Senate controls fate of $2k stimulus, holiday travel hit pandemic record, funeral home pays for boys' service

President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks now rests with the Senate after the House voted overwhelmingly Monday to meet the president's demand to increase the $600 stipends, but Republicans have shown little interest in boosting spending.

The outcome is highly uncertain heading into Tuesday's session. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to publicly address how he plans to handle the issue. But Democrats, sharing a rare priority with Trump, have seized on the opportunity to force Republicans into a difficult vote of either backing or defying the outgoing president.

After bipartisan approval by the House, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned, "There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to stand in the way."

"There’s strong support for these $2,000 emergency checks from every corner of the country," Schumer said in a statement late Monday. He called on McConnell to make sure the Senate helps "meet the needs of American workers and families who are crying out for help."

For now, the administration can only begin work sending out the $600 payments, which could disperse soon. 

You can read more about eligibility for the second stimulus check here

Funeral home pays for service of 2 boys who died in Christmas day fire

A funeral home is lending a hand of support to a grieving mother who lost two sons in a house fire on Christmas.

Demika Pinson and three of her kids, a 2-year-old, 8-year-old and 10-year-old, were able to make it out alive. Sadly, two of her sons - 6 and 7 years old - were killed. 

After seeing the story on FOX 2, those at Hutchison Funeral Home in Detroit knew they could make a difference for a family that experienced so much loss. 

"By hearing the circumstances, it touched our hearts and we knew we had to do something for this family," said Vice President of the funeral home, Joseph Hutchison. He's covering all expenses to give the boys a funeral. 

Pinson was overwhelmed by the generosity.

"At this hard time for me and my family, I really want to say thank you and I appreciate you and everybody who is helping," Pinson said. "I mean; it means a lot. I lost everything."

If you would like to also help the Pinson family, click here.

Public viewing continues Tuesday for Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon

A photo of Benny Napoleon’s bright smile greeted everyone as they walked into the Swanson Funeral Home on Monday to pay their respects after the Wayne County sheriff died earlier this month from COVID-19. 

"That smile says it all," said Detroit Police Captain Conway Petty. "When you see that picture, that’s what everybody remembers."

The community gathered at the funeral home Monday to say their final goodbyes.

A public visitation continues Tuesday at Greater Grace Temple, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Greater Grace Temple is located at 23500 West Seven Mile in Detroit. 

A private funeral will be held later this week.

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Other Stories

1. A father working the frontlines at a DTE power plant in Monroe County was unable to come home for Christmas - but still received the best surprise ever from his family.

2. Inkster police are searching for three suspects who sent them on a high-speed chase Sunday after an attempted apartment break-in and shooting.

3. The owner of a K-9 training school in metro Detroit is loaning the dogs out to some frontline health care workers for the weekend to help with COVID fatigue.

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TSA screens highest number of travelers over holidays since pandemic began

A record number of travelers since the pandemic began passed through U.S. airports over the holidays despite warnings to limit travel amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The Transportation Security Administration screened 1,284,599 people at airport checkpoints nationwide on Dec. 27, agency records show. It was the highest number since the pandemic decimated the air travel industry earlier this year.

During the pandemic low on April 14, just 87,534 passengers flew nationwide.

While passenger volume remains down about 50% from the same time a year ago, Dec. 27 was also the sixth day over the last 10 in which volume has topped 1 million travelers, according to the TSA. 

The increase in passengers suggests many Americans ignored warnings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioning against travel for the holidays in an effort to limit the spread of virus.