Detroit

City of Detroit

In what officials call an effort towards greater transparency, the city of Detroit launched a website that offers access to many government documents that were once difficult to find. 

"People have questions on how the government works, and it's frustrating when it's difficult to get answers to those questions," said Garlin Gilchrist II. 

FLICKR USER SARRAZAK6881 / FLICKR

Coliform bacteria and boil-water alerts, rashes on kids, and water that tastes and smells horrible are some of the side effects associated with Flint’s decision to disconnect from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and switch to the Flint River while it transitions to a new system.

Conditions in Flint grew so terrible that environmental activist Erin Brockovich caught wind of the situation and turned her team’s attention towards Michigan.

The cause of this water crisis? Money.

TODD FARNUM

Since it opened in 1928, the Penobscot Building has been one of the architectural crown jewels of Detroit’s downtown. It was the eighth-tallest building in the world and the tallest in Michigan until the Renaissance Center hotel tower was built in 1977.

Generations of Michiganders knew that the top of this Art Deco tower was marked by a red neon light. But big sections of that light have burned out.

Todd Farnum, owner of Green Light Detroit, plans to climb the 47 story building to fix those lights.

user FatMandy / flickr

A judge says Wayne County must take steps to improve the condition of its current jail.

An opinion from Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny says problems with the old jail have gotten worse while the county focused its efforts on building a new jail. Kenny says the completion of the new jail is not "imminent."

flickr

A $20 million vision to turn Detroit's Chandler Park into an ecological laboratory is underway. 

"The goal is to create the first urban conservation park in Michigan," said Maggie DeSantis, president of the East Side Community Network, which is facilitating a collaborative effort of several community organizations to revitalize the 200-acre park on Detroit's east side.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan felt a bit like a Monty-Python sketch this week as the Snyder administration looked on the bright side of a gaping budget hole and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City oozed optimism. Jack Lessenberry and Zoe Clarke discuss whether things really are as bright as they say or if dark clouds are looming.


Courtesy of City of Detroit, Mayor's Office

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his State of the City address this week.

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes says Duggan didn't talk much about the auto industry, but instead focused on entrepreneurship and how to support small businesses.

This reflects much of Detroit, and Michigan's deeper history, according to Howes.

"Both Detroit and Michigan's roots were planted by entrepreneurs and really the Michigan that a lot of people knew and think back on, the golden age if you will, was the fruit of the entrepreneurial spirit," says Howes.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan riveted his town for nearly an hour last night with a state of the city address glowing with infectious, can-do optimism. 

Things are getting better, he insisted, facts and figures rolling off his tongue. The city is selling vacant properties no one thought possible to sell. Police response times are much better. Detroit has twice as many ambulances as it did.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit businesses sometimes have a hard time finding qualified workers. Even a bakery determined to hire its neighbors has had a tough time.

“At one school I was hiring from,  I had to get rid of most of the people that I hired from that school because they didn’t know the poundage or how to read recipes or anything like that,”  Tony Johnson said. He’s the Human Resources manager for Avalon International Breads.

Jewelry For A Cause

Jewelry buyers from around the country can help get illegal weapons off the streets of Detroit.

A company called Jewelry For A Cause has recently launched the Detroit Caliber Collection. The 13-item collection joins similar collections for Newark, San Francisco and Hartford.

NEA

DETROIT (AP) - The chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts is scheduled to visit Detroit's cultural center area, including the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Jane Chu's planned tour on Monday includes the Sugar Hill Arts District and the Woodward Garden Block. She's also set to visit the art museum and speak with reporters there.

row of houses
Flickr user Michigan State Historical Preservation Office / Flickr

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently announced that more than half of Detroit home owners will see their property tax assessments drop by 10% .

"Here you have a mayor of Detroit who has, effectively, cut taxes two times in the last two years. When has that ever happened before?" asks Daniel Howes, whose article published in the Detroit News today evaluates the mayor's decision.

via city of Detroit

Detroit officials say they’re confident the fledgling Great Lakes Water Authority will work out—despite concerns and complaints from some suburban officials questioning its future.

The GLWA gives regional players a larger role in running Detroit’s city-owned water system, which services some 4 million customers in southeast Michigan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This week in Michigan politics, Jack and Emily discuss anguish over Flint’s water, a plan for some Detroiters to pay half price on auctioned homes and a new gun bill moving ahead in Lansing.


Rob Swatski / Flickr

It became a kind of overnight urban legend.

A couple of years ago, Detroit's "50,000 feral dogs" made national headlines, which in turn drew eye rolls from residents sick and tired of seeing their city depicted as an apocalyptic hellscape, especially when that 50,000 number was sketchy at best.

House in Detroit.
Jason Irla / Flickr

DETROIT - Mayor Mike Duggan has released a plan to allow Detroit municipal workers, retirees and their families to pay half the price of their winning auction bids for city-owned houses.

Duggan told reporters Monday that the program will help strengthen neighborhoods and return more residents to home ownership.

He says the plan could be in place by mid-February if approved by City Council.

The city owns thousands of empty houses. It is tearing down those that can't be rehabilitated while attempting to sell others to buyers willing to fix them up and move in. Detroit began auctioning vacant houses last year through its land bank.

Hart Plaza in Detroit.
Jason Mrachina / Flickr

Michigan’s rate of unemployment is down. Detroit’s is expected to continue to decline. However, Detroit’s rate is still about twice that of the state.

User: Sean_Marshall / Flickr

Developers say they will turn the Wurlitzer building and the Professional Plaza building into a hotel and apartment complex, respectively. 

Detroit's historic Wurlitzer building was deemed one of the city's 'most dangerous structures' because it's been raining bricks onto neighboring buildings, such as 1515 Broadway Cafe. Comically, the cafe responded with a sign that reads 'Free coffee with purchase of Wurlitzer Building'. 

Ann Rosene / Library of Congress

The Atlantic aggregated photos of what Detroit looked like in the 1940s.

Click on the image above to view some of the images shared from the Library of Congress. 

In their article, the Atlantic explained why the 1940s was such a vital time in Detroit's history. 

Hello Aerial / YouTube

The team at Hello Aerial, a drone cinematography group based out of Detroit, explored the images of Detroit's historical churches from a very different angle: the sky. 

The video, below, shows the Sweetest Heart of Mary Catholic Church and the St. Joseph's Catholic Church from the air. They even flew the drone inside the church to get a closer look at some historic detailing. 

Alden Jewell / Flickr

Got milk? Well, back in the day, milk trucks drove door-to-door delivering the all important staple to your home.

Twin Pines, Sealtest, Borden’s, Washtenaw Dairy and Guernsey Farm are just a few of the companies that sent hardy little delivery trucks out every day, serving up home delivery of milk, cream, eggs and cheese.

Detroit from above. Follow the link in the post to find the slider images.
University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma's Institute for Quality Communities looks at Detroit from above in 1951 vs. Detroit in 2010.

Over that 60 year span, a lot changed.

user: Allert Aalders / flickr

One of the most iconic rock venues in Detroit will be seeing a big transformation in the coming months -- The Magic Stick, on the second floor of the Majestic entertainment complex on Woodward, will turn its back on its rock roots for electronic music, the Detroit Free Press reports
 

Tianyi Cheng

Chances are good most of us have heard of the Kiwanis Club. The name is unusual.

But you might not know the Kiwanis club started just about 100 years ago in Detroit.

We spoke with Eric Sabree, president of Kiwanis 1, the Detroit club that started it all in January 1915.

Screen shot of a crime map for Detroit from 12/29/14 to 1/4/2015 generated by crimemapping.com.
crimemapping.com

Final numbers are expected to be released this week, but early indications show a drop in the rate of violent crime in the city of Detroit.

Based on this December report from the Detroit Police Department, you can see that homicides, robberies, and sexual assaults are down.

Mitzvah Day is joint Jewish and Muslim day of service on Christmas

Dec 25, 2014
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Members of the Detroit-area Jewish and Muslim communities are joining together on Christmas for a day of good deeds in the Detroit area. It's called Mitzvah Day.

About 1,000 volunteers from both faiths will participate in 43 service projects across metro Detroit.

Pension protest in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Detroit's two pension funds will get $195 million from the state on Feb. 9.

A three-member board overseeing Michigan's contribution to Detroit's bankruptcy case approved the payment Monday. The money is intended to strengthen the pension funds and prevent cuts from going deeper than 4.5 percent for retirees. It also prevents any sale of city-owned art.

Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans Founder and CEO
Quicken Loans

There was some recent sand-throwing between Oakland County's feisty executive, L. Brooks Patterson, and Dan Gilbert, who is arguably Detroit's No. 1 booster, both in terms of buying, building, and enticing companies to move to Detroit. 

Sander J. Rabinowitz / Wikipedia

His former boss remarked that Bill Bonds could "read the telephone book and make you pay attention." The legendary Detroit TV anchor died over the weekend at age 82.

pinehurst19475 / Flickr

To anyone who's taking a first-time drive, the border between Detroit and the city of Grosse Pointe Park provides a stunning contrast. Grosse Pointe Park is the western-most of the five Grosse Pointes. And driving east or west on streets like Jefferson, Charlevoix, and Kercheval will give you a real eye-opening lesson in racial and economic disparity.

But you cannot drive the main thoroughfare of Kercheval. That's because Grosse Pointe Park erected farmer's market sheds right in the middle of the street at the Detroit border. 

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