By protests' standards, Monday morning's demonstration in front of the Detroit School district's bus lot was successful. After more than 100 people congregated in front of the bus depot and blocked the transport vehicles from exiting the lot, the first day of summer school had been derailed for some students expecting to return to class on July 13. Of the approximately 4,000 students that had signed up for summer classes, about half were scheduled to return to in-person learning.
But a tweet from the superintendent later in the day shows only about 500 students made it to their summer instruction. Made up of teachers and public health advocates arguing it's not safe to return to class amid a rebounding pandemic in Michigan, the protesters affected classes at several buildings. And they're expected to do the same again Tuesday.
Around 7 a.m. Tuesday, another fluid situation was forming outside the same west side location. "Since we were so successful yesterday, they had to come up with a plan B and I think they moved buses last night to a new location and are trying to get the drivers on shuttle buses and take them over there," said Nicole Conaway, a protest organizer. "So we're trying to stop that. We need no kids in school."
Conaway referenced that many of the buses that intended to leave were carrying children who were medically fragile individuals and require extra services. Superintendent Nikolai Vitti seemed to validate that sentiment when he told Detroit Chalkbeat on Monday that those students were "most affected by the protest."
Residents got a glimpse of what schooling will look like come fall when Vitti shared some photos of ongoing instruction. Desks largely spaced out and face masks being worn, it was a new kind of schooling that was unveiled at the start of the week.
Macomb County Sheriff won't enforce mask rule
In one of the state's highest-profile rejections of Michigan's newest mask law, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said Monday it will not be enforcing an executive order from the governor. The rule, which mandates everyone to wear masks when entering enclosed public buildings and crowded outdoor settings, was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer following a rising daily case count of COVID-19.
Anyone caught breaking the rule is subject to a $500 fine. Businesses are also required to enforce the rule. But at the Macomb County Sheriff's direction, they'll be referring those complaints to the Attorney General's office. The one exception comes if a patron refuses a request from a business to wear a mask and doesn't leave the establishment after being asked, deputies will treat the scenario as a trespassing complaint.
Speaking to FOX 2 Tuesday morning, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the updated code for enforcement is meant as a guidance tool for officers because his department doesn't have enough manpower to respond to every complaint. But if things do get out of hand, officers will respond accordingly.
"If they refuse to wear a mask to leave the store, instead of getting into a confrontation, that's when we said we would respond and we would take enforcement action to help out the local business to make sure there isn't any problems in those stores," said Wickersham.
Other states with spiking coronavirus cases like in Texas and North Carolina, sheriffs have made similar declarations. Although those are verbalized as outright rejections bordering on criticism of the new law, rather than a matter of circumstance regarding manpower as Macomb County's top cop says.
Ford unveils new Bronco
In an announcement 24 years in the making, Ford has revealed a highly anticipated revamped model of its classic SUV the Bronco. Last released in the late 1990s, its been years since the model received a makeover. On Monday, several versions of the classic vehicle reborn were announced.
The 2021 model will come with two-door, four-door, and sport options - a direct rival of the Jeep in a burgeoning automobile market.
The seven unique models include the Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Wildtrak, Badlands, and First Edition.
"They're built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang - and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that's true to the original Bronco design DNA," said Jim Farley, Chief Operating Officer at Ford.
The sale of the new hot commodity won't start until spring of next year, but a $100 deposit will put you in line to order one.
Ford Bronco 4 door. Image: Ford Motor Co.
Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel "Matty" Moroun dead at 93
The controversial billionaire and American-made businessman who started his career working at a neighborhood gas station and ended up as one of the richest men in the world has died.
"Matty" Moroun grew up on Detroit's east side and attended the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Notre Dame before working in his dad's garage. As he acquired the hauling company Central Transport, his career began to take off in the 1950s. He eventually earned enough money to purchase a 25% stake in the Ambassador Bridge.
But owning the bridge didn't come without controversy. He was held in contempt by a judge after failing to build freeway ramps that would connect the bridge to I-75 and I-96. He would spend a night in the Wayne County Jail for the incident.
"It gave me the opportunities otherwise I would never have them," he said in a rare interview with FOX 2 in 2012. "When I was tossed in jail, without one word from my mouth, I was so tickled I lived in the United States."
He also caught criticism for letting the old Michigan Central Train Station fall apart and fighting the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Harper Woods school's dean of students killed at a traffic stop
Kelvin Wheeler Jr., a staple of the community and working in his first year as dean of students at the district was gunned down at a traffic stop earlier in July.
While waiting in his vehicle with a friend at 11:30 p.m. on July 8, they were stopped at a red light on Livernois and Ewald Circle when another car pulled up. An individual began spraying bullets into the windshield, killing Wheeler.
His death has left the community and his family in shock.
"That wasn't my son, that was (my) best friend," said Kelvin Wheeler, Sr., his father. "He said, 'Daddy I will call you when I get home. And I never got that call."
In addition to raising an 8-year-old son, Wheeler was also a mentor to other students at Harper Woods Middle School.
"The principal says the kids fell in love with him," Rose Anderson, his mother said. "The kids would ask if Mr. Wheeler was coming in today. He gave them so much hope."
The shooter remains unidentified.
Temperatures climb back up to 90 later this week, with expected rain possible Wednesday night and Thursday.
Kroger stops giving customers coins as change
Grocery store Kroger has stopped giving coin change due to a shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, the Federal Reserve said there had been a significant disruption in the supply chain of coins.
Customers weren't going to stores and as a result, the flow of coins "kind of stopped," according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
"The places where you go to give your coins, and get credit at the store and get cash — you know, folding money — those have not been working, stores have been closed. So the whole system has kind of, had come to a stop," Powell said, according to FOX Business.