Stellantis layoffs in Sterling Heights incoming • Divine Child HS coach charged • Juneteenth commemorated

Layoffs are expected to hit one of Stellantis's manufacturing plants in Michigan, with announcements about who will lose their jobs coming as soon as Monday.

The layoffs, first announced on June 14, will impact employees at the Stamping Plant in Sterling Heights. According to a letter sent from the UAW, the chapter was told by management it wants to begin "an indefinite lay-off (from the bottom up) starting as early as Monday, June 20, 2022."

A lot of questions remain regarding who will be impacted or when.

More clarity did come from the chapter in a letter posted on Friday which said openings at other Stellantis plants would be filled by employees let go from the Sterling Heights faciliyu.

"All the indefinitely laid off members that have volunteered for work opportunity has been made job offers at other plants," read the letter. That includes openings at Mopar, a Stellantis supplier, Toledo Assembly, and Kokomo in Indiana.

All three facilities are hiring members from the Detroit Labor Market. The shifting of manpower at Stellantis is part of the union's 2019 agreement with the Stellantis. 

The layoffs announced are a symptom of a larger issue for automakers, experts say. 

"With auto volumes continuing to run at the rate they're running at, you just don't need as many people because you're not producing as many vehicles," said John Stoll, an expert on automobiles. "We're going to be in a situation where supply of automobiles is constrained not just for one year, but for probably for 2024."

The ripple effects from the pandemic's early shutdowns and the supply chain issues that have continued to since then have led to chip shortages, skyrocketing costs for used and new cars, as well as gas. 

Watch FOX 2's segment on the incoming layoffs here

Michigan gas prices dip

Michigan gas prices are down an average of 5 cents this week, but only 3 cents in Metro Detroit after costs hit a record last week. Both demand and supply fell last week as the national average decreased slightly after hitting $5.

According to AAA in Dearborn, the sight drop in demand helped limit increases in pump prices. Drivers should beware, volatility remains in the oil market and shouldn't expect in normalcy in gas prices for awhile.

However, the decrease does fall in line with what one expert predicted last week. An official with Gas Buddy tweeted out that he expected the average national gas price would decrease to $4.75-$4.85 by the July 4 holiday. 

The highest gas prices remain in Metro Detroit, hitting $5.27 today. In Ann Arbor, it was $5.24 and in Marquette, prices were $5.17. The least expensive gas prices were in Traverse City at $5.01 and in Grand Rapids at $5.08.

Read the great lengths one man is doing to make ends meet amid high gas prices

Divine Child HS coach charged with child sexually abusive activity

A Divine Child High School wrestling coach was charged after police said he asked a student to send sexually explicit photos in exchange for marijuana.

Brandon Fenzel, 24, of White Lake, faces four counts of child sexually abusive activity and four counts of computer/internet – communicating with another to commit a crime. Fenzel was arraigned Saturday in the 19th District Court and was issued a $500,000 cash bond.

Dearborn police say they were made aware of the incident on Monday. They arrested the coach two days later. Investigators say Fenzel provided weed to a 15-year-old student in exchange for sexually explicit images and videos.

The police investigation also revealed that Fenzel is employed as a teacher at St. Mary's Preparatory Academy in Orchard Lake. People who live in the White Lake neighborhood Fenzel grew up in — were shocked to find out exactly why there were so many police cars on their street earlier this week. They knew something had happened — they just didn't know what.

Tap here for to watch FOX 2's story on the charges

2 dead in Detroit house fire

The Detroit Fire Department is investigating a fire that killed two people overnight in Detroit. Firefighters responded around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday to a house fire near Golden Gate Street and John R Street in Detroit.

A woman in the home suffered third-degree burns and was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, she died on the way. The man was declared deceased on the scene.

The fire department said it was unclear if there was anyone else at the home along with the two victims.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, but it is not believed to be suspicious at this time. The Detroit Fire Department's Arson Division is currently investigating.

Juneteenth commemorated across metro Detroit with several events

Several events were held across metro Detroit Sunday to commemorate Juneteenth. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in America. One of the events was held at the Eastern Market in Detroit.

"It's warm; it's beautiful weather, it's a good time, important for us," said Tim McPherson. Black history is American history, and until we understand the full scope of that, we'll never fully know real American history."

Earlier in the day, a Juneteenth parade at Grand River and Greenfield. The MLK high school marching band led the parade. "Today is important to us because we have the freedom to us -happy about it- good with that," said Demond petty, an event organizer.

It was a fun day for the kids and family. "It's been a great event. I'm glad I came out to this Juneteenth freedom fest. Had a ball out here, man."

What else we're watching

  1. The next frontier impacted by inflation? It's infrastructure. The projects benefiting from the massive stimulus bill passed in 2021 aren't seeing the dollars go as far for supplies, a report from the Associated Press found. See how high inflation is sending costs here. 
  2. According to the city of Detroit, residents facing eviction have until June 30 to apply for emergency rental assistance. The state will continue to provide aid for approved applicants until the end of September or until funding runs out. Anyone who is evicted will get same-day placement in emergency shelters. 
  3. It's World Refugee Day, which the United Community Family Services is celebrating with a picnic at Brinston Park in Troy. The group is putting on the picnic in partnership with the Chaldean American Ladies of Charity organization. The picnic goes from 12 to 3 p.m.
  4. A new monument honoring African American Civil War Veterans buried in Ypsilanti is expected to be unveiled June 20. State Rep. Robbie D. Peterson will be in attendance at Highland Cemetery for the big day. 
  5. Bonuses are coming for Detroit bus drivers. The mayor is expected to be at the Rosa Parks Transit Center for the announcement Monday. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

The heat is returning to Southeast Michigan this week in a big way. Plan on the 80s on Monday and the 90s on Tuesday with conditions feeling like 100 degrees at one point. 

Sam's Club offering $8 annual memberships for a limited time

If you don't have a Sam's Club membership, now may be the time to get one - for a special deal! Sam's Club announced it is offering annual memberships for $8 for a limited time only from June 17 to June 26.

A normal membership costs $45 per year, according to the Sam’s Club website. Those who are interested in the deal can go to one of the club locations and mention the "4th of July offer" at the membership desk. You can check out full details on the company's website.

The offer is limited to one per person and is only valid for new members and previous members with inactive accounts of 6 months or more, Sam's Club said.

"Tag someone who needs to get a membership and invite you over for a Fourth of July pool party," the company tweeted. Excluded from the $8 deal are "Plus" memberships which include free shipping and pharmacy discounts. Sam’s Club, which is owned by Walmart, has almost 600 locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, as well as stores in Brazil, China, and Mexico.