Blog Posts by Detroit News

  • Archbishop names patron saint of Detroit

    St. Anne (Image courtesy of Donna Rathert)

    Oralandar Brand-Williams, Detroit News staff writer

    Saint Anne has been named the city's patron saint.

    Detroit Catholic Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced that Saint Anne, the grandmother of Christ and the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is now the patron saint for Detroiters.

    "Saint Anne has been integral to the story and history of Detroit and the first Catholic presence in southeast Michigan," said Vigneron today. "I am happy to announce that Saint Anne has been, is and ever will be our patron saint."

    A patron saint is viewed as an advocate or intercessor for a chosen place or activity.

    Vigneron made the announcement at the end of a Mass on May 5 for the ordination of three new auxiliary Catholic bishops for the archdiocese. The three-hour long service was held at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Woodward Avenue.

    After becoming archbishop, Vigneron learned Detroit did

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  • Rare cancer strikes hard around Marine City, Mich.

    Jim Lynch, Detroit News staff writer

    Public health officials in St. Clair County aren't sure what they have on their hands, but they know it isn't good. In the span of four years, five cases of a relatively uncommon kidney cancer — called Wilms' tumor — have cropped up in the vicinity of Marine City.

    It's a cancer that typically strikes 500 people in the United States each year, most often children. And that's what has been happening recently. Since 2007, five cases of the disease have been reported in the city of roughly 5,000 -- the most recent being identified in a 6-month-old girl in March.

    St. Clair County's Public Health Department has been monitoring the accumulation of Wilms' tumor cases for several years. Following the most recent report, officials decided to launch a new investigation to look at the possibility there might be an environmental component involved.

    Marine City has industrial plants and lies more than 10 miles down the St Clair River from Sarnia,

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  • Detroit News staff and wires

    There's a new tour for poker featuring only the game's finest players.

    The professional poker league is using a PGA Tour Card format to select only the top players in poker to be eligible for the tour.

    The top players invited include some of poker's biggest names — Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Erik Seidel and Phil Hellmuth.

    Several other big names, including previous World Series of Poker main event winners Joe Cada of Shelby Township, Jamie Gold and Jonathan Duhamel didn't make the cut, because the criteria caps each player's top tournament win at as much as $2 million and requires at least six cashes for at least $300,000 since 2008, Annie Duke, league commissioner of Federated Sports and Gaming, told the Associated Press.

    The league invited an initial list of more than 200 players who qualified for five-year, three-year and two-year tournament cards. The length of each card signifies how long each player can continue to be in the league without

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  • Some city neighborhoods gain despite Detroit population pain

    Mike Wilkinson, Detroit News staff writer

    The 2010 census numbers released last month confirmed an epic population loss for Detroit: Once the fifth largest in the country, the city is now No. 18, having lost 1 in 4 people in just 10 years.

    But a Detroit News analysis of neighborhood-level areas shows the pain was not evenly spread. Some areas had steep declines into vast wastelands of burned-out homes and trash-strewn lots. But there are also pockets of vibrancy creating hope among city boosters and those bent on transforming Detroit.

    The stark differences between neighborhoods could profoundly affect how the city reshapes itself as leaders draft a sweeping blueprint for the future. As they do, city leaders are identifying the assets to build around — strong ethnic communities, large employers, cultural and educational institutions, as well as pinpointing the areas of

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  • Alum Kid Rock’s surprise visit, gifts thrill Romeo High

    Adam Graham, Detroit News Pop Music Writer

    Kids always dream of big-name graduates coming back to their high schools. Usually it's nothing more than that — a dream — but students at Romeo High School got the real deal April 20 when Kid Rock showed up at his alma mater and presented the music program with a check for $5,000.

    Rock's donation to the school matched a $5,000 donation from Best Buy Mobile and the Grammy Foundation.

    Only a close-knit group of administrators knew about the visit, which was planned six weeks ago. Romeo Community Schools Superintendent Nancy Campbell was in the know and had to keep it a secret so as to keep the surprise intact. "My husband didn't even know," she says.

    Rock parked off-site and was driven to the school's grounds in a golf cart. He first spoke to a group of about 80 band and choir students, who were asked to give up their cell phones before the private meeting occurred. The choir students performed "Born Free" for the singer, which they

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  • Maureen Feighan, Detroit News staff writer

    Visitors to Grosse Pointe Woods' Lake Front Park this spring probably won't notice the two small smoke detector-like devices mounted on the front guard shack.

    But the gadgets on both sides of the shack's door will notice them -- and the make of their car, if they're wearing sunglasses or a hat, and possibly what color their shirt is.

    They're two of seven of high-resolution digital surveillance cameras installed this month at the park, which is in St. Clair Shores, as part of an effort to boost the park's security. When the pool and bath house open Memorial Day weekend, every visitor who enters or exits will be recorded.

    "They're going to be very helpful to us," said Sam Rubaie, a Woods resident and 15-year employee at Lake Front Park. "For some people, the rules don't apply to them. It's a backup system."

    Surveillance cameras, once more common to parking garages and private businesses, are becoming increasingly common in what

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  • By The Detroit News

    Rochester Hills resident Desiree Davila finished second in the Boston Marathon on Monday, falling two seconds short of becoming the first American woman to win the prestigious race since 1985.

    The California native, who moved to Michigan seven years ago to train with Keith Hanson, co-owner of Hanson's Running Shops in Metro Detroit, finished the race with an unofficial time of 2:22:38. Caroline Kilel of Kenya finished first in a time of 2:22:36.

    Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman, surpassing the 2:22:43 by Joan Benoit in 1983.

    No American — man or woman — has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Battle Creek in 1985.

    Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai has won the men's race in 2:03:02 — the fastest anyone has ever run the 26.2 mile distance.

    The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. Because Monday's race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course,

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  • Young metro Detroit poker champ now enjoys the easy life

    Tim Twentyman, Detroit News staff writer

    It's been almost two years since nine days of high stakes poker in Las Vegas changed Joe Cada's life.

    Cada, at 21, became the youngest winner in the 40-year history of the World Series of Poker main event.

    The victory was worth $8,546,453 — half of which went to two gamblers who sponsored him — and millions more in sponsorships.

    Now, at 23, the Utica High graduate admits to living the easy life.

    "I travel a little more than I used to," he said from the couch of his new home in Shelby Township with his golden retriever Bosco at his side. "It's a lot less stressful now. Besides that, not too much has changed besides moving into this house.

    "My lifestyle is still pretty similar to my last one. Just more travel and interviews and getting recognized is a little different."

    Cada bought the home in an upscale Shelby Township subdivision in January. The home features two full bars, a wine cellar, a full basketball court, a home gym and three

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  • Gregg Krupa, Detroit News staff writer

    With 2:50 left in the second quarter at The Palace of Auburn Hills, they introduced Tom Gores as the man who has agreed to buy the Detroit Pistons.

    Standing with a throng of well-wishers in a suite 16 rows above the court, the unshaven Gores wore a sand-colored blazer with a white handkerchief in his breast pocket and a white shirt and blue jeans. He took one giant step toward the camera, which showed his image on the scoreboard high above the court, and thrust his right fist skyward.

    "Yeah!" Gores roared, smiling.

    The fans in The Palace liked that. They cheered as loudly as they had since the struggling home team took the court. Later, in the fourth quarter, he would dance, almost John Travolta-like, for the camera.

    It was as high as Gores' profile got on this night. There will be time for all of that later. On Monday, in what is likely to become his Palace, the man who is the

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  • Disguised as man, Flint woman fought for Union in Civil War

    Emma Edmonds dressed as a man and called herself Frank Thompson during the Civil War. (Detroit News archive)

    Francis X. Donnelly, Detroit News staff writer

    Of the 90,000 Michiganians who fought in the Civil War, the most curious may have been Frank Thompson.

    The Flint resident was a maze of contradictions: a deserter who was later honored by comrades, a religious person who frequently lied, a 19th-century feminist who apparently had an affair with a married officer.

    Upon leaving the Union army, Thompson wrote a book claiming to have been a spy during the war. The dubious assertion heightened interest in "Memoirs of a Soldier, Nurse and Spy," which became a best-seller.

    But the truth about Thompson's life is more interesting than the fiction, 150 years after the war's launch at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861.

    Thompson really was Emma Edmonds, a Canadian farm girl who posed as a man during her

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