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Lawn-mowing crew hits propane tank hidden in long grass, causing explosion in Detroit neighborhood

3 min 7 sec ago

A lawn mower sliced through a propane tank hidden in tall grass, causing an explosion that rocked a neighborhood and blew out a family's windows on Detroit's west side.

The blast happened Wednesday morning near Manor and West Chicago streets.

"It was like a boom, like boom," homeowner Dalisha Thomas said. "It blew all of our windows out on this side of the house -- all of my sister's windows, my windows, the bathroom windows, the windows upstairs are cracked and everything."

Officials said a mowing crew arrived to cut the tall grass at a vacant lot next door to the home.

The crew didn't clear the lot of debris and didn't know there was a propane tank hidden under the grass, according to authorities.

A mower sliced into the propane tank and caused the explosion, shattering eight windows of the home next door, officials said.

"It could've lit the whole house up, actually, but it didn't, thank God," Thomas said.

City officials sent a crew out to board up the windows for safety reasons. They're working with the city-contracted mowing crew to pay for new windows.

City officials said they're also going to tow out the cars and all the junk on the lot.

The family was scared by the blast, but there are no reports of serious injuries. The contractor was shaken up by the incident, but is doing OK, officials said.

Washington is 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

35 min 52 sec ago

Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

It allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated - or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.

"It gives meaning and use to what happens to our bodies after death," said Nora Menkin, executive director of the Seattle-based People's Memorial Association, which helps people plan for funerals.

Supporters say the method is an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and particulates into the air, and conventional burial, in which people are drained of their blood, pumped full of formaldehyde and other chemicals that can pollute groundwater, and placed in a nearly indestructible coffin, taking up land.

"That's a serious weight on the earth and the environment as your final farewell," said Sen. Jamie Pedersen, the Seattle Democrat who sponsored the measure.

He said the legislation was inspired by his neighbor: Katrina Spade, who was an architecture graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when she began researching the funeral industry. She came up with the idea for human composting, modeling it on a practice farmers have long used to dispose of livestock.

She tweaked the process and found that wood chips, alfalfa and straw created a mixture of nitrogen and carbon that accelerates natural decomposition when a body is placed in a temperature- and moisture-controlled vessel and rotated.

A pilot project at Washington State University tested the idea last year on six bodies, all donors who Spade said wanted to be part of the study.

In 2017, Spade founded Recompose, a company working to bring the concept to the public. It's working on raising nearly $7 million to establish a facility in Seattle and begin to expand elsewhere, she said.

State law previously dictated that remains be disposed of by burial or cremation. The law, which takes effect in May 2020, added composting as well as alkaline hydrolysis, a process already legal in 19 other states. The latter uses heat, pressure, water and chemicals like lye to reduce remains.

Cemeteries across the country are allowed to offer natural or "green" burials, by which people are buried in biodegradable shrouds or caskets without being embalmed. Composting could be a good option in cities where cemetery land is scarce, Pedersen said. Spade described it as "the urban equivalent to natural burial."

The state senator said he has received angry emails from people who object to the idea, calling it undignified or disgusting.

"The image they have is that you're going to toss Uncle Henry out in the backyard and cover him with food scraps," Pedersen said.

To the contrary, he said, the process will be respectful.

Recompose's website envisions an atrium-like space where bodies are composted in compartments stacked in a honeycomb design. Families will be able to visit, providing an emotional connection typically missing at crematoriums, the company says.

"It's an interesting concept," said Edward Bixby, president of the Placerville, California-based Green Burial Council. "I'm curious to see how well it's received."

VIDEO: RV driver leads California police on pursuit that ends in violent crash

1 hour 17 min ago

The driver of a motor home led Southern California police on a high-speed chase Tuesday night that ended in a violent crash, leaving at least three people hospitalized, reports KNBC.

Video of the chase shows the RV traveling down the road at a high rate of speed with damage to the front of its right side. Police said it had crashed into a pole earlier.

At one point, the mobile home speeds through an intersection and rams through another vehicle.

The chase ends when the RV violently rear ends white sedan and crashes into a tree.

Watch the video above.

Police said the female driver, later identified as Julie Ann Rainbird, 53, fled the scene on foot along with a dog that was in the RV with her. Officers quickly caught up with Rainbird and placed her under arrest.

A total of six vehicles were damaged during the chase, and three people were hospitalized, including the driver, police said. Another dog reportedly fell out of the vehicle during the pursuit, but did not appear to be injured.

According to investigators, the motor home was purchased using a stolen driver's license. Luz Sanchez told KNBC that she had her purse stolen in January, and learned that her identity was used to purchase the vehicle when she was contacted by police after the chase.

3 Michigan schools selected to receive $100K fitness centers

1 hour 41 min ago

Three Michigan schools are getting fitness centers.

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils, announced the three Michigan schools that were selected to each receive a DON'T QUIT! Fitness Center.

The multi-million dollar DON'T QUIT! Campaign has named Atherton Elementary in Burton, Lincoln Park Middle in Lincoln Park and Ring Lardner Middle School in Niles as the state's most outstanding schools for demonstrating leadership in getting and keeping their students fit.

"It's so important that we're working to ensure our kids are living healthy lifestyles," said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. "These schools have shown a strong dedication to helping their students get active, and I'm so excited for them to open up their new fitness centers. The National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Councils has been a great partner to us here in Michigan, and I want to thank them for the work they've done for students across the country."

These state-of-the-art DON'T QUIT! Fitness Centers will be unveiled during ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall.

Dearborn police hope image on shirt helps identify skeletal human remains found in woods

1 hour 45 min ago

Dearborn police are hoping to identify the skeletal human remains found in a wooded area near Michigan Avenue through an image on the shirt that was on the body.

Officers were notified by employees of CSX Transportation April 23 that there were possible human remains in the wooded area near Michigan Avenue and Miller Road.

Authorities confirmed the remains were human, and the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office took the body.

Police said the person was an older man wearing tan pants, a tan Carhartt-style jacket and an orange knit cap. He was also wearing a brown boot on one foot and a yellow rain boot on the other, police said.

Investigators believe the man might have been homeless when he died.

Foul play is not suspected, but authorities are having trouble determining the man's identity.

He was wearing a shirt that had a distinct images of a small, dark-haired child near a high-wheeled bicycle, according to authorities. Police released an image similar to the one on the shirt in hopes that someone will recognize it and identify the man.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Dearborn Police Department at 313-943-2235.

Carpooling service launches in Detroit: Here's how it works

1 hour 49 min ago

A new carpooling service is now available to some Detroit residents.

Scoop, the largest carpooling provider in the country with more than 6 million carpool trips completed to date, announced a partnership with Bedrock to bring a convenient and enjoyable carpooling experience to Detroit.

The Scoop app allows local commuters to carpool to work with co-workers and neighbors. Scoop's algorithm uses pre-scheduled pick-up times in the morning and evening, traffic, and prior trip feedback to dynamically match commuters into carpools.

Carpoolers can choose to ride or drive based on their daily schedules and all costs for the commute are split amongst the passengers, so everyone saves.

Starting today, Scoop will immediately be available for residents to commute to and from seven zip codes across Detroit, including 48201, 48226, 48202, 48207, 48208, 48216, and 48209.

"In today's increasingly busy world, our commutes are taking a toll on us - mentally, physically, and emotionally," said Robert Sadow, Co-Founder and CEO of Scoop. "We're proud to partner with Bedrock to help improve what is often one of the worst parts of our day: our commutes. Together, we hope to make commutes even more enjoyable and efficient for local residents, ultimately helping them be happier and less stressed in their day-to-day lives. We're excited to launch in Detroit - a city that is already on the forefront of transportation innovation - and look forward to aggressively expanding to help commuters across Michigan."

How it Works Visit takescoop.com and download the app for either iOS or Android Schedule a carpool by selecting separate morning and evening trips to fit your work schedule The first carpool is available at 5:00 am and the last is available at 8:40 pm You can select to ride or drive based on your daily needs Scoop will identify the most efficient trip based on route, nearby carpoolers, carpool lanes, and more

For more information, and to sign up, visit: takescoop.com

Stop the Bans rally in Ann Arbor draws large crowd on the Diag

2 hours 28 min ago

Starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Stop the Bans rally kicked off on University of Michigan's Diag with a short introduction by Dree Cooper of Hood Feminism asking the crowd, "When abortion rights are under attack, what do we do?"

The crowd responded with, "Stand up and fight back."

One of many reproductive rights protests taking place across Michigan, the Ann Arbor protest spilled across the Diag with supporters of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU joining fellow activists in raising their voices against the recent abortion ban in Alabama.

Other states, such as Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky, have passed "heartbeat" bills that effectively prevent abortions after six to eight weeks, while Utah and Arkansas have passed bills limiting abortion procedures after the middle of the second trimester.

Cecile Richards, former President of Planned Parenthood Action and creator of Supermajority, Richards noted in a speech that women should not have to reveal their personal stories in order to change minds and stated that health care is a necessity.

Nicole Denson, of #MuteRKelly Detroit, told protestors to remember that inclusivity means not forgetting survivors of sexual assault and those not currently represented in the crowd.

Throughout the protest, speakers encouraged voting, supporting Planned Parenthood, activism and inclusive feminism.

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Hayden Troup, of the Michigan Student Power Network, urged participants to not forget that attacks on reproductive rights don't just affect female-presenting persons but also people in the LGBTQIA community who may be refused health care by some providers.

Other speakers included Sen. Jeff Irwin; President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan Lori Carpenter; LaShawn Erby of Black Lives Matter Michigan; Jey'nce Poindexter of Equality Michigan; Ann Arbor's own poet and activist Anika Love; and many others.

The crowd swelled and drowned out the sounds of a smaller group of counter-protesters holding pro-life signs throughout the evening.

The event had its own Snapchat filter and protestors were encouraged to text NOBANS to 22422 in order to receive more information about activism from Planned Parenthood.

All About Ann Arbor is powered by ClickOnDetroit/WDIV.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson mistakes real estate term for 'Oreo' during hearing

2 hours 35 min ago

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson misheard a real estate term as "Oreo" during a hearing Tuesday before being told by a congresswoman what the term meant.

Carson was testifying before the House Financial Services Committee when Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., attempted to ask him about disparities in REO rates.

An REO, meaning "real estate owned," refers to a class of property owned by a lender following a forclosure. Carson apparently misheard the term as "Oreo," the popular sandwich cookie.

"I'd also like you to get back to me, if you don't mind, to explain the disparity in REO rates," Porter said. "Do you know what an REO is?"

"An Oreo-" Carson began.

"R- No, not an Oreo. An REO. R-E-O," Porter responded.

"Real estate?" asked Carson.

"What's the O stand for?" said Porter.

"E- Organization?" asked Carson.

"Owned. Real estate owned," responded Porter before going on to further explain the term to the secretary.

Watch the exchange above. I asked @SecretaryCarson about REOs - a basic term related to foreclosure - at a hearing today. He thought I was referring to a chocolate sandwich cookie. No, really. pic.twitter.com/cYekJAkRag

-- Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) May 21, 2019

After the hearing, Carson tweeted a picture of himself with a package of Double Stuf Oreos that he sent to Porter along with a note that read: "To Rep. Porter: Thanks for your part in today's hearing. Hope you like the OREO(s)."

OH, REO! Thanks, @RepKatiePorter. Enjoying a few post-hearing snacks. Sending some your way! pic.twitter.com/q4MMTBWVUI

-- Ben Carson (@SecretaryCarson) May 21, 2019

Police: Man steals iPhone from Redford office, sells it for $50

3 hours 9 min ago

Redford police said a man stole an iPhone from an office and quickly sold it for $50.

The man walked into the business in the 25500 block of Grand River Avenue around 1:25 p.m. May 8, police said.

The employees were busy and the office was unattended, so the man stole an iPhone, according to authorities.

He quickly sold the phone for $50 at a business in the 18900 block of Telegraph Road, officials said.

The phone was tracked and recovered, police said.

Officials said the iPhone buyer was cooperative but couldn't identify the thief.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the pictures above is asked to call Redford police at 313-387-2579.

Man charged in fatal Eastpointe stabbing spree due in court

5 hours 13 min ago

A man charged in a fatal stabbing spree in Eastpointe earlier this year is due in court Wednesday morning.

The suspect, Vaughn Leonard Dortch, is 29-years-old. He was charged with one count of first degree murder, one count of assault with intent to murder and one count of assault with intent to do great bodily harm in connection with the murder of Devonte Johnson.

Dortch was arraigned in the 38th District Court. He was denied bond. He is due in court for a preliminary exam on Wednesday at 8 a.m.

Johnson died in the hospital the same day of the incident. Eastpointe police offered condolences to Johnson's family shortly afterward.

The other victims include a 37-year-old woman who suffered minor injuries while using a pair of scissors to defend herself from the suspect. Another victim, a 23-year-old woman, is in critical condition.

Dortch was also left in critical condition after the incident.

According to police, the stabbing spree happened around 12:40 a.m. Saturday on Rein Avenue north of Toepfer Drive. All four individuals suffered knife wounds and were sent to area hospitals.

An investigation indicated that all those involved knew each other.

4 things that make Bill Gates happier at 63 than at 25

5 hours 15 min ago

So, what makes one of the world's richest men happy?

While you might assume the answer might be "having lots of money," it's not necessarily the case for Bill Gates.

Gates said in a March question-and-answer session on Reddit that while money has made him happier overall, because he doesn't "have to think about health costs or college costs," being rich isn't the sole reason why he's happier now at age 63 than he was at 25.

Gates talked about four other ways he is happier now more than ever. These don't seem so hard -- you could even follow suit. Here's how:

He has a giving mindset

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the world's most affluent charitable foundation, and Bill Gates said the foundation's efforts to combat issues such as poverty, disease and hunger around the world have made a difference.

"Our biggest achievement is working with partners (including rich government-aid groups like the U.S. Agency for International Development and DFID) to make sure all the children in the world get vaccines," Gates said during the chat. "This is a big part of the reason that deaths of children under 5 (have) dropped from over 10M when we started to less than 6M now. GAVI is the name of the group that was created -- all the donors to GAVI deserve huge thanks (mostly from the voters in the countries who gave)."

Researchers have discovered that even thinking about doing generous things has mood-boosting benefits, according to a Time article.

Gates also talked about what more is left for the foundation to accomplish.

"The goal of the foundation is that all kids grow up healthy -- no matter where they are born. That means getting rid of malaria and many of the other diseases that affect poor countries. It should be achievable in my lifetime."

Prioritize family

Gates didn't hesitate to respond to one question about what makes him happy.

"Some recently said that when your children are doing well, it really is very special, and as a parent, I completely agree," he said.

Exercise

Treating your body right can reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

Gates said he is an avid tennis player, and one of the features of his house is a trampoline room for his kids.

Follow through

If you've made a commitment, you shouldn't take that lightly, and Gates said it's essential to make sure you honor those commitments.

"Sometimes, following through on commitments to yourself like doing more exercise also improves your happiness," Gates said.

Through it all, Gates said, he has a much different perspective on happiness as he has aged.

"When I was in my 30s, I didn't think people in their 60s were very smart or had much fun," he said. "Now I have had a counter-revelation. Ask me in 20 years and I will tell you how smart 80-year-olds are."

WATCH: Returning Michigan soldier dons umpire gear to surprise son at game

5 hours 35 min ago

A U.S. soldier who had just returned home from overseas surprised his 8-year-old son from behind home plate as the boy stepped up to bat at a youth baseball game in Michigan.

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Abbott wore an umpire's mask and chest protector along with his military fatigues Tuesday as his son Hunter stood in the batter's box. Abbott wished his son luck and the boy quickly recognized his father, who had been in Germany for about five months.

WOOD-TV reports Abbott and his fiancee had been trying to think of a way to surprise their kids with his return. The game in Montcalm County's Crystal Township, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, proved to be the perfect opportunity. Abbott says: "It seems like it worked."

4 things to watch on Local 4 News Today -- Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

5 hours 39 min ago

Message from Kim DeGiulio: Hey everyone! Hope you're all having a great week. My week just got a lot better when I saw that Brandon has removed a lot of the shower chances for the weekend. Memorial Day weekend is my favorite because it's the unofficial start to summer! My husband and I are already thinking about our weekend plans even though it's only Wednesday. We're thinking about going biking down the Dequindre Cut. If you haven't been on a Dequindre Cut yet, it's a must when you're here in the city. I think we're going to try and go to a new restaurant on Friday too. If you've got any good recommendations for us, send me an e-mail at kdegiulio@wdiv.com. Also, don't forget your red nose (more on that in a bit).

Here's what's coming up Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 on Local 4 News Today:

Watch beginning at 4:30 a.m. Sign up for the Morning Show Insider newsletter here! All Morning -- Weather & Traffic

Brandon: There's a good chance for a quick rain and thunderstorm Thursday morning and like Wednesday, it will get better after those showers. The timeframe is mid morning through lunch and then partly sunny skies become mostly sunny as highs then take aim at 80°F or warmer. The winds will be cranking again Thursday SSW 10-25 mph helping to boost our warm up. Friday looks like a partly cloudy and dry day with slightly cooler temps in the upper 60s and low 70s and then a chance for rain (Mainly North Zone) Friday Night.

You can get that forecast here.

Kim DeGiulio will be updating you on the latest construction projects, closures, detours and everything in between.

You can also track traffic in your neighborhood here All Morning -- Red Nose Day

If you see people walking with red noses Thursday, they may be getting primed for "Red Nose Day." The effort raises money to help lift children out of poverty around the world. The red nose concept started in the UK where it's generated more than a billion dollars since 1985 in annual telethons. We'll show you how you can help the cause.

More info on Red Nose Day 5:55 a.m. - Back to Basics: Scallops

Scallops are a crowd favorite at restaurants but a lot of people don't make them at home because they don't know how they should be prepared. Our Kim DeGiulio joins a chef to show us the right way to do it.

Check out Kim's other lessons here --

Tips for poaching an egg Here's the proper way to flip an egg 6:40 a.m. -- Help Me Hank: Beauty Product Warning

An important warning involving beauty products. Dangerous chemicals may be inside some of the products you use and you might not even know it. Consumer investigator Hank Winchester will have everything you need to know.

ICYMI Tasty Tuesday: Arkin's Sweet BBQ Pit in Southfield Michigan Sports Hall of Fame announces 2019 inductees Michigan fireworks laws: What you need to know this Memorial Day weekend Today's Trivia Retake

Every morning at 6 a.m., we ask you a trivia question on Local 4 for a chance to win a prize.

Wednesday Question: May 22nd is National Solitaire Day. What was solitaire originally called? Answer: Patience Be sure to watch daily at 6 a.m. and click this link to enter for a chance to win. Today's Quiz 'Schoolhouse Rock' science National Days: May 23rd Red Nose Day National Lucky Penny Day National Taffy Day A Look Back at History: May 23rd In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English. In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution. In 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was "very solid" evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers. Celebrity Birthdays: May 23rd

Celebrating a birthday Thursday? Submit a Sunshine Award here and we could say your name on Local 4 News Today during our 5 a.m. show.

Here's who you're sharing a birthday with --

Actress Barbara Barrie is 88 Actress Joan Collins is 86 Actor Charles Kimbrough ("Murphy Brown") is 83 Comedian Drew Carey is 61 Actor Linden Ashby ("Melrose Place") is 59 Actress Melissa McBride ("The Walking Dead") is 54 Singer Lorenzo is 47 Singer Maxwell is 46 Singer Jewel is 45 Comedian Tim Robinson ("Saturday Night Live") is 38 Actor Adam Wylie ("Picket Fences") is 35 Director Ryan Coogler ("Black Panther") is 33

Get to know the Local 4 News Today team better

Rhonda Walker Evrod Cassimy Brandon Roux Kim DeGiulio Jason Carr Nick Monacelli Local 4 News Today links Morning Show section -- ClickOnDetroit.com/morning Morning Trivia Rhonda's Brag Book Money Monday Tasty Tuesday Good Health

Michigan Lottery: $1M Mega Millions prize remains unclaimed 8 months after drawing

5 hours 39 min ago

A $1 million Mega Millions prize remains unclaimed eight months after the drawing.

A lucky player matched the five white balls drawn - 01-02-11-52-64 - in the Sept. 21, 2018 drawing to win a $1 million prize. The winning ticket was bought at the Pierson Trading Post, located at 138 South 4th Street in Pierson. Pierson is about 30 miles north of Grand Rapids.

The $1 million winner should contact the Michigan Lottery Public Relations Division at (517) 373-1237 to schedule an appointment to collect the big prize. The prize must be claimed at the Lottery's headquarters in Lansing. Tickets for Mega Millions are valid for one year from the drawing date. Since Sept. 21 falls on a Saturday, the ticket must be claimed by 4:45 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot stands at $367 million. The cash option for the jackpot is about $228 million.

The $367 million jackpot is the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot this year. The biggest Mega Millions jackpot won in 2019 was a $437 million jackpot. One ticket purchased in New York matched the five white balls and Mega ball to win on Jan. 1.

The last Michigan player to win the Mega Millions jackpot was Kevin Blake, of Waterford. Blake won half of the game's $42 million jackpot in October 2017. The other winning ticket was purchased in Rhode Island.

If a Michigan player wins tonight's $367 million jackpot, it would be the largest Mega Millions prize won in the state. On April 22, 2005, a Port Huron couple, Ralph and Mary Stebbins, won $208 million. On Aug. 15, 2012, Donald Lawson, of Lapeer, won a $337 million Powerball jackpot. Lawson's jackpot holds the record for the largest Lottery prize ever won in Michigan.

Mega Millions drawings take place each Tuesday and Friday evening. Each Mega Millions play is only $2. For an additional $1 per play, players have the opportunity to add a "Megaplier" that can multiply non-jackpot prizes by up to five times.

Mega Millions tickets for may be purchased online at MichiganLottery.com and at the Lottery's 10,500 retailers around the state until 10:45 p.m. the day of the drawing.

Report finds Michigan's rural roads, bridges have 'significant deficiencies'

5 hours 53 min ago

A new report finds Michigan's rural roads and bridges are in need of serious repairs.

This is according to a new report released today by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. The report, Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America's Heartland, evaluates the safety and condition of the nation's rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation's rural transportation system is in need of immediate improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity.

Related: Report details how much Michigan's bad roads cost drivers

Twelve percent of Michigan's rural bridges are rated as poor/structurally deficient, the eleventh highest share in the U.S. Bridges that are poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge and are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including agricultural equipment, commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles.

The report finds that 16 percent of Michigan's rural roads are rated in poor condition - the 19th highest rate in the nation - and 18 percent are rated in mediocre condition.

The rate of traffic fatalities on Michigan's non-Interstate, rural roads is nearly double the fatality rate on all other roads in the state - 1.55 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.83.

"While new funding is beginning to improve the outlook for our roads, Michigan local bridges are rapidly declining in condition," said Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association of Michigan.

"Requests by Michigan county road agencies for bridge funding to the statewide Local Bridge Advisory Board are six times the dollar amount available to fund repairs. Many road agencies don't even bother submitting deteriorating bridges for funding, as they know the waiting list is so long. We are looking for out-of-the-box funding solutions in Michigan because the problem of obsolete, load restricted and serious- and critical-rated bridges isn't going away."

"Rural roads play a critical role in supporting the transportation needs of millions of Americans every day," said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA Michigan. "Damaged and deteriorating roadways too often result in deadly crashes, and it is time to act. Making critical safety improvements to rural roads will save thousands of lives each year and help move our economy forward."

Read the full report here.

Burger Bracket 2019: Vote in Round 4 for best burger in Metro Detroit

6 hours 15 min ago

Who serves up the best burger in Metro Detroit?

Here at Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit, we're always looking to answer the tough questions -- and what gets people fired up more than burgers?

It seems everyone has an opinion in the burger debate, especially in Metro Detroit. We have an impressive collection of burger options.

To help solve the great burger debate, we've launched the Burger Bracket. A 32-team (restaurant) tournament to find the best burger in Metro Detroit. We'll move through the rounds, just like March Madness (but burger madness), with the champion being announced on May 28, National Hamburger Day.

The first round started on May 13. the second round ended on Sunday and the third round ended Tuesday night. Now we move to the fourth round. There were some BIG upsets in the first round.

Key third round highlights:

Our No. 1 overall seed Duffy's Den lost to Vinsetta Garage. After some voting drama, Big League Brews edged our Tastyee's Burger as the only No. 8 seed in the final four round. Green Dot Stables, a slider spot, beat Hunter House, another slider place. Red Coat Tavern was KNOCKED OUT by Basement Burger Bar. Wow.

So, how did we pick the teams?

The top-seeds were picked by our own burger aficionado, Jason Carr. He has tried every burger in the land and the No. 1 seeds are a reflection of his top picks. He also picked another handful of other teams in the bracket.

The rest of the bracket was determined by a mix of expert food blogs, like Eater Detroit, and our Facebook fan base. We asked for best burger recommendations on the Local 4 Facebook page and received nearly 2,000 suggestions.

How are winners selected?

The entire Burger Bracket is based on fan voting. We'll open voting for every round and continue moving down the bracket.

The championship Burger Bracket match-up will take place over Memorial Day weekend and the winner will appear on Live in the D on May 28 to claim their place as king of burgers.

Burger Bracket: Vote in fourth round match-ups: No. 2 Vinsetta Garage vs. No. 8 Big League Brews Sorry, you are using an unsupported browser. This page will not display correctly.
Please click here to upgrade to a newer browser. /**/ No. 4 Green Dot Stables vs. No. 4 Basement Burger Bar Sorry, you are using an unsupported browser. This page will not display correctly.
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Abortion rights activists rally across Michigan in wake of Alabama abortion ban

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:26pm

Abortion rights activists and supporters rallied around Michigan and the country Tuesday in the wake of the Alabama legislature's decision to ban abortion and attempts across the country, including Michigan, to severely restrict abortion.

Rallies took place in Lansing, Ann Arbor and Ferndale.

"I know what it's like to have to make that decision and to make it a criminal act and to have doctors afraid of taking care of women's needs, it's not going to happen -- not on our watch," said Lori Goldman, the director of Fems for Dems, one of the groups organizing the rallies.

The GOP-controlled Michigan legislature just voted to ban dilation and evacuation abortions, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said she'll veto that measure.

A conservative coalition of political and religious leaders is starting a petition drive in Michigan to outlaw abortion after six weeks. If they gather the needed signatures, it's possible the GOP-controlled legislature could vote to approve such a measure without a vote of the people.

Driver ejected from vehicle after hitting tree in Grosse Ile

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:46pm

A driver was ejected from a vehicle after hitting a tree Tuesday night in Grosse Ile.

According to police, the driver struck a tree on East River Road near Halcyon Court.

He is in very serious condition, police said.

An investigation is ongoing.

Detroit police surveillance leads to seizure of ATVs, minibikes on city's east side

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 10:30pm

Detroit police seized several all-terrain vehicles and small motorcycles Tuesday on the city's east side.

According to police, officers performed surveillance on Harper Avenue. When riders got off their vehicles, officers blocked entrances and confiscated several of the ATVs and bikes.

Six riders fled the scene, police said. Officers did not chase them.

There were no weapons involved, police said. No arrests were made.

An investigation is ongoing.

Teens ejected from car that flipped multiple times in Lapeer County

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 8:56pm

Two teens were ejected from a car Monday when it flipped in Burlington Township.

Authorities said a 16-year-old North Branch boy was driving a 2001 Chevrolet Impala on Barnes Road east of Merrill Road in North Branch when he lost control, drove off the road and flipped multiple times in a farm field.

The driver and back seat passenger, a 16-year-old boy from Silverwood, were ejected from the car. They weren't wearing seat belts. authorities said. A 17-year-old Silverwood girl who was the front seat passenger was wearing a seat belt and wasn't ejected.

The driver was listed in serious condition, the back seat passenger sustained serious injuries and the front seat passenger was hospitalized but was expected to be released soon.

Authorities said alcohol and drugs weren't factors in the crash, but speeding was a factor.

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