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DETROIT FREE PRESS — Michigan’s air quality alert has been extended through Friday, according to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), as wildfire smoke from Canada continues to work through the state.
Affected areas include the southeast Michigan counties of Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Wayne, St. Clair and Monroe.
Detroit has lingered among the Top 5 large cities for worst air quality globally the past few days, according to the IQAir Air Quality Index. It reached as high as No. 1 on Thursday afternoon.
The air quality index is expected to range from unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy to very unhealthy.
To learn more and read the entire Detroit Free Press article, click here.
THE OAKLAND PRESS — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has set up a hotline for residents to ask health questions related to air quality issues, as the state prepares for another day Friday under an Air Quality Advisory.
The number is 800-648-6942, and the hotline is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., excluding holidays.
Experts said the Detroit area was among the regions with the worst air quality in the world on Wednesday and Thursday.
For more information and to read the full article from the Oakland Press, click here.
DETROIT NEWS — A comprehensive ban on holding phones while driving takes effect Friday across Michigan, meaning actions that were previously allowed inside vehicles under state law will now be illegal and potentially bring $100 fines.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the new restrictions into law on June 7. She said they were intended to reduce distracted driving and prevent accidents.
In the past, Michigan drivers had been prohibited from using their phones to send text messages while operating a moving vehicle. The new standards go far beyond that, generally banning the use of cellphones to do “any task” while driving, including at a stop sign or stoplight.
The law specifically says drivers cannot use their phones to send or receive a call, send or receive a text message, watch a video or “access, read or post to a social networking site.”
The penalty for a first violation of the new hands-free law is a $100 civil fine or 16 hours of community service.
A second violation brings a $250 fine or 24 hours of community service. If a driver is responsible for three or more violations within a three-year period, a court must order the individual to complete a basic driving improvement course, according to the law.
The penalty doubles if the distracted driver is at fault for an accident.
For more information on the new distracted driving law, read the full article from the Detroit News by clicking here.
BRIDGE MICHIGAN — U.S. colleges and universities are banned from using race as a consideration in admissions decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday, a prohibition Michigan had already placed on its public universities since 2006.
The court’s six conservative justices put an emphatic, if unsurprising, end to decades of affirmative action practices that have helped raise the profile of Black and Hispanic students on American college campuses — particularly at the nation’s most elite schools — but has been mired in controversy for much of that time, with critics contending that racial preferences, even when used for good motives, amount to another form of discrimination.
Thursday’s ruling will likely mean fewer Black and Hispanic students and a higher percentage of white and Asian American students on college campuses, at least at the nation’s more selective schools.
To learn more about this ruling, read the entire Bridge Michigan article by clicking here.
DETROIT FREE PRESS — Physicians at metro Detroit emergency rooms and other medical centers say they’ve seen an influx of respiratory problems in recent days as the area’s poor air quality conditions have persisted.
Dr. Glen Clark, the Emergency Center Chief at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital in Grosse Pointe, said they’ve seen both healthy individuals and patients with preexisting conditions affected.
Other Corewell medical facilities in Troy, Roseville, Livonia and Royal Oak say they’ve also seen an increase in respiratory issues that doctors say appear to be related to the air quality problems caused by wildfires.
Dr. David Donaldson, Emergency Center chief at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospital in Troy, said the recent increase in respiratory complaints have mostly come from patients with preexisting diseases like asthma and COPD.
To learn more about how our local medical facilities have been impacted by air quality issues, read the full article from the Detroit Free Press by clicking here.
MLIVE — Democrats passed a record $81.7 billion budget late Wednesday night, committing billions in federal funding and a major surplus to make a statement about the priorities of a state government controlled by Democrats for the first time in decades.
It’s a budget hallmarked by record spending on traditional Democratic priorities, including education, environmental protection and social services alongside additional spending on public safety, infrastructure and economic development.
Republicans throughout the legislature, however, decried the budgetary process, asserting they had been sidelined by Democratic majorities who only allowed them to review the nearly 1,600 pages of legislation on the day it passed.
Learn more about the State’s new budget by reading the full article from MLive here.
BRIDGE MICHIGAN — Michiganders can expect the hazy skies to stick around through at least Thursday, and should stay indoors as much as possible in the meantime.
The statewide air quality advisory issued by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has been extended through Thursday.
The department forecasts that the currents will switch to southerly winds, but that ozone and wildfire smoke might still present issues.
The hardest hit area currently is southeastern Michigan. Detroit’s air quality index was 306 as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, placing the area in the “hazardous” category.
Skies in the Upper Peninsula have started to clear, though the air in some areas of northern Michigan is still unhealthy for sensitive groups.
You can check the air quality index (AQI) in your area here. The higher the index, the more pollutants there are in the air. You can also sign up for air quality alerts in your area through EnviroFlash.
Learn more about when air quality issues may pass here in our local area from Bridge Michigan by clicking here.
THE OAKLAND PRESS — Smoke from Canadian wildfires led communities to cancel outdoor events Wednesday as air quality declined to unhealthy levels.
Rochester Hills’ Festival of the Hills fireworks show set for Wednesday night at Borden Park was canceled and will be rescheduled. In Bloomfield Hills, Wednesday’s fireworks at Wabeek Club was also postponed. In Troy, city officials closed the outdoor pool.
Among state and federal agencies issuing alerts are Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the National Weather Service. EGLE extended its statewide Air Quality Action Advisory through Thursday because of fine particulate matter, called PM 2.5, from the smoke
Oakland County issued an air-quality alert and provided the following resources:
– US EPA Wildfires and Smoke map: tinyurl.com/yc4cw5fw
– US EPA Interactive Map of Air Quality: tinyurl.com/yat8tsd9
– US EPA Fires and your health: tinyurl.com/2evttm6k
– US EPA Particle Pollution: tinyurl.com/2mtxf3k7
– EGLE Air Monitoring Information and interactive map: tinyurl.com/3fstrf73
Learn more about other postponed and canceled events due to the low air quality in this article from the Oakland Press by clicking here.
DETROIT FREE PRESS — Fired up for more fireworks? Here are the best places in metro Detroit to watch fireworks pop, crackle, and boom for this upcoming holiday:
Huron-Clinton Metroparks Fireworks
Enjoy firework shows in four different Metroparks over the course of four days from June 30-July 3.
When, where, & what time:
- Friday, June 30: Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township,, with a Macomb Symphony Orchestra performance at 7 p.m. and a fireworks show beginning at 10:10 p.m.
Greenfield Village Annual Salute to America
Stroll through Greenfield Village to the tune of historical American songs, before taking a seat on the Village Green for a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and a fireworks finale, according to the event description.
When: June 30-July 3
Where: Greenfield Village in Dearborn
Time: The event runs from 5-10 p.m., with Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 90-minute performance beginning at 8:30 p.m. and ending with a fireworks finale
Cost: $42 for general admission, $37.75 for seniors, $31.50 for youth between the ages of 5-11, and free for children 4 and under
White Lake Area 4th of July Parade & Fireworks
When: July 4
Where: White Lake in Whitehall, Mich., also viewable from Montague
Learn about even more fun 4th of July events around our local area from the Detriot Free Press by clicking here.
DETROIT FREE PRESS — As wildfires continue to destroy forests across Quebec and Ontario, parts of Michigan remain under an air quality alert until Wednesday night, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
On Tuesday, Detroit’s air quality ranked second worst in the world, according to IQAir’s Air Quality Index. Chicago ranked first with an air quality index of 178, falling in the unhealthy category. Detroit closely followed with 171 and then Beijing, and Baghdad, Iraq, fell in third and fourth.
EGLE declared Wednesday as another air quality action day “for elevated levels of fine particulate (PM2.5) for southeast Michigan counties,” according to the National Weather Service. Residents are advised to “keep windows closed overnight to prevent smoke from getting indoors and, if possible, run central air conditioning with MERV-13 or higher rated filters.”
To learn more about local air quality alerts, read the full article from the Detroit Free Press by clicking here.
THE OAKLAND PRESS — The long weekend is a holiday for many, but Oakland County’s marine-patrol deputies will be working overtime. They’re part of the national “Operation Dry Water” special enforcement effort, July 1 through 3. The goal is to reduce alcohol and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the water, said Sheriff Michael Bouchard.
The county leads Michigan for most registered boats, 83,000, many of which use the county’s 450 navigable lakes.
Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while piloting or paddling a boat, canoe, rowboat, kayak or other water device is illegal in every state, he said.
Someone who has been drinking but wants to go for a swim should don a floatation device first, he said.
To learn more about marine enforcement this weekend, read the full Oakland Press article by clicking here.
BRIDGE MICHIGAN — HB4616 and HB4617 now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has railed against conversion therapy and in 2021 prohibited state funds from being used to assist such therapy for minors.
Michigan is now poised to become the 22nd state to ban conversion therapy, a practice that researchers, experts and LGBTQ advocates say increases the risk of mental health issues and suicide attempts among LGBTQ youths.
Democrats have argued the bills would ban a practice that has scarred the mental health of LGBTQ youths. Republicans argued minors could be confused about their gender identity and would use the bill to access gender-affirming care, which they deemed dangerous.
Most Senate Republicans — except Sen. Mark Huizenga of Walker — voted against the bills.
Sen. Thomas Albert, R-Lowell, argued the bills would “pigeonhole” mental health professionals into saying “yes” to minors who want to transition into a gender that is different from their sex at birth.
To learn more and read the entire Bridge Michigan article, click here.
DETROIT NEWS — Oakland County prosecutors have brought new evidence to the Michigan Supreme Court of the “consciousness of guilt” by the parents of the Oxford High School shooter as they appeal their involuntary manslaughter charges to the state’s highest court.
Among the revelations, County Prosecutor Karen McDonald’s office noted that James Crumbley took the receipt for the gun he had bought his son with him when he and his wife Jennifer fled Oakland County after the November 2021 shooting. James Crumbley had the receipt on him when he was arrested.
The Crumbleys’ attorneys, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, have said prosecutors cannot demonstrate that a juror could decide that a reasonably foreseeable outcome of the Crumbleys’ alleged gross negligence was their son committing a shooting that day. They said their son’s criminal conduct was the sole cause of harm to the victims and the shooting was not reasonably foreseeable.
To stay up-to-date on this trial and read the entire Detroit News article, click here.
MLIVE — Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a bipartisan bill to allow alcohol to be sold at public university athletics events. The House gave final passage to Senate Bill 247, voting 85-23. It overwhelmingly passed the Senate two weeks ago, 36-2.
The NCAA lifted a ban on alcohol sales in 2019. Since then, 11 of 14 Big Ten Conference schools have begun to sell alcohol at games.
SB 247 would apply to any of Michigan’s 15 public universities, including Big Ten schools Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Governing boards would get a state liquor license if they choose to implement the change.
Read the entire article from MLive to learn more by clicking here.
THE OAKLAND PRESS — Oxford school board President Dan D’Alessandro will preside over his last meeting on Tuesday night. His retirement is official on June 30. D’Alessandro will be moving out of the district and can no longer serve on the board.
D’Alessandro was first elected to the board in 2012. This was his second term as board president, the first term was from 2016-2018. He also served as treasurer and vice president during his time on the board.
According to board policy, if she accepts it, Vice President Heather Shafer will take over the seat for the remainder of the year. The board will then vote on a new president in January to serve for 2024.
After the resignation of president Tom Donnelly in September 2022, vice president Chad Griffith was in line to take over, but his term was ending two months later and he was not running for re-election.
To learn more, read the entire Oakland Press article by clicking here.
ROYAL OAK REVIEW — After a successful first year, the Royal Oak Taco Fest is looking to have an even bigger second.
The Royal Oak Taco Fest will take place June 30 to July 4 around the Centennial Commons in the downtown. More than 50 eateries will be showcased at the festival, with options that will include steak, pork, fish, chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Curating Taco Fest in year two was the event’s biggest challenge, Witz said. He stated that questions arise in deciding the right number of food trucks, estimating the number of people who will attend so they don’t wait too long in lines, and creating the right number of activities and amount of entertainment for the number of people estimated to attend.
Tickets for Taco Fest cost $8 in advance and $12 at the gates. The event’s hours are 4-11 p.m. June 30, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. July 1-3, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 4. Centennial Commons is located at 221 E. Third St.
Read the entire Royal Oak Review article to learn more about this event by clicking here.
BRIDGE MICHIGAN — Michigan will receive $1.5 billion in federal grants to expand broadband, high-speed internet to 210,000 homes in unserved and underserved areas, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday.
The funding comes from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program, which is established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The program provides a combined $42.45 billion to all states and territories for broadband-related services, according to the program website.
States will each receive an initial $100 million, and the rest of the money is allocated based on each state’s broadband needs.
“Today, we have won a game-changing investment to expand access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet,” Whitmer said in a Monday statement.
Michigan ranks 28th among states in broadband access, according to Broadband Now, a data aggregation company that conducts research on broadband accessibility.
To learn more about these grant funds, read the full article from Bridge Michigan by clicking here.
DETROIT FREE PRESS — For now, gas prices are down and the travel forecast is up.
Michigan drivers were paying an average of $3.52 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline Monday, about 6 cents less than a week ago, 11 cents less than a month ago and $1.55 less than a year ago, according to AAA. That could change before the Fourth of July, with the state’s average moving up and down.
Compared to last week, metro Detroit’s average daily gas price decreased slightly, about 3 cents per gallon to $3.61 per gallon, one of the highest average prices around the state.
The state’s other most expensive gas price averages: Ann Arbor ($3.57 per gallon) and Marquette ($3.61).
The least expensive: Flint ($3.42), Saginaw ($3.43) and Benton Harbor ($3.43).
To learn more about fluctuating gas prices, read the entire Detroit Free Press article by clicking here.
DETROIT NEWS — About 78,000 DTE Energy and Consumers are without power early Monday after storms swept through southeast Michigan and Metro Detroit Sunday.
After the storms’ rain and high winds downed tree limbs and wires, DTE Energy reported 73,100 of its customers are without power as of 6 a.m. Monday. Its outage map showed power disrupted across Metro Detroit with the largest numbers seen in near Ann Arbor and in Detroit.
Meanwhile, Consumers Energy reported 5,725 customers were in the dark as of 6:30 a.m. Monday.
Damaging wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph moving west to east were the primary hazard. The weather service had warned about quick spin-up tornadoes, sometimes called “gustnadoes,” which are weaker and briefer than supercell tornadoes.
To learn more about these storms and keep track of local power outages, read the entire article from the Detroit News by clicking here.
DETROIT NEWS — Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in Detroit to mark the 60th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march in Detroit where his famous “I Have a Dream” speech was first delivered.
The historic occasion Saturday, decades after the original march, brought tears to some people’s eyes and for many, this was not the first freedom march they’ve attended.
The 60th Commemorative Freedom Walk was hosted by the Detroit branch of the NAACP and came after an MLK statue was unveiled in Hart Plaza Friday.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Wayne State University President Roy Wilson were among those leading the walkers, who held the commemorative 60th Freedom Walk banner and chanted slogans like “No justice, no peace” and “This is what democracy looks like.”
To learn more about the event and the statue, read the full article from the Detroit News by clicking here.
DETROIT FREE PRESS — The Michigan Air National Guard will conduct flyovers of nine Michigan communities Tuesday, including Detroit, Lansing, Port Huron and Battle Creek, as part of the United States Air Force’s celebration of 100 years of aerial refueling.
KC-135 Stratotankers will fly in formation with A-10 Thunderbolt IIs over the following locations Tuesday:
- Blue Water Bridge, Port Huron, approximately 10:20 a.m.
- Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and downtown Alpena, approximately 10:40 a.m.
- Mackinac Bridge and Mackinaw City, approximately 10:50 a.m.
- Sleeping Bear Dunes area near Maple City, approximately 11:15 a.m.
- Downtown Grand Rapids, approximately 11:45 a.m.
- Battle Creek Air National Guard Base and Battle Creek, approximately 11:55 a.m.
- The Michigan State Capitol and downtown Lansing, approximately 12:05 p.m.
- The Detroit River in Detroit, approximately 12:30 p.m.
- Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, approximately 12:35 p.m.
To learn more about this historic commemoration, read the full article from the Detroit Free Press by clicking here.
THE OAKLAND PRESS — Known for its Jewish baked goods and other treats, Star Bakery in Oak Park is closing as the owners cite rising costs and post pandemic difficulties.
Located at 26031 Coolidge Highway, news of the announced July 2 closing has saddened people throughout the community, said Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan.
The owners in a statement said Diamond Bakery will remain open, and continue to sell many of Jewish baked goods that Star Bakery offered, such as challah, rye bread, kichel, rugelach and mandel bread.
“It was a very hard decision to close, and we did everything we could to try to save Star Bakery and make it profitable,” Buckfire said in a statement. “Wholesale was always a significant part of the business … and we determined that we were no longer competitive on this side of the business.”
To learn more and read the entire Oakland Press article, click here.
TROY TIMES — Two Troy students are among the first girls to earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout as part of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Scouts first began admitting girls in 2019. Olivia “Lulu” George and Maggie Pulte were among the first to jump at the chance to join the program as full members. Both said that to have reached the highest level of Scouting was a huge achievement.
Their troop leader, Debbie Knauss, said this was a big accomplishment and that both girls grew a lot as a result of the program.
Knauss said that the pair were under even more pressure, since Scouts have an age limit of 18, and they were only able to join four years ago.
Read the entire article from the Troy Times of C&G News to learn more about these girls’ impressive accomplishments by clicking here.