Michigan's spiking hospitalizations, claims of drugging at Birmingham bar, major I-75 construction starts

Michigan's eligibility expansion for vaccines scheduled for next week can't come soon enough as hospitalizations among those not yet allowed to get the vaccine are pushing the state's health care system into dangerous territory.

Currently, 74% of beds dedicated for COVID-19 positive patients are full as the number of people being admitted is rising faster than in October. Different from October, however, is the make-up of those needing more treatment. They're younger people; those in their 20s and 30 and 40s.

Doctors see a silver lining in this trend. Despite the sudden onslaught of new hospitalizations, groups already eligible for the vaccine and less capable of beating back coronavirus symptoms aren't being admitted as much - proof that it works.

Next Monday, the bar for getting a vaccine will drop to the rest of the adults in the state. Detroit dropped its threshold earlier this week after the number of new cases climbed 162% in two weeks.

Along with the expanded eligibility, Michigan will be getting an additional 66,000 vaccines next week, the bulk of which will be single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 

That comes after a request from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who so far hasn't recommended putting down more restrictions.

"As we work closely with our state's leading health experts to monitor COVID-19 trends, I'm asking Michiganders to double down on smart precautions," she said in a statement.

Yesterday, Michigan was reported as having the highest rate of increase in new COVID-19 cases after it doubled in two weeks, after coming behind only New York last week. 

Each county is offering its own vaccine scheduling. So is Meijer, either at its pharmacies or at Ford Field

Riverview man shot at police during wellness check

A 31-year-old man allegedly shot at Riverview police over the weekend after they were called to check on him. Daniel James Ireland had sent a text to a caller that made them concerned for his well-being.

When police arrived at his home in the 14000 block of Shenandoah, he wasn't home. But as officers were leaving, he came home. After he parked, he went inside, then came back out wearing a tactical vest and armed with a semi-automatic long gun.

He then allegedly fired several rounds at the officers, hitting police vehicles and other pedestrian cars before he went back inside. A downriver police department officer who lived by and was off-duty knew the suspect and called him.

Daniel James Ireland

Ireland eventually surrendered peacefully. He was charged with numerous felonies and had his bond set to $1 million.

Major I-75 construction begins today

Beginning Wednesday, two lanes will be closed on I-75 in Detroit as crews repair bridges between 7 Mile Road and the Davison Freeway.

When the project starts, the two right northbound lanes of the freeway will be closed from south of Davison to 8 Mile Road.

The project, which includes repairing 12 bridges, is expected to last until November. The project also includes repairing structures at the Davison and I-75 interchange, which will close the eastbound Davison ramp to northbound I-75 

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, two lanes on both sides of I-75 will be open during peak travel times.

Claims of women drugged at Birmingham bar

Birmingham police are investigating the claims made by 12 women who believe they were drugged at the Rose Room bar. Allegations of misconduct stretch back to 2019.

However, it was a woman's post to Facebook detailing her experience after she lost feeling in her arms and legs from two drinks that prompted many other women to come forward.

"My friend experienced it a couple of years ago and she caught on pretty quick and left," said Cassidy. "She told me she experienced similar symptoms to what the girls are reporting right now."

Staff at the Rose Room say they have "found nothing that corroborates what we are hearing through social media."

Large townhouse project comes to Hazel Park

Park 54, aptly named for the 54 townhouses in construction, will dot the landscape of Hazel Park soon in what the city manager says is the biggest housing project he's ever been apart of.

"They are perfect for someone who wants a ready-made place to come and live," Edward Klobuchar said. 

The units are going up at a rate of two a month. The construction firm Robertson Brothers Homes expects to be done with the project by 2022. The townhomes are being built next to the St. Mary Magdelen Church.

It's part of the city's revitalization building up their nearby entertainment district and choosing a builder that's worked in trendy spots in metro Detroit like Royal Oak and Ferndale

Detroit bars, restaurants ready up for Opening Day

About 8,000 people are expected to attend Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. It will be one of the largest gatherings in the state since the beginnings of the pandemic.

Bars and restaurants operating downtown can only fill up to 50% capacity and Mayor Mike Duggan has warned any non-ticket holders to avoid the downtown due to the rise in cases.

"If you think it's going to be one of those Opening Days where everybody fills up the bars and restaurants and nobody enforces it, you're wrong," Duggan said. "We will shut them down, the bars and restaurants, we will fine them and they could have their licenses suspended."

But that doesn't mean a little revelry still won't go down when the first pitch is thrown. "First Opening Day. Everybody's trying to get out and see a game. It's new and exciting for everybody and we're new and exciting here, too," said Josh Duncan, the general manager of Tin Roof Detroit.

What else we're watching

  1. The Detroit Building Authority says that 1,400 properties slated for demolition will begin going down Wednesday as part of its Proposal N initiative. The $30 million project offered bids to small Detroit companies.
  2. Pfizer has announced its vaccine is safe and effective in kids age 12-15. The news will have big implications for how state's allow schools to operate in the future
  3. President Joe Biden is eyeing infrastructure as his next big legislative target - and he wants large corporations to pay for it with higher taxes. 
  4. Whitmer has set a new daily vaccination goal of 100,000 shots. The state achieved its 50,000 vaccine quota for 38 days straight and wants to notch things up more
  5. Detroit schools said its students will be online next week to allow but staff and kids time to socially isolate after Spring Break. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Another windy day will blow out some of the heat leftover from Tuesday, with temperatures peaking at 50 degrees. Cloudy conditions are expected throughout Wednesday.

Off-duty firefighter testifies she 'desperately wanted to help' George Floyd at scene

One of the state’s witnesses in the trial of Derek Chauvin was Genevieve Hansen, 27, who works for the Minneapolis Fire Department. She was off duty when she witnessed the deadly arrest of George Floyd and recorded video at the scene. She also called 911 after the incident.

Before her testimony, the court shared Hansen’s video, which showed her responding to the scene. In the video, she can be heard asking officers if they checked Floyd’s pulse. 

Hansen said she was out for a walk on May 25, 2020, when she came across the scene of George Floyd’s arrest and noticed police lights. She said that as she got closer to the scene, she spoke with a woman across the street who was "screaming they were killing him."

"That’s when I was alerted the situation wasn’t a basic medical call," she said.

Hansen said she walked closer to the scene of Floyd’s arrest because she was "concerned to see a handcuffed man who was not moving, with officers with their body weight on his back and a crowd that was stressed out."