Oakland University professors strike, the effects of Long Covid, FBI raid busts $800K opioid operation

Students arriving on Oakland University's campus Thursday morning for the first day of class may not do much learning in the school's lecture halls.

A disagreement during negotiations between the school and the professors could not be overcome before the old contract expired at midnight. 

Now, a strike is looming over the university, and picketing is expected at different locations around the campus. Teaching staff believes the wage increase that's been offered is too low, while the school says the educators that do strike will be doing so illegal since they are public employees. 

And caught in the middle are students that are beginning their first day of the semester during very strange conditions. Against the backdrop of a resurging pandemic causing disruptions over the summer, students will be walking into their classes without much guidance.

The little guidance that students have received was posted on the school's social media, which told students to check in with their professors and said all normal operations at OU are expected to continue.

On Facebook, the school said both sides "continue to negotiate to reach a tentative contract agreement" and the school hopes to resolve issues quickly with minimal disruption to fall classes, "which will not be canceled."

"Students are advised to report to classes as scheduled and wait at least 15 minutes to determine whether their instructor will be teaching. Students may also contact their instructors in advance to determine whether classes will be taking place. Students will be responsible for all course content and assignments delivered during and subsequent to the negotiation period," read the Facebook post.

The main sticking point in the negotiations, according to a union rep is financing. 

"They want to give us just a minuscule raise and at the same time they want to cut retirement benefits, they want to cut our medical benefits. they are interested in cutting our pay for summer school teaching," Karen Miller, of the American Association of University Professors said.

An update from the union at 1 a.m. Thursday morning said in addition to planning a strike, the AAUP has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the university for failing to bargain the impact of the vaccine mandate for members.

Contract negotiations will resume at 10 a.m.

Armed home invasion suspects crash while fleeing police

A wild scene unfolded in Oakland County last week when two men and a teenager broke into a woman's apartment. But the woman who lived there managed to fight the assailants back forcing them to flee. 

A pursuit by sheriff deputies ended when the suspects gave chase and crashed. The scene unfolded in Pontiac Friday night at an apartment in the 100 block of Cherryhill. There, a woman told deputies that three males knocked on her door and when she answered, one of the defendants pulled out a gun and pointed it at her head. 

The woman grabbed the gun and a struggle ensued. The suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Jaylin Cowart, regained control of the gun and three men ran away. Responding deputies attempted to stop the suspect's vehicle. 

They eventually crashed near the intersection of Cloverlawn and West Kennett in Pontiac. Four suspects jumped from the vehicle and ran in different directions. A Sheriff's K-9 unit responded and three of the four were arrested in the area. The K-9 located the gun used in the crime as well as a mask worn by one of the suspects.

Covid long-hauler looks to Henry Ford Health for help

Even while treatments and protections to COVID-19 continue to evolve, the enigma of long Covid persists in its complexity and ability to evade other medication. Those who contract COVID-19 and see the disease stick around in its long-term form often develop unusual symptoms not fully understood.

But the science is improving and researchers believe help could be on the way for patients like Kimberly Casey, who still hasn't kicked the disease since she caught it last November. "I had very mild symptoms - more of the (fatigue)," she said. "I lost my taste and smell almost immediately and it just hasn’t come back."

Her husband regained his sense of smell and taste. But her side effects have continued. She says she can smell burning all day or electrical fires or smoke. "Sometimes it is more of a rancid smell," she said. "It can make you depressed."

"As a medical doctor who treats these conditions is very frustrating because there is no proven treatments or surgeries to bring back that sense of smell," said Dr. Robert Deeb, Henry Ford Health. Deeb has also recommended smell retraining therapy, which is designed the reopen the smell pathways shut by COVID-19. And doctors say that the rancid smell that Casey can sense may actually be a good sign. "We think that's the nerve starting to wake up again," said Deeb.

FBI raid leads to opioid distribution conspiracy charges

Two people from Detroit and two from Dearborn were arrested and charged with running an illegal opioid opioid distribution conspiracy worth nearly $800,000. An FBI raid at the Book Cadillac Weston hotel in Detroit led to indictments for Dangelo Terrell Stephens, 38, of Detroit; Latasha Maria Neely, 38, of Detroit; Hassan Samir Saad, 33, of Dearborn; and Ali Hussein Keblawi, 26, of Dearborn.

According to charging records, the four suspects allegedly worked as patient recruiters/marketers from June 2020 to July 2021 and bring patients to area doctors and clinics. Those doctors and clinics would fill out prescriptions for controlled substances in exchange for cash payments.

Both Stephens and Neely needed compliance in the pharmacy industry. Saad was a licensed technician while Keblawi was an employee at one of his businesses. In exchange for cash, Saad and Keblawi allegedly filled the unlawful prescriptions obtained by Stephens.

Those illegally acquired drugs, which included Oxycodone, Oxymorphone, and Percocet, were then sold on the street. "The road to addiction often begins with prescription drugs, "said Acting US Attorney Mohsin. "It is for this reason we are focusing our efforts on removing individuals who contribute to the devastating opioid crisis in this country."

The Lake Huron sinkhole with a secret

Could Lake Huron hold the secret to Earth's abundance of life?

Scientists tested a new theory about the gradual increase in oxygen over billions of years on the planet in a sinkhole in the Great Lakes, discovering a previously unconsidered link between the length of daylight and the planet's supply of breathable air.

A study of the microbes that live at the bottom of the lake has concluded that the increasing amount of sun led to organisms creating more oxygen, which kickstarted an evolution of biology 4 billion years ago. 

"On a very ancient Earth, there was very little oxygen," said Brian Arbic, a physical oceanographer at the University of Michigan. "Then there was this jump that (created) enough oxygen in the atmosphere for animal life including for ourselves to evolve."

What else we're watching

  1. Some Allen Park residents will be without water for a period of time on Thursday. Emergency water shutoffs in the city will be shut off between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. in parts of the city.
  2. Police that stopped a driver for speeding and not wearing a seatbelt on Eight Mile near Livernois in Ferndale eventually arrested them after the driver said there was an unregistered firearm under the front seat.
  3. MDOT is taking pity on the swarm of drivers that will be traveling north this weekend for the holiday. Here is a breakdown of every construction project halting for Labor Day weekend. 
  4. A man from Farmingville, Michigan appeared before a Las Vegas judge Wednesday after making threats to blow up the Trump hotel. Dandre Lunudy said Donald Trump had ruined his life. 
  5. The Michigan State Fair is back and so is Rob Wolchek's love affair with the annual fun. There's something for everyone to check out at the fair

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's going to be 70s and sunny - again - on Thursday. The pleasant summer conditions that such brutal heat and humidity made us yearn for may not last forever, but are expected to stick around at least through the weekend. Some rain is expected Saturday night, but not enough to dampen holiday spirits.

Supreme Court declines to block Texas abortion ban in 5-4 vote

A deeply divided Supreme Court is allowing a Texas law that bans most abortions to remain in force, stripping most women of the right to an abortion in the nation’s second-largest state.

The court voted 5-4 early Thursday to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others that sought to block enforcement of the law that went into effect Wednesday.

The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before most women know they’re pregnant.

"In reaching this conclusion, we stress that we do not purport to resolve definitively any jurisdictional or substantive claim in the applicants’ lawsuit. In particular, this order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," the court said in the unsigned order.