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Bryce Huffman

The Detroit neighborhood of Delray
wikimedia user Notorious4life / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The city of Detroit will get $48 million in a deal with the state related to construction of a new bridge to Canada.

The city is selling state land in the Delray neighborhood, where the Gordie Howe International Bridge will be built.

Mayor Mike Duggan wants the money to go to a neighborhood improvement fund, job training for city residents, and air and health monitoring in southwest Detroit.

A home being demolished in Detroit.
City of Detroit / via Facebook

The Detroit Land Bank Authority will pay the state $5 million to settle complaints over how its demolition program handled invoices.

But Mayor Mike Duggan says the city will also get $5 million from the state in new demolition money.

“This gives us enough funding to go full speed ahead with the demolitions for the next year and a half,” Duggan said.

The city also reimbursed the state roughly $1.3 million for its investigation costs.

Duggan is satisfied with the deal.

Protestors holding signs on Lafayette street in Detroit in solidarity with the Chaldean immigrants who are facing possible deportation back to Iraq.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

The Detroit Pistons are one step closer to playing downtown again.

Despite backlash from some residents, Detroit city council has approved $34.5 million in bonds so the Pistons can move into the Little Caesars Arena downtown.

Some Detroiters are unhappy with the deal because the bonds are taxpayer funded with money originally intended for schools and parks. 

Council President Brenda Jones was one of two members to vote no on the bonds.

An artists' vision of Little Caesars Arena.
Olympia Entertainment

A federal judge has knocked down an initial effort to stop the Detroit Pistons from moving to a new downtown arena unless there’s a public vote on financing the project.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith heard arguments in a federal lawsuit, filed by activists Robert Davis and D. Etta Wilcoxon. It alleges team owners and city officials didn't seek public approval before using public funds for the project, in violation of state law.

Money
Andy / Flickr

President Trump’s proposed budget could mean trouble for southeast Michigan.

That’s the opinion of Congressman Sander Levin and more than 20 organizations in the area.

The congressman met with representatives from different organizations at risk of losing federal funding if the president’s budget is approved.

Levin says the proposed budget has very few positives, if any, for Michigan residents.

“I don’t want people to go hungry because of these cuts, I don’t want them to be in the cold without assistance for heat,” Levin said.

Protestors holding signs in solidarity with the Chaldean immigrants who are facing possible deportation
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Friends and family members of the Iraqi-Americans who are facing possible deportation gathered in Detroit to protest. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing Motor City Re-Store plan on Detroit's westside
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Much of the new development in Detroit has not happened in the city’s neighborhoods.

But now Mayor Mike Duggan wants to invest in small businesses throughout the city.

Duggan announced the Motor City Re-store plan that will help improve the aesthetics of different commercial corridors in the city.

Duggan says small businesses can apply for up to $500,000 in matching grants each quarter.

“And what we want is the businesses who have been here to come forward with their ideas for improving their neighborhoods and we’ll match it,” Duggan said.

Demolition
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Detroit demolition scandal heats up after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena earlier this week.

The Detroit Land Bank Authority was tasked with handling vacant property demolitions after Mayor Mike Duggan took office in 2014.

Duggan says nobody from his office was questioned or subpoenaed.

“We have made sure that everybody at the Land Bank and Building Authority have given them all documents, and access to all people as quickly as possible,” he said.

Duggan says he and his office will continue to cooperate with federal investigators.

Kym Worthy (file photo).
waynecounty.com

Community leaders in Detroit this week are calling on Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to change the way her office prosecutes cases. They she has been too harsh on juvenile offenders and has allowed exonerated prisoners to stay behind bars.

Shri Thanedar holding his grandson before making the announcement that he is running for Governor.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Indian-born small businessman Shri Thanedar announced he is joining the race for governor of Michigan today in Detroit.

Thanedar is seeking the democratic nomination. He's never held public office, but says he and his family will serve the state that helped him achieve success.

“We have done well for our family, but it is time now to try and help others in my state achieve their American dream. Within months, I sold my business, gave my staff a $1.5 million bonus, and decided to devote the rest of my life to public service,” Thanedar said.

Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s immigrant population is growing, and a recent study says that's good for the economy.

The New Americans in Detroit report was released today. It found that between 2010 and 2014, more than 4,100 foreign-born individuals moved to the city of Detroit.

The report also says in 2014, immigrants contributed more than $53 million in state and local taxes. Immigrants in Detroit also contributed more than $67 million to Social Security, and $17 million to Medicare.

Security camera
MorgueFile

A proposed city ordinance looks to increase safety for Detroit businesses that serve customers after 10 p.m.

City Councilman Andre Spivey wants to require those businesses to join Project Green Light. That is an initiative that allows police officers to monitor video camera feeds in real time.

Project Green Light is currently just a voluntary program.

“It won’t end all crime, but just a tool that [Detroit Police Department] could use to help fight crime and to apprehend individuals who may perform a crime,” he said.

Gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A former Detroit-area lawyer pleaded guilty in front of a federal judge today for his involvement in a Macomb County corruption case.

Angelo Selva of Macomb Township pleaded guilty to obtaining and concealing bribes for former Clinton Township Trustee Dean Reynolds. Selva was once a Detroit-area lawyer, but says he hasn’t practiced law since 2004.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta walking through the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Creating jobs in Michigan means filling positions that are currently vacant.

That’s according to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, who met with employees at the Milton Manufacturing plant in Detroit and the Ford Truck Plant in Dearborn to speak about apprenticeships and skilled trades training.

He says education is an important part of filling skilled trade job vacancies.

“We need to educate folks to fill the jobs that are empty. It’s call demand-driven education, and we really need to work on that as a country,”

Money
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit could soon be independent of financial oversight.

According to its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Detroit ended the 2016 fiscal year with its second consecutive balanced budget, and a $62.9 million surplus.

John Hill, the city’s chief financial officer, says that if the city can end the 2017 fiscal year with another balanced budget, it will be more in control of its financial future.

Rainbow flag, often associated with the LGBT movement
User Marlith / Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The largest national survey on transgender people in America shows a need for policy change in Michigan. That’s what a few transgender rights groups say.

Nearly 900 people in Michigan responded to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey and 22% said they faced mistreatment in the workplace due to their gender identity or expression, while 17% said they had been fired before due to being transgender. 

Over a third of the respondents have been homeless at some point in their life, while only 14% of the country's population was homeless at the time of the survey. 

People getting on the MoGo bikes before a community ride out in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people took part in a community “ride out” celebrating the launch of a new bike-sharing program in Detroit today.

MoGo Detroit Bike Share has 430 bikes in 43 locations in 10 neighborhoods throughout the city. Most of the stations are near downtown and midtown. 

Construction near the site of the sinkhole on the Fraser-Clinton Township border in Macomb County.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Macomb County will have to spend an extra $5 to $10 million to fix a major sinkhole on 15 Mile Road in Fraser. County officials say a lawsuit is to blame.

Sterling Heights is suing the county to avoid paying an estimated $22 million to help repair the sinkhole, claiming it was the county’s fault it occurred. It is one of ten cities in the sinkhole’s drainage district.

Protestors outside of the federal courthouse in Detroit in suport of Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo and his family.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge in Detroit did not give a ruling on the pending removal of Sanchez-Ronquillo today. By law, that means he cannot yet be deported.

Hundreds of people protested outside the federal courthouse today, hoping to keep Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo from being deported.

Two busloads of Ann Arbor Pioneer High School students came to Detroit to support Sanchez-Ronquillo, his wife and two sons.

Krystie Linton is a teacher at Pioneer, where one of Jose’s sons is currently a student.

She says the students have been taught to fight for the common good.

The Lee Plaza aprtment building in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials want to convert nearly 400 vacant public housing units to either low-income housing or development opportunities.

 

The $1.7 million deal would sell properties that are currently owned by the Detroit Housing Commission to the Detroit Building Authority and Detroit Land Bank Authority.

 

This deal includes the Lee Plaza and Woodland Apartments and over 125 single-family homes.

 

Arthur Jemison, director of the city’s Housing and Revitalization Department, says many of these properties are a drain on their neighborhoods.

 

Q-Line streetcar on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s first street car in over 60 years is officially open to the public.

The QLINE will run for 3.3 miles, or 6.6 miles both ways, along Woodward Avenue connecting Detroit’s downtown and midtown.

Matt Cullen, the CEO of M-1 Rail, which owns and operates the QLINE, knows that several Detroiters don’t think the QLINE goes far enough to help residents outside of the downtown area.

“We agree with that and we understand that perspective but we remain confident that this can be the first step in a broad regional transit system,” Cullen said.

Judge's gavel
Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A Michigan doctor at the center of a female genital mutilation case could lose parental rights of her children.

Doctor Jumana Nagarwala and two other defendants allegedly took part in female genital cutting procedures on two 7-year-old girls from Minnesota earlier this year and some young girls from Michigan between 2005 and the present.

Construction near the site of the sinkhole on the Fraser-Clinton Township border in Macomb County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Macomb County wants to prevent another sinkhole from opening along 15 Mile Road in Fraser. That’s why it will spend more than $6 million to reline the interceptor drain underneath it.

The Macomb Interceptor Drainage District Board voted to make improvements to the drain while the sewer bypass is still being used for the construction project to fix the sinkhole that was discovered last Christmas Eve.

Surgery tools
Stanford EdTech / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two people charged with female genital mutilation were denied bail by a federal judge in Detroit today.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar both face up to 20 years in prison for allegedly conspiring with Dr. Jumana Nagarwala to commit female genital cutting on minors.

A sign protesting the House bill that seeks to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Protestors gathered outside U.S. Rep. David Trott's (R-11th district) office in southeast Michigan today.

The group has a simple demand: that Trott  vote against a Republican bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Although Trott was not at his office during the protest, a spokesman allowed protestors to air their grievances, two at a time.  

The American Healthcare Act has a provision that lowers protections for people with preexisting conditions.

Detroit police chief James Craig giving an update about the condition of an officer who was shot last night
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A Detroit police officer remains in critical condition after being shot in the forehead last night. 

The officer was responding to a domestic violence call on the city's west side when the suspect began opening fire. The suspect is believed to be unrelated to that call. 

The officer's name was not given, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig gave remarks today at the hospital where the officer is being treated.

"It’s just a sobering reminder of the danger our officers face each and every day," Craig said. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two Detroit-area doctors and a third person were indicted by a grand jury today.

Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and his wife Farida Attar are being charged with aiding and abetting in Doctor Jumana Nagarwala’s alleged female genital cutting on two seven-year-old girls from Minnesota.

Female genital mutilation – or FGM – on minors is illegal in the U.S. unless there is a medical need for the procedure.

Mary Chartier, Doctor Attar’s attorney, says her client maintains that he’s innocent.

Protestors in support of Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian American social activist and alleged terrorist, lined up outside of the federal courthouse on Lafayette street in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge accepted a plea deal from an alleged Palestinian American terrorist and activist today in Detroit.

Rasmea Odeh was initially charged with providing false information to the government when she emigrated to the U.S. over 20 years ago.

The charge was later changed to terrorism for two bombings she was allegedly involved in over 50 years ago.

Because of the plea deal, Odeh will lose her U.S. citizenship.

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