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Detroit

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.

young kids playing with toys on floor
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.

side view of a red Detroit Fire Department Firetruck.
user cutedtownboi / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It seems like the city of Detroit has Halloween arsons under control. The Detroit Fire Department responded to 59 fires over this year's three-day Angels' Night campaign, the second lowest total on record.  

It's the second consecutive year there were fewer than sixty fires. There were 52 fires reported on Angels' Night in 2015. For decades, volunteers have struggled against a notorious tradition of fires in the city on the nights surrounding Halloween. Prior to 2014, the annual Angels' Night count had hovered around 100 fires. 

Razor wire at a Detroit police station.
Tim Jones / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Heather Ann Thompson has been in the news recently because of the success of her new book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, a nonfiction finalist this year for the National Book Award.

DWSD

Detroit found more lead in drinking water samples this summer than it has in recent years, and there’s a few reasons to account for the uptick.  

Unofficial results posted this month by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department show Detroit’s water is safe to drink by federal standards.

A mural in the Hope District of Detroit.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Turn on the TV news in metro Detroit, and you're bound to catch the latest story about a shooting, a stabbing, or some other tragic story about another lost life in the city.

Violent crime is something every major urban center struggles with, and Detroit is no exception.

Public Act 343 makes Michigan the 32nd state to provide exonorees with compensation for time served.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The prison reform movement in Michigan – and across much of the nation – is one of the rare issues in this contentious era that attracts support from individuals, public officials and organizations with a wide variety of agendas and political views.

Courtesy Gaby Gerster, Diogenes Zuric

"Mystic River," "Shutter Island," and coming in December, “Live By Night” are just some of the major Hollywood films based on stories by Dennis Lehane.

After building a career as one of America’s most popular and most respected crime novelists, Lehane began writing widely acclaimed historical fiction. But he’s also built a parallel career in the worlds of television and film, including time as a writer for HBO’s “The Wire” and writing the screenplay for one of James Gandolfini’s final films, “The Drop.”

Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

How much voice should people have about a development proposed for their neighborhood?

When a developer gets tax breaks or public funding, should the people living around that project get something?

Those questions are at the heart of a pair of a proposals in Detroit.The two competing community benefit ordinances, or CBOs, are on the November ballot.

tEdGuY49 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

With thousands of tons of trash burned every day, Detroit has the largest urban incinerator in the country.

Now its long and controversial history has a new chapter. The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center has filed a letter serving notice that it intends to sue Detroit Renewable Power, the operator of the incinerator.

Nick Schroeck, the executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center, joined Stateside to talk about the lawsuit and why they are filing it.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The hunt is on for lead pipes in Detroit.

Flint officials still don’t know where all the city’s lead service lines are. That’s because the building records were in horrible shape.

Courtesy of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

If you had 20 years to give away $1.2 billion, how would you do it?

That’s the question facing one Detroit-based philanthropy, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

Funded by the estate of the late Ralph C. Wilson Jr., who was born in Detroit and went on to become the owner of the Buffalo Bills, the Foundation plans to focus its efforts on the areas Mr. Wilson called home: southeast Michigan and western New York.

And unlike many philanthropic foundations, which invest their endowments and give away the income generated by those investments, Mr. Wilson’s foundation has a mandate to spend all of the money by 2035.

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.

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. 

Flickr user Summer in the City/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

One of the organizations to rise from the ashes of the 1967 uprising in Detroit was Focus: HOPE.

It’s many things to many people, but primarily it’s a career training center for about 900 people each year, and a distributor of food to approximately 40,000 senior citizens in 42 Detroit-area communities each month through a United States Department of Agriculture program.

This summer Focus: HOPE got a new CEO. His name is Jason Lee.

People drop off recycling at Recycle Here! in Detroit.
screen grab from YouTube / Model D TV

A couple weeks ago, Jay from Detroit submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

Why doesn’t Detroit have a public recycling system?

There is a recycling program in the city, so I reached out to Jay in order to understand what, exactly, he was asking. (Jay has asked to be referred to only by his first name, for reasons that will become clear.)

Courtesy of Barney Ales

 

You’ve surely heard many stories about Motown over the years. Stories of its stars or of the ambitious Berry Gordy Jr. using an $800 family loan to build one of the most impactful record labels anywhere.

But there’s a side to the Motown story we haven’t heard much about until now: the business side. The entrepreneurial spirit, the hard work and the hustle to “get the records played and the company paid.”

Detroit City Skyline
user Bernt Rostad / flickr

JP Morgan Chase is investing an additional $1.3 million to develop training programs for workers in Detroit. 

It's part of a  a $100 million commitment the financial services magnate has made to invest in Detroit's economic recovery.

Chauncey Lennon is the head of workforce initiatives at JP Morgan Chase. He says workers need to have so-called "soft skills", like teamwork and communication. But many of today's in-demand jobs also require greater technical expertise. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Violent crime dropped in three Michigan cities known for their problems with violence.

Detroit, Flint, and Saginaw have long been ranked high on the FBI’s violent crime list.

But new stats released this week showed violent crime dropped by double-digits in all three cities. From 2014 to 2015, violent crime declined in Detroit (13%), Flint (14.3%) and Saginaw (18.1%).

All three cities have been part of a special Michigan State Police program targeting high-crime areas with stepped-up law enforcement and community engagement.

"We hear the statistics about the young men, but we don't hear the voices of the women who are trying to raise them and do the right thing," Katarina Grosska told us.
screengrab of Never Alone in Detroit

Being a single parent is a tough job. Being a single mother raising a son in one of the nation's most violent cities is really tough. 

Loyola High School in Detroit interviewed more than 100 women who have raised or are raising young men. Many of them said they felt very alone. 

Those interviews eventually took form as a video entitled Never Alone in Detroit. The project was produced by Loyola and funded by the Michigan Council for the Humanities.

Mike Jackson feels that Proposal A could make Detroit less attractive to developers.
flickr user Ken Lund / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Next Idea

Two years ago, on a sunny September afternoon, there was a special celebration to mark the end of a long spell of construction on I-96 in western Wayne County.

Before opening the freeway to traffic, the Michigan Department of Transportation invited the public to come play on the nearly two-mile stretch of renovated road.

The turnout was big: the freeway filled with people walking, running, biking and rollerblading.

Room in an abandoned school in Detroit
user Freaktography / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

More than 152,000 students in metro Detroit attend class in a district or charter other than the district where they live. As minorities move into some districts, other students use the state schools-of-choice law to move to less-diverse districts.

Families say they use "choice" to move their kids to higher-performing, or safer, schools. Consciously or not, however, this law has left many districts in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb County more racially segregated.

Metro Detroit racial divide is widest over police

Sep 16, 2016
Demostrators in downtown Detroit protest police-involved shootings that have killed African-Americans.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

While black and white metro Detroiters are finding common ground on racial progress, there remains a gulf, shaped by vastly different experiences, in how the two groups view police.

And nowhere are those differences laid more bare than in the divergent views on the protest movement known as Black Lives Matter.

Roughly eight-in-10 African-American residents in metro Detroit express support for Black Lives Matter, according to to a survey on racial attitudes conducted this month for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative. BLM arose three years ago in reaction to the killing of unarmed blacks by police. Black support for the group (79% strongly or somewhat support BLM) is more than double that among white metro-Detroiters, 34%.

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

Picture a tree. It has two branches. One bears green leaves. The other struggles to remain viable.

That tree is Detroit and those two branches represent the two very different narratives that we've seen play out this week.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined Stateside to talk about these two approaches to rebuilding the city of Detroit.

The corner of Puritan and Livernois in Detroit.
screen grab / Google Maps street view

Detroit has seen a lot of new changes come its way in the past five years, with the revitalization of Midtown, the growth of businesses downtown, and some small businesses becoming more stable in other pockets of the city. 

The city will now get $4 million in a national civic commons initiative to help fund projects in the respective cities. Chicago, Memphis, and Akron will also receive money for projects in their cities. 

User thinkpanama / Flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Peer pressure is often cited for regretful behavior, but now an ex-principal is using it to explain why he stole almost $59,000 from the school district that employed him.    

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