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Highland Park prepares to battle state over finances

City officials convened a special meeting Oct. 2 to prepare a response to the State Treasurer’s preliminary review of the city’s finances. Before a standing room only crowd and facing an Oct. 9 deadline to submit a response, Mayor DeAndre Windom and Finance Manager Ernestine Williams went point by point through Treasurer Andy Dillon’s 15 findings that the city is in “probable financial stress.” ...

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Lincoln died for our sins

The opening scene of Steven Spielberg’s cinemythic portrait of the 16th president features President Abraham Lincoln seated on a stage, half cloaked in darkness and observing the Union forces he is sending into battle. It’s an apt metaphor for the man himself — both visible and obscure inside the tempest, yet somehow, above the fray. “Lincoln” was released in early Nov. 2012, just in time to shape our discu ...

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Global visit to Detroit

On Sept. 21, 18 participants from the Future Generations Graduate School in West Virginia arrived in Detroit for a learning journey sponsored by the Boggs Center. The school offers a global masters-graduate program dedicated to community and peace building. This two-year program combines online study with four-month long residency studies in Haiti, India , Kenya and the United States. The students came from ...

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Proposed cuts in food stamps will hurt Detroiters

Amid the recent wrangling over government closure, an important news item went almost unnoticed: on Sept. 19, House Republicans voted to cut $40 billion from food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), over 10 years. This cut, if allowed to stand, would force about 14 million people from the program during the same period. Earlier, the Senate had voted for a $4 billion cut over 1 ...

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Court orders sale of slavery museum

What is the status of the National Slavery Museum that former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder has spent more than 10 years trying to build on a 38-acre site in Fredericksburg, Va.? Still undeveloped and now facing city sale of the land for back taxes. Circuit Judge Joseph J. Ellis has now handed Fredericksburg a victory by issuing an order allowing the city to seize and sell the property. The city has been ...

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Black farmers get second wave of payments from bias suit

A second wave of payouts has begun streaming to Black farmers from the settlement of a lawsuit, commonly referred to as “Pigford II,” against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Between 1983 and 1997, thousands of African American famers suffered rampant discrimination at USDA’s Farm Service Agency offices, which denied them loans solely because of their race, resulting in severe financial and real estate l ...

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Racial disparities in adoption raise concerns

Decades later, Rhonda Roorda still becomes emotional. “Sometimes I still feel the trauma of knowing ... I could have aged out of the foster care system,” said Roorda, an African American woman who was adopted by a white couple in 1971. “I could have fallen through the cracks.” As of 2010, an African American child in Michigan is more likely to be waiting for adoption than to become adopted, according to the ...

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Steve Harvey Foundation brings Detroit mentors, mentees together

The Steve Harvey Mentoring Initiative held a three-day mentoring program for 100 Detroit-area teenage boys Sept. 27 -29 at the Northwest Activities Center. Boys in grades 8-12 from single-mother households each wrote a 300-word essay about not having a father in their life. Applicants were selected based on the quality of the essay. ...

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Wayne County moves to one-step jury notification

The Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan, with jurisdiction over criminal, civil and family matters in Wayne County will change its prospective juror notification from a two-step to a one-step process this October. “The new combination questionnaire and summons will save time for jurors and money for taxpayers, while making juries in Wayne County more efficient and reflective of the county’s diversity,” a Thi ...

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