News – Daily Detroit What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Fri, 21 Sep 2018 19:34:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I-696 Still Construction Still Halted, National Guard Could Step In Fri, 21 Sep 2018 19:34:14 +0000

Could we be looking at winter with an entire direction of I-696 remaining closed?

That’s the concern of Warren Mayor Jim Fouts amid an ongoing labor lockout that has ground road constructions projects in the region to a halt.

He’s asked Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to declare a state of emergency to intervene in the disagreement between the Operating Engineers Local 324 and the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, a group of contractors.

For his part, a spokesman for Governor Snyder has said that a state of emergency would “do nothing” to deal with the issue.

Work has been halted for more than two weeks due to an impasse, and there are no signs the two parties are coming to the negotiating table.

In his letter, Fouts outlines the dangers of traffic congestion on main roads and in neighorboods in Warren. He says traffic accidents have surpassed all of last year by 27%, and it’s only September. He also outlines concerns for emergency response vehicles.

Another major metro Detroit road project affected by the impasse is south of the city. The I-75 bridge reconstruction over the Rouge River sits quiet.

Last week, media reports said that Governor Snyder was consulting with the attorney general’s office and looking at possible legislative action. Taking the dispute to the courts to push the two sides together is also reportedly on the table.

In the meantime, the clock is ticking. Mother Nature doesn’t wait for labor disputes, and if work doesn’t resume soon, the projects may not be completed by winter.

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PODCAST: Your Daily Detroit For September 20, 2018 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:46:20 +0000

Here are the show notes for the Daily Detroit podcast recorded on September 20, 2018.

Your Headlines: 

– Detroit’s schools continue to have water woes. The Detroit Public Schools Community District said that at least 57 Detroit schools have tested positive so far for high levels of copper, lead or both in drinking water.

– The beautiful Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle is about to get a $1.9 million facelift starting in October.

– Henry Ford Health System will become the lone tenant in a new office tower taking shape in downtown Royal Oak.

– Could we be looking at winter with an entire direction of I-696 remaining closed?

– A major downtown Detroit hotel is facing a possible strike by its workers.

– Detroit has lost one of its champions. David DiChiera, a man who has been a big part of getting Detroit’s downtown renaissance in tune, has passed at the age of 83. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in April of 2017.

– Rumors are swirling that Dan Gilbert is going to pick up a some big legacy nameplates in media.

– The M Den is coming to Detroit. The University of Michigan-themed retail shop is opening its first location in the city of Detroit in the District Detroit.

– In Warren, there’s a new Greek fast casual restaurant opening up shop.

– This Saturday, Pewabic will be unveiling a new stein during their Oktoberfest celebration. On top of that, Eastern Market Brewing will be at the pottery studio on Jefferson Avenue serving its small batch Kiln Bier, an ale-lager hybrid that was brewed specifically for Pewabic.

Featured Conversation: 

Can there be such a thing as a “new” dive bar? For our feature conversation, Devon’s Detroit columnist Devon O’Reilly stops by to talk about Second Best… and house-made Zima. Apparently that’s a thing.

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LISTEN: Can There Be Such A Thing As A “New” Dive Bar? Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:43:27 +0000

If you’re a regular listener and reader of Daily Detroit, you know that we know our way around a dive bar (yes, we know it’s time to update the list). We did start in the back of Nancy Whiskey’s after all.

So, what makes a dive bar good?

Is it just the ambiance of the place? Is it the cheap drinks? Maybe a killer jukebox that is stocked with good music? All of the above?

The most important question is, can a new bar designate itself as a dive?

Devon O’Reilly joins us on the Daily Detroit podcast to discuss Second Best, one of the newest bars around town, but it also has quite a divey quality to it.

Listen in the player above to find out.

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Could “The People’s Bills” Help City Residents Benefit From Detroit’s Comeback? Thu, 20 Sep 2018 02:59:27 +0000

Is Detroit’s comeback inclusive enough of Detroit residents? That’s been a debate that’s gone on for quite awhile.

However, there’s a new set of ordinances that Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield is proposing she’s calling the “People’s Bills.” In short, her idea is to address the following concerns with ordinances and resolutions:

  • 15-day Pay Requirement for Small Businesses
  • A mandatory 51 percent of Detroiters on construction projects
  • Cash Bail amendements
  • Community Benefits Ordinance Amendments, extending the physical range where messages need to be sent and time of community input
  • Housing Trust Funds
  • Poverty Tax Exemptions
  • Water Affordability

In a conversation with Sheffield, Sven Gustafson talked through what her concerns are and where she thinks improvements could be made. Have a listen in the player above.

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Why Do Half Of Detroit’s Murders Go Unsolved? A Conversation With The Washington Post’s Wes Lowery Thu, 20 Sep 2018 02:19:15 +0000

Detroit has made marked improvements in solving homicides an in-depth Washington Post profile. But there’s still a lot of work to do. But still, why do half of Detroit’s murders go unsolved?

Since 2012, someone has been murdered nearly every 24 hours in Detroit, a city long plagued by violence. Despite sweeping changes to make the homicide division more efficient, police arrest suspects in fewer than half of all killings.

Russell said the explanation is simple: There are too many murders and too few detectives.

“The only way you can fix it is lower crime or to get more manpower,” Russell said.

Our Sven Gustafson speaks with Washington Post reporter Wes Lowery about the paper’s investigative report about overwhelmed homicide detectives in Detroit, and how they compare to the rest of the nation. His complete article is here:

Have a listen to the segment in the Daily Detroit podcast in the player above.

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LISTEN: Eric Thomas (‘Why I Hate Detroit’) On Gentrification And Detroit’s Big Opportunity Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:09:45 +0000

Eric Thomas made waves two years ago when he published a blog post on LinkedIn headlined “Why I hate Detroit.” This week, he penned an op-ed in the Financial Times that serves as a kind of sequel.

Both pieces bring a dose of reality to the narrative of Detroit as a “comeback city” and a city on the rise.

We caught up with him Thursday at the Digital Summit, where he was a presenter on the topic of making your brand human and developing your voice for digital. He talked about what he sees as Detroit’s big opportunity to resist the creeping forces of gentrification and remain welcoming for to all races and cultures.

Listen in the player above.

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Vespa Dealership to Pop-Up in the Fisher Building Thu, 13 Sep 2018 21:08:05 +0000

A pop-up Vespa dealer is opening in the Fisher Building.

The Joe Ricci Automotive Group opened the scooter dealership Thursday. It’s displaying Vespa models in the Fisher Building’s Arcade lobby, with the Peacock Room as its showroom. Shoppers can get information about the motorized scooters and sign up for a test drive with a $10 donation to the Michigan Humane Society.

Ricci says the pop-up gives him an opportunity to test drive the concept of a full-blown Vespa dealership in the city.

The popup will run until April 15, 2019.

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LISTEN: True Crime Podcast ‘Already Gone’ Builds Audience As 100th Episode Drops Wed, 12 Sep 2018 01:22:54 +0000

True crime is hot. The genre dominates the top 10 shows on Apple Podcasts, with podcasts like Serial and My Favorite Murder drawing millions of fans and downloads.

Here in the Detroit area, we’ve got our own true crime podcast that is attracting a growing following, with its 100th episode dropping Wednesday. It promises to change the way you look at Oakland Mall.

Nina Innsted is the researcher, writer, producer and voice behind the popular local podcast “Already Gone,” which focuses on true crimes that took place right here in Michigan.

Already Gone is a fellow member of the Podcast Detroit network. Sven spoke with Innsted on the Daily Detroit podcast about her show and what she’s learned about podcasting.

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Some Michigan Marijuana Businesses Get Extensions To Remain Open Tue, 11 Sep 2018 01:31:31 +0000

A key deadline in the granting of licenses to medical marijuana facilities looks set to be extended, meaning some facilities will be able to keep operating during the licensing process.

It’s not clear which businesses will qualify and for how long. The Detroit News reports the emergency rules to ensure patients still had access to medical marijuana through the licensing period are set to expire Friday, but the state should have details about an extension on Tuesday.

The Medical Marijuana Licensing Board met Monday and granted 21 operating licenses and denied six. That brings the total number of approved operating licenses in the state to 37, with 73 more facilities pre-qualified out of more than 700 that have applied.

The panel also announced it will increase the yearly regulatory fee for each licensed facility from $48,000 to $66,000 starting next year.

This story originally appeared in the Daily Detroit podcast.

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No Straight Ticket Voting In Michigan In November Thanks To Appeals Court Ruling Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:03:41 +0000

Straight-ticket voting is no longer a thing in Michigan — at least for this November’s election.

That’s where you have the option to check one box and have all of your votes go to candidates of that party down the ballot.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Wednesday to block a federal judge’s ruling that would have struck down a ban on straight-ticket voting in the state.

Many local clerks have said that the 2016 law banning straight-ticket voting could result in lengthy delays to vote in bigger cities such as Detroit and Flint. Those are also areas with heavy Democratic turnout. The bill was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature.

The appellate ruling said that the lower courts likely erred when it found that the plaintiffs had shown that the Michigan Legislature intentionally discriminated against African Americans by passing the law.

There are now just three states that have straight ticket voting.

As a note… A ballot initiative in November aims to change the law back to allow straight ticket voting, among other things.

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