Detroit City Council Greenlights $200,000 Facial Recognition Contract

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved a contract supporting facial recognition in Detroit, even after a vast majority of public comments were in opposition to the measure.

The measure, approved by a 6-3 vote, approves spending $219,984 to cover costs associated with upgrades and maintenance. The council’s vote was preceded by a morning protest and an hour of public comment from residents opposing facial recognition, arguing the technology is “racist.”

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Michigan Taxpayers to Foot Major Portion of $20 Million Lincoln Motor Co. Redevelopment

The Michigan Strategic Fund has agreed to subsidize a major portion of a proposed $19.7 million redevelopment of the former Lincoln Motor Co. headquarters in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood of Detroit.

More than half of those funds will derive from public taxpayer assistance, including a $5 million state grant, $2.7 million in additional tax transfers, and another $3.4 million in tax breaks.

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Advocates Sound Alarm Over Wayne County’s Absentee Ballot Signature Verifications, Other Election Issues

Election integrity advocates believe something fishy is going on in Wayne County with absentee ballots, and they say Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is undermining the security of the process there and across Michigan.

Glen Sitek of the Election Integrity Fund provided an exclusive statement to The Michigan Star.

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Detroit Teachers Authorize Strike Over in-Person Education Concerns

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) voted Wednesday to authorize a strike if an agreement can’t be reached over COVID-19 concerns.

The vote, with 91 percent in favor, authorizes DFT leadership to call a strike if the union and the Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) don’t reach an agreement.

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Amazon to Add Thousands of Tech, Corporate Jobs in Six American Cities

Amazon plans to create 3,500 new tech and corporate jobs in six cities nationwide, the company announced Tuesday.

Most of the company’s new hires will be located in Amazon’s New York office with the rest being added in Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Phoenix and San Diego, according to a press release. Amazon also announced plans to expand the six offices to accommodate the new hires.

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State Announces Plans for Detroit to Ann Arbor Self-Driving Vehicle Corridor

The state of Michigan Thursday announced a plan to explore the viability of developing a 40-mile corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles between Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.

The state selected Cavnue, a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP) that partners with Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to develop the project.

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Demand for Electric Cars Fuel Detroit Manufacturers to Invest in Car Charging Stations

As the automotive industry fills the demand for electric cars, the country – and the world – will need thousands more plug-in charging stations for vehicles powered by batteries alone. And because they’re being asked to invest before that demand arrives, automakers and charging companies are struggling to raise the numbers.

Currently electric vehicles make up only about 1.3% of total new vehicle sales in the U.S., according to the Edmunds.com auto site. Electrics are much bigger in other countries, accounting for 2.6% of global new vehicle sales last year, the International Energy Agency says. There are now 26,000 electric vehicle charging stations open to the public in the U.S., with more than 84,000 plugs.

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Detroit Police Chief James Craig Cites Unified City, Not Backing Down for Peaceful City Among Protests

Detroit Police Chief James Craig credited the city’s success in remaining peaceful during nationwide protests and riots with having a city that has stood together and a police force that refuses to give up “the ground to the radicals.”

In an appearance on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight on Tuesday, Craig told Carlson that “we don’t retreat here in Detroit.”

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City of Detroit Seeking Photos of Coronavirus Victims for Memorial

The City of Detroit is seeking photos of those who lost their lives to the coronavirus to display as part of a city memorial event.

Detroit will host Detroit Memorial Day on August 31 to honor city residents who died because of COVID-19, Mayor Mike Duggan announced earlier this month. The city plans to install large photo boards with the submitted pictures along a route on Belle Isle.

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Gov. Whitmer Rebuffs Trump: ‘There Is No Reason for the President to Send Federal Troops’ to Detroit

President Trump on Monday threatened to send federal law enforcement into several cities, including Detroit, in order to quell continuing unrest there.

Trump recently sent federal law enforcement to Portland to break up protesters, who had approached a federal courthouse and set a fire outside of it, according to The Detroit News. He said that the federal officers had done “a fantastic job in a very short time.”

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Day-Long Protest Turns Violent in Detroit as Police Declare ‘Unlawful Assembly’

After a relatively peaceful day of protests Saturday, the Detroit Police Department declared an increasingly agitated and violent crowd of roughly 250 people an unlawful assembly when they refused to leave the downtown Detroit area on the second night of unrest following the  controversial death of George Floyd.

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Detroit Democrat Jonathan Kinloch Pushing Censure of State Lawmaker Says Elected Dems ‘Do Not Belong to Themselves’

Michigan Democrats plan to censure the state lawmaker who “broke protocol” by thanking President Trump for recommending hydroxychloroquine.  State Rep. Karen Whitsett (pictured right) earlier this month credited the controversial drug for saving her life after she had battled the deadly coronavirus for weeks.

Elected Democrats “do not belong to themselves,” explained Jonathan Kinloch, the chairman of the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization (pictured left).

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Gov. Whitmer on Bankruptcy Comments: ‘It’s Outrageous for Senator McConnell to Even Suggest That’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that bankruptcy is not an option for Michigan in response to comments last week from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Whitmer appeared on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. Stephanopoulos asked her if default was on the table for Michigan.

“No, and it’s outrageous for Senator McConnell to even suggest that,” Whitmer said. “But that’s what the matter is. Our general fund budget when adjusted for the inflation is the same size it was during – when Richard Nixon was our president. We have been incredibly smart stewards and we have not made some of the investments I think we should have as a state because of this artificially low number that we’ve been working with.”

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Michigan Dem Says Chloroquine Saved Her Life, Thanks Trump for ‘Making It a Priority’

A Democrat state representative from Detroit, Michigan, who has been battling the coronavirus for weeks, is crediting hydroxychloroquine for saving her life, the Detroit Free Press reported on Monday.  State Rep. Karen Whitset thanked President Trump  – even as the corporate media continued to criticize him for touting an “unproven” drug—because she would not have asked for it unless he had brought it up.

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Michigan National Guard Prepares COVID-19 Response at TCF Center

The Michigan National Guard is helping Detroit prepare additional space to care for COVID-19 patients.

About 20 members of the Michigan National Guard will help the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) form a Federal Medical Station (FMS) at TCF Center in Detroit from Tuesday through today.

Those members will manage inventory to prepare for the care of those with COVID-19.

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‘Struggling’ Detroit Announces Opening of New Arts and Culture Office

The city of Detroit announced the inauguration of its new Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE) with former Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley as its director.

Riley and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan officially declared the new joint public-private government initiative at a Thursday press event.

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Rashida Tlaib Speaks at Democratic Socialists Event, Says Student Debt Tied to ‘Racial Discrimination’

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) spoke this week at an event hosted by the Young Democratic Socialists of America at Wayne State University.

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FOIA Documents Show the City of Detroit, Wayne County, Mailed Property Assessment Three Weeks Later Than Original Claim

The Coalition for Property Tax Justice filed a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and state officials “eviscerated” every homeowners’ due process rights by denying them the ability to appeal inflated property taxes.

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Michigan Democratic Party’s Black Caucus Endorses Biden After Initially Backing Harris

The Michigan Democratic Party’s Black Caucus endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic Party, at least according to Biden’s campaign.

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Whitmer Approval Rating Drops, James in Dead Heat with Peters in New Michigan Poll

A new survey of Michigan voters found that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s approval rating has dropped by more than seven percentage points since June.

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Iraqi Consulate in Detroit Opened for ‘Condolences’ for Soleimani

The Iraqi Consulate General in Detroit held a memorial event for Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, the leader of a designated terrorist organization who was killed last week in a U.S. airstrike.

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Attorney General Barr Announces Federal Crackdown on Crime in Detroit, Other Major Cities

U.S. Attorney General William Barr recently spoke at a press conference in Detroit where he announced a new federal program that will “surge an unparalleled amount of federal backing” to the most dangerous cities in America.

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GM Strike Cost Automaker Estimated $3 Billion, $18.5 Million in Lost Michigan Income Tax Revenue

The United Auto Workers’ strike against General Motors cost the company $1 billion in earnings and that number is expected to rise to $3 billion on the year, CEO Mary Barra said in a phone call with investors this week.

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Board Members Call for Wayne State President’s Resignation Following Free Tuition Program

Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson recently announced that the school will begin providing free tuition to all high school graduates from Detroit, which prompted some members of the Board of Governors to call for his resignation.

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Rep. Rashida Tlaib Joins Fellow Michigander Sen. Stephanie Chang in Calling for $12 Million Public Health Fund in Response to New FCA Plant

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) joined with State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) for a press conference Monday on the site of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) new assembly plant in Detroit.

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Tlaib Doubles Down on Detaining Trump Officials, Says ‘Serious Conversations’ Happening

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) doubled down on her claim that Democrats are considering how to detain White House officials who defy congressional subpoenas in a recent interview.

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Detroit Police Chief ‘Appalled’ by Tlaib’s ‘Racist’ Comments About Facial Recognition

Detroit Police Chief James Craig was on Fox News Thursday to discuss Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI-13) recent visit to the department’s Real Time Crime Center, where the first-term congresswoman suggested that only African Americans should be allowed to work as facial recognition analysts.

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American Inventor Series: Dave Goode, Skiing Pioneer

Michigan native David Goode launched one of the country’s most successful snow and water ski companies in 1975 when he was just 19 years old. He was a member of the U.S. downhill ski team at the time, but his career was sidetracked by an ankle injury.

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United Auto Workers Calls National Strike Against General Motors

The United Auto Workers announced Sunday that local union leaders from across the country voted to go on strike after its collective bargaining agreement with General Motors expired Saturday night.

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Eight Kmarts to Close by Mid-December, Leaving Three Stores in State That Iconic Brand Calls Home

Eight Michigan Kmart stores, including several in Mid-Michigan will close, leaving only a trio of locations in the state to which the chain traces its roots.

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