Red Wings Draft Picks, Michigan’s Hands-free Driving Law & More Local News

Get up-to-date on the latest metro Detroit news including an interactive ‘Friends’ exhibit, the statewide ban of conversion therapy, and more.
Photograph courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings make 11 selections in 2023 draft

Picks from the draft, which was held June 28-29, include Edmonton native Nate Danielson, who leads the Brandon Wheat Kings in goals, assists, and points in 68 games; defenseman Axel Sandin Pellikka of Skelleftea Jr.; goalie Trey Augustine; and Noah Dower Nilsson, a left wing from Sweden, among others. Augustine is committed to play at Michigan State University for the 2023-2024 season. Trades included Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Honek, Jakub Vrana, and Oskar Sundqvist.

Michigan’s new hands-free driving law is now in effect

Under the new law, drivers are prohibited from holding the phone — while stopped or in motion — to do anything, including sending or receiving phone calls or text messages; viewing, recording, or sending video; and reading or posting to social media. Emergency and report calls are still allowed as are voice-activated commands. Fines for violations start at $100 and/or community service and grow with every violation.

Interactive ‘Friends’ TV show experience coming to Michigan

“The Friends Experience” features recreations of Monica and Rachel’s apartment, Joey and Chandler’s apartment, the fountain, and other set recreations. Plus, show props and memorabilia. The interactive exhibit was created in celebration of the show’s 25 anniversary and will be on display at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills, June 30- Sept. 24.

Michigan Senate approves ban on ‘conversion therapy’

The legislation, which would “prohibit mental health professionals from engaging youths in the scientifically discredited practice of trying to convert people who are LGBTQ+ to heterosexuality and traditional gender expectations,” passed the Senate 25-15. If Gov, Whitmer signs, as she’s expected to do, Michigan will become the 22nd state to ban the practice, which has long been considered dangerous by experts.

Michigan & Trumbull pizzeria to host Ferndale pop-ups

June 24 was the last day of business at the popular pizzeria’s Corktown location. They will move to a new location in the Elijah McCoy neighborhood in a few months. In the meantime, the eatery will offer 12-inch round pies during pop-up events inside of Ferndale’s Woodward Avenue Brewers July 13-16.

Hidden camera found in Ann Arbor spa

A Dearborn Heights couple made the discovery in their private hot tub room at Oasis Hot Tub Gardens. The small camera was located inside of a statue facing the hot tub. An investigation into how the camera got into the statue is ongoing.

Michigan to receive federal funding to expand internet to rural areas

The $1.5 billion will help bring broadband, high-speed internet to 210,000 homes in unserved and underserved rural communities, especially in the Upper Peninsula. As of last year, approximately 31.5 percent of households in the state don’t have access to high-speed internet. The funds will begin being dispersed next year.

Car insurance costs are about to increase in Michigan

Starting July 1, Michigan drivers with personal injury protection will pay $36 more to the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association than they did last year. Drivers on all other insurance plans will “owe $48 per vehicle after paying no deficit recoupment fee last year.” The increase aims to “address an estimated $3.7 billion deficit in the fund used to reimburse auto insurance companies after they cover more than $600,000 in medical costs for any given claim.”

Bedrock looking into developing vertical farming infrastructure in Detroit

Bedrock and the indoor farming company Vertical Harvest have teamed up on a proposal that would see the development of a 60,000-square-foot farming structure that stands 74 feet in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. If approved, the structure would produce an estimated 2.2 million pounds of produce year-round while using clean energy and less water than traditional farming.

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