Joe Biden visiting Howell, Detroit officer heading to trial for domestic violence, the Ossian Sweet House
TUESDAY NEWS HIT - President Joe Biden will be visiting Michigan Tuesday in hopes of building public support for his economic agenda.
The president's visit to Howell on Oct. 5 comes during a pivotal moment for the president's Build Back Better plan and the massive infrastructure bill in Congress - both plans are facing opposition from Republicans as well as members of Biden's own party.
Biden is expected to land this afternoon and speak at approximately 3:35 p.m. FOX 2 will stream the press conference on FOX2Detroit.com and on social media.
Why is Biden coming to Michigan?
It's not easy to pass big bills in Congress - and it may be nearly impossible in today's tension-filled politics. On the table are a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a massive overhaul of social programs that will "grow our economy by investing in working families, paid for by repealing tax giveaways to the rich," according to the White House.
But Biden will need public support before he can convince any lawmakers to support the legislation.
Howell is located in the historically conservative county of Livingston, despite it being represented by Democrat Elissa Slotkin - a moderate in Congress. Biden has spent months of his presidency arguing his proposals offer pragmatism while he also paints Republicans as obstructionists uninterested in repairing the country's issues.
Not his first trip to Michigan
This won't be the first time that Biden has come to the state this year. The president has made visits to Traverse City and Dearborn in the previous months - partly to celebrate the holidays and partly to direct focus to the work of electric vehicles.
Biden also took a tour of biomedical company Pfizer's facility in Portage, where the COVID-19 vaccine is being manufactured.
What is Build Back Better?
Many have touted the outcome of the pandemic would offer a chance to breathe new life into the country's economy after a rough 2020.
Biden wants to do it with a $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan that would require only Democratic support. Republicans who oppose the spending have invited little interest in compromising on the bill.
But what's actually in the 10-year plan? Quite a bit actually.
- Funding would be made available for two free years of community college and boost money for Pell Grants.
- Child care assistance would be boosted by roughly $450 billion to cover the cost of kids between the ages of 0-5. The plan would also provide two years of pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds. Additionally, the plan would expand the child tax credit through 2025. The country's previous COVID-19 relief plan did this through September.
- Medicare would be expanded.
- The plan would work to offset climate change by paying utilities that increase their use of renewable energy. It would also penalize utility companies that don't boost their clean energy sources.
- It would also boost incentives for buying electric vehicles and help build charging stations as well as increase financial assistance for forest management.
Will it pass?
While the bill wouldn't need Republican support since it would be approved through a budget process called reconciliation. But finding a middle ground where both hard progressives and fervent moderates like Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema can agree represents a sizeable gap to bridge.
Both of Michigan's Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters are reliable Democratic votes. So is much of the Michigan Congressional Delegation in the House.
But such a high price tag on the plan has forced delays on the act multiple times.
Where will Joe Biden be in Michigan?
Biden will land at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing by approximately 1:20 p.m.
He's expected to give remarks at a local union center on Highland Road in Howell. The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324 will host the president.
When will he speak?
Biden is expected to address the media and public at approximately 3:35 p.m.
Will there be a protest?
The Livingston County Republican Party will be alongside the Michigan Republican Party's Co-Chair Meshawn Maddock for a rally to protest the president's visit.
The "Stop the Spending" rally will begin around 2 p.m. at the corner of M-59 and Michigan Avenue.
Detroit cop charged with domestic violence against another DPD officer
Otis Funches Jr. appears headed to trial after he was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, interfering with a crime report, and domestic violence for allegedly choking out his girlfriend.
"When we looked into the facts and circumstances we found some troubling information," said Detroit Police Chief James White. White says he moved quickly to suspend Funches without pay. "I've said it many times, it's a privilege to wear this badge. It's not a right and to participate in that privilege you have to conduct yourself."
White is also managing the fallout from another officer who allegedly stole thousands of dollars from a bond kiosk at the Detroit Detention Center. That officer was suspended without pay but resigned before facing a disciplinary hearing. White says as jarring as the allegations are, they’re not representative of the department.
"I can point to examples of outstanding police work," he said. "I can point to examples of officers saving lives on a day-in and day-out basis-going to barricaded gunmen where people are armed, threatening to kill themselves, and threatening to kill others.
Farmington Hills police investigate death of toddler
The parents of a 14-month-old boy were arrested Sunday evening after police in Farmington Hills raced to a motel and found the toddler dead with signs of trauma, according to sources.
Police said their investigation began when they were called to do a welfare check on the child around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. According to police, the toddler and his parents were long-stay residents at the Motel 6 on Grand River and 10 Mile.
Farmington Hills police are investigating that the toddler's parent's either sold or were trying to sell their own child before his death. While few residents knew much of the couple, they did notice an uptick in police presence recently after officers started making trips to the motel.
The parents are believed to be in their early 30s. Charges are still being worked up. While Farmington Hills police declined to offer any other information, a source did confirm signs of trauma on the boy's body. "My thoughts and prayers go out to the child's family," said Chief Jeff King in a statement.
Contractors needed for restoration of Civil Rights Landmark
A prominent civil rights landmark in Detroit is in plans to be renovated. The Dr. Ossian Sweet House was added to the Michigan Register of Historic Places - after it sparked a major legal victory for African-Americans.
In the 1920s it laid the foundation of equal rights for African-Americans. The city of Detroit is working to preserve this piece of history. It is looking for contractors who will work with a historian, to make it as authentic as possible.
D’Marco Ansari with the city of Detroit gave a tour Monday of the restoration needed at 2905 Garland - the house of Dr. Ossian Sweet. "What we are trying to do is bring back this house in its significance in 1925," he said.
The city received half of a million dollars in grant money from the Historic Preservation Fund of the National Park Service to restore it back to its original form. If you want to learn more on how to be a part of this rehab project: contact Toni Limmitt - City of Detroit at 313-378-8362.
Detroit post office renamed after Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin was given a bit of posthumous R-E-S-P-E-C-T on Monday when a post office in her hometown of Detroit was named after the late singer. Members of Franklin’s family as well as postal and elected officials visited the former Fox Creek post office to celebrate the name change honoring the Queen of Soul.
"Her legacy lives on in her music, in her family. But we have added to that list of her legacy: A post office with her name on it," said U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, a Michigan Democrat and longtime postal service worker.
Lawrence also was a friend of Franklin’s and introduced the bill in Congress that resulted in the name change. That legislation, which was signed by President Donald Trump in January, sailed through Congress, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters said.
The post office is located about five miles east of downtown and not far from a concert amphitheater on the Detroit River that also is named for Franklin. It now will be known as the "Aretha Franklin Post Office Building."
The Associated Press contributed to this report
What else we're watching
- It's the annual Royal Oak Firefighters Walk to School today - the 22nd occasion so far. The department says its one of the oldest and most attended walks in the state. Some 600 people are expected to talk with firefighters.
- Tired of all the electric vehicle talk? Because it's not slowing down. General Motors says it is investing in another multi-million dollar project at its Global Tech Center in Warren. The all-new Wallace Battery Cell Innovation Center will be built on the campus.
- Former NFL players and Detroit Lions alumni are speaking in multiple Detroit school buildings Tuesday as part of a push by the community to motivate and inspire high school students.
- Social media had an hours-long pause yesterday after Facebook, Whats App, and Instagram all went down for much of Monday. Access was restored around 6:30 p.m.
- Johnson & Johnson has asked the FDA for approval of a booster shot for its COVID-19 single-dose vaccine.
Live on FOX 2
The rain will be gone for most of Southeast Michigan by the time people are heading to work - and it should stay that way until at least Wednesday evening. Cloud cover will remain thick today and temperatures will climb into the low 70s.
Nobel Prize for physics goes to 3 for climate discoveries
The Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to scientists from Japan, Germany and Italy. Syukuro Manabe, 90, and Klaus Hasselmann, 89, were cited for their work in "the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming".
The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi, 73, for "the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales."
The panel said Manabe and Hasselmann "laid the foundation of our knowledge of the Earth’s climate and how humanity influences it.