Category: News Briefs Written by The Huffington Post
Michigan residents with fond memories of the now-closed Detroit Science Center will be getting a special holiday treat this December -- a sneak peek at what could be the museum's next incarnation.
Severe financial difficulties forced the institution to shut down last year, but since that time it's been reorganized as the Michigan Science Center under a new board of directors.
The newly renamed museum plans to temporarily open its doors on Dec. 1 to participate in Detroit's annual Noel Night. Midtown Detroit Inc., the organization that sponsors the event, opened up the center for the occasion last year with funding from a small grant.
The Michigan Science Center will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 1 and will offer several free activities to visitors. The museum's Noel Night highlights include holiday crafts and hands-on science exhibits, a chance for children to visit with Santa Claus, a puppet show presentation of "Sleeping Beauty" by Detroit's PuppetART Theater, an IMAX showing of the claymation movie "A Light Before Christmas," a planetarium show and music from the Spencer Paterni Jazz Sextet.
Although the museum wouldn't offer specifics on when or even if it might reopen permanently, Fred Huebener, the center's senior manager of theaters, did share some positive news with The Huffington Post.
"Our board of directors and full time staff are working very hard to open the science center as soon as possible," he said. "We are hiring staff and anybody interested in jobs ... should check out our website."
The organization's site has job listings for sales, education, outreach and other positions.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 10:30
Category: News Briefs Written by The Huffington Post
If Detroit's vacant land was gathered together, it would span an area that's larger than the entire city of Paris. Every year, the Wayne County Foreclosed Property Auction offers up thousands of properties up to the highest bidder. That is, if there's even a buyer. In the 2012 auction, which just ended, 8,000 of those foreclosed properties ended back up on the property rolls.
When prices of $500 for a plot of land can't tempt a buyer, what will? That's the kind of mind game that keeps digital wizards like Jerry Paffendorf busy. He's the founder of Loveland Technologies and Why Don't We Own This?, which has been working to digitize land maps, streamline the land auction process and think up new ways to make Detroit's neighborhoods vibrant again.
Paffendorf will host a presentation and discussion with UIX and HuffPost Detroit called "No Property Left Behind," kicking off Nov. 28 at the Cafe Con Leche De Este pop-up coffeeshop in Lafayette Park.
We asked Jerry Paffendorf and Loveland Technologies' Alex Alsup to help decode Detroit's blighted land use puzzle for us -- Click here to read on!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 10:20
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) - Police in Detroit are investigating a double homicide after the bodies of a brother and sister were found inside their home on the city’s east side.
Sgt. Eren Stephens said the two bodies were found Monday around 8 p.m. in a house on Yacama Street, south of 8 Mile Road.
Stephens said the victims, a 32-year-old man and his 30-year-old sister, were discovered by their mother, who lives next door. Both had been shot in the head.
Police say the siblings may have been killed Monday morning, but they don’t have any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detroit Police Homicide at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. You can also submit a tip online at www.1800speakup.org, or text “CSM” and your tip to CRIMES (274637).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:23
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Residents from the city and the suburbs have been dropping off donations to Detroit fire stations this week to resolve a difficult problem … no toilet paper.
Detroit Firefighters Association president Dan McNamara says they’re very grateful for the donations of not only paper products, but cleaning supplies as well. McNamara says it’s been a big problem.
“And the worst park is if we can’t clean ourselves – then we may very well take this home in the morning to our families too. Some firefighters have even had to disrobe in their garages and go into their house to take a shower because they were afraid of contaminating their families or their homes.”
The City’s fire commissioner blames the problem on a supply issue and says it’s being resolved.
RELATED: City firefighters battle blazes in a community with nearly 80,000 abandoned buildings — including a half-dozen shuttered fire stations that scrappers have been looting for stainless steel and copper.
At the same time, the cash-poor city has cut pay and benefits for emergency personnel. Hundreds of firefighters took to the streets in July to protest cuts in pay and benefits after the newest contract stipulated a 10 percent across-the-board pay cut and a hike in medical co-pays.
The firefighters’ union started airing commercials in 2011 protesting cuts.
“Our membership doesn’t know what’s going on from day-to-day and they’re worried,” union president Dan McNamara said at the time. “We keep coming to work with less and less people and they’re worried they’re not going to have their jobs tomorrow. They don’t understand why somebody would make a decision to cut public safety.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:20
Category: Breaking News Written by The Grio
Sacha Dratwa, 26, head of the New Media Desk for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), spent a day at the the Dead Sea’s mud baths and posted a blackface photo of himself with the controversial comment “Obama style.”
The recent conflict between Israel and Hamas has put Dratwa into the public limelight because of his role as the lieutenant behind IDF’s social media campaign. He is in charge of IDF’s official Twitter page and has become the most media-visible branch of the IDF.
“I’m not a racist, please stop [spreading] lies about me,” Dratwa said in response to criticism his tweet has received.
The backlash from this photo has forced Dratwa to block public access to his Facebook account completely.
Click here to see what Dratwa wrote on his Facebook page
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:15
Category: Breaking News Written by Bill Mears, CNN
Washington (CNN) -- The Supreme Court has ordered a federal appeals court to take another look at whether a key requirement in the health care reform law violates religious freedoms.
A pending lawsuit from the private Liberty University had claimed, among other things, that the law would lead to taxpayer dollars funding abortions and contraception, a claim the Obama administration rejects. The justices issued their order Monday.
The high court in June had upheld the overall law championed by President Obama, but left room for continued legal challenges to certain aspects of the law's application.
The Lynchburg, Virginia-based school bills itself as the largest Christian evangelical college in the world.
A three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011 unanimously concluded the university's lawsuit should be blocked on jurisdictional grounds. There is no indication when the appeals court will revisit the issue in the wake of the high court's order.
After the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's funding mechanism -- the so-called individual mandate requiring nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a financial penalty -- it tossed out all other pending appeals.
Liberty University then refiled its lawsuit, saying its objections to the law should be reconsidered in light of the court's 5-4 ruling affirming the overall law.
The school believes Americans should not be required to purchase health insurance -- and employers forced to provide it -- if there are legitimate moral and religious objections to some provisions.
It is one of several dozen pending lawsuits around the country filed to challenge the law's application since the June decision. The Richmond-based appeals court taking on the Liberty University case could ask both the federal government and the school to submit updated legal arguments. The Obama administration did not object to the university asking for another chance to press its claims.
The case is Liberty University v. Geithner (11-438).
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 09:08
Category: Breaking News Written by Jenée Desmond-Harris , The Root
A New York Times piece profiling Oprah Winfrey "at a crossroads" -- meaning, speaking to loyal and adoring fans at a Los Angeles convention while plotting the future of her OWN network and the possible end of a print version of O, the Oprah Magazine -- revealed one piece of news unfamiliar to those who have watched the media mogul's post-talk-show career developments.
Audience members -- including Winfrey's best friend, Gayle -- were surprised to learn that the guest of honor had a recent "scare" with breast cancer, the Times reports:
Ms. Winfrey, 58, has shown some signs of strain. She arrived at the conference with faint shadows under her eyes and announced to her best friend, Gayle King, and the audience simultaneously that she had a breast cancer scare the week before. (It was ultimately a false alarm.) When Ms. King grew visibly upset, one woman chided Ms. Winfrey for not telling her friend ahead of time and ordered her to apologize to Ms. King -- all before an audience.
The health scare wasn't the only thing Winfrey discussed having to overcome. At the top of the list, in fact, was criticism from the press, which she said "tried to cut me off at the knees" in its coverage of OWN:
"I don't care what the form is," Ms. Winfrey said with the conviction of a preacher. "I care about what the message is."
With signs of progress at OWN, Ms. Winfrey now has more time to devote to other media platforms -- her magazine, her radio channel on XM Satellite Radio, her Facebook page, which has 7.8 million subscribers, her Twitter account, which has nearly 15 million followers, and her latest content channel on The Huffington Post.
"It's all an opportunity to speak to people," Ms. Winfrey said as she sat for an interview during the conference, a pair of glittery gold stilettos slung in her hand and a couple of handlers in the corner quietly tapping away at smartphones. She pushed aside a bottle of sparkling water, a glass with a silver straw and a delicate orchid placed before her and spoke frankly about her plans.
"Ultimately, you have to make money because you are a business. I let other people worry about that. I worry about the message ... "
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 08:59
Category: Breaking News Written by The Huffington Post
Supporters of an "anti-sharia" bill that's been sitting in Michigan's State House Judiciary Committee for over a year are pushing state lawmakers to put the measure to a vote.
If adopted, the bill he introduced would "limit the application and enforcement by a court, arbitrator, or administrative body of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights."
House Bill 4769 was introduced by State Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville) in June of 2011. Agema, who was chosen to be Michigan's Republican National Committeeman earlier this year, has a history of making controversial statements about Islam. He has gone on record claiming President Obama is a Muslim and has also linked the faith to violent behavior.
“I disagree that Islam is a religion of peace," he told Michigan Radio. "Just about every terrorist is a Muslim.”
“I think that’s really undemocratic to bottle it up like that. One should put it on the floor. Let the legislators have a stand up Yes or No vote. And if it fails, it fails,” Irving Ginsburg, a supporter of the bill, told Michigan Radio.
The bill has been opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Council on American-Islamic of Michigan (CAIR-MI).
“HB 4769 does nothing to protect our legal institutions but only contributes to the growing climate of fear-mongering against the American Muslim community which marginalizes and cast suspicion upon loyal Americans,” Dawud Walid, Executive Director of CAIR-MI said on his blog.
Sharia is a term meaning Islamic religious law. It's a moral and legal code that governs things like marriage, business, eating habits and other aspects of life for a devout Muslim.
In the last several years, "anti-sharia" laws have been passed in Arizona, Kansas, Louisana, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
Oklahoma voters passed a state proposal a law similar to Michigan's House Bill 4769 in 2010. However, that measure was struck down by a federal appeals court because it made a specific reference to sharia law -- and would have violated the U.S. Constitution by targeting a particular religion.
Last year Tenessee passed an anti-terrorism law that made the "material support" of Islamic law a crime that could be punished by 15 years in prison. An amended version of the law later removed references to Islam.
In May of this year Kansas governor Sam Brownback signed a law that prevents state courts and agencies from applying foreign laws in their decision-making. That law makes no specific mention of sharia or Islamic law, USA Today reports.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 November 2012 08:53
Category: Breaking News Written by Leland Stein III
(Cass Tech celebrates its second consecutive title. – Andre Smith photo)
Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher came into the post Division 1 State title press conference at Ford Field with a giant smile on his face. Good for him! He, his coaches and his players earned it.
In fact, the excellent turnout in Downtown Detroit showed up in respect for the Detroit Public School League (PSL). It mattered not where one graduated from, the Cass Tech 36-21victory over perennial power Detroit Catholic Central, was a victory for all that has prepped in the Michigan’s largest public school district.
In the post game press conference Wilcher exclaimed, while smiling like a Chester the cat, “Hey, you only live once. We may not make it back again.”
While his retort is very, very true, as evident by the fact only two PSL schools - Cass Tech (12-2) and Martin Luther King (2007 Div. 2) - have won Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) titles in football, he surely had his fingers crossed for the future.
Sure Wilcher will lose some of the top talent in the state, but with the closing of former PSL powers like Mackenzie, Redford and Murray Wright, just to name a few, the talent in the City has been condensed, and, with Cass Tech at the same time developing a solid overall program, they have been able to create an environment where good student athletes want to come. Couple the closing of historic PSL schools and the environment Wilcher has fostered at Cass Tech is why it has become an elite program in the state.
“This is happening because of the approach of our coaches’ teaching,” Wilcher told me. “They work our kids hard in practice, and, hold themselves accountable for our outcomes.”
Sounds like a very good formula for success to me.
That formula was tested in last year’s MHSAA Div. 1 Final, where Cass Tech socked the Michigan high school football world with a resounding 49-13 spanking of the Lordly Detroit Catholic Central. Sure that victory was great, but last year was last year.
No matter, Cass Tech came out strong, scoring on four big plays, forcing five turnovers. It all started when Jourdan Lewis scored on the first play from scrimmage. He beat double coverage and turned a 40-yard gain into an 89-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jayru Campbell.
"I just don't think, I react," Lewis said. "The safety was playing over the top. Jayru put it in the right spot."
To show Campbell’s growth as a quarterback, he noted that the play was intended as a short pass, but the corner came up. “We both looked at each other and went with the go (pattern),” he said.
Five plays later 6-foot-2, 260 pound defensive lineman Kenton Gibbs scooped up a fumble and nimbly ran 58 yards for a touchdown and a 12-0 Cass Tech lead before I had finish eating my between game sandwich.
Another game-changing play happened in the fourth quarter as Cass Tech faced a fourth-and-9 and Campbell checked out of one play and into a draw that turned into a 26-yard gain.
"I think the strength of the quarterback,” Wilcher gladly noted, “like I told him on the telephone one night, 'I don't care about your arm right now, I just love the way you think on the football field.’ That's what makes him so important to me right now.”
What had hurt the PSL in other years was the line play, but Cass Tech's offensive and defensive lines controlled the game. Lead by seniors Gibbs, David Dawson and Dennis Finley the Technicians played the game in the trenches.
“”It feels great that all the hard work in practice and the off season has paid off,” Finley said. “This is what you play for, and, we did this as a team..”
Added Dawson: “I knew we had a chance to make history. We lost some tough games, but we did not lose confidence. We rebounded from that King loss in the City Playoffs and refocused as a team as we did last year.”
Campbell threw for 154 yards and Mike Weber, another sophomore, rushed for 186 yards on 20 carries. Weber did play in last season's title game because of a knee injury. "I had to wait my turn," he said. "I just ran with my blocks and had fun."
The entire PSL and its alumni had fun, too.
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 15:44
Category: Breaking News Written by Ugonna Okpalaoka , thegrio
A recent study by two Harvard researchers shows evidence that a criminal records website uses racial profiling when advertising its services.
Latanya Sweeney, Director of the Data Privacy Lab at Harvard, and Adam Tanner, a Harvard Department of Government fellow, made the discovery while doing research for a book on online criminal records, according to The Harvard Crimson.
Sweeney and Tanner identified InstantCheckmate.com as a site that posted more negative ads for common African-American names than it did for typically white-sounding names.
Sweeney said online searches for African-American names would result in negative ads implying a criminal past, while searches for white names resulted in more neutral advertising.
When Sweeney searched her own name, she found an ad saying, “Latanya Sweeney: Arrested?” And when she searched Tanya Smith, she got an ad saying, “Located: Tanya Smith” instead.
According to an article Tanner wrote for Reuters, Sweeney conducted more than 120,000 searches for both typically black and white names. She found that names like Tyrone, Darnell and Latisha generated ads with the word “arrest” between 75 to 96 perecent of the time, while names like Geoffrey, Brett and Anne only used “arrest” zero to 9 percent of the time.
Another example he gives is a search for the name Ebony Jefferson. An InstantCheckmate.com ad pops up asking: “Ebony Jefferson, arrested?” But when the first name is changed to Emily, the resulting ad read: “We found Emily Jefferson.”
The Harvard Crimson reported that the researchers’ attempts to get a response from the company behind the website failed. Tanner even traveled to Las Vegas to speak with the site’s founder.
“I told them what I knew about the racial profiling, and they said, ‘We can’t talk to you. You have to come back,’” Tanner said.
When he was finally able to speak with the founder, Tanner said he was told, “I don’t care if you’re the Pope of Rome; you’re not welcome here.”
InstantCheckmate is not the only website that provides data on individuals. It protects itself legally with a disclaimer that information on its site cannot be used to “make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance.”
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 14:55
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