Help Me Hank: Blighted house rescue, Petland investigation, baby safety

DETROIT – Happy fall!

Yes, fall has arrived. We're still hoping for some nice summer weather, and it looks like we might get it. However, I stopped by Macy's last week and found the store ready for Christmas. Slow it down, Macy's. Listen, I get it. The retail industry wants you spending money, but I've never been a big fan of seeing Christmas decorations before we even hit Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, there's a big debate in my house: How should my daughter dress? She's 19 months old and will likely be able to get to a few houses. She's obsessed with Elmo and Minnie Mouse, but I've seen all these pictures of babies dressed as old people, and they crack me up!

I figure this will probably be the last year that I get to choose her costume rather than her insisting what her costume will be for Halloween.

Having said all that, I will finally be planting some mums this weekend. Bring on fall.

Oh, and my daughter, Emma, is going to her first Detroit Lions game Sunday. Wish me luck!

OK, we had a busy week in the consumer unit, so let's get to it all.

We received an email tip (feel free to drop me a line, too) about a blighted house. This home isn't abandoned, but the owner lives in Canada, and the home posed a real danger. Here's the thing: The homeowner contacted us a few weeks ago, and it didn't look that bad. We kept monitoring the situation. The conditions deteriorated quickly, so we knew we had to step in! Big kudos to the city for stepping up and helping us right away to take care of this problem. In the story, you will learn how to report dangers like this one in your area.

We also talked about babies and safety this week. I hosted Kimberly Gill and her adorable son, Basil, for a play date. Emma was all over the place, but we hope we provided you with good resources and information to help parents who, like us, tend to worry about everything.

Basil is too cute. Some people were asking why my dog didn't make an appearance. Let's just say a dog would've added more chaos, so Eunice went to dog day care that day. Yes, I support dog day care. It wears him out, and he loves to play with all the pups.

We took a look at a concerning story involving the health of pets -- specifically pets for sale at Petland in Novi. We heard concerns from a customer who bought a dog there only to find out he was ill.

We also reached out to the Humane Society, which launched its own investigation. The results were surprising. Most importantly, we revealed the questions you need to be asking whether you buy a pup from a store or a breeder or adopt one from one of the amazing local shelters.

This Saturday, if you want to get a little exercise and help a great cause, I will be kicking off the Tara Grant Run/Walk in Sterling Heights. This is a great event and helps raise money for local domestic abuse victims.

I've been honored to work with the team behind this event and look forward to seeing many Local 4 viewers there this weekend. Click here if you want to join us

Take care and go Lions! Beat the Chiefs!



Recall of the week

General Motors is expanding the recall of its Chevrolet Trax SUV. There's a problem with its suspension weld, which in plain English means there could be an issue with steering and lead to potential crashes.

The recall impacts 2017-2019 models, and it was just expanded to include 2015-2016 models.

GM dealers will be able to inspect your SUV and determine if a replacement is needed.

Scam of the week

Viewers have been calling us about a scammer using Amazon's name. They call and say there's been a charge on your Amazon account and that charge has been tied to illegal activity in another state. In order to make things right, you have to go out and purchase a gift card and give them the number on the back.

It's the gift card or green dot card scam all over again.

Just hang up. Amazon won't call you about something like this.

Deal of the week

Deals are starting to roll in related to fall cleanup. You can wait to cash in on the better ones later in the season, but if you can't wait, there are some out there already.

Lowe's has 20% off fall cleanup essentials.

Home Depot has up to 45% off select power tools and accessories.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.