Retired chief James Craig enters the political arena, Detroit pastor hit with dumping fines, t-storms expected

The suspect behind the shooting of a Detroit Fire Department lieutenant is expected to be arraigned today.

It'll be the first court appearance for the man since Lt. Francis Dombrowski was shot at a Troy gas station Monday night. 

An initial case of road rage that turned violent, the case took on new meaning when the victim was identified - with those that knew Dombrowski grieving over the loss of an active member of the department.

It happened in the parking lot of a Shell gas station when police say a traffic altercation escalated into a verbal conflict before a suspect shooter open-fired at Dombrowski, killing him. It happened at 9:45 p.m.

The suspect who fled the scene later turned himself in early Tuesday.

"This man was murdered and now a lot of broken hearts are left in the aftermath," said Detroit Fire Department Commissioner Eric Jones.

Dombrowski, 55, was a 29-year veteran of the force and worked at Engine 53 on the city's west side. He had been awarded a Medal of Valor in 2018 for heroism when he crawled through smoke and flames to rescue an unconscious man from a house fire.

"It has to stop. I guess nobody fights with their fists anymore -- everybody fights with a gun," said Dombrowski's friend and co-worker, senior Lt. Jimmy Nadolski. "Frank wouldn't fight you with his fists or a gun. He'd fight you with his words, and nine times out of ten he was going to beat your butt."

Dombrowski leaves behind his siblings and family. 

The suspect is expected to be formally charged during his arraignment Wednesday.

Retired chief Craig enters the political arena

A big round of applause greeted Detroit's former police chief Tuesday evening when James Craig delivered a 25-minute speech to a crowd in Jackson - the birthplace of the Michigan Republican Party.

The Detroit native outlined the path he walked toward becoming a Republican and the identity of his politics. He's pro-life. He's an ardent Second Amendment supporter and believer in law enforcement. He also decried liberal woke-ism and victimhood he said is perpetuated by Democrats. He even opened up about his past two votes for President - Donald Trump.

"Just like most African-Americans growing up in Detroit, I was automatically considered a Democrat," he said. "You were born a Democrat. But over time as you had your own life experiences, an opportunity to form your own world views, you come to your own conclusions."

Not everyone that heard Craig speak was a fan. Someone yelled "trump traitor" during his speech - to which Craig shot back "I respect the right to free speech - now you respect me." The Democratic Party called Craig's speech a "dress rehearsal" ahead of a potential announcement with plans to run for governor.

Did the Flint Water Crisis spur vaccine hesitancy?

An associate professor of sociology at Central Michigan University believes he's found a connection between those exposed to lead-tainted water in Flint and the skepticism of vaccines among those groups. "The Flint water crisis has had an impact on how residents and how citizens in Genesee County and in Southeast Michigan and how they are navigating efforts with respect to mass vaccination," said Dr. Cedric Taylor.

Taylor's study and of those people and a 2018 documentary led him to conclude the mistrust of institutions rooted in history could be having a current-day effect on the views of vaccines. He says the notion that people who choose not to get the shot just don't get it, is wrong. "You do have a demographic that is fairly well-educated and have degrees that are also suspicious about the vaccination," Taylor said.

A survey of a thousand people from Flint and Metro Detroit adds credence to his conclusion. One-third of those polled say they won't get the vaccine, 60% believe the vaccine isn't safe, and half believe you can get Covid from the vaccine.

So what's the antidote?  Dr. Taylor says it's what you're reading and watching and where you're getting the information from.  Fringe websites, some cable news commentary shows, and yes, social media.

Church pastor says Detroit is billing him for dumping nearby

‘Thous shall not dump’ is the real sermon that Pastor Benjamin Hoke really wants to shout from the rooftops. His church in Palmer Park has become the source of illegal dumping - and the city is footing him with the bill.

"It is quite frustrating because they want me to pay the bill," he said. "They want my congregation to pay for people dumping their debris."

Hoke has gotten tickets in September and again in February. The dumping, he believes, is coming from residents in surrounding apartments who throw their trash on the church property. "I feel that my property goes to this rail, but the city tells me I am responsible for half of the alley," Hoke said."They said half of the alley is mine."

Illegal dumping has long been a problem for the city, despite Detroit's best efforts to curb the problem. The fines are heavy, but locating the suspects isn't easy. 

"In terms of frustration on scale of one to 10, I would say 10," said Jevona Watson, who owns Detroit Sip, a nearby coffee shop. "This has been a problem for years, it has gotten progressively worse. When people prioritize crime they don't think of littering. But it is a crime and I think we need to start enforcing it."

Whitmer to sign education funding bill, push for parks investment

The governor will be signing the state's new education bill that will increase funding for schools at a level not seen in decades in Macomb County this morning. She'll be joined by area teachers and the county executive.

Gretchen Whitmer also plans to continue to push for investing $150 million into state park infrastructure - which she introduced on Tuesday. The money would come from the massive federal stimulus bill the states received earlier this year. If approved by the legislature, the plan would disburse grants to help modernize the parks. The investment would boost tourism for rural communities, the governor said.

"Right now this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make transformative investment in our outdoors spaces, and we ought to take it," she said during a news conference at Connor Bayou Park along the Grand River near Grand Haven. It is one of roughly 4,000 local parks across the state.

The funding also could improve and connect regional trail systems, including in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ottawa County and St. Clair County.

What else we're watching

  1. An Endangered Child alert out of Tennessee reports that a possibly abducted 1-year-old and their non-custodial father may be heading for Traverse City, Michigan. 
  2. Councilmember Mary Sheffield and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib plan to celebrate the grassroots effort that saved 2,400 homes from foreclosures, with the help of the Coalition for Property Justice.
  3. The CDC is investigating the death of a 13-year-old Michigan boy who died after receiving his second COVID-19 vaccine. Officials warned it would be "premature" to assign a specific cause of death until after the investigation is complete.
  4. More than a million Michigan residents have signed up for the state's vaccine lottery, a release said Tuesday. About $5 million in winnings is available to those picked in the lottery. Learn how you can sign up here
  5. Meal distribution at Detroit Parks and Recreation Center sites has a new schedule. On Mondays and Thursday, it'll be at the Farwell Rec Center and the Kemeny Rec Center, and Wednesdays and Fridays it will be at the Adams/Butzel Complex and the Williams Rec Center.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

Metro Detroit recorded its hottest day of the year on Tuesday when temperatures maxed out at 92 degrees in the late afternoon. Relief is on the way, but not without some turbulence. Thunderstorms are expected for the second half of the week, starting today at 2 p.m.

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse assassinated at home, official says

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated after a group of unidentified people attacked his private residence, the country’s interim prime minister said in a statement Wednesday.

First Lady Martine Moïse is hospitalized following the attack late Tuesday, interim Premier Claude Joseph said.

Joseph condemned what he called a "hateful, inhumane and barbaric act," adding that Haiti’s National Police and other authorities had the situation in the Caribbean country under control.