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A new emergency manager for DPS, Agema's latest controversy and auto show excitement

Jan 14, 2015

The Chevy Bolt. General Motors unveiled its new all-electric car at the North American International Auto Show earlier this week.
Credit Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

This week, Jack and Emily discuss Detroit schools’ new emergency manager, Dave Agema’s latest controversy and the North American International Auto Show.


New emergency manager

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley will take over as the new emergency manager of Detroit’s public school district.

Governor Rick Snyder made the announcement Tuesday, kicking up some controversy from critics who say Detroit schools are worse off after years of emergency management.

Lessenberry said Earley’s diverse background could help change that.

“[Earley’s] got a lot of experience, and he’s a fresh eye,” Lessenberry said. “He’s not a product of the pure Detroit experience."

Dave Agema

Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema is under fire once again after making a controversial Facebook post on New Year’s Eve.

Agema has a history of racist, homophobic and anti-Muslim posts, and now some of his fellow Republicans want him out.

Lessenberry said the party is trying to save face.

“There’s an increasing recognition that if this is the face of the Republican Party, then [Republicans] can forget about winning national elections,” Lessenberry said.

Auto show

The North American International Auto Show kicked off this week, bringing more than 40 new car and truck models to Detroit.

Despite a year of recalls in the auto-industry, including General Motors’ defective ignition switches, the mood at Cobo Center has been enthusiastic.

Lessenberry said excitement over new models such as GM’s all-electric Chevy Bolt is helping the industry rebrand itself.  

“These [recalls] are problems stemming from things that happened a long time ago,” he said. “This was the old bad General Motors, and the auto companies are now again making money.”

– Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom