Detroit

Law
9:17 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Marijuana in Michigan: What new pot laws mean for the state

miss.libertine Creative Commons

Marijuana users across the state are claiming victory after the success of pro-pot ballot proposals in several Michigan cities.

Supporters say decriminalization of the drug in Flint, Grand Rapids, and Detroit shows that Michiganders are warming to the idea of a pot-friendly future.

But beyond symbolic value, how will these votes affect the way marijuana is managed and policed throughout the state?

Michigan Radio is venturing into the morass of overlapping local, state, and federal law to determine how the state manages weed.

We begin with a look at the new laws and how other Michigan towns have chosen to regulate marijuana.

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Economy
4:51 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Stateside: Detroit's financial predicament

Detroit's handling of its financial situation is of great importance to both the state and country
Mike Russel

Detroit’s financial status is once again on the brink of devastation.

The city’s program management director, William Andrews, recently told the advisory board that the city is facing financial crisis.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes assessed the city’s situation, looking at its aging bureaucracy as a potential area of conflict.

The collapse could occur sooner than expected, said Howes, perhaps as soon as December.

“It could happen as early as next month. What’s hanging out there right now is about $80 million in bond proceeds that the State Treasurer's Office is holding  more reforms within the city. There is hope they can move ahead with some reforms that would release around $30 million by the end of the year. It’s really important to note that time is running out for the city,” said Howes.

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11:01 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Woman accused of stealing from the Detroit pension fund surrenders

Lead in text: 
Faberge eggs, Rodin sculptures, and a mountainside resort in Costa Rica. And now bribe money from a heroin dealer. The plot behind the theft of Detroit pension fund money thickens. And now that Kastenes has surrendered, more answers are likely to come.
Detroit - A fugitive businesswoman accused of stealing $5 million from a Detroit pension fund - and blowing the cash on exotic art and jewelry - turned herself in Tuesday, ending an eight-month manhunt stretching from Detroit to the Caribbean. Teresa Kastanes was escorted off the plane by agents from the Office of Homeland Security at 5:43 a.m.
Crime
1:00 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Man who opened fire in police station was a veteran

Yesterday, on Veterans Day, Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire.

Yesterday's first AP report said the man and an officer were wounded in the shootout:

Southfield police say a man entered a police station in the Detroit suburb and opened fire, then was wounded in an exchange of shots with an officer who also was hit.

Police tell WXYZ-TV and WJBK-TV that the shooting happened Sunday afternoon in the Detroit suburb. They say the wounded officer and the suspect are in stable condition.

Now we learn that the man who entered the station was a veteran and he was killed in the shootout.

The 64-year old man was identified as Harold J. Collins of Southfield.

More from MLive

Collins was shot several times and killed.

Investigators identified Collins as a military veteran. He was in poor health and had "serious internal issues," Southfield Police Chief Eric Lawson said Monday.

Lawson was unsure in what branch of the military Collins served. He  would "not speculate" on whether that played a role in the shooting or timing.

The Detroit Free Press has more details on how the shooting occurred.

At 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, police said Collins left his white Dodge Caliber and walked into the department lobby in plain clothes. Hawkins said he approached the information desk, which is behind protective glass, and gave no answer when the officer behind the glass greeted him.

“There was nothing to alert any of our staff that anything unusual was about to happen,” said Hawkins.

The Free Press reports officers are still trying to reach Collins' family members.

Health
7:58 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Retaining safety in Detroit with neighborhood patrols

Credit User: ktpupp / flickr

Interview

Many cities across the state are cutting back, and police and fire department budgets are often on the chopping block. In some cases, citizens have taken safety matters into their own hands, through neighborhood patrols. The aim is to observe what's going on in the community, and call the police if anything usual is noted.

Coach Muhammad is president of the community patrol of the Grandmont neighborhood, in northwest Detroit. He volunteers 40 hours a week to keep his neighborhood safe.

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series. Muhammad talks with Morning Edition host Christina Shockley about what his patrol has been able to do for his neighborhood.

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Politics & Government
3:43 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Election results show Michigan cities more marijuana friendly

Voters in several Michigan cities seem pretty open to easing legal restrictions on marijuana.
A7nubis Creative Commons

Voters in several Michigan cities passed proposals to ease legal restrictions on marijuana. On Tuesday people in Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids voted overwhelmingly to make small amounts of marijuana okay to possess under city law. I’m not talking about the medical stuff here; this is just regular old pot.

"Prosecuting someone for peacefully using marijuana is about as ridiculous to me as prosecuting someone for sipping a vodka martini,” Tim Beck, chair of the Coalition for a Safer Detroit, said. Beck also worked to put Michigan’s medical marijuana laws in place.

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Politics & Government
3:22 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Groups work to get out the vote in Grand Rapids

Samuel Johnson (left) gets a free ride to the polls Tuesday morning. Decriminalize GR organizer Josh Leffingwell (right) is next to him.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

In Grand Rapids a number of groups are offering people rides to their polling places.  

Organizer Josh Leffingwell leans out of the backseat of a minivan to flag down a man walking down the sidewalk.

“Excuse me sir? Have you had a chance to vote yet today?” he asks.

Grand Rapids resident Samuel Johnson accepts the free ride to the school where he votes – nearly a mile away.

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Health
12:26 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Going undercover in a Detroit Walmart

Credit European Parliament / flickr

Interview with Tracie McMillan

For Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Tracie McMillan. She is a journalist who went undercover to find out why we eat the way we do in America, and what it would take for everyone to eat well in this country.

To learn more about the food industry, she lived and worked in three different communities across the country, including Detroit.

She wrote about her experiences in her book, "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table."

She says we need to ensure that quality, healthy foods are available in all neighborhoods.

Detroit
12:21 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Mercado pleads guilty in Kilpatrick corruption trial

12:21 p.m.

More on Mercado's guilty plea from the Associated Press:

The former head of Detroit's water department has pleaded guilty, six weeks into a corruption trial that also involves ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Victor Mercado's surprise guilty plea to conspiracy occurred Monday. The trial is in recess until next week because of a lawyer's illness.

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Sports
3:30 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

NHL lockout felt beyond Detroit

The Grand Rapids Griffins play in the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.
Jeremy Bronson Creative Commons

The ongoing lockout of the National Hockey League could cause the cancelation of the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. The outdoor game is supposed to be at the University of Michigan Big House on New Year’s Day. The week-long Hockeytown Winter Festival in Detroit would be canceled with it.

That would be a bummer for the Red Wings’ affiliated team the Grand Rapids Griffins, which is supposed to play at the festival.

“It’s a sad time for hockey right now,” said Bob Kaser, VP of Community Relations for the Griffins (among other job titles).

He says some fans have traveled to Grand Rapids to get their hockey fix during the lockout. Fox Sports Detroit broadcast a Griffins game last week. But Kaser’s not really thrilled about the circumstances.

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Health
1:10 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Project in 23 Michigan schools seeks healthy approach

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan education officials are launching a pilot project in 23 high schools that aims to boost academic achievement by incorporating physical, emotional and social health programs.

The effort dubbed "think.respect." is funded through a $24 million federal grant and will be administered by the Michigan Department of Education. Schools were selected based partly on persistently low achievement.

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Economy
1:00 am
Thu October 25, 2012

Report: Detroit's home foreclosure rate is moving down

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Detroit’s home foreclosure rates are dropping.

Realty Trac reports Detroit now has the 39th highest home foreclosure rate in the country. That's a big change from a few years ago, when Detroit routinely ranked in the top ten.

In September,  Detroit’s home foreclosure rate was at its lowest point since September, 2006. 

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac.    He says Detroit’s foreclosure numbers are improving, but he says more than half of Wayne County homeowners are ‘underwater” on their mortgages.

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Sports
11:23 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Tigers manager Jim Leyland 'the bridge' to Detroit's past

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
Detroit Tigers

The odds makers are picking the Detroit Tigers, but the San Francisco Giants are a loose bunch.

They fought off three elimination games on their way to the World Series... twice.

Here's one statistic NPR's Tom Goldman pointed out this morning:

"Three times in the past in World Series when a team that's swept its way into the Series, like Detroit did, played a team that went the full seven games, like the Giants did, the team that went seven won every time."

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Detroit
1:15 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Belle Isle plan blocked by Detroit City Council

Some Detroiters have expressed their displeasure with the Belle Isle plan.
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

Matt Helms of the Detroit Free Press reports the Detroit City Council has dug their heels in on a plan for Belle Isle. The plan calls for the state to lease the park from the city and run it as a state park.

The Council has "indefinitely postponed" plans for a public hearing on the plan.

From the Freep:

The council's decision means the proposal can't go forward until council members get what they want: more funding guarantees from the state as well as a fuller hearing on alternative proposals for the island park.

Council members said the state had yet to respond to its request that guarantees of millions of dollars in upgrades to the island be put in writing, information that was not specifically spelled out in the state’s proposed 30-year lease. The lease would be for 30 years with two optional 30-year renewals.

Politics & Government
9:26 am
Tue October 16, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Senate Fiscal Agency says Prop 6 will cost taxpayers

"A ballot proposal meant to stall a new international bridge in Detroit could cost Michigan taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. That’s according to a report from the Senate Fiscal Agency. Proposal 6 would require a public vote on any new international bridge or tunnel. The report says it would cost the state nearly $10.5 million  to hold a special election on a new crossing. On top of that, researchers say tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure funding could also be in jeopardy," Jake Neher reports.

ACLU suing Morgan Stanley for racist lending in Detroit


"The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Morgan Stanley on behalf of five Detroit homeowners. The group says Morgan Stanley violated federal anti-discrimination laws by encouraging a now-defunct sub-prime mortgage lender to make risky loans in predominantly black neighborhoods. The lawsuit was filed in a New York federal court, and seeks class-action status," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Response to meningitis outbreak might take time

"Congressman John Dingell says it will take time to figure out the right response to a meningitis outbreak caused by tainted steroids. But he's urging Congress to take action and ensure the same thing never happens again.   Dingell says right now, the Food and Drug Administration lacks the authority to regulate the company that made the contaminated medicine -- which has killed 15 people so far," Chris Zollars reports.

Arts & Culture
1:52 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Detroit's art scene gets a $4 million boost

The Detroit Children's Choir is one of 60 city arts organizations that will share the funding.
Photo Courtesy of the Detroit Children's Choir

From potters to puppeteers, there are some very relieved artists in Detroit this week.  More than 60 of the city's cultural groups are splitting a $4 million grant from the Kresge Foundation.

While four million bucks spread across 60 groups may not sound like a lot, it could actually be what keeps the lights on for some of them. Especially teeny groups, like the Detroit Children’s Choir.

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Detroit
10:11 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Detroit's police chief 'retires'

Mayor: Detroit police chief retires amid allegations of sex scandal involving subordinate.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing suspended Ralph Godbee following claims the city's police chief was involved in a sexual relationship with a subordinate.

Godbee was suspended last week after a lawyer for internal affairs officer Angelica Robinson revealed the two had been involved in a sexual relationship.

Godbee has not publicly commented on the claims.

Arts & Culture
12:11 am
Sat October 6, 2012

California art teacher and Detroit duo win top awards in ArtPrize 2012

ArtPrize 2012 winner Adonna Khare does live TV interviews following her win Friday night in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio
  • Popular vote winner Adonna Khare speaks to reporters after her win in Grand Rapids Friday night for her piece, Elephants.
  • Detroit artists Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope take questions from the media following thier win Friday night for their 3-D piece, Displacement. Kendall College of Art and Design President David Rosen can also be heard.

A part-time art teacher from Burbank, California won ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Friday night.

This was the first time Adonna Khare entered the art competition.

“I’m beyond grateful. I’m excited and completely surprised. But words cannot describe how happy I’m feeling right now,” Khare said.

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Arts & Culture
4:02 pm
Thu October 4, 2012

Stateside: Dlectricity

Dlectricity.com

Mark Schwartz is illuminating Detroit. An organizer of Dlectricity, a contemporary light art festival running Oct. 5-6 in Detroit, Schwartz helped create an event he hopes will engage and stimulate his audience.

Cynthia Canty recently spoke with Schwartz about Dlectricity’s function in both the City of Detroit and the art world at large.

“Part of it is art; part of it is the regeneration of Detroit,” said Schwartz. “I think this will be a way for people to really enjoy Detroit at night and start thinking of this city as a pedestrian village.”

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Law
11:13 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Detroit Crime Commission gets $1 million to fight crime on east side

DETROIT (AP) — The new Detroit Crime Commission is getting a $1 million federal grant to help fight crime on the city's east side.

The money will be used to develop a "data-driven approach" to identify issues fueling crime. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says she's putting an assistant prosecutor in place to concentrate on Detroit's east side.

U.S. Rep. Hansen Clarke, D-Mich., will present a symbolic check to the Detroit Crime Commission on Tuesday. The commission is a nonprofit group formed last year to act as a liaison between the public and law enforcement agencies.

It is staffed by retired law enforcers and led by Andrew Arena, the former head of the Detroit FBI.

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