Detroit

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cost and quality of tap water in Michigan cities is the subject of a week long journey starting in Detroit today.

Activists, led by the The Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition, are upset about water shutoffs in Detroit and the quality of Flint’s troubled water system.

A few days ago, I went to see Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in his downtown office. I’ve visited a lot of mayors in that office, and generally they have a large picture of their families in the space behind their desk.  Duggan doesn’t.

Instead, he has a picture of the famous civil rights march down Woodward Avenue in 1963, the place where Martin Luther King first gave a version of the “I have a dream,” speech.         

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and I have something unusual in common.  My brother is one of the state’s leading dog behavior experts; both the mayor’s dog and mine have had an issue or two, and so this week, he is giving both our dogs a tune-up.

By the way, my brother didn’t tell me that; client confidentiality is important to him. Mayor Duggan first told me his Leo was a patient of his at the Mackinac Conference last year. “Well, at best you must be only the second smartest Lessenberry,” he told me on the ferry.


Brianna and Alyssa Foster have been to three different schools since 2013.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

 

This fall, it’s looking like Alyssa and Brianna Foster might switch to a new school.

Again.

It’s a pretty common experience in Detroit, where students switch schools 2.5 times more frequently than kids in the rest of the state.

flickr/jmarty / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

Silicon Valley churns out apps to “change the world,” but whose world are they really changing? How do we know if these new technologies are going to work in a city like Detroit, for example?

All across America, digital innovations have proliferated in the last four decades, but poverty rates haven’t budged, and inequality has skyrocketed.     

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

People in Detroit pay some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan believes that’s part of the reason people move out of the city. He’s put together a plan to provide cheaper auto insurance for city residents. Some critics think it would be a bad deal for Detroiters.

Kate Wells

Two months after 20-year-old Terrance Kellom was shot by an Immigration and Customs officer in Detroit during a police raid, his family says the investigation into his death is taking too long.

“Had this been the other way around, my son would have been charged, doing time already,” Kevin Kellom told reporters after a rally at a neighborhood church.  

Earlier in the evening the family’s attorney told supporters he believes the Wayne County prosecutor’s investigation should be wrapped up in a week to 10 days.

With each new idea, momentum builds in Detroit

Jun 18, 2015
Courtesy of Focus: HOPE

The Next Idea 

Innovation is at the center of Detroit’s inclusive recovery. Yet this word “innovation” is used so often that its meaning tends to get a little obscured.

Rather than the narrow definition of technological advancement, the meaning of innovation we should use in Detroit is about doing things differently, redefining our future, and challenging ourselves to move beyond business as usual. 

Detroit skyline.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Development action is centered on downtown Detroit as the city gets back on its feet after bankruptcy. Corktown and Midtown have seen a lot of new construction, and now a developer is stepping up to put ideas and money into a west side Detroit neighborhood, the Herman Kiefer complex.

Led by Dr. E. LaQuint Weaver, the Hallelujah Singers are a group of men and women singing together in an all-star community choir.
Andrew Sacks

The documentary film Let's Have Some Church Detroit Style was the Audience Choice winner at the second annual Freep Film Festival earlier this year.

And on June 20, it’s coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater.

The Alger Theater at present day on the corner of Warren and East Outer Drive.
Courtesy of Friends of the Alger

The Alger Theater on the corner of Warren and East Outer Drive in Detroit hasn't shown a movie for 30 years.

But come Sunday, members of the Friends of the Alger Theater will get the chance to watch Young Frankenstein inside the partially renovated theater as part of the groups' summer fundraising effort. The "Brew and View" series will offer a monthly screenings through August.

The theater is perhaps best known for its marquee, said Helen Broughton, president of the Friends of the Alger, a non-profit group that has been working to restore the space since 1986.

The US high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. But why? NPR Ed partnered with 14 member stations around the country to bring you the stories behind that number. Check out the whole story here. And find out what's happening in your state.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit has one of the busiest fire departments in the nation. One problem in the city causes fires to be worse than they should be: broken fire hydrants. It’s a problem city hall doesn’t want to talk about.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It seems every new restaurant, bar, or national retail chain opening in Detroit generates excitement in the wake of the city’s bankruptcy. Most are owned or operated by white people.

But Detroit has many black-owned businesses that survived the worst of the city’s struggles. One of them has even become something of a landmark in the city.

Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, and Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, speak of their experiences in Wayne County with parolees looking to find suitable jobs so they do not re-enter the corrections system.
user mihousegop / flickr

State Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, is a long-time proponent of bipartisan action in the House.

Once kicked out of the Democratic Caucus as punishment for locking horns with caucus leaders once too often and for occasionally crossing party lines and voting with Republicans, Santana is now serving his third and final term in the state House as vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Sal Rodriguez

The street artist known for his Andre the Giant sticker campaign and Barack Obama "Hope" poster unveiled a 180 foot mural in downtown Detroit last month.

It turns out, that may not be all Shepard Fairey left behind.

Steve Buissinne / Creative Commons

Law enforcement officials in Detroit today announced a new initiative to curb the city's gun violence.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is partnering with the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to step up federal prosecution for violent felons caught with guns.

That means lengthier sentences for offenders.

Detroit skyline.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

An initiative that encourages Detroit companies to buy goods and services from each other appears to be working.

The initiative is called Detroit to Detroit, or D2D. It's a program of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, a non-profit that aims to make Detroit businesses successful.

Paul Hitzelberger / United Photo Works

Detroit expects to shut off water to about 1,000 households this week, according to the city’s water department.

Earlier this month the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department hung about 3,000 door-hangers, warning people they had 10 days to get on a payment plan with the city, or be shut off.

jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

Detroiters behind on their water bills have a new place to turn for help.

The Heat and Warmth Fund, also known as THAW, has received a $1 million dollar donation to create a new water assistance fund.

Sal Rodriguez

World-renowned street artist Shepard Fairey has unveiled his new, 180-foot mural in downtown Detroit.

He also opened a new exhibit at the Library Street Collective gallery in the city over the weekend.

Famed Detroit jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave dies at 78

May 24, 2015
http://www.marcusbelgrave.net/

DETROIT (AP) - Marcus Belgrave, a jazz trumpeter who graced stages and studios with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Cocker and Motown artists galore, has died. He was 78.

The electronic music venue, Populux, recently opened in Detroit. There are big plans from a club owner in Berlin to bring back the techno scene to Detroit.
Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

 

This weekend, the electronic musical festival called Movement will bring in more than 100,000 people from around the globe to the birthplace of techno: Detroit.  

According to columnist Nancy Kaffer, there are now 500 security cameras operated by private security companies in the downtown Detroit area.
user Tom Page / flickr


As Dan Gilbert keeps buying buildings in downtown Detroit – more than 70, now – we're seeing the prospect of new businesses, new tenants, and new people downtown.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer wonders what this means in terms of private security and public space.

user william_warby / Flickr

With water shutoffs in Detroit resuming as early as this week for some 18,000 households, activists say many officials are refusing to consider one possible solution: discounted bills for low-income residents.

Otherwise known as an affordability program, some activists say it’s a better option than the current assistance programs – which offer temporary financial help only after people are already behind on their water bills.

Andrea Malone has been on and off payment plans for months.
Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

Some 18,000 Detroit households could have their water shut off next week,  less than a year after the city started a program that was supposed to avoid this exact situation.

Payment plans were supposed to keep households from facing shut-offs. But those plans have shown themselves to be a failure.

The Detroit River.
Patricia Drury / Flickr

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy hopes to raise $3 million to fund a new transportation system in Detroit. They envision a system of water taxis and trolley buses working in and along the Detroit River.

The Detroit News’ Jennifer Chambers reports the conservancy hired Michigan-based Freshwater Transit to study the feasibility of such a system.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit's police chief says that someone fired a shotgun at a car parked outside the home of state Sen. Virgil Smith.

Chief James Craig tells The Detroit News that no one was hurt in the shooting, which happened about 1 a.m. Sunday next to Smith's home on Detroit's north side.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan planned to have a lot more buses on the streets by this point. There’s been progress in some areas: more buses, better maintenance. But the bus system is still not reaching its goals.

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