Mother waits for justice after baby's death • Embattled Dearborn Heights superintendent • Mackinac Conference

Jamie Smith has been in agony ever since the sudden death of her 8-month-old baby girl J’ream last September.

"I’m hurting every single day - you know, just going through it day in and day out," she said. "Just not having that specific answer, just about what happened to her, you know?

"Nobody is telling me anything. I just want help," she said. "That’s it. That’s all. That’s all I want."

She says she was told her baby died of a fentanyl overdose when she went to the Wayne County Medical Examiner to get an autopsy.

It is believed to have happened at a babysitter’s home in Dearborn Heights according to sources, but she doesn’t know much else.

"The police didn’t tell me what was said from the other party so it’s kind of - I’m in the dark," she said. "I don’t know what happened. I don’t know how long my daughter was unconscious. I don’t know the amount of fentanyl that was in her system. I don't know. By the time I got to my daughter, she was brain-dead."

Last year she showed FOX 2 a doctor’s report that revealed fentanyl in the baby’s urine. But she’s not sure how the drug got into her system.

Dearborn Heights police told FOX 2 at the time they were waiting for the official autopsy results before going after charges with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, but that was late last year.

"I was expecting somebody to be held accountable because like I keep saying had I been in that position, had I called the police, and for my unconscious child, I would be in jail the moment that they got there and had to perform CPR on her," Smith said. "I would be in handcuffs in a holding cell until they figured out what happened. That was not the case."

Related: 8-month-old dies after fentanyl overdose in babysitter's care, mom says

On Wednesday the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office told us they are checking into the case to see if there are any updates.

For Jamie, there's no telling when she will be able to find some peace.

"I’ve given them months on months. It’s almost been a year," she said. "September’s coming up quickly. It’s almost been a year. Nothing has been done like I haven’t received anything. An answer, a 'I’m sorry,' nothing. I haven’t received anything. I just want answers." 

Read more here

No-confidence vote against Dearborn Heights superintendent

It'd be tough to find consensus among 188 people on almost anything - but in a rare vote of no-confidence against the superintendent of Dearborn Heights School District, employees almost did just that.

By a 187-1 vote, teachers and secretaries at the Dearborn Heights School District #7 expressed overwhelming disapproval of their boss Dr. Tyrone Weeks. "99.5% of the employees of the para-pros, the secretaries and the teachers voted they do not have confidence in the superintendent," said Amanda Moran of the Dearborn Heights Education Association.

Moran spoke on Tuesday following the vote last week, which included three separate teacher's unions. Also, Tuesday evening, the school board held a meeting mostly behind closed doors. 

Weeks has been the subject of discussion among many education circles in Dearborn Heights since he suspended a popular principal, which prompted a large walkout among students at Annapolis High School.

Mackinac Policy Conference starts today

One of the biggest weeks of the year for Michigan's high brass in business, politics, and all the space in between kicks off Wednesday. The Mackinac Policy Conference is also a good gauge for the rest of the state as far as what issues are top of mind for those running the state.

If the past few weeks assessing the grim state of Michigan's population loss are any signs, it'll be a heavily-discussed topic. Michigan is the second-slowest growing state in the union, behind only West Virginia. That doesn't bode well for the future of industry, schools, and talent.

Detroit's property taxes will also be on the list of topics with Mayor Mike Duggan making an appearance. He plans to reveal a plan for a new land value tax, according to Crain's Detroit Business.

There will also be some big names from bank CEOs and entrepreneurs to former lawmakers in attendance.

Council approves $51.8M District Detroit tax break

The Detroit City Council has approved a tax break of close to $52 million for the next decade to make way for four residential and commercial buildings in downtown as part of the Ilitch organization and Stephen Ross' District Detroit development plan.

The 10-year, $51.8 million tax break was unanimously approved on Tuesday by the City Council to convert part of the office space in the historic Fox Theatre into a new hotel overlooking Woodward Avenue and facing Comerica Ballpark.

By approving the tax break, the developers will save $51.8 million in property taxes while the city nets $77 million in taxes over that same period.

The nearly $52 million break is part of a larger plan that the Ilitch organization and Ross' Related Holdings are seeking. They want $798 million in tax incentives and breaks from the city and state. They already secured $615 from the state in April as they aim to build three mixed-use buildings while renovating a fourth across from the Fox, which is owned by Ilitch.

Read about the massive revitalization project here.

Apartment project underway for senior members of LGBTQ community in Ferndale

It's not often easy for members of the LGBTQ community to find safe, affordable housing - especially for those who are seniors. "There’s nothing wrong with aging or there's nothing wrong with identifying as LGBTQ," said Reverend Dr. Roland Stringfellow. "We are bringing these two elements together to have a safe option for individuals as they get older."

A location on Nine Mile and Paxton in Ferndale will soon transform into affordable apartments. The goal is to create a community that is inclusive to aging members of the LGBTQ community. It will be named The Raymond E. Shepherd House.

"We want an LGBTQ-friendly housing project, where there are folks that are allies, younger folks, that don’t mind socializing intergenerationally, that will be able to come along and show the world there’s not an issue," said Cornelius Wilson.

Wilson, who is LGBTQ, is familiar with the struggles older adults in his community face. "There’s a fear of not knowing how you're going to be treated if someone were to find out that you were a part of the LGBT community," said Wilson. "So a lot of folks have chosen not to engage, or they choose to go back into the closet."

Read more here.

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Daily Forecast

Our heat wave is getting hotter Wednesday with temperatures climbing into the high 80s by the late afternoon. Thankfully, the humidity won't make things more severe.

What else we're watching

  1. Southbound Greenfield was shut down at Michigan Avenue after a reported police chase involving multiple vehicles ended with a crash. Two people became trapped in one vehicle that was tipped on its side. Air support was also called for help.
  2. Two probable conferences in curious court cases are scheduled for Wednesday: one involving the man who randomly stabbed multiple people in Roseville and another involving a mother who confessed to giving her son fentanyl, killing him. 
  3. For all those who participate, No Mow May ends today. Your neighbors will thank you finally giving your yard a hair cut. Despite May being a month with little rain, there's been plenty of sun and time to sprout. 
  4. Corewell Health is showing off their new Lung Nodule Clinics Wednesday, which will assist in better outcomes for those with lung cancer. 
  5. A citywide poll found 88% of residents in Detroit disagree with the city's priorities for development, according to a survey from the National Research and polling firm American Pulse. It was commissioned by the Detroit Peoples' Platform. 

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter has dementia, family says

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, wife of former President Jimmy Carter, has dementia, the Carter family announced Tuesday.

The Carter Center tweeted a statement, which reads in part that the former first lady "continues to live happily at home enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones."

Mrs. Carter, 95, has championed a number of causes, but is perhaps best known as a pioneer for mental health advocacy. She worked for the passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 and has continued the advocacy work through The Carter Center in Atlanta.