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Metro Detroit

Water faucet
user william_warby / Flickr http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Low-income households across metro Detroit can't afford their water bills, and new research from the University of Michigan says there’s now an affordability gap: people are paying more for water than they can actually afford.

chair lift at bottom of stairs
Wikimedia / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The larger Metro Detroit area, including the inner-ring suburbs, the outer-ring suburbs, and the surrounding counties, is beginning to face a new problem that's only going to get bigger.

We have an aging population, and our housing stock is largely inadequate for those older residents, especially when it comes to negotiating physical barriers like steps.

SMART Bus
Mysid / Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan is expected to make a final decision Thursday on whether it will let residents vote on the latest proposal to expand public transit in Southeast Michigan.

Barring a last minute change of heart from Oakland County leader L. Brooks Patterson and Macomb County's Mark Hackel, voters will likely not get the opportunity to weigh in.  

Meanwhile, Southeast Michigan continues to rank as one of the worst metro areas for public transit in the nation, which would come as no surprise for anyone who's had to use buses to get to Novi.

Map of Detroit Metro Transit plan
Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan

Audio: A conversation with Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist. 

One hot topic at the Mackinac Policy Conference this week is the future of regional transportation in Southeast Michigan — particularly a proposed millage to fund the expansion of the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.

Daniel Howes is a Detroit News business columnist. He speaks with Stateside about regional divide and larger issues at the core of the RTA debate. 

utility lines and power plant
Notorious4Life / Wikimedia Commons

A quarter of a million DTE Energy customers in Metro Detroit are still without power after the weekend ice storm.

That's down from 370,000. The company says it expects 90 percent of its customers to have power restored by the end of the day tomorrow.

Consumers Energy says about 8,000 customers still have no power. Most of them are south and west of Lansing.

Dean Reynolds is a Clinton Township trustee who allegedly took thousands of dollars – and a free divorce attorney – as bribes.
Macomb County

A grand jury has indicted a metro Detroit official for allegedly taking thousands of dollars in bribes from two companies, and from an undercover FBI agent.

It’s the latest in what the U.S. Attorney’s office describes as a “ongoing and long-running investigation into the systemic corruption in multiple municipalities in southeast Michigan, primarily Macomb County.”

Detroit keeps flooding. What's being done about it?

Sep 29, 2016
Detroit residential street flooding.
Ahmad Hicks

Detroit is once again dealing with flash floods after an intense rainfall Thursday.

Infrastructure issues are a big part of why the area has experienced serious flooding multiple times in the past two years, most notably after a 2014 flood that caused damage across the metro Detroit area. 

Kate Wells

In metro Detroit, several Garden City families are fighting eviction, after they say their homes were wrongfully foreclosed and sold to the city.

Garden City bought 17 foreclosed home from Wayne County this year, before the houses went to public auction. But the city didn’t tell residents their homes had been purchased, and then resold the houses to a private development company.  

Hand holding
User: Mrs. Logic/flickr

Senior citizens who fall victim to elder abuse now have a Michigan shelter just for them.

Jewish Senior Life of Metro Detroit is opening an “Elder Abuse Shelter” today to offer emergency housing for 90 days at both an independent and an assisted living center, as well as a medical center for those who need full-time nursing.

“We know that [elder abuse] really is silent, and the older adult either feels so vulnerable or they don’t know where to turn,” says CEO Rochelle Upfal.

Craig Bernier

Craig Bernier’s collection of short stories, Your Life Idyllic, is the winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award.

Seven of the nine stories in the book are set in metropolitan Detroit — mostly Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties, Bernier said. One story is set at Ford’s Rouge Plant. It focuses on a man who feels trapped within his dad’s blue-collar life. 

user JMR_Photography / Flickr

Fewer immigrants are choosing to make Michigan their new home, according to figures released by the Department of Homeland Security.

Last year, Michigan’s immigrant population dropped 4.6% — the second-lowest level in the past 12 years.  

That decline doesn’t fit with current immigration trends in the Midwest. Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio have all seen an increase in immigration. Only Michigan and Wisconsin are experiencing a drop.

But while the number of newcomers coming to the state is on the decline, one immigrant group continues to flow to Michigan — Iraqis.

“Michigan is just second to California in terms of its attraction of Iraqi immigrants,” said Kurt Metzger, director emeritus of Data Driven Detroit.

Bradley Gordon / Flickr

Housing prices in Metro Detroit are up 45% over last year according to data released on Monday by the Realcomp listing service.

Allen Daniels is the director of the Michigan Association of Realtors. He says home prices are up because the number of properties for sale are down.

Daniels says limited supply combined with low mortgage rates and an improving economy are raising home prices.

Yellow Wing Productions

This summer will mark 26 years since Northwest Flight 255 crashed onto the highway outside Detroit Metro Airport.

One hundred fifty-seven people were killed. The wreckage stretched across half a mile.

Only one person survived: a four-year-old girl with brown eyes, a chipped tooth, and purple nail polish.

Her name is Cecelia Cichan, and this week, she’s breaking her long public silence about the crash.

Jessica Stilger / Berkley High School communications

When older generations die, there’s always the fear that we’ll lose their stories.

But in metro Detroit’s Jewish community, they’re trying to keep history alive…through music.

And they’re doing it thanks to Anne Frank, her chestnut tree, and a stressed-out high school orchestra in metro Detroit.

Specifically, the Berkley High School orchestra.

via University of Michigan/MLibrary

Detroit has the most “job sprawl” of any metropolitan area in the country, according to a new Brookings Institution report that looks at how jobs are distributed throughout metro regions.

The report found that 77 percent of metro Detroit’s jobs are more than 10 miles outside the city’s central business district. The nationwide average is 43 percent.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

For the first time the Grand Rapids region now has more than a million people.

The boost in the 2012 estimate comes in part because of changes to the way the US Census is calculates the population there. The Grand Rapids metro area now includes Ottawa County because more than a quarter of the people who live there commute to work in Grand Rapids.

Tim Mroz is with the economic development group The Right Place. He says the million mark is significant in attracting big companies to the region.

A new report says Metro Detroit has a serious problem with “disconnected” youth.

The Measure of America study shows 17%, or more than 85,000, of the region’s 16-to-24-year olds aren’t working or in school.

Using that definition of “disconnection,” the study looked at census data from the nation’s 25 biggest metro areas. Metro Detroit had the third-highest rate of youth disconnection.