In this morning's news...

Dec 12, 2011

Detroit Bus System Cuts

Beginning today, tens of thousands of people who use metro Detroit’s suburban bus system will see their options dramatically limited, Sarah Hulett reports. “The cash-strapped SMART system is cutting 15 routes on weekdays, and it’s terminating some routes at Detroit’s city limits. Megan Owens of the advocacy group Transportation Riders United says the downriver area will be hit the hardest – losing several major routes. Declining tax revenues due to drops in property values, fewer federal dollars, and the SMART system’s inability to win concessions from its unions are blamed for the cuts,” Hulett reports.

Budgeting Flint Education

The Flint School District will deliver its deficit elimination plan to the state today, Steve Carmody reports. But a long-time critic doubts the district’s administration will be able to make the plan work. Carmody explains:

State law requires local units of government that finish their fiscal year with a deficit to send a ‘deficit elimination plan’ to the Treasury Department. Friday night, a divided Flint School Board approved their district’s plan. The plan includes closing and consolidating schools, though which schools would be closed is somewhat unclear. David Davenport is a school board member who voted against the deficit elimination plan.  He says he would rather see the governor appoint an emergency manager to run the district. Flint schools superintendent Linda Thompson is confident the district can follow its own plan and eliminate its budget deficit, while improving educational opportunities. 

Lowe’s Pulls Ad from Muslim TV Show

Lowe’s says it’s pulling television advertisements from “All American Muslim,” a new reality television show based in Dearborn, Michigan. The news comes after a conservative evangelical Christian group protested the show, the Associated Press reports. “’All-American Muslim’ premiered last month on TLC and features five families from Dearborn, a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population. The Florida Family Association mounted a campaign against the show and claims victory after Lowe's announcement. In California, Democratic state Rep. Ted Lieu of Torrance says he's considering a call for a boycott against Lowe's for what he calls ‘naked religious bigotry,’” the Associated Press reports.