Detroit

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit man is going to prison for 25 to 50 years, after his 9-year-old son was accidentally shot by a sibling.

It's one of several cases where prosecutors are going after adults for leaving guns where kids can find them.

On November 9, the 9-year-old boy and his then-10 year old sister were playing in their dad's bedroom and acting out a video game.

Mural by artist Otto Schade
Jason Ostro

The Next Idea

Take an abandoned, unloved alley. 

Clear away the trash and debris, and then turn artists loose with their paint and brushes to transform those alleys and, in turn, the neighborhood.

Jason Ostro did just that.

The Michigan-born artist cleaned up the area around his Los Angeles art gallery, the Gabba Gallery.

The Gabba Alley Project L4 is four decaying alleys transformed into works of art.

Now he's launched the Gabba Alley Project Detroit, recently painting his first mural in an alley in Detroit's Midtown.

Commonwealth Detroit works at offering affordable property for creative minds in their 128,000-square-foot building.
Robert Elmes / Commonwealth Detroit

The Next Idea

Young artists can struggle to make a living if they lack the proper knowledge to start and care for a storefront – and that’s where a new Detroit project comes in.

A new report from Global Detroit emphasizes the importance of keeping international student graduates for Michigan’s economy.
Flickr user University of Michigan's Ford School/Flickr

Michigan’s economy should stop wasting the brainpower it already has by retaining more international students, a new report says.

Steve Tobocman is the director of Global Detroit, a non-profit that studies what makes Michigan attractive to international populations. He told Stateside that their research fights a widespread belief.

Urban farming is one way public space is being used in Detroit.
Flickr user Liz Patek / Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

 

Private development has changed the face of Detroit. New restaurants, shops and houses have popped up in Midtown, Corktown and downtown Detroit. But what about public spaces?

 

Our latest contributor to The Next Idea is Anya Sirota, an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Michigan. She’s also the principal of Akoaki, a practice in Detroit involving architecture, art and cultural infrastructure.

 

Sirota believes there aren’t enough public spaces in Detroit that offer openness and the opportunity to build a sense of belonging. She thinks public space is crucial to the health of a city.

Flickr user sin9e/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As more and more people turn to bicycles for transportation, fun and fitness, one might think it would be great to be able to bike between Detroit and Windsor. 

Once upon a time, that was possible. But no more.

Cyclists on social media write of being able to ride, even walk across the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Windsor and back.

But after Matty Maroun bought the Ambassador Bridge, the bike and pedestrian walkway was replaced by wider lanes to better handle 18-wheelers. 

There's a heated debate over whether the Hantz Farms project is an environmental boon or just a land grab.
Sean O'Grady

John Hantz heads a business financial services conglomerate

He wants to plant 15,000 trees on 140 acres of Detroit land he bought in 2012. It would be the world's largest urban farm.

The plan has strong backers and equally strong critics. 

It's a story that Sean O'Grady tells in his new documentary film Land Grab.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Members of the Detroit Board of Education have voted to reject a set of state-proposed loans to help bail-out the struggling district.

Last week, Governor Snyder signed off on a $617 million package to create a new, debt-free Detroit school system. The two rejected loans are part of the state's bail-out plan and total $385 million.

Board president LaMar Lemmons says the interest rates on the loans are too high.

Is there a future for wine made in Detroit?

Jun 23, 2016
Courtesy of Great Lakes Vineyards

The Next Idea

Michigan’s northern and western regions are known for leading the state’s wine industry, but people over in the southeast could soon join in on the recognition. Blake Kownacki is a winemaker and vineyard manager at Great Lakes Vineyard, where he helps homeowners in the Detroit area make their own wine.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

We hear about the many ways that Dan Gilbert and the Ilitch family are reshaping downtown Detroit. We hear about the new businesses, bistros, bars and restaurants in Corktown, Midtown. Yet, the question persists: What about the neighborhoods?

 

All around Detroit, there are homeowners who have made the choice to stay, to roll up their sleeves and do for their neighborhoods what the city has not been able to do.

 

Chuck Brooks is one of those homeowners. He joined us on Stateside.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Jonathan Pommerville and Lisa Thompson live in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood. While they view their street as home, others view it as an off-the-radar place to dump trash and drive off. Some also view it as a place to engage the services of prostitutes.

In response to the actions of these “humpers and dumpers,” Pommerville and Thompson pull out their video camera.

New online map tracks demolition in Detroit

Jun 17, 2016
Abandoned house in Detroit
sj carey / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit residents have a new way to check when blighted and vacant homes in their neighborhood will be demolished.

People can enter an address on the Demolition Tracker map on the city's website to see if and when a blighted building is scheduled for demolition.

Structures set to be demolished are represented by orange dots that turn blue after the structure is torn down.

Detroit companies cooperate to train new IT workers

Jun 16, 2016
Flickr user PaulSh/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Six years ago, an IT solutions provider outsourced their New Jersey jobs to ... Detroit. GalaxE.Solutions initiated their “Outsource to Detroit” campaign to encourage new technology workers to come to the Motor City.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Politicians and media reports indicate Detroit is in the middle of an economic resurgence. That’s true for the central business districts. That’s not the case for many residents in the poorest neighborhoods.

“Some people just don’t have the hope. And, especially living in an environment like this, it’s kind of hard. It’s kind of hard. It’s very stressful,” said Alita Burton.

Metro Detroit ranked third nationally in momentum of walkable urban development in a recent study.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Residents of the metro Detroit area might be surprised to learn that, in a recent study, their region ranked third on the list of areas making the biggest strides toward increasing walkability. They wouldn't be the only ones. 

"We were surprised, too," said Michael Rodriguez, a transit planner who co-authored "Foot Traffic Ahead," a study published by the George Washington University School of Business.

Benny Parsons won 21 career races, including the 1973 NASCAR championship and the 1975 Daytona 500
Ted Van Pelt / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

If you live anywhere near Brooklyn, Michigan, you're probably seeing a lot more RV traffic.

It's race weekend at the Michigan International Speedway and NASCAR's top drivers will be in town racing for the Firekeepers Casino 400.

In honor of the big race, we take the time to tell the story of one of the sport's all-time great drivers and personalities: Benny Parsons.

In an unlikely underdog story, Parsons went from a Detroit taxi driver to a NASCAR champion before lung cancer claimed his life in 2007.

Wikimedia Commons

The City of Detroit is trying to help people who have criminal records clear up those past mistakes in order to get a job.

Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit and he joins Stateside to talk about Project Clean Slate. The program seeks to help Detroit residents expunge their records so they can get back into the workforce.

Listen to the full interview above. 

GUEST
Melvin Hollowell is Corporation Counsel for the City of Detroit

Keith Wunderlich

Detroit is celebrating Vernors 150th anniversary this week. That celebration winds up tomorrow, when the city will try to set a world record for most pop drinkers at a time.

Keith Wunderlich, curator of Vernors collectibles, joined us on Stateside today to talk about the iconic company, which started with Ginger Ale.

Amy Haimerl

When looking for a new house, prospective homeowners usually prepare to make a few cosmetic changes. When Amy Haimerl and her husband moved into their new Detroit home, it was completely void of plumbing, heating, and electricity.

Ivan Moshchuk will perform at Orchestra Hall on June 9, in the first solo piano concert presented by ProMusic in over 10 years.
Marco Borggreve

Ivan Moshchuk has been playing piano publicly since he was a young teenager. 

Born in Russia and raised in Grosse Pointe, Moshchuk became the first Michigan artist to win the Gilmore Young Artists award in 2010. 

He's since gone on to perform in concert halls around the world.

Watch Moshchuk perform Prelude in B minor by J.S. Bach, arranged by Alexander Siloti:

train tracks
Flickr user John Jarvis/Flickr / HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

A 20-year master plan for regional transit in Metro Detroit was unveiled today, after the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan spent over a year gathering input on the plan.

 

The goal is to help fix metro Detroit’s fractured transit systems and pull them together under the umbrella of a $4.6 billion plan to connect Detroit with Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties.

 

Courtesty: Andrew Herscher

Detroit is getting some love in Venice.

The Venice Architecture Biennale is a really big deal in the architecture world, and the designs presented by this year's American exhibitors are all about the Motor City. 

Crickets taste more like Hot Cheetos than chicken

May 26, 2016
Mercedes Mejia

I’m very lucky to be an intern for Stateside. So lucky, in fact, that I was provided lunch when I forgot to pack one this week.

On the menu: dried crickets with a dash of chili powder, garlic, salt, and lime.

HTTP://WWW.WAYNECOUNTY.COM/PROSECUTOR/

DETROIT – Charges have been filed in two shootings that killed a child and injured another in Detroit.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy defended her decision to charge relatives of victims who shot themselves after finding unsecured guns at home. She says adults who "adopt, bear or look after children" must be held responsible.

Five-year-old Mariah Davis shot herself in the neck after finding a gun under a pillow on May 11. Her grandparents were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter and other crimes.

Richard T. James

Marilyn McCormick only expected to stay in Detroit for a year or two before moving to New York to live the “bohemian lifestyle.” Then she got a teaching job at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School. “I was totally enjoying what I was doing…[and] I was doing exactly what I wanted to be doing,” McCormick said. Now forty years later, the performing arts teacher will be retiring.

Aladar Nesser

Ice arenas and fights are among the first images to come to mind when someone thinks about hockey. When author and playwright Mitch Albom thinks about hockey, he has one thing on his mind: musicals.

"Hockey - The Musical!" will be making its opening debut tonight for a month-long run at Detroit's City Theatre, and Albom hopes it will bring together theater geeks and sports fans alike.

According to Joshua Akers, nearly 20% of all land parcels in Detroit are owned by speculators
flickr user Berndt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Speculators have remained a consistent part of Detroit's bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy stories.

They own nearly 20 percent of all land parcels in Detroit.

Jodi Westrick

The Next Idea

If everyone knows of 20th century Detroit as the Motor City, what's Detroit's identity today and what should it be for the future? Every Thursday on our Next Idea segment, we look at the innovations and we look at the new ideas that could reshape Michigan. 

flickr user Motown31 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The state-appointed manager of Detroit Public Schools laid out his plan to turn the struggling district around during a public meeting Tuesday night.

Judge Steven Rhodes told a hostile crowd that included teachers, students and community members that he's trying to set a path for long-term success for students and educators.

Dozens of people at the meeting repeatedly interrupted Rhodes during his presentation.

Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

Some 20,000 Detroit water customers could have their water shut off starting Tuesday.

That's how many are behind on their bills, according to the city.

In Detroit, the average monthly water bill is $75. The average past due amount? $633.

All those unpaid bills add up: Last March, the city was owed some $47 million in past-due residential bills – though a department spokesperson said they’re not sure what the current amount owed is, because so many people are currently making payments to avoid shutoffs.

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