Michigan reaches new COVID-19 peak, 2nd shooting in Eastland Center parking lot, new life for Hudson elevator

The state of Michigan's coronavirus response is so bad, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wouldn't even remove her mask when she spoke on Wednesday.

It's been three weeks since the state supreme court struck down Whitmer's executive orders and more than a month since her last press conference.

"Since that time, we have seen a steady rise in cases and hospitalizations," Whitmer said in front of a wooden podium from the governor's office. "We're now at our peak. This peak is higher than what we saw in April."

Embroiled in the state's second and more severe wave of COVID-19 cases, the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests has never been higher. And this time, the authority that Whitmer used to curb the first uptick has been limited to pleas and advice. 

"I want to urge all Michiganders to wear your mask when you leave your home, especially when you're around people you don't live with, especially when you are in an enclosed space," she said Wednesday afternoon.

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In addition to the state's case count exceeding its max in April, the state's seven-day average is also at a record high.

The state's positivity rate is 131 cases per million, 80% higher than what daily cases were just a month ago. The Upper Peninsula's percent positive rate has exploded to 9.3% of all administered tests, the highest in the state.

In the Kalamazoo region, it's 6.7%. In the Grand Rapids region, it's 4.6%. In Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing, and Jackson regions, it's between 2.6 and 4.4%. Only the Traverse City region has kept its case rate low, about 62 cases per million people per day. And even there, cases are still rising.

Among the few positive numbers that Chief Medical Expert Dr. Joneigh Khaldun had to report on Wednesday was the state's 33,000 daily test rate - a high for the state.

"Michigan is not as severe as many other states, but we have many reasons to be concerned," said Khaldun.

Among the primary drivers of Michigan's climbing case rate continue to be in long-term care facilities, educational settings, and social gatherings. Additionally, the state is also monitoring several outbreaks attributed to religious settings. 

While the governor can no longer deploy executive orders at will, many mask mandates and rules on social distancing have been put in place by the department of health and human services to fill some of the gaps. However, for much of the remaining problems the pandemic has infused into daily Michigan life, it'll require compromise between the governor and the legislature - a component of governing that's been lacking during 2020.

Man found with multiple gunshot wounds in Eastland Center parking lot

A 40-year-old man's condition is unknown after he was found with multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the Eastland Center mall - the second instance of gunfire wounding someone there in two weeks.

Around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to reports of a shootout in the mall's parking lot. 

Witnesses who saw the incident unfold believe the victim and the suspects knew each other. At one point, an argument broke out between the two, and shots were fired. 

While police have declined to confirm the victim's condition, a witness did say they saw CPR being performed on the victim before he was transported to a nearby hospital. 

Witnesses also report seeing a silver Chevrolet Malibu last seen heading toward I-94. Two men described as Black in their 20's with slim builds were in the car. They were wearing surgical masks and hoodies and are approximately 5-foot-6-inches tall.

About two weeks ago, a double shooting was reported at the mall that left a 19-year-old dead and an 18-year-old in serious condition. Both had been shot in the head.

Ford field to hold election equipment for counting votes

As part of Detroit's effort to ensure its election is free, fair, and conducted right, Ford Field will be used as a staging ground for much of the city's election infrastructure.

The Lion's home field will host seven of the city's 12 election boards on election night. Election workers will deliver counted ballots to Ford Field after polls close, ensuring that independently counted ballots are kept secure in the event they need to be counted after Election Day. 

"The Lions have always been a trailblazer in the field of social justice," Detroit Lions Spokesperson Ellen Trudell said. "(We're) actually giving all of our staff a paid holiday off if they'd like to volunteer as a poll worker either at their local poll or at Ford Field on election night."

Other motor city teams, like the Red Wings, the Tigers, and the Pistons are also contributing resources and manpower to help maintain election integrity this cycle.

Keep in mind, voting won't happen at Ford Field. That is still to be done at your local polling place if you haven't already mailed or hand-delivered your ballot. If you're planning on voting before election day, the secretary of state has urged voters to do so in-person.

Meet Jake, the money-sniffing dog with a cause

He's 15, a purebred Dachsund, and he's netted his owner over $250 over the years.

He's Jake, the money-sniffing dog, and he's on a mission.

Richard Truett, who is on the board of Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit in Dearborn, has kicked off The Jake Project. 

The initiative is meant to help raise money for the organization, which is struggling to expand its facility during a challenging year. 

Jake's life savings will be donated there. And now he (and Richard) are hoping you'll join them in a fundraising effort and they're hoping you'll join them by donating through a Facebook page called "The Jake Project."

Hudson building's original elevator getting new life in Bloomfield Hills

It's been 22 years since the iconic building was laid to an explosive rest. But not all of the famed building went down with its pillars.

Two of its elevators were saved by a man with fond memories riding them. Alex Begin has been called a "nut" and "crazy" for what he planned to do them.

"This is a dream that will never be fulfilled because modern building codes will never accommodate this antique technology, so just forget this dream,'" Begin recalls hearing. 

Alas, his ambitions have been lifted to new heights and after 20 years of storage, one of them has been restored outside his home. With help from Detroit Elevator Company and more than two years of work, the elevator is fully functional once again.

"We had one individual in our shop that worked for months on this and meticulously coming in every day and rebuilding the panels," said Greg Bartelt from Vogue Furniture.

Other stories

1. Southfield's Umoja Fine Arts Gallery of African-American art holds The Original Art Show Oct. 23, 24
2. As statewide Covid cases rise, so does concerns by parents on in-person learning
3. Detroit man charged with assault, torture of pregnant girlfriend
4. New study shows how sick cows can be contributing to climate change
5. Thousands of Detroiters already hired for FCA's new Mack Ave plant

Daily Forecast

It's going to be a cold wet morning Thursday before things warm up to 61 by early afternoon. 

FBI announces Iran, Russia election interference efforts obtaining voter registration data

Russia and Iran have obtained some voter registration data in an attempt to interfere in the U.S. election, the FBI announced during a press conference on Wednesday.

The US intelligence community said it has caught both countries trying to influence the election including Iranians with false propaganda about President Donald Trump, it was announced tonight.

National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe spoke about the stolen voter data and disinformation being spread.

"We have already seen Iran send spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump," he said. "Additionally Iran is distributing other content including a video that implies that individuals can cast fraudulent ballots, even from overseas. This video and any other claims about such fraudulent ballots are not true."