• 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

    Read More »from Some city neighborhoods gain despite Detroit population pain
  • 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

    Read More »from Alum Kid Rock’s surprise visit, gifts thrill Romeo High
  • 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

    Read More »from Surveillance cameras on duty at more suburban Detroit public parks


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