Whitmer to speak at Ford Field, Matt Stafford says goodbye, tax day deadline delayed

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will speak Thursday morning to discuss the details about how Ford Field will be used as the COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic starting on Wednesday, March 24.

Whitmer will be joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist to announce the details. FEMA acting regional administrator Kevin M. Sligh Sr. and Detroit Lions Team President and CEO Rod Wood will also be joining the leaders of the state for the announcement.

Last week, Ford Field was selected as the first location in the country to host a mass vaccination clinic where it is expected to be administering 6,000 doses per day over the next eight weeks, starting on March 24.

About 16% of the state's population over the age of 16 has been fully vaccinated. That's about to rise quickly next week, and then again in early April as more access and an expansion of eligibility is around the corner. 

On Wednesday, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that residents age 50 and older could now get the shot.

"Everything is starting to move in the right direction, we're going to top 30,000 this week," Duggan said. "In a couple of weeks when everyone is eligible, we need to be upwards of 40,000 a week and we will be ready for that. 

Ford Field's operations will run in addition to the drive-thru site at the TCF Center, which has been administering shots since availability arrived.

Whitmer will speak at 10:30 a.m. FOX 2 will broadcast it live onsite.

Matt Stafford says farewell

Matt Stafford gave the city a proper farewell in a 9-minute video the Detroit Lions posted to Twitter.

It's got some heartache, it's got fist pumps, it's got so many touchdowns and almost as many fourth-quarter comebacks.

Stafford, who has played 12 years for the Lions will dote a new jersey next season when he starts taking snaps in Los Angeles for the Rams. 

Detroit got a pretty sweet deal in return - but that doesn't mean we're not all losing something special. 

Store owner arrested for assault that bloodied woman

Bassam Yatooma, the co-owner of a liquor store on Puritan and Coyle was arrested by Detroit police after he allegedly assaulted her last week.

Yatooma had told FOX 2 the woman had been panhandling outside his store for hours and had refused to leave when he asked her to. He also said Andrea Warren had spat on him prior to him taking her to the ground. 

However, footage reviewed by police shows Yatooma assaulting the woman. He allegedly dragged her around the store, punching her twice, and standing over the top of her. Warren's nose was broken as a result.

Community officials were outraged at the scene and called for a boycott of the business. A further review of the store found it also did not have a certificate of compliance or a cigarette license - meaning building violations are also on the way.

Detroit police see success in new shot spotter

A new gunshot detection technology purchased by the city of Detroit last year is already paying dividends for the police department. On Wednesday, Chief James Craig announced the arrest of several individuals involved in the illegal manufacture of firearms. 

On a table at the DPD headquarters sat several ammunition magazines, handguns, long guns, and a press used to make ghost guns that are non-traceable. All of it was found at a home on Hoyt Street after Shot Spotter detected gunfire and notified police.

"We deployed it on Monday afternoon, we went live with Shot Spotter on the east side of Detroit," Craig said. "Within 24 hours we got a hit."

Two known gang members, including one involved in the non-fatal shooting that endangered a child in recent weeks, were arrested.

Michigan COVID-19 cases climbing a third time

The state's honeymoon of declining cases appears to be over as COVID-19 infections are on the rise, pushing Michigan toward the fifth-highest rate in the country. The increases are partly due to a new more infectious variant spreading and activities associated with schools - particularly in high schools.

On Wednesday, state health officials reported that Michigan has a 5.1% positivity rate, which the highest increase in the 10-19 age group. Michigan also has 15% of all B.1.1.7 cases, with many of those being reported within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

State epidemiologist Sarah Lyon-Callo said the recent rise in cases is similar to the spike Michigan saw in October last year. "At the rate, we're going, our double time at this growth rate is approximately five weeks. Five weeks from now, we'll have almost two thousand patients in our hospitals in the state."

Not all the new data is bad, however. About 25% of the state's population over the age of 16 has received at least one shot. 

A woman backed into a police car after saying she needs a Vernors

A woman is charged with hinder and obstructing of a police officer, resisting an officer, and operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol after she rammed her car into a patrol vehicle during a welfare check.

Police called to the 1000 block of Kirts Boulevard on March 10 were asked to perform a welfare check on a 35-year-old woman. There, they found her sitting in her running vehicle in the parking lot. Officers could smell alcohol and the woman admitted she had drunk several beverages. She also said she was suffering from depression.

Then, after an ambulance was called, the woman told police she needed a Vernors and put her car in reverse, backing into a patrol vehicle. It caused slight damage to the front end.

An officer managed to get in the passenger side of the car and turn off the vehicle before police had to physically remove the woman. She was taken to the Troy Police Lock-up facility.

What else we're watching

  1. The city of Detroit will make use of its $50 million eviction assistance fund by helping residents facing home payments they can't afford. Read here to learn how to receive help.
  2. The attorney general has issued another consumer alert concerning scammers targeting personal information by posing as members of the health department.
  3. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has sent a team to investigate a Tesla crash into a parked state police car early Wednesday morning.
  4. The Michigan State Spartans will kick off the March Maddness tournament tonight with a play-in game against UCLA. If they win, they'll be seeded 11 and will face off against USC.
  5. The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a "Big 4" event today at 11 a.m., which will feature all three county executives from the area, as well as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. 

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

It's going to be a windy, wet day with temperatures hovering in the 40s for most of Thursday. More of the same temperatures tomorrow, but with some sun instead.

IRS will delay tax filing deadline until May 17

The Internal Revenue Service is delaying the traditional tax filing deadline from April 15 until May 17, according to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The IRS and Treasury Department didn’t immediately comment Wednesday or provide further details. But the committee confirmed and applauded the move, which provides added time for both taxpayers and the IRS alike given the pressure from the pandemic.

"This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis," said Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. and Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J., chairman of the panel's oversight subcommittee.

The extension comes after an intense year for the chronically underfunded IRS. The pandemic hit in the middle of last year's tax filing season, setting the agency back in terms of processing. The IRS has also been a key player in doling out government relief payments, and is helping to send out the third round of payments in the middle of the current tax filing season.