New details about body found in vent • Potential DTE rate hike • Deadly cantaloupe salmonella outbreak warning

Police have released more details about the discovery of a body in a vent at Macomb Community College, including what the man told his family after disappearing.

In late October, police say Jason Thompson texted his family and told them he was on a roof trying to escape police who were chasing him. Thompson had active warrants, though police say there is no indication he was being chased. 

When he was reported missing Nov. 1, police focused on the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts building because of its extensive ventilation system but did not find Thompson. They returned to the building Sunday and discovered his body while looking for the source of a foul odor.

"Once you're in, there's no way to turn around. There's no way to turn around, and there's a point where he's traversed enough of its space, and the way that it moves, I don't think you could back up," Macomb College Police Chief William Leavens said.

Thompson died of accidental asphyxiation.


Man found dead in Macomb Community College vent told family he was trying to escape police

Jason Thompson told his family he was hiding from police before his body was found inside a vent at Macomb Community College, authorities said.

DTE rate increase goes before energy regulator

On Friday, the Michigan Public Service Commission will weigh in on two major cases: a DTE rate increase request and its authority over the controversial Line 5 pipeline.

DTE is requesting a $622 million rate increase for its customers over the next year. That would raise an average customer's bill by $12.46, which is about a 14% increase from the previous bill.

The size of DTE's request is notable because it's much larger than last year's request when it pitched a $388 million rate increase in 2022. The commission only approved it to raise rates by $30.5 million. According to a release from the governing body, the biggest reason for the reduction was based on a dispute over the company's projections for future sales.

The regulator has also ordered an audit of DTE and Consumers Energy following a severe round of outages during severe weather in 2022. 

The other major piece on the commission's agenda is Canadian energy company Enbridge's request for approval to replace the Line 5 pipeline, which carries fuel under the Straits of Mackinac. 


DTE rate increase, Line 5 replacement issues before Michigan energy regulator on Friday

It's going to be a busy day for the Michigan Public Service Commission on Friday, with a $622 million request from DTE and the company that owns Line 5 seeking approval for a controversial new tunnel on the agenda.

Contaminated cantaloupe kills 3, sickens 180+

At least 117 people in 34 U.S. states have been sickened by cantaloupe contaminated by salmonella.

This includes 61 who were hospitalized and two who died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 63 illnesses, 17 hospitalizations, and one death tied to the same outbreak have been reported in Canada.

The illnesses are severe, with more than half of infected people hospitalized, including residents of long-term care centers and children in day care, the CDC said.

As a result, people are advised not to eat pre-cut cantaloupe if they don't know the source. Previous recalls of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes have been expanded to include Kwik Trip markets, Bix Produce and distributor GHGA, which sent recalled products to Kroger, Sprouts Farmer's Markets and Trader Joe's stores in several states.


Deadly salmonella outbreak linked to contaminated pre-cut cantaloupe

U.S. health officials say consumers should not eat pre-cut cantaloupe if they don’t know the source.

Suspect flees after road rage stabbing

An incident that happened prior to getting onto the freeway led to a stabbing on I-96 on Thursday.

Once on I-96, the suspect's car rear-ended the victim's vehicle. She then pulled over when the suspect pulled in front of her on the westbound experess lanes under the Southfield Freeway around 3 p.m. An argument ensued outside the vehicle, then it got physical.

At that point, the suspect stabbed her and sped off.

When Michigan State Police arrived, they found the victim "bleeding profusely from her left arm." 

Police are still looking for the suspect.


State police: Road rage stabbing caused I-96 closure, suspect fled scene

The suspect stabbed her and sped off in a Nissan or Toyota sedan, possibly light blue or green, driven by a Black woman.

Man hospitalized after air fryer explodes

A Sterling Heights man is urging people to be careful while using air fryers after one erupted, hospitalizing him for days. 

Louisa Essak's wife was making chicken wings in an air fryer when it exploded. 

"Because of this air fryer, I almost lost my life," Essak said. "I was inhaling all the smoke, chemical-burns inside my lungs."

He used a fire extinguisher to prevent the fire from spreading to other flammable materials in his garage. When firefighters arrived, they extinguished the fire.

But the chemicals had already caused damage to his lungs. Essak is out of the hospital and back to work, but said his breathing isn't back to normal yet.

"It's not like before," he said. "Like 60%, I can breathe OK, (but) if I walk I get tired. I cannot talk. I'm just coughing."


Air fryer erupts, puts Sterling Heights baker in hospital for five days

"Because of this air fryer, I almost lost my life," said Louia Essak who owns Sweet and Sweeter in Sterling Heights.

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Daily Forecast

Friday will be rainy in Metro Detroit, with some northern areas seeing snow.

What else we're watching

  1. A religious Detroit icon, Rev. Dr. Charles G. Adams, died on Wednesday at the age of 86.
  2. Michiganders are encouraged to send holiday cards, letters, banners, or personalized tray liners to former servicemembers living in veteran homes as part of the Make a Veteran Smile Campaign. Here's how.
  3. Detroit's lead water line replacement is underway, and the city has a goal of replacing 10,000 per year. 
  4. Both sides of I-75 will be closing at Luna Pier Road in Monroe County for a bridge demolition this weekend. The closure is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday.
  5. It's the weekend! Need plans? We've got you covered

Israel hits targets in Gaza as ceasefire with Hamas officially expires

Israeli fighter jets hit targets in the Gaza Strip minutes after a weeklong truce expired on Friday, as the war with Hamas resumed in full force. Black smoke billowed from the besieged territory and Israel dropped leaflets over parts of southern Gaza urging people to leave their homes, suggesting it was preparing to widen its offensive.

Renewed hostilities heightened concerns for the about 140 hostages who remain in Gaza, after more than 100 were freed as part of the truce. Qatar, which has served as a mediator along with Egypt, said negotiators from both sides were still trying to reach an agreement on restarting the ceasefire.

The resumption of hostilities "complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe," Qatar's Foreign Ministry said.

Read more here.