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Detroit

Sacramento Knoxx performs at Michigan Radio
Ben Foote

As part of Michigan Radio’s Songs from Studio East series, this year we are exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world.

Today, we meet Sacramento Knoxx from southwest Detroit.

Knoxx is a hip hop artist who blends Mexican and indigenous music into some of his songs.


Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

DETROIT - Former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will give the keynote at the Detroit NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.

The Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Monday announced Clinton as the main speaker at the May 1 event.

Clinton also gave the event's keynote in 2004. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, also has delivered the keynote at the annual fundraiser.

Thomas Xu / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Politicians and business leaders over the last decade have referenced the “brain drain” as a major problem for the state of Michigan. College students graduate from a state college or university and move elsewhere to pursue a job or begin their career.

Today's the day that will largely determine you school district's funding for the next year.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

It may soon get a little easier for Detroit parents to figure out which schools are the right fit for their kids.

Navigating the maze of options – and enrollment deadlines, and application processes – from Detroit Public Schools, the Education Achievement Authority, and charter schools can feel overwhelming for some families.

Starting Friday, a new program called Enroll Detroit will offer parents a common application and enrollment system.

A DDOT bus in Detroit.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A series of public meetings are scheduled over the next month as part of an effort to improve regional transit options in Southeastern Michigan. 

The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) plans to host four open house public meetings to showcase preferred options of reliable transportation in Southeast Michigan. 

The RTA's press release can be found here

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Police Department plans a program that will allow the public access to department data that includes complaints against officers and police runs to problem areas.

The Detroit News reports officers' names won't be made public, but the nature of complaints by precinct will be available.

Police Chief James Craig says: "If you want to build trust, you can't act like you're hiding something."

Photo courtesy of the Reuther Library

by Bill McGraw, Bridge Magazine

Was it a riot or a rebellion?

Or both?

Nearly five decades after the last fire was extinguished, the discussion continues over what to call the events in Detroit during July 1967.

Angela Flournoy
LaToya T. Duncan

Angela Flournoy’s new novel, The Turner House, is receiving praise across the literary spectrum, from The New York Times to Buzzfeed.

It was also a finalist for the National Book Award for fiction.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

America struggles with race and those struggles are intensifying. As the white majority has been shrinking, racial tensions have been rising. You can see it in anti-immigration movements. It’s in the feeling among some white people that they’re being oppressed.

Meanwhile, a new generation of black protest organizations has been taking to the streets as black Americans feel a greater threat from white-dominated politics and police.

Race relations have changed since the civil rights movements of the 1960s and they seem to be changing again.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

In his column for The Detroit News today, Daniel Howes argues that the “presidential circus” is misreading the auto comeback in Michigan.

He begins with a quote from Republican front-runner Donald Trump, claiming he’ll have Michigan’s support because “we’re going to get the auto industry back.”

What does that say about the national narrative and political beliefs about Michigan and the auto industry?

“That they’re not paying attention,” Howes answers flatly.

LBJ Presidential Library

News media around the world are talking about Detroit’s resurgence.

Politicians in the city and the state, such as Gov. Rick Snyder, hype its revitalization.

“New investments have helped fuel a rapid dramatic transformation of Detroit and today it’s America’s comeback city,” he said in a video.

But that’s only part of the story of Detroit.

In the city’s neighborhoods, many people are still struggling.

However, there was a plan released in the 1960s to help end racial discrimination in Detroit and the nation.

Courtesy of Diana Nucera

The Next Idea

Take a moment to think about how much you rely on the Internet.

It’s pretty safe to say many of us find it hard to imagine not being able to get online to communicate, access information, or explore.

On the Detroit set of Paramount Pictures’ "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon."
Robert Zuckerman / Michigan Film Office

Despite the abolishment of the state’s film incentives program, the Transformers franchise will make its way back to Detroit this summer.

Differing from previous Transformers installments filmed in Detroit, Paramount Pictures and the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office created a single agreement for this film, which will ensure the production meets standards for its expenditures and number of personnel hired in the state.

The Michigan Film & Digital Media Office said the deal with Paramount will give $21 million to the film project.

Mercedes Mejia

Rick Joseph is the Michigan Teacher of the Year for 2016. Joseph recently wrote a piece for Bridge Magazine that asks, “Who am I to judge Detroit teacher sickouts?”

As Michigan Teacher of the Year, Joseph tells us he considers his role “to be an ambassador for teachers, to be a servant leader, to be an advocate for education throughout the state.”

Jevona Watson, founder of the coffee shop Detroit Sip
Shawn Lee / Motor City Match

Starting a business on your own brings plenty of challenges, but it takes a special kind of courage and vision – and a little bit of help – to set up shop in a struggling neighborhood. Jevona Watson is opening a coffee shop, Detroit Sip, in Northwest Detroit, near the campus of the University of Detroit-Mercy, and has received a helping hand from the Motor City Match program.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan politics, Jack Lessenberry said the recent shooting in Kalamazoo won't prompt legislation on gun control any time soon, he explained the controversial "gag order" law and gave an update on Flint and Detroit


Joe Gruber

Katrina Watkins stood on her front porch in Detroit’s McDougall-Hunt neighborhood staring at the vacant, overgrown stretch of land across the street.

“I have been trying to get the city out here to cut this for years,” she said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is getting tens of millions of dollars from the federal government to tear down blighted buildings.

Last year, Congress approved spending $2 billion to fund blight elimination programs nationwide. 

The U.S. Department of Treasury today says Michigan is eligible for more than $300 million from the Hardest Hit fund. Nearly $75 million is available immediately.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, has been among those fighting for the blight money.

Wikimedia Commons

There’s an innovative idea from Israel that might be taking root in Detroit.

The idea is to train people in the community to respond to emergency calls.

“And they usually can get there much more quickly because they live next door or across the street, in the same apartment building, whatever the case may be, and get there before the professional EMTs arrive,” says Detroit News Business columnist Daniel Howes.

Ypsilanti's Sue Webster and Michigan Radio's Paula Friedrich recently ventured to Detroit's Masonic Temple to answer a question Webster posed to our MI Curious project:

"There must have been a huge presence at the Masonic Temple in Detroit at one time. What was it all about?"

While you can read about the answer to this question here, we've provided a few more interesting facts about the Masonic Temple that you can explore in the slideshow above.

What's the story behind Detroit's Masonic Temple?

Feb 16, 2016
Detroit's Masonic Temple is an imposing building.
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

Ypsilanti's Sue Webster visited the Detroit Masonic Temple twice (once for the Theatre Bizarre masquerade, and once for a lecture). Her visits piqued her curiosity, so she posed her question to our MI Curious project.

“There must have been a huge presence at the Masonic Temple in Detroit at one time. What was it all about?”

Detroit's Masonic Temple is a gray stone building that towers over Cass Park.

The country's two most vacant cities are in Michigan

Feb 11, 2016
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report from Realty Trac says Flint is the most vacant city in the nation, and Detroit isn't far behind.

According to the report, 7.5 percent of homes in Flint are vacant. Detroit comes in second at 5.3 percent.

According to Laura Reese, while Midtown Detroit is seeing some income growth, the rest of the city is only getting worse
Photo comes from a Wikimedia user, Andrew Jameson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Construction is moving along in Detroit on the new Red Wings arena scheduled to open in 2017.

It’s right across from the Comerica Park, which is across the street from Ford Field.

Do economic development tactics like shiny new stadiums and arenas, casinos, and festival marketplaces really pay off for cities? What really works in urban development?

Michigan presidential primary voters will head to the polls a month from tomorrow. But, if you think the action is waiting until then, think again.

Iggy Pop at the Grande Ballroom, 1968
Leni Sinclair

Leni Sinclair’s camera captured the music scene of Detroit in the ‘60s and ‘70s even as she played a seminal role in the growing countercultural movement in Southeast Michigan.

Sinclair was born in Königsberg,  East Germany, and escaped to West Germany three years before the Berlin Wall was erected. She was 18 when she emigrated to America in 1959, settling with relatives in Detroit. 

Sinclair photographed musicians from John Coltrane and the MC5 to Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley and many, many more.

She and her then-husband, John Sinclair, helped to found the White Panther Party, later the Rainbow People’s Party. They fought against the Vietnam War and racism, and worked to legalize marijuana and reform the prison system.

Now Sinclair has been named the 2016 Kresge Eminent Artist. She becomes the eighth artist to receive the $50,000 award in recognition of her contributions to the art, culture, and people of Detroit.

Looking south on Woodward Ave
flickr user Sean Marshall / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

We may be living in the 21st century, but the transportation infrastructure in Southeast Michigan is lagging way behind.

The number of citizens relying on public transport to get in and out of Detroit for business or pleasure is on the rise, thanks in part to the millennial generation's growing tendency to forgo car ownership in favor of alternative means of transit.

In his story for HOUR Detroit, Patrick Dunn digs into a number of projects that aim to transform the way we get around Metro Detroit.

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

A new study finds there are many challenges to Detroit residents accessing job opportunities.

The report, Detroit’s Untapped Talent: Jobs and On-Ramps Needed, was commissioned by JP Morgan Chase and Company and was compiled by Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.

Jeannine La Prad helped prepare the report.

NAIAS

An upbeat Barack Obama was greeted by an upbeat crowd at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources in Detroit Wednesday.

The president joked he will be looking for a new car next year after he's out of office, and there's no place better to browse for one than the Detroit auto show.

"I know they've got auto shows in Paris and Frankfort and Tokyo," he said, "but there's only one Motor City, and there's only one Detroit, and if you're looking for the world's best cars, and the workers that make those cars, you need to be in Detroit, Michigan!"

President Barack Obama
Pete Souza / White House

President Obama travels to Detroit on Wednesday.

The White House says he'll be in town to "experience the remarkable progress made by the city, its people, and neighborhoods."

The president is expected to tour a Detroit neighborhood, visit the auto show, and give a speech at the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources.

But he's coming at a time when Detroit Public Schools are about to run out of money, and teachers are staging sickouts.

And it was just days ago that the president declared a state of emergency in Flint over the water crisis there.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Department of Transportation will begin running 24-hour bus service for three of its busiest routes Saturday.

The popular routes are part of more than 15 that will begin adjusted schedules this weekend. The changes are the product of public meetings with riders and aim to improve the system’s efficiency while expanding service.

Neil Greenberg of DDOT said the changes are within budget and that the department is getting "more use out of existing resources."

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