Mass vaccine center at Ford Field ends today, water main repairs to disrupt service downtown, hot week ahead

Federal operations in Detroit will be coming to an end at Ford Field Monday as the state's mass vaccine center will wrap up its final day of administering shots. 

The FEMA-run site has given out more than 240,000 vaccine doses that helped inoculate a good chunk of the Metro Detroit population last April.

The center's final day will still be offering both first and second-dose shots to anyone who has an appointment or walks in. However, people getting their first shot on Monday will need to get their second dose somewhere else. 

April was the state's most efficient and productive month for vaccinations in Michigan and helped clear the way for providing vaccine coverage for half the state by the time May rolled around. 

Ford Field began offering services around the same time almost everyone in Michigan became eligible for the vaccine. 

According to data from the health department's vaccine dashboard, Ford Field distributed the fourth-most shots in the state. 

The groups behind the mass vaccine center will hold a virtual press conference later Monday morning to discuss findings from a statewide survey about vaccine perceptions as well as results from the last eight weeks.

And many walking out of the center felt a sense of relief about securing protection against COVID-19. 

"Going around the grandkids and people and barbeques and picnics - stuff like that," said one Detroiter. "Especially going to Belle Isle like we used to all the time."

But it wasn't just an unusual time for the people getting their shots - but for those administering them as well.

"Usually when we deploy, we go overseas to other nations and support them so coming here to Detroit in some instances was not very far of deployment, it wasn't something we had ever done before," said Ben Crandell, director of operations at Ford Field.

"For me, as well as the service members that we have here, it’s an amazing team coming together as we did with a very short notice. Being able to provide the service for the people of Detroit and Michigan has been an amazing opportunity, and I am very very thankful to be a part of it," says Shay Edwards of the National Guard.

The mass vaccine site delivered between 5,000 and 7,000 shots a day throughout its operations. 

And as it opened when everyone became eligible, it is closing as Michigan is stopped enforcing its mask mandate for vaccinated people - some of the clearest symbols that Michigan is emerging from the pandemic.

Thousands march in support of Palestine in Dearborn

Thousands of people marched in support of Palestine on Sunday as tensions in the Middle East between Israel and extremist group Hamas, who have been designated as terrorists in the U.S. Many Muslims have been caught in the crossfire as violence has escalated in recent days in the area.

Sunday's demonstration caused traffic jams and drew out up to 2,000 people. It's the 2nd protest to happen in three days after more than 100 people demonstrated in West Bloomfield in support of Israel.

"We are standing here in Detroit, in Dearborn, in Michigan, and from all over. We are here to send a message that it is time to stop this violence," said one protestor. 

Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Debbie Dingell both attended the Sunday march. Both have been public in their support for ending conflict in the region.

Water main break disrupts services in Detroit

The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department says it has identified a water main break on Farmer Street that was expected to cause temporary outages of available water in the area.

Repairs to the 30-inch pipe will happen Monday on Farmer near Bates, which is close to downtown by Cadillac Square.

DWSD will undergo maintenance around noon on Monday and warn that several downtown buildings will be without service or have low water pressure during repairs.

The outage isn't expected to affect other areas outside the eight-block area. 

Woman in serious condition after striking train 

A woman has been hospitalized where she was last listed in temporary serious condition after she drove into a train on the west side of Detroit.

A 24-year-old woman was traveling east on W. Chicago when she broke through a barrier and struck a moving train near the Southfield Freeway Service Drive.

The victim then left the scene on foot before being found in the area of W. Chicago and Artesian. 

A witness said the woman's brakes gave out when she ran into the train.  Detroit police are investigating the circumstances of the crash. 

Gas prices tick down slightly

Concerns over gas prices rising were validated by spikes in pump prices at some gas stations in the U.S. - particularly those in the south and east parts of the country.

Gas prices neared $3 in some metro areas but currently, the statewide average sits at $2.95 a gallon, according to AAA. That's 17 cents more than last month and $1.11 more than last year. 

While fears of the Colonial Pipeline getting hacked and shutdown did prompt some people into panic mode, it's really going to be Memorial Day later in May that drives up the cost. 

Vacation is expected to rebound in a big way in 2021, and gas prices will naturally follow with it.

What else we're watching

  1. A woman died after she received an electric shock when she crashed into a telephone pole in Detroit. A photo showed her car against a pole with loose wiring around it.
  2. Michigan and the CDC lifted mask recommendations last week and the loosened epidemic order went into effect on Saturday. But not everyone is ready to just part with their mask.
  3. Its been one year since floods blanketed Mid-Michigan and spurred the evacuation of thousands. A law firm representing victims in the case will be providing an update on those cases today.
  4. The City of Detroit is breaking ground on its new Joe Louis Greenway today, a 27.5-mile-long-loop that connects neighborhoods.
  5. The NBA regular season has ended and the Detroit Pistons finished with the second-worst record in the league. They closed out the season with a blowout loss to the Miami Heat.

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Daily Forecast

These next seven days are looking to be fairly hot as temperatures expected to near 90 degrees by the end of the week. Monday will hit 76 degrees.

Bill Gates left Microsoft board amid investigation into affair, according to report

Board members at Microsoft Corp. made a decision in 2020 that it wasn't appropriate for its co-founder Bill Gates to continue sitting on its board as they investigated the billionaire’s prior romantic relationship with a female Microsoft employee that was deemed inappropriate, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Citing unnamed sources, The Journal reported online Sunday that board members looking into the matter hired a law firm in late 2019 to conduct an investigation after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years.

The Journal reported that Gates resigned before the board's investigation was finished, citing another person familiar with the matter.

An unnamed spokeswoman for Gates acknowledged to The Journal that there was an affair almost 20 years ago and that it ended "amicably." The spokesperson told The Journal that "his decision to transition off the board was in no way related to this matter."