Good afternoon! It’s Jer. I’ll say this — it’s never boring in Metro Detroit. What’s usually a light edition of the newsletter on a Friday is a bit heavier today. It’s just how the cookie crumbled.

Let’s get started. As always, my analysis is italics. And if you want to get future notes, think about signing up for free.

⚡️ What to know

» The truck was rockin’ so the cops came knockin’: 🚔  Detroit Police Commissioner Bryan Ferguson has resigned after allegedly being found with a sex worker on Wednesday morning.

Let’s get caught up:

  • Undercover narcotics agents that were Wayne County Sheriff deputies allegedly caught Ferguson with a sex worker “engaged in a sex act” in his truck at a little after 7am on Wednesday near Sorrento and Schoolcraft in Detroit. [Freep]
  • “Deputies saw a man in a truck with a woman’s head in his lap. As they stopped, the department says the woman popped up, wiped off her face, and exited the truck.” [ClickOnDetroit]
  • Deputies allege that Ferguson identified himself as a police commissioner and asked them to “help him out.” [New York Post]
  • Both were ticketed, and Ferguson’s truck towed.
  • In a Wednesday news release, Ferguson called it a “big misunderstanding.”
  • On Thursday afternoon, he resigned his post. [Fox 2 News]

This is all happening with a long-standing power struggle between the Detroit Police Department and the board that oversees it in the background. [CBS Detroit]

» Target plans to open a 180,000 square feet distribution center at Detroit's old Michigan State Fairgrounds by June 2024. [Urbanize Detroit]

» DTE is shutting down a coal plant in Monroe three years early — and converting another to natural gas. [Planet Detroit]

blue yellow and red striped flag under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Sophie Emeny on Unsplash

» The Hamtramck City Council in Michigan removed two commissioners, Russ Gordon and Cathy Stackpoole, from the Hamtramck Human Relations Commission for flying a Pride flag on city property. The council also revoked the commission's authority to fly flags on city property after implementing a ban on certain flags, including the Pride flag. [Fox 2 Detroit]

  • In a politically interesting move, the mayor of Hamtramck went on Christian conservative (and former Republican candidate for Governor) Tudor Dixon’s podcast, talking about how conservative Muslims are. [Michigan Advance]
  • ICYMI: This is the latest in what’s become a battle between city officials and the LGBTQ+ and liberal community there. Hamtramck’s demographics have changed in recent years, and the council is now all Muslim and all male.  [The Guardian]
  • Just a couple years ago, the BBC did a big feature piece on how residents “coexisted in harmony.” The only woman on city council (and featured in this linked article) recently resigned. [BBC]

I get why Republicans see political opportunity here. Before 9/11, 70% of Muslims voted for George W. Bush for president. [VOA]

Google Street View of the future apartment site in downtown Mt. Clemens.

» 100 New apartments will be built on the site of a shuttered motel in Mt. Clemens. Manchester Mt. Clemens LLC will build a $20 million project at the old Victory Inn at North River Road and Gratiot. Demo starts this fall and work is expected to be done by 2027. [Macomb Daily]

  • The location is across the street from the Macomb Family YMCA and just a couple of blocks from the courthouse and heart of downtown.

Reportedly, there’s about 100 people living in downtown Mt. Clemens now — but the times I’ve been there I see so many interesting buildings and spaces near a river that I can’t help but think Mt. Clemens is very underutilized. The slogan is “Make Macomb your home,” and Mt. Clemens has the opportunity to offer something different than the typical suburban-style tract housing in most of the developed parts of the county.

🌮 The fun side

» Mezcal Mexican Bar & Kitchen has opened its second location in Detroit. Press materials say it is authentic Mexican cuisine with a contemporary twist.

  • The concept was founded by brother and sister duo Jose Granados and Sandra Haro.
  • Mezcal draws inspiration from their father's small restaurant in their hometown in Mexico.
  • The Detroit location has a different menu from its sister restaurant in Ferndale, with a larger kitchen allowing for more options.
  • Dishes include tacos, quesadillas, tortas, and carnitas, along with seafood towers, empanadas, nachos, and a variety of dessert options.
  • Mezcal Detroit is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11a to 10p, Friday and Saturday from 11a to 11p, and Sunday from 11a to 8p. Closed Mondays.
  • The 3,400-square-foot restaurant is located in Midtown at 51 W. Forest Avenue.

This spot just off of Woodward is where the fanciest coney island I have ever visited in my life used to be. Imagine granite countertops and gold and stone accents with your chili cheese fries. It was a trip. Anyway, looking forward to trying this Mezcal place out soon.

» Pokē Pokē is opening in The Village of Grosse Pointe. The Michigan-based chain offers “Sushi unrolled,” and has 15 locations with most in Michigan and three in Florida. The new spot will be at 17045 Kercheval, just past Cadieux. [Downtown Grosse Pointe] [Pokē Pokē]

» More than 200,000 people are expected to visit the Wyandotte Street Art Fair that’s already open and running through Saturday. [Freep] [City of Wyandotte guide]

» Vintage Fest Detroit will be at the Hunt Street Station in Detroit this Sunday, July 16. There will be about 60 vendors and it’ll run from noon to 5 pm. [Vintage Fest Detroit Instagram]

🎙 On the podcast

» We hit three topics on the Wednesday show. There’s renewed talk about marijuana businesses in Detroit — how many and where they should be. Actor Hill Harper is running for senate and we discuss. Plus, some listener feedback.

» Thursday’s show was a two-parter. First, the CEO of Forgotten Harvest, Adrian Lewis joins me to talk about rescuing food and getting food that maybe you didn't buy at the grocery store but has a lot of goodness in it into the hands of those who need it.

Then, Bill Wild from the Midwest Independent Retailers association and I talk about the changes facing independent grocery stores and gas stations.

» If you like the podcast, it’d be awesome if you nominated us for Best News and Politics podcast in the Podcast Awards. We’re in a national contest in a competitive category, so every nomination counts.

⚽️ A great goal to go

» Although Detroit City FC didn’t win on Wednesday night, newly signed Darío Suárez was electric. This goal from midfield was a thing of beauty to see in person. So here’s a highlight clip.

👏 Thank you for reading!

Doing this work takes time and effort. If you find our newsletter valuable, thought-provoking or useful, consider buying me a coffee or two. It’d be much appreciated.

Have a great weekend. Remember that you are somebody — and I’ll see you around Detroit.


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