Doing Good – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Mon, 22 Jan 2018 01:25:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Book Gives Tips On How Not To Be A Dumb Criminal Sun, 14 Jan 2018 02:57:43 +0000 Krystal Banks got into the bail bonds business eighteen years ago, right out of high school.

Since then, she’s learned how the courts work in Southeastern Michigan, and began giving her clients tips on how to protect their rights and better deal with the system.

Banks said, “I found that, oh, just giving them a little bit of knowledge changed their outcomes. It was really helping them.”

Now Banks is an author with Don’t Be a Dumb Criminal.

The book breaks down the workings of the police and courts with simple, straight-talking language Banks said is easy for even a fifth grader to comprehend.

“I found out that people don’t understand, and they don’t know their rights. They don’t know how to hire an attorney, they don’t know how to look for the right attorney, they don’t know how to fire an attorney.”

Banks said if you need an attorney, you should shop for one like you’re buying a house – don’t buy the first one you see.

She suggests contacting at least five lawyers before making a decision.

Banks stressed that people need to know their Miranda rights—to remain silent because microphones are listening.

When you are arrested, it’s being recorded,” Banks said. “When you go to jail it’s recorded; when you’re in the cell with an inmate, a lot of times it’s being recorded, or they can use that inmate as a witness. When you’re calling your family members and talking about it, it’s all recorded, and they’re going to use it against you.”

Banks says that thousands of copies of Don’t Be a Dumb Criminal and her other version of the book with a racier title called Don’t Be a Dumb*** Criminal are now circulating since it came out last summer.

Church groups, youth groups and even the state prison systems’ re-entry program use it to help former prisoners.

LUCK, Inc., an agency in Detroit that works with parolees and returning citizens has been using the book.

LUCK, Inc. director Mario Bueno said, “She understands our clientele.”

Bueno recalls reading Chess for Dummies when he took up the game and likens it to Banks’ book, “It’s kind of like ‘Law for Dummies’ you know?”

“This is material everybody should know, let alone someone who’s caught up in the criminal justice system,” Bueno said, “The layperson doesn’t know a lot of this stuff. I know this without a shadow of a doubt.”

Krystal Bank in class courtesy Randy Holloway Entertainment.jpgKrystal Banks in class.© Randy Holloway EntertainmentAlong with the book, Banks created a workbook to go with it.

She showed it to Tracy Jones, a college transition advisor at Detroit’s Martin Luther King Jr. High School.

Initially, Jones had concerns the workbook might be seen as a guide on how to be a better criminal.

Once he looked it over, Jones said, “I really took away things that can get you into trouble and you don’t even know it, and here are your rights.”

Jones said students take basic law and civics classes, but the workbook presented a different way to teach important information, so she had Banks present it in class.

“The students were very receptive to it,” Jones said. “In a predominantly African American community, it’s important for them to be aware of what rights they do have when they’re coming in contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”

Banks presented scenarios for the students to consider, like how using a Bridge card the wrong way could get them in trouble.

“They’re like, ‘you mean to tell me my mom sends me to the corner store to buy some food even those Bridge cards are for me, it’s illegal?’” Yes, Banks said. “That’s welfare fraud.”

While criminal behavior can be glorified in some media, Banks said young people need to get smart about what they post online.

“On Facebook, social media, you got drugs in your pictures, you got money in your pictures, but you don’t have a job?” Banks said, “Guess what, there’s a task force that watches this.”

“You have to realize—these police officers, judges, prosecutors and attorneys, they go to regular meetings to be updated with the law. We don’t have this information. We don’t know this,” Banks said, “I want to get everybody on the same level so they have a fair shake.”

For more about the Don’t Be A Dumb Criminal,  learn more at

This content shared with the permission of One Detroit, a service of WTVS/Public Television.
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Warm Your Belly With Soup At Rose’s Fine Food While Helping Detroit Prep Raise $1 Million For Their New School Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:28:17 +0000 Giving Tuesday might have been last Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop being charitable this season.

On Thursday, December 7 the east side diner Rose’s Fine Food will be hosting a soup dinner benefiting the free charter school Detroit Prep.

The school is currently trying to raise $1 million to purchase and renovate an abandoned school that is located two blocks from the current location. The charter school is currently located in the basement of a church in Indian Village, and it will soon out grow this temporary location.

The dinner will include fresh season soups like lamb chili and a vegan vegetable soup and freshly baked bread. The meal will also include a choice between wine or holiday ale.

Rose’s Fine Foods is not very big, so there will be two seatings at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 per person and all proceeds will go towards Detroit Prep. You can purchase tickets here.

If you can’t make it to the dinner, but still want to donate you can purchase a ticket for a Detroit Prep teacher or family member to go in your place.

Rose’s Fine Food is located at 10551 E Jefferson Avenue in Detroit.

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WXYZ Anchor Stephen Clark Announces Retirement Mon, 04 Dec 2017 23:41:12 +0000 One of the most well known people in Detroit media has announced his retirement.

Stephen Clark, who came to WXYZ TV-7 in 2001, announced his retirement on Facebook today. He has a four decade career in broadcasting including stints at KRDO in Colorado Springs, KCNC in Denver’s KCNC, KGTV in San Diego and WCBS New York.

In the announcement, Clark said that he was going to focus on his family, his music career (including his second home in the Nashville area), as well as charity work around The Scarlet’s Smile Foundation.

The retirement will begin at the end of February 2018.

Clark’s granddaughter Scarlet was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and he’s taken viewers with him on the journey of treatment for Scarlet as well as the search for a cure.

The full post is embedded below. A tip of the hat to you, good sir – and thanks for being part of the Detroit community.

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Faygo Will Have A Float For The First Time In Detroit’s Thanksgiving Parade Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:19:53 +0000 It’s one of Detroit’s most beloved brands, and now they’re going to be part of one Detroit’s most beloved and visible events.

November 2017 is the 110th birthday month for the company, and they’re celebrating with a new parade float as part of the nationally-televised America’s Thanksgiving Parade that will roll down Woodward Thanksgiving morning.

Founded on the east side of Detroit in 1907 by two brothers, the company originally known as the “Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works” is still headquartered on Gratiot Avenue in the city of Detroit.

“While lots of folks who’ve lived in the Detroit area have enjoyed their share of Faygo floats, usually in a tall glass with some ice cream, we are deeply proud to celebrate our 110th birthday with a float in another time-honored Detroit classic, America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” said Al Chittaro, president of Faygo Beverages.  “We want to thank the generations of wonderful people, in Michigan and beyond, that have made Faygo a name known around the world for more than a century of good times with great pop.”

We were hoping for a full look, but final preparations are underway so we weren’t able to get ahold of a picture of the whole thing ahead of tomorrow morning.

The theme of the 91st edition America’s Thanksgiving Parade is “Woodward!! Avenue of Dreams!”

The theme celebrates the beauty of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue as well as the completion of the QLINE streetcar.


The parade will be broadcast locally on WDIV-TV Local 4 and in more than 190 cities across the country on Thanksgiving Day.

On the radio, WJR/760 AM’s Paul W. Smith will host a live pre-parade show from 6 a.m.- 9:30 a.m. Also, CBS Radio will provide live parade coverage hosted by 104.3 WOMC’s Bobby Mitchell and Stacey DuFord (Mornings WOMC) from 10 a.m. – noon.

]]> 0 Three Warming Centers Open In The City Of Detroit Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:23:23 +0000 It’s that cold time of year again and to help support folks in the city who are homeless or without heat three warming centers are opening up for when year-round shelters are at capacity.

The warming centers will be open from now until March 31, 2018. The three centers will have extended hours for daytime operations in extreme conditions, when the temperatures hit 10 degrees.

According to the city, for those who who need emergency shelter, they should call the CAM Call Center at (313) 305-0311.  Families with children will be directed to the Southwest Solutions Housing Resource Center at 1600 Porter St. from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., where staff will assist in exploring alternatives to shelter or determining a shelter placement for the night.

The three warming centers are located at:

Cass Community Social Services, 1534 Webb, has 40 beds and provides services for families (male and female parents and children). The center is open from 4 p.m. – 8 a.m. Contact the Cass Community Social Services at (313) 883-2277.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries has 100 beds for men only. The center, 3535 Third Avenue near downtown Detroit, is open from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. For information, contact the Detroit Rescue Mission at (313) 993-6703.

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries has a second location with 25 beds for women and children only. The center, 3840 Fairview between Mack and St. Jean, is open from 4:30 p.m. to 9 a.m.  For information on this location, contact the Detroit Rescue Mission at (313) 331-8990.

The three centers are contracted through the city.

Clients may be picked up by vans from organizations that offer outreach services or be referred by other homeless agencies. People using the services will be expected to complete the intake process for admission.

All individuals are supervised at all times to ensure the safety and security. There also will be two hot meals, counseling, showering and sleeping accommodations.

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of other support services, such as referrals, housing assistance, health screening, and other related services.

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WATCH: “The Idea Of Two Detroits Is Not As Powerful As One Incredibly Strong City.” Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:51:05 +0000 Small Business Saturday is quickly approaching and the New Economy Initiative (NEI) just released a video that celebrates small businesses.

NEI commissioned poet jessica Care moore to write a poem about the impact that small businesses have in neighborhoods. Her poem is titled “The Great Idea” was performed live at the NEIdeas Award Gala earlier this month. It celebrates the hard work and diversity of our city.

“If we are going to be the comeback city then we have to empower the businesses who are already here to stay.
We refer to them simply as the been here people.”

The video was filmed, directed, and edited by Detroit Lives! and the still photography was shot by Ali Lapetina.

New Economy Initiative (NEI) announced the winners of the 2017 NEIdeas small business challenge at the NEIdeas Gala.

Twenty small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park were awarded $10,000 to help their business. Two additional businesses were awarded $100,000.

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New “Detroit Has Legs” Tights Featuring 32 Iconic Local Places To Benefit Cass Community Social Services Mon, 20 Nov 2017 18:56:10 +0000 Looking for leggings with Detroit-themed style? “Detroit Has Legs,” with all the profits going to benefit the nonprofit Cass Community Social Services, might just be your ticket.

Skinnytees, an online retailer based in Birmingham makes these custom women’s leggings that feature 32 iconic Detroit buildings, sculpture and sites throughout the city.

They’re available in sizes XS through 3XL online for $56 here.

“Our team wanted to design an item that showcases our beloved city of Detroit in a visual and impactful way,” said Linda Schlesinger-Wagner, founder of Skinnytees. “Detroit Has Legs is only the beginning of the expansion of our brand’s themed clothing, and we look forward to providing our customers with more custom-made designs.”

According to the company, pulling this project together took a year, from finding the sublimation printer and contractor that could make the visuals work in the fabric.

Each pair of leggings is made in the United States, one at a time. The legging fabric is rolled out on all sides so that each Detroit photo can be cut out individually and printed on the fabric.

Once the images are cut and printed, the dye-sublimation process begins that applies the images to the fabric with sublimation ink, heat and pressure.

If you’ve seen Skinnytees before, it’s because they’ve been on Good Morning America, The View and QVC. Skinnytees also earned a spot on the 2017 Inc. 5000 as one of nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

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Life At The Historic Grande Ballroom? Supporters Are Fundraising For A Structural Engineering Report Sun, 19 Nov 2017 05:31:06 +0000 The Grande Ballroom is one of the most hallowed spaces in Detroit music history. It has been home to jazz, big band, rock. It was a center of Detroit’s counterculture movement.

It also is a gem of a building designed by Charles Agree and completed in 1928. He left his mark on a variety of structures around town like the Vanity Ballroom, the Whittier Hotel and others.

But what will be next for the place that’s seen a couple lives and been sitting closed since 1972?

It’s currently owned by the Chapel Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and the building is being hugged by a dedicated group of volunteers that are now raising money to get the ball rolling on turning the corner for the place.

A GoFundMe has been started by Leo Early, a passionate advocate for the place, in conjunction with the Friends of the Grande Ballroom and the church that owns the structure to see what needs to be done.

Per the fundraiser page:

Donations will go towards the engineer’s fee and any  inspection costs to include construction/carpentry and equipment rentals. This report will be used to make a decision for launching a 501-(c)3 non-profit organization, aid in determining a business case and to calculate the extent of work necessary to stabilize the structure.  Assuming positive viability can be determined, any balance will go towards startup costs and a much larger construction fund raising campaign. Exercising this due diligence will benefit the church in pursuing grants and additional funding. As the building has a perforated roof, time is of the essence and we hope to have the inspection complete as soon as possible, weather permitting. Our latest potential inspection date is December 15.

As of this writing, they’re raised $3,045 of their $5,000 goal. There are also a variety of rewards ranging from a lapel pin to a blueprint to a custom dinner tour. If you’re interested, visit the fundraiser by clicking here. 

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City Year Detroit Raises $110,000 During Annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:35:27 +0000 On Thursday morning I went to City Year’s 7th annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast.

Every year, City Year Detroit holds this breakfast as a way to discuss empowering young Detroiters. This year the topic was how City Year could help foster a strong workforce in Detroit.

I see two separate ways that City Year is helping the next generation get ready for workforce development.

The main way is with the work the  City Year Americorps members are doing in the schools. These corps members are young adults from the ages of 18-25 who spend 10 hours a day working in classrooms, spending one on one time with students who need help in mathematics and literacy, and by planning activities for students.

So the students that are being assisted are less likely to fall behind and they are less likely to drop out of high school.

The second way City Year is helping with workforce development with the the corps members themselves.

These young people are learning key skills that will help them later in life. They are problem solving, working as a team work and also teaching others.

Once these corps members finish their time at City Year they have a great opportunity to get a job or to continue their education.

For instance:

  • The University of Michigan Law School has a $30,000 scholarship for alumni of City Year.
  • City Year alumni who want to get their masters in education can get a scholarship to the University of Michigan for $15,000.
  • Alumni that are accepted to University of Detroit Mercy Law School can get a 25% discount on tuition.

In the past two years, 80% of the City Year Detroit alumni have decided to continue to live in the city.

Which means all of that talent is staying within the city. And talent staying in Detroit? That’s a good thing.

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QUICK TIP: Free Diaper Giveaway This Sunday In Southwest Detroit Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:57:30 +0000 Being a mother can be a really hard job. It can be even harder if you are struggling to make ends meet between housing, food, and diapers.

Diapers are one of those things that you kind of need when you have a kid. Both cloth and disposable diapers are an investment. Babies need an average of 8-10 diapers a day, so disposable diapers end up costing roughly $80 a month.

This is where FIERCE (Female Icons Encouraging Real Concepts of Empowerment) comes in. This Sunday, November 19 they will be holding a Diaper Giveaway to area moms.

FIERCE Detroit received a donation of over 500 boxes of diapers and they’re looking to give them away.

The Diaper Giveaway will provide moms with diapers, hats, gloves, socks and information on numerous resources. The diapers are first come first served.

The moms are also encouraged to sign up for FIERCE programs that can help with educational advice, career coaching, parenting, and other resources that can help empower women. You can also sign up to volunteer.

The event will take place on Sunday, November 19 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Brilliant Detroit, located at 5675 Larkins in Detroit.

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