FATAL FIRE-BENTON HARBOR
Officials: 3 people die in Benton Harbor apartment fire
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Public safety officials say three family members are dead in southwestern Michigan after an early morning apartment fire. Officers with the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety responded to a fire at a duplex just before 5 a.m. Sunday. The second floor collapsed to the first floor and three members of a family were killed. The victims were a 30-year-old mother, 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. The father is only survivor and was being treated for smoke inhalation. The names of the victims were not released. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
POLICE STANDOFF-MAN KILLED
Detroit officers fatally shoot man holding woman hostage
DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police say officers fatally shot a 42-year-old man who was allegedly holding a woman hostage at gunpoint. Police Chief James Craig said Saturday that the woman was the man’s girlfriend and had told a hostage negotiator that she believed her life was in danger. Police say a sniper fired a single shot wounding the man and allowed the woman to flee. He later died at a hospital. Police were called to the home on Detroit’s east side on Friday afternoon. Detroit police have responded to nearly 30 two barricaded gun situations this year.
ELECTION 2020-BLACK ANXIETY
Experts: Police brutality, racism pushing Black anxiety
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Some experts say police brutality, the coronavirus pandemic, and other issues around race have increased anxiety levels among African Americans. Suburban Detroit resident Eddie Hall says he was already on edge when racist graffiti was scrawled on his pickup and shots were fired into his home after his family placed a Black Lives Matter sign in their front window in September. A 24-year-old white neighbor eventually was arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation and other crimes. University of Michigan sociology professor Alford Young Jr. says the anxiety seems more pronounced among Black professionals, who feel frustrated that these kinds of issues are still surfacing.
Michigan clerks prepare for Tuesday’s election
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 2.6 million Michigan voters have turned in their absentee ballots and the state is still waiting on almost 700,000 absentee ballots that had been sent out and yet to be returned with only days before Tuesday’s election. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging voters to drop off their ballots in-person to ensure mail delays don’t cause their ballots to not be counted, though voting in-person on Election Day remains an option. Due to changes made in 2018 to voter laws and now growing public health concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, more Michigan residents are voting absentee than ever before.
DIGITAL DISPARITY-SENIOR CITIZENS
Program seeks to shrink digital divide facing older people
DETROIT (AP) — Low-income senior citizens in southeastern Michigan are receiving electronic tablets, digital training and tech-enabled health care services through a collaboration between the city of Detroit, businesses and nonprofits. The program, “Connecting Seniors,” is made possible through the Connect 313 Fund and a $3.9 million grant from the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities Rapid Response Initiative. In addition to the city of Detroit, the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf event, Rocket Companies, Microsoft and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan are part of Connect 313 which aims to close the digital divide in the city.
Michigan sets single-day record for virus cases
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan reported a single-day record of new confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday: 3,792. The state health department also said there were 31 additional deaths, including 20 that could have occurred days or weeks ago. They turned up in a records review. The number of people confirmed to have been infected since March stands at nearly 179,000. More than 121,000 have recovered. There have been at least 7,340 deaths related to COVID-19.
Biden works to push Black turnout in campaign’s final days
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joe Biden is spending the final days of the presidential campaign appealing to Black supporters to vote in-person during a pandemic that has disproportionally affected their communities. He’s betting that a strong turnout will boost his chances in states that could decide the election. President Donald Trump is aiming to blunt the effort by arguing that Biden and other Democrats have taken the support of Black voters for granted. When the coronavirus pandemic reached America, Democrats spent months pushing their supporters to vote by mail. But their energy has shifted to urge Black supporters who have long preferred to vote in person or distrust voting by mail to get out on Tuesday.
Judge orders Postal Service to take extraordinary measures
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to take “extraordinary measures” to deliver ballots in time to be counted in Wisconsin and around Detroit, including using a priority mail service. Chief U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, issued the order on Friday after being presented with data showing on-time delivery of ballots sent by voters were too slow in the battleground states of Michigan and Wisconsin. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office says delivery of ballots in the USPS Detroit district, for example, has dipped as low as 57% over the past week. National on-time delivery has been at 93% or higher.
Peters, James make final cases in Michigan’s Senate race
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Gary Peters and Republican challenger John James are making their final cases to the electorate in the closing days of a $100 million-plus duel that will help shape whether the winner of the presidential race can enact his legislative agenda. Michigan, long a presidential battleground, is also a key Senate battleground. Peters is one of just two Senate Democrats running in a state Donald Trump won four years ago. Public polls have shown him extending his lead over James, a Black businessman and Iraq War veteran, but Republicans who see an opening insist James has a shot.
ELECTION 2020-THE LATEST
The Latest: Biden unleashes scathing attacks on Trump
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Joe Biden is letting loose against President Donald Trump in the final days of the presidential campaign. At a drive-in rally in Detroit on Saturday night, the former vice president made fun of Trump for everything from his hairdo to his cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump’s description of himself as a “perfect physical specimen.” Biden noted the president “likes to portray himself as a tough guy,” but noted Trump was laughed at by United Nations leaders. Noting Trump has called himself a “perfect physical specimen,” Biden, a devout Catholic, jokingly made the sign of the cross.