WEDNESDAY NEWS HIT - Much has changed for the community since the tragic day when four students were shot and killed.
With the help of the All for Oxford Resiliency Center, families will light up the community with luminaries that have been available during Wildcat Remembrance Week. It's one of several ways that people will be able to coalesce and honor the trauma that's been ingrained in the city's fabric.
Prayers will be offered at churches, coffee will be available for free at bake shops, and even bowling will be free at a local bowling lane.
The one place that will be quiet all day long is the school, where class has been canceled to enable students to mourn in the ways they need.
"As the one-year mark of the tragedy approaches, we implore everyone in our community, and beyond, to let LOVE win this week and always," Oxford Community Schools wrote on Facebook. "As a reminder, all district buildings will be closed on Wildcat Remembrance Day, November 30, 2022. Please spend this day how you and your family need to – to heal, reflect, mourn, and most of all, to love."
The governor has also ordered flags be lowered to honor Tate Myre,16, Justin Shilling, 17, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Hana St. Juliana, 14, the four teens that lost their lives last year.
Opportunities in Oxford
Among the places that will be open for students and parents are at the All for Oxford Resiliency Center, which is offering mental health resources for anyone in need.
Its open hours will be extended from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and employees are prepared to help in any way someone might need help. Resources range from food and crafts and comfort boxes, to blankets, therapy dogs, and emotional support.
Many would remember where they were the day the shootings happened. The trauma baked into Nov. 30, 2021 won't soon be forgotten, but mental health specialists know it will require long term help to fully grapple with the tragic shooting.
"It's the longer term treatment that's going to reveal how someone is coping," said Jaimie Clayton, the CEO of Oakland Family Services. "What are their mechanisms for managing the trauma? Trauma triggers that comes up, sounds, smells, memories - how they manage that anxiety moving forward is what long term mental health counseling helps with,"
Moment of silence to be held at 12:51 p.m.
In honor of the Oxford High School mass shooting that took the lives of four teenagers while robbing an entire district of comfort a day at school can bring, the state of Michigan will have its flags lowered to half-staff.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all U.S. and Michigan flags lowered on the State Capitol grounds, as well as on all public buildings elsewhere. The lowering will be met with a moment of silence, which will begin at 12:51 p.m.
"It’s been one year since we lost four beautiful young souls in Oxford. One year since a community was changed forever," Whitmer said. "One year later, we honor the memories of Hana, Tate, Madisyn, and Justin and reaffirm our commitment to holding the Oxford community close. Words will never be enough to meet the scale of the loss that this town has been through. But all of Michigan sends its love, its prayers, and its commitment to working together to keep all our families and communities safe."
Wildcat Remembrance Day is also being celebrated in other ways as well, including with all schools buildings being closed in observance of the tragedy.
Prison inmate rap video shot in Macomb County jail
You can call it bars behind bars. A rap video has gotten a lot of traction and even praise for a music video shot in prison and posted on YouTube.
The men behind it are now in segregation and facing more prison time, and they’re not alone. An investigation is underway after two Macomb Correctional Facility inmates got a hold of cell phones and shot a music video inside their cell. A spokesman for the department of corrections says the video was filmed in September and posted in November.
Those inmates could face additional prison time. Having a cell phone in jail is illegal.
"Because while you can make rap videos with them, that’s one thing you can do with a contraband cell phone," Chris Gautz said. "But you can also effectuate an escape, you could put out a hit on another staff member, another prisoner, a member of the public. You could harass witnesses, you could intimidate your victims.
Residents push back against new District Detroit proposal
Real estate developers who want to take another crack at building up part of Detroit's downtown are getting pushback from residents who claim Olympia Development's owners the Ilitch Family had broken their promise to revamp the city.
A total of 10 projects are slated in the $1.5 billion proposal, which includes hotels, office spaces, shopping centers, and different kinds of housing. One developer said the general plans are a continuation of the vision that Olympia Development had outlined years ago. But residents were less than impressed.
"Are any of these projects actually hold over from earlier promised projects, so things that were promised that would have been done for example in connection with LCA, but were not done?" asked one resident. "And I suppose finally, given all of his recent history with development in the city why should we believe anything promised?"
Development officials say they’ve laid out a five-year timeline for work to be completed and claim that the pandemic slowed things down considerably. Still, they say a lot has been accomplished already.
Brothers sue Oakland County for $125M over wrongful convictions
They spent a quarter-century behind bars for crimes they did not commit. Now exonerated, two brothers have filed a $125 million lawsuit against Oakland County. Pontiac brothers George and Melvin DeJesus are searching for justice with their lawsuit filed by their attorney on Tuesday.
"We came to that decision because I went to prison when I was 18 years old," George DeJesus said. "I didn't get out until I was 45. Within that time I lost family members, I never, I didn't have a kid. I've never been married. All of that has been taken from me."
"We are reopening old wounds," said Melvin DeJesus - wounds that have festered since the 1990s when the two men were convicted in the murder and rape of a woman from Pontiac.
Evidence pointed to another man Brandon Gohagen, a former key investigator for the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. William Harvey is accused of coercing Gohagen to lie in order to secure convictions for the brothers.
Live on FOX 2
Temperatures are going to drop while wind speeds will pick up during a blustery and chilly day in Southeast Michigan. A few flurries are also possible for some residents.
What else we're watching
- Noel Night is returning to Midtown Detroit for its 49th annual festival night on Dec. 3 from 5-9 p.m. at the Cultural Center and 5-10 p.m. in Midtown. A full line-up of programming is available at NoelNight.org
- A big announcement is coming in connection to the Gordie Howe International Bridge community benefits plan. The announcement will come at 10 a.m.
- Dr. Lisa Cook, who used to teach at MSU before joining the Federal Reserve Board as its leader will be speaking at the Masonic in Detroit. It's been a busy year for the fed as it has fought inflation, something which Cook will discuss during the 12:30 p.m. program.
- Ford says its built its 150,000 Mustang Mach-E, a milestone for the electric vehicle and a big day for the automaker. It hopes to be producing 2 million a year by 2026.
- A 14-year-old from Taylor has become a standout in the boxing field. The young teen has already scored multiple national boxing championships and is going for another on Dec. 3 when he travels to Lubbock, Texas.
Senate passes landmark same-sex marriage bill
The Senate passed bipartisan legislation Tuesday to protect same-sex marriages, an extraordinary sign of shifting national politics on the issue and a measure of relief for the hundreds of thousands of same-sex couples who have married since the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision that legalized gay marriage nationwide.
The bill, which would ensure that same-sex and interracial marriages are enshrined in federal law, was approved 61-36 on Tuesday, including support from 12 Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the legislation was "a long time coming" and part of America’s "difficult but inexorable march towards greater equality."
Democrats are moving quickly, while the party still holds the majority in both chambers of Congress. The legislation now moves to the House for a final vote.