Good Samaritans killed in separate attacks in Detroit

Good Samaritans killed in separate attacks in Detroit

Wednesday was deadly for two good Samaritans in Detroit. A 62-year-old grandfather and decorated Vietnam veteran was shot to death after trying to protect his granddaughter from four robbers in a west side home. After intruders pistol-whipped his 16-year-old grandson, John Villneff was shot shielding his granddaughter, police said. On the city’s east side, a […]

Ballpark that hosted Negro League games, Hall of Famers is preserved

Ballpark that hosted Negro League games, Hall of Famers is preserved

Hamtramck Stadium looks like any forgotten baseball field. Knee-high grass covers the infield. A graffiti-tagged pavilion behind what used to be home plate is collapsing. Concession stands are boarded up. It’s hard to imagine thousands of fans, black and white, flocking to the ballpark in the 1930s to root for the Detroit Stars of the […]

More taxes, fees? Detroiters pay fortune for abysmal services; council mulls another tax hike

More taxes, fees? Detroiters pay fortune for abysmal services; council mulls another tax hike

It’s not easy being a taxpayer in Detroit. Property taxes are disproportionately high, yet city services are abysmal. The income tax rate is the highest in the state, but an obscenely high portion of the money is spent paying back debts from years past. And today, as the city and its suburban communities decide at the ballot […]

State does nothing as Historic Highland Park school is gutted by thieves

State does nothing as Historic Highland Park school is gutted by thieves

Part one of a continuing series on abandoned buildings. More than 60,000 vacant buildings are scattered across Detroit and Highland Park, driving down property values and attracting crime, rodents and fires. This is the story of one of those buildings.  Neighbors tried their best. They circled the historic, sprawling school in Highland Park to keep out […]

Free Press loses Pulitzer-winning reporter to Fox 2

Free Press loses Pulitzer-winning reporter to Fox 2

It’s hard to imagine the Detroit Free Press without M.L. Elrick. Charismatic, dogged and earnest, Elrick is a relentless watchdog driven by an intolerance for corruption. He and reporting partner Jim Schaefer took down the Kwame Kilpatrick administration with a series of stories that showed the then-mayor committed perjury and carried on a torrid affair […]

Tax hike in Detroit? Council considers plan to put police protection on ballot

Tax hike in Detroit? Council considers plan to put police protection on ballot

Detroit City Council declined to vote on whether residents should have the opportunity to vote on raising taxes to put more cops on the streets, saying the police department needs to provide a more thorough plan. Council members said they want to ensure the roughly $56 millon that would be raised from a tax hike […]

Detroit City Council rejects contract because of city’s former ties with KKK

Detroit City Council rejects contract because of city’s former ties with KKK

Detroit City Council declined to approve a contract from a Howell-based company today because of the city’s ties with the Ku Klux Klan. “This looks really bad,” Council President Charles Pugh said of the contract. “You can’t have contracts coming from Howell, Mich.” It’s unclear whether council has the legal authority to reject a contract […]

Detroit, Hamtramck consider sharing fire services

Detroit, Hamtramck consider sharing fire services

Hamtramck and Detroit are exploring a relationship to share fire services at a time when both communities are cutting public safety to fill budget gaps. “The financial realities force us to think outside the box,” Hamtramck City Manager Nervus Nazarko told Detroit City Council this morning. “We would support anything that would make financial sense […]