Where gun-free zones are proposed in Detroit • Resignation calls roil Westland • Founders Taproom closes

Firearms in Greektown, the riverfront, Hart Plaza, and Spirit Plaza would be prohibited under an ordinance going in front of the Detroit City Council Tuesday.

Proposed "gun-free zones" were first floated as a solution to downtown violence that sparked out of Greektown during a busy weekend in Detroit. Six people were shot and two died - including a popular security guard.

Councilmember Mary Waters said the removal of guns would reduce "senseless violence" that often spills over when temperatures go up.

"You're shooting people over what? A place in line? A slice of pizza?" she said. I want to say stop the killing and we're not going to tolerate it."

The idea is running into push-back from activists who argue prohibiting someone from carrying firearms would only endanger them.

"People have a right to be safe everywhere. Disarming people and making it more likely they will be victims of violent crime is not the answer," said Rick Ector, a gun rights advocate and board member of the National Rifle Association.

Ector spoke during a press briefing downtown near the Greektown Casino Monday. He rationalized that criminals would target those areas because the zones prohibit firearms. 

The idea was also not among those introduced by law enforcement and community advocate figures during a joint press conference between the city, police departments, and the U.S. Attorney's Office. 

Mayor Mike Duggan said the city would run into issues with state law, which prohibits the restriction of where lawful gun owners can bring their guns. That law, titled the Michigan Firearms and Ammunition Act was passed in 1990. Another state law lists areas like schools, houses of worship, and sports arenas where guns can be restricted. 

Activists call for Westland mayor's resignation

Decades-old videos showing a police chief allegedly mistreating citizens in Westland continue to roil the Wayne County community as activists called for the mayor to resign during last night's city council meeting.

"This mayor has shown a lack of accountability and responsibility for things in the past," said one resident. Other residents pointed their criticism toward Chief Jeff Jedrusik following his resignation last week. They claimed the fallout was just beginning.

"One thing that is never going to change is the truth, and when you have evidence to back it up," said Tina Lindsay, community activist. Attendees also piled on after an old video of the mayor at a comedy roast surfaced, with some alleging he used a racial slur. The mayor denied it.

"I got in with the wrong crowd and there was a lot of things I did when I was young that I am not particularly proud of,"  Mayor Michael Londeau said. "What I am proud of is, that I was able to pull myself out of that lifestyle to accomplish something that I never thought would be possible."

Read the full story here.

Founders closes Detroit Taproom permanently

Founders Detroit Taproom announced it is permanently closing after six years. According to a post on its Facebook page, it cited lingering effects of the forced Covid closures during the pandemic impacting its business.

The company said it struggled to regain the foot traffic after the closures, but was unable to. The closure happened the same day a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination and a hostile work environment was filed against the brewery.

The popular location on Charlotte Street between Cass and 2nd Avenue which first opened in 2017, was closed last weekend prior to the announcement citing "unforeseen technical issues." The statement ended with a thank you to patrons. Founders which is based in Grand Rapids, still has its original taproom location open there. The entire statement is below:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that the Founders Detroit Taproom will be permanently closing its doors today.

Read the full statement and story here.

Snowy start to May for some northern Michigan residents

How was the start to your May? If you're in Metro Detroit, it was chilly, rainy, and mostly overcast. But travel to the Upper Peninsula and it looks like an entirely different state and season.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Monday that was expected to last until Tuesday morning. Footage collected from Storyful was filmed by Dan Salmon and shows the view outside his home in Marquette, which sits on the northern coast of the U.P. along Lake Superior.

A fresh blanket of snow is on the ground and wind is whipping up the American Flag hanging off the house. The snowfall was expected to cause potential power outages and treacherous travel conditions. 

Winter in Michigan tends to move on from the lower peninsula in late March and early April. While temperatures still take some weeks to respond, most snowfall events are over by then. But Michigan is a state where one can travel a few hours north and find themselves in a different world entirely. Snowfall in the UP tends to persist at least another month. 


Snowy start to May for some northern Michigan residents

How was the start of your May? For some lucky residents, it started with a fresh blanket of snow.

58 species added to Michigan's threatened, endangered list

Updates to Michigan's threatened and endangered species list include the addition of 58 species and the removal of 36 species. There are now 407 species considered threatened or endangered in the state.

Experts from universities, the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, other conservation organizations, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommended changes to the list based on recent data. It's the seventh update to the list in nearly 50 years.

While species were removed, many species were added or have already been on the list. According to the DNR, three bat species – little brown, northern long-eared, and tri-colored – have been listed as threatened due to significant population declines in the state resulting from white-nose syndrome. 

This disease damages bats' skin while they hibernate, causing them to warm up and waste energy. Rusty-patched bumblebees and American bumblebees were added to the endangered species list because, like many pollinator species, their populations are seeing large declines.

See the full list here.

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Daily Forecast

The end of our cold weather spell is in sight. But first temperatures will remain in the 40s with clouds, some occasional rain, and even a chance for a snowflake or two.

What else we're watching

  1. It's Teacher Appreciation Week. Here are some freebies and deals offered for educators.
  2. Jason Brilla, 35 of Clinton Township, is expected to be sentenced in the second-degree murder conviction after the man fled a traffic stop before crashing. The passenger in Brilla's vehicle was later pronounced dead.
  3. AAA is reminding people to take care of those new home renovations. It's been a busy construction season the past few years and severe weather can be known to wreck all of that progress.
  4. The grand opening of the new Transit Center at the old state fairgrounds now has a date: Spring of 2024. Despite us being a year out from the new public transportation hub, media will get a behind-the-scenes look at the site where an historic Dairy Cattle Barn is being converted.
  5. Adult-only nights at the Detroit Zoo kick off in May. Learn more about the Zoo Brew here.

Legendary folk singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot dies at 84

Gordon Lightfoot, Canada's legendary folk singer-songwriter whose hits including "Early Morning Rain" and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" told a tale of Canadian identity that was exported worldwide, died on Monday. He was 84.

Representative Victoria Lord said the musician died at a Toronto hospital. His cause of death was not immediately available.

Considered one of the most renowned voices to emerge from Toronto’s Yorkville folk club scene in the 1960s, Lightfoot went on to record 20 studio albums and pen hundreds of songs, including "Carefree Highway" and "Sundown."