Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As Detroit approaches the one-year anniversary of emerging from the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy, Michigan Radio is examining one of the lessons learned.

One of those teachable moments came in the case’s discussions about pensions. Like many municipalities, Detroit’s pensions were underfunded. If the city’s retirees had not agreed to cuts and had the so-called “Grand Bargain” not minimized those cuts, the city’s bankruptcy could still be in the courts. It was a unique deal which other cities facing a financial crisis are unlikely to repeat.

Here’s why:

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit police officers should get a pay bump starting in 2016.

City officials announced Monday that officers will get  a 4% raise January 1.

Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons

Planned Parenthood canceled a Detroit event scheduled Monday, just days after last week's shooting massacre at Colorado clinic.

The attack in Colorado Springs left three dead and several others injured.

flickr user Daviddje /

The Next Idea

There are many questions about how the public and private sectors can and should work together.

Gabe Klein has had some success on both sides of that equation. He helped ZipCar grow from a small startup to a company known across the nation, and he has had key executive roles in city government in Washington DC and Chicago.

His new book is Startup City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done & Having Fun.

Michigan State football
User: spartanjoe / Flickr

Michigan Radio’s sports commentator  John U. Bacon and Stateside Host Cynthia Canty break down last weekend's Big Ten Football action.

Ann Arbor and East Lansing were the scenes of some BIG butt-kickings over the weekend: Michigan State served up a 55-16 shellacking to the Nittany Lions—setting up the Spartans to face the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship in Indianapolis next weekend, and Ohio State came to the Big House and embarrassed Michigan, 42-13.

Plus, Bacon gives predictions on the Big Ten Championship and the college football playoffs. 

People who feel drawn to a comeback story are moving to Detroit bring their narrative and point of view to what the city is all about.

But sometimes these narratives and views of Detroit come from outsiders. 

Writer and critic Aaron Foley decided it was time to give the visitors and the newcomers a dose of Detroit realism.

His new book pretty much says it all: How To Live In Detroit Without Being a Jackass.

Portrait of Oscar Wilde, taken by Napoleon Sarony circa 1882
Miscellaneous Items in High Demand collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-07757

115 years ago today, a great literary voice was silenced.

Oscar Wilde died November 30, 1900. He was only 46 years old.

Since then, it has been widely held that Wilde succumbed to the ravages of end-stage syphilis.

But some determined modern physicians have done some medical detective work and have developed a much different theory about what killed the great writer: an ear infection.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, a state House committee will consider changes to the juvenile justice system in Michigan.

The House Criminal Justice committee is scheduled to discuss the 20-bill package starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Among other things, the package of bills would bar housing youth offenders with adult convicts and raise the age of mandatory adult sentences.   

Physicians say button batteries are a potential hazard for small kids.
user Ubcule / wikimedia commons

An annual report from the Public Interest Research Group on potentially hazardous toys highlights some big safety improvements—and new dangers.

PIRG’s annual survey examined hundreds of toys for a number of potential hazards.

None of the toys this year tested positive for lead, but three did test positive for another restricted metal—chromium.

Dr. Jaime Hope, an emergency medicine specialist at Beaumont Hospital, says regulations are making some toy makers more creative.

A cable barrier along a highway.
State of Wisconsin

Earlier this year, on January 9, a massive car pileup along I-94 involved close to 200 vehicles in eastern Kalamazoo County. One person was killed. Today, federal and state officials released a 94-page report that puts part of the blame for the crash on cable barriers along the highway.

The report says the barriers' location constrained traffic flow when the pileup occurred. That meant more cars were stuck in a narrower space.

You can see the cable barrier in this video of the pileup:

Paul Hitzelberger / UPW

Detroit’s water and sewerage department is about to do its last financing deal ever.

As of January 1, the DWSD will transfer operations of its treatment plants and infrastructure outside to the new, regional Great Lakes Water Authority, which emerged from Detroit's bankruptcy process.

At least, that’s the plan.

A majority of the current water and sewer bondholders still need to sign off on it.

You’ve probably heard of the word eavesdropping, but what about the word easedropping?

“Eavesdropping can be easy, which is why some folks now refer to the act of listening in on other peoples’ conversations as easedropping,” says University of English Michigan Professor Anne Curzan.

Is this an act of lexical wrongdoing? Or is it, perhaps, a stroke of creative genius?

As we head into the final month of 2015, campaigns in Michigan are already ramping up for Election 2016.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan non-profits are hoping for a little holiday cheer next week.

While it’s not as big as Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is gaining momentum.  

Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a way to promote donations to non-profits.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A report being released Monday is expected to blame the road, at least in part, for a massive chain reaction crash on Interstate 94 in January.      

One person was killed in the 197 vehicle crash along I-94 near Kalamazoo. The interstate was closed for days as burned and damaged vehicles had to be detangled and towed away. 

Brian Teutsch / flickr/creative commons

A "barn burner." 

That's how Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book, characterizes new car sales in 2015. 

Sales are expected to at least match the all-time record of 17.4 million set in 2000.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Leaders in Lansing are hoping a new cutting-edge scientific research facility at Michigan State University might lead to an economic boom.

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, or FRIB, will provide researchers a place to do cutting edge experiments in nuclear science. The building is already under construction on the MSU campus in East Lansing. 

Construction is not expected to be complete until 2022. 

The project is expected to cost $730 million.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Saginaw neighborhood group is finding a new use for the site of a former county fairground.

It’s been more than a decade since people sat in the decaying grandstand on the 54 acre Saginaw County fairgrounds. 


The Canadian government has announced it needs more time to decide if it will OK permits for a nuclear waste storage facility near the shore of Lake Huron. 

Ontario Power Generation wants to bury approximately 200,000 cubic meters of low to medium level nuclear waste 680 meters – just under a half mile – below ground. The utility insists the rock formation in the area, less than a mile from Lake Huron, is geologically stable.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Malls and big box stores are busy today with holiday shoppers.

A steady stream of customers filed into Totem books in Flint on Black Friday.  The bookstore was holding a ‘soft’ open on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.  

That may seem to be an unconventional idea. But that’s not the only unconventional thing you’ll noticed about Totem books. 

People with bench warrants for missed child support payments in Eaton County have an opportunity for a fresh start next week.

During a two-hour window on Tuesday, Eaton County Friend of the Court will resolve bench warrants for outstanding support payments.

Go Blue / The University of Michigan

Maybe do some lunges today, or jog around the block or something.

Just get the blood flowing a little, in between Thanksgiving's feasting and Saturday's football marathon of snacking and sitting and watching Michigan and Michigan State wrap up the regular season with  big, emotional, must-watch games. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are expected to take up a major overhaul of Michigan’s energy policy as they return from their November break.  

The House and Senate are debating bills to change the state’s 10 percent renewable energy requirement on electric utilities. The bills’ sponsors insist they are just trying to make Michigan’s energy generation market competitive and fair by removing preferential treatment for particular sources of energy.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting December 1st, applications for concealed pistol licenses will pass thru a different system in Michigan.

A new state law taking effect eliminates local gun boards and puts the review process entirely in the hands of the Michigan State Police.  The new law is also speeding up the review process, from 60 to 45 days.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two-thirds of Michigan retailers are expecting to see their sales increase this holiday season.

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.

He says on average retailers expect holiday sales will be up about 2% this year. 


New research finds a surprising number of drivers around the world are open to trying a self-driving car.

Nearly 60% of respondents said they would be willing to travel in a fully self-driving car, according to a survey conducted jointly  by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group.

The number was slightly lower in the U.S. at 52%.

University of Michigan Health System

Michigan veterans would be eligible for grants to help them earn a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math under a new bipartisan bill in the state House.

If the bill becomes law, eligible veterans could receive up to $5,000 a year toward a STEM degree at a public university or community college in Michigan.

Whatshername / creative commons

A new study commissioned by the Governors Highway Safety Association finds that people are significantly less likely to buckle up in the back seat. 

And that means people are dying in traffic accidents that they might otherwise survive.

Researcher James Hedlund says of the 883 unrestrained rear seat passenger fatalities in 2013, more than 400 would likely have survived had they buckled up.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Two of Detroit’s self-proclaimed “water warriors” are speaking up about their court case.

The activists are on trial for alleged disorderly conduct during a July 2014 protest, when nine people attempted to blockade trucks belonging to Homrich, the company that does water shutoffs in Detroit.

Those mass water shutoffs are central to their defense, according to attorney Julie Hurwitz.

Juan Flores

Anyone who’s ever been stuck on campus for Thanksgiving knows it’s kind of depressing.

“Just seeing everybody leaving with their luggage, and you’re left behind, you know it’s going to be a long weekend,” says Denise Cruz, a senior at Michigan State University.  “And it does make you feel a bit out of place. Like you have nowhere to go.”