• Ron French, Detroit News staff writer

    A Michigan man who won $2 million in a state lottery game continues to collect food stamps 11 months after striking it rich.

    And there's nothing the state can do about it, at least for now.

    Leroy Fick, 59, of Auburn won $2 million in the state lottery TV show "Make Me Rich!" last June. But the state's Department of Human Services determined he was still eligible for food stamps, Fick's attorney, John Wilson of Midland, said Tuesday.

    Eligibility for food stamps is based on gross income and follows federal guidelines; lottery winnings are considered liquid assets and don't count as income. As long as Fick's gross income stays below the eligibility requirement for food stamps, he can receive them, even if he has a million dollars in the bank.

    Food stamps are paid for through tax dollars and are meant to help support low-income families.

    "If you're going to try to make me feel bad, you're not going to do it," Fick told WNEM-TV in Saginaw on

    Read More »from $2M Michigan lottery winner defends use of food stamps
  • Rod Beard, Eric Lacy and Tom Markowski, Detroit News staff writers

    Former Michigan star basketball player and Detroit native Robert "Tractor" Traylor was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday.

    According to his professional team, Vaqueros de Bayamon, Traylor suffered a massive heart attack. He was 34.

    Traylor was a high school All-American at Detroit Murray-Wright before going on to play U-M from 1995-98. After his college career, in the 1998 NBA draft, he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Dirk Nowitzki.

    After leaving U-M, Traylor was at the center of the Ed Martin scandal that rocked the University of Michigan and led to severe NCAA sanctions and vacated wins during his college career.

    Traylor played seven seasons in the NBA, including two stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers, with whom he played his final season in 2005. He averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds over his career.

    News of

    Read More »from Former U-M star Robert ‘Tractor’ Traylor dies at 34
  • Susan R. Pollack, Detroit News Design Writer

    Katie Brown grew up in northern Michigan in a large, extended family whose idea of fun was comparing tomatoes from their gardens and bragging about how many people they cooked for that day.

    For her 11th birthday, she got to decorate her own room, a task that introduced her to browsing wallpaper books and choosing favorite colors for paint.

    "A lot of families go skiing or sailing together — ours, we redecorate together," says Brown, whose home-centered childhood in Petoskey and on Mackinac Island was an ideal launch pad for her career as domestic diva.

    With her tagline "Keep it Simple" (even more important now that she's a working mother of two, she says), Brown is hosting her sixth season of the "Katie Brown Workshop" on PBS with segments on cooking, gardening and crafting.

    She also has written five books on entertaining and decorating and last year launched a line of home and gardening products, Katie Brown Simply at Meijer,

    Read More »from Simply Katie Brown: Michigan’s decor diva reveals her secrets


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