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Detroit

Courtesy: St. Louis Public Radio

Racial tensions between white people and people of color are reaching levels not seen since the 1960s and ‘70s.

Digital_Third_Eye / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Across the country, Democrats are asking how to come back from their 2016 losses. One California party leader has a proposal: move the party’s headquarters to Michigan.

Phil Angelides is a former chairman of both the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and California's Democratic Party. In an article in Politico, he urged the party to “rebuild from the ground up.” Detroit, Angelides believes, is the best place to begin that process.

Courtesy of Tashaune Harden

 

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Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is a long-time Republican donor. DeVos is an advocate of charter schools, school voucher programs, and tax credits for businesses that give private scholarships.

Her likely appointment excites many in Michigan’s charter schools.

But not everyone.

Detroitsound.org

You could argue that the biggest Michigan story of the last decade was Detroit – the fall of its famously corrupt mayor, the city’s descent into bankruptcy, and its reemergence and renaissance. Nobody would have believed 10 years ago that downtown Detroit would be booming today, or that Midtown near Wayne State University would be a trendy place to live.

Today, Detroit’s streetlights are all on again, and a balding and plump white guy from the suburbs is the most popular mayor in years.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A large fire has damaged a bus terminal on Detroit's east side and could cause service disruptions in the city.

The fire at the Detroit Department of Transportation facility, which includes bus storage, was reported early Friday and burned for several hours. No injuries are reported.

There were reports of explosions during the fire and some bus bays collapsed. WWJ-AM reports about 10 buses were damaged.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Dave Doe / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

The North American International Auto Show begins its media previews on Sunday in Detroit. The show opens to the public on Jan. 14.

Along with the gleaming displays of new vehicles, the show will be a gathering place for innovators from many backgrounds, focusing on the future of mobility.

Rich Evenhouse / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

How do we talk about Detroit?

In the 80's and 90's, the focus was on crime and urban decay. Detroit was the "Murder City." Today, the narrative is one of possibility and resurgence.

But both of those depictions were largely imposed by outsiders, and were, at best, incomplete.

Aerial shot of Detroit
flickr user Barbara Eckstein / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit officials say the city income tax is generating revenue and helping businesses.

Businesses in the city have a 2 percent income tax, while people who work there, even if they are not city residents or not, pay 2.4 percent.

As of last year, the state monitors Detroit's income tax returns.

John Naglick, the chief deputy chief financial officer and financial director for Detroit, said before the state began monitoring the tax returns, a lot of people didn't pay it.

2013 North American International Auto Show
wikimedia user F. D. Richards / wikimedia user F. D. Richards

Michigan has historically had an uphill climb to attract investor dollars.

But that’s changing.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says the smart money is placing bets on Detroit and on Michigan, and that's changing the narrative of both.

Well, regardless of your politics, you can’t say nothing good came out of the aborted Michigan recount.

Chris Thomas, the state’s longtime elections director, said last night that Detroit will get new voting machines before the city elections next year.

A bioretention garden on Evergreen Avenue in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood.
Dave Brenner

The Next Idea

My work in ecological design leads me to think about how the billions of dollars that governments must invest to replace and repair infrastructure can achieve more for American cities. Over the past several years I’ve focused my work on Detroit. Many cities, including Detroit, have some pipes more than a century old moving wastewater, stormwater, or drinking water underground. A handful of cities with industrial legacies, like Detroit, also have thousands of abandoned structures awaiting demolition. When a road is rebuilt, new pipes are laid, or when a building is demolished, I see the possibility of achieving many different, complementary benefits for residents and the environment at the same time.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The house flipping market appears to be cooling off in metro Detroit.  But it is heating up in other parts of Michigan.

Home flipping is where someone buys a home, fixes it up and sells it again quickly for a profit.  Hopefully. 

Michigan is not one of the hotter flipping markets.  But Daren Blomquist, with real estate tracking company Attom, says it’s getting warmer.

“We still saw nearly 1500 properties being flipped in the state during the quarter and that’s the ninth highest of any state nationwide,” says Blomquist.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The ballot recount in Michigan is over. This time, it’s for good.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry take a look at the short-lived recount and some of the problems it exposed at the polls, particularly in Detroit. They also look at a bill that would make it legal to hunt wolves in Michigan if the bill makes it through this year’s lame duck session in Lansing.


Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announcing the benefits of applying for a municipal ID card.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit residents can now apply for a municipal ID card that will be recognized throughout the city.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the ID program will allow residents, regardless of citizenship status or criminal background, to access businesses and services that require a valid photo ID. 

“For most of us who have driver's licenses, we don't know what this experience is not to have ID and how hard everyday life can be,” Duggan said.

Andrew Colom and Davide Alade
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When we talk about investment in Detroit, the likes of Dan Gilbert or Christopher Ilitch come to mind. Certainly Gilbert has led the way in buying downtown buildings, reshaping the look of downtown Detroit. 

But today, we're going to look at investment in Detroit's neighborhoods.

Andrew Colom and David Alade both gave up jobs to move to Detroit and launch an investment company called Century Partners

Their idea was to invest in Detroit's neighborhoods, and to close the wealth disparity gap by helping people invest in the rehabilitation of their neighborhoods. 

Homes in Detroit.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Calling all homeowners.

Did you know that if your income is below a certain level, you can receive tax exemptions on your property tax?

Michigan law calls for it under the General Property Tax Act.

More from the law:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The Obama Administration has detailed in a nearly 60-page report the federal government's role in Detroit's turnaround.

  The report was released Saturday and says a federal and local partnership started in 2011 used financial, technical and other support to help the city which emerged two years ago from the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy.

  Federal staff was assigned to City Hall to work with community, business and philanthropic leaders to identify resources to assist in Detroit's recovery.

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative's new headquarters and community center in Detroit.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, or Mufi, is debuting what it calls the country's first sustainable "agrihood" in Detroit.

Tyson Gersh, the president and co-founder of Mufi, said aside from fresh produce, the urban gardens have provided volunteer opportunities and brought local investment to the area.

Gersh said the community resource center will hold meetings, serve as the new headquarters for the initiative, and host educational programs and events.

MSU opening first medical clinic in Detroit

Nov 28, 2016

Michigan State University is opening its first neighborhood medical clinic on Mack Avenue in Detroit Tuesday.

The Late physician Michael Popoff previously ran the east-side Detroit clinic from 1968 until his death in 2015. Popoff's family agreed to donate his clinic to Michigan State University as long as the university would continue operating and providing care out of the facility.

tyler scott / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - The return of professional basketball to downtown Detroit adds another piece to the city's fast-paced economic rebound two years out of bankruptcy, but some say all neighborhoods have to share in the turnaround.

The Pistons are expected to start next season at Little Caesars Arena, which is the centerpiece of a coming 50-block entertainment district in a part of downtown that's already nearly at capacity with new residents and new businesses.

Drawing of a Thanksgiving dinner on a table at the Mel Trotter Thanksgiving dinner.
Mel Trotter Ministry

Homeless, elderly and poor people in several cities in Michigan are being given a reason to be grateful on Thanksgiving.

The Detroit Rescue Mission is serving free food to homeless people and others in need at different locations in and around the city.

While the ministry has been around for 107 years, it has been doing Thanksgiving dinners for over 20 years.

Barbara Willis, the Chief Operating Officer for the Detroit Rescue Mission, said these dinners make a big difference to the homeless in the community.

Wayne State University is, I often tell the parents of prospective students, quite possibly the safest large campus in the state. I’ve taught there for nearly a quarter-century, and I get crime reports from Wayne’s superb police chief, Anthony Holt.

They usually have entries like this:

“Student was wandering around Cass Avenue at 2 a.m. and a man grabbed her cell phone and ran away.”

Yes, if you put your i-Pad down and turn your back, it is quite likely to disappear.

Seated left  to right, Detroit Mayor Mike Dugan, Illitch Holdings CEO Chris Illitch, Pistons owner Tom Gores, NBA commissioner Adam Silver
Tyler Scott

Detroit’s professional basketball team, The Pistons, is saying goodbye to its stadium at The Palace of Auburn Hills and relocating to downtown Detroit.

 

Little Caesars Arena is still under construction in downtown Detroit. Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the new stadium will host both the Red Wings, Detroit’s national hockey team, and now the Pistons.

 

With the Pistons relocating to a shared space downtown, Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroit will be the only city with four major sports teams in the downtown district.

 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Business leaders are coming to terms with the brave new Trumpworld and the hometown automakers think they may have a new ally in the White House.

Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields says the automaker’s brass is in “constant communication” with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.

Detroit youth sports program wins national award

Nov 18, 2016
three boys playing basketball
User: healthiermi / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

On Friday, officials from Detroit Parks and Recreation Department were presented with the Excellence in Youth Sports Award at the annual Youth Sports Congress in Orlando, Florida.

David Miller is the interim director of the department. He said the youth program offers kids in Detroit a wide range of sports to play - all with one goal in mind: create opportunities for kids to develop healthy habits.

The evolution from Motor City to Mobility City

Nov 16, 2016
Dave Pinter / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

For the last century, almost since the day Henry Ford’s first assembly line started rolling in 1913, Detroit has been known as the Motor City. It was a regional point of pride that cars made in Michigan could be found zipping down roadways in every U.S. state and across the globe.

That image has been battered in recent decades as factories have been shuttered and work forces trimmed. But today a new vision is emerging, one in which Detroit specializes not only in building cars, but in all things transportation. That includes new technologies like autonomous vehicles, but it also means connecting those technologies to services like public transportation and bike shares.

In short: everything that moves people, goods, or information from point A to point B. Call it the “Mobility City.”

 "My grandmother always told me I was smart, and so I believed it. And so by the time she left, being smart and doing good in school was something that Shawn just did," Blanchard told us.
Courtesy of Shawn Blanchard

 


If anyone seemed destined for a life that would either end in a drug deal gone bad or in prison, it would probably be Shawn Blanchard.

Everything in his life pointed him down that path, beginning with the fact that Shawn was born with crack cocaine in his system.

Instead, Blanchard is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in math and economics. He’s also a graduate of Wayne State University’s Law School.

His memoir is titled How ‘Bout That for a Crack Baby.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

There’s a big, coordinated push in Detroit for more and better early childhood services.

But first, its boosters need to come up with a plan.

The biggest boosters—and likely funders—of this “civic partnership” dubbed Hope Starts Here are the Kellogg and Kresge Foundations.

They’re rounding up groups and people with a role in Detroit’s early childhood services, from day care providers to pediatricians.

Kellogg Foundation CEO La June Montgomery Tabron says the idea is to come up with an “action plan” that lets everyone can claim ownership.

Aerial shot of Detroit
flickr user Barbara Eckstein / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

One of the big decisions before Detroit voters Tuesday was choosing between a pair of competing "community benefits" proposals.

Both were aimed at making sure private developers seeking tax breaks for projects in Detroit would provide certain benefits to the community around the development: Things like jobs, affordable housing and pollution controls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Justice Department will monitor the polls in three Michigan cities tomorrow. 

The federal monitors will be in Detroit, Dearborn Heights and Hamtramck.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to deploy more than 500 personnel to 67 jurisdictions in 28 states.

The monitors will be there to enforce federal voting rights laws.

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