Raucous Dearborn Heights school meeting • Parents grieve over fatal I-96 crash • Nessel's new Line 5 gambit
THURSDAY NEWS HIT - A Dearborn Heights principal was reinstated and a superintendent want put on administrative leave following a rambunctious school board meeting that boiled over into shouting from parents irate and protesting students.
At one point, a woman was escorted out of the meeting for constantly yelling and interrupting speakers.
"You're weak, you're weak," one adult shouted from the back of the crowd.
At the heart of the discontent was a decision by Superintendent Tyrone Weeks to suspend Principal Aaron Mollett. No clear reason has been given behind the decision for the suspension.
A statement from the district at the time recognized the principal's popularity and said it had "every intent to support our students’ First Amendment rights to gather peacefully to express their concern."
"We further recognize that students, staff members, and families would like to have more information than we are able to provide. We ask for patience and grace as we work toward the next steps in this highly-sensitive and difficult process."
Mollett is a popular figure in the community and a wave of supporters at the school board meeting appeared to be present in part for him. However, according to the Michigan Education Association, Weeks has been on the other end of several disagreements within the district.
"Find a way to get rid of him like he has gotten rid of so many other people. Make him feel unwelcome like he has done to the rest of the people here," said one parent. "He needs to go."
The reinstatement of Mollett comes after a large student protest from Annapolis High School when a walk-out occurred. On May 9, students, parents, and faculty made their feelings known with signs that read "Bring Back Our Principal."
RELATED: Massive walkout at Dearborn Heights' Annapolis High School after principal's sudden suspension
Those feelings continued to simmer in the following days before boiling over during Wednesday's three-hour school board meeting.
The superintendent is allegedly being investigated for several staff issues.
Parents of 3 men killed I-96 crash didn't know driver
The parents of three victims killed in a crash on I-96 in Detroit on Sunday say they don't know who the driver, who also died, was. "I'm hurt and I'm pissed," said Loreal Hughes, the mother of Kharle Hughes and Jamal Gilbert. "I don’t know, don’t even care because at this point, I feel like you killed my kids and their best friend."
Her sons were with their best friend, Shane Livingston, and a 21-year-old man who was driving. Witnesses reported seeing the driver speeding in a Yukon before crashing into the wall.
Shane's father, Sean Livingston, said his son wasn't expected to survive when he was hit by two vehicles while walking with his mother in 2015. He made it, only to be killed in a violent crash years later. He also didn't know the man driving Sunday.
An investigation is ongoing, and police are awaiting the autopsies. GoFundMe pages have been set up for Shane and Kharle and Jamal.
Dana Nessel pushes new Line 5 shutdown effort
The Michigan Attorney General has renewed her legal push to close the Line 5 pipeline with a friend-of-the-court brief that she filed in Wisconsin federal court Wednesday.
The brief was filed in support of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, who requested an emergency motion to shut down the Enbridge pipeline because it posed a threat to their reservation.
The tribe argued that extreme erosion along the banks of the Bad River in Northwest Wisconsin could threaten the rupture of the pipeline. Last year, a court said the pipeline was technically "trespassing" on the reservation, but did not order an immediate shutdown or rerouting.
Both the state and the Canadian energy company have been at odds over the pipeline, which opponents say threatens the Great Lakes since the infrastructure runs under the Straits of Mackinac. Supporters argue it could drive up energy prices in the Midwest if the pipeline was shutdown.
DTE rejects proposal to more transparency in donations
DTE has rejected a proposal to be more transparent about political donations. Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has brought up the money utilities spend in lobbying efforts, for example, calling the current standards "deficient" mainly because they can influence public policy and rates.
"I think because DTE has a monopoly on energy services that’s not equitable, so if we don’t have a choice then give us voice," said Alicia Edwards, DTE customer.
DTE Energy told FOX 2 that a recent proposal to its shareholders increasing the transparency of the political contributions it makes was unnecessary, and therefore, a majority of shareholders voted it down.
Dr. Chris Kobus, who runs the Clean Energy Research Center at Oakland University wasn't surprised by the move. "Yeah, why would they go above and beyond the law," Kobus said. "It’s like asking either individuals or companies why aren’t you paying more than the minimum amount of tax every year."
Michigan beers win awards at 2023 World Beer Cup
Three Michigan-made beers won awards at this year's World Beer Cup. Redwood Brewing Co. in Flint, Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids, and The Mitten Brewing Co. in West Michigan all took home medals at the award ceremony held during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America in Nashville earlier this month.
There were 10,213 entries from 2,376 breweries, and 51 countries were represented.
An average of 99 beers were entered per category. Michigan winners:
- Gold: Redwood Brewing Co. – Nectar of the Gods in the Belgian Style Tripel Category
- Silver: Founders Brewing – Dirty Bastard in the Old Ale or Strong Ale Category
- Bronze: The Mitten Brewing Co. – Imperial Peanuts & Crackerjacks in the Field Beer Category
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There was a little morning frost to go along with your mid-week cool down Thursday, though it should only last through the early hours before temperatures bump back up. We'll skirt near 70 this afternoon before jumping into the high 70s Friday. Be prepared for some rain to go along with it.
What else we're watching
- Warren Mayor Jim Fouts will hold a press conference late Thursday morning. The longtime head of the city was told by the state Supreme Court it would not reverse an appeal court's decision that he his term limited and cannot run for a 5th time.
- The suspect in the abduction and murder of a Detroit Medical Center nurse was charged in a separate case for a slew of other offenses involving weapons and drug manufacturing. He has not been arraigned yet. The case is out of Garden City.
- One of the drivers for the upcoming Grand Prix will be in town May 18. Just weeks out from the annual Indycar race in Detroit, preparations are ramping up for the high-speed race.
- Did you see the giant boat that got almost beached near Belle Isle Wednesday? The M/V Mark W. Baker is one of the newest bulk carriers to take to the Great Lakes after its completion last year. For reasons that remain unknown, it drifted into a sandbar on Belle Isle's eastern shore.
- New Save A Life Stations are popping up in the state in an effort to increase access to narcan and fentanyl testing strips. The Alliance of Coalitions for Healthy Communities installed the first station outside Hope Shelters in Pontiac.
Montana becomes 1st state to ban TikTok
Montana became the first state in the U.S. to completely ban TikTok on Wednesday when the state's Republican governor signed a measure that's more sweeping than any other state's attempts to curtail the social media app.
The measure is expected to be challenged legally and will serve as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have envisioned.
Some lawmakers, the FBI and officials at other agencies are concerned the video-sharing app, owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance, could be used to allow the Chinese government to access information on American citizens or push pro-Beijing misinformation that could influence the public. TikTok says none of this has ever happened.