Detroit

Stateside
4:59 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

How does Detroit's bankruptcy fit into the city's past, present, and future?

Streets of Detroit.
user Daviddje Flickr

Let's take time now to put today's ruling by Judge Rhodes into historical context. How does the painful journey into Chapter 9 bankruptcy fit into Detroit's past, present, and most importantly, its future?

We're joined by someone who has covered the news in Michigan for five decades: Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry.

Listen to full interview above.

Stateside
4:58 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

What happened inside the courtroom during today's Detroit bankruptcy trial

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes
John Meiu Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek was in the courtroom today when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that Detroit was eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Stephen Henderson, the editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, has been covering the bankruptcy trial on the pages of the Freep.

Sarah and Stephen talk with us in the studio today to discuss what happened today, and what it means for Detroiters.

Listen to full interview above. 

Stateside
4:41 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Is Detroit eligible for bankruptcy protection? We'll find out tomorrow

Joy VanBuhler Flickr

Tomorrow will be one for the history books, not just here in Michigan but across the nation.

Tuesday morning is when Federal Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will rule whether or not Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

Detroit News reporter Chad Livengood has covered the bankruptcy trial, and he joined us today to talk about what might happen tomorrow morning.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
6:16 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Detroit gets $24 million grant to hire 150 firefighters

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Detroit is getting a $24 million federal grant that will be used to hire 150 firefighters in the city.

The grant was announced this week by Michigan's U.S. senators.

It comes through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program.

The Detroit Free Press says the award is an annual one, but it's believed the hires would be supported by the grant for more than one year.

Executive Fire Commissioner Don Austin calls the federal money a "godsend."

Politics & Government
8:18 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy

Peter Martorano Flickr

Week in Michigan Politics interview

In this Week in Michigan Politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss a proposal to block abortions from being covered in basic health plans, how Warren Buffett is backing millions of dollars in an initiative to help small businesses in Detroit, and look to next week when Judge Steven Rhodes will decide if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.

Read more
Stateside
5:01 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

The GOP cares about Detroit, they are building new 'African-American Engagement Office' to prove it

Dennis Lennox
Twitter

The Republican Party wants Detroit to know it cares. The GOP is hoping to increase its presence in the city where Barack Obama grabbed 97.5% of the vote in 2012.

And, how is the GOP going to reach out to Detroiters? By sending in Senator Rand Paul, tea party senator from Kentucky, to headline the opening of the new GOP outreach center, which is named "The African-American Engagement Office."

This has at least one Republican stalwart cringing. Dennis Lennox, GOP strategist and columnist at the Morning Sun, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Detroit called 'post-apocalyptic' by city outsiders

Dave Linabury Flickr

As Detroit has slid its way down the slippery slope to bankruptcy, the eyes of the world have been fixed on the Motor City.

Whether it was Time Magazine renting a house for embedded reporters, Bob Simon of 60 Minutes comparing Detroit to Mogadishu, chef Anthony Bourdain comparing Detroit to Chernobyl, using the description "post-apocalyptic," the outsiders' view of Detroit has been, to put it gently, negative.

Our next guest has raised the question: what happened when outsiders are shaping Detroit's narrative? When Detroit and its leaders and stakeholders can't articulate a consistent message, someone else is going to do it. And how is that Narrative-Shaped-By-Outsiders going to affect Detroit's destiny?

Detroit Free Press Staff Writer Mark Stryker explored this in a recent piece "Seeking Detroit's Voice: Lack of message lets others shape the narrative." He joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
4:05 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Blight Task Force to count every land parcel in Detroit

Urban Prairie, Detroit
Credit Jtmichcock at the English language Wikipedia Commons

The condition of every land parcel in Detroit will be surveyed beginning this week.  The hope is to complete the survey in eight weeks, according to Glenda Price, a member of Detroit's federally-appointed Blight Task Force. The task force was established this past October.

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Offbeat
12:35 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Holiday lights brighten up Detroit's Michigan Central Depot

Snowflake lights brighten up the Michigan Central Depot in Detroit.
Michigan Central Station Preservation Society Facebook

Detroit’s Michigan Central Depot is looking a little more cheery today.

For the second year in a row, the former train station which now serves as the quintessential symbol of Detroit's urban decay, is decking the halls with holiday lights. According to The Detroit News, Matty Moroun, who bought the building in 1996, came up with the idea of sprucing up the 18-story abandoned station with the help of his family.

“Since we’ve put electricity back in, we decided to light it up, and it looks really nice,” President of the Detroit International Bridge Co. Dan Stamper said. “We’ve gotten a lot of nice comments and we just hope everyone has a happy holiday.”

Electric lighting has returned to the building as part of an effort to (slowly) give the station a facelift. Back in 2011, the International Bridge Co. began to replace windows and stairwells in MCD. 

- Melanie Kruvelis, Michigan Radio Newsroom

Stateside
5:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

People will share their failures on a Detroit stage this Thursday

The background for FAILURE:LAB.
FAILURE:LAB FAILURE:LAB

Bill Gates once declared, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Of course, we all fail at times. But many of us try to cover those mistakes up, or at the very least, choose not to broadcast our failures.

One Michigan group is looking to change that — not only talking about our shortcomings and errors, but sharing them on a stage. FAILURE:LAB brings together storytellers, talking about when they’ve failed, and gives the audience a chance to reflect on the stories told. Because according to the folks at FAILURE:LAB, failure can help inspire us to take intelligent risks.

FAILURE:LAB is coming to Detroit this Thursday. We talked to Austin Dean, co-founder of the group, about what FAILURE:LAB is, and what it can do for audience members and storytellers alike. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Government
11:45 am
Tue November 19, 2013

France has a travel advisory for those traveling to Detroit and other US cities

Greetings from France.
user: melancolie en velours Flickr

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a warning to French tourists traveling to the United States. 

The security recommendations cite Detroit as a city whose "center is not recommended after the close of business."

Other cities included on the advisory list were: Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and the entire state of Florida.

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Opinion
7:26 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Is there hope for Detroit after bankruptcy?

Lessenberry commentary for 11/15/13

As we know, no major city has ever been in the position Detroit is in now. What was once the Arsenal of Democracy, a proud and vibrant city of two million people, is now in bankruptcy court, asking a federal judge to let it be reborn.

The city has lost two thirds of its population and far more of its wealth. There are tens of thousands of abandoned buildings.  Earlier this year, Detroit was taken over by the state, and is now being run by a state-appointed emergency manager.

City services are so bad the voters, the vast majority of them black, just elected a mayor who is a white political boss from the suburbs, in the desperate hope that he could somehow fix things. Mike Duggan clearly intends to try.

The scope of the problem is almost beyond imagining, in part because for too long, nobody was willing to admit the facts, not even to themselves. Now, the city has been forced into a rendezvous with reality.

Read more
Politics & Culture
4:32 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On the show today, a surprising new study shows binge drinking is up among high school students, and that's not all. It's a rising problem across the Midwest.

 Then, a very personal story from a filmmaker who overcame being a bully, and how her mission to educate kids and parents resulted in a powerful film. And, we took a look at Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's visit to Detroit and what he learned while there. 

First on the show, As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Stateside
4:30 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New MSU report says other Michigan cities might be in the same trouble as Detroit

Eric Scorsone, MSU Extension specialist and economist.
Michigan State University

As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:24 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger visited Detroit and left enlightened

Republican Jase Bolger, State Speaker of the House
Michigan Municipal League Flickr

Late last month, on October 28th to be precise, the Speaker of Michigan’s House traveled from Lansing to Detroit. Not for a political meeting, or a dinner, or a ball game.

Jase Bolger (R-Midland) came at the invitation of a Detroit lawmaker to see for himself what people in Detroit face day-in and day-out.

And it would seem that what he saw and heard left its mark.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley has written a series of columns about this apparent enlightenment of House Speaker Bolger, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
1:56 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

State's lease on Detroit's Belle Isle starts, $11 per car will be required

The Scott fountain on Belle Isle
demccain flickrriver

That per car fee won't go into effect for another 90 days, as the MDNR transitions into running things on Detroit's Belle Isle under a 30-year lease approved yesterday by a state loan board.

Detroit City Council wanted a 10-year lease. More from Crain's Detroit Business:

Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Natural Resources, said the reason the state sought a 30-year lease was to be able to apply for grants for park improvements that would require such a time commitment.

The city’s argument for a 10-year lease was that following Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy and a reduction in its structural deficit and a move to a balanced budget, it will have the capacity a decade from now to again properly fund and maintain the 985-acre park.

One member of the loan board overseeing the deal said terms of the deal could be revisited in the future. 

Stateside
5:33 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Grand Army of the Republic building in Detroit has a new lease on life

historicdetroit.org

It was one of the more memorable vacant buildings in downtown Detroit, but its days of being vacant and decaying are, happily, in the past.

The historic Grand Army of the Republic Hall at Cass and Grand River is getting a new lease on life thanks to brothers Tom and David Carleton and their partner Sean Emery.

They bought the little castle-like building in 2011 from the City of Detroit for $220,000 and started cleaning and restoring it at once.

Now this architectural gem will be home to the partners’ media production firm Mindfield.

It stands as an example of an historic building being saved, not by a tycoon with very deep pockets, but some small business owners with a vision.

One of those partners, Tom Carleton, joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Education
2:18 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

3 things to know about the history of Detroit busing

Newspaper clippings from Detroit's busing era.
Credit clipping courtesy of Ray Litt / via Detroit Free Press

For State of Opportunity,  I've been wading through hours of audio and stacks of research for months about Detroit's mid-1970's busing controversy.

 More specifically, the educational fall-out from the Milliken v. Bradley case.  Here's what happened.

1. Busing was used as a last resort to fix segregated schools. 

Read more
Arts & Culture
1:48 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Check out these award-winning Instagram pictures from Detroit's Brush Park

A photo from Diane Weiss' Instagram account, Brushpark_MyHood.
Instagram

A Detroit Free Press photo editor won a $3,000 grant for her latest project — capturing her community through her iPhone lens.

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Arts & Culture
1:14 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Another fire destroys a house in Detroit's Heidelberg Project

The "House of Soul" was covered in vinyl records.
Heidelberg Project Facebook

This Tweet came from The Heidelberg Project this morning:

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