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Oakland County

This is the worst day so far in the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.

New state data shows the number of deaths increased by 52 to 184. And for the first time, more than 1,000 people tested positive for coronavirus in a 24-hour period. Michigan’s total number of coronavirus positive cases is now 6,498.

Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Oakland County’s Health Division is issuing emergency orders, immediately closing shopping malls and putting playground equipment off-limits as the number of COVID-19 cases in the county rise.   

The county is also imposing new restrictions on people entering child care facilities.

As of Saturday morning, 225 people in Oakland County have tested positive for the virus. On Friday Oakland County recorded its first coronavirus death. The 50 year old man was the fourth person in Michigan to die since the outbreak.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Michigan has its first state confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness. What sort of social disruptions will we face as more cases appear in our state? Plus, results from yesterday’s presidential primary—and what they tell us about the November election. 

coronavirus symptoms sheet
Adobe Stock

Oakland County’s first COVID-19 patient is "in good shape," according to county officials. The patient was tested Tuesday and the positive result came in late that night. 

Courtesy of Children First

Oakland County will try a new approach to providing health services to its un- and underinsured residents.

The plan, called Oakland Health 360, calls for consolidating more services at the county’s two health centers, in Southfield and Pontiac. Those will include a range of health services, including primary care, family planning, dental, and mental health services.

trans rights flag
Adobe Stock

Oakland County has expanded its non-discrimination policy. The policy now includes gender identity, marital, familial, and veteran status.

Dave Coulter is the county executive for Oakland County. He says that expanding the policy is not just the morally correct thing to do.

SMART Bus
Mysid / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw counties hope that some proposed changes to state law will pave the way for an expanded regional transit system in southeast Michigan—minus Macomb County, for now.

The proposal involves changes to the state’s Municipal Partnership Act, which allows local government units to form partnerships for the purpose of funding and offering services such as transit. They would allow the three counties to create a regional entity that could levy and collect taxes to fund expanded regional transit.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking officials in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County to put a renewal of the museum’s millage on the March 2020 ballot. This request comes earlier than expected: the millage was first passed in 2012, and it was not set to lapse until 2022.


 

 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Interim Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter has had a change of heart: he now says he will run for a full, four-year term in 2020.

Coulter is a Democrat. He was the mayor of Ferndale when county commissioners appointed him to fill the vacancy left by the late Republican L. Brooks Patterson back in August.

Little Traverse Bay
Michigan Radio

 

Today on Stateside, Planned Parenthood withdraws from Title X which funds services for 42,000 patients in Michigan. Plus, new Oakland County County Executive Dave Coulter is the first Democrat in 27 years.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

New Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter
Dave Coulter for State Representative

For the first time in 27 years, Oakland County has a Democrat serving as its County Executive.

On Monday, Dave Coulter tendered his resignation as mayor of Ferndale. A few hours later, he was sworn in to serve out the remainder of the late L. Brooks Patterson’s term, which runs through the end of 2020.

A view of sand dunes and Lake Michigan
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, after resigning from his position as mayor of Ferndale, Democrat Dave Coulter has been sworn in to replace the late L. Brooks Patterson as Oakland County Executive. Plus, how are researchers working to address the problem of annual cyanobacterial blooms on Lake Erie?

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Dave Woodward portait
oakgov.com

Former Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson died on Saturday, but the race to replace him is already becoming complicated and heated--and sparked public criticism from Patterson's team.

By law, Oakland County commissioners have 30 days to appoint an interim successor for Patterson. If they don’t, a special election will be held to fill the remainder of his term through 2020.

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
Rido / Adobe Stock

The measles outbreak in Oakland County is over.

Officials announced Wednesday that the months-long outbreak has successfully been contained.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Oakland County commissioners may be getting into a big fight over paying a small number of county employees a higher minimum wage. 

Commissioner Angela Powell wants to set a $15 per hour minimum wage for all full-time county employees. The change would affect about one percent of the county workforce.

3D rendering of the measles virus
Centers for Disease Control

Michigan is now among a growing list of states experiencing measles outbreaks, with state health officials confirming 40 cases so far in Oakland County, one in Wayne County, and one in the City of Detroit since March 13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines an outbreak as three or more cases.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has stage four pancreatic cancer, but plans to stay in office through the end of his term while seeking treatment.

Patterson made that announcement at an emotional news conference at the county building named after him on Tuesday. He also announced that he won’t run for an eighth term in 2020.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan doctors hope to use the measles outbreak in Oakland County to encourage parents to get more children vaccinated.

Michigan ranks near the middle of the pack among states for measles vaccination rates.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Southeast Michigan’s largest water system is turning to new technology to detect faulty water mains before they fail.

A year ago, a massive water main break disrupted 11 communities in western Oakland County.

In order to avoid similar problems in the future, the Great Lakes Water Authority is launching a pilot program to use acoustic technology to inspect the interior of large water mains. The sensors will try to detect leaks, gas pockets and structural weakness.

A map outlining the proposed transit master plan for Metro Detroit.
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

 


Regional transit will not make it onto the ballot in Detroit and surrounding counties this November. 

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan proposed a millage for Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties, but leaders from Oakland and Macomb County have refused to support it. 

Andy Meisner is the Oakland County Treasurer and Brad Williams is the Detroit Regional Chamber's VP for Government Relations. Both joined Stateside’s Lester Graham to discuss where the region goes from here. 

Flitn River
Courtesy of the Flint River Watershed Coalition

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments general assembly has adopted a plan aimed at protecting the region's water resources.

The plan emphasizes the importance of integrated management of water resources to advance tourism, recreation, economic development, protection of natural resources and water infrastructure.

Natural resources priorities include preventing and controlling invasive species and preserving and restoring more than 340,000 acres (137,600 hectares) of wetlands.

Lorie Shaull

The Oakland County sheriff's office says it's responded to five possible school shooting threats in the span of just five days.

Sheriff Mike Bouchard says it's not unusual to get more "copycat" threats after a school shooting like the recent one in Florida.

"It's sad,” he says. “It's incredibly sad to think that other people want to either emulate it, or get attention from it, or think it's ok."

A nurse administers a vaccine.
Rhoda Baer / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The hepatitis A outbreak has affected at least a dozen restaurants in three southeast Michigan counties this year. That’s why Oakland County is hosting two vaccination clinics for restaurant workers this week, no appointment necessary.

Restaurant workers are a priority target for the limited supply of the hep A vaccine because they handle other people’s food. Those who catch the virus are most contagious before they show symptoms of hep A.

House Foreclosure
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

new lawsuit says Michigan’s property tax foreclosure laws are unconstitutional and amount to “government sanctioned theft.”

The case was filed this week on behalf of two men who lost Oakland County properties to foreclosure.

One of the men, Uri Rafaeli, lost a rental property in Southfield when he miscalculated the amount of interest he owed on 2011 property taxes by $8.41. Oakland County foreclosed, then sold the home for $24,500.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

On Tuesday, October 24, the Great Lakes Water Authority issued a boil water advisory for parts of Oakland County after a 48-inch water main broke late Monday night.

The boil water advisory ended for all communities on Monday, October 30. 

Michigan Radio followed this story, and updated it as events unfolded and as new information was made available. Scroll down and read up to see how the story unfolded.

"Out of water" sign after Oakland County water main break
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Thousands of people in Oakland County are still dealing with a mandatory boil water advisory this weekend. It was issued after a broken water transmission main caused system pressure to drop, and then extended after another leak was detected. The CEO of the Great Lakes Water Authority called it an "unprecedented" event in the regional water system's history, but this Week in Review, senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry tells Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth why he wasn't surprised.

GLWA crews install new pipe at site of broken water main on Wednesday.
Great Lakes Water Authority / via Twitter

The mandatory boil water advisory affecting more than 300,000 Oakland County residents won’t be lifted Friday as originally planned.

The Great Lakes Water Authority says it’s made “great progress” repairing the broken water transmission main that caused system pressure drop, prompting the boil water advisory to be issued early Tuesday.

TRACY SAMILTON / Michigan Radio

Twelve communities in Oakland County are still under a boil-water alert as repairs continue on what’s being called an “unprecedented” water main break.

Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner, joined Stateside today to explain where things stand now.

"Out of water" sign after Oakland County water main break
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Great Lakes Water Authority says more than 300,000 Oakland County residents currently under a boil water advisory should expect it to last for at least another two days. That's the bad news.

Good news is, repairs are underway, hospital clinics and most schools are reopening, and water pressure has been restored to all but some 35,000 Farmington Hills residents (that's as of Wednesday afternoon.)

Needle
bradadozier / Flickr / http://bit.ly/2yVn117

Twelve men face federal charges for their alleged roles in an Oakland County-based drug ring that’s linked to at least one overdose death.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit unsealed an indictment against the men Wednesday.

The indictment alleges the men were part of a “drug trafficking organization known as the TEAM.” The “TEAM” was reportedly a merger of two former street gangs who “joined together to distribute heroin” starting in 2010.

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