eric holder en Detroit NAACP celebrates 100 years, talks future of civil rights at annual dinner <p>The Detroit branch of the NAACP held its annual &ldquo;Fight for Freedom fund&rdquo; dinner last night.<br /><br /> There was celebration of the branch&rsquo;s centennial anniversary this year. But there was also grave concern over continuing civil rights struggles.<br /><br /> The dinner is traditionally one of the Detroit NAACP&rsquo;s largest&mdash;and most lucrative&mdash;events.<br /><br /> This year, it drew thousands of people, including much of Michigan&rsquo;s political and business elite.<br /> Mon, 07 May 2012 04:11:45 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7361 at Federal task force examining violence and children wraps up in Detroit <p>A federal task force looking into the effects of violence on children held its final meeting in Detroit Tuesday.</p><p>It was the last of four task force meetings held as part of US Attorney General Eric Holder&rsquo;s <a href="">Defending Childhood Initiative.</a></p><p>The task force heard from experts who said exposure to violence during childhood has lifelong consequences. And many of those children end up in the criminal justice system themselves.</p><p>Robert Listenbee, Chief of the Juvenile Unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. He says there are proven ways to help kids who end up in the system.</p><p>&ldquo;We know that, in the juvenile justice system, diversion programs that take low-level offenders that are at low risk of re-offending out of the system early rather than mixing them with high-risk offenders&hellip;we know that those things work,&quot; Listenbee said. &quot;But we&rsquo;re not using them very well.&rdquo;</p><p>Listenbee says violence is a &ldquo;virus&rdquo; that should be treated like a public health problem.</p><p>But many experts and members of the public testified about how pervasive violence has become the social norm in many communities&mdash;both rural and urban. And it&rsquo;s leaving a generation of traumatized children in its wake.</p><p>That was the case for Lawnya Sherrod. She used to be a gang member in Detroit. Now she helps kids who want to transition out of that life.</p><p>&ldquo;This is what I see every day, all day,&quot; said Sherrod. &quot;I step out, I hear gunshots. It&rsquo;s common. Hearing gunshots is like hearing the school bell ring.&rdquo;</p><p>The task force will outline their findings and suggestions to combat the problem in a report later this year. Tue, 24 Apr 2012 22:05:06 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7183 at Federal task force examining violence and children wraps up in Detroit Feds target Medicare fraud in Detroit, nationwide <p>Two top Obama administration officials want people to know that cracking down on Medicare fraud is a &ldquo;Cabinet-level priority.&rdquo;</p><p>U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius talked about those efforts at a Wayne State University summit Tuesday. The two have been holding <a href="">&ldquo;Health Care Fraud Prevention Summits&rdquo;</a> across the country.</p><p>Sebelius says government agencies and law enforcement are now using new tools to root out that fraud.</p> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 20:01:42 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 1665 at Sebelius, Holder to speak in Detroit <p>U.S. Attorney General <a href="">Eric Holder</a> and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary <a href="">Kathleen Sebelius</a> will talk about health care fraud prevention at a regional summit at Wayne State University in Detroit this morning.</p><p>Law enforcement officials, consumer experts and health care providers are also expected to participate in the discussions, the Associated Press <a href="">reports</a>.</p><p>This is the fifth in a <a href="">series of summits</a> announced last June by President Obama. The AP <a href="">reports</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Waste and fraud cost the federal Medicare program and Medicaid, its state counterpart, an estimated $54 billion in 2009. Holder said at a December summit in Boston that the Obama administration&#39;s crackdown on health care fraud has recovered $4 billion in Massachusetts alone over two years. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 11:18:59 +0000 Zoe Clark 1653 at Sebelius, Holder to speak in Detroit