A mural in the Hope District of Detroit.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Turn on the TV news in metro Detroit, and you're bound to catch the latest story about a shooting, a stabbing, or some other tragic story about another lost life in the city.

Violent crime is something every major urban center struggles with, and Detroit is no exception.

Inside Jackson Prison.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The prison reform movement in Michigan – and across much of the nation – is one of the rare issues in this contentious era that attracts support from individuals, public officials and organizations with a wide variety of agendas and political views.

The Baltia 747 at Willow Run Airport in 2014.
user Friscocali / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

It’s not the kind of aircraft you typically associate with Willow Run Airport.

Instead of the two seater plane or small charter jets, a Boeing 747 was parked there until last year.

It belonged to Baltia Airlines – the world’s oldest start-up airline – and it’s never taken a single passenger anywhere. The company once labeled itself as "America's newest airline."

U.S. Attorney

A Detroit immigration attorney accused of bribing a federal special agent is also being accused of defrauding former clients.

Attorney Brad Thomson represents some of Charles Busse's former clients. He says Busse made promises he couldn't keep, filed unnecessary documents, and that some people were deported to their home countries because of his mistakes.

Thomson says given the federal charges facing Busse, there may not be much money left over for his clients, and it may be difficult or impossible to reopen some deported immigrants' cases.

The riverfront in Traverse City
Public Domain


The National Writers Series of Traverse City hits a big milestone this week. It will host its 100th author event.

Quite a mark to hit for something that began in June of 2009.

Doug Stanton and Anne Stanton are co-founders of the National Writers Series. They joined us to talk about how the National Writers Series came to be, and take a look back at some of the writers they’ve drawn to Traverse City.

“Here we have business leaders and politicians … who are staking the future on being the next hub of mobility, the national if not international hub of mobility, yet we’ve got public schools whose educational attainment continues to decline," Howes said.
flickr user Gage Skidmore /


We’re 12 days out from Election Day.

Throughout the long months of campaign speeches, Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes believes both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have missed the mark in addressing an issue that is key to Michigan’s future.

In his column today, he wrote that the candidates and their surrogates are putting out a message that better fits the Carter era than the era of Apple and autonomous vehicles.

Holman told us some of the top jobs in Michigan are for CNC operators and welders, but employers are having a hard time filling those positions.
flickr user David Urbonas /

The Next Idea

The message we’ve been hearing in Michigan is pretty consistent: employers are having a hard time filling jobs that pay well – jobs that rely on skills in science, math, technology, arts and engineering.

Chris Holman is leading a push to make mid-Michigan’s capital region a national leader in STEAM education and fields.

Holman is CEO of the Michigan Business Network and the Chair of T3: Teach. Talent. Thrive.

T3 released a report last week regarding the “State of STEAM” in mid-Michigan right now.

Flint river
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents who filed a class-action lawsuit related to the water crisis got good news and bad news this week.

A Court of Claims judge in Grand Rapids dismissed portions of the lawsuit related to the Flint water crisis The lawsuit alleges state and local officials, including Governor Rick Snyder, violated the constitution and denied them life, liberty, and property without due process.

Mike Jackson feels that Proposal A could make Detroit less attractive to developers.
flickr user Ken Lund /


Detroiters will find two community benefits proposals on the ballot this Election Day.

A CBO would require developers who get public support for their projects, like tax breaks, to provide certain benefits to the community.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company made $1 billion during the third quarter, down $1.2 billion from its record third quarter earnings last year.

The automaker says the lower profit was driven primarily by three things:

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims there will be “large-scale voter fraud” this election. But election officials say they’re confident that will not be the case in Michigan. 

“We want to assure everyone, regardless of their political ideology or their partisan affiliation that their voice will be heard on election day and their voice will be counted,” said Fred Woodhams, a spokesman for Michigan’s Secretary of State.

Woodhams says this isn’t the first election he’s fielded these concerns, and guesses it won’t be the last.

user Noel Zia Lee / Flickr -

Ever had a fast-food venison sandwich before? If not, you might have a chance at Arby's.

Arby's recently announced its "Fast Crafted sandwich" brand will release the venison sandwich in early November given the popularity of hunting season, according to the press release

Grosse Pointe Farms Municipal Court

Black and white residents of southeast Michigan differ in their perceptions of how people of color are treated in local courts, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

About half – 49%– of African-Americans surveyed said blacks were treated worse in the courtrooms, but just 16% of whites agreed. Nearly two-thirds – 64% – of whites said they think blacks are treated the same as whites, but only 40% of African Americans agreed that treatment is similar.

Volunteers learn the ropes of poll watching during a meeting this week in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Training is underway this week in Michigan for people planning to be poll watchers during next month’s election.

Complaints of rigged voting and voter intimidation have spurred people to volunteer as poll watchers.

Let’s say you were a candidate for the Michigan Legislature, and you got to run against a guy who has been convicted of eight felonies and is now being charged with three more.

Your opponent, the incumbent, has also been evicted from his home in the past for non-payment of rent.

Additionally, the state has had to pay more than $85,000 in legal fees to attempt to defend your opponent from a sexual harassment charge from a man who worked for him.

You might think the challenger would win by a landslide.

But in fact, William Broman is a huge underdog.

Courtesy Gaby Gerster, Diogenes Zuric

"Mystic River," "Shutter Island," and coming in December, “Live By Night” are just some of the major Hollywood films based on stories by Dennis Lehane.

After building a career as one of America’s most popular and most respected crime novelists, Lehane began writing widely acclaimed historical fiction. But he’s also built a parallel career in the worlds of television and film, including time as a writer for HBO’s “The Wire” and writing the screenplay for one of James Gandolfini’s final films, “The Drop.”

A polling place.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is appealing a court order that blocks the state’s ban on Election Day “selfies” with ballots in polling places. A federal judge ruled earlier this week the “ballot selfies” ban violates First Amendment free speech rights.

The state says it’s late in the game to be changing the rules. The election is now less than two weeks away.

Veterans Day in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday that requires the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, its successor agency, or the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to send reports to the governor and Legislature four times a year. The reports must examine issues like timeliness of medication distribution, how patient’s money is accounted for, and staffing levels.

Representative Holly Hughes, R-White River Twp., was a sponsor of the bill. She said the reporting is necessary given the constant turnover in state government.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s elected leaders once again have the ability to file a lawsuit against the state for its handling of the city’s water crisis.

Today, the city’s state-appointed oversight board reversed a policy that effectively blocked the city from filing lawsuits.  

Back in March, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver filed a notice with the court, saying the city was potentially looking at suing the state of Michigan for decisions and mistakes made by state employees that led to Flint’s drinking water crisis.

ACLU Michigan

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against a Flint-area Catholic hospital with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

The complaint says Ascension Health and its subsidiary, Genesys Health System, would not allow doctors to perform a medically necessary tubal ligation on a pregnant woman with a brain tumor.

Scio Residents for Safe Water

After waiting three years for the state to issue a stricter cleanup standard for the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane, Ann Arbor Township and Scio Township are done.

The two townships, along with the Sierra Club of Huron Valley, will jointly file a petition next month requesting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a preliminary assessment for a plume of contaminated groundwater to become a federal Superfund site.

user miguelb / Flickr -

The economy. It’s an election issue, a global issue, and, for most Americans, a personal issue.

Gaging how well the economy is doing can be very difficult for economists. Measuring economic success on the national level relies on the stock market, unemployment numbers, and wage growth.

But these measurements don’t always represent how Americans feel about the economy on a personal level.

To find out how people are feeling on a personal level, Marketplace and Edison Research have teamed up to develop the “Economic Anxiety Index.” 

Frank Szymanski likes to startle audiences by asking, “Have you ever seen a naked trial judge?” after which he takes off his suit coat and flings it on a chair.

“Don’t worry, I’m going to stop there,” he tells them.

“But if you don’t educate yourselves before you go into that voting booth, if you don’t know who I and Judge Deborah Thomas are, we might as well be naked. You need to know that we are both circuit court judges, we care about kids, that we care about justice for everyone, and that we were nominated by the Democratic Party for the Michigan Supreme Court.”

Clifford Freitas
via LinkedIn

An FBI probe into Macomb County municipal corruption has netted another local elected official, and forced a major garbage company founder to resign.

Macomb Township trustee Clifford Freitas is the second local government official charged with bribery this month.

Frietas allegedly demanded more than $40,000 in bribes to help a waste hauler, Rizzo Environmental Services, get a favorable contract.

That happened despite the fact that Freitas worked for Rizzo, and was supposed to remove himself from any government business involving the company.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s congressional Democrats sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice today asking for a review of a legal provision. The provision seemed to prevent the city of Flint from suing the state of Michigan without the state’s approval.

But it appears the state is prepared to strike that provision anyway. If it does, that could allow Flint to sue the state over the water crisis.

eltpics / Flickr -


While their friends may have been moving back to dorms or apartments to start the new school year, a group of occupational therapy students from Western Michigan University moved their things into their new rooms at the Clark Retirement Community on Keller Lake.

It’s one of the first research projects of its kind in this country: three college students living side by side with senior citizens.

Waterford Township Board of Trustees

Waterford Township residents won't see any Syrian refugees moving in next door. At least that's what city leaders are saying.

In a unanimous vote (7-0), the Waterford Township board of trustees passed a resolution to opt out of the federal refugee resettlement program. Thirteen of the 29 Waterford residents who spoke at the meeting opposed the board's decision. 

Gary Wall is the board of trustees’ supervisor. He says the decision has to do with the safety of the residents, not bias against Syrians.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

There were fewer reported cases of student sexual misconduct at the University of Michigan last year. 

In the 2015-16 fiscal year, there were 157 reports of student sexual misconduct -- a drop from 172 reports in the previous year. 

“Pedal to Porch is a neighborhood bike ride that includes stops along the route where residents of the neighborhood use their front porch as a stage to tell their story,” Cornetta Lane told us.
Courtesy of Pedal to Porch


The Knight Cities Challenge is an opportunity for 26 Knight Foundation Communities across the nation, including Detroit, to answer the question:

What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?

At stake is a share of $5 million in grants.

“It’s really simple. Proposal A says if we have to pay, we should have a say,” Ross told us.
flickr user justgrimes /


How much voice should people have about a development proposed for their neighborhood?

When a developer gets tax breaks or public funding, should the people living around that project get something?

Those questions are at the heart of a pair of a proposals in Detroit.The two competing community benefit ordinances, or CBOs, are on the November ballot.