Mary Wilson of The Supremes dead at 76, Impeachment trial No. 2 kicks off, Meijer boosts vaccine efforts

Mary Wilson, a founding member of one of Motown's biggest groups and a character of the music scene that was larger than life, has died.

An iconic singer and one of the original members of The Supremes, one of Detroit's Super Groups, was 76 at the time of her passing.

Her group was enshrined in the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame's first class in 2013, while Wilson was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the group in 2019.

A trend-setter, chart-topper, author, and so many other unofficial and yet deserved titles, Wilson's death came "suddenly" while she was in her home in Las Vegas, her publicist said early Tuesday. 

Wilson founded the Supremes when she was just 15 years old and stayed with the group until 1977. The trio, which also featured several other singers like Diana Ross, Florence Ballard, and Betty McGlown, released 12 number-one hits, 10 of which Wilson sang backing vocals for.

As an author, she set records for sales after her first autobiography Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme was published in 1986. Along with Ross and Ballard, Wilson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

Wilson grew up in Detroit when she met Ballard at an elementary school. The duo sang songs in the school's talent show before she joined a group called the Primettes, a precursor to The Supremes. She graduated from Northeastern High School in 1962. 

A year before that, her group signed with Motown Records and scored their first hit in 1963 with "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes."

In a statement from Berry Gordy, the president of Motown at the time, he said he was "extremely shocked and saddened" hearing of Wilson's death.

Disabled Iraq War vet facing eviction

A disabled war veteran who had his tour cut short after an injury and PTSD is now being priced out of his apartment in southwest Detroit. His landlord is planning on renovating the property and doubling the rent payments.

The commander of the VFW Post in the area said those that have lived in the area for generations are "quietly being pushed out by developers and speculators."

"It’s not that he owes rent or back rent. it’s not that he’s causing problems with the neighbors," said Cmdr. Luis Garcia. "It’s just that we need the place cleaned out so we can renovate it so we can bring somebody else in here, who probably isn’t from the neighborhood and is going to pay a lot more in rent."

The veteran, who declined to be identified, works with other homeless vets to get them off the street and sober will need to be out of his home by the end of the month.

The worst of St. Clair River flooding is yet to come

Blockages from an overflow of ice on the St. Clair River are creating chaos for many that reside along the water body's coastline. Residents in St. Clair, Algonac, and Marine City who have been mitigating the hazards since last week say it's the worst its ever been.

The National Weather Service said two ice jams in the river had caused the flooding, leading to another flood warning that will be in effect until late Tuesday morning.

Jagged edges of ice that froze on top of the river have been forced onto beaches and yards. Some of the more powerful displays of force came from shifts in the steel-reinforced docks that some people have.

"It's pretty devastating," said Judy Socia. "Brutal. The worst I've ever seen it in my entire life."

Female polar bear dies during breeding at Detroit zoo

Anana, a 20-year-old female polar bear died in captivity at the Detroit Zoo Monday when the male she was housed with attempted to breed with her. 

Both her and 16-year-old Nuka, the male, had lived together without incident since 2020. Zoo staff said the incident was "completely unexpected" and has left employees devastated by the loss. The last time an animal was killed by another in captivity at the DZS was in 1988 during another polar bear incident.

The two bears had been re-introduced last week after being apart for several months. Their re-introduction was part of a conservation program to help sustain polar bear populations, which have dwindled in the wild.

Nuka has lived at the zoo since 2011 and bred with several female bears. He's never shown harmful behavior. The zoo's other female bear is in a private maternity den with one of her cubs.

Meijer boosting vaccine efforts

Meijer said Monday that it is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations across Michigan, with plans to administer up to 25,000 doses to people ages 65 and older by the week's end.

The announcement came more than three weeks after the retailer began immunizations at a limited number of its pharmacies in Wayne County and, later, Berrien, Genesee and Muskegon counties. Residents can pre-register by sending a text message, going online or visiting a Meijer pharmacy.

More than 40 Meijer stores will conduct coronavirus vaccinations -- some up to 1,200 per day -- amid a push to expand access beyond hospitals and local health departments.

Last month, Meijer was chosen to directly receive and administer some of the state's allotted vaccines in four counties. Starting this week in Michigan, Meijer, Rite Aid and Cardinal Health networks that represent smaller, independent pharmacies are getting some of 1 million federal doses being distributed to roughly 6,500 pharmacies throughout the country. Those vaccines are on top of the state's allocation, which this week totals about 153,000.

From the Associated Press

Detroit police investigating double fatal shooting

Detroit police have discovered two male victims fatally shot inside a location in the Greensbriar neighborhood near 8 Mile.

Two men, ages 64 and 39 were discovered in the 20500 block of Goulburn around 12:40 a.m.

The circumstances pertaining to the incident are unknown and police are investigating the scene.

 Any with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call Detroit Police Department's Homicide Unit at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak Up.

Other things we're watching

  1. A Republican Congressional District tried censuring Rep. Peter Meijer, one of the two Michigan Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in January, on Monday. However, the vote failed in an 11-11 tie.
  2. It's National Pizza Day, really. That means deals for pizza are likely to dot the restaurant landscape. Some businesses, like Buddy's Pizza, are donating food to nonprofits and churches.
  3. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is likely to hold another press conference Tuesday with an update on COVID-19.
  4. There's a lot of news regarding voting laws in the wake of the 2020 election. In one case filed Monday, the League of Women Voters of Michigan is challenging a limit on petition signatures. 
  5. The Michigan High School Athletic Association says registration for its referees is down 25% from a year ago, creating a shortage in available umpires for sports games.

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Daily Forecast

Tuesday will probably be the last day you need your shovels for the week as no more snow is expected until Saturday. Don't think the low temperatures are going anywhere though. A high of low 20s is expected to run the rest of the week.

Trump’s trial starting: ‘Grievous crime’ or just ‘theater’?

The Senate launches Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial on Tuesday, with lawyers for the former president insisting he is not guilty of inciting mob violence at the Capitol to overturn the election while prosecutors say he must be convicted of the "most grievous constitutional crime" even though he’s gone from the White House.

Trump faces a sole charge of incitement to insurrection over the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, an attack that stunned the nation and the world after he encouraged a rally crowd to "fight like hell" for his presidency. Rioters stormed the building trying to stop the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

No witnesses are expected to be called, in part because the senators sworn as jurors will be presented with graphic videos of the scenes they witnessed that day, forced to flee for safety. Under COVID-19 protocols senators will distance for the trial, some even using the visitors’ galleries. Holed up at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Trump has declined a request to testify.

The first president to face charges after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, Trump continues to challenge the nation’s civic norms and traditions even in defeat. Security remains extremely tight at the Capitol. While acquittal is likely, the trial will test the nation’s attitude toward his brand of presidential power, the Democrats’ resolve in pursuing him and the loyalty of Trump’s Republican allies defending him.

"In trying to make sense of a second Trump trial, the public should keep in mind that Donald Trump was the first president ever to refuse to accept his defeat," said Timothy Naftali, a clinical associate professor at New York University and an expert on Richard Nixon’s impeachment saga.