Some Uber, Lyft drivers banned from Detroit Metro Airport

With one of the busiest travel weeks of the year upon us, it might become tougher to catch a Lyft or Uber at Detroit Metro Airport.

Many drivers are getting banned, and sources said it’s for breaking the rules. But drivers told Local 4 they feel like it’s more about being the new kid on the block.

Lyft and Uber drivers said they don’t feel welcome at the airport.

“When you pull in, the guy in the booth gives you attitude,” said Terri, a driver for both Uber and Lyft.

From surly airport employees to fender benders with contracted car services, ride-share drivers said it’s difficult to work at the airport.

“Uber cars are getting hit, and they’re saying, ‘Oh, you’re in my way,'” Terri said.

Things have gotten nasty between the two sides at a very lucrative time.

“This is a holiday weekend,” Terri said. “This is the week that we make money.”

On Friday, dozens of drivers started getting banned from the airport, and by Monday, drivers heard it was in the hundreds.

They were told it’s because they were picking up fares curbside instead of the designated ride-share area.

“To not be able to prove to me what I’ve done wrong — that becomes an issue,” Terri said. “They just said I picked up curbside, but I didn’t pick up curbside.”

Terri and some others said they’re innocent, yet they’ve still been banned. An airport source familiar with the situation said authorities are catching ride-share drivers breaking the curbside rule, but drivers said sometimes people just jump in.

“Some people jump in your car,” Terri said.

“The issue has been addressed and we are now reviewing the impacted drivers in order to reinstate their airport access where warranted,” Lyft told Local 4.

“Without the airport runs, we’ll lose our jobs,” Terri said.

Some drivers were reinstated Monday night after Local 4 reached out to Lyft. The airport said it’s been working with the companies since March, and drivers said anyone who is breaking the rules should be banned.

You can watch Jason Colthorp’s full story in the video posted above.

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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U of M holds meeting to discuss request from white supremacist to speak on campus

The University of Michigan is discussing whether to allow white supremacist Richard Spencer to speak on campus.

White nationalist rallies have been known to get violent, so the university is making safety and security a top priority.

Students and faculty members voiced their concerns Tuesday at an open meeting. Their opposition centers around Spencer’s request to speak on campus.

“If it’s your decision to let this individual speak, we request that he be as far away from the students as possible,” said student Yazmyn Cross.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said Spencer’s right to free speech makes the situation complex.

“I made the difficult decision to begin discussions with Richard Spencer’s group to determine whether he will be allowed to rent space to speak on the University of Michigan campus,” Schlissel said.

The president and regent members denounced the white nationalist’s hate speech, but added that legally, their hands are tied.

“We are legally prohibited from blocking such requests based solely on the content of that speech, however sickening it is,” Schlissel said.

READ: Schlissel releases statement on white supremacist request to speak on campus

Outside, there was a rally, and inside, one by one, people let Schlissel know Spencer and his followers aren’t looking to speak, but rather to incite violence. They used the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a prime example.

“To allow this man on our campus unchecked, you incur the same risk of violence, and if something terrible happens, you will shoulder the blame,” student Ismael Halawh said.

“Allowing Spencer to speak here would make a mockery of our institution core beliefs and frankly, if our friends and rivals at East Lansing and Columbus can say no to the Nazis, then surely the leader here can find a way to do so as well,” faculty member Michael Wiess said.

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas says former USA Gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar abused her

Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has become the latest athlete to come forward as a victim of abuse by former USA Dr. Larry Nassar.

Douglas took to Instagram Tuesday to apologize for comments she made after Fierce Five teammate Aly Raisman came forward as a Nassar victim. In the post, she said she was also a victim and was conditioned to stay silent about what was happening.

McKayla Maroney has also accused Nassar of abusing her.

Here is Douglas’ full Instagram post:

please hear my heart

A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas) on Nov 21, 2017 at 12:16pm PST

Raisman says she was 15 when first treated by Nassar

Raisman was the star of the Summer Olympics in Rio, snagging the gold medal along with her Fierce Five teammates, but Friday she did something much more difficult.

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Raisman admitted she was a victim of Dr. Larry Nassar.

Raisman had hinted in previous interviews about the alleged abuse she suffered, but this was her first time saying that she was also a victim as a teenager.

The three-time gold medalist is now 23 years old.

“Why are we looking at, ‘Why didn’t the girls speak up?'” Raisman said. “Why not look at, ‘What about the culture?’ What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?”

READ: Nassar pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Raisman said she was just 15 years old when she was first treated by Nassar.

“I am angry,” Raisman said. “I’m really upset because it’s been — I care a lot, you know, when I see these young girls that come up to me, and they ask for pictures or autographs. Whatever it is, I just … every time I look at them, every time I see them smiling, I just think — I just want to create change so that they never, ever have to go through this.”

Raisman competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, winning six medals overall.

She now joins dozens of other women who have accused the disgraced former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor of abuse.

In August, during an interview with The Guardian, Raisman said, “Even if he didn’t do it to you, it’s still the trauma and the anxiety of wondering what could have happened. I think that needs to be addressed.”

Local 4 reached out to USA Gymastics, which released a lengthy response that reads, in part:

Aly’s passion and concern for athlete safety is shared by USA Gymnastics. The Safe Sport Policy strengthens policies that include mandatory reporting, defines six types of misconduct, sets standards to prohibit grooming behavior and prevent inappropriate interaction, and establishes greater accountability.”

Maroney says she was molested by Nassar

Maroney posted a statement to Twitter, where the 21-year-old alleges Nassar molested her for many years. “People should know that this is not just happening in Hollywood,” she wrote

“It started when I was 13 years old, and it didn’t end until I left the sport,” Maroney continued. “I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there were unnecessary and disgusting.”

The former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics physician was arrested last year on the child pornography charges including:

Receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography
Possession of child pornography
Destruction and concealment of records and tangible objects

Nassar agreed to plead guilty to all of those charges. As part of the plea agreement he will not be prosecuted for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual exploitation of children, as well as interstate or international travel with intent and engaging in illicit sexual conduct. Those charges were related to an incident which is alleged to have occurred in Nassar’s swimming pool with two children in the summer of 2015.

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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University of Michigan president releases statement on white supremacist request to speak on campus

University of Michigan President Mark S. Schlissel released a statement Tuesday about a white supremacist’s request to speak publicly on campus.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday to make a public comment about Richard Spencer’s request.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said last month the university would pay “close attention to the safety and security of our community” in considering Spencer’s request.

He said a representative of Spencer’s National Policy Institute indicated there was flexibility with the speaking date.

Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August.

Michigan State University earlier this year turned down Spencer’s request to speak there. After Spencer’s group sued over that, a federal judge ordered the two sides into mediation.

You can read Schlissel’s full statement below:

To All Members of the University of Michigan Community:

I apologize for the short notice to our community, as many are already heading out of town for the holiday. We only today have finalized plans for how we will proceed, and we wanted to share this information as soon as possible, knowing that we will continue to have conversations in the coming weeks.

After consulting widely with many members of our community, I made the difficult decision to begin discussions with Richard Spencer’s group to determine whether he will be allowed to rent space to speak on the University of Michigan campus. If we cannot assure a reasonably safe setting for the event, we will not allow it to go forward.

When I accepted the presidency of this great university three and a half years ago, I did so in part based on my appreciation and respect for our shared values – that we can’t be excellent without being diverse and that all individuals, regardless of their background, deserve full inclusion in our community and an equal opportunity to thrive.

We now face a very difficult test of our ability to uphold these values. This is a test we did not welcome, but it’s one that we must face together.

My foremost priority is ensuring the safety of everyone at this university. However as a public university, the law and our commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech. But we can and will impose limits on time, place and manner of a speaking engagement to protect the safety of our U-M community. Let me repeat: If we cannot assure a reasonably safe setting for the event, we will not allow it to go forward.

If we do decide a safe event is possible, we would share that information with the U-M community in advance.

Let me be clear. U-M has not invited this individual to our campus, nor is anyone in our community sponsoring him. His representatives made a request to rent space on our campus for him to speak. We are legally prohibited from blocking such requests based solely on the content of that speech, however sickening it is.

Since the request came in, I have grappled with how to distance my personal feelings from the important safety considerations I must weigh as president. I recognize that an appearance by Spencer will cause genuine emotional hurt to many members of our community.

I personally detest and reject the hateful white supremacy and white nationalism expressed by Mr. Spencer as well as his racist, anti-Semitic and otherwise bigoted views, as do the Regents and the entire leadership of this University. Many followers who show up at his rallies share his repugnant beliefs and should be shunned by our community.

His views, and those of his organization and its followers, are antithetical to everything we stand for at the University of Michigan. We strive for intellectual rigor and equal opportunity for all who seek to learn, teach and conduct research for the public good.

We have heard from many of you about your concerns since the request was submitted. We discussed these concerns with many members of our community as we weighed our options:

1. As I mentioned, making the appearance as safe as possible for the members of our community and all involved was our foremost concern.

We will continue to rely on a thorough assessment of safety considerations by our Division of Public Safety and Security.

In general, limits on time, place, and manner of speech have been upheld in lawsuits alleging violations of First Amendment rights; content-based prior restraint – or denying the opportunity to speak in advance – has not. We will insist upon appropriate and lawful requirements on the time, place, and manner of his speech in ways that our experts conclude are most conducive to public safety for the entire community, including those who are not a part of our learning community.

2. Denying the request would provide even more attention to the speaker and his cause and allow him to claim a court victory.

Those who would use public spaces as venues to promote hate are emboldened by denials they can fight in court. Their formula is clear: Request to use public space. Sue if not allowed to speak. Claim oppression by the state to stoke outrage. Use each moment as a rallying cry for their views.

3. As painful as it is to allow this speaker to rent our space, a democratic society without free speech is unimaginable.

Historically, it is the speech rights of people from marginalized groups that are most often threatened, and always essential. If we refuse to rent space to this odious individual, it is easier to imagine our government at some point in the future deciding that some of your ideas are too dangerous, or too “opposed to our values” to allow others to hear. We can’t let this happen, even though it means we must allow vile speech.

Here’s what we can do as a community.

We can ignore him, reject the hate and evil he espouses, and offer support to those he targets with his racist and discriminatory views.

We can also deprive him of the attention he needs to survive and deny him the crowds he craves. Imagine the power of a room mostly empty, with his only audience being a few followers surrounded by hundreds of empty seats.

We can also support each other, speak out and protest in different venues. We know that many students, faculty, and staff might want to hold events of their own that reflect U-M values, away from the venue Mr. Spencer will rent. Once a time and place have been identified, we will work with our community to host these types of events. I will also encourage everyone to stay away from areas where the presence of his supporters might contribute to an unstable situation, which will help to keep our community safe while at the same time standing up for our values.

We have created a website with information about the request. It will be updated as details are developed.

All of us can unite against the evils of racism, anti-Semitism, discrimination and those who seek to degrade and diminish others. The University of Michigan is home to our nation’s strongest and best academic community – with students, faculty, staff and graduates who care deeply about their fellow Wolverines and who strive to lead in a better world. No one who rents space on our campus can take that away from us.”

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Union files motion to hold Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger in contempt of court

Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger found herself in more trouble Tuesday night as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union Council has filed a motion to hold her in contempt of court.

The motion calls Spranger a “scofflaw” and claims she violated a court order by interfering with a union steward’s ability to do her job.

AFSCME said the steward noticed a non-union employee doing a union job and wanted to take corrective action, but Spranger ordered her to go home.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit for updates on whether Spranger is held in contempt of court.

Full coverage of Karen Spranger

Jan. 19, 2017: Spranger barred from using county computers after violating security protocols

March 13, 2017: Spranger seeks lawyer for court battle with Hackel

April 11, 2017: Spranger hides in bathroom to avoid questions about dispute with county board

April 20, 2017: Macomb County Clerk fined for ethics violation amid dispute with county board

April 20, 2017: Macomb County clerk crashes county car after being fined for ethics violation

April 24, 2017: Neighbor says home listed as Spranger’s primary residence overrun with raccoons

May 3, 2017: Emails reveal another battle between Spranger and Macomb County officials

May 4, 2017: Spranger caught hiding moving boxes to block move to new building

May 9, 2017: Legal battle troubles intensify for Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger

May 10, 2017: Judge orders Spranger to cooperate with move to new building

May 17, 2017: Spranger answers claims that her office is ‘hostile work environment’

June 19, 2017: Simple report turns heated between Spranger and county officials

June 22, 2017: Macomb County clerk files suit to allow firearms inside government buildings

June 28, 2017: Spranger’s employees working in fear after security removed

July 20, 2017: Spranger accused of perjury over ‘uninhabitable’ home in Warren

Aug. 1, 2017: Lawsuit announced against Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger

Aug. 14, 2017: Employee calls 911 after Spranger asks to look through her purse

Sept. 22, 2017: Spranger accused of moving, hiding computers overnight

Sept. 28, 2017: Judge rules against Spranger in ‘toxic work environment’ case

Oct. 21, 2017: Spranger’s totaled car among items up for bids at Macomb County auction

Oct. 25, 2017: Spranger caught on video covering up court order

Oct. 27, 2017: Union files restraining order against Spranger over ‘hostile workplace’

Oct. 27, 2017: Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger sues Google amid residency battle

Nov. 1, 2017: Employee blames Spranger for huge online backlog at office

Nov. 7, 2017: Spranger requests $100K to pay for her ongoing legal battles

Nov. 9, 2017: Spranger’s office given Thursday deadline to clear e-filing backlog

Nov. 9, 2017: Spranger fails to meet judges’ backlog deadline

Nov. 9, 2017: Spranger solves long wait times by bringing in benches for customers

Nov. 21, 2017: Union files motion to hold Spranger in contempt of court

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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What brings us together as Detroiters? Text us your answer

Nothing brings Detroit together quite like the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. In that spirit, we’re launching a new text-message-based conversation about local issues and stories driven by your thoughts.

Here’s how it works. Text ‘PARADE’ to 313-395-1255 (standard messaging rates apply) and we’ll send you a message back with the question. Text us your answer and we’ll consider it for use on air during parade coverage on Thursday. We may also use your answer as a news tip for a future story, or generally to guide overall coverage decisions. Your answers determine how this all goes.

We’re calling the new feature Speakeasy, and we hope the parade becomes the first of several text conversations we have in the coming year. Try us out! It’s easy to quit — you just text ‘Stop’ and you’re automatically unsubscribed.

And if you send in an answer, that opens a channel of communication with WDIV and ClickOnDetroit. You can keep texting us thoughts, ideas or tips right through that number. It’s like your own direct line to the newsroom.

Questions about Speakeasy? Email us at: clickondetroit@wdiv.com

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Retired Ann Arbor police officer charged with murdering wife by strangulation

A retired Ann Arbor police officer is in custody Tuesday night, charged with strangling his wife.

Prosecutors said Kent Neigebauer, 66, killed his wife, Marcia Neigebauer, 63, Sunday night at their home in Pittsfield Township.

The Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety received a call at 10:52 a.m. Sunday from a man who said he had killed his wife by strangulation inside their home, officials said.

The court proceedings Tuesday were handled by way of video feeds, with the grieving family of Marcia Neigebauer and Kent Neigebauer watching on monitors.

The former Ann Arbor officer is charged with murdering his wife last weekend at the Arbor Knoll Apartments in Pittsfield Township.

The judge said it’s the policy of her court that a murder defendant will be held without bail, pending the preliminary examination.

As members of the family left court, they said they didn’t want to comment on the case.

You can watch Steve Garagiola’s full story in the video posted above.

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Mother of Danielle Stislicki talks about what Floyd Galloway's plea deal means to her

The mother of Danielle Stislicki sent a strong message Tuesday in the search for her missing daughter after watching the person of interest in her disappearance agree to a plea deal in a different case.

“We will not give up,” Ann Stislicki said. “We are here, and we are not going to give up.”

Tuesday’s guilty plea was centered around a Hines Park assault case, but the spotlight still shines on Floyd Galloway in connection with Stislicki’s case.

Galloway was named a person of interest in the disappearance of Danielle Stislicki, and her mother and sister sat in the courtroom Tuesday with a message for Galloway.

It was a difficult day for the Stislicki family. Ann Stislicki said she had to be in court Tuesday to see the face of the man named a person of interest in her daughter’s disappearance.

“It was, for us, the opportunity to go ahead and let him know we are still here,” Ann Stislicki said.

Danielle Stislicki mysteriously disappeared Dec. 2, 2016, after leaving her office in Southfield. It’s the same place where Anne worked and Galloway was a security guard.

“When he spoke, how did you feel?” Local 4 Defender Karen Drew asked Ann Stislicki.

“It was unnerving,” she said. “That is the Floyd Galloway I know, so I was glad he was advised to admit the guilt.”

Galloway took the plea deal in the Livonia jogger attack, admitting to kidnapping, sexual assault and strangulation. In his words, he did it in order to have sex with her.

“We are grateful that the results of today’s hearing means the Hines Park survivor does not have to go through and testify to a jury and relive that situation,” Ann Stislicki said.

It was the first step for justice in the Livonia case, but now the question remains: Did Galloway have anything to do with Danielle Stislicki’s disappearance?

“Now it will give us an opportunity, for all the resources that have been on Dani’s case, too, to go ahead,” Ann Stislicki said. “An opportunity to spend the time on what we need to do.”

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Garlin Gilchrist II requests recount in Detroit clerk race

It was a race decided by just over 1,400 votes, and now the man who lost the Detroit clerk’s race is calling for a recount.

Garlin Gilchrist II lost a close race to incumbent Janice Winfrey for the Detroit City Clerk seat on Nov. 7.

He’s questioned whether the votes were tallied correctly after hearing “troubling accounts” from voters and now says he will submit a formal petition requesting a recount of absentee ballots.

“When I started this campaign earlier this year, my commitment was to bring trust, transparency and accountability to the election process in Detroit,” Gilchrist said.

Gilchrist said he will request at a minimum that all 100 absentee voter counting boards, and possibly more precincts, be recounted. The cost will be $125 per precinct and the campaign raised the funds to pay the tab.

Here is Gilchrist’s full statement from Nov. 8:

“We launched this campaign to make sure transparency was returned to the election process in the city of Detroit. After reviewing the unofficial returns and hearing troubling accounts from voters about their experiences, there are questions about yesterday’s election that give us concern about the vote tallies. We are looking into these issues and doing our due diligence and expect to make a decision in the next few days whether to file for a recount. I strongly believe that Detroit voters need to know their vote was counted and counted accurately. Regardless of the final result, I strongly believe that we all need to have trust in our election system especially going into the 2018 cycle and I want to do what’s in the best interest of Detroit voters.”

It was the closest race in Detroit. Early results had Gilchrist in the lead, but a late surge attributed to absentee ballots for Winfrey gave her the election.

Winfrey has held the position since 2005. She was the favorite heading into this General Election after she won 51 percent of the vote in the August Primary Election.

Gilchrist said his people heard about numerous irregularities from voters who chose absentee ballots. He said voters also encountered irregularities at the polls.

Gilchrist won only 19 percent of the vote in August.

State law doesn’t allow precincts to be recounted when the number of voters in the poll book doesn’t match the number of ballots in the ballot box, so at this point, Gilcrhist doesn’t know if he can even get a complete recount.

Click here for full November 7, 2017 Michigan General Election results

Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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Gas line explosion in Orion Township near Auburn Hills leaves 18-foot crater

An 18-foot crater and charred trees were left at the scene of a massive gas line fire in Orion Township just north of Auburn Hills on Brown Road.

Consumers Energy is working to figure out how a gas line erupted into a massive ball of fire Monday night in Orion Township.

The fiery burst happened about 10 p.m. Consumers Energy said a high-pressured natural gas transmission line ruptured. Calls to 911 reported hearing the hissing of gas.

Firefighters arrived right at the same time the gas leak turned into a fireball. The blast was strong enough to disrupt 911 service in Oakland County. The fire ended about midnight. Consumers Energy capped the gas line. It was shut off on both sides. The fire burned itself out.

Some residents had to be ordered out of their homes but they have been allowed to return.

No injuries were reported.

The gas line is about 15 feet below ground. The eruption and fire created a large crater about 40 yards wide and 18 feet deep.

The fire was on the north side of Brown Road, just west of Joslyn Road. Brown Road was shut down between Joslyn and Baldwin roads due to the fire but has since reopened.

Video posted on Facebook by police in nearby Auburn Hills showed flames shooting several dozen feet into the night sky.

What caused this?

Consumers Energy said this gas line is inspected every 7 years. They said they had no reason to believe there was a problem.

“This pipeline is a transportation pipeline. There aren’t any customers directly connected to this. We regularly inspect all of our pipelines. We will be looking at our data on this pipeline to see what we know about it. It’s really too early to tell what the cause was,” said Robert Morgenstern, of Consumers Energy.

You could see the flames from Downtown Detroit and all over Metro Detroit. Take a look here:

Check out this incredible picture of the massive gas line explosion in Orion Township sent to us by Local 4 viewer Jacob Giampa.
More info: https://t.co/u2Rrd46Cmj pic.twitter.com/kuO1GxcRk5

— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) November 21, 2017
Source: WDIV Click2Detroit
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