• A home for sale on Kingsley Manor Drive in Bloomfield Hills. List price: $4.5 million. Sale price: $1.8 million. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

    Louis Aguilar, Detroit News staff writer

    Sales of $1 million-plus homes in Metro Detroit are brisk again after two years of stagnation, according to industry analyses and local real estate agents.

    But it's a painful recovery: Prices have been slashed. Sales have not returned to levels seen before the housing crash and economic recession. And most luxury houses have been on the market sometimes for several years.

    Examples of the discounts buyers have gotten or could receive on high-end homes in the past six months include:

    A Bloomfield Hills home originally listed at $7.9 million sold for $1.7 million in January — a nearly 80 percent markdown. It was on the market for 3 1/2 years.

    A Bloomfield Township house stayed on the market for 4 1/2 years before being sold in February at a 70 percent discount of $1.87 million.

    In Grosse Ile, an estate formerly owned by the late auto aftermarket magnate

    Read More »from Metro Detroit luxury home sales rebound, but at bargain prices
  •  Bald eagles typically prey on fish, but they also are scavengers, eating roadkill and rodents. About 700 pairs are living in Michigan. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)

    Josh Katzenstein, Detroit News staff writer

    Since they were removed from the endangered species list in 2007, bald eagles have flourished in Michigan and across the United States.

    In fact, their population surge has happened almost too quickly.

    With more than 700 pairs flying around the state in 2011, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimations, bald eagles have run out of prime habitat — typically cottonwood trees near a body of water with ample fish. Eagles normally live miles apart, but occasionally nest closer together if there are enough resources to share, biologist Matthew Stuber of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.

    Eagles have recently found homes near power plants, including DTE Energy's Monroe and Fermi 2 facilities, prompting DTE to have a naming contest, with four young eagles being named Spirit, Freedom, Honor and Grace on July 1. Other eagles have nested miles from bodies of water, and 13 pairs call Monroe or Wayne counties home.

    "If eagles

    Read More »from Once endangered, eagle population soaring in Michigan
  • Steve Pardo, Detroit News staff writer

    One of the world's most destructive pests — with the potential to wreak havoc on the state's agricultural industry — has been found by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at both the Detroit and Port Huron crossings.

    The Khapra beetle is only as big as a nickel is thick, but en masse it could destroy some of Michigan's most important grain crops. It can feed on about any dried plant or animal matter but prefers grains such as wheat, barley, corn and rice.

    Two of the beetles were found in a shipment of chickpeas from India this spring at the Fort Street Cargo Facility.

    "The Khapra beetle, if not interdicted, could wipe out soybean, wheat and corn crops," said Kenneth Hammond, chief of cargo operations of the Fort Street center.

    One invasive insect, the emerald ash borer, proved particularly devastating to American ash trees.

    Ash borers have killed or damaged about 35 million ash trees in the Lower Peninsula since their discovery

    Read More »from Michigan effort under way to block invasive Khapra beetle

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  • Allen says he won't join a team this season
    Allen says he won't join a team this season

    Ray Allen, who helped the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat win NBA titles, will not reunite with LeBron James in Cleveland, saying Wednesday he will sit out the current season. The 39-year-old guard, one of the NBA's all-time top shooters and the league's career 3-pointers leader, had hinted that he might sign as a free agent with a title contender.

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