WEDNESDAY NEWS HIT - The Oxford School Board made some major decisions Tuesday night when members approved the hiring of a consulting firm to review the events leading up to the mass shooting that killed four students. It also hired a law firm based out of Grand Rapids to represent it in future litigation.
It also announced plans for a temporary memorial for the victims while approving a special committee to look at a permanent memorial.
Both decisions were met with pushback from students and parents.
"You cannot honestly say that you are considering and thinking of the 1,800 students when you fail to even ask, or listen," said one teen girl.
"If you really, truly care about our community, and you truly care about making this right, you should poll the community," said Jeremy, a parent.
The school board was twice offered a free review of the district's circumstances leading up to the mass shooting by state Attorney General Dana Nessel. But the board twice rejected those offers in favor of a third-party review conducted by New York consulting firm Guidepost Solutions. They specialize in regulatory compliance, monitoring, and security.
Some parents questioned spending the money when the board had been offered a chance to do it for free.
Guidepost Solutions was previously hired to assist the University of Michigan in its response to allegations of sexual assault be the doctor Robert Anderson.
Additionally, the district also hired a Grand Rapids-based law firm called Varnum.
The board president said he expects the final report to be made public.
There were more than 100 people at the meeting Tuesday night. Students and parents, including some related to shooting victims during the November incident chastized the board for not moving faster on investigations into the shooting.
After initial pushback from community members about setting up a memorial for Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling, the board approved a temporary setting in the performing arts studio.
"I'm sure unless you're in dance or something, or a class where you go there, you're not going to see the temporary memorial and I feel like that's really disrespectful to Hana, Tate, Justin, and Madisyn," said Cooper Ballenger, a senior at the school.
Additionally, the board approved a special committee to look at setting up a permanent memorial for the victims.
22-year-old deemed incompetent for trial after elderly man's beating
The 22-year-old who filmed himself beating an elderly man in a nursing home in May 2020 has been deemed incompetent for trial and will not face any prison time - for now. Jadon Hayden's father says his son was diagnosed with autism as a child and schizophrenia years later.
"Thinking that my son could go to prison for many years, that just put more pressure on me," his father Marty Hayden said. "But once the case was dismissed it really lifted a lot of burden off my shoulders." Hayden's case was dismissed in late April.
75-year-old Norman Bledsoe died in another nursing home two months after the attack. While his death was not ruled a homicide, his family told the Detroit News he was not the same after the assault. Hayden was moved into the same room as Bledsoe after he tested positive for COVID-19 while living in a group home. If he does regain competence, the prosecutor can recharged the case.
Hayden's assault was among many examples that critics of a policy to place Covid-positive patients in the same room during the outbreak of the pandemic was poorly managed and implemented.
Attempted sex assaults reported at DTW
There have been two attempted sex assaults in a parking deck at Metropolitan Airport in Romulus since the weekend.
The two attempted assaults occurred in the Big Blue Parking Deck sometime between Saturday, May 14, and Tuesday, reports The Wayne County Airport Authority police today.
No details regarding specific times, the circumstances, or a suspect description has been released yet to the public by the public safety unit, however. Patrols in and around the area have been ramped up in response, according to DTW.
"Investigators are working diligently to apprehend the suspect," said a release by Metro Airport. "The police department has assigned additional patrols around the clock to the Big Blue Deck and McNamara Parking Deck until further notice."
DTE promises no rolling blackouts this summer
There are some concerns that our state's electric grid may not be able to handle the load this summer. Rolling blackouts have been used in other states - could that be an option? "We are the biggest provider of energy in Michigan, we have more than enough energy for our customers," said Trevor Lauer, president of DTE Energy.
DTE's president is speaking out following a report from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator. The organization operates the power grid across 15 states— including Michigan. MISO says this summer some states could have a power shortage— which may lead to planned power outages.
But Lauer says folks in southeastern Michigan don't have to worry. "We are going to make sure we keep the lights on and do the right things for our customers," Lauer said. "We do not expect rolling blackouts inside the DTE area at all this summer."
While there may be circumstances where the broader region needs help, customers will only be asked to turn back their thermostats. The transition to solar and wind energy will also ease the burden.
Video shows mom of two killed in hit-and-run in Detroit on Monday
Iris Liciaga was crossing Livernois from a neighborhood at McMillan Street in southwest Detroit. Video showed she waited on that median for traffic to clear - so she can finish crossing the street. But one driver wasn't going to clear - she drove right through that patch of grass and killed the mom of two.
"For whatever reason they left the road they knew that at that point they were involved in an accident and I'm sure they knew they hit this individual," Detroit Police Commander John Serda said. Investigators say they're looking for a red Ford F-150 FX4, that's the off-road package.
"If you turn yourself in you can tell your side of the story. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it couldn't be avoided. We are not making judgments right now," he said. We talked to Iris' family who said they're heartbroken and that her two children, 13 and 8, are now without their mother.
What else we're watching
- The city of Westland has adopted its first non-motorized transportation plan, which aims to boost connectivity between walking and cycling residents, it's called the Walk & Roll Plan and targets Hines Drive, Lower Rouge Trail, parks, schools, jobs, recreation opportunities, and neighboring cities.
- A Malcolm X-inspired performance is ongoing at the Detroit Opera House this weekend. The show follows the civil rights figure through his time in Michigan and abroad.
- The Give My Books program in Ann Arbor has been repurposing them for more than a decade and aims to collect another 50,000 to be given away for free to individuals and teachers in the community.
- Two years to the day tomorrow, the city of Midland was flooded after two dams ruptured in mid-Michigan. Since then, reviews of the state's infrastructure have concluded its bridges, roads, and dams are woefully unprepared for more extreme weather.
- Melissa Carone, the woman who made highlights during testimony in front of a state Senate committee in Lansing following the 2020 election has been disqualified from the primary ballot again. That's according to Secretary of State information released Tuesday.
Live on FOX 2
The coolest day of the week is here, with temperatures starting in the high 40s and reaching the low 60s Wednesday. Rain is expected this afternoon and evening.
US Soccer reaches milestone agreements to pay men's and women's teams equally
The U.S. Soccer Federation reached milestone agreements to pay its men's and women's teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes matching money.
The federation announced separate collective bargaining agreements through December 2028 with the unions for both national teams on Wednesday, ending years of often acrimonious negotiations.
The men have been playing under the terms of a CBA that expired in December 2018. The women's CBA expired at the end of March but talks continued after the federation and the players agreed to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by some of the players in 2019. The settlement was contingent on the federation reaching labor contracts that equalized pay and bonuses between the two teams.
"I feel a lot of pride for the girls who are going to see this growing up, and recognize their value rather than having to fight for it. However, my dad always told me that you don’t get rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do — and paying men and women equally is what you’re supposed to do," U.S. forward Margaret Purce said. "So I’m not giving out any gold stars, but I’m grateful for this accomplishment and for all the people who came together to make it so."