Thursday State News Summary
Thu, 30 Dec 2021 11:48:27 EST


RECORD COVID
A huge jump in the number of coronavirus cases in Michigan over the past two days. The state Health Department says there were nearly 26-thousand confirmed cases. The daily average of about 13-thousand, is a new record high beating the previous record of about 97-hundred more than a year ago. Since March 2020 when the pandemic started, Michigan has had more than 1.5 million cases. Last week, state health officials said they were expecting higher case numbers over the next four to six weeks due mainly to holiday gatherings. There were also 338 deaths reported Wednesday. Along with the higher case numbers, hospitalizations also increased slightly over the past two days. Health leaders say more younger people are going into the hospital for treatment of the virus.

CMU COVID BOOSTER MANDATE
Students and staff at Central Michigan University will have to get a COVID-19 booster shot by mid-January. The school announced that new mandate Wednesday. In a message on the University's website, administrators say university community members are required to get the booster shot by January 17th to be considered "fully vaccinated." Students, staff and faculty who don't receive a booster vaccine will have to get tested weekly for the virus. CMU joins the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University in requiring students and faculty have boosters heading into the new semester.

UNEMPLOYMENT FRAUD
New information released this week (Wednesday) shows the state paid out more than eight BILLION dollars in bogus unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. A 12-page report new report prepared by Deloitte found that between March first 2020 and the end of September this year as much as 2.8 billion dollars was paid to claims involving likely imposter fraud and an estimated 5.7 billion was paid to claims involving likely intentional misrepresentation fraud. Most of the money was paid through federal Pandemic Assistance programs and not state dollars. While releasing the report, Governor Whitmer also signed an executive order permanently establishing the Unemployment Insurance Fraud Response Team which involves investigators who work to identify, investigate and prosecute people who steal jobless benefits intended for other workers.

DEER CULL LANSING AREA
About 200 deer are expected to be culled as part of a deer management program in a Lansing-area. The Lansing State Journal reports that the cull in Meridian Township was expected to start Saturday and run to late February. It will take place in select township parks, land preserves and on private property where consent is given by the property owners. Police officers will use firearms for the deer cull during evening and overnight hours when parks are closed. Parks will remain open from dawn to dusk. Township Police Chief Ken Plaga says the program is an effort to protect people from injury and property damage in vehicle crashes that involve deer.

BUS CHARGES UPDATE
An Ypsilanti man accused of stealing a school bus in Monroe County is facing car theft and fleeing and eluding charges. 52-year old Larry Kosarue faced a judge Wednesday morning, one day after authorities say he stole a St. Mary's Catholic Central School bus and took it on a joy ride for several miles in Monroe County. Investigators say alcohol may have been a factor, but he isn't facing any drunk driving charges. No injuries were reported.

MICHIGAN HBCU
Michigan's first Historically Black College will reopen. Governor Whitmer signed legislation to reestablish the Lewis College of Business as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit. The school which was established in 19-39, closed its' doors in 20-13. Mayor Mike Duggan thanked lawmakers and the governor, and says it sends a "clear message that we are building one city, for everyone with opportunity for everyone."

JUST AIR SOLUTIONS
Does your zip code affect your health? The CEO of a startup in Grand Rapids, Just Air Solutions , thinks so. 29-year-old Darren Riley believes communities, typically communities of color, are around industries and highways that can affect their health. He says his company is providing air monitoring sensors and make the data transparent. Riley says they have systems in Grand Rapids and hope to have them in Detroit and Chicago in the new year.

COVID ISOLATION
The state health department announcing that it will NOT recommend the new CDC coronavirus isolation guidelines outlined earlier this week. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it will continue to review data from the CDC before it tells Michiganders that it's OK to reduce quarantine time from 10 to five days. The CDC says the new guidance stems from mounting data that people with the virus are most infectious in the first few days.

VAX HOSPITALIZATIONS
The good news-- is the vaccines still seem to stave off the worst effects of the virus-- Henry Ford Health System reports nearly 80% of its COVID-19 patients in its hospitals and nearly 80% of patients on ventilators are UNVACCINATED. As of December 20... Michigan Medicine said 10 out of the 39 COVID patients in its intensive care units are FULLY VACCINATED. And 8 of the 27 people on ventillators are FULLY VACCINATED. Michigan Medicine said ONLY TWO fully vaccinated patients in the Intensive Care Unit and ONLY ONE on a ventilator are WITHOUT a major co-morbidity that puts them at higher risk of complications from the virus. Those include being 65 or older, immunocompromised or having significant underlying lung disease.

FATHER CHARGED WITH KILLING SON
A 69-year-old west Michigan man, Darrell Dakan, of White Cloud, has been charged with killing his 38-year-old son, Joshua. The elder Dakan allegedly accused his son of leaving a cable across his driveway, which damaged his pickup truck. They argued and the father grabbed a rifle and aimed it at his son, according to testimony. A friend of Joshua Dakan says Joshua said quote-Just shoot me, before his father shot him in the back. The father claims he shot him in self defense. He has been denied bond.

DOUBLE MURDER
A Flint man, Ronald Dendy Junior , is wanted in connection to a double murder that occurred last Sunday in Flint. Police say it happened at a holiday party where Dendy allegedly shot and killed two people. Dendy left the scene in a silver Ford Fusion which police recovered. The 29-year-old Dendy is African American, six feet tall , 230 pounds with his hair in dreadlocks in a pony tail.

GRAND RAPIDS EXPLOSIONS
Explosions are set to take place in West Michigan today. There could be some people in Grand Rapids who flinch when it starts. Some frightened pets might even hide. The loud noises coming from the Grand Rapids Compost and Yard Waste Site are explosives and other hazardous materials being detonated by the police department's bomb squad. Some of the materials have been seized during investigations others are expiring

TEACHER COVID FLIGHT
Vacation got off to a rocky start for a Michigan native heading overseas. Marisa Fotieo -- who grew up in West Michigan and is now a teacher in Chicago -- was on her way to Iceland when she says she started feeling sick. She took a rapid test in a plane bathroom -- and sure enough, within minutes -- she tested positive. So she stayed there -- for FIVE HOURS. She says she didn't want to infect any of the 150 people onboard. Fotieo documented the cramped experience on TikTok -- saying IcelandAir flight attendants checked on her constantly -- and brought her drinks and snacks. So far -- the video's got more than a million likes, and she's got a little more space now -- she's in quarantine at a hotel in Iceland.

MI MAN KILLED IN ILLINOIS CRASH
A 43-year-old Kalamazoo man was killed in a crash in Illinois Tuesday night. Rickey Washington Junior's car stalled in the right lane on I-55 near Bloomington and he had his hazard lights on when a semitruck reportedly hit the back of his vehicle and he was killed. The driver of the semi was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

WOMAN CRASHES INTO TREE
A mid Michigan woman is hospitalized after crashing into a tree yesterday afternoon. The 64-year-old woman reportedly crashed into a tree in Morley in Mecosta County. She was taken to Spectrum Health Big Rapids with non-life threatening injuries.

SCHWARZENEGGER ON REDISTRICTING
Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is weighing in on Michigan's redistricting efforts. Schwarzenegger tweeted to congratulate the Michigan redistricting commission. He says quote-"a bipartisan vote created fair districts for the states voters. You proved that when the people, not the politicians, draw the lines, the voters win. The commission approved new congressional and state legislative districts for Michigan on Tuesday.

SNOWMOBILING
Snowmobilers are anxious to hit the trails with more snow in the forecast for early January in northern Michigan. There are nearly 65-hundred designated snowmobile trails in Michigan and DNR officers say they will be out patrolling focusing on safety. A few of their biggest concerns are speeding, thickness of ice on the lakes and trespassing. They also stress that riders should not drink and drive


   

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