A city in flames: inside Detroit's war on arson For eight long years, the firefighters of Highland Park, Michigan, worked out of a warehouse. There was no red-bricked facade, no lanky Dalmatian. No freshly washed engines gleaming in the sun. No second-floor fire pole to descend in the dead of night to wailing sirens. Whatever idealized vision you have of firefighting, Highland Park is not it. Instead, picture a hulking, boxy building on the edge of an industrial park about six miles north of downtown Detroit. Donors, Private Citizens Now Take Care of Many of Detroit’s Public Services – TheBlaze DETROIT (TheBlaze/AP) — Detroit may be broke but it will soon have a first-rate motor pool, featuring 23 new ambulances and a fleet of 100 new police cars. Some city parks also are getting tender loving care. New fruit trees and shrubs have been planted, and mowing crews are beginning to make the rounds to keep the green spaces tidy.
Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs The Chicago plan, announced in May, would phase some of the city’s 11,800 retirees and their family members not eligible for Medicare out of city coverage by 2017. While some may seek insurance through new employers or through their spouses’ workplaces, others will probably be shifted to the insurance exchanges. Much of the plan for the next few years is in flux, but the changes are expected to contribute to a larger effort to save Chicago $155 million to $175 million a year in retiree health care costs by 2017. “With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our retirees will have more options to meet their health care needs,” said Sarah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, adding that most of the city’s retirees over 65 were already covered by Medicare.
See the maps from the 1930s that explain racial segregation in Michigan today We know racial segregation exists in our communities. We know this segregation is rooted in history. And yet, sometimes we allow ourselves to believe that segregation is somehow a natural thing, that it happened all on its own. But segregation in the United States did not happen happen that way. The racial divisions we see in our neighborhoods today are the result of deliberate actions taken in the past. Those actions, rooted in racism, were carried out by both individuals and institutions.
Fewest cops are patrolling Detroit streets since 1920s Detroit — There are fewer police officers patrolling the city than at any time since the 1920s, a manpower shortage that sometimes leaves precincts with only one squad car, posing what some say is a danger to cops and residents. Detroit has lost nearly half its patrol officers since 2000; ranks have shrunk by 37 percent in the past three years, as officers retired or bolted for other police departments amid the city's bankruptcy and cuts to pay and benefits. Left behind are 1,590 officers — the lowest since Detroit beefed up its police force to battle Prohibition bootleggers.
Guardians of a broken city: Detroit's police struggle to make ends meet with pay cuts, dwindling numbers and rundown equipment in a town where even criminals pity cops By Associated Press Reporter Published: 20:57 GMT, 22 February 2014 | Updated: 23:48 GMT, 22 February 2014 It has come to this: Even some criminals sympathize with Detroit's cops. Baron Coleman thought he'd heard it all in his 17 years patrolling the streets. But then came the city's bankruptcy, a 10 per cent cut in police salaries, followed by support from a most unlikely corner - the bad guys. ‘When they saw us take a pay cut they were in shock.
The Downfall of Detroit: White Flight and the 1967 Race Riots The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan that began in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city’s Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in United States history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot, which occurred 24 years earlier.
Detroit Rising: Life after bankruptcy One year after a federal judge approves Detroit's bankruptcy exit plan, progress has been made while looming challenges remain, especially city pensions The City of Detroit has more than enough cash to pay its daily bills. Thousands of busted streetlights have been replaced. City retirees still receive pension checks, and valuable paintings remain ensconced in the gilded halls of the Detroit Institute of Arts.
A City’s Wrenching Budget Choices The growth helped pay for glittering capital projects all over town — a convention center on the Cape Fear River, a police headquarters with its own crime lab, a 20-mile bike and jogging trail, tennis courts and softball fields, a host of road and streetscape improvements. The mayor’s calendar was crowded with ribbon-cuttings. But by the time Mr. Saffo and the Council took on this year’s $85 million budget, the collapse of the real estate market had so choked revenues that the finance department could no longer afford free coffee for its staff.
Detroit Taxes Are High, But City Spending Is Higher, Study Finds April 1 (Reuters) - Detroit residents pay the highest local taxes on a per capita basis compared to other Michigan municipalities, while the city collects the biggest chunk of state shared revenue, according to an analysis released on Monday. The report by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a public policy group, comes just days after a state-appointed emergency manager stepped in to try and resolve Detroit’s fiscal problems. The council found that Detroit’s tax rates — including property, income and other local taxes — are high versus other Michigan cities. Its residents also bear a bigger tax burden as a percentage of income than those in other large U.S. cities even as the city struggles to stay fiscally afloat. “They get a lot of money on a per capita basis.
9 ways Detroit is changing after bankruptcy When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last July, observers around the world were shocked by how far some city services had deteriorated -- though it was no secret to residents. Average police response times clocked in at almost an hour. Tens of thousands of broken streetlights meant entire streets go dark at nightfall. And though Detroit has more than 200 municipal parks, the city could only afford to keep about a quarter of them open. How has the city changed since it entered bankruptcy? Detroit's public services have shown some improvement in the last year but still have a long way to go before they're at adequate levels.
A 911 response in Detroit takes how long?- MSN Money For some people in Detroit, calling 911 isn't an option anymore. That's because it takes too long for any help to arrive. People have developed their own emergency response plans that often involve calling relatives or friends, The New York Times reports. How bad is it? Kwame Kilpatrick, former Detroit mayor, sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption DETROIT Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced Thursday to 28 years in prison for corruption, the apparent last step after a series of scandals destroyed his political career and helped steer a crisis-laden city even deeper into trouble. Kilpatrick, who served as mayor from 2002 until fall 2008, fattened his bank account by tens of thousands of dollars, traveled the country in private planes and even strong-armed his campaign fundraiser for stacks of cash hidden in her bra, according to evidence at trial. "I'm ready to go so the city can move on," Kilpatrick told the judge. "The people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for."