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State inspectors shut down Detroit funeral home due to 'deplorable, unsanitary' conditionsState shuts down funeral home in Detroit, citing 'deplorable conditions'State shuts down Detroit funeral home due to 'deplorable conditions'

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 11:18pm

Decomposing remains and "deplorable conditions" were among the violations that led state inspectors to shut down a funeral home in Detroit.

The conditions at the Cantrell Funeral Home on Mack Avenue left inspectors shaking their heads. State officials said bodies were stored in a garage and other remains were sitting on tables.

The closure has been difficult for families who had services scheduled at the funeral home, as well as the ones who have had loved ones buried or stored improperly.

With state police standing guard, caskets were rolled out of the funeral home and bodies were removed to be loaded into hearses. All of the bodies were taken to a cleaner facility.

"This is really wrong and crazy," said Yolanda Brewer, who was at the scene looking for her sister's remains.

Brewer is one of many people who rushed to Mack Avenue.

"(I came) so I can see where they're taking my sister," Brewer said.

She watched as stacks of cremated remains were wheeled from the back door. Brewer said her sister's funeral service was held at Cantrell in January, but she couldn't afford to pay for a full burial up front.

"He said he would hold the body here in a cooler until we could pay the rest of the money," Brewer said.

She had receipts and paperwork that show she worked out a payment plan with the owner, Raymond Cantrell.

"When I talked to him, he told me, 'She's OK,'" Brewer said. "But now when I hear this, I don't know what's going on, how she looks or what. I don't know nothing."

When state inspectors went inside Cantrell, they reported finding decomposing bodies stored in an unrefrigerated garage and filthy back room. Then, a popup inspection Wednesday found 20 bodies -- seven were in caskets, three were in cremation containers and 10 were just sitting on tables, inspectors said.

Many had been decomposing there for months, the state said.

"I'm told now she wasn't in a cooler and her body might be one of the ones that's messed up," Brewer said.

"It is a shock to me," Cantrell said.

While he denies most of the violations, he admitted bodies were being stored in the garage.

"Yes, so we wouldn't have a smell filling up the funeral home," Cantrell said. "If I had them in the funeral home then my funeral home wouldn't smell fresh."

Cantrell said he was only helping grieving families.

Brewer said she's reliving the pain of losing her sister, and the owner's words didn't help at all.

"This is crazy," she said. "I've never heard of anything like this in my life. He just made me get the wrong impression from the beginning."

Larry Nassar's former Michigan State boss hit with new sex accusations

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 9:17pm

The former boss of Larry Nassar at Michigan State University is facing new accusations of sexual misconduct.

Dr. William Strampel, the ex-dean of Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, is facing allegations of sexual misconduct with women he hired to be models for invasive practice exams.

"Dean Strampel is not an amusing, bawdy elder statesman," prosecutors said. "Rather, he is an ugly predator who used his office to harm young women."

Strampel was arrested in March on charges of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, official misconduct, and willful neglect of duty in connection with five women who leveled accusations ranging from crude comments to grabbing their buttocks.

Strampel has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The motion filed Wednesday doesn't contain any new charges, but it describes allegations from two unnamed witnesses.

One said she was a Central Michigan University student in 2002 when Strampel hired her as an exam model. She did 10 sessions, with the dean performing breast, pelvic and anal exams in front of a small group of med students.

She stopped taking the $100-per-hour gigs after Strampel, during a post-class dinner, told her he had been "turned on" and physically aroused during the exam, prosecutors said.

The second witness said she applied to get into Strampel's college but didn't have high enough test scores. While discussing her chances of being admitted, he suggested she apply for the modeling job, she said.

Strampel then took her to a private room and performed a breast and vaginal exam himself, with no student present, the motion alleges. During a later exam with one student present, Strampel made "inappropriate" remarks and said he could let her into the school with substandard scores, she said.

Prosecutors said they want to call the witnesses at a preliminary hearing in June to bolster their contention that Strampel used his office to prey on young woman.

Strampel's lawyer did not respond to an NBC News request for comment on the new allegations.

Southgate Community Schools closed Thursday due to threat

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 8:13pm

Southgate Community Schools will be closed Thursday due to a threat, district officials said.

Officials said they learned of a posted threat involving the district and decided to close the schools for Thursday. There hasn't been an announcement about Friday or any future closings.

Parents received a robocall about the closing.

No further specific information about the threat has been released.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Dearborn woman charged with embezzling more than $1 million from small business in Taylor

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 7:55pm

A 47-year-old Dearborn woman was charged Wednesday with embezzling more than $1 million from a small business in Taylor, U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider announced.

Paula Elkins is accused of stealing $1,124,889 from her employer, J.S. Vig Construction.

Elkins was a bookkeeper and comptroller for J.S. Vig Construction, and wrote 196 unauthorized company checks to the attention of an inactive local hockey league and deposited them into the league's bank account, which she had control over, according to the indictment.

Elkins also wrote company checks to pay off her credit cards and wired money from company accounts to her personal account, officials said. She is also accused of forging authorized signatures on the checks.

"Theft from small businesses hurts more than the company owners," Schneider said. "It damages communities and causes people to lose their jobs. We will vigorously prosecute these crimes of greed because of their damaging effect on our society."

"As reflected by the indictments, United States Secret Service in Detroit -- along with our federal, state and local partners -- remains dedicated to the pursuit and apprehension of those responsible for these serious economic crime cases," said Douglas J. Zloto, special agent in charge of the Secret Service Detroit field office.

Elkins was arraigned Wednesday on a wire fraud charge in federal court and released on bond.

Thieves breaking into unlocked cars across downriver communities

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 7:03pm

There's an unwanted trend happening in several downriver communities as police believe a group of men is going city to city and stealing items from cars.

So far, vehicles in Allen Park, Ecorse and River Rouge have been hit.

"The street term is called car hopping," said Leonel Lopez, River Rouge Police Department inspector. "Several people are going around and just opening cars and stealing property out of the vehicles."

Lopez said in most cases the targeted cars are unlocked.

"The people are going in vehicles, and it's because they're not locking their vehicles," Lopez said.

Home surveillance video from Le Blanc Street in River Rouge shows a robbery from Tuesday morning. A man walked around the side of a truck to open the door. The truck was unlocked, and another man opened the other car door while his partner rummaged through the truck.

Video shows them grabbing belongings from the truck and walking away. It was just one of many cases in River Rouge, police said.

"We had seven reported incidents, however, we're hearing on the street that several people didn't call the police," Lopez said. "We are currently working with other departments to see if there's a connection with the suspects."

Lopez wants the public to be aware of the dangers of leaving vehicles unlocked.

"Chances are they probably won't go in your vehicle if they find out that it's locked," Lopez said.

Surveillance video from Allen Park supports her statement, as two men were seen walking away from a truck after finding it locked.

Police said they are working hard to get the thieves off the street.

State senator's anti-Muslim message sparks outrage in Michigan governor's race

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 7:01pm

Controversy has entered the Michigan governor's race after state Sen. Patrick Colbeck voiced an anti-Muslim message aimed at a fellow candidate.

Colbeck was giving a presentation when he aimed the message at gubernatorial candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. Colbeck is a conservative Michigan state senator who believes the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the country.

El-Sayed, a former Detroit city medical director, is Colbeck's polar opposite politically. Colbeck believes El-Sayed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which set off a firestorm of outrage.

"I'm raising concerns about affiliations with an organization called the Muslim Brotherhood, and that is not a disparagement against all Muslims," Colbeck said. "It's those who espouse the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood."

He claims El-Sayed, while at the University of Michigan, was the vice president of the Muslim Students' Association, which Colbeck claims shares in the Muslim Brotherhood's belief that it needs to overthrow Western civilization through jihad.

"Dr. Abdul El-Sayed was vice president of that Muslim Students' Association, so there is an affiliation with that, with friendly organizations, and I think the key question to ask Dr. El-Sayed is whether or not he espouses the beliefs of the Muslim Brotherhood."

El-Sayed's political supporters said he was a part of the Muslim Students' Association -- a school-sanctioned student group -- but does not in any way agree with or espouse the Muslim Brotherhood ideals.

"Of course, I knew that in choosing to run for governor as an unapologetic, proud Muslim and American, I was going to contend with the ugly face of white supremacy that Donald Trump and his friends have sanctioned," El-Sayed said in a statement. "But I know that every day I serve this state and this country be holding us to our ideals and our constitution, which empower and inspire me to serve every single person in our state, regardless of my ethnicity, color or faith."

Colbeck said much of his information about the Muslim Brotherhood came in what was called the Holy Land Foundation trial, when the operation's Palestinian-American leaders were sent to prison for running a terrorist organization in Texas 10 years ago.

New Sonic restaurant in Dearborn to offer halal for Muslim customers

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 6:46pm

A new Sonic location opened Wednesday in Dearborn, and it's the first to provide food catering those of the Muslim faith.

The new Sonic has added options to the menu.

"Fifty percent of the population in Dearborn is of Muslim descent," owner Tom Fakih said. "We researched it, and we looked into it, and figured that in order to make it, you have to serve both halal and non-halal."

Halal is meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law. Fakih said he's proud to run a fast-food chain that provides halal meat for his Muslim customers.

"I like to eat the meat halal," customer Sabuni Hazem said. "This is like my country. I like this one. I am coming here."

As part of the religious practice, the Sonic had to be halal certified. According to Fakih, it's the first franchise in the country to provide this option. In the kitchen, the halal meat isn't only stored separately, but also cooked on a completely different grill.

"We managed to get the proper companies to serve us the halal," Fakihi said. "It's the same quality, same thing."

The location provides the same Sonic food customers love, delivered to cars or available for dine-in.

The new Sonic in Dearborn will be open from 9 a.m. until midnight most nights, serving halal and non-halal foods. Fakih said the hours are expected to be extended during the summer.

Courtroom babbling puts sentencing on hold for man accused of attacking woman at Dearborn hospital

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 6:42pm

The man accused of attacking a woman in the lobby of Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn wasn't sentenced Wednesday because the judge ordered a psych exam.

John Deliz pleaded guilty in the case and was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, but the court proceedings didn't go as planned.

Local 4's video of Deliz attacking a young woman in a hijab inside Beaumont Hospital in February went viral. Though many saw it as a hate crime, Deliz was charged with a misdemeanor.

Deliz was incoherently babbling in the courtroom Wednesday, just days after he was evaluated by doctors and found competent. But the judge couldn't get a word in over Deliz, who appeared to be in distress.

The case is complicated. A few weeks ago, Deliz was given a $0 bond and placed on a tether. The judge said Deliz didn't charge the tether and he walked free. He was caught on video interacting with people in public.

Police picked him up Wednesday.

The proceedings aren't sitting well with the victim's attorney, who said Deliz is undercharged and the case is being mishandled.

Gunman, girlfriend arrested after employees held at gunpoint inside Five Guys restaurant in Warren

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 5:17pm

An armed robbery at a Five Guys restaurant was caught by security cameras, and officials said they are crediting the clear video for an arrest made in the case.

The alleged robbery happened around 10 p.m. Thursday at the Five Guys restaurant on Mound Road in Warren, officials said.

Police said Emmanuel Terry, 21, was hiding in the back of the restaurant at closing time. Officials said an employee came across Terry and was forced into the restroom at gunpoint.

Terry approached a second employee and pushed the gun into his ribs, police said. He ordered another employee to open the safe and stuff money into his backpack, police said.

Both people suspected in the robbery are familiar with the layout of the restaurant because they worked there, police said. Terry broke in through the back door just before closing time, officials said.

Video shows Terry leaving the store in a getaway vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Leslie Willis, officials said. The robbery happened in a matter of minutes, and two customers inside the restaurant didn't even realize what was going on, according to officials.

Terry and Willis appeared in front of a judge via video Wednesday and ordered not to have contact with each other.

"That means no texting, no calling, no writing, no driving by, nothing," the judge said. "You understand that?"

Terry and Willis told the judge that they live together.

"Not anymore," the judge said.

Warren police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said the pair was identified and arrested within a couple of days.

"I would probably put the criminals in Warren on notice," Dwyer said. "If they commit a crime, the chances are 99.9 percent that we will arrest those persons responsible."

Terry and Willis are facing serious charges and could spend several years in prison.

2 former Detroit police officers sentenced in extortion scheme

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 4:18pm

Two former Detroit police officers were sentenced Wednesday for accepting bribes from automobile collision shops in exchange for referring stolen and abandoned vehicles recovered in Detroit to that shop, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said.

James Robertson was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and Marty Tutt was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Officials said Robertson and Tutt accepted cash payments from owners and operators of Detroit collision shops in exchange for referring abandoned vehicles to the shops for repairs and for writing police reports.

They are the second and third officers to be sentenced in the case.

Anthony Careathers sentenced

Anthony Careathers, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of extortion. Officials said he accepted cash payments from the owner of a Detroit shop for referring abandoned vehicles to that shop for repairs and for warning the owner about law enforcement activity.

"Anthony Careathers, a former Detroit police officer, was held accountable today for his own individual actions," said Jeffery E. Peterson, acting special agent in charge, Detroit division of the FBI. "Careathers' acts should not be considered representative of the vast majority of law enforcement professionals at the Detroit Police Department who serve the citizens of Detroit with honor and integrity every day."

Careathers was the first defendant to be sentenced in the case. There are three others awaiting sentencing or a trial.

Jamil Martin, 46, pleaded guilty to an information charging one count of extortion. Charles Wills, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of extortion charged in a superseding indictment. Deonne Dotson, 45, is awaiting trial.

"The vast majority of Detroit police officers are courageous, dedicated public servants, but unfortunately these defendants are an exception to that rule," Schneider said.

All of the officers were charged with engaging in extortion for using their positions to refer cars to certain collision shops in exchange for cash payments.

"I certainly appreciate the collaborative partnership of the state and federal agencies who took part in conducting this investigation," Detroit police Chief James Craig said. "Although the actions of these officers are disappointing, I echo U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider in saying that the vast majority of the men and women on this department serve the residents of this city with the utmost level of integrity and dedication."

1 killed in Belleville train crash

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 3:16pm

One person was killed in a train crash Wednesday afternoon in Belleville.

The crash happened at the intersection of South Street.

Sources said one person was killed in the crash. The circumstances are unknown.

South Street is closed between downtown Belleville and the railroad tracks.

CHECK: Traffic Page

Witnesses said there were several ambulances at the scene.

No other information was made available.

Stay with Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit for updates.

Detroit funeral home shut down for 'deplorable, unsanitary' conditionsState shuts down Detroit funeral home due to 'deplorable conditions'

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:59pm

A Detroit funeral home has been shut down after authorities discovered deplorable conditions inside.

The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary science establishment license of Cantrell Funeral Home located at 10400 Mack Ave, in Detroit.

Local 4 will have more on this story in a live report at 5 p.m.

Inspectors found deplorable, unsanitary conditions and other violations that included:

After first being denied entry to conduct an inspection, an inspector found an unclean and unsanitary embalming room, with peeling and chipping paint, water stained walls, dirty floors, and stained protective gear. Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 10, 2018, in an unrefrigerated garage since November and December 2017; a third body was kept from January 9, 2018 until April 17, 2018, when it was cremated. Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 25, 2018 with two bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition, covered in what appeared to be mold and in the establishment's possession since January and February 2018, and a third body with the facial area covered in unknown fluids. Operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration and failing to assign its existing prepaid contracts to another registrant or to cancel its prepaid contracts and issue refunds of the contracts to the contract buyers. Continuing to engage in activities requiring a registration under the Prepaid Act, including the sale of at least three prepaid contracts. Failure to deposit at least $21,574 received for prepaid funeral goods or services related to 13 prepaid funeral contracts (a preliminary assessment in this ongoing investigation). Failure to deposit monies with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt, under the Prepaid Act. Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science.

"Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law, especially when dealing with the death of a loved one," said CSCL Director Julia Dale. "We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements."

Back in 2017: Man fatally shot while walking into funeral home on Detroit's east side

Cantrell Funeral Home has 60 days to either assign its existing prepaid contracts to another person registered under the Prepaid Act and notify the Department and contract buyers of the assignment within 30 days of the assignment, or to cancel the contracts and issue refunds to each contract buyer, providing copies of refund checks and correspondence to each contract buyer to the Department within 90 days, unless the Department modifies, vacates, or extends the terms of the Order.

Related: Michigan funeral home shut down over 'deplorable' conditions

Any bodies found on the premises of the establishment awaiting cremation or burial and any cremated remains found on the premises awaiting delivery to a customer were surrendered to the custody and control of LARA via its agent, Preferred Removal Services, Inc., a facility with adequate and appropriate refrigeration equipment and storage.

Detroit funeral home shut down for 'deplorable, unsanitary' conditions

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:59pm

A Detroit funeral home has been shut down after authorities discovered deplorable conditions inside.

The Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has suspended the mortuary science establishment license of Cantrell Funeral Home located at 10400 Mack Ave, in Detroit.

Local 4 will have more on this story in a live report at 5 p.m.

Inspectors found deplorable, unsanitary conditions and other violations that included:

After first being denied entry to conduct an inspection, an inspector found an unclean and unsanitary embalming room, with peeling and chipping paint, water stained walls, dirty floors, and stained protective gear. Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 10, 2018, in an unrefrigerated garage since November and December 2017; a third body was kept from January 9, 2018 until April 17, 2018, when it was cremated. Improper storage of embalmed bodies found on April 25, 2018 with two bodies in an advanced stage of decomposition, covered in what appeared to be mold and in the establishment's possession since January and February 2018, and a third body with the facial area covered in unknown fluids. Operating with an expired prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration and failing to assign its existing prepaid contracts to another registrant or to cancel its prepaid contracts and issue refunds of the contracts to the contract buyers. Continuing to engage in activities requiring a registration under the Prepaid Act, including the sale of at least three prepaid contracts. Failure to deposit at least $21,574 received for prepaid funeral goods or services related to 13 prepaid funeral contracts (a preliminary assessment in this ongoing investigation). Failure to deposit monies with an authorized escrow agent within 30 days of receipt, under the Prepaid Act. Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in the practice of mortuary science.

"Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law, especially when dealing with the death of a loved one," said CSCL Director Julia Dale. "We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements."

Back in 2017: Man fatally shot while walking into funeral home on Detroit's east side

Cantrell Funeral Home has 60 days to either assign its existing prepaid contracts to another person registered under the Prepaid Act and notify the Department and contract buyers of the assignment within 30 days of the assignment, or to cancel the contracts and issue refunds to each contract buyer, providing copies of refund checks and correspondence to each contract buyer to the Department within 90 days, unless the Department modifies, vacates, or extends the terms of the Order.

Related: Michigan funeral home shut down over 'deplorable' conditions

Any bodies found on the premises of the establishment awaiting cremation or burial and any cremated remains found on the premises awaiting delivery to a customer were surrendered to the custody and control of LARA via its agent, Preferred Removal Services, Inc., a facility with adequate and appropriate refrigeration equipment and storage.

Trump v. Hawaii -- listen to audio from April 25 oral arguments in Supreme Court

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:53pm

President Donald Trump's latest travel ban case was taken up Wednesday at the Supreme Court.

The case is Trump v. Hawaii, 17-965.

You can listen to the audio from Wednesday's oral arguments here.

Beloved vegan food truck Shimmy Shack opening location in Plymouth

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:34pm

If you're from the Ann Arbor area and attended food truck events last summer and fall, it's likely you've come across Shimmy Shack.

It's the seafoam green food truck that serves delicious vegan and gluten-free fast food with a distinct '50s retro style.

Its owner, Debra Levantrosser, is planning to open the first dine-in Shimmy Shack restaurant, with walk-up counter service, on Aug. 1 in Plymouth, at the corner of Ann Arbor and Sheldon roads.


Shimmy Shack's sweet potato fries (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

Yes, we know, it may not be in Ann Arbor, but it's only a 25-minute drive away and we're willing to argue that people would drive much farther than that to enjoy Shimmy Shack's rich milkshakes, vegan cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries. What is in that sauce?

"We know that Michigan loves our healthier fast food options because we prove that vegan and gluten-free comfort food can be tasty, filling, satisfying, sassy and leave you wanting more," Levantrosser said in a press release. "Every time you eat at Shimmy Shack, you know you are being compassionate toward animals, nice to your body and kind to the environment. We want to show that living a vegan lifestyle just makes sense."


Students line up for food on University of Michigan's North Campus (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

In addition to its top-selling items, Levantrosser said she will be expanding the menu.

The Shimmy Shack food truck will still be up and running throughout southeast Michigan at private events this year.

Will you make the drive to check out the new restaurant? Let us know in the comments below.

After Flint crisis, EPA awards $4 million in grants to research lead in drinking water

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 2:20pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $4 million in funding to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg, Va., and the Water Research Foundation in Denver, Colo., to research strategies to detect and eliminate lead exposure in drinking water.

According to the EPA, Virginia Tech will use their grant of $1,981,500 to create a consumer-based framework to detect and control lead in drinking water. Researchers will work collaboratively with the public, encouraging citizen scientists to participate in the research. By involving consumers directly in research, this community science project is designed to increase public awareness of lead in water and plumbing at a national scale. This research expands the capacity of the most vulnerable communities to actively participate in identifying risks and evaluating opportunities to mitigate those risks.

"Lead exposure is one of the greatest environmental threats we face as a country, and it's especially dangerous for our children," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This research will move us one step closer to advancing our work to eradicate lead in drinking water."

Principal Investigator on the project Dr. Marc Edwards, who helped lead a team of researchers to test Flint's poisoned drinking water, said his team will reach out to consumers who want to better protect themselves from lead-tainted water.

"Our team will establish one of the largest citizen science engineering projects in U.S. history to help individuals and communities deal with our shared responsibility for controlling exposure to lead in drinking water through a combination of low-cost sampling, outreach, direct collaboration, and modeling," said Edwards. "We will tap a growing 'crowd' of consumers who want to learn how to better protect themselves from lead, and in the process, also create new knowledge to protect others. Whether from wells or municipalities, we all consume water, and we can collectively work to reduce health risks."

The Water Research Foundation's $1,981,500 grant will be used to create a risk-based model to identify opportunities to mitigate lead exposure from drinking water, including at homes and among children and pregnant women. In addition, they will develop a communication framework that focuses on education and outreach for risk factors and mitigation opportunities. The communication framework will be a resource for vulnerable communities and water utilities, as well as the general public and other stakeholders.

"The ultimate objective of this research is to go beyond advancing the science by providing resources that effectively reduce exposure from lead in drinking water," said Research Manager for The Water Research Foundation Jonathan Cuppett. "The critical components of the project include generating a risk based computational model, identifying lead mitigation opportunities, and developing a communication framework to educate stakeholders on lead exposure."

Tonight on Local 4 News at 11p.m. - The danger essential oils pose to your pets

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 1:50pm

Tonight on Local 4 News at 11, you'll see the story of one woman whose pet became dangerously ill with seizures.

While many people enjoy the aromatic and possible health benefits of essential oils, some of them can be deadly for our pets.

We'll show you exactly which ones to watch out for, and what you can do to keep your pet safe.

You can see the entire story on Local 4 News at 11 p.m. tonight.

LIVE STREAM: White House press briefing with Sarah Sanders (4/25/2018)

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 1:49pm

The White House will hold a press briefing Wednesday afternoon with press secretary Sarah Sanders.

The briefing is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., EST - you can watch it LIVE here on ClickOnDetroit.com.

Here are some other headlines from around Washington: Trump seems likely to win travel ban case at Supreme Court

President Donald Trump appears likely to win his travel ban case at the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy both signaled support for the travel policy in arguments Wednesday at the high court. The ban's challengers almost certainly need one of those two justices if the court is to strike down the ban on travelers from several mostly Muslim countries.

The travel ban case is the court's first comprehensive look at a Trump policy -- one of considerable importance to the president and highly controversial since it was first rolled out a week after Trump took office.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the most aggressive questioner of Solicitor General Noel Francisco in his defense of the Trump policy, and the three other liberal justices also raised questions about it.

The justices voted in December to allow the policy to take full effect pending their full consideration. Wednesday was the first time they took it up in open court.

The Trump administration is asking the court to reverse lower court rulings that would strike down the ban.

The Supreme Court is considering whether the president can indefinitely keep people out of the country based on nationality. It is also looking at whether the policy is aimed at excluding Muslims from the United States. A decision is expected by late June.

Kennedy challenged lawyer Neal Katyal, representing the policy's opponents, about whether the ban would be unending. He said the policy's call for a report every six months "indicates there'll be a reassessment" from time to time.

"You want the president to say, 'I'm convinced that in six months we're going to have a safe world,'" Kennedy said, seemingly rejecting Katyal's argument.

His only question that seemed to favor the challengers came early in the arguments, when he asked Francisco whether Trump's campaign trail call to keep Muslims from entering the United States should be considered in evaluating the administration's ban. Francisco told the justices that they shouldn't look at Trump's campaign statements.

Kennedy pressed on that point. Speaking of a hypothetical "local candidate," he asked if what was said during the candidate's campaign was irrelevant if on "day two" of his administration the candidate acted on those statements.

Francisco held his ground saying the presidential oath of office "marks a fundamental transformation."

From the other side, Sotomayor told Francisco she doubted that the president has "the authority to do more than Congress has already decided is adequate" under immigration law. She and Justice Elena Kagan also questioned Francisco closely about whether the ban discriminates against Muslims.

With Katyal at the lectern, Justice Samuel Alito said it seemed wrong to call the travel policy a Muslim ban when it applies to just five of 50 mostly Muslim countries, 8 percent of the world's Muslim population and just one country -- Iran -- among the 10 largest with Muslim majorities. "Would a reasonable observer think this is a Muslim ban?" Alito asked.

People waited in line for seats for days, and on Wednesday morning opponents of the ban demonstrated outside the court holding signs that read "No Muslim Ban. Ever" and "Refugees Welcome," among other things. In another sign of heightened public interest, the court took the rare step of making an audio recording of the proceedings available. The last time the court did that was for gay marriage arguments in 2015.

The justices are looking at the third version of a policy that Trump first rolled out a week after taking office, triggering chaos and protests across the U.S. as travelers were stopped from boarding international flights and detained at airports for hours. The first version was blocked by courts and withdrawn. Its replacement was allowed to take partial effect, but expired in September.

The current version is indefinite and now applies to travelers from five countries with overwhelmingly Muslim populations -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. It also affects two non-Muslim countries, blocking travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. A sixth majority-Muslim country, Chad, was removed from the list this month after improving "its identity-management and information sharing practices," Trump said in a proclamation.

Trump's campaign pledge to shut down Muslims' entry into the U.S., his presidential tweets about the travel ban and last fall's retweets of inflammatory videos that stoked anti-Islam sentiment all preceded the justices' questioning of Francisco, defending the ban, and Katyal, the former acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama.

The administration has argued that courts have no role to play because the president has broad powers over immigration and national security, and foreigners have no right to enter the country. Francisco also has said in written arguments that Trump's September proclamation laying out the current policy comports with immigration law and does not violate the Constitution because it does not single out Muslims.

The challengers, backed by a diverse array of supporting legal briefs, have said that Trump is flouting immigration law by trying to keep more than 150 million people, the vast majority of them Muslim, from entering the country. They also argue that his policy amounts to the Muslim ban that he called for as a candidate, violating the Constitution's prohibition against religious bias.

The case is Trump v. Hawaii, 17-965.

16-year-old boy pleads no contest to charges in shooting of 4 teens during Noel Night in Detroit

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 1:48pm

A 16-year-old boy pleaded no contest to charges in connection with the shooting of four teenagers during Noel Night festivities in Detroit.

Calvin Stephens pleaded no contest to two counts of assault with intent to murder and a felony firearms violation. He was originally charged with four counts after four teens were shot during a holiday festival in Detroit's Midtown.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said the shooting was prompted by a fight at a high school championship football game.

"At this game there was some sort of fight," Craig said. "At Noel Night, these two groups met up and there was some pushing and shoving and then there was some gunfire."

Craig said the fight was between two groups of students at East English Village.

Stephens was detained two days after the shooting for questioning in connection with the shooting on Dec. 2, 2017.

Stephens is expected to be sentenced May 25.

4 teenagers shot

The shooting happened at about 7:45 p.m. during the annual Noel Night in Midtown, an event which draws thousands of people to the city's Midtown neighborhood, near the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) at Farnsworth and John R streets.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 4 teenagers shot at Noel Night festivities

Sources said a 17-year-old girl got into a dispute with someone who opened fire. Three males -- a 14-,16- and 19-year-old -- were also shot. Sources said they may have been innocent bystanders.

All of the victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses told police that the shooter fired a gun at the ground, and the victims may have been hit by bullets that ricocheted off the ground.

Heavy police presence

The 45th annual Noel Night was canceled after the shooting.

Craig spoke about the incident and said there was a heavy police presence, but he is re-evaluating staffing in light of the shooting.

"Certainly we don't deploy like we do say for a July Fourth fireworks celebration, so we are going to be looking at that going forward," Craig said. "Sometimes it's one incident like this that creates so much fear, but this should not be the incident that defines who we are."

Craig said there were in excess of 120 officers at the event, including Wayne State University police officers.

People flee Noel Night

Tweets from Noel Night reported a large crowd of people fleeing the area after hearing gunshots. Fights were also reported in the area of the shooting.

Asked about police presence at Noel Night, Craig said it was "significant," though less than at Detroit's fireworks. The event may need more police next year, he said, adding officials may also need to rethink how children are left unsupervised at the event.

"One of the things we have seen here tonight (are) lots of young children here without parental supervision," Craig told Local 4. "Parents dropped their kids off, probably at the Science Museum, for a festive night. Not being critical, just saying we have to rethink, this is about public safety."

RELATED: Police presence, unsupervised kids could be reviewed at Detroit Noel Nights, Chief Craig says

Stay with Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit for updates.

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