Latest Michigan news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Michigan COVID-19 deaths pass 6,000; Whitmer watching cases
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths have surpassed 6,000. The state health department says there have been 6,005 deaths and another 246 that are probable. Michigan reported 30 new deaths Tuesday. Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and Detroit account for 75% of Michigan’s deaths. The state reported 454 new confirmed virus cases, one of the highest daily totals in recent weeks. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warns that she could order new restrictions. Whitmer says it’s “the last thing” anyone wants.
Video shows facility staff restraining Black teen who died
Surveillance video shows at least seven men restraining a Black teenager who later died at a youth facility in Michigan. The footage released to reporters Tuesday shows several of the men appearing to pull on and hold down 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks’ arms and legs while others sit or lay atop him because he threw a sandwich in the cafeteria. Authorities have said Fredericks went into cardiac arrest April 29 while being restrained. He died two days later. Detroit-area attorney Geoffrey Fieger represents Fredericks’ estate in a civil lawsuit that says the boy screamed “I can’t breathe” as he was restrained.
Dan Gilbert would keep control under Quicken Loans IPO
DETROIT (AP) — Quicken Loans would become part of Rocket Companies under an initial public stock offering that would keep founder Dan Gilbert in firm control. Quicken’s filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission says Gilbert would have 79% voting power. Rocket Companies would be more than Quicken Loans, the Detroit-based mortgage lender. It would include a real estate title company, a home search platform, a personal loan provider and a used car business. Gilbert, who also owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, has been recovering from a 2019 stroke. He has played a crucial role in buying and rehabbing commercial buildings all over downtown Detroit.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-BUSINESS GRANTS
Michigan authorizes $115M for businesses hurt by pandemic
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s economic development board has authorized a $115 million grant program for small businesses, nonprofits, farms and agricultural processors hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Entities can start applying July 15. Michigan will disburse the funding to local economic development organizations that will give it to businesses and nonprofits. To qualify for $100 million for businesses and nonprofits, an applicant must have no more than 50 employees. The maximum grant is $20,000. At least 30% of the funds must go to businesses owned by women, minorities or veterans. There also is $10 million for agricultural processors and $5 million for farms.
States sue US department over virus relief funds for schools
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California, Michigan and three other states are suing the U.S. Department of Education over pandemic relief funds. In the lawsuit filed Tuesday, the attorneys general of California and Michigan say the department run by Secretary Betsy DeVos is attempting to take pandemic relief funds away from K-12 public schools and divert them to private schools. Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia have joined the lawsuit. They say the department’s interim final rule would allow public schools that charge tuition similar to private colleges to get funds based on the total population they serve. DeVos previously said the funding is meant to support all students.
Police investigating human remains found in fire pit
TRENTON, Mich. (AP) — Human remains were found at the former home of a suburban Detroit man, more than a week after he died during a standoff with police in Tennessee. Police in Trenton, Michigan, are investigating whether the remains are that of a woman who was living with Mark Eberly. Steven Voss, director of police and fire services in Trenton, says “it’s very possible.” On June 27, Eberly was involved in a shooting with a sheriff’s deputy in Cumberland County, Tennessee, during a traffic stop. Eberly was later found dead in his vehicle about a mile away.
AMERICA DISRUPTED: Troubles cleave a nation, and a city
SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — There were no fireworks in Saginaw, Michigan, this Fourth of July. In the midst of a pandemic, there was no safe place to provide a display. The dark skies were a plaintive marker of a nation utterly disrupted in a matter of months. This period of national crisis has not inspired unity. Americans are aiming their anger at each other, talking past each other, invoking race, class and culture. They cannot even agree on the need to wear masks to protect against a deadly virus. A convulsive election looms, but it will not necessarily answer the central issue of American life: Can the United States pull itself together?
Group to start veto-proof drive to repeal Whitmer’s powers
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers say they will begin collecting voter signatures within days for a veto-proof measure that would repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the pandemic. The ballot committee Unlock Michigan announced its plan after the state elections board approved a summary of the petition Monday. It would rescind a 1945 law that the Democratic governor has cited to close businesses, limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities to curb the coronavirus. The group, which has ties to Republicans, needs about 340,000 valid signatures.
Court overturns order to have GM, Fiat Chrysler chiefs meet
DETROIT (AP) — An appeals court says the CEOs of General Motors and Fiat Chrysler don’t have to meet to settle a lawsuit between the two automakers. The court overturned an extraordinary decision by a federal judge in Detroit. The judge had ordered GM’s Mary Barra and FCA’s Mike Manley to get together and settle a dispute over FCA’s alleged role in corruption by union leaders. The appeals court says Judge Paul Borman abused his discretion by singling out Barra and Manley and setting other conditions. GM is suing crosstown rival FCA, alleging that it got an advantage by paying off union leaders to reduce labor costs during contract talks.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-LAKE PARTY
Virus is no brake on July 4 lake party in SW Michigan
LAGRANGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of people spent Independence Day in swimsuits but no masks at a lake in southwestern Michigan. The turnout disappointed authorities who warn that the coronavirus remains a threat. The party occurred Saturday at Diamond Lake, near Cassopolis in Cass County. The sheriff’s office said it couldn’t stop the gathering, although officers were at the lake to ticket people for certain offenses. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said it was “incredibly disappointing” to see so many people ignoring safe distance guidelines.