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Detroit

blank vaccine registration cards sitting on a table
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today, on Stateside, we discuss the legality of requiring employees to get a vaccine. Plus, a doctor in training writes about her time at a Detroit hospital during the early months of the pandemic.

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City of Detroit

Detroit police chief James Craig plans to talk to reporters today amid speculation that he will retire after eight years and consider a turn to politics.

Craig told The Detroit News that he will hold a news conference Monday.

“I’m a lifelong public servant,” Craig said. “I want to continue to serve.”

The 64-year-old Detroit native has been chief since 2013. He returned home after a long police career in Los Angeles and short stints as chief in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine.

frida kahlo mural on street in Detroit's Mexicantown neighborhood
Lauren Talley / Michigan Radio

August Snow is a retired Marine sniper. He's also an ex-police detective who became a multimillionaire after he sued for wrongful termination. But above all, Snow is a Detroiter, and he's the main character in author Stephen Mack Jones' latest novel, Dead of Winter.

Jones joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about the third book in his August Snow series, and plans to make a television show based on the novels.

Courtesy of Vickie Thomas

After more than 30 years in Detroit broadcast journalism, award-winning reporter Vickie Thomas says she’s ready to start a new chapter. She retired from radio station WWJ April 29, and she’ll be joining Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration as director of communications for the city. Stateside caught up with the veteran journalist on the eve of her retirement from WWJ to discuss her years of experience bringing Detroit stories to the air.

A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Detroit is offering a new incentive for people to get their friends and family members vaccinated against coronavirus. The city will offer a $50 pre-paid debit card to any individual who drives a Detroit resident to their appointment. Mayor Mike Duggan says while he doesn’t support directly paying people to get vaccinated, the policy should help improve Detroit’s inoculation rate.

“I don’t know any place else in the country that’s doing this, so we made up a set of rules and we’re going to try this. We’re in uncharted territory here.”

Elaine Cromie / Bridge Michigan

Starting on Tuesday, Detroiters can walk in and get COVID-19 shots at eleven sites across the city, no appointment required.

Mayor Mike Duggan said it represents a shift in strategy as vaccine supply starts to exceed demand. Along with moving to walk-in access, Detroit is also starting to spread vaccine supply out more across the city.

Detroit skyline
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is in real danger from COVID-19 again, and things are likely going to get worse.

After months of relatively few COVID-19 cases, the virus is surging in Detroit once again. The city’s test positivity rate is now over 20%, and more than 400 Detroiters are hospitalized.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan is heeding the advice of federal agencies, and pausing its use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

That throws a wrench in efforts to ramp up vaccination as the virus resurges. And that’s particularly true in Detroit, where vaccination coverage lags the rest of the state.

The city is adjusting on the fly, for now.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Detroit is lagging the state when it comes to getting residents vaccinated against COVID-19, and the city is now stepping up efforts to correct that.

As of last week, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, more than 39% of people in Michigan have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. In Detroit, that number is less than 23%.

University of Michigan/DMACS

More Detroiters now say they’re very likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine than said so in the fall, according to a University of Michigan survey.

The University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Communities Study regularly surveys Detroiters about their lives and communities. Its latest survey covered more than 2200 people.

A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Detroit on Monday immediately expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older, a week earlier than planned, as Michigan continues to confront spiking infection rates that rank third-highest in the country.

Mayor Mike Duggan said the seven-day testing positivity rate in the state’s largest city doubled in 10 days, to 10.3%. Hospitalizations also doubled over that period but, unlike during the second wave of cases last fall, involve younger people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

“The younger people are getting infected. The younger people are being hospitalized. We have got to start to get them vaccinated,” Duggan said.

detroit homeowners file a lawsuit against the city for property tax over assessment
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A federal judge dismissed a class action lawsuit against the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and the state of Michigan over inflated property tax assessments in 2017.

Judge Nancy Edmunds cited the Tax Injunction Act, writing, "because there is a state remedy that is plain, speedy, and efficient, this Court, a federal court, lacks subject matter jurisdiction over these claims."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are appealing the dismissal, arguing that clients' federal constitutional rights to due process were violated, therefore making federal court the right place to litigate the issue.

an african american woman holds up her sleeve in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
Zoran Zeremski / Adobe Stock

On a cold, sunny Saturday in March, Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony wants to keep the mood light. Relaxed.

“Did you see my lollipops over there?” he asks, pointing down the hall with a laugh. “We’ve got lollipops! So, from the bitter to the sweet,” he says, moving through the socially-distanced crowd at Fellowship Chapel in northwest Detroit.

Every Saturday for the last several weeks, the parking lot, halls, and event space at this historically Black church - one of the largest in the city - has been turned into a vaccination clinic for those 60 and older.

detroit fire department fire truck
Flickr

Two Detroit fire fighters were found to have been drinking and driving on the job after crashing their department-issued vehicles. The city is now conducting an audit of the emergency service and re-emphasizing its zero-tolerance policy on working while under the influence of alcohol.

In one case a fire captain nearly crashed his city-issued vehicle onto the Lodge freeway. Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones says police are conducting a criminal investigation into the two incident while the fire department handles an internal probe.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Afrourbanism, Detroit's Black history and future

A bustling area of the country’s most chocolate city razed to make way for Highway I-375. An idyllic “Black Eden” designed as a safe haven of relaxation and entertainment in rural Yates Township. Remembering Idlewild and Detroit’s Black Bottom is an important part of contextualizing Michigan’s Black history, and they can provide the blueprint for creating  future spaces with black people in mind.

Ann Arbor's Skyline High School. Ann Arbor Public Schools has been on the state's "significant disproportionality" list for over-suspending black students for five years, but says it's taken aggressive steps to correct that disparity.
Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, confusion and frustration among Ann Arbor parents over the decision on whether to reopen schools. Plus, a look into the history and future of public spaces centered around Detroit's Black residents. And, if you’re starting to feel a little cooped up, may we recommend some winter bird watching?

unemployement insurance form on a clipboard
Vitalii Vodolazskyi / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, frustrated Michiganders try to navigate an unemployment system overwhelmed by pandemic job losses. Plus, a Detroit festival celebrates the food of the African diaspora.

man in a mask gets a vaccine from health care worker in a mask
Adobe Stock

Today, on Stateside, we talked with photographer Leni Sinclair about her years of political involvement and her stunning photos of Detroit’s stages and people. Also, how Detroit leveraged help from a large and well-funded partner to coordinate its massive effort to vaccinate residents. 

Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is expanding options for Detroiters over age 65 to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Duggan says the city will be providing low-cost or no cost rides to a vaccination clinic at the TCF center.  And for the next four Saturdays, the mayor says the city will be providing special vaccination clinics just for seniors. 

a woman in scrubs puts on gloves in front of a car
Beenish Ahmed / Michigan Radio

Undocumented immigrants in Detroit who opt to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the TCF Center, which serves as the city’s main vaccination site, will not be targeted by immigration enforcement according to the Detroit Health Department. 

Protesters stand in downtown Detroit the night of May 31, 2020.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit will dismiss most misdemeanor citations issued last spring during several days of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Most of the tickets written May 31 and June 2 were for curfew violations as hundreds of people demonstrated in downtown Detroit.

HarpersCollins Publishers

 

 

Today on Stateside, what President Biden's executive order on deportation will mean in Michigan. Also, ready for some reads? The annual list of Michigan Notable Books might give you a new lens on strange times.

 

a woman in scrubs puts on gloves in front of a car
Beenish Ahmed / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says that there are over 12,000 appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled at the TCF Center in Detroit in the coming weeks. The city wants to do even more, but doesn't know if it can count on a consistent number of doses.

"Everybody is having a tough week. In Detroit, we expected to get 9 to 10 thousand this week. We got 6000. We can work with 6000, but it is not what we had hoped to try to keep expanding eligibility," Duggan said in a press conference Tuesday.

protests, black lives matter, police, police force, police training
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

 

This time last year, the world as we knew it looked quite different than it does today. And although issues like police violence against people of color aren’t new, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many other Black Americans jolted our country in new ways last summer.

 

Stateside wanted to spend some time thinking about the activism that has shaped the past few decades, and the many parallels and differences between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today’s movement for Black lives. 

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some people in Flint are turning to a higher power to deal with a rise in violent crime.

“We pray right now for protection, Lord. We pray for strength, Lord,” Pastor Chris Martin used a megaphone, as he led a small march from his church, past a city park where the city’s latest murder victim was found Saturday.

Photo taken from a BLM protest in Detroit this summer
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

This was a wrenching year of racial reckoning both nationally, and right here in Michigan. Detroit journalist Stephen Henderson has been grappling with these issues both on-air as a radio host on WDET, and also in writing. Many of his conversations about race and racial justice this year featured prominent American writers and thinkers, and those conversations became the basis of a new season of Henderson’s podcast “Created Equal”.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

The U.S. Justice Department will be closely watching Tuesday's election in seven Michigan communities.

The Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to have personnel in 44 jurisdictions in 18 states to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are spending the weekend campaigning in Michigan ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Former President Barack Obama served as Joe Biden’s lead in at a pair of drive-in rallies Saturday in Flint and Detroit.  

Obama’s main message focused on voting.

"Vote here" sign
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we talk about Detroit voters and what turnout looks like in the Motor City. Plus, a conversation with the Sheriff of Livingston County about Secretary Benson’s order against firearms at the polls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest city is taking its first step toward opening recreational marijuana shops.

Detroit officials unveiled a proposed ordinance Monday that would allow entrepreneurs to apply for retail, grower, processing, and other cannabis business licenses. The proposed ordinance would reserve half of the licenses to Detroiters.

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