• MICKI STEELE, DETROIT NEWS STAFF WRITER

    Fighter planes flown by the nation's first African-American military aviators are hard to find.

    That's why officials at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum jumped at the chance to buy one.

    The museum spent a year raising the funds to pay for a World War II T-6 training plane — known as the "pilot maker" — once used by the celebrated all-black aviation unit.

    The $200,000 deal was finalized in late September.

    One other such plane exists that was flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, said Brian Smith, the museum's president. "It's a national treasure."

    The T-6 will be housed at Detroit City Airport and used for youth training and air show demonstrations.

    The vintage aircraft was produced at North American Aviation's Dallas factory, delivered in 1943 to Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama and used until 1945.

    The same Dallas factory also made the P-51, a fighter plane flown by the African-American war pilots to escort bombers.

    Read More »from Tuskegee museum gets rare World War II plane
  • By Tim Twentyman, The Detroit News

    Jeff Backus has piled up some pretty incredible numbers.

    150; 3,325; 4,788,000; 287,280,000.

    Not bad for an offensive lineman.

    But those numbers aren't statistics he's compiled. They're the consecutive games he will have played come Sunday (150), which translate into the days (3,325), minutes (4,788,000) and seconds (287,280,000) since he started his first game, Sept. 9, 2001, as a rookie against the Packers.

    Jeff Backus of the Detroit Lions (Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

    "I've been fortunate to avoid any major injuries," said Backus, the starting tackle for the Lions. "I've played a long time. I'm not sitting here patting myself on the back about it. Obviously, it's a cool thing, but more than anything I've been very fortunate to stay as healthy as I have and, hopefully, it continues."

    Backus' 149 consecutive starts are the most among active linemen in the NFL, and are tied for fifth overall. Only Hall of Fame cornerback Dick LeBeau (171) has started more consecutive games in Lions history.

    "He's not

    Read More »from Lions’ Jeff Backus to start 150th straight game Sunday
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  • Cuban cigar boom? A look at what new rules mean
    Cuban cigar boom? A look at what new rules mean

    MIAMI (AP) — Americans travelers can soon legally bring back one of Cuba's most celebrated products, but some limitations remain. Here's a look at some facts and figures surrounding the loosened restrictions on cigars:

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