Morning Briefing Dec. 4, 2020: Massive fire at Toledo Beach Marina, Business owners sound alarm as winter approaches, Voter fraud claims in affidavits explained

Here are this morning’s top stories

What to know today 🌅

Large fire burns at Toledo Beach Marina

The story of the morning is a massive fire at a boat storage facility in Monroe County. Firefighters responded to a three-alarm fire at the Toledo Beach Marina in La Salle, Mich.

Watch the video above showing the flames and thick smoke at the marina.

Follow updates right here.

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Business owners sound alarm as winter approaches

With no sign of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down in Michigan, business owners across the state are staring down a long and uncertain winter.

Being in a college town, Ann Arbor merchants rely heavily on the ebb and flow of current and prospective University of Michigan students, their families, visiting professors, guest speakers and more. Events like football game days, U-M’s commencement weekend and Art Fair pull in significant revenue for businesses -- for some, it carries them through the year.

According to Destination Ann Arbor, football weekends back in 2013 brought in more than $80 million from visitors alone for local hotels, restaurants and retail. Losing such critical events month after month means nearly every business in town has felt the effects. A report in May by EntryPoint found that 97% of Ann Arbor businesses were impacted by the pandemic with 48% of those located in the downtown area.

Read more here.

⚖️ Evidence? Hearsay? Voter fraud claims in affidavits, explained

While no hard evidence has been discovered to support widespread voter fraud claims in the 2020 election, plenty of people have signed their name to sworn testimony. So what does it all mean? Are sworn affidavits strong evidence in this case? Are people at risk of being charged with a crime, if caught lying? How does a judge decide if a person’s sworn testimony is credible or not? We asked a lawyer.

Read all about it here.

Coronavirus in Michigan 🦠

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 380,343 as of Thursday, including 9,580 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update represents 7,146 new cases and 175 additional deaths, including 112 from a Vital Records review. On Wednesday, the state reported 373,197 total cases and 9,405 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has increased in recent weeks, with more than 45,000 diagnostic tests reported per day. The positive test rate broke 15% on Dec. 2 with more than 70,000 tests reported. The last time it broke 15% was April 22 -- with 7,000 tests reported.

Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 6,917 on Wednesday, slightly lower than one week ago. The 7-day death average was 90, the highest since May. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 198,900 on Wednesday, its highest mark on record. More than 165,000 have recovered in Michigan.

The U.S. recorded over 3,100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, obliterating the record set last spring, while the number of Americans hospitalized with the virus has eclipsed 100,000 for the first time and new cases have begun topping 200,000 a day, according to figures released Thursday.The three benchmarks altogether showed a country slipping deeper into crisis, with perhaps the worst yet to come, in part because of the delayed effects from Thanksgiving, when millions of Americans disregarded warnings to stay home and celebrate only with members of their household.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

Weather forecast: Here’s what to expect Friday, this weekend

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