’s still difficult to find people to hire. So they’re being forced to develop new ways to attract and retain people.

Research from Robert Half, an employment agency, shows a large majority of U.S. Managers (93%) support a four-day workweek for their team. The data shows 64% expect their company to transition to one within the next five years.

"We’re seeing morale increase because folks feel like their employer listened and heard them," said Cathi Canfield, Vice President of Enterprise Transformation at another employment agency, EmployBridge.

Experts say the four-day work week is still pretty rare in the U.S. It’s a challenge for many companies to retool their workflow.

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Daily Forecast

After a brutally cold week last week, plan on temperatures being much more forgiving this week. Monday will only get into the mid-30s, but then the warm-up really kicks in on Tuesday when temperatures hit 47 degrees. 

What else we're watching

  1. Shipt, the grocery delivery service has launched an "accelerator program" called LadderUp that will help small businesses compete in the e-commerce industry. In a release, the company plans to help businesses that are LGBTQ and minority-owned with an eight-week training course to help grow. 
  2. A public grand opening has been announced for the newly-revitalized HopCat in Royal Oak. The popular brewpub will reopen Sat. Feb. 11 wit the first 100 guests getting free Cosmik fries for a year. 
  3. The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $747 million. The next drawing is tonight.
  4. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts plans to seek a fifth term, the Detroit News reports. He's been embattled with his city council for the past few years. 
  5. The Pink List, a local breast cancer support foundation has partnered with several businesses to help patients going through chemotherapy get rides. They include Target, Karmanos, and Lyft. 

Grammys 2023: Beyoncé makes history as Harry Styles wins album of the year

Beyoncé sits alone atop the Grammy throne as the ceremony's most decorated artist in history, but at the end of Sunday's show it was Harry Styles who walked away with the album of the year honor.

The Grammys spread its top awards among other artists, leaving Beyoncé off stage at the end of the night. But the superstar was a constant presence throughout the night, even when she wasn't in the room, especially once she won her 32nd award and surpassed late composer Georg Solti in all-time wins.

"I’m trying not to be too emotional," the superstar said after her historic win as her husband Jay-Z stood and applauded her. The singer thanked her late uncle, her parents, Jay-Z and her children for supporting her. "I’m just trying to receive this night. I want to thank God for protecting me. Thank you, God."