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Bryce Huffman

Home along 15 mile road in Fraser being torn down because of the sinkhole.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The first home condemned because of a sinkhole in Macomb County was torn down today.

 

Dozens of homes in Fraser were evacuated after the sinkhole formed on Christmas Eve. Most families returned to their homes within a week, but three houses couldn’t be saved. 

 

 

Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols is pleased with the progress of the construction along 15 Mile Road, despite the somber situation. 

 

 

Protestors in Detroit stand on Woodward Avenue with signs showing their disapproval of President Trump and the GOP's American Healthcare Act.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Protestors marched in downtown Detroit today for what was called a – seven years from the day the ACA was first signed into law.

 

 

Many of the protestors said they're afraid they and others will lose their health insurance coverage if Obamacare is repealed.

 

 

Henrietta Ivey, a home care physician in Detroit, spoke at the march on behalf one of her patients who is in rehab due to kidney issues. 

 

 

“If he didn’t have that Affordable Care Act, he would not be able to get the care and rehab that he’s having right now,”

Wayne County is trying to combat the trend of people skipping out on jury duty.
Bill Ledbetter / flickr

Lots of people haven’t been showing up for jury duty in Wayne County, but they could soon pay a price for skipping out.

 

Of the 62,388  jurors called to appear in court in 2016, 22,255, or about 35 percent, failed to appear, Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert Colombo said Tuesday.

 

Colombo said he will start issuing show-cause orders for absentee jurors to come to court, and explain why they couldn't serve. If they aren't excused or don't present a valid excuse, and still fail to serve, they could be fined $250 or jailed.

 

A neighborhood in Detroit
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Detroit has more renters than homeowners for the first time in 50 years, and according to a recent report, this could be a bad thing.

The Detroit Future City report from earlier this month notes that the high number of foreclosures and overall population loss contributed to this.

Anika Goss-Foster, the director of the DFC office, thinks the real issue is the high number of low-income renters.

“It creates all kinds of other multi-layered issues for families that prevents them from thriving and prevents neighborhoods from stabilizing in Detroit,” she said.

Mario Hernandez speaking before his appointment with the Board of Immigration Appeals in Detroit surrounded by his family and protestors who support his cause.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Mario Hernandez came to Detroit as an adult from Mexico without a visa in 1998.

Hernandez has since started a small business, raised three daughters, and given back to his community. But he may not be able to stay here if the U.S. The Board of Immigration Appeals is considering his appeal of a deportation order.

Estrella Hernandez, Mario's oldest daughter, says it wouldn't make any sense to deport her father.

Ben Carson speaks in Detroit to start his "national listening tour"
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Dr. Ben Carson came home today to speak at a school named after him. 

Although most Detroiters voted Democratic in the 2016 presidential election, the newly appointed secretary of Housing and Urban Development felt it was important to begin what he called a national listening tour in his hometown. 

"Growing up  here in Detroit, I think, was a tremendous advantage to me," Carson said to a crowd of students, parents, teachers and city officials. "Other people like to denigrate Detroit, but I think Detroit is great place, quite frankly." 

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

Macomb County officials approved $45 million in construction costs today to fix a massive sinkhole there.

 

The Macomb Interceptor Drainage District board approved a contract with a new construction firm to repair the collapsed sewer pipe in Fraser. 

 

The board also approved paying for the work that has been done in the area to date. 

 

The sinkhole, which was discovered on Christmas Eve and caused dozens of homes to be evacuated, has condemned three homes. 

 

The Shockey family sits on their couch waiting to start a card game.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

About 400,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were still without electricity Friday night – after high winds knocked out power to much of the state on Wednesday.


Downtown Detroit.
Ifmuth / Flickr

Michigan uses more tax incentive programs than the average state, according to a new study by the Upjohn Institute.

The report shows that Michigan gives more tax breaks to businesses than most neighboring states. Michigan's total incentives in 2015 were also higher than the national average.

Tim Bartik, Upjohn Institute senior economist and the study's main author, said business incentive programs can end up costing states a lot of tax revenue.

Anti-Israeli billboard by Deir Yassin Remembered
Henry Herskovitz

An anti-Semitic group that's been protesting at a synagogue in Ann Arbor was added to a national hate group list earlier this month.

The group "Dier Yassin Remembered" (sometimes referred to as “Witnesses for Peace”) has picketed outside the Beth Israel synagogue with anti-Israeli messages for over a decade now.

In recent years, the group has largely been promoting its message “America First, Not Israel,” which was posted on multiple billboards in southeast Michigan.

Coleman Young Jr. announces he's running for mayor in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan officially has a challenger in the city's mayoral race. And his name is familiar to many Detroit residents.

Coleman Young, Jr. officially announced he's running for mayor in the upcoming August primary.

The 34-year-old state senator is the son of former Detroit mayor Coleman A. Young. While sitting under a picture of his father, he said he's not running on his father's name.

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Oakland County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan's refugee community has some basic needs that aren't being met, according to several refugee services organizations.

Arab-American rights and service groups in metro Detroit want to find ways to better coordinate with one another to more adequately serve refugee and immigrant families.

Haifa Fakhouri, president of the Arab American and Chaldean Council, or ACC, wants these groups to fill in the holes when it comes to the services they provide.

Parents, students and community activists holding signs at a press conference in front of Osborn High School in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit parents and students want the state to hear from them before closing their schools.

Twenty-five public schools in Detroit could be shut down for having poor test scores.

The state School Reform Office, which released the list of schools that might close, has yet to meet with parents or students from these schools.

Terry Whitfield is with 482 Forward, a citywide network of community organizations, schools groups and church groups.

He says the state needs input from the people most affected by the possible school closings.

Protestors urge state lawmakers to not close 25 low-performing Detroit schools.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Parents and teachers of Detroit public schools students believe closing down schools won't improve education in their city.

The state released a list of 38 Michigan schools that could be shut down for low test scores. Twenty-five of them are in Detroit.

Robin Jennings, a Detroit public school teacher, said the state hasn't given the newly created school district enough time to improve.

“They promised that if they opened up this new school district, they would allow us time to get us on track, and they lied to us,” Jennings said. “They outright lied.”