THURSDAY NEWS HIT - The July 1 deadline when all remaining COVID-19 restrictions were to be lifted in Michigan is expected to be moved up to today or tomorrow.
FOX 2's Tim Skubick reports that Michigan is only days away from seeing the rest of its coronavirus rules about masks, public gatherings, and businesses will be lifted.
They are only "crossing the t's and dotting the i'" for lifting the remaining restrictions, which include mask mandates for unvaccinated people and business capacity restrictions of 50%.
But during an interview with a TV station in Grand Rapids, the Democratic governor said people "should stay tuned" for updates closer than July 1.
Any evidence of the surprise surge that washed over the state in February and March has all but evaporated, with 61% of the state vaccinated and the number of new cases being reported falling to the low hundreds.
The original plan was to lift rules after 70% of the state had gotten vaccinated. But the pace of people getting their first shot fell dramatically shortly after that goal was set, and it's unlikely the state reaches 70% before the end of the summer, at the pace it's currently tracking.
The revised plan was to lift most restrictions for vaccinated people by June 1 and then the rest of the rules by July 1.
But a new timeline means rules could be completely lifted by the end of the week.
What does Proposal P do to Detroit's charter?
A revision to Detroit's City Charter would have big implications for the city and the relationship its citizens have with the branches of government in power.
While it's set to appear on the August ballot, the road map for Proposal P in Detroit has taken it across the state, where it's been called illegal by the attorney general, rejected by the governor, and ruled against in two lower court decisions. But then, this week the state Supreme Court overturned those rulings, allowing the charter revision campaign to appear on the next ballot.
And what would it do to the charter? That includes mandating equitable access to broadband, a water affordability program, and a human rights task force on reparations. Mayor Mike Duggan's office conducted an analysis of the cost that Proposal P would have for the city, which came out to $2 billion over four years.
Critics of the proposal say it's a road to bankrupting the city a second time.
DTW's North Terminal gets a new name
One of the two main terminals at Detroit Metro Airport is getting a new name. The North Terminal will soon be relabeled after current Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.
Opening 13 years ago as part of an expansion of DTW, the Wayne County Airport Authority Board voted on Wednesday for the new name change.
"I am humbled and honored by the Wayne County Airport Authority Board’s action today," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "Wayne County is an international gateway because of its airports, and we have worked hard to make them an integral part of the county’s resurgence."
Evans has worked as an executive since January 2015 and a release said he managed to eliminate the county's multi-million dollar deficit and balanced its budget. Since then, it's earned credit rating upgrades and produced budget surpluses.
Whitmer's back to work incentive: a jolt or a bribe?
Rarely has a municipality had so much money to work with on such short notice. But there it was, $3 billion waiting for the state of Michigan to throw it around wherever it pleased. Agreeing on where to spend all that extra money raises questions about how best to divert the state's resources.
One way is to give it to people as a bonus check for going back to work. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's plan to offer $300 to workers returning to work on a weekly basis is an incentive to promote getting back to business. But others see it as a bribe.
"Is it fair to pay those people essentially a bribe, to get back into the workforce? I don't know," said Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain). "I think that may be unfair to those who chose to get back to work months ago."
The money is coming from the federal government, so whether the state wants to do anything with it or not is up to it. Currently, it's used as unemployment. But Republican lawmakers want their citizens back to work, and this would fill that gap.
Unmasking a PPE fraud
When a man in a suit offered refuge from the pandemic, people welcomed it openly. The Leaf Mask raised $4 million as a see-through mask with a HEPA filter that possed N95 ratings. It was a promising resource that could help out during a public health crisis.
And the man promoting it had good business acumen - or so his photos with politicians and his LinkedIn page said. But that wasn't true. And customers of Lalit Verma are now coming out of the woodwork mad and upset at the scam they were sent on.
It took close to a year for the masks to arrive at people's doorsteps, just in time for Michigan's mask mandate to lift. "Why would you see this tragedy that's been happening all across the world," said Chris. "Like millions of deaths at this point and think, ‘I can make a buck off this.’"
That's the experience that many around the country had in dealing with Redcliffe Medical. Read and watch Rob Wolcheck's latest Hall of Shame segment here.
What else we're watching
- Whitmer has issued a new proclamation that June 17 will be known as Essential Worker Appreciation Day
- The annual Gratiot Cruise event begins today in Eastpointe where classic cars will take to the road for the later afternoon start.
- Applications for jobless aid actually rose this past week, after reaching a pandemic low in previous weeks and the economy strengthening.
- How should Detroit spend its $426 million? That's what's leftover from its rescue aid after offsetting losses for the budget. Residents can offer their input by taking a survey at detroitmi.gov/arpa
- Detroit police are investigating a double shooting on Outer Drive near Mound after a man traveling in a Chrysler 300 was targeted by an unknown shooter. He died after being shot, while the passenger was wounded and hospitalized.
Live on FOX 2
Temperatures are going to start rebounding into the 80s today as a brief heatwave begins its sweep through the state. It'll get up to 90 by Sunday.
The ballooning housing crisis
More than 4 million people say they fear being evicted or foreclosed upon in the coming months, just as two studies released Wednesday found that the nation's housing availability and affordability crisis is expected to worsen significantly following the pandemic.
The studies come as a federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of the month. The moratorium has kept many tenants owing back rent housed. Making matters worse, the tens of billions of dollars in federal emergency rental assistance that was supposed to solve the problem has not reached most tenants.
The housing crisis, the studies found, risks widening the gap between Black, Latino and white households, as well as putting homeownership out of the reach of lower-income Americans.