Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Wiping out the high rate of crime in Detroit – that’s the focus of “City Under Seige: A forum on Crime in Detroit.”
Some of the nation’s leading experts in law enforcement and criminology are meeting at Wayne State University today for the conference. Criminologist George Kelling co-authored “Broken Windows,” a widely used theory on reducing crime.
“Just as a broken window left untended is a sign that nobody cares and leads to more broken windows, so disorderly behavior and conditions left untended is a sign that nobody cares and leads to fear of more serious crime and urban decay,” says Kelling.
But Carl Taylor, professor of sociology at Michigan State University, says Detroit needs much more.
“We’re way beyond a broken window. Because we did not use that theory or pay a great deal of attention to it in Detroit, we have what we have now,” says Taylor.
The conference takes place Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21 and is free and open to the public.
A few of the speakers scheduled for the two-day event include: William J. Bratton, former top cop in Boston, New York and L.A.; Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee; Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy; and U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 09:00
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – It’s the second straight morning bus riders at Northland have been greeted by darkness as they are picked up or dropped off at the bus stop.
An electrical malfunction has kept the lights out at the mall’s bus stop. Other areas around the mall have working lights, but not under the bus stop in that area. One bus rider, who identified himself only as Barnard, says it seems to happen when the weather turns cold… but its still dangerous.
“You got old ladies out here, you got young people out here, and crime doesn’t discriminate. They don’t care whether you’re old or you’re young. I just think it’s a hazardous situation that we have to endure,” says Barnard.
Another rider says it happens four or five times a year, and you just have to get used to it. A mall security vehicle was at the scene with headlights and overhead lights to provide some illumination for riders. WWJ has been told that the mall is aware of the problem.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 09:00
Category: Breaking News Written by Fox 2 News
(MyFox Detroit) -
Just months after moving from the suburbs to Palmer Woods, FOX 2 has learned Mike Duggan will announce an exploratory committee for Mayor of Detroit within the next thirty days.
Fox 2 News political reporter Tim Skubick says all of this was plotted out with 75 key supporters at Duggan's new home in Detroit last Saturday. The CEO of the Detroit Medical Center began moving into his Palmer Woods in May which was the first step in fulfilling the residency requirement of a mayoral run.
If and when Duggan makes the decision to run, his opponent may or may not be the incumbent Mayor Dave Bing. The former NBA star and Detroit businessman was first elected mayor of Detroit in a special election in May of 2009 and then won the full-term mayoral election on November 3, 2009.
Duggan supporters who FOX 2 spoke with concede Bing has returned integrity to the office, but that's not enough.
And if Duggan gets in, his opponents may also raise questions about his tenure with former Wayne County Executive Ed Mcnamara. No charges were filed but before he passed on Mcnarmara was investigated by the federal government. Many wonder if that is a potential problem for Duggan.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00
Category: Breaking News Written by Fox 2 News
DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -
On Wednesday afternoon a 12-member jury and alternates was seated in the corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. FOX 2 Legal analyst Charlie Langton reports the jury includes 4 black females, 1 black male, 1 hispanic female, 2 white males and 4 white females.
The racial makeup of the alternates includes: 2 black females, 1 black male, 2 white males and 1 white female.
While a jury has been selected, earlier legal experts had said the possibility of a change of venue is not off the table.
Wednesday morning Langton said on day nine of the process of finding a jury, the prosecution used a challenge to dismiss two black women a move that's once again raising questions about the racial makeup of the panel. Three of the four defendants, Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson are black.
While race cannot be used as a reason to reject a potential juror, the judge says the women revealed some hostility toward prosecutors in earlier interviews and one had been a victim of a crime.
Langton adds, the question of a possible change of venue for the trial may also be addressed by the court as early as Thursday.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00
Category: News Briefs Written by Fox 2 News
(photo credit: myfoxdetroit.com)
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (MyFox Detroit) -
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital's new greenhouse will provide food for visitors and patients year round. It's expected to reduce the hospital's food cost by more than $20,000 a year.
The $1 million, 1500 square foot facility is state of the art and uses hydroponics. Plants are grown in water instead of soil to produce healthy foods such as lettuce and greens, tomatoes, eggplant and beans.
An anonymous donor funded the green project.
"We want to be able to showcase how food could be grown in a really healthy environment without the use of any toxic chemicals, and then how you can use that food and prepare that food to avoid chronic diseases," said resident farmer Michelle Lutz.
The greenhouse is also for the community. It will serve as an educational site with workshops and tours for people of all ages.
"I really hope to see every day school buses from all around Southeast Michigan so that we can really help our children... in a fun manner start to think differently how they will take care of themselves through food," said Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
He says the greenhouse fits perfectly into his vision to create a community center for well being.
The garden will provide therapy for patients and employees and serve as a teaching tool to inspire people to make healthier choices.
"This is being used as a prototype to show what we can do in the future," Lutz said.
It's an idea that could definitely grow. There is talk of a greenhouse one day in downtown Detroit and producing food for the entire Henry Ford system.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:30
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
LINCOLN PARK (WWJ) - Michigan State Police said two women were hurt Wednesday in an accident along I-75.
It happened just after 10 a.m. on the northbound side of the freeway at Dix Highway in Lincoln Park.
Police said witnesses spotted a silver Nissan was speeding in the center lane where it rear ended a Ford Mustang. Both drivers were take to the hospital were the driver of the Nissan was listed in critical condition and the driver of the Ford was listed as stable.
Police said alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The northbound lanes of I-75 were closed at Dix-Toledo for an accident investigation but have since reopened.
No names have been released.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:07
Category: News Briefs Written by WWJ
By Jeff Riger
Every baseball mind preaches patience and I think they are on to something.
When you play 162 games, you can’t let any one win or loss affect you any differently from others. After the Tigers lost in the 9th inning to Cleveland on Sunday afternoon and then lost again in Chicago on Monday, people in Detroit became convinced that the Tigers would miss out on the post season, and they still might.
So on Tuesday, before the 12-2 win over the A’s, I marched into the Skippers office and demanded to know if he anticipates managing this team next season?
If Detroit misses out on the playoffs, after all the expectations and excitement then I believe Leyland has to go. And, I like the guy! Sure he’s grouchy and yells a lot but he is fair and that is something that you don’t seem to find too often in today’s sports world. Leyland, unlike any manager or coach I have ever interviewed also tells you the truth on pretty much everything which I appreciate. I like the guy and sometimes feel myself trying to explain to people why he does the things that he does, especially when it comes to some of the bizarre lineups that he produces day after day.
Tuesday afternoon, Leyland was sitting at his desk as the media filled his office. The skipper ran the gamut, talking about available pitchers, what it will take to make up a 3 game deficit to the White Sox and other general baseball banter all while seeming to be in a decent mood. About 5 minutes into the media session I asked Leyland about his future.
Me: “Jim, with this being the last home stand of the regular season, is it hard not to think about your future? Have you thought about your future at all?”
Leyland: “I always think about my future, yeah, sure, I always think about my future no matter what I’m doing. What’s your point? Ask the question you want to ask.”
Me: “I’m just curious; do you wonder if this could be your last home stand?”
Leyland: “No I don’t! That I don’t think about. That’s not going to have any effect on me. I think about beating the Oakland Athletics tonight and try to get into the playoff. That situation will all take care of itself at the proper time and now obviously is not the proper time. And, if I had information for you I would give it to you, but I have none. I haven’t discussed my situation with anyone nor has my situation been discussed with me and I don’t want to discuss my situation with anyone nor do they want to discuss it with me. We are trying to win a division. I will leave it at that.”
I believe Leyland wants an extension and would love to manage the Tigers in 2013 despite being 67 years old.
People will always cite his situation in Colorado and how he left because he had lost the passion to manage baseball games anymore. Well, in Denver he didn’t have Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander and an owner that is willing to buy whatever a team could want. Leyland is happy here! He often talks about living in Royal Oak and hanging out with his neighbor Gene Lamont on the weekends after games. He gets choked up when talking about Tiger fans and what a championship would mean to this area.
Just because the skip is not ranting and raving like he did in 2006 doesn’t mean that the man doesn’t have the fire and immediacy to win now!
I like the guy but he has to go if they don’t win the division and do something impressive in the post season. The message will have grown stale otherwise. I believe you will see the Tigers make this thing close through the next 15 games.
Through it all Leyland will go down swinging, which seems to be a hell of a lot more than anybody is willing to give him credit for these days.
Yeah I root for the guy, why shouldn’t I?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 16:00
Category: Breaking News Written by WDIV
A slew of polls released over the past 24 hours in crucial battleground states suggest the race for the White House remains tight, but indicate President Obama with a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. It's a similar storyline in new national polling.
All of the surveys were conducted either entirely or almost entirely before Monday afternoon's release of secretly recorded remarks that Romney made at a private fund-raiser in May, where he described supporters of President Barack Obama as dependent on government. Fallout from the controversial clips has dominated coverage of the race for the White House over the past two days.
Five non-partisan live operator state polls have been released since Tuesday: Two in Virginia, and one in Wisconsin, Colorado and New Hampshire. Obama is on top of Romney in all of them, but the margins are within the sampling error in three of them.
In Virginia, a Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll released Wednesday indicates the president at 50% and Romney at 46%. Obama's advantage is within the survey's sampling error. The president holds a 52%-44% lead over Romney in Virginia in a Washington Post poll out Tuesday. Other partisan polling in the commonwealth suggests a closer contest.
Then-Senator Obama won Virginia by two percentage points in the 2008 election, becoming the first Democrat to carry the commonwealth in a presidential contest since 1964. This cycle Obama has made eight swings through the state (not including quick visits to suburban Washington, DC in northern Virginia) since the unofficial start of the general election in early April, with Romney making eight tours through Virginia. Both campaigns, as well as the super PACs and other independent groups backing the candidates, have flooded Virginia airwaves with campaign commercials.
Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times also released a survey Wednesday in Wisconsin, which Obama won by double digits four years ago. According to the poll, Obama has a 51%-45% advantage over Romney, up from a two-point margin in late August. Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, is a seven-term congressman from Wisconsin.
The third Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll out Wednesday indicates the battle for Colorado's nine electoral votes is all knotted up, with 48% of likely voters backing the president and 47% supporting Romney. Romney held a five point advantage in their last poll in the state, which was conducted last month before both parties' political conventions.
The new survey is in-line with an American Research Group poll released last week in Colorado that indicated Obama with a narrow two point margin over Romney. The president's edge in both surveys is within the sampling error. President George W. Bush carried Colorado in the 2000 and 2004 elections, with Obama turning the state blue four years ago.
The new Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times surveys in all three states indicate that the president has cut into Romney's one-time lead on handling the economy. Pluralities in all three states also say they see Obama's policies as favoring the middle class, while a majority see Romney's proposals as benefiting the wealthy.
According to the surveys, the gender gap is alive and well, with a majority of men in all three states favoring Romney and a majority of women supporting Obama. Romney has the advantage among independent voters in Virginia and Wisconsin, but they are divided between the two candidates in Colorado.
New polls in New Hampshire indicate that the swing state remains a battleground. An American Research Group survey in the Granite State has Obama at 48% among the wider pool of registered voters, with Romney at 46%. According to a WMUR-TV/Granite State poll of likely voters released last week, the president held a five point advantage. The margins in polls were within the surveys sampling errors. Obama won New Hampshire by nine points four years ago, but voters in the state are very familiar with Romney. He was the governor of neighboring Massachusetts and he owns a vacation home in the state.
Nationally, the president also holds a small advantage. A CNN Poll of Polls, which averages the three non-partisan, live operator, surveys of likely voters conducted over the past week has the president at 48% and Romney at 45%.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:58
Category: Breaking News Written by BridgeMI
Concerns about prison costs this year have not deterred the Legislature’s appetite to tweak Michigan sentencing rules. Last week, the House, following the Senate, approved a version of a “four strikes” bill designed to put violent offenders behind bars for a minimum sentence of 25 years.
Senate Bill 1109 passed the House last week on a vote of 98-10, after a different version cleared the Senate 32-5 earlier in the year.
The bill goes back to the Senate for consideration of the changes.
The measures incorporates a “4 strikes and you’re out” concept touted by Attorney General Bill Schuette last winter which called for a mandatory 25-year sentence for a violent crime perpetrated by a criminal who has committed three previous felonies. In the first reaction to Schuette’s proposal, the state Corrections Department estimated a potential increase in spending at up to $1 billion.
As the legislation was drafted and amended, the price tag has fallen. A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis in May estimated the law will require an extra 7,374 beds by 25 years post-enactment, at an annual cost of $250.7 million. A House version, which more narrowly targets offenders, is pegged at a 25-year cost of just under $15 million, assuming 672 additional prison beds are needed by then.
Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said the price is worth the cost of a safer public.
“This is smart justice that provides for surgical strikes against the worst of the worst criminals,” he said. “These are offenders with an established track record of career felony violence. It allows us to ensure that hard-core criminals are put away for a long period of time.”
Fitz, who testified in favor of the bill before the House Judiciary Committee, said the number of offenders the law will put behind bars is relatively small, maybe 200-250 cases per year statewide.
“The real question is what’s the greater value to society — protecting the public or worrying about the cost?” he asked.
The proposal for so-called VO-4 legislation was first made by Attorney General Bill Schuette in January, as the centerpiece of his office’s public-safety legislation.
Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said the department is officially neutral on the bill.
Advocacy groups objected nonetheless, calling the bill expensive and unnecessary.
“We oppose mandatory minimums in general,” said Barbara Levine, executive director of the Citizens Alliance on Prisons & Public Spending. “It takes away discretion from judges to tailor sentences as appropriate to individuals, (and it) confers the sentencing power to prosecutors.”
Levine said Michigan’s average prison stays and corresponding spending is higher than any of the 35 states examined in a recent Pew Center report on sentencing and prison spending nationwide.
Prosecutors already have a habitual-offender option to use in pressing cases against the most violent criminals, Levine said, and once so charged, judges have the discretion to increase maximum sentences, effectively achieving the same result as mandatory minimums.
What CAPPS most objects to, she added, is that the legislation puts too much power in the hands of prosecutors, when judges are the ones who are charged with weighing the interests of prosecution, defense and the general public.
“If you’re selling this as a way to more severely punish people who are habitual violent offenses, then the law should kick in when the prior offenses are violent,” Levine said.
Fitz said too often, it doesn’t, citing a case in Muskegon of a multiple violent offender who’d served “modest sentences,” and after release carjacked a woman at knifepoint and raped her repeatedly in front of her four-year-old child.
“If VO-4 had been in effect, this never would have happened,” he said. “If there are certain people who will not comply with the laws of a civilized society, we have to get them out of that society.”
The attorney general agrees, said his spokeswoman, Joy Yearout, who pointed out that increased public safety pays off in other ways, as well.
“With repeat violent offenders continually terrorizing our communities, there’s a cost to that,” she said. “The average murder costs the community and victims $8 million. There are tangible and intangible costs of unchecked crime.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:43
Category: Breaking News Written by Financial Post
General Motors Co has made a counter offer to its Canadian workers and negotiations for a new contract were continuing almost non-stop on Wednesday to try to bridge differences, a Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union official said.
Separate CAW talks with Fiat SpA’s Chrysler Group LLC were less advanced and the two sides remained far apart, said Jerry Dias, who is assistant to CAW National President Ken Lewenza.
“We are plowing ahead,” with GM, Dias said. “But we still have a lot of outstanding issues to get through before we’ve got to a deal.”
Dias said GM had made its counter proposal in response to a tentative framework agreement the CAW reached with Ford Motor Co on Monday.
“We worked late last night, we’re at it early this morning and we’re heading to a meeting in five minutes,” he said in an interview from a hotel in downtown Toronto where the union and the three Detroit automakers have been holding talks on new labour contracts for more than a month.
The CAW wants its agreement with Ford to be the model on which contracts with the other two companies will be based. But Chrysler has expressed concern about the Ford pattern because Ford has the smallest footprint in Canada of the three automakers, and arguably the least to lose.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do with Chrysler. We are nowhere close to having a deal,” Dias said.
The union was still waiting for a formal response from Chrysler to the Ford deal, said Dino Chiodo, chairman of the CAW’s Chrysler master bargaining committee. He could not say when a counter offer might come.
Of the three automakers, Chrysler has the biggest production footprint in Canada, with more than a quarter of its North American output produced here. Ford has only 9 percent of its output in Canada.
Lewenza said on Tuesday that the union, which represents some 20,000 workers at the Detroit Three, had had a “very constructive” discussion with the leaders of the GM negotiating team and that the two sides had discussed the Ford framework agreement in detail.
Pattern bargaining, under which an agreement with one automaker becomes the template for deals with the others, is a long-standing strategy in auto talks, meant to ensure that no company has a labor cost advantage over the others, the CAW has said.
The CAW has said it would keep negotiating with GM and Chrysler as long as progress seemed to be in sight. If talks become deadlocked, however, the union was still threatening to call its first Canadian auto strike since 1996.
The tentative four-year deal reached with Ford includes lower starting wages for new hires, and a longer earn-in to reach the top level of the pay-scale.
New hires will also move to a hybrid pension plan that mixes defined benefit and defined contribution portions. Wages for existing members will remain frozen for three years but the agreement does include lump sum bonuses in each year.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:21
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