Blog Posts by Detroit News

  • Grief-stricken Fennville will play Monday playoff game

    Matt Charboneau, The Detroit News

    Only days after suffering an unspeakable tragedy, the Fennville boys basketball team has decided to play on.

    After practicing Saturday and meeting with the family of Wes Leonard, who collapsed and died after a postgame celebration Thursday, it was announced Fennville would, indeed, play in Monday's state playoff game.

    The game was scheduled to played at Lawrence, but will be moved to Hope College's DeVos Fieldhouse, which seats 3,300.

    "We would like to offer our deepest thanks to Lawrence Public Schools," Fennville superintendent Dirk Weeldreyer said in a statement. "They have been more than gracious and accommodating in making this decision. By doing so, they are relinquishing home-court advantage. It is a display of the utmost sportsmanship.

    "We also recognize that Lawrence has been cast in an unenviable position and must feel as if the world will be rooting against them. Rather than focusing on the outcome of Monday's game, our joint

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  • Kid Rock’s use of Confederate flag sparks NAACP boycott

    Mark Hicks, Detroit News staff writer

    Some NAACP supporters plan to boycott the Detroit arm's annual fundraiser over an honor for Kid Rock they say doesn't mesh with the civil rights group's goals.

    The rocker is set to receive the Detroit branch's Great Expectations Award at the annual dinner, which typically attracts about 10,000 people, on May 1 at Cobo Center.

    But Adolph Mongo, a longtime political consultant and head of Detroiters for Progress, said he and others will sit out over Kid Rock's use of the controversial Confederate flag during performances.

    "It's a slap in the face for anyone who fought for civil rights in this country," Mongo said Thursday. "It's a symbol of hatred and bigotry."

    NAACP officials defended the honor.

    "Kid Rock ... has consistently lifted up the Great Expectations of many persons … concerning the future of the city," Donnell R. White, interim executive director of the Detroit Branch NAACP, said in a statement.

    Kid Rock and his representatives

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  • Eric Lacy, Detroit News staff writer

    Alex Legion once was considered the can't-miss kid. Now, he's just a kid who missed on countless opportunities to improve his basketball resume.

    After two de-commitments from Michigan, a six-game stint at Kentucky, and transfers to Illinois and Florida International, it's unclear what the 6-foot-5, 195-pound shooting guard without a college degree will do with the rest of his life.

    The uncertainty is what scares Kurt Keener, his former high school coach for three years at Detroit County Day.

    Alex Legion

    "If he's lost his passion for the game, then I'm concerned," Keener said. "He's never had any other area of his life — that I knew of — other than basketball, basketball, basketball."

    Considered one of the top players in the nation coming out of high school in 2007, according to Rivals, Scout and ESPN, Legion appeared to burn his bridges at every college stop.

    His latest transgression was his dismissal last month by Florida International coach

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  • $221 million Cobo revamp to add river view, replace arena

    Oralandar Brand-Williams, Detroit News staff writer

    Cobo Center officials have unveiled details of a long-awaited, $221 million facelift of the city's main convention center that includes panoramic views of the Detroit River and sweeping changes to its façade.

    The bond-financed project will also mean the demise of Cobo Arena, the legendary but aging concert venue for acts from KISS to Jay-Z.

    Two years after Detroit officials ceded oversight of the 51-year-old facility, regional leaders were to gather today in Cobo to unveil artist renderings of the project that is expected to begin in July and last until 2014. The work is the final stage of a $274 million project to revamp the 2.4 million square-foot facility that was last updated in 1989.

    One highlight of the renovation is a three-story glass wall that will surround the light-gray building and provide a view of the Detroit River, as well as access

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  • Fox TV’s Glenn Beck berates Detroit

    Francis X. Donnelly, Detroit News staff writer

    Three weeks after a conservative commentator lambasted Detroit on a national radio program, an even bigger pundit did the same on national television Monday.

    On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck compared Motown with Hiroshima.

    Guess which city came out better? Clue: It was the one destroyed by an atomic bomb.

    He hailed Hiroshima for rebuilding itself by embracing entrepreneurship and the free market system.

    As for Detroit:"The other (city) embraced progressive policies and corrupt government and unions," he said. "Bad policies and union deals helped rot this city from the core."

    Beck wasn't any more charitable toward Detroit's Big Three.

    He said Chrysler and General Motors were poorly run and should have been allowed to go out of business. But they were saved by progressive policies, which is his code name for liberal programs.

    "They should have failed because they stunk on ice," he said.

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  • U-M coordinator Greg Mattison can earn up to $900K annually

    U-M coordinator Greg Mattison

    Angelique S. Chengelis, Detroit News staff writer

    During his search for a new football coach, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said the program always has been "kind of the middle of the pack" when it comes to salaries.

    While the contract for new coach Brady Hoke has not yet been released by university officials — Brandon said Thursday the details will be finalized soon — the salaries for Hoke's assistants were released to the Associated Press.

    Most notable was defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's contract. He will be paid $750,000 annually with a chance for a bonus of up to $150,000 if the Wolverines win the Big Ten. Mattison, 61, who spent the last two seasons as defensive coordinator for the NFL's Ravens, is the Big Ten's highest-paid assistant.

    "We're not messing around," Brandon told The News when asked about Mattison's contract. "I am sure he's the highest-paid defensive coordinator in the Big Ten, and I have to believe he is also one of the highest-paid in

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  • Bald eagle shot in Genesee County

    Jim Lynch, Detroit News staff writer

    A bald eagle rescued last week in Genesee County appears to have been shot, and state investigators are now looking for help in finding the culprit.

    On Thursday, a Gaines Township resident came across the injured eagle and contacted Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The wildlife biologists who responded discovered a male bald eagle they believed to be 5 years old.

    The bird had a broken wing but still resisted being caught until experts from the Detroit Zoo were brought in to help.

    An X-ray provided evidence that the eagle had been shot. Bald eagles are protected by the Michigan Endangered Species Protection law, the Federal Migratory Treaty Act and the Golden Eagle Protection Act. Poaching a bald eagle is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000 — along with a $1,500 restitution payment to the state.

    "We urge anyone who knows anything about this shooting to help us find whoever

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  • Part of Detroit’s history kept under wraps

    Tom Greenwood, Detroit News staff writer

    Tucked away on the city's southwest side is a 96,000-square-foot time machine. At Historic Fort Wayne, in a World War II-era brick and wood-beamed warehouse mottled with peeling red paint, more than 200,000 items of historic importance to Detroit and southeastern Michigan are safeguarded.

    Among them are the "bubble cars," dozens of historically significant automotive jewels to the Detroit Historical Society that are preserved and protected by large, clear-plastic balloon enclosures illuminated largely by dusty skylights

    In this warehouse, time rides on four wheels.

    A walk down the center aisle is like hopscotching back and forth in history: On one side rests an 1870 Phaeton Carriage car facing a dusky-red 1963 Chrysler Turbine that would run on diesel fuel, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, vegetable oil and even tequila. A few steps away, a grandfatherly 1911 Ford Model T keeps company with a bulky 1975 AMC Pacer. A 1963 pre-production

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  • RoboCop statue reaches funding goal

    Detroit News staff report

    Like it or hate it, a RoboCop statue soon could be coming to Detroit.

    Tuesday evening, organizers met their goal of raising $50,000, just six days after the whimsical campaign began.

    Pete Hottelet, an Oakland, Calif., advertising entrepreneur, pushed the campaign to its goal, donating $25,000 online. The 32-year-old said he saw the effort as an opportunity to help Detroit.

    "Detroit has an amazing history, and it's one of those places where something like this fits in."

    The average contribution, from 1,500 people, was about $17, according to Corktown resident Jerry Paffendorf, one of the RoboCop campaign leaders.

    By 11 a.m. Wednesday, the campaign had raised $50,626 and there's still 38 days to go, according to the kickstarter.com, the website that was used to raise funds.

    "People were really interested in making something happen in Detroit," Paffendorf said.

    The statue of the half-man, half-cyborg crime fighter immortalized in a 1987 movie would appear

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  • Tigers’ Victor Martinez drives Rolls Royce Ghost

    Tom Gage, Detroit News staff writer

    Lakeland, Fla. -- Victor Martinez, you're going to like the Motor City.

    Judging from your keen appreciation for wheels.

    Martinez was dropped off on Tuesday at the side door of the Tigers clubhouse here. Several years ago, it became the front door for players, because they can park and walk up the path to the clubhouse.

    But it's not hidden from public view, if that's what you are asking.

    When Justin Verlander pulls up in his red Ferrari, it's in full view of the fans on hand for that day's workout.

    When a writer pulls up in his compact rental car, wait, that doesn't really matter, does it? And besides it's in a different area.

    The big white Rolls Royce Ghost in the first slot of the lot, however, belonged to Victor Martinez, the Tigers' new catcher/designated hitter.

    Called a "luxury saloon" on Wikipedia, the Ghost retails (also according to Wikipedia) for around $250,000 before customization. It's the "most technologically advanced Rolls"

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