ClickOnDetroit Morning Briefing -- Oct. 19, 2020

Here are this morning’s top stories

From left: Phoenix Javon Washington and Phoenix Washington. An Amber Alert was issued for the duo Oct. 19, 2020 out of Lansing Township, Mich.
From left: Phoenix Javon Washington and Phoenix Washington. An Amber Alert was issued for the duo Oct. 19, 2020 out of Lansing Township, Mich. (WDIV)

What to know today 🌅

Michigan Amber Alert

An Amber Alert has been issued for a 2-year-old boy from Lansing Township.

Police said Phoenix Javon Washington is believed to have been taken by 26-year-old Phoenix Washington. They have the same first and last name.

The elder Washington is described as a Black man standing 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He was driving a black, four-door 2011 Mazda 3 with Michigan license plate EFM 6569. The boy is described as Black, standing 2 feet 3 inches and weighing 30 pounds. They were reported missing Monday morning from 3209 West Michigan Avenue in Lansing Township.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Lansing Township Police Department at 517-730-5855.

From Michigan SOS -- deadline to register online to vote:

Today, Oct. 19 is the last day to register online to vote for the Nov. 3 general election. Eligible Michigan citizens can register online at or by mail if it is postmarked by today’s date. If someone has not yet registered after this deadline has passed, they may still register in person at their city or township clerk’s office through Election Day with a document verifying their residency. They can also apply for and return an absent voter ballot at the clerk’s office in the same trip. Voters who are already registered can vote early at their clerk’s office now and through the day before the election. On Election Day, already registered voters must vote at their local polling place. Clerk and polling place information is available at

Voters who already have their ballots are encouraged to return them as soon as possible — by mail no also later than today Oct.19, or by hand delivering to their clerk’s office or ballot drop box. Ballot drop box locations for individual jurisdictions can be found at All absentee ballot return envelopes must be signed by the voter to be counted.

After today’s Oct. 19, deadline, the online registration portal at will include several warnings that voters must register in person to vote by or on Nov. 3, with instructions on how to do so.

Michigan police crackdown on drivers illegally passing school buses

Law enforcement across Michigan are ramping up patrols of drivers illegally passing school busses as a part of School Bus Safety Week.

Operation Safe Stop is part of national School Bus Safety Week, which runs October 19-23. In 2019, nearly 2,100 citations were issued to drivers for failing to stop for a school bus, the most in the last 10 years.

“We learn it as kindergarteners; red means stop. It’s as simple as that,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. “Even with remote learning happening throughout the state, buses are still on the road. When you see the flashing lights, stop.”

Trending 📈

Watch: JoAnn Matouk Romain mystery series Parts 1-4

Ten years after the disappearance and death of JoAnn Matouk Romain, there remain questions about what happened to her on Jan. 12, 2010.

The Local 4 Defenders have put together a special series chronicling her mysterious death.

Watch here.

Coronavirus in Michigan 🦠

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 144,897 as of Saturday, including 7,010 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update represents 1,791 new cases and 23 additional deaths. On Friday, the state reported 143,106 total cases and 6,987 deaths.

The deaths announced include 15 deaths identified during a vital records review.

The state reported a total of 109,539 recoveries on Saturday.

The number of COVID-19 inpatients at Michigan hospitals has increased steadily in the past two weeks. As of Thursday, there were 1,064 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan. That was 3.56% of the state’s active COVID-19 cases, 253 of which were in critical care with 94 patients on ventilators . View the state’s COVID-19 hospitalization data here.

The moving 7-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Michigan was 1,424 cases as of Friday, the highest such average in the state since April.

Michigan COVID-19 cases on the rise along with the rest of the United States, Europe

Michigan had the highest 7-day average for new COVID-19 cases last week at 1,463 since the start of the pandemic.

“This virus is all across the state, it’s growing,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “The scientists have been telling us the fall was going to be the most challenging time.”

The Michigan Supreme Court curtailed the governors executive order abilities but the vast majority of those remain in place because of orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The regions of the state with the greatest volume of cases are the Upper Peninsula and the west side of the state. While Michigan’s cases are rising, there are 27 other states with greater spikes. The top three being the Dakotas and Montana.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

Weather forecast ☁️

Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.
Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.