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Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".
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Police have identified a man who was fatally shot Thursday night in Kalamazoo and say they have a suspect in custody.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Police have identified a man who was fatally shot Thursday night in Kalamazoo and say they have a suspect in custody.
Michael Vines, 64, of Kalamazoo, died from his injuries after police responded to a report of shots fired just after 8 p.m. in the 4500 block of West Main Street, according to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.
The suspect in the shooting, a 30-year-old man from Vandalia. Mich., which is located about 15 miles west of Three Rivers, was later arrested.
Authorities are not releasing details on a motive in the shooting or what led them to the suspect. However, they did say the suspect, whose name has not been released, is believed to have been an acquaintance of Vines.
Police are still investigating the homicide. Anyone with information should call KDPS at 269.337.8120 or contact Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.
With the full House expected to advance the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday, many are wondering whether they'll qualify for the promised $1,400 stimulus checks included in the proposal.
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With the full House expected to advance the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package Friday, many are wondering whether they'll qualify for the promised $1,400 stimulus checks included in the proposal.
The short answer as of now: If you got a check in the last round, you'll get one this time as well.
While that could change as the measure makes its way through the Senate, the current plan keeps income thresholds at the same mark as that last $600 payment.
If you need a refresher, anyone who made $75,000 or less will get the full amount -- and couples earning $150,000 or less will get $2,800 in relief payments. As your income level increases above those thresholds, the amount you will receive decreases. The current plan calls for a phase out of direct payments for single people earning $100,000 and couples earning $200,000.
Republican leaders and even some Democratic lawmakers have called for and proposed lower thresholds to ensure the direct payments are targeted to Americans who need them the most. However, President Joe Biden has pushed back at that.
In addition to those $1,400 payments, the proposal includes an increase to child tax credits and offers extra $400 weekly federal unemployment benefits through August. It would provide hundreds of billions of dollars for state and local governments, shuttered schools, COVID-19 vaccines and testing, and struggling airlines and other businesses.
One thing the House measure will include but Senate likely will not: $15 minimum wage.
The Biden proposal seems highly likely to die in the Senate after that chamber's parliamentarian said Thursday that the cherished progressive goal must be dropped from the relief legislation, Senate Democratic aides said.
The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber’s nonpartisan arbiter of its rules, means Democrats face an overwhelmingly uphill battle to boost the minimum wage this year in the face of solid Republican opposition.
Biden, a supporter of the $15 increase, was “disappointed” in the outcome but respected the parliamentarian's ruling, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. The Senate has a long tradition of heeding the parliamentarian's decisions with few exceptions, a history that is revered by traditionalists like Biden, a 36-year Senate veteran.
“He will work with leaders in Congress to determine the best path forward because no one in this country should work full time and live in poverty,” Psaki said.
Democrats are pushing the massive coronavirus relief measure through Congress under special rules that will let them avoid a Senate filibuster by Republicans, a tactic that Democrats would need an unattainable 60 votes to defeat.
But those same Senate rules prohibit provisions with only an “incidental” impact on the federal budget because they are chiefly driven by other policy purposes. MacDonough said the minimum wage provision didn’t pass that test.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the minimum wage plan would remain in that chamber's legislation anyway, saying, “House Democrats believe that the minimum wage hike is necessary.”
She probably had little choice — many House Democrats are progressives who are insistent that the party fight for the wage boost. tRep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., a leading sponsor of the minimum wage increase, said Democats shouldn't be bowed by “the advisory opinion of the parliamentarian and Republican obstructionism.”
Democrats can afford little dissension over the minimum wage or anything else in the COVID-19 relief bill. They have just a 10-vote edge in the House and no votes to spare in the 50-50 Senate.
Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were hoping that House approval of the package would be followed by passage in the Senate, where changes seem likely. Democrats are aiming to get the legislation to Biden’s desk by mid-March.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A Battle Creek man is facing charges for an escape that sent a Calhoun County Sheriff's deputy to the hospital.
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A Battle Creek man is facing charges for an escape that sent a Calhoun County Sheriff's deputy to the hospital.
It happened around 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Calhoun County Community Corrections office in Battle Creek.
Authorities said 18-year-old Tyshann Williams was checking in for the first time since he was released on bond for a previous charge. The sheriff’s office said Williams failed a drug screen, so deputies were called to take him to jail for violating court orders. That’s when Williams reportedly ran, crashing through a glass entry door to the Calhoun County Justice Center.
The sheriff’s office said a deputy was briefly knocked unconscious when she was hit by Williams and the shattered glass. The 18-year veteran was taken to a nearby hospital with glass in her eyes and other injuries authorities say are not life-threatening.
Williams took off his electronic tether during his escape, but was captured a couple blocks away by Battle Creek police officers, the sheriff’s office said.
Williams was jailed on charges of resisting and obstructing a police officer causing injury, tampering with electronic communications, violating bond restrictions and malicious destruction of property.
Doctors say it looks like mask-wearing will last much longer than originally anticipated, this comes as a new vaccine may be on the market by next month.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) -- Doctors say it looks like mask-wearing will last longer than originally anticipated even as a new vaccine is expected on the market by next month.
Wearing masks will likely be part of our new normal until at least 2022, even as more Americans get vaccinated across the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week.
Doctors say the extra protection will be necessary.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser for the White House's COVID-19 response, said even though long-term mask-wearing is a possibility, he expects the U.S. to regain "a significant degree of normality" as we enter the fall and winter.
This comes as the Food and Drug Administration found Johnson and Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective and will come to a vote for emergency use approval.
The FDA confirmed that overall, the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 and about 85% effective against the most serious illness.
Fauci advises Americans to continue to wear face coverings and follow other measures aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus, such as handwashing and social distancing, especially since some experts worry that we could see another spike in new cases as new virus variants spread across the country.
There are some differences with Johnson and Johnson's vaccine compared with the two others that are on the market in the United States.
You only need one dose of Johnson and Johnson's vaccine compared with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require two shots for them to be fully effective.
"J&J vaccine, yes it's going to be single-dose, a single dose is on target. We're going to get 100 million doses, in addition, and over and above that, J&J is doing a trial with two doses to see if you can get higher efficacy," Fauci said. "Whether they do or not is not going to affect the 100 million doses of what we are going to get."
With the two-shot vaccines, people are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot. But full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot.
Pfizer’s second dose comes three weeks after the first, and Moderna’s comes after four weeks. And the effect of vaccinations generally aren’t immediate, thus the importance of continued mask-wearing.
Another difference among the vaccines is that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines must be kept frozen, while the J&J shot can last three months in a refrigerator, making it easier to handle.
Johnson and Johnson has said it will be able to provide 20 million doses by the end of March and an additional 100 million doses over the summer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Authorities are searching for the driver who crashed into a party store in Kalamazoo Friday.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are searching for the driver who crashed into a liquor store in Kalamazoo Friday.
It happened at the Kilgore Party Store located on Kilgore Road near the intersection of Sprinkle Road.
Police told News 8 that someone drove through the glass doors and left the scene. There are no reports of injuries and nothing was stolen.
The crash left a hole building. The Kalamazoo fire marshal is inspecting the structural integrity of the building.
Police have not released a description of the suspect's vehicle at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269.337.8120 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.
The same day two dozen criminal charges were levied against him, 2012 USA Olympic coach John Geddert was found dead of suicide near Lansing.
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS/AP/WOOD) — The same day two dozen criminal charges were levied against him, 2012 USA Olympic coach John Geddert was found dead of suicide near Lansing.
Michigan State Police said in a tweet that the 63-year-old Geddert's body was found by troopers at the rest area on eastbound I-96 in Clinton County around 3:20 p.m. Thursday. Authorities told WLNS, WOOD TV8's Lansing sister station, that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
His death came only hours after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office issued 24 felony charges against him:
Court documents outlining the charges allege forced labor by Geddert, saying he threatened them with harm to train and made money as a result. The CSC cases involve a victim between the ages of 13 and 16.
“These allegations focus around multiple acts of verbal, physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by the defendant against multiple young women. I am grateful for these survivors coming forward to cooperate with our investigation and for bravely sharing their stories,” Nessel said at a Thursday afternoon press conference before Geddert's body was found.
“The victims suffer from disordered eating,” Nessel continued, “including bulimia and anorexia, suicide attempts and attempts at self harm, excessive physical conditioning, repeatedly being forced to perform even when injured, extreme emotional abuse and physical abuse, including sexual assault.
“Many of these victims still carry these scars from this behavior to this day,” the attorney general said.
Nessel acknowledged that the case might not fit the common understanding of human trafficking.
“We think of it predominantly as affecting people of color or those without means to protect themselves … but honestly it can happen to anyone, anywhere,” she said. “Young impressionable women may at times be vulnerable and open to trafficking crimes, regardless of their stature in the community or the financial well-being of their families.”
Geddert was expected to turn himself in for arraignment Thursday. His body was discovered after he failed to do so. His attorney had no comment when contacted by WLNS.
After learning about Geddert's death, Nessel released a statement calling it a "tragic end to a tragic story."
Sarah Klein, a gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Nassar, said the coach's death was an “escape from justice” and “traumatizing beyond words.”
“His suicide is an admission of guilt that the entire world can now see,” said Klein, a lawyer.
Rachael Denhollander, the first gymnast to publicly accuse disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse in 2016, said she was proud of the women who stepped forward against Geddert.
“So much pain and grief for everyone," she said on Twitter after his death. “To the survivors, you have been heard and believed, and we stand with you.”
Geddert ran Twistars gymnastics club near Lansing for many years and coached the USA Gymnastics team to a gold medal in 2012. The “Fierce Five,” which included DeWitt, Michigan, native Jordyn Wieber, won the team competition at the London Olympics.
But Geddert’s reputation later came under fire because of his association with Nassar, a doctor who was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young women, almost all of them athletes, during his career. Nassar was also the Olympic team’s doctor in 2012.
Nassar pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges in Ingham and Eaton counties (Twistars was based in Eaton County and Nassar was accused of abusing some women and girls there) as well as federal child pornography charges. He is serving 60 years on the child porn charges at a high security federal prison in Florida with a scheduled release date of 2068. If the 57-year-old survives that sentence, he could face more than 100 years in a Michigan prison.
Wieber and several other members of the Fierce Five accused Nassar of molesting them. One of them, McKayla Maroney, says she told Geddert back in 2011 that Nassar had abused her, but that Geddert didn't take any action.
"I wanted to see John punished -for years- but I never imagined something like this....It's tragic. I feel for his family."Rita Wieber, mother of Jordyn Wieber, following Geddert's death
Geddert had been under investigation for years — first by local and state officials and later by the Michigan AG, which took over the case two years ago. His former club and home were searched last year.
Police launched the investigations into him shortly after Nassar's sentencing, in which some of the Nassar survivors accused Geddert of being physically and emotionally abusive. Former Twistars gymnasts also say Geddert required his athletes to see Nassar for treatment.
Criticized by his former students for his teaching and training methods, he was suspended by USA Gymnastics. He later sold the club and retired one day later.
“I know I’m not perfect," he said in his retirement letter to his community in 2018. "Like all of our coaches, I am deeply committed to protecting the safety and well-being of our students. I know my shortcomings as a coach: I have high expectations and high standards and I am passionate about coaching our gymnasts to realize their full potential. Sometimes the intensity is challenging — both for our gymnasts and their coaches.”
“Everything about our work is about safe, successful gymnastics. That’s why I am so incredibly disappointed in USA Gymnastics’ recent letter and its false allegations that I have violated Safe Sport Policy,” the letter read.
Fisher reported from WLNS in Lansing. White reported from Detroit. Nichols is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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