What's next for gun control • David's Bridal files for bankruptcy • Felon arraigned in activist's murder

Michigan Democrats ran into few hurdles during their first round of legislating on gun safety bills, easily passing laws that mandate safe storage of firearms and expands background checks during gun purchases. 

A third law that deals with extreme risk protection orders or ‘red flag’ laws looks like it will clear the legislature after passing on a narrow vote in the state House. The first round of bills could be considered low-hanging fruit.

The next round of gun safety bills comes with risks. 

"It may take a little harder push for some of our activists gunfights activists on our side of the aisle when we go a little further," said Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit). "There's a few that have said you know that would cause them a lot of heartburn."

Other laws that Democrats could consider in the realm of gun control include limiting the number of rounds that could be loaded into a magazine, require firearms be taken from those convicted of domestic violence, or even an assault weapons ban.

But broaching those laws comes with more potholes politically and may require more work among Democrats if not every lawmaker is on board. Due to the narrow majorities in both chambers, any state representatives or senators that balk at more gun safety proposals could risk the bills not passing. 

Democrats could attempt to reach across the aisle for Republican support - but it's not likely they'll find much support. 

Among the Democrats that had already expressed skepticism during the first round of bills was Rep. Kimberly Edwards of Eastpointe, who voiced concerns about giving a judge authority to remove someone's firearm.

Speaking on the House Judiciary Committee last week, Edwards said there wasn't enough data from other states about the impact of red flag laws and how they might be used in minority communities.  

To quell those fears, the language in the bill was amended with more focus on due process as well as requiring an annual report of these of extreme risk protection orders.

Read more here.

David's Bridal files for bankruptcy

David's Bridal store, which has eight locations in Michigan and has been a staple of the wedding industry in the state for years, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company's 299 stores around the U.S. will remain open for now, but anyone with a gift card to the store shouldn't wait to spend it.

"They don’t have the income they (need) to be able to maintain their operations and pay off their debts," said Dr. Michael Greiner, Oakland University. A spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau said anyone awaiting alterations or already has the dress at the store shouldn't wait.

One in four wedding dresses sold is bought at David's Bridal. But the industry has changed and now the clothing company has debts owed between $100 and $500 million. A big reason is that people don't purchase wedding dresses the way they used to. 

It's the second time the company has filed for protection. They previously did it in 2018. Recently, they announced plans to lay off more than 9,000 employees.

Read more here.

Convicted felon arraigned in murder of Ann Arbor activist

Last week, a close-knit community in Ann Arbor was shocked by the brutal murder of a woman known as a pillar in her community. Now, the man accused of killing her has been charged with her murder.

Ricky Dewayne McCain was in court on Monday, five days after Jude Walton was murdered during a break-in at her home. Investigators said she was mostly naked and partially wrapped in a sheet when she was found on her bedroom floor on Thursday.

Jude Walton's body was found this afternoon in her Chapin Street residence during a welfare check. She had failed to show up for work at Avalon Housing, a nonprofit that helps the homeless. It was determined she was strangled to death.

McCain was arrested for an unrelated larceny charge hours after police began investigating. He soon became the prime suspect before being charged. Investigators he broke a window to get into Walton's home. It's unclear if the two knew each other.


Convicted felon charged in murder of Ann Arbor community activist

Last week, a close-knit community in Ann Arbor was shocked by the brutal murder of a woman known as a pillar in her community. Now, the man accused of killing her has been charged with her murder.

Detroit officials talk summer safety plan after downtown shootings

The first warm weekend of the summer came with tragedy in Detroit following multiple fatal shootings. With the city set to host major events in the coming months like the auto show, the Grand Prix, and its annual fireworks show, officials are recalibrating to ensure they're safe.

"We’re not unlike any other major city that’s experiencing some upticks and some unique situations," said Detroit Police Chief James White. "And we’re in front of that. We’ve got a very detailed strategy, without giving it away. And I’m confident Detroit will continue to be a welcoming downtown area."

White intends to deploy similar command groups that he used last summer to help stamp out crime in the warmer months, according to Mayor Mike Duggan. "We’re going to continue to adjust strategies as we go, we’ll get the communities' help. I’m optimistic we’ll have a good summer."

That includes cameras placed at various locations and an increase in officer presence in high-trafficked areas.

Read more here.

Gary Peters spearheads firefighter grant effort

Firefighters provide lifesaving help every single day - that's one of the reasons lawmakers are going to bat to make sure local fire stations have the critical resources they need. Now fire stations across the country - including Sterling Heights - need help. Cities are calling on lawmakers to extend federal grant programs that provide critical resources to fire stations.

"In the past years we've been able to use these grants to provide for the equipment on the fire trucks, the equipment in the ambulance and the breathing apparatus," said Fire Chief Kevin Edmond, Sterling Heights.

Sen. Gary Peters has introduced legislation that extends grants for an additional seven years, which will maintain about $750 million in grants across the country.

"So I’m going to work to get this bill passed this week," Peters said. "We'll get it out of the Senate and send it over to the House. We are hoping to get a signed into law as quickly as possible."


Sen. Gary Peters spearheads effort to extend firefighting grants for 7 more years

Now fire stations across the country - including Sterling Heights - need help. Cities are calling on lawmakers to extend federal grant programs that provide critical resources to fire stations.

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Daily Forecast

Snow? At this time of year? Obviously - we live in Michigan and we're typically promised at least one April snowfall. The dusting won't last forever, but temperatures haven't quite climbed back up to summer conditions. 

What else we're watching

  1. The Detroit Tigers had another game postponed because of weather Monday when their contest against the Cleveland Guardians was rescheduled for a double header Tuesday. 
  2. An Eastpointe man has been charged with several felonies after a road rage incident ended with him crashing into a motorcycle. No injuries were reported but the suspect reached speeds of 100 mph during the incident. 
  3. A WWE wrestler is teaming up with the Michigan Panthers to help emcee the team's first official home game. Ettore "Big E" Ewan will be in attendance in Detroit this weekend. 
  4. The Wayne County Commissioners has set a hearing on toxic waste disposal in the county Tuesday. The committee on health and human services will convene at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the prospect after it turned away a shipment for toxic waste that had come from an Ohio train derailment. 
  5. The DEA is expected to provide an update into an investigation of an illicit fentanyl supply containing animal tranquilizer found in 48 states. Some may have seen the drug being called ‘Tranq’

Apple unveils high-yield savings account for Apple Card holders

Apple announced Monday that it is now offering its Apple Card holders a high-yield savings account with Goldman Sachs.

Apple Card users can choose to grow their Daily Cash rewards with a savings account that offers an annual percentage yield (APY) of 4.15% – a rate that is more than 10 times the national average, according to the technology company.

The card features no fees, no minimum deposits and no minimum balance requirements. Interested users can set up and manage their savings account from Apple Card in their Wallet.

"Savings helps our users get even more value out of their favorite Apple Card benefit — Daily Cash — while providing them with an easy way to save money every day," said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet. "Our goal is to build tools that help users lead healthier financial lives, and building Savings into Apple Card in Wallet enables them to spend, send, and save Daily Cash directly and seamlessly — all from one place."