4/14/23: A wave of overdoses
Friday, April 14, 2023
High 82°/Low 58° Sunny
A wave of drug overdoses has hit Kalamazoo over the past day and a half. Authorities are scrambling to find the source. Also: A man claiming to have a bomb was barricaded in WWMT’s lobby on Thursday. And a Michigan lawmaker says it’s high time the state flag got a redesign.
Police investigating wave of drug overdoses
Since Wednesday afternoon, more than a dozen people have suffered from non-fatal drug overdoses and another six people have died. The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said the overdoses may have been caused by fentanyl, though it may have been mixed in with other drugs. Medical Examiner Joyce deJong said the wave of overdoses is a significant increase from the usual number in Kalamazoo County. On average, the county sees about 1.5 drug overdoses each week. “We are working to rapidly identify the substances causing the deaths and are in close communication with health department officials and law enforcement to address this urgent issue and prevent any further loss of life,” she said.
Fentanyl is a particularly potent opioid that is often mixed in with other street drugs, usually without the user’s knowledge. Naloxone is a medication that can reverse opioid overdoses and is available for free from the COPE Network. The COPE Network can be reached by phone or text at (269) 568-3658 and (269) 568-3182. People struggling with drug addiction can also get help from Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health: (800) 781-0353.
A fundraising gala supporting
Friday, April 28, 2023 | 7-10PM
Girl Scouts Program & Training Center
It’s back! Eat Drink Give returns to bring hundreds of guests together to enjoy a memorable evening filled with food, drinks, music, and fun. This gala features tasty creations, an impressive selection of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages for sampling, an awesome venue, fabulous raffle and auction prizes, and best of all — people who want to make a difference!
The funds raised at Eat Drink Give will support Gryphon Place’s local programs and services, including 2-1-1, suicide prevention, youth services, Restorative Practices and more. We know the last few years have been difficult for everyone, so the joy of celebrating and supporting our community is needed now more than ever. We hope to see you there!
For tickets and more information: www.gryphon.org/edg
More News You Need To Know
Bomb threat at WWMT
A man went into the offices of WWMT News Channel 3 yesterday afternoon saying he had a bomb in his backpack. The 36-year-old initially claimed to have a news tip, but staff barricaded him in the lobby of the building after he tried to force his way through a door. Police responded quickly, blocking off a section of Maple Street in Kalamazoo and evacuating the building.
The man eventually surrendered to police after they brought him food. A spokesperson for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said the man is from Greenville and has a history of mental illness. In the end, nobody was hurt and police determined there was no bomb. [WWMT]
Governor signs gun control bills
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday signed two bills that aim to tighten firearm security in Michigan. One bill requires gun owners to safely store their guns at home when there are minors present. Another expands the use of background checks to include private sales of long guns such as rifles and shotguns. “Gun violence is a scourge that is unique to this country, and that is why we are taking action,” said Whitmer during the signing ceremony. “We don’t have to live like this.”
Stricter gun laws have been a priority of Democratic lawmakers since they took control of the legislature this year, but they were fast-tracked after the deadly shootings on Michigan State University’s campus in February. Critics point out that neither law would have prevented that shooting. Lawmakers are also working on passing rules that would allow police to seize firearms from people deemed to be at a “significant risk” of harming themselves or others. [Bridge Michigan]
Does Michigan need a new flag?
A state lawmaker says it’s time for Michigan to ditch its old flag. The problem, according to state Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids, is that Michiganders don’t identify with the emblem of their state. “Michigan is a unique and special state, and we need to have a flag that itself is unique and special so that we can rally behind it,” he said. Case in point, you almost never see anybody flying the state flag. Meanwhile, folks in states with well-designed and easily identifiable flags fly them all over the place. Think Texas or New Mexico.
Michigan’s flag is simply just its coat of arms on a blue background. The coat of arms features three animals, a man with a long gun, and nine Latin words. It’s complicated and difficult to discern from a distance. Several other states are in the process of updating their flag designs. That includes Utah, which is converting its flag from one that looks a bit like Michigan’s to one featuring the state emblem, the beehive. Skaggs plans to introduce a bill to change the flag at the end of the month. [Capital News Service]
Things To Do In Kalamazoo
Grand Rapids Comic-Con – Kalamazoo County Expo Center
12pm 4/14, 10am 4/15-16
Hip Hop with Speak It Forward – Kalamazoo Public Library, Alma Powell
Celebration of Community Poets – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
Sage Castleberry – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
Live Music with Don Field – Presidential Brewing Co.
Tales and Tails of Star Clusters – Kalamazoo Astronomical Society
Trivia Night – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
Vinyl Tap – Comstock VFW
Weekend to Remember Marriage Retreat – Radisson Plaza Hotel
The Play That Goes Wrong – WMU, Shaw Theatre
7:30pm 4/14-15; 2pm 4/16
What To Send Up When It Goes Down – Face Off Theatre Co.
7:30pm 4/14-15, 2pm 4/16
Open Mic – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Shut Up & Write! – Water Street Coffee Joint (Oakland)
Earth Day 5K & Kids’ Raccoon Run – Kalamazoo Nature Center
Walk About Talk About Autism – Celery Flats
Seed Swap – Jerico
Workshop: Roses in Concrete – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Black Women and Black Mommas Matter Brunch – 2022 Fulford Street, Kalamazoo
Fancy Nancy Tea Party – Comstock Township Library
11am & 1pm 4/15
Kalamazoo Foodways Outdoor Festival – Kalamazoo Valley’s Food Innovation Center
Sip & Sample Vicksburg – Main St Pub of Vicksburg
Workshop: Planting Words of Hope – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Workshop: The Wild and Wonderful World of Weeds – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Dave Eggers visits and welcomes The Eyes and the Impossible – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
FINALE- Kalamazoo Poetry Festival – Kalamazoo Poetry Festival
Jeff Young – The Distant Whistle Brewhouse
Lucid Vibe Show – Old Dog Tavern
Sprung from the UnderGround – Douglass Community Association
Brahms: A Requiem to Hope – Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Chelsea Handler: The Little Big Bitch Tour 2023 – Kalamazoo State Theatre
Brooklyn Charmers – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
Wiz Khalifa – Wings Event Center
Chaos – Papa Pete’s
Radar’s Red Arrow Acoustic Jam – VFW Post 1527 Red Arrow Post
Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Kalamazoo Silent Day Party: Trap x Sing x Twerk Edition – Dormouse Theatre
BILLPLAY x Bear Witness Meet & Greet – Crossroads Mall
University Symphonic Band and University Concert Band – Miller Auditorium
Choral Showcase – WMU, Dalton Center
Latin Jazz Jam – JungleBird
Chelsea Handler: The Little Big Bitch Tour 2023 – Kalamazoo State Theatre
See more upcoming events here.
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