WEDNESDAY NEWS HIT - On the heels of President Joe Biden's visit to the autoworker union picket lines will come former President Donald Trump, who is skipping the second Republican debate to speak to workers at a facility in Macomb County.
Trump previously labeled his remarks as showing solidarity with the UAW workers on strike. However, he'll be giving his speech from a non-union auto parts plant at an event that is invite-only.
He's likely to get an icy reception from UAW leadership as well. The union president spoke with a national cable news Tuesday night, calling it "pathetic irony" that Trump would hold a rally for union members at a non-union business.
In a statement after Biden's visit to Belleville Tuesday, he called the move "nothing more than a PR stunt" meant to "distract and gaslight" citizens from his administration.
Trump's visit to Michigan comes at a fluid time in the 2024 general election race. Seen as the front-running for the Republican Party, the former president skipped the first debate to give remarks elsewhere. He's recently posted on his social media that the party should pay less attention to the upcoming primaries and instead focus on the general election.
Michigan is likely going to play a role in the 2024 race for president. Blue collar workers make up a key demographic and voting bloc for both Democrats and Republicans and depending on how it votes could help one candidate win the state.
Detroit police raid psychedelic church
It's been called Detroit's "Psychedelic Church" -- but now police are getting involved. Images captured the Detroit police raid at Soul Tribes International Ministries on the city’s west side recently. On Tuesday, FOX 2 went to the church’s building and saw bright orange signs, where investigators shut the place down.
"I’m totally stunned," said Shaman Shu, Soul Tribes International Ministries. "It’s a true 'Matrix moment' right now. To actually go through everything I needed to do, to legalize, decriminalize and put together a system so people could have healing, and yet there are signs telling me I can’t go back into my church."
Robert Shumake — "Shaman Shu" — is the religious leader at Soul Tribes. He believes the city and police targeted him because he offers mushrooms — which he calls sacred plants — with his members. He claims he is only trying to help people cope with, and improve their mental health.
Back in 2021, Shaman Shu says he helped craft the ordinance "Prop E" — a proposal that decriminalizes mushroom use in Detroit. The measure was passed by voters and Shaman Shu opened his church in March.
Dentist and father of 5 dies in medical episode
Dearborn is grieving the loss of a local dentist - and beloved father of five. Chris Clifford was involved in a crash on Telegraph and suffered a medical episode. "We just loved him so much," said his wife Lindsey.
Clifford, a 41-year-old dentist, loving husband, and father of five, died after being rear-ended at Telegraph and Carlysle in Dearborn Monday. Lindsey was Chris’ high school sweetheart. They met when she was 15 and were married for 20 years.
This summer, Chris and his family made countless memories — taking a trip to Cedar Point.
He recently started a new job as a partner at Newman Family Dental in Dearborn back in April. Lindsey says their family is grateful for the community’s support and her church. She says faith is helping the Clifford family through this tragedy. The family has a GoFundMe set up. To learn more or donate GO HERE.
Pharmacies stuck in the middle on slow rollout for new Covid vaccine
A new COVID vaccine is available at pharmacies but the problem is people are having a hard time tracking this down. The pharmacist I talked with says it’s challenging for them to keep a steady supply
"We have a shortage on everything these days - the last thing you want to have is a shortage on the Covid vaccine," said Pharmacist Rudy Najam. But that's the reality for Najam, the owner of I-Pharmacy in Livonia. He received 10 boxes of the vaccine a couple of days ago — and ran out this morning.
He can order more, but it’s up in the air when the order would arrive and how many shots he’ll even get."It’s becoming more like a distribution problem, it’s outside the pharmacy control - who has the means, who has the right equipment and fridges, the demand for it," he said. "It’s a matter of allocation."
And price - Najam says the government is not buying the shots anymore — it's up to the pharmacists — and insurance.
Fixing Michigan's chronic absenteeism
The number of kids missing school on a consistent basis is alarming - based on the measurement of missing 18 days a school year. One study found roughly 39% of all Michigan students are considered chronically absent. That is the fourth worst in the entire country..
The numbers are even worse at 43 percent when you focus on Wayne County - but there is an effort underway to stem the tide. At Rawsonville Elementary School, principal Tracy Bryant is constantly working to ensure her students show up every day - and for good reason.
"Students that have chronic attendance problems are usually the ones who you see with academic challenges," said Bryant. She's not alone. In Wayne County 114,000 students or 43 percent of all students are considered chronically absent.
As for why - educators can point to many reasons. There's the daily struggles that any family suffers through. Covid also drove up the absenteeism rate. Before it was 16% in kids. Then it jumped to 49%.
Live on FOX 2
The weather is looking wet. It'll be rainy in the morning Wednesday before picking up again Wednesday evening. Overnight showers will ensue before a drier weekend comes into focus.
What else we're watching
- According to media reports, several individuals were injured after being struck by a vehicle near a UAW picket line at the Flint Processing Center in Swartz Creek. MLive reported strikers were blocking an exit to the processing center when it took place.
- While responding to a crash on WB I-696 in Warren, police found a loaded 9 mm pistol, despite the driver not having a concealed pistol license.
- MDOT plans on closing the I-94 exit at 23 Mile for three weeks in Macomb County to accommodate pavement repairs and the partial rebuilding of the interchange.
- The 4th annual Detroit Black Film Festival will take place starting Sept. 27 and going until Oct. 1. It includes 74 independent films from six countries and the continent of Africa. Learn more here.
- The national State of the Babies 2023 has come out. The fifth annual report provides data on the youngest kids in the country. It found 11 million babies made up 3.4% of the population, including 52% of them being babies of color. It's the most diverse round of babies ever.
Native American group hopes Taylor Swift's influence could end tomahawk chop during Chiefs games
A Native American organization is hoping Taylor Swift’s emergence at a Kansas City Chiefs game over the weekend and link to tight end Travis Kelce can help turn the tide and end the tomahawk chop.
Swift was in a suite next to Donna Kelce, Travis’ mother, during the Chiefs’ 41-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. In one video, fans around her are doing the tomahawk chop, but Swift doesn’t join in.
Not in Our Honor founder Rhonda LeValdo told TMZ that she hopes Swift can help end the chop, which is a gesture used by some fans to celebrate but which some people say is a racist stereotype of Native Americans.