Construction woes, tick season & more: The top stories you may have missed this week

Posted at 11:51 AM, May 17, 2024

(WXYZ) — Hey, you're busy — we get it.

We know a lot happens throughout the week, and you may not catch all of our stories here at WXYZ. So we've decided to gather the most talked-about stories from the past week all in one place that you can check out during your free time over the weekend.

Have a story idea or tip? Feel free to let us know using the contact form below.

Here are the stories people are talking from the week of May 13.

Woman makes bold move after would-be carjackers pistol-whip her, threaten with a gun

Woman makes bold move after would-be carjackers pistol-whip her

The fear in Rachel Smiglewski only lasted for a few moments when three would-be carjackers approached her at a Target parking lot in Taylor.

It all started around 4:50 p.m. Monday as Smiglewski was sitting in her boyfriend's vehicle waiting to pick him up from work nearby. That's when three young men wearing surgical masks approached the vehicle where the windows were down. They demanded her keys, wallet and phone.

She attempted to call 911 when one of the would-be carjackers smacked the phone and hit her in her mouth with the gun. The man then put the gun to her head. Smiglewski complied and gave him the keys, but what she did next is nothing the trio expected.

"All of a sudden, something snapped in me and I was like, 'you know what? No, I'm not going to let this happen to me. This is not going to happen,'" she said.

Onlookers began calling 911 as Smiglewski continued to yell that she was being robbed and that the people robbing her had a gun. The would-be carjackers started to back up, but they still had the keys. Smiglewski raced after the three of them.

The three were eventually found inside the bathroom of a nearby restaurant. They were between the ages of 14 and 18.

Read more here

'Burning, some pain': Tick cases rise due to mild winter

Tick cases rise due to mild winter

Be prepared, tick season is starting early this year because of a mild winter, and metro Detroit families are taking extra precautions.

Wooded areas can often be a place for increased risk of tick bites. Many parents have been messaging us their stories from Flat Rock, to New Boston and Rochester Hills.

Ashley Weatherhead is a parent, sharing her story of her 7-year-old daughter Ava, returning home with a tick bite after a soccer game on Grosse Ille.

“Burning, some pain. She’s been on Benadryl,” Weatherhead said.

The bugs can carry Lyme disease. They can also infect humans and pets with other illnesses as well. In Ava’s case, the ticks were embedded for two to three days resulting in a staph infection needing antibiotics.

Should Detroit restaurants display their health inspection grades? Reactions are mixed

Should Detroit restaurants display their health inspection grades? Reactions are mixed

It's a story we've covered before, but it's in the news again as Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson is looking to have restaurants display placards if they passed their health inspections.

Here's how the proposed ordinance works. If a Detroit restaurant passes its health inspection, they will get a green placard in their restaurant.

Our Tiarra Braddock hit the streets of Detroit to talk to people about the plan, and reactions were mixed. Some people said it would be helpful in making choices, however others said often, the health department walks in at the worst time and they catch you in the moment when something might need to be fixed.

Meet the Woodhaven senior who got into all 11 colleges she applied for, including 5 Ivy League schools

Meet the Woodhaven teen who get in all 11 colleges she applied for, including 5 Ivy League schools

Meet Samarah Saggers, a Woodhaven High School senior celebrating a remarkable academic achievement. Samarah applied to 11 colleges and was accepted into every one of them, including five Ivy League schools.

She tells us that she always believed in reaching for the stars, and she doesn't know how she pulled it off.

Next year, Samarah will go to Yale and study cognitive science or computer science and psychology. She also wants to get a certificate in Spanish, and said she'll probably go to law school after.

VIDEO: Final steps begin to connect Gordie Howe International Bridge with only 85 feet between sides

Final steps begin to connect Gordie Howe bridge with only 85 feet between sides

The final steps to connect the bridge deck of the Gordie Howe International Bridge are underway, and officials say the gap between the two sides is now only 85 feet. It should be connected by the end of June.

Our Glenda Lewis got a look at the construction taking palce and even walked the bridge deck.

According to officials, over the next four-to-six weeks, people will see a multi-step process leading up to the bridge deck connection.

Once connected, the bridge will be .53 miles long between the two towers, the longest main span of any cable-stayed bridge in North America and the 10th longest in the world.

Drivers frustrated as 3-year construction project begins on M-14

Drivers frustrated as 3-year construction project begins on M-14

Finally, drivers are frustrated with all of the construction going on, including one of the new big projects kicking off this year along M-14. It's between Newburgh and Sheldon, and this is the first year of a three-year project.

Our Ali Hoxie asked MDOT why all of the construction is happening now.

"We are are actually trying to stagger this one, and that is why things are I guess so light this year in terms of the work because we understand we do have some of these other projects that are going on," Dave Harris, a senior construction contract engineer with MDOT, said.

Learn more about the project here

'It’s horrific': Driver in deadly Swan Boat Club crash breaks her silence

'It’s horrific': Driver in deadly Swan Boat Club crash breaks her silence

The driver in the deadly Swan Boat Club crash, Marshella Chidester, sat down exclusively with 7 News Detroit to share what happened from her point of view after she ran her car into a children’s birthday party in April. She says there are two sides to every story and wanted to speak publicly about the incident for the first time.

Chidester, 66, says she’s disturbed by the incident, has been praying for the victims and claims it was all one big accident caused by her plethora of medical conditions.

“I just want people to know how very, very disturbed I am by the situation. I don’t remember what happened. I can only say that I’ve been praying for everyone that’s been injured,” Chidester told us at her home, which is just feet from the boat club.

Chidester is charged with multiple charges including second-degree murder and operating under the influence causing death. She refutes the charges and claims the entire incident was one horrible medical episode gone wrong.

Read the story here.

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