Detroit

Politics & Government
2:12 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing takes step toward re-election bid

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing
Kate Davidson Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has taken a step toward seeking a second four-year term leading the city that now operates under a state financial manager.

Bing picked up petitions Thursday afternoon at the city clerk's office for a spot on the August primary ballot. The top two vote-getters advance to November's general election.

He's been silent for months on his re-election intentions as Detroit entered state oversight. Gov. Rick Snyder in March named bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr as Detroit's emergency manager.

Bing says he's working closely with Orr, who must approve all financial decisions.

The 69-year-old Bing was elected mayor in May 2009 to complete the remaining months of disgraced ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's second term. Voters re-elected elected Bing that November.

He inherited a budget deficit that now stands at $327 million.

Economy
2:32 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Businesses step up to help keep Detroit parks open

Belle Isle is one of Detroit's parks that has had financial trouble over the past few years
Mike Russell wikimedia commons

DETROIT (AP) - Donations from businesses and federal grants will allow Detroit to keep open 50 public parks slated for closure this year due to lack of money.

Mayor Dave Bing says Wednesday that the donations include $5 million over five years from auto industry supplier Lear Corp. Other donors include General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Marathon Petroleum and the Kellogg Foundation.

Several businesses, community groups and residents also have adopted parks in order to keep them open.

The parks donations follow a pledge of $8 million from businesses and foundations for 23 EMS units and 100 police cars.

Detroit's finances are under control of a state-appointed emergency manager. The city's budget deficit is about $327 million.

More than 200 city parks were closed between 2008 and 2009.

Environment & Science
12:58 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Report: Michigan's air quality improving

Air quality is improving in some Michigan cities, according to a new report. The American Lung Association’s annual ‘State of the Air’ report is out today.  

Jim Harrington is a field organizer for the American Lung Association. He says particulate pollution, like smog, is down in the region - including the cities of Flint and Detroit.

“In prior years they’d been ranked the worst in the country. They were one of the most polluted regions in the country,” says Harrington, “And over the last five years, they’ve gradually moved down the list. So they’ve been improving at a faster rate than other areas.”

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Politics & Culture
5:21 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Stateside for Monday, April 22nd, 2013

On today's show: the future of education in Michigan.

Governor Snyder has said he believes too much emphasis is  put on four-year degrees in our state.

Today, we take a look at the requirements to graduate high school in Michigan.

And billionaire and founder of Quicken Loans Dan Gilbert has a vision for reviving downtown Detroit, but what does Gilbert's "Opportunity Detroit" plan really mean for the city and its residents?

And it's been a challenging few days in terms of rain and flooding through much of Michigan.

In the Lansing area, the Red Cedar River has caused flooding on Michigan State University's campus, leaving some athletic fields waterlogged. This weekend the Lansing Marathon had to be rerouted along the Lansing river trail because of high water levels.
 
Residents in the Saginaw area are also seeing flooding from the Saginaw River. Over the weekend, officials opened a middle school in  Saginaw Township as a shelter due to flooding in the area. And flooding closed some area roads, and people were encouraged to avoid crossing roadways covered by water.
 
Meanwhile, water levels have lowered in the Midland area, which had been hit by flooding of the Tittabawassee River.

And Grand Rapids is still coping with the aftermath of flooding that hit downtown hotels, stores and businesses. We spoke with Michigan Radio's west Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith.

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Stateside
5:31 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

History can teach us a lot: What Detroit can learn from Atlanta

Andrew Young was Mayor of Atlanta for two terms in the 1980s
Sodexo USA/ Flickr

In the early 1980s, the city of Atlanta was known as the murder capitol of America. It's economy was flailing, much of the city was dangerous - the city needed help.

Sound familiar? 

The national image of Atlanta sounds alarmingly similar to how many Americans view the city of Detroit.

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Stateside
5:30 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Creating just working conditions for restaurant workers

COLORS Detroit Facebook

'Colors-Detroit' is strengthening the city from the grassroots by providing job opportunities for the community’s unemployed residents.

Colors is not just any restaurant. It’s a restaurant with a strong mission to create fair and just working conditions for restaurant workers.

Colors is a project of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan, which is part of a nationwide movement to create fair and just working conditions for restaurant workers.

ROC-Michigan's research indicates that workers of color tend to be concentrated in the lowest-paying jobs in the restaurant industry and they are the ones most likely to have their rights violated.

Chef Phil Jones is head chef and general manager of Colors, which is located in the Paradise Valley area of downtown Detroit. You might know it as Harmonie Park  right near the Detroit Opera House.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Politics & Government
6:22 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Flint ending Detroit water contract, DWSD looking at its options

Flint emergency manager Ed Kurtz (left) signs a contract to hook the city up to the new Karegnondi Water Authority. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling looks on.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is dumping its contract with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Flint emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed a contract today to get the city’s water from a new pipeline that’s being built from Lake Huron to Genesee County.

Officials with Detroit's system made a final offer to try and keep Flint’s business. But Kurtz says the numbers were “unreliable.”

“After the first year…for 29 years they could raise those rates…do any kind of capital expenditures…anything they wanted to do…and just add them to our bill,” says Kurtz.

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Politics & Government
12:10 am
Mon April 15, 2013

This could be a pivotal day in the 'Water War' between Flint and Detroit

The Flint River flows through the city, but the city's tap water has been coming from Detroit for a long time. But maybe not for much longer. (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Today is the last chance for Detroit water department officials to make their case to keep Flint as a customer.

The state Treasury Department gave the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department until this evening to present its final best offer to the city of Flint.

Flint has been a DWSD customer for many years. But Flint city officials say they want to get their tap water from a new Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline being built from Lake Huron to Genesee County.

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Politics & Government
5:37 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Another step closer to a new international bridge crossing

An artists rendition of the proposed bridge.
NITC

A newly awarded presidential permit will allow Michigan to wrap up an agreement with Canada to build a new international bridge. The bridge will connect Detroit and Windsor-Ontario. Michigan, U.S. and Canadian officials cheered the news today. 

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Law
1:55 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Closed state prison to reopen in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - A state prison on Detroit's east side will be reopened as a temporary detention center for anyone arrested in the city.

Mayor Dave Bing's office says the summer opening of the Mound Correctional Facility will free up about 40 police officers for street patrols. It was closed by the state in January 2012.

Officers currently are assigned to five police lockup facilities and a holding unit at Detroit Receiving Hospital where people who are arrested are held until their arraignments. Prisoners then are released to the Wayne County sheriff's office.

Bing's office says the five police lockups will be closed and that the Mound facility will hold up to 200 people.

The city launched an initiative last month that focuses on crime hot spots, drug arrests and enforcing traffic laws.

Transportation
12:54 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Report: Proposed Detroit-Windsor bridge gets key permit

An artist's conception of the proposed new bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor
http://buildthedricnow.com/

Backers of a new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor are expected to announce that the project has cleared one of the final hurdles later today.

The Windsor Star reports that Governor Snyder and other supporters of the Detroit River International Crossing will announce that the bridge project has finally received a permit from the U.S. Department of State. .

A forty year old federal law gives the State Department the authority to approve international bridges.

The permit is seen as a key step in the 2 billion dollar bridge project.  

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Stateside
3:21 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Can Detroit be the next 'Comeback Kid'?

Kate Sumbler Flickr

Who doesn't love that quintessential story of the underdog who battles and claws his or her way out of some apparently impossible challenge. David and Goliath,  Rocky Balboa, the 'Miracle on Ice' are all great underdog stories that never cease to captivate the minds of people.

Will Detroit be the next great underdog story to make the list?

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Politics & Government
1:44 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Charlie LeDuff talks about "dead flight" on Colbert Report

LeDuff said he thought about running for mayor, but then realized he'd have to actually do the job, so decided not to.
Comedy Central screen grab

Former New York Times reporter, current Fox TV reporter (WJBK), and author  Charlie LeDuff appeared on Comedy Central's Colbert Report last night to promote his book Detroit: An American Autopsy.

When Colbert asked "what is the cause of death" in Detroit, LeDuff responded:

"White flight, black flight, business flight, job flight, we even have dead flight.”

"Dead people will not stay in Detroit?!"

"It's gotten so bad... people who grew up in Detroit and who now live out in the suburbs and are afraid of it - about 1,200 in the last five years - they've gone and got grandma, exhumed her, and brought her out to the suburbs to visit her."

Here's the video:

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,Video Archive

Politics & Government
7:22 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Suit to halt Detroit emergency manager appointment dismissed

Spirit of Detroit (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A lawsuit seeking to block the appointment of Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has been dismissed.

Activist Robert Davis said Monday that the lawsuit became "moot" when a Lansing Circuit Court judge refused last month to hold a hearing before Orr's hiring by the state's Emergency Loan Board.

Davis says both parties stipulated that the suit be dismissed "based on a pending case" before another judge to invalidate Orr's appointment.

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Business
4:22 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Marathon buys 2/3 of homes near $2.2B oil project in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) - Marathon Petroleum Corp. has bought two-thirds of the homes in an area of southwest Detroit where the oil company is carrying out a $2.2 billion expansion.

The company announced in November 2011 that it wanted to create a buffer area between its growing refinery operation and residential areas.

The Detroit News reported Sunday that Marathon has bought 205 homes so far. The company began with a list of 296 homeowners, and 265 of them agreed to discuss terms for a possible sale.

The company made offers to 258 of them.

Transportation
3:49 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Closings of Michigan airport control towers delayed

DETROIT (AP) - The closings of three air traffic control towers in Michigan are among 149 nationwide that will be delayed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it needs more time to deal with legal challenges to the closures announced because of government-wide spending cuts.

The planned tower shutdowns include those at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Coleman A. Young in Detroit and Sawyer International in Marquette County's Sands Township.

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Arts & Culture
2:10 pm
Sat April 6, 2013

Metal heads and academics unite

Credit bgsu.edu

This weekend an international heavy metal conference for academics and researchers is happening in Bowling Green, Ohio. It's called "The Heavy Metal & Popular Culture Conference," and organizers say it's the first of its kind in the U.S.

It will feature presentations by heavy metal scholars from around the world about race and gender in the genre, and about its growing popularity in places like Finland and Puerto Rico.

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Politics & Government
2:37 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

EM protestors stage a 'slowdown in Motown' along I-75 on opening day

The highways around Detroit are being used for displays of civil disobedience over the emergency manager law.

It started last month, and has carried to opening day.

MLive's Gus Burns writes that he was on his way to cover opening day for the Tigers this morning when he decided to tag along with the protestors.

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Economy
12:14 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Several local cities rank high on a list of the best places to rent out single family homes

Home for rent (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new report finds three regional cities are good places to buy and rent out single family homes.

A new Realty Trac survey lists Detroit, Saginaw and Toledo among the 20 best markets in the country to own and rent single family homes. Florida cities dominate the rest of the list.

The top 20 are based on the markets with the most potential cash flow and capitalization rates on a 3-bedroom home.

Saginaw ranked second on the survey.  Toledo came in third.  Detroit ranked 15th on the list.  Memphis, Tennessee topped the Realty Trac ranking. 

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Arts & Culture
3:37 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

ArtPod is supersized for Spring

You know Spring is here when Detroiters rally for 300 years of Marche du Nain Rouge.
Michigan Radio Michigan Radio

This week, ArtPod is inspired by the massive chocolate Easter bunnies we’ve been inhaling for days now.

So to welcome Spring (hey, it’s 50 degrees!) we’re doing a bigger edition of ArtPod, squeezing in two very different  Michigan’s artists and culture-makers.

First, we start off with a full-cast radio performance of the play “RUST.”

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