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State of Opportunity

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Opinion
9:29 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Yes, there is room for black people in the new Detroit

Joe Louis Mural at Berts in Detroit Eastern Market Photo by Michigan Municipal League

Recently, Suzette Hackney of POLITICO wrote an article that asked the question, “Is There Room for Black People in the New Detroit?” Her account begins at the corner of Agnes and Parker at a local restaurant where she describes seeing “designer dogs” and “tattooed millennials."

From her piece: 

The whole scene was a far cry from when I lived in the adjoining apartment building in the early 2000s... but this is the new Detroit.

I live in the neighborhood she describes, and even though Craft Work could be considered a “hip” establishment, I'm a little sad the area she described was reduced to a gentrified stereotype.

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Environment & Science
6:08 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

No genetic evidence of Asian carp found in Kalamazoo River in latest round of tests

Two hundred water samples were taken Oct. 7 and 8, 2014, along the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County. This map details recent lab results that show no positive results for silver carp eDNA of 200 samples.
Credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The most recent round of environmental DNA sampling on the Kalamazoo River showed no evidence of genetic material from Asian carp, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Ed Golder, spokesperson for the department, says this is very good news, "but it doesn't mean that we're going to stop being vigilant about the concern that Asian carp generally, and silver carp and big head carp in particular, pose to the Great Lakes."

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Politics & Government
7:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Detroit budget department invites residents to comment at public meeting

The Detroit budget department is hosting a public meeting on Tuesday to hear from residents what they believe the city’s budget priorities should be.

Representatives from a number of city departments will be present at the hearing, including fire, police, health, public lighting and public works.

John Roach is a spokesman for City of Detroit. He says because of the bankruptcy, the budget this year is a bit different from a typical city budget.

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Families & Community
3:11 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

PHOTOS: Partial solar eclipse captivates viewers across North America

Image of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. The darkened spots on the sun are "sun spots," regions of cooler surface temperature.
Ron Moubry

Yesterday, a partial solar eclipse obscured the sun over Michigan and much of North America. The eclipse occurred at sunset, transforming our familiar setting sun into a fiery red.

For the curious, the eclipse was an opportunity to witness an astronomical event that will not happen again until August 2017.

The eclipse was captured in an amazing time-lapse video by the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles:

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Education
6:49 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Four Detroit colleges share $21 million NIH award

Research Lab
Credit Ou yang Youheng / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Institutes of Health has made a $21.2 million grant over five years to a group of four Detroit institutions of higher education. 

The University of Detroit Mercy, Marygrove College,  Wayne  County Community College, and Wayne State University make up the consortium.

The goal of the NIH award is to encourage minority and low income students into biomedical research careers.

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Business
5:01 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Labor advocacy group claims race inequality in Metro Detroit's restaurant industry

Fine Dining
Credit Lena Nicholson / Flickr Creative Commons

There is occupational segregation and inequality in Metro Detroit's restaurants, according to a report by Restaurant Opportunities Center United, a restaurant workers advocacy group.

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Environment & Science
10:25 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Could scrap rubber help Michigan build better roads?

Researchers are going to find out how well rubberized asphalt will resist potholes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group of researchers at Michigan Technological University is conducting tests to find out if traditional asphalt mixed with rubber from scrap tires could make better roads in Michigan.

The research, led by civil and environmental engineering department chair David Hand, has been granted $1.2 million from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Professor Zhanping You has been studying the technology of rubberized asphalt for eight years. He says rubber-added asphalt can make roads more durable and make life easier for drivers.

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Health
5:24 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Michigan ramps up Ebola preparedness efforts

Ebola Virus
Credit CDC Global

Michigan has activated its Community Health Emergency Communications Center to coordinate statewide preparedness against the threat of the Ebola virus. The goal is for Michigan to be able to respond rapidly and effectively if a patient who may have, or is at risk for, the Ebola virus were identified in Michigan.

Gov. Rick Snyder has designated Director of Michigan Department of Community Health Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis to lead the efforts.

"The public can be assured that the Department of Community Health is working with its partners across state government and in hospitals across the state to make certain we are maximizing protection for the population," said Davis.

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Education
2:50 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

University of Michigan endowment balloons to nearly $10 billion

University of Michigan's Burton Bell Tower
User Matthew Britt flickr.com

According to a University of Michigan press release, the university's "total net position" has increased by $1.6 billion to $13.1 billion, and its endowment has grown by $1.3 billion to $9.7 billion in the past budget year.  

The endowment figures were presented in an annual investment report to the Board of Regents on Thursday in Flint. The report showed an 18.8% investment return for the endowment in fiscal year 2014, up from 10.7 percent last year.

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Law
6:42 am
Fri October 17, 2014

It's the law: New drivers to learn how to share the road with bikes and motorcycles

Credit Steven Vance / Flickr

A new state law requires driver education classes to include lessons on traffic laws concerning bicycles and motorcycles.

State Rep. Terry Brown, D-Pigeon, the bill's sponsor, said the law aims to make drivers more aware of bikes and motorcycles.

"New drivers – all of us drivers – are behind the wheel of very powerful instruments that can wreak a lot of harm," he said. "And we think folks need to be much more vigilant."

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M I Curious
10:10 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

8 Mile Road is eight miles from where?

Road sign for 8 Mile Rd.
Credit Sean Loyless / Flickr

When Michael Imperiale moved to Michigan from Brooklyn, New York, he noticed the mile road system and wanted to know what it was all about. 

"I've asked people from time to time, occasionally, and no one seemed to know," Imperiale said. He's a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan. 

Asking his friends was a dead end, but that didn't stop Imperiale's curiosity. He took to M I Curious and asked a simple question: 8 Mile is 8 miles from where? 

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Transportation
7:26 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

New Michigan law bars tow trucks from harassing drivers

Credit User: Kelly Herrin / flickr

It’s the kind of service few of us look forward to having the need for – towing services.

And while many are reputable operators, some are known as "wreck chasers" – trolling for business from customers who are stranded in vehicles or at the scene of a car accident.

A new law in Michigan will prohibit tow truck operators from harassing drivers. Legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday will fine tow truck drivers who use aggressive or unethical practices to solicit motorists $1,000. 

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Politics & Government
5:22 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

National VIPs from both parties hit campaign trail for Michigan candidates

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is joining an ever-growing list of national leaders visiting Michigan to bring out the vote for their parties' candidates.

Clinton will campaign at a public event next Thursday for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Gary Peters and gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The Michigan Democratic Party said details will be announced soon.

Clinton's visit will follow First Lady  Michelle Obama's Detroit appearance tomorrow to campaign for Peters and Schauer.

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Arts & Culture
10:04 am
Tue October 7, 2014

PHOTOS: ArtPrize announces 20 finalists in public voting

Time-Based: "Peralux" by NewD Media
ArtPrize

After 11 days of public voting, 20 finalists out of 1,536 entries have been selected for the ArtPrize grand prize of $200,000.

So far, over 37,000 people have cast votes in four categories: two dimensional, three-dimensional, time-based and installation artwork.

According to Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director, this public involvement is important to giving ArtPrize its societal relevance. 

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Politics & Government
6:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Today is the last day to register to vote in November elections

Credit Lars Plougmann / Creative Commons

Today is the last day to register to vote in the Nov. 4th general elections.

To register, you can stop by your local Secretary of State’s office or your county, city or township clerk’s office. Applicants will be required to present a picture ID or sign an affidavit.

Carmella Sabaugh is the county clerk and Register of Deeds of Macomb County. She says the clerk’s office will remain open and accept registrations until midnight on Monday.

“We have got a lot of last-minute registrations that way. The important thing is people have to be registered before they can vote.” 

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Environment & Science
12:45 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

Many Michigan school children in chemical facility vulnerability zones

Schools (in blue) that are located within chemical facility vulnerability zones (in red).
Credit Center for Effective Government

They are supposed to be a safe places to learn, but a new report finds that hundreds of thousands of Michigan children attend schools inside what chemical companies call a vulnerability zone.

Sean Moulton, director of open government policy with the Center for Effective Government, says the level of risk associated with a particular chemical facility has to do with the quantity of chemicals being handled, how dangerous those chemicals are and the proximity of the facility to population centers.

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Families & Community
12:29 pm
Sat October 4, 2014

Think before you buy pink items

Every October, hundreds of products are sold bearing breast-cancer awareness ribbons.
Credit SDRandCo/morguefile.com

From bagels to bags, pizza boxes to pajamas, 'tis the season when pink-ribbon products pile up on store shelves across Michigan. But one group says if the goal is to one day eradicate breast cancer, it's important to Think Before You Pink.

Karuna Jaggar is executive director pf the watchdog organization Breast Cancer Action. She says while many purchases do benefit breast-cancer programs, marketers can put a pink ribbon on anything in the name of awareness, without actually donating any money to the cause.

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Environment & Science
6:29 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

1,000 smuggled turtles put in Detroit Zoo's care

A diamondback terrapin hatchling.
Credit C.A. Chicoine / TurtleZone News

The Detroit Zoo is caring for more than 1,000 turtles authorities say are tied to an international smuggling ring.

According to a news release Friday from the zoo, a number of the turtles were found stuffed into rubber snow boots and cereal boxes inside a Canadian man's luggage at Detroit Metropolitan Airport last week. The man was attempting to board a plane for Shanghai, China. 

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Offbeat
6:18 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Unleash your inner-zombie at Flint's Zombie Walk

Participants in the 2013 Flint Zombie Walk
Credit Flint Zombie Walk / Facebook

Tomorrow, Flint will be overrun with the undead participants of its annual Flint Zombie Walk.

The walk begins at 1:00 p.m., with zombie inspired makeovers and registration at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. respectively. 

In addition to the walk, the event will feature vendors, "horror celebrities" and other entertainment.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Little Free Library organization. 

For more information, visit the event website.

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Environment & Science
5:10 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Unraveling the mystery behind the Kirtland's warbler winter migration from Michigan

Where's the tracker? This Kirtland's warbler has a tracker attached to its back that is incredibly tiny, weighing just 0.65 g.
Dan Elbert USFWS

October is a time of falling leaves, eager trick-or-treaters, and the southward migration of the exceptionally rare Kirtland's warbler.

The Kirtland's warbler is found almost exclusively in the jack pine forest of northern Michigan. To counteract the devastating impact of habitat loss on the bird's population, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources initiated the Kirtland's Warbler Management Plan in 1981.

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