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Yesterday — 20 May 2024Main stream

Inmates at this Virginia prison were treated for hypothermia over a dozen times, records show

20 May 2024 at 17:29

The Virginia State Police investigator seemed puzzled about what the inmate was describing: "unbearable" conditions at a prison so cold that toilet water would freeze over and inmates were repeatedly treated for hypothermia.

"How do you get hypothermia in a prison?" the investigator asked. "You shouldn't."

The exchange, captured on video obtained by The Associated Press, took place during an investigation into the death of Charles Givens, a developmentally disabled inmate at the Marion Correctional Treatment Center, who records show was among those repeatedly hospitalized for hypothermia.

After a special grand jury considered the case but opted not to bring criminal charges, Givens' sister sued in federal court, alleging her brother was subjected to routine mistreatment, including "cold-water torture," before he was fatally beaten in 2022.

The lawsuit has raised broader questions about conditions at the southwest Virginia prison, which the grand jury described as "inhumane and deplorable."

The AP obtained records showing inmates at Marion, which houses predominantly mentally ill offenders, were hospitalized for hypothermia at least 13 times in three years during cold-weather months while medical providers expressed concern about temperatures at the prison.

"I am hopeful it may warm up some before fall officially sets in ... but the colder temperatures make this specific population vulnerable to hypothermia and possibly pneumonia," a nurse practitioner at the prison wrote in September 2020. "I know we are always trying to avoid hospital runs and such."

Medical providers at the prison raised the prospect that the anti-psychotic medicines some inmates were taking could have played a role in their hypothermia hospitalizations, according to the records. But medical experts not connected to the prison said that type of side effect is rare and the number of hospitalizations should have been a cause for concern.

"There's something unusual about the circumstances that would be leading to this high number of hospitalizations for this condition that otherwise is really, really unusual, really rare," said Dr. Fred Jarskog, a professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill and research director of the North Carolina Psychiatric Research Center. "I can say that with a lot of confidence."

Jarskog said he has spent 30 years treating patients with anti-psychotics and encountered "maybe" one episode of hypothermia. Even a single case of hypothermia in a patient at the hospital where he works would prompt discussion. Figures like what the DOC has seen would prompt "a massive investigation," he said.

Kyle Gibson, a spokesman for the Virginia Department of Corrections, repeatedly declined to answer questions about what the records showed or to address prison conditions, citing the pending litigation. He did not acknowledge an AP request to interview the facility's warden or another DOC official with oversight of Marion.

The Department of Corrections and attorney general's office previously withheld documents the AP sought under the state's open-records law related to Givens' death and inmate complaints about cold temperatures.

In addition to mentally ill inmates, the Marion prison houses general population offenders, such as the person seen speaking with the investigator in the video, who provide support services including maintenance and cleaning.

A state procurement document from 2018 for renovations that would include an HVAC system replacement said no major improvements had been made to the building since its core structures were built in 1955.

In the video exchange obtained by the AP, the inmate told the state police investigator there was no functional heat in at least one part of the prison, leading to "unbearable" indoor temperatures he estimated were in the 40s Fahrenheit or "maybe high 30s" in the cells he cleaned.

The prisoner also alleged officers would open exterior windows as a form of punishment, exacerbating the cold temperatures. The allegation is echoed in the lawsuit, which argues hypothermia without outdoor exposure is uncommon. The inmate said he had seen at least six people being treated for hypothermia.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that hypothermia, which can be fatal, is most likely at very cold temperatures, but can happen at cooler temperatures above 40 degrees if a person is chilled from water.

Emails and other documents obtained by the AP show medical workers at the prison discussing cold conditions and expressing concern about making sure the housing unit windows were closed and blankets were available.

In court records obtained by the AP, an institutional investigator, who said he had worked at the prison for decades and reported to the warden, stated the part of the facility where Givens was housed stayed colder than other parts. The investigator indicated he wouldn't be surprised to hear of hypothermia complaints.

Givens was hospitalized for hypothermia five times over the last year of his life.

"I understand we all have concerns about Mr. Givens' care," a prison nurse remarked in one email exchange.

Broadly, the records echo similar, previously disclosed concerns about the facility.

A special grand jury impaneled at the request of the top local prosecutor in 2022 found Givens' death "suspicious," also saying in a report that "nearly every witness" described living conditions in the prison sector housing mentally ill inmates as "unsuitable."

"More than one witness had observed ice formed on the water in toilets. We find these conditions to be inhumane and deplorable," the report said.

The grand jury concluded it lacked sufficient evidence to support an indictment in Givens' death but said the case should be reconsidered "should other evidence come to light." The five officers named in the civil complaint all have denied the allegations of torture and other misconduct, according to court documents.

As the lawsuit over Givens' death plays out, the Office of the Attorney General, which is representing two additional defendants who held supervisory roles at the prison, has sought unsuccessfully to block additional discovery into the issues of hypothermia or allegations of cold exposure.

The office argued in court documents that because an autopsy found Givens died of blunt-force trauma, "additional discovery into incidents unrelated or at best loosely related to Mr. Givens' death will unnecessarily multiply these proceedings."

Last month, a magistrate judge denied the attorney general's motion.

The AP made multiple attempts by email to reach the defendants' attorneys, seeking comment on the case and allegations of cold temperatures. None responded to the inquiries, except for a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, who declined to comment, citing the pending lawsuit.

Mark Krudys, an attorney for Givens' sister, Kym Hobbs, declined to comment on the AP's findings.

Givens was serving time for the 2010 fatal shooting of a woman who was employed as a home health nurse for his mother. As a child, Givens sustained a traumatic brain injury after falling down a flight of stairs and his intellectual and emotional development was limited to that of a second-grader or third-grader, according to the lawsuit.

Givens also had Crohn's disease, which caused him to sometimes defecate on himself, a factor attorneys for his sister say made him a target for abuse.

In July, the AP reported the FBI was looking into his death.

The civil trial has been set for January.

Police: Man dead after being mauled by his dog; second pitbull attack in Oakland County in less than a week

20 May 2024 at 17:12

A 40-year-old Farmington Hills man is dead after being attacked by his dog, which police describe as a pitbull mix.

According to Farmington Hills police, a family member discovered the man unconscious with the dog pulling on his body in his backyard on Elmgrove Street on Saturday evening

The family member had gone to the man’s home after not hearing from him all day, police said.

The family member managed to get the dog into the house before calling 911, police said. No one else was home at the time.

Officers responded to the scene and found the man unconscious and “with significant wounds consistent with animal bites,” police said. First responders provided some aid on the scene and then transported the man to Corewell Hospital Farmington Hills where he died from his wounds, police said.

This is the second attack by pitbull or pitbull-mix dogs in Oakland County in less than a week. Last Wednesday, a one-year-old child sustained severe lacerations to her face, forehead, lower back and leg from her family’s two dogs while at her grandmother’s home in Wixom, police said.  The homeowner was also injured by the dogs, police said.

The child underwent surgery at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, police said.

In both cases, the dogs were turned over to Oakland County Animal Control, police said.

In the Farmington Hills case, investigators are reportedly working with family members to determine if the dog has a history of aggression or could have been labeled as dangerous or potentially dangerous, in accordance with local ordinance, police said.

Through autopsy, the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the man’s death was accidental and caused by mauling from a dog.

As an investigation continues, anyone with further information related to the incident is asked to contact the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.

Farmington Hills Police Department (Aileen Wingblad/MediaNews Group)

Man in Farmington Hills dies after being mauled by dog

20 May 2024 at 17:06

A 40-year-old man died in Farmington Hills over the weekend after being mauled by a dog.

Farmington Hills Police tells us that on Saturday, May 18, they responded to a home in the 22000 block of Elmgrove Street for a report on a man injured after being attacked by a family dog.

Authorities say a family member found the man unconscious, laying on the ground in the backyard with the dog pulling at his body. When officers arrived, they found the man with significant animal bite wounds. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he passed away.

After performing an autopsy, the Oakland County Medical Examiner ruled that the death was accidental and the cause of death was a K-9 mauling. The dog, a Pitbull mix, has been turned over to Oakland County Animal Control.

Investigators are working with his family members to see if the dog has a history of aggression and could be labeled as dangerous. Anyone with info on the incident is asked to call the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.

Noncitizen voting, already illegal in federal elections, becomes a centerpiece of 2024 GOP messaging

20 May 2024 at 17:04

By ALI SWENSON (Associated Press)

NEW YORK (AP) — One political party is holding urgent news conferences and congressional hearings over the topic. The other says it’s a dangerous distraction meant to seed doubts before this year’s presidential election.

In recent months, the specter of immigrants voting illegally in the U.S. has erupted into a leading election-year talking point for Republicans. They argue that legislation is necessary to protect the sanctity of the vote as the country faces unprecedented levels of illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Voting by people who are not U.S. citizens already is illegal in federal elections and there is no indication it’s happening anywhere in significant numbers. Yet Republican lawmakers at the federal and state levels are throwing their energy behind the issue, introducing legislation and fall ballot measures. The activity ensures the issue will remain at the forefront of voters’ minds in the months ahead.

Republicans in Congress are pushing a bill called the SAVE (Safeguard American Voter Eligibility) Act that would require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Meanwhile, Republican legislatures in at least six states have placed noncitizen voting measures on the Nov. 5 ballot, while at least two more are debating whether to do so.

“American elections are for American citizens, and we intend to keep it that way,” House Administration Committee Chairman Rep. Bryan Steil of Wisconsin said during a hearing he hosted on the topic this past week.

Democrats on the committee lambasted their Republican colleagues for focusing on what they called a “nonissue,” arguing it was part of a strategy with former President Donald Trump to lay the groundwork for election challenges this fall.

“It appears the lesson Republicans learned from the fiasco that the former president caused in 2020 was not ‘Don’t steal an election’ — it was just ‘Start earlier,’” said New York Rep. Joe Morelle, the committee’s top Democrat. “The coup starts here. This is where it begins.”

The concern that immigrants who are not eligible to vote are illegally casting ballots has prevailed on the right for years. But it gained renewed attention earlier this year when Trump began suggesting without evidence that Democrats were encouraging illegal migration to the U.S. so they could register the newcomers to vote.

Republicans who have been vocal about voting by those who are not citizens have demurred when asked for evidence that it’s a problem. Last week, during a news conference on his federal legislation to require proof of citizenship during voter registration, House Speaker Mike Johnson couldn’t provide examples of the crime happening.

“The answer is that it’s unanswerable,” the Louisiana Republican said in response to a question about whether such people were illegally voting. “We all know, intuitively, that a lot of illegals are voting in federal elections, but it’s not been something that is easily provable.”

Election administration experts say it’s not only provable, but it’s been demonstrated that the number of noncitizens voting in federal elections is infinitesimal.

To be clear, there have been cases over the years of noncitizens illegally registering and even casting ballots. But states have mechanisms to catch that. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose recently found 137 suspected noncitizens on the state’s rolls — out of roughly 8 million voters — and is taking action to confirm and remove them, he announced this past week.

In 2022, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, conducted an audit of his state’s voter rolls specifically looking for noncitizens. His office found that 1,634 had attempted to register to vote over a period of 25 years, but election officials had caught all the applications and none had been able to register.

In North Carolina in 2016, an audit of elections found that 41 legal immigrants who had not yet become citizens cast ballots, out of 4.8 million total ballots cast. The votes didn’t make a difference in any of the state’s elections.

Voters must confirm under penalty of perjury that they are citizens when they register to vote. If they lie, they can face fines, imprisonment or deportation, said David Becker, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation and Research.

On top of that, anyone registering provides their Social Security number, driver’s license or state ID, Becker said. That means they already have shown the government proof of citizenship to receive those documents, or if they are a noncitizen with a state ID or Social Security number, they have been clearly classified that way in the state’s records.

“What they’re asking for is additional proof,” Becker said of Republicans pushing Johnson’s bill. “Why should people have to go to multiple government agencies and have them ask, ’Show us your papers,’ when they’ve already shown them?”

Democrats fear adding more ID requirements could disenfranchise eligible voters who don’t have their birth certificates or Social Security cards on hand. Republicans counter that the extra step could provide another layer of security and boost voter confidence in an imperfect system in which noncitizen voters have slipped through in the past.

The national focus on noncitizen voting also has brought attention to a related, but different phenomenon: how a small number of local jurisdictions, among them San Francisco and the District of Columbia, have begun allowing immigrants who aren’t citizens to vote in some local contests, such as for school board and city council.

The number of noncitizen voters casting ballots in the towns and cities where they are allowed to do so has been minimal so far. In Winooski, Vermont, where 1,345 people cast ballots in a recent local election, just 11 were not citizens, the clerk told The Associated Press. Still, the gradually growing phenomenon has prompted some state lawmakers to introduce ballot measures that seek to stop cities from trying this in the future.

In South Carolina, voters in November will decide on a constitutional amendment that supporters say will shut the door on any noncitizens voting. The state’s constitution currently says every citizen aged 18 and over who qualifies to vote can. The amendment changes the phrasing to say “only citizens.”

Republican state Sen. Chip Campsen called it a safeguard to prevent future problems. California has similar wording to South Carolina’s current provision, and Campsen cited a California Supreme Court decision that ruled “every” didn’t prevent noncitizens from voting.

Democratic state Sen. Darrell Jackson asked Campsen during the debate last month, “Do we have that problem here in South Carolina?”

“You don’t have the problem until the problem arises,” Campsen replied.

On Friday, legislative Republicans in Missouri passed a ballot measure for November that would ban both noncitizen voting and ranked-choice voting.

“I know that scary hypotheticals have been thrown out there: ‘Well, what about St. Louis? What about Kansas City?’” said Democratic state Sen. Lauren Arthur of Kansas City. “It is not a real threat because this is already outlawed. It’s already illegal in Missouri.”

Asked by a Democrat on Thursday about instances of noncitizens voting in Missouri, Republican Rep. Alex Riley said he didn’t have “specific data or a scenario that it has happened,” but wanted to “address the concern that it could happen in the future.”

In Wisconsin, an important presidential swing state where the Republican-controlled Legislature also put a noncitizen voting measure on the ballot this fall, Democratic state Rep. Lee Snodgrass said during a hearing earlier this week that she couldn’t understand why someone who is not a legal citizen would vote.

“I’m trying to wrap my brain around what people think the motivation would be for a noncitizen to go through an enormous amount of hassle to actively commit a felony to vote in an election that’s going to end up putting them in prison or be deported,” she said.

Associated Press writers Summer Ballentine in Jefferson City, Missouri, Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina, and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.

The Associated Press receives support from several private foundations to enhance its explanatory coverage of elections and democracy. See more about AP’s democracy initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Bryan Steil, R-Wis., chairman of the Committee on House Administration, displays a large photo of an unlocked election ballot drop box in Washington, during a hearing about noncitizen voting in U.S. elections. on Capitol Hill, Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Washington. In recent months, the specter of noncitizens voting in the U.S. has erupted into a leading rallying cry for Republicans. (AP Photo/John McDonnell)

Here’s how Robert F. Kennedy Jr. could make the first debate stage under stringent Biden-Trump rules

20 May 2024 at 16:52

By JONATHAN J. COOPER (Associated Press)

PHOENIX (AP) — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has long argued that the biggest hurdle of his presidential campaign is the perception that independent candidates can’t win. He has looked to the debates as a singular opportunity to stand alongside Joe Biden and Donald Trump in front of a massive audience.

But to make the first debate stage, he’ll have to secure a place on the ballot in at least a dozen more states and improve his showing in national polls in one month.

With a famous name and a loyal base, Kennedy has the potential to do better than any third-party presidential candidate since Ross Perot in the 1990s. Both the Biden and Trump campaigns, who fear he could play spoiler, bypassed the nonpartisan debate commission and agreed to a schedule that leaves Kennedy very little time to qualify for the first debate.

Publicly, Kennedy is expressing confidence that he will make the stage.

“I look forward to holding Presidents Biden and Trump accountable for their records in Atlanta on June 27 to give Americans the debate they deserve,” he posted on the X platform.

CNN has said candidates will be invited if they’ve secured a place on the ballot in states with at least 270 votes in the Electoral College, the minimum needed to win the presidency, and have hit 15% in four reliable polls published since March 13. The criteria mirror those used by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonpartisan group that has organized debates since 1988, except the commission’s first debate would have been in September, giving Kennedy more time.

Kennedy doesn’t appear to have met the polling criteria yet, although he has reached 15% or higher in at least two polls meeting CNN’s standards.

The ballot access hurdle is even tougher.

State officials have confirmed Kennedy’s place on the ballot in Delaware, Oklahoma and Utah, which have just 16 electoral votes between them. In California, Hawaii and Michigan, minor parties have selected Kennedy as their nominee, in effect offering up existing ballot lines, though the states have not formally affirmed Kennedy’s position. Adding them would bring Kennedy’s total to 89 electoral votes, though it’s not clear that his position in those states would meet CNN’s criteria.

Kennedy’s campaign says he has collected enough signatures in Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas, states with 112 electoral votes in total. But he has either not submitted the signatures or they have not yet been affirmed by state election officials.

Those states still only add up to 201 electoral votes.

Independent candidates like Kennedy face a labyrinth of laws that vary wildly from state to state but generally require hundreds or thousands of signatures and compliance with strict deadlines.

The patchwork of laws is littered with pitfalls. And the Democratic National Committee has pledged to scrutinize Kennedy’s submissions for mistakes that could keep him off the ballot or at least tie up his campaign’s time and money.

Kennedy, in turn, has resorted to secrecy and creative tactics in a sort of cat-and-mouse game to get on the ballot before his critics can thwart him. In California, Delaware and Michigan, Kennedy allied with little-known existing parties and received their nominations. In Hawaii, he formed his own political party to nominate him, and he’s pursued a similar strategy in Mississippi and North Carolina.

Elsewhere, he’s waiting to turn in signatures until the deadline to limit the time for critics to pore over them in search of errors. Getting on the debate stage next month would almost certainly require him to change his strategy and submit the petitions he’s sitting on as soon as possible.

Signatures are due in New York by May 28, which would get Kennedy 28 votes closer if they’re affirmed in time. He could then try to make an all-out push in a bunch of states with relatively easy requirements — many require 5,000 or fewer signatures, but they generally don’t bring many electoral votes — or focus on bigger states, such as Illinois with 19 electoral votes or Florida with 30.

Further complicating matters, some states aren’t yet accepting filings from potential independent candidates and won’t before the first debate.

Kennedy’s vice presidential nominee, Nicole Shanahan, who is divorced from Google co-founder Sergei Brin, committed $8 million from her personal fortune for ballot access, the campaign announced Thursday, declaring their $15 million effort “fully funded.”

Associated Press writer Amelia Thomson DeVeaux in Washington contributed to this report.

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks to supporters during a campaign stop, Monday, May 13, 2024, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Memorial Day 2024: Here’s a list of parades & events around metro Detroit

20 May 2024 at 16:52

Memorial Day is Monday, May 27! Join communities throughout metro Detroit to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Check out the list below, in alphabetical order by city. If you have an event you'd like to add, please email it to


Auburn Hills Memorial Day Parade - Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m.

Avondale High School

2800 Waukegan Street

Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Beverly Hills Memorial Day Parade and Carnival/Fun Run and Walk - May 27 at 9 a.m.

Groves High School and Beverly Park

Groves High School address: 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI, 48025

Beverly Park address: 18801 Beverly Road, Beverly Hills, MI, 48025

Birmingham Patriotic Program - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Shain Park

270 W Merrill Street

Birmingham, MI, 48009

For more info, please call (248) 530-1800.

Memorial Day Service in Clarkston/Independence Township - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Lakeview Cemetery

6150 White Lake Road

Village of Clarkston, MI, 48346

For more info, please call (248) 625-9912 after 4 p.m.

Clawson Memorial Day Ceremony - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Blair Public Library Gazebo

416 N Main Street

Clawson, MI, 48017

Farmington/Farmington Hills Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Intersection of Grand River Avenue and Orchard Lake Road

Farmington HIlls, MI, 48336

Ferndale Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Intersection of Livernois Street and West Maplehurst Street

Ferndale, MI, 48220

Franklin Memorial Day Ceremony - May 27 at 11 a.m.

Franklin Cemetery

26298 Scenic Dr, Franklin, MI 48025

Hazel Park Memorial Day Festival & Parade - May 24-27

Parade on May 27 starts at 10 a.m.

Hazel Park Junior High School

22770 Highland Ave #1803, Hazel Park, MI, 48030

Highland - Memorial Day Ceremonies at local cemeteries

Conducted by highland-White Lake-Milford VFW Post 9914

For more information, please call (248) 887-9914

Holly Memorial Day Ceremony - May 27 at 1 p.m.

Great Lakes National Ceremony

4200 Belford Road, Holly, MI, 48442

Keego Harbor Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 9:30 a.m.

Veterans Memorial Park

2025 Beechmont Street, Keego Harbor, MI, 48320

Orion Veterans Memoral Day Ceremony, Run/Walk, and Parade in downtown Lake Orion - May 27

Race starts at 9 a.m.

Wreath Ceremony at 10 a.m.

Parade in downtown Lake Orion at 11 a.m.

Leonard Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony - May 25 at 11:30 a.m.

Lakeville Cemetery

825 Drahner Road, Leonard, MI, 48367

For more information, please call (248) 628-3086

Madison Heights Memorial Day Parade - May 25 at 10 a.m.

Huffman Park Area

400 W. Cowan, Madison Heights, 48071

Milford Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 11 a.m.

American Legion Hall Post 216

510 W Commerce Street, Milford, MI, 48381

Northville Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony - May 27 at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Parade starts at Main Street, ends at Rural Hill Cemetery

Cemetery address: 215 W Seven Mile Road, Northville, MI, 48167

Novi Fuerst Field of Honor - May 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Fuerst Park Novi

45325 Ten Mile Road, Novi, MI, 48375

Ortonville Parade and Day Service - May 27 at 9:30 a.m.

Parade starts at Old Town Hall, ends at Ortonville Cemetery with Civil War reenactors

For more information, please call (248) 627-1065.

Oxford Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Starts at Oxford Centennial Park and ends at Ridgelawn Cemetery

For more information, please call (248) 628-2543.

Rochester/Rochester Hills Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade - May 27 at 9 a.m.

Mount Avon Cemetery, 400 6th Street, Rochester, MI, 48307

Royal Oak Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 9 a.m.

Main Street, from Lincoln to Centennial Commons

South Lyon Memoral Day Parade - May 27 at 9 a.m.

Startsat Bartlett Elementary, ends at South Lyon Cemetery

Southfield Memorial Day Ceremony - May 27 at 9 a.m.

City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI, 48076

Sylvan Lake Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 11 a.m.

Starts at City Hall, ends at Memorial Park

Troy Memorial Day Events - May 24-27

White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery, 621 W Long Lake Road, Troy, MI, 48098

Memorial Day Ceremony is May 27 at 10 a.m.

Walled Lake Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 11 a.m.

Begins at Walled Lake City Hall, 1499 E West Maple Road, Wallked Lake, MI. 48390

Waterford Memorial Day Parade - May 27 at 10 a.m.

Starts at Dixie Highway and Sashabaw Road

White Lake Memorial Day Pancake Breakfast - May 27 at 8:30 a.m.

The White Lake Inn, 3955 Ormond Road, White Lake Charter Township, MI, 48383

706 people named Kyle got together in Texas. It wasn’t enough for a world record

20 May 2024 at 16:37

How many people named Kyle can fit in one place? For one Texas city, not enough.

Another attempt by the city of Kyle, Texas, to break the world record for the largest gathering of people with one name fell short Saturday despite 706 Kyles of all ages turning up at a park in the Austin suburb.

The crown is currently held by a town in Bosnia that got 2,325 people named Ivan together in 2017, according to Guinness World Records.

It's not the first time the Kyles have come gunning for the Ivans. Last year, the official count at what has become known as the Gathering of the Kyles clocked in at 1,490 in the fast-growing Texas city that is about 37 miles south of Austin, the state's capital.

Kyle is not a chart-topper among popular names in the U.S., according to the Social Security Administration, which annually tracks the names given to girls and boys in each state. The most recent data showed Kyle ranked 416th among male names in 2023.

By comparison, Ivan ranked 153.

Why Brodric Martin could be game-changer for Lions’ defense

20 May 2024 at 16:33

Perhaps no one from Detroit’s 2023 draft class enters the 2024 season with more to prove than defensive lineman Brodric Martin.

Martin, the Lions’ second-of-two third-round picks a year ago (No. 96 overall), spent the majority of his rookie campaign on the inactives list as a healthy scratch. The Western Kentucky product suited up for only three games, and made a minimal impact. He finished the season with just three total tackles and a 57.1 overall Pro Football Focus grade.

The 2023 season was very much a developmental one for the small-school talent. He spent the bulk of it learning how to play on the defensive line at the NFL level.

“Man, just coming from where he did in college and understanding exactly how he has to play in this league. The one thing I think that he had an issue with early is just being able to use his hands and understand how to use his hands,” Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn said about Martin late last season. “And, man, I tell him in practice, he’s doing a really good job of that.

“I mean, before practice, after practice, those are the things that Brodric is doing a really good job of to get himself on the field. And then, other than that, man, I’m a big believer in D-linemen being able to have lateral agility. And, he’s working his butt off, trying to work on those things, too.”

Coming out of college, Martin – a 6-foot-5, 330-pound lineman – profiled as a run-stuffing presence along the interior of the defensive line.

He played a total of five collegiate seasons, with the first three coming at North Alabama. He then transferred to Western Kentucky for his final two years.

While with the Hilltoppers, Martin amassed 62 total tackles, including six for loss, and four sacks. Additionally, he was a 2022 Conference USA honorable mention and a 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl participant.

Headed into the 2024 campaign, Martin is expecting to make a bigger impact. The immense-sized lineman has dedicated himself to getting into better playing shape this offseason, and has visibly reshaped his body. To get a glimpse of Martin’s physical transformation, just take a look at this photo of him from last week’s OTAs in Allen Park.

In Martin’s eyes, he’s taken a page out of fellow defensive lineman Alim McNeill’s playbook for morphing into NFL shape. Just last offseason, McNeill made a commitment to altering his diet and trimmed his body fat, and it led to a breakout campaign for the N.C. State product in 2023.

“It’s a big transformation he made,” Martin said of McNeill’s physical transformation last offseason, via “Going into Year 3, it was a huge transformation for him. Obviously made him a better player. So, it’s something I’m definitely going to hone in on and try to do.”

Martin, who logged a total of just 28 defensive snaps in his debut NFL season, has a chance at having a bigger role in Detroit’s defensive line room this upcoming season. While he won’t come anywhere close to cutting into McNeill’s and offseason acquisition D.J. Reader’s snap counts, he has a legitimate shot at being a quality reserve defensive tackle for the Lions.

And, if Martin’s new-look frame is a sign of any sort, he should be in store for a vastly improved campaign in his second year as a pro.

This article was produced by the staff at Sports Illustrated/All Lions. For more, visit

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Brodric Martin reacts after knocking down a pass during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants, Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Public health alert issued after HIV-positive sex worker had over 200 clients

20 May 2024 at 16:24

Authorities in Ohio have released a public health warning after learning that an HIV-positive sex worker had interactions with over 200 clients.

The Washington County Sheriffs Office charged Linda Inez Leccese with soliciting after she tested positive for HIV, which is a third-degree felony. Now both the sheriffs office and the Marietta Police Department are working to contact at least 211 people who may have been in contact with her, to make sure these individuals get screened and, if needed, treated for HIV.

We want the citizens out there to understand that there will be a deputy sheriff reaching out to these individuals that we have numbers for, said Washington County Sheriff Office Chief Deputy Mark Warden in a press conference attended by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Theyre not in trouble, this is public health awareness. This is not a scam.

According to the sheriff's office, during their investigation into the matter they found that Leccesse had allegedly been soliciting paid sexual work, knowing she tested positive for HIV since 2022, and that she may have had contact with people across several states.

This case could stem anywhere from Florida up the East Coast, but there are local individuals that we will be reaching out to, Warden said, as reported by News and Sentinel. This investigation will continue and interviews will be done, again, to protect the publics health to try to glean those other individuals who have been in contact with this individual."

Officials say that people who have been contacted will be referred to their local health department and advise anyone who may have had sexual contact with Leccese to undergo testing.

Target vows to lower prices on butter, pizza and thousands of other items

20 May 2024 at 15:59

Your next trip to Target might be a little less costly. The retailer said it has reduced the prices on 1,500 items throughout its stores and plans to reduce prices on thousands more.

Target said it will reduce prices on milk, meat, bread, soda, fresh fruit and vegetables, snacks, yogurt, peanut butter, coffee, diapers, paper towels and pet food.

The company said it expects that about 5,000 items will have lower prices this summer.

A few examples of lower prices provided by Target include:

Good & Gather Unsalted Butter (1 lb) now $3.79 (was $3.99) Good & Gather Organic Baby Spinach (5 oz) now $2.99 (was $3.29) Prime Hydration Sports Drinks (16.9 fl oz) now $1.99 (was $2.19) Jack's Frozen Pepperoni Pizza (14.3 oz) now $3.99 (was $4.19)

In a survey released by Market Force Information earlier this year, Target ranked No. 32 out of 45 grocery stores for value. The survey found that 34.5% of consumers said Target offers value for money. Aldi ranked No. 1 at 88.9%.

Earlier this month, Aldi said it would pass along $100 million in savings through Labor Day by lowering its everyday price on numerous items.

The announcements come as above-average inflation has persisted in 2023 and 2024 after reaching a four-decade high in 2022.

"We know consumers are feeling pressured to make the most of their budget, and Target is here to help them save more," said Rick Gomez, executive vice president at Target. "Our teams work hard to deliver great value every day, and these new lower prices across thousands of items will add up to additional big savings for the millions of consumers that shop Target each week for their everyday needs."

Registration for Michigan Central Station grand reopening tour opens Tuesday

20 May 2024 at 15:41

Tickets for the grand reopening celebration of Michigan Central Station will be available to the public on Tuesday.

According to Michigan Central, ticket registration for Michigan Central OPEN will open to the public on Tuesday, May 21 at 12 p.m. Reservations can be made at

The event will be hosted by Ford and Michigan Central, and include an opening night concert on June 6, and then OPEN House from June 7-16 with a first look inside the station's ground floor.

Watch our report about a father-daughter ironworker duo working on rehabbing the station below Father-daughter ironworkers among those who rehabbed Michigan Central Station

Officials say the first commercial occupants will begin moving in during the fall.

Theres no place like Detroit, and we couldnt be more excited to showcase the city through its own incredible artists, said Executive Producer Jesse Collins, founder and CEO Jesse Collins Entertainment. Were going to create an unforgettable welcome party for Michigan Central with this new chapter in Detroit history that celebrates the visions of these unique performers who are bound together by a shared love of their city.

We are thrilled to be a part of honoring the city of Detroit with a special night of celebration, community, and musical brilliance, said Executive Producer Dionne Harmon, President, Jesse Collins Entertainment. Detroits musical and cultural impact on the world is undeniable and we look forward to spotlighting its legacy on June 6 with the reopening of Michigan Central.

We cant wait to bring the city of Detroit, and its legendary performers, together at Michigan Central to show the nation how incredibly powerful Motor City is, said Executive Producer Jeannae Rouzan-Clay, SVP, Specials, Jesse Collins Entertainment. The citys rich history will shine throughout the production and we promise a memorable evening full of vibrant performances and entertaining surprises.

Motorcyclist found dead outside Farmington Hills sports park

20 May 2024 at 15:29

Farmington Hills police are investigating a traffic crash early Monday morning on Eight Mile Road.

According to police, a woman called 911 at around 5:30 a.m. and reported she saw a crashed motorcycle near the baseball fields at Founders Sports Park. She told police that the driver appeared to be dead.

Officers and paramedics responded to the scene and confirmed the driver was dead, police said.

The driver wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, police said.

As of late Monday morning, police said they were attempting to notify the motorcycle driver’s next of kin.

Police also said it wasn’t immediately clear if alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the crash.

Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.

file photo provided by Farmington Hills Police Dept.

The stark differences between Biden and Trump on health care policy

20 May 2024 at 15:14

Health care is an important issue for many Americans when they head to the polls to vote.

Scripps News previously went in-depth on where President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump differ on reproductive rights which is part of the health care debate. But what about other health care policies?

Affordable Care Act

Take for instance the Affordable Care Act, which is at the heart of many health policy debates.

It was signed into law by President Obama in 2010 and created an exchange so anyone could get health insurance. The law opened the door for states to expand Medicaid and permitted children to stay on parents' plans until age 26.

President Biden supports the law and efforts to expand it. He has boasted about how many Americans are currently getting health care because of it.

Former President Trump during his first term tried to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In a Truth Social post last year, Trump said, "The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it's not good Health care. I'm seriously looking at alternatives."

Areas of agreement

There are some areas of agreement between Trump and President Biden on health care. For instance, on price transparency.

Former President Trump signed into law the "No Surprises Act," which cracks down on unexpected bills for some patients. Trump also ordered hospitals to publish prices for some services.

President Biden has supported both of those efforts.

Prescription drugs

You can't talk health care without talking about prescription drugs.

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which caps out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month for Medicare enrollees and allows Medicare to negotiate with drug companies. Beginning in 2025, the law will cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 a year for those on Medicare.

Former President Trump has spoken critically of that law and has vowed to repeal it.

On prescription drugs, Trump did support other forms of reform while in office, and gave speeches where he said drug companies don't like him. He backs new regulations for drugs to be imported from Canada and supports efforts to cut out the middleman from drug discounting programs.

School threat called in to police department

20 May 2024 at 15:12

Police say a preliminary investigation indicates there is no credibility to a bomb threat against West Bloomfield High School.

An unknown person, calling himself Alex, called the West Bloomfield Police Department at about 7 a.m. Monday, May 20, and said he placed a bomb at the high school.

Police were immediately dispatched to the school and began to investigate, finding no evidence of a bomb.

Detectives learned the phone number used was linked to several similar incidents around the country over the past two months, according to a release from the West Bloomfield Police Department.

An investigation is continuing.

West Bloomfield police cruiser. (Peg McNichol/MediaNews Group)

Ship that destroyed Baltimore bridge is being moved from crash site

20 May 2024 at 15:05

The cargo ship that destroyed the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore has been refloated and is slowly being moved back to the port.

The refloat process for the Dali began midday Sunday, before plans to move it from the crash site on Monday could commence.

Five tugboats are now escorting the 100,000-ton ship 2.5 miles to the local marine terminal.

The entire refloat and transit process is expected to take 21 hours or longer, authorities say.

Once its docked, officials plan to unload the ship containers and complete short-term repairs.

But freeing the ship does not mean freeing its crew members.

Crew members have been stuck aboard the Dali since it collided with the Baltimore bridge on March 26. Thats because of maritime regulations that require a cargo ship of this nature to have a crew aboard at all times. There are also issues with the crew's visas.

The ships collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge two months ago led to the complete collapse of the structure, sending it plummeting into the water below. Six roadway crew members working on the bridge plunged to their deaths in the incident.

Removal of debris from the waterway began shortly after the crash, which also helped recover the bodies of the construction workers. The ship, however, has remained in place until now.

Man dies in early morning motorcycle crash in Farmington Hills

20 May 2024 at 15:00

A man is dead after crashing a motorcycle in Farmington Hills early Monday morning.

It happened around 5:50 a.m., as Farmington Hills Police got a call from a woman who saw a crashed motorcycle near the baseball fields at Founders Sports Park.

Officers got to the scene and found the motorcyclist, who has not been identified, dead at the scene of the crash site.

Farmington Hills police are investigating the scene of the crash. They tell that as of Monday morning, it's unclear whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident. Investigators say that the driver was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Farmington Hills Police Department at 248-871-2610.

Social District Saturdays returning in Royal Oak with games, performers

20 May 2024 at 14:58

Downtown Royal Oak’s social district is expected to see more visitors with the return of special events on Saturdays once a month starting in June.

The social district was created in 2021 in the wake of the pandemic and allows visitors to drink alcoholic drinks from participating businesses in marked cups that patrons can take and drink outside anywhere within the social district.

The upcoming Social District Saturdays will take place from 2-8 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month starting June 8.  The events are also scheduled for July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 14.

Turnout was good at the first series of the summer Saturday events last year, said Daniel Solomon, the city’s Downtown Development Authority manager, and the DDA is continuing them.

“Anecdotally, it was a pretty packed house,” Solomon said. “It’s proved to be a great way to get people out, especially residents, to explore where they live.”

This summer the Social District Saturdays will take place at Centennial Commons downtown park, and at the closed portion of West Fifth Street off of South Washington Avenue.

Nineteen businesses participated in last year’s monthly Saturday events in the social district. Two more businesses – Iron Horse and D’Amato’s restaurants – will bring the number of participating venues to 21.

Bistro tables and chairs are at both locations in the social district. Patrons can take part in games such as corn hole, giant Jenga wood blocks, and ladder toss, along with live acoustic performances.

“After last year, people have been asking when we were going to have the lawn games out again,” Solomon said.

Organizers are working on finishing up on the musical performers for the event series.

“Our hope is to replicate what we did with acoustic performers last year,” Solomon said.

Also, a variety of start-up business vendors will be on hand space at the two locations for Social District Saturdays.

“The vendors are folks who are working on getting into a space of their own,” Solomon said.

The city recently completed its downtown road resurfacing, which included the installation of mast arms and curb transitions that are ADA compliant. The completed project makes the downtown more accessible and inclusive to residents and visitors, city officials said.

Royal Oak created the social district in 2021 while the COVID-19 pandemic was still underway as a way for people to have alcoholic drinks outside in special cups from participating bars and restaurants.

The pandemic waned, but downtown visitors and a number of businesses in the district liked the idea of strolling and drinking.

About a dozen businesses signed up at first to take part and serve drinks in to-go cups. Since then, more businesses have joined in and there are more than 20 bars and restaurants offering drinks in the district  each day of the week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“Feedback from businesses has been good,” Solomon said. “We’re seeing the social district being used more each year.”

Nearly 10,000 alcoholic to-go drinks were sold in Royal Oak’s social district in its first seven weeks in 2021. The social district has since spurred plans for a pedestrian plaza on Fifth Street, and the upcoming Social District Saturdays activities that start again June 8. (Royal Oak city photo)

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a staunch Israel ally, faces primary challenger

20 May 2024 at 14:57
U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, a third-term moderate Democrat who represents portions of Oakland County, has emerged as one of the staunchest supporters of Israel — even as innocent Palestinians continue to be slaughtered. And pro-Israel groups, some of them funded by Republican megadonors, are lavishing her with political donations.