Flashpoint Interview: Prosecutor Karen McDonald talks latest on Oxford High School shooting
Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald sat down with Flashpoint host Devin Scillian to discuss her thought process behind charging Ethan Crumbley’s parents in connection with the Oxford High School shooting.
Centre Road in Portage closed after crash damages power lines
PORTAGE, MI – East Centre Road is closed while crews repair power lines after a crash. The two-vehicle crash happened before 12:45 p.m., July 8 on East Centre Road between Lovers Lane and Portage Street, Portage Department of Public Safety said. The road is closed until around 3 p.m. while Consumers Energy repairs downed power lines, police said. About 500 customers are without power at this time, per the Consumers Outage Map. Police said there were injures in the crash but did not release additional information.mlive.com
Justice Department Warns About Fake Post-Vaccine Survey Scams
The Department of Justice has received reports that fraudsters are creating fraudulent COVID-19 vaccine surveys for consumers to fill out with the promise of a prize or cash at the conclusion of the survey. Unless from a known and verified source, consumers should never click on links in text messages or emails claiming to be a vaccine survey. Carefully examine any message purporting to be from a company and do not click on a link in an unsolicited email or text message. When in doubt, contact the entity purportedly sending you the message, but do not rely on any contact information in the potentially fraudulent message. Further information about major scams targeting American consumers can be found at the Justice Department’s Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force website: https://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch/transnational-elder-fraud-strike-force .justice.gov
Flagstar Bank customers’ personal information stolen in ransomware attack, officials say
Flagstar Bank is warning customers that their personal information, including social security numbers, may have been stolen in a ransomeware attack. The company said the hack was discovered in January but customers said they were recently notified. Local 4 learned that the thieves got social security numbers as well home addresses not only of customers but also possibly employees. Flagstar has reached out to customers impacted and offering a credit monitoring service. The one-click Microsoft tool was created to protect against cyberattacks and to scan systems for compromises and fix them.
‘Anchor it’: Tips to protect children from furniture, TVs tipping over
Families are spending more time at home and that has experts worried that more kids can get hurt from furniture and TVs. A new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said tip-over incidents have killed 451 children since 2000. Carlson shared video of her daughter for the CPSC’s latest “Anchor It” public service announcement warning about the dangers of tipping furniture and TVs. Parents, grandparents and caregivers should do the following to protect children:Anchor TVs, furniture like dressers and bookcases to the wallPut you TV on a sturdy low base and back as far as possible if you cannot anchor it. The guilt and shame that you feel as a parent for not protecting your child by doing something as easy as anchoring a piece of furniture.
Michigan attorney general warns of law enforcement scam calls
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is warning residents of scammers posing as law enforcement agencies or other companies, demanding payment for warrants or services via gift cards. “Make sure to be aware that no law enforcement agency will ever contact you by phone demanding that you pay, regardless of payment method, for your warrant to disappear. Spoofing allows scammers to disguise their actual phone numbers and instead show a local phone number on the caller ID. “The framework of these scams – whether it’s a law enforcement, grandparent, or tech support scam – are always the same. AdTo report fraud or if you have a general consumer complaint, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team online or by calling 877-765-8388.
Daywatch: Botched CPD raid’s ripples spread, 2 Chicago nurses treating COVID-19 patients share journals and Logan Square Christmas House is back
Travel-starved consumers want to get back to their jet-setting ways in 2021, and the COVID-19 vaccine has some feeling more optimistic. Airlines and tour operators are trying to reassure customers with more flexibility and outdoor, crowd-free destinations, but many travelers are still hesitant to make plans.chicagotribune.com
Electric rates will go up in January for Consumers Energy customers
Consumers Energy customers will see their electricity rates go up starting Jan. 1. On Thursday, Dec. 17, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) approved a Consumers rate increase on customer bills that will bring the utility an extra $100 million. One of the Consumers bill credits given to customers via the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is also expiring, boosting rates by another $34 million. “We are thankful that the Michigan Public Service Commission cut the egregious rate hike Consumers Energy sought for its operations and maintenance,” said Charlotte Jameson, program director of energy, drinking water and legislative affairs at the Michigan Environmental Council. RELATED STORIESRooftop solar market poised to nosedive, advocates warnConsumers Energy to raise gas rates by 9.1%, totaling $144 millionMichigan rejects Consumers Energy request to pin 2019 fire costs on customersmlive.com
Michigan officials issue order to stop use of Bamboo brand hand sanitizers, call for product to be removed from shelves
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development issued an order to stop use of Bamboo brand hand sanitizers. LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) issued a Stop-Use and Stop-Removal order for Bamboo Moisturizing brand hand sanitizer, citing that the product does not meet the labeled alcohol content. “Hand sanitizers have become one of the critical tools for preventing COVID-19. The department’s Weights and Measures section is conducting additional sampling of various hand sanitizers to ensure they meet the minimum criteria. View the Stop-Use and Stop-Removal order below
Somerset Collection Studio opens in Downtown Detroit
DETROIT – The Somerset Collection Studio is now open at the Metropolitan Building in Downtown Detroit. “We wanted to bring window shopping back,” said Somerset Collection corporate communications director Linda McIntosh. In early 2021, the space is going from only window shopping to in-store shopping. There will be a rotating selection of merchandise from Somerset Collection stores. Vending machine proceeds are headed to charity.
Michigan shoppers: Are you more likely to shop at small businesses or big-box stores?
The day after Black Friday is commonly known as Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to patronize and support small, local businesses. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. said if Michiganders switched one in every ten purchases from big-box stores to local businesses, it would pump more than a billion dollars into the economy and create more than 10,000 jobs. With the coronavirus pandemic hitting locally-owned businesses extra hard, it’s safe to say that it’s important to support small businesses on more than one day this year to help them stay afloat. Michigan shoppers, we want to know: Are you more likely to shop at small, locally-owned businesses or big-box stores? Take the quick poll and give us your reasoning in the form below.
Holiday shopping for your pets? Consider supporting small, local businesses
LIVONIA, Mich. – This Small Business Saturday, consumers are encouraged to patronize small businesses to support their local communities. Even those shopping for holiday gifts for their pets can find those special items at small, local businesses, like Premier Pet Supply in Livonia. Shopping locally can have significant benefits on individual communities and their economies. Watch the full report in the video player above. Related: Michigan leaders encourage residents to support local shops
Better Business Bureau warns of texting scams offering money to participate in COVID study
Scam artists have found many ways during the coronavirus pandemic to try and con people out of their money or personal information. The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new text message claiming to offer $1,200 for participation in a local COVID study. “We have heard from consumers that there’s a text message going around that says if you participate in the study, you’ll earn $1,200,” said Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau. The difficulty is that you cannot, through a text message, determine if they’re a reputable company.”Click here to view the Better Business Bureau Scam TrackerWhen it comes to phishing scams, beware any unsolicited communication. Never click on links or download anything from a text message or email.
What kinds of children’s toys are you buying this holiday season amid the pandemic?
As we inch closer to the holidays, most of us are adapting our celebrations to meet new restrictions and protocols designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. With the pandemic likely affecting your plans and events, we’re wondering if it is also affecting how you’re shopping for holiday gifts -- specifically those for children. Are you buying different kinds of toys for children this holiday season due to the coronavirus pandemic? In what ways -- if at all -- has the pandemic affected what toys you’re shopping for? Let us know using the form below.
Experts explain why shopping early for holiday gifts is beneficial
READ: Tips for managing your money ahead of holiday season“Retailers are rolling out Black Friday deals earlier than ever. Walmart has been hosting a series of Black Friday doorbusters leading up to Thanksgiving so it’s really changing and impacting what we can expect this holiday season,” Woroch said. Shopping early can help spread purchases out over a longer period and avoid debt or racking up high credit card bills. Woroch said some stores are offering incentives to shop now like cash back and gift cards that consumers could hold onto to use later in the holiday shopping season as well. No matter your shopping plan, consider shopping local and taking advantage of small businesses in your area.
Coronavirus in Illinois updates: 10,376 new known COVID-19 cases — another record daily high — and 49 additional deaths reported
Just 29% of consumers said they plan to host or attend a Thanksgiving meal with family they don’t live with this season, down from 48% last year, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI. More than a third said they will prepare a meal just for themselves or their household, up from 27% last year. A median of five people will attend, while last year it was eight.chicagotribune.com
On Alibaba's Singles Day, Chinese consumers look to spend more, shift away from American brands
The e-commerce giant Alibaba's annual Singles Day shopping event could be a boon for Chinese brands, according to a new survey. Sixty-six percent of Chinese consumers say they'll be shopping for domestic brands over foreign labels during the shopping event, which is held on Nov. 11 each year. Spending overall is expected to eclipse previous records, as Chinese consumers rebound from the shutdowns put in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Thirty-nine percent of Chinese consumers plan to spend more on Singles Day this year compared with last, the survey found. Fifty-seven percent of Chinese consumers plan to spend less money on American products this year, AlixPartners found.cnbc.com
Healthcare coverage options available for Michigan residents during coronavirus outbreak
DETROIT – If you’ve lost healthcare coverage due to the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan, there are options to find new coverage. Michiganders impacted may have low or no-cost healthcare options available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). “Michiganders who lose employer-based health insurance may have options to continue or replace their coverage,” said DIFS Director Anita G. Fox. Depending on income and their situation, consumers may qualify for cost sharing reductions, premium tax credits, coverage for their children (CHIP), or Medicaid. Consumers should contact DIFS toll free at 877-999-6442 if they need assistance.Act now and applyEnrollment help is available
Consumer sentiment rises for December despite Trump's impeachment
Consumer sentiment rose slightly in December as President Donald Trump's impeachment had a "barely noticeable impact" on economic expectations, the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers said Friday. The index of consumer sentiment reached 99.3 for the month. Current economic conditions also improved among consumers while overall expectations ticked higher in December. He also said the impeachment hearing "had a barely noticeable impact on economic expectations, as it was mentioned by just 2% of all consumers in the December survey." In fact, the S&P 500 is up more than 7% since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal inquiry in September.cnbc.com