Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Office will house 75 staffers and be firm's 7th office in SE Michigan
Plante Moran, one of the nation's largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, announced Thursday it is opening an office in Detroit in the Compuware building.
"We are very pleased to be joining other businesses who have committed to the city of Detroit," said Gordon Krater, Plante Moran's managing partner. "There is an excitement and vitality about the city. Good things are happening, and we are proud to be a part of it. Plante Moran staff is spending more time downtown working with public and private sector organizations.
"Coupled with our nearly 10 percent growth in staff in southeast Michigan in the last 15 months and our need for more office space, it just makes sense to open our next office in downtown Detroit. It will also help us better attract professionals who want to be part of the urban work environment as we continue to expand our team."
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said: "This is great news for the city of Detroit. We welcome Plante Moran to its new downtown offices. This is another example of the business community's commitment to transforming our city."
The new office will house approximately 75 staff. It will occupy 15,000 square feet on the third floor of the Compuware building. The Detroit office will be the firm's seventh office in southeast Michigan.
Plante Moran's other area offices are located in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Flint, Macomb and two in Southfield. The official move-in date is scheduled for the fall.
Krater mentioned a number of businesses and individuals who have led the way in Detroit's revitalization, including Dan Gilbert and Rock Ventures, Peter Karmanos Jr. and Compuware, the Ilitch and Ford families, Strategic Staffing Solutions, General Motors Co., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Urban Science and DTE Energy.
"Plante Moran becomes the next important and credible company in the drumbeat of top-notch firms, retailers and entrepreneurs who are finding opportunity in downtown Detroit. When a leader like Plante Moran makes this kind of move, the confidence level of the business community is strengthened even further," said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 June 2013 15:00
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Bankole Thompson, Chronicle Senior Editor
It’s amazing. About 15 candidates have filed to run for mayor of Detroit. A surprise? Not really because in a city where the image has been damaged in the last few years, people are tired of the kind of leadership they have been getting that has led to this situation.
Take the last eight years or so for example, from both the executive and legislative branches of government downtown.It makes us wonder if children who grow up in this city can take a lead from those who call themselves leaders at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
The cacophony of leadership at city hall in the last decade — or to be exact — the lost decade, has had a dire effect on the lives of ordinary citizens. And so we see today that 15 candidates say they each want to be mayor. Some have entered the race because they are tired of the kind of metrics that has long been used to get people elected in this town — popularity instead of real substance and a passion for public service.
Others driven mainly by their egos, and tapping into the anger and frustration of voters also want to flex their political muscles or whatever they have left. And there are those candidates who genuinely want to change the course of history for Detroit and want to do so at this historic time.
But because there is no standard of leadership and because voters have not set a bar for who should seek the highest office in this town, it is free lunch for anyone entering the race.
Granted, democracy enjoins us to allow the full participation of every voice in the political process regardless of who they are or what their background is.
That is sacred and we cannot mortgage it for any reason.
Yet in the process of a full-fledged democratic participation and its essence being priceless, we cannot compromise the kind of leadership that should serve the political process and the taxpayers who fund that process without identifying how and what is needed to seek the most important office in Detroit.
The current mayor’s race is becoming more of a popularity contest than a determination of who has the best policy and judgment to run the city.
Among the candidates are Mike Duggan, Benny Napoleon, Lisa Howze, John Telford, Fred Durhal, Krystal Crittendon and Tom Barrow.
The race is becoming more about who can fire the best salvo at their opponent than about who has the requisite skills and knowledge and background to deal with a gigantic institution like Detroit government. The race has degenerated into a campaign of half-truths and outright lies than a focus on the need to speak the truth regardless of how charged the political atmosphere is.
Regardless of the risk of losing political fortunes on the campaign trail, the candidates owe Detroiters the truth and nothing but the truth.
The next mayor of Detroit should be an individual who is devoid of the checkered political past of the region and the city that has contributed to today’s problems. Even though it is hard to find a squeaky clean candidate these days, Detroit should not settle for anyone or anything that has significantly contributed to the problems that the city finds itself in.
On Mackinac Island, during the just ended 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, the candidates’ forum quickly turned into an exchange of jabs instead of policy oriented conversations around what got Detroit where it is and what can salvage the city from its current economic doldrums.
I walked away feeling empty and struggling to find something to write on my notepad because neither of the candidates on stage actually stood out on the issues. They were busy responding to each other’s jabs.
If we are less focused on who is more popular or who has major backing and base this race solely on substance given the urgency of the period, we can then drill the candidates to give us a realistic vision instead of platitudes and filibuster-type answers to issues begging for solutions. Detroit is on fire and we need firemen, not slick talkers.
Detroit is at a critical juncture, and it should settle for nothing less than the most qualified, most honest and most focused leadership, something it has not always done in the past.
Public service is a privilege, not a job cut out for just anyone. Even though it is hard to look into the soul of a candidate to determine if they truly are interested in serving the public, Detroiters should demand that those who seek to serve the public in an elected capacity do so with the requisite background, including a record of working diligently on behalf of the people.
Given this city’s history, its grand past to where it is and its potential for the future, Detroiters must demand the best of its leadership. The future of the city is contingent on it.
When you apply for a job, you don’t just pick a position that you want, you select the job classification that matches your skills.
In that regard Detroit should demand the same of those who want to be at the highest levels of public service. That their résumés contain a deep passion, sacrifice, dedication, a longstanding record of helping the public and an insatiable appetite for public service.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 June 2013 10:06
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Roz Edward, National Content Director
Paris Jackson, the pretty and poised 15-year-old daughter of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson was rushed to an L.A. hospital early Wednesday, June 5 after she attempted to commit suicide. TMZ was first to report the story, and Jackson's biological mother, Debbie Rowe, confirmed the news to Entertainment Tonight, adding that her daughter had "cuts on her wrist."
TMZ reports that a 911 call was placed from Jackson's Calabasas, Calif. home around 1:30 a.m., and that the teen was wheeled out on a stretcher shortly thereafter. She's presently "doing ok," the site adds. No other details about the incident have been confirmed.
"She has major depression issues, a lot of it stemming from her dad's death." Paris Jackson and her siblings, Prince Michael and blanket have endured rumor and speculation regarding the life and death of their famous father Michael Jackson who died of a drug overdose four years ago. Jackson doctor Conrad Murray has been convicted of having had a role in his death. Similarly, Katherine Jackson is currently in court suing concert promoters of gross indifference, alleging that they encouraged Murray to drug Jackson in order to fulfill performance commitments.
"It's very real and very sad," the insider adds of Paris' struggles. "She has been extremely depressed and not been able to sleep lately, staying up all night."
Shortly before her emergency, Paris tweeted messages which might have been indicative of the depth of her depression. "Wonder why tears are salty? Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they're here to stay."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 15:04
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy will join Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state Attorney General Bill Schuette on Wednesday in making a "major public safety announcement," the prosecutor's office announced today. No other details were immediately available. The news conference to release details is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Wednesday in Lansing at the Governor's Press Auditorium on the first floor of the George W. Romney Building.
The press conference will also be accessible for viewing at www.livestream.com/snyderlive.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 09:51
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by RJ Barnhill
I often find myself thinking up quirky titles and headlines for my lifestyle pieces. (See "Fringe Fest," "Hat-titude" and other bits of awesome tidbits that I've concocted.)
However today my creative juices were in over drive. As I skimmed through the Huffington Post article about the massive Wayne County Jail Fail and its budget woes, I had an awesome thought.
What if Dan Gilbert bought the half built debacle and turned it into a hotel, named, wait for it -- "The Pen." Get it? As in penitentiary! Genius, right?
Now, I know Dan Gilbert does not suffer from a shortage of great ideas and I'm sure has something in the works, but I'm sticking my flag on this one.
Just think, the infrastructure and plans are already half way there. I imagine cells are a lot like hotel rooms sans the windows, privacy, and mini shampoos -- well OK, not exactly like hotel rooms but you see where I'm going with this.
In addition to having an interesting back story "The Pen" would have tons of cheeky amenities. Soap-on-Rope, striped sheets and a hotel bar named "The Clink" are on my list so far. Again, all genius ideas.
More than anything, "The Pen" would be a neat boutique hotel in the heart of the city, that served as a constant lesson for elected officials: Don't bite off more than you can chew.
While I could go on for hours doing this, I wouldn't want to give away too much.
Dan, let me know when you are ready to meet. I'll bring the donuts.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 18:33
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
DTE Energy provides summer cooling tips to save money
DETROIT – As the summer cooling season is upon us, DTE Energy reminds its customers that although the weather can impact your energy use, there are some simple ways to lower your electric bill.
The average homeowner spends about $1,900 a year on energy costs, with summer cooling contributing a large part to the total. Of all your summer electric use, air conditioning is the number one cause of higher energy bills.
But whether you run air conditioning or fans to prevent that hot-weather meltdown, DTE Energy has some high bill-busting tips to help you stay comfortable without overloading your checking account:
Increase your thermostat setting. For every degree you increase your thermostat above 72 degrees, you’ll reduce your cooling costs by up to 3 percent. Better yet, install a programmable thermostat and let it automatically adjust the setting for you– and apply for a $10 rebate! Find out how at dteenergy.com/energystar.
Change or clean your furnace filter once a month. A dirty filter restricts airflow and can cause your air condition unit to run longer. Vacuum registers and vents regularly, and don't let furniture and draperies block the air flow.
Use ceiling fans to assist your air conditioning. Set them to run counter-clockwise (or downward air flow), which provides better air circulation. Remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
Close blinds, draperies and shades on windows facing the sun to block out the heat, and wait until cooler times of the day to run your dishwasher or clothes dryer.
Join DTE Energy’s CoolCurrents® program for cost-saving, central air conditioning comfort. This program can reduce summer cooling costs by up to 12 percent. Find out more at dteenergy.com/coolcurrents.
Have your central air conditioning unit tuned-up by a professional, plus clear away weeds and debris so that air can circulate freely around the unit.
Recycle that spare refrigerator in your garage or basement. DTE Energy will pick it up at no cost, plus, you’ll get a $40 rebate and you’ll save on average $150 in energy costs per year! See details at dteenergy.com/recycle.
One last tip – Be sure to drink plenty of fluids in hot weather and enjoy the summer!
You can find more cooling tips at dteenergy.com/summer
For further information, members of the media may contact:
Scott Simons, DTE Energy, (313) 235-8808
Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy, (313) 235-3202
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 14:33
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by EAA
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) recently announced the student assessment results, which showed significant growth in students and proved that the student-centered learning approach is working.
“The scores are phenomenal and impressive. Students have responded enthusiastically to the new blended, student-centered approach to education,” said EAA Chancellor Dr. John Wm. Covington. “They are showing they want to learn and can learn given the right environment. They are closing the educational gap.”
The tests, administered in late April and early May in the 12 direct-run EAA schools, show that 56 percent of students already have achieved one or more year’s growth in reading and 44 percent have achieved two or more years’ growth. In math, 65 percent of students achieved one full year’s growth, and 48 percent achieved two full years’ growth.
These scores are an increase from the growth experienced by students in the earlier tests administered in late January and early February when 27 percent of students had achieved one or more year’s growth in reading and 22 percent in mathematics.
The most significant growth in reading at the high school level came at Central Collegiate Academy; where reading proficiency scores show that 62 percent of students have already achieved two or more years’ growth. The most significant growth at the elementary/middle level came at Nolan Elementary/Middle School, where 36 percent of students had achieved two or more years’ growth in reading whilst 23 percent having achieved between one and two year’s growth.
The most significant growth in mathematics performance at the high school level was also at Central where 84 percent of students tested achieved two or more years’ growth, and another 2 percent had a full year’s growth by the end of April. Phoenix Multicultural Academy had the most significant growth at the elementary/middle school level with 48 percent of students achieving two or more years’ growth and an additional 25 percent having achieved between one and two years’ growth.
A year’s growth is equivalent to the number of skills a student learns in a traditional school year as determined by a national sample.
"Students are making gains every day, some on small levels and others on greater levels," said Mary Esselman, Deputy Chancellor, Instructional Support and Instructional Accountability.
“My daughter and I both love her school, Nolan Elementary/Middle School,” said parent volunteer Sheri Stovall. “I have watched my daughter achieve so much this year. Her reading test scores have skyrocketed and she loves to read all the time now. With the student-centered learning model, she gets to keep moving up in levels when she masters the material so she hasn’t been getting bored or losing focus, which helps her achieve even more.”
Esselman said that many parents and students are thrilled with the outcome of student-centered learning.
“My math and reading scores have improved and it makes me feel like I’m really learning,” said Jordan Cook, 11, a student at Brenda Scott Elementary/Middle School. “I like being able to work at my own pace.”
"We are able to continue adjusting their learning plans according to their learning needs so that each student continues to experience gains," Esselman said. "We are projecting that the majority of students will be on target to have closed their achievement gap by one year or more by June. We are especially pleased that no student will fail; students, in large part because of the extended school year, will continue to work toward mastery and growth.
"The schools admitted into the EAA were in the lowest of the 5 percent of Persistently Lowest Achieving schools in the State,” Covington added. “This new data shows that these students now are learning. These schools have gone from a pattern of failing children to educating children. Students are catching up. We are working to get as many students at grade level and to make sure students who need more time are getting the attention needed.”
Students achieving gains in individual growth in the 12 direct run EAA schools are as follows:
Reading 2 yrs or more 1.5 years 1 year Total 1 yr
Elementary/Middle growth growth growth or more
Brenda Scott Elem/Middle 39% 8% 10% 57%
Burns Elem/Middle School 26% 7% 7% 42%
Law Academy 43% 5% 6% 55%
Mary M. Bethune Elem/Middle 31% 6% 11% 49%
Nolan Elem/Middle School 36% 9% 14% 59%
Phoenix Multicultural Academy 40% 6% 7% 53%
Central Collegiate Academy 62% 2% 0% 64%
Denby High School 47% 2% 2% 51%
Henry Ford High School 52% 3% 2% 57%
Mumford High School 43% 3% 2% 48%
Pershing High School 54% 1% 1% 56%
Southeastern High School 50% 2% 2% 54%
Math 2 yr or more 1.5 year 1 year Total 1 yr
Elementary/Middle growth growth growth or more
Brenda Scott Elem/Middle 37% 11% 15% 63%
Burns Elem/Middle School 26% 9% 15% 50%
Law Academy 33% 12% 12% 57%
Mary M. Bethune Elem/Middle 33% 9% 13% 55%
Nolan Elem/Middle School 25% 11% 16% 52%
Phoenix Multicultural Academy 48% 9% 16% 73%
Central Collegiate Academy 84% 1% 1% 86%
Denby High School 67% 3% 1% 71%
Henry Ford High School 64% 4% 3% 71%
Mumford High School 64% 2% 2% 68%
Pershing High School 68% 2% 3% 73%
Southeastern High School 61% 3% 3% 67%
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 June 2013 09:30
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Huffington Post
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has agreed with a five-member review team that the city of Hamtramck is in the midst of a financial emergency, according to a statement released on Monday.
The independent review team released a report on May 23 following a request from Hamtramck city officials.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 18:28
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Curbed Detroit
As Wayne County's overbudget tab for that new downtown prison gains additional commas, the idea of simply giving up has gained some traction. Turns out, there's already an empty prison over on Mound Road owned by the state. It might—might!—make more sense to stuff the prisoners in there rather than spend $300M to build a new jail in downtown Detroit. Too bad no one had their thinking caps on two years ago, when the state offered to sell Wayne County that prison for a mere $1.5M. Live and learn, right?
The Detroit News predicts that throwing in the towel would mean demolishing the partially built prison, which--at over $100M invested so far--would make it something like the world's priciest sand castle. Adding to the hilarity, Wayne County would probably end up selling the land to Greektown Casino, the very entity they bought it from in 2011.
Even if abandoning the prison would be quite a financial loss, downtown Detroit would be the better for it. We'll have to see how this one plays out, but let's close by reflecting on the fact that Wayne County Sheriff/Mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon's fingerprints are all over this project, which has actually been scaled down from the orgy of private bathrooms and tablet computers he originally wanted it to be.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 18:17
Category: News Briefs - Original Written by Amber Bogins
Detroit's inter-faith community leaders are staking a claim in the political process that will define the next leadership of Detroit, by sponsoring a mayoral debate June 4, 6pm at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on 5251 East Outer Drive in Detroit.
The debate will feature candidates running for mayor of Detroit including former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, State Rep Lisa Howze, State Rep Fred Durhal and Tom Barrow.
The candidates will face questions from the two moderators of the evening Mildred Gaddis, Host of "Inside Detroit" on AM1200 (Radio One) and Bankole Thompson, Editor of the Michigan Chronicle.
The role of faith in Detroit's political and economic development has been a conversation in the political world in the city as Detroit struggles to find new leadership.
Rev Tellis Chapman, Senior Pastor of New Galilee Baptist Church, and Moses, an organization of ecumenical ministers are hosting Tuesday night's debate to further enhance the role of faith and the clergy on public policy issues.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 June 2013 09:50
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