Lester Graham http://michiganradio.org en Detroit sells $1 million worth of vacant homes http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-sells-1-million-worth-vacant-homes <p></p><p>The city of Detroit says it’s sold $1 million dollars worth of vacant homes that will be fixed up and occupied. Nearly 70 auctioned properties have been sold.</p><p>These are purchase commitments from bidders, not cash in hand, but reaching the million-dollar mark gives Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the Detroit Land Bank some bragging rights.</p><p>Of the 16,000 properties the city owns, 2,000 are salvageable. At an open house of properties to be auctioned last month, Mayor Duggan said the city would start putting up two houses a day for auction.</p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:40:35 +0000 Lester Graham 18170 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit sells $1 million worth of vacant homes You won't believe how much less Detroit will spend on streetlights http://michiganradio.org/post/you-wont-believe-how-much-less-detroit-will-spend-streetlights <p></p><p>This week the Detroit Journalism Cooperative is looking at how the city of Detroit is functioning under bankruptcy. Until recently, almost half the streetlights of Detroit were dark. Thousands of new streetlights are replacing the old broken ones.</p><p>I caught up with one of several crews installing streetlights in neighborhoods around Detroit. James England is the foreman.</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18087 at http://michiganradio.org You won't believe how much less Detroit will spend on streetlights Detroit struggling to get enough buses on the road http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-struggling-get-enough-buses-road <p></p><p>This week the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> is looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. Mayor Mike Duggan suggested he’d get a lot done in six months. We’re nearly there and took a look at progress with mass transportation in Detroit.</p><p>One out of every three Detroit households doesn’t have a car. They rely on the bus system. But it’s broken.</p><p></p><p></p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18083 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit struggling to get enough buses on the road Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-duggans-blight-elimination-effort <p></p><p>This week Michigan Radio and the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> are looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy. One of the biggest problems facing Detroit is the huge number of abandoned houses, buildings, and vacant lots. Here's a look at what’s changed in the six months since <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/default.aspx">Mayor Mike Duggan</a> took office.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18082 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor Duggan's blight elimination effort Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan not like past mayors http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-mayor-mike-duggan-not-past-mayors <p>This week Michigan Radio and our media partners in the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a> are looking at how the city is functioning under bankruptcy and the leadership of <a href="http://www.detroitmi.gov/MayorsOffice/tabid/123/default.aspx">Mayor Mike Duggan</a>.</p><p>At the beginning of the year, Mayor Duggan said to watch what happens in six months. We’ll review the changes throughout this week, but we thought we’d start with a look at the mayor himself.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 18079 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan not like past mayors City bankruptcy doesn't mean Detroit business at a dead stop http://michiganradio.org/post/city-bankruptcy-doesnt-mean-detroit-business-dead-stop <p>The City of Detroit might be going through bankruptcy, but the commerce of Detroit is growing in some areas. A new business that will open this summer is the latest in a fast-growing trend.</p><p>Tucked away in the Eastern Market on Riopelle Street is a nondescript building. Go through the squeaky, jail-like door and you'll see one of Michigan’s newest whiskey, gin, and vodka distillers, the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DetroitCityDistillery">Detroit City Distillery</a>.</p><p>Right now, though, it’s mostly a dusty construction site. There are no whiskey barrels here- yet. They’re stored at a licensed facility. There’s no copper pot still- yet. It’s being manufactured in Germany right now.</p><p>But they do have a classic wooden bar. Michael Forsyth and his partners found it in a vacant storefront in downtown Detroit and bought it.</p><p> Mon, 19 May 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 17639 at http://michiganradio.org City bankruptcy doesn't mean Detroit business at a dead stop Detroit to increase auctions and demolition of houses http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-increase-auctions-and-demolition-houses <p>Workers removed some of the plywood covering up a house in the Osborn neighborhood on Sunday to allow potential buyers to check out one of the houses the city will put up for auction.</p><p>Saturday, people visited available houses in the Boston-Edison neighborhood.</p><p>Detroit owns 16,000 properties. Some of them are houses&nbsp;in good enough condition to sell.</p><p>Bidding starts at $1,000, but the buyers have to bring the property up to code and either live in it or rent it to someone.</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 00:30:39 +0000 Lester Graham 17647 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit to increase auctions and demolition of houses Detroit campaign aims to reduce rate of preterm births http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-campaign-aims-reduce-rate-preterm-births <p></p><p>Detroit officials are launching a new effort to reduce the rate of preterm births in the city. The rate of premature births in Detroit is 18%, among the highest in the world.</p><p>The city, Wayne State University and Detroit’s leading health systems are working together on the effort called Make Your Date.</p><p>Mayor Mike Duggan outlined how the program simplifies the way pregnant women can find prenatal care.</p> Fri, 16 May 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 17630 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit campaign aims to reduce rate of preterm births Poll: Snyder's approval ratings; myths about Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/poll-snyders-approval-ratings-myths-about-detroit <p>Impressions of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder are more negative than positive among voters, even when you factor out the heavily Democratic city of Detroit, according to a <a href="http://bridgemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Media-Frequency-Report.pdf">poll</a> released yesterday.</p><p></p><p>This poll was commissioned by Michigan Radio and its partners in the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a>.</p><p>The poll is unique because it does not include voters from the city of Detroit.</p><p>Among the data was a question asking how voters would rate the job Rick Snyder has done as Michigan’s governor. Since Snyder is a Republican and voters in Detroit are overwhelmingly Democratic, you might expect Snyder to do really well outside the city. But 52% of voters rated Gov. Snyder as having done a Wed, 14 May 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 17590 at http://michiganradio.org Poll: Snyder's approval ratings; myths about Detroit New poll: Save Detroit art and retirees' pensions http://michiganradio.org/post/new-poll-save-detroit-art-and-retirees-pensions <p></p><p></p><p>A new <a href="http://bridgemi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Media-Frequency-Report.pdf">poll</a> shows Michigan voters outside of Detroit approve using state money to support the so-called “Grand Bargain” to bolster City of Detroit retirees’ pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts' collection.</p><p>The poll was commissioned by Michigan Radio and its partners in the <a href="http://www.detroitjournalismcooperative.com/">Detroit Journalism Cooperative</a>.</p><p><em>(See DJC partner Bridge Magazine's coverage of the poll <a href="http://bridgemi.com/2014/05/state-should-send-help-to-detroit-michigan-voters-say/">here</a>.)</em></p><p>It found almost half of voters outside the city of Detroit support the state government contributing $350 million&nbsp;to help solve some of the sticky issues of the bankruptcy. Forty-nine&nbsp;percent favor the contribution, 34 percent oppose it. Tue, 13 May 2014 09:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 17567 at http://michiganradio.org New poll: Save Detroit art and retirees' pensions Getting treatment for asthma is difficult for children living in poverty http://michiganradio.org/post/getting-treatment-asthma-difficult-children-living-poverty <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">At the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, 11-year-old Brianna&nbsp;</span>Allgood<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">&nbsp;is being tested by a machine called a&nbsp;</span>spirometer<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">. It measures her breathing.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Brianna has asthma. Sometimes she has difficulty breathing. Most of us would have a hard time imagining what that’s like.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">“It feels like your chest starts tightening and you’re like and you can’t really breathe much air,” Brianna said.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Vickie Elliot is Brianna’s grandmother. She says she finds herself checking in on Brianna – a lot – just to make sure she’s breathing okay.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">“Having a child like that in the home is scary because anything could happen,” Elliot said.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Brianna is luckier than some kids with asthma. Her family can get her to the clinic. They now know how to treat the asthma.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">Elliott says it’s made a difference.</p><p> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:41:53 +0000 Lester Graham 17350 at http://michiganradio.org Getting treatment for asthma is difficult for children living in poverty Lead poisoning is still damaging Michigan kids http://michiganradio.org/post/lead-poisoning-still-damaging-michigan-kids <p></p><p>There‘s one kind of pollution that researchers believe robs kids of their future like no other.</p><p>Scientists have found evidence it diminishes their intelligence, causes behavioral problems, even increases the likelihood they’ll end up in prison.</p><p>This toxin’s damage is known.</p><p>We even know how to protect children from being exposed to it.</p><p>Yet tens of thousands of Michigan children are poisoned by lead every day.</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:34:36 +0000 Lester Graham 17337 at http://michiganradio.org Lead poisoning is still damaging Michigan kids Detroit's emergency manager on bankruptcy developments http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-emergency-manager-bankruptcy-developments <p></p><p>On the one-year anniversary of his appointment, Detroit’s emergency manager spoke about the latest developments in the city's bankruptcy in a speech at the University of Michigan.</p><p>One thing in the works is getting a $120 million loan from Barclays of London. A state board approved the loan today. The Detroit City Council also approved the deal, despite concerns that the money might be used to pay big-money bankruptcy consultants. But, emergency manager Kevyn Orr says, ‘not so.’</p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 00:55:45 +0000 Lester Graham 16975 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's emergency manager on bankruptcy developments Being broke makes Detroit get creative http://michiganradio.org/post/being-broke-makes-detroit-get-creative <p></p><p>Detroit's municipal bankruptcy has made the world aware of what Michigan already knew. Detroit is broke. No matter how it turns out, bankruptcy is not going to change things very quickly. Detroit will still be broke. That’s going to force the city to get creative.</p><p>Let’s get one thing out of the way: the state of Michigan is not going to bail out Detroit.</p><p>And the state of Michigan is not going fully restore revenue sharing from the sales tax with cities such as Detroit.</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16754 at http://michiganradio.org Being broke makes Detroit get creative Detroit police chief plans 'boot camp' for troubled kids http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-police-chief-plans-boot-camp-troubled-kids <p>Detroit’s new police chief wants to launch a boot camp-style program for middle-school kids in troubled neighborhoods.</p><p>Police Chief James Craig says he’s run a program like this in other cities with success. The idea is to get to kids early enough before they get pulled into gangs or crime.</p><p>“Typical military style boot camp, but while we’re boot-camping the kids we had social service workers in dealing with the parents,” Craig said.</p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:24:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16694 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit police chief plans 'boot camp' for troubled kids SLIDESHOW: A day at Detroit's Eastern Market http://michiganradio.org/post/slideshow-day-detroits-eastern-market <p>For many families, Saturdays are about visiting Eastern Market in Detroit.</p><p>A public-private partnership took over the operation of the market from the City of Detroit in 2006.&nbsp; Since then, buildings have been renovated and Eastern Market's popularity has grown.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">I visited the market this past weekend and took a few photos. You can click through them above.</span></p><p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 16:59:35 +0000 Lester Graham 16679 at http://michiganradio.org SLIDESHOW: A day at Detroit's Eastern Market 2,500 apply for city of Detroit jobs http://michiganradio.org/post/2500-apply-city-detroit-jobs <p>About 2,500 people showed up to apply for new city of Detroit jobs during a two-day job fair at Cobo Hall on Friday and Saturday.</p><p>On average, more than seven people applied for each job available.</p><p>Michael Hall is Detroit’s Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations.</p><p>“You know, we had 350 jobs that we listed. Anything from a GED to a CPA we’re looking for. So, we’ve had great candidates come through and some of those people will be called back for future interviews,” Hall said.</p> Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:32:44 +0000 Lester Graham 16675 at http://michiganradio.org 2,500 apply for city of Detroit jobs A message from the Detroit Policy Conference: Entire state has a stake in Detroit's future http://michiganradio.org/post/message-detroit-policy-conference-entire-state-has-stake-detroits-future <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">On Thursday, the Detroit Regional Chamber held a one-day policy conference focused on Detroit after bankruptcy. The theme seemed to be optimism tempered by realism.</span></p><p>With Detroit’s bankruptcy on an apparent fast-track, a new mayor and city council, and progress in several key areas, there was an air of optimism.</p><p>But the Detroit Chamber’s policy conference looked also looked at obstacles.</p><p>Thomas Sugrue is a Detroit native and professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a keynote speaker.</p> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 16:37:53 +0000 Lester Graham 16657 at http://michiganradio.org A message from the Detroit Policy Conference: Entire state has a stake in Detroit's future If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/if-arizonas-bill-discriminate-surprises-you-you-wont-believe-whats-legal-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">If the pollsters are right, here’s something you probably don’t know:</span></p><p><em>It’s perfectly legal to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. </em></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A Gallup poll reported nearly nine out of ten people think </span>LGBT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> people are already protected.</span></p><p>They are not.</p><p>Actually, Arizona and Michigan are not that different right now.</p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 20:05:19 +0000 Lester Graham 16623 at http://michiganradio.org If Arizona's bill to discriminate surprises you, you won't believe what's legal in Michigan Detroit's infrastructure crumbling while city has trouble collecting cash http://michiganradio.org/post/detroits-infrastructure-crumbling-while-city-has-trouble-collecting-cash <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The plan to guide Detroit out of bankruptcy includes up to $150 million a year for ten years to repair neglected infrastructure. &nbsp;The city could go a long way in paying for that if it can find a way to collect money already owed to it.</span></p><p>The Compuware World Headquarters building at Campus Martius is a gleaming example of a downtown revival.</p><p>But last week, just down the block, the façade of revival was peeled back for a moment. An old water pipe broke.</p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 16535 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit's infrastructure crumbling while city has trouble collecting cash