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  1. Unveiling of Betty Ford portrait also spotlights artist

    The painter Patricia Hill Burnett who is also the feminist, the socialite, and the once-Miss Michigan first wrote to Betty Ford in 1975, seeking 'three to five sittings.'

  2. Group gains traction by recycling leftover tires from city's ruin

    A few miles north of the Shinola Midtown store, where Detroit grit is polished, assembled and sold at breathtaking premiums, the Rev. Faith Fowler is pioneering her own authentic take on Detroit retail.

  3. Detroit bankruptcy raises Orr's profile across U.S.

    Sixteen months after being called to serve as Detroit's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr has emerged as a public figure, famous within municipal finance circles and recognizable to legions of Detroit followers from Woodward Avenue to Wall Street and beyond.

  4. Legislature OKs $800K for abortion alternatives in new budget

    The Michigan Legislature has shown little interest in fixing roads, preventing unplanned pregnancy, or solving infant mortality. But it has approved hundreds of thousands of dollars to 'promote childbirth,' alternatives to abortion and abstinence.

  5. A bold step of faith spurs idea that became 'grand bargain'

    'Tell me again how this is going to work?' Allan Gilmour is a sophisticated veteran of financial maneuvers and civic decision-making. Once Ford's vice chairman, he is Wayne State University's immediate past president.

  6. Amid cooperation over Detroit 'grand bargain,' retirees' votes key question

    In the movie epic about Detroit's bankruptcy, Monday's meeting at the Detroit Institute of Arts' Rivera Court is a climactic and stirring scene. In real life and real time, it marked a moment of triumph and tension, with many players still waiting to exhale.

  7. Berman: Photo shows male GOP lawmakers still out of touch

    The tweeted photo shows three male Michigan legislators smirking and reading women's fashion magazines, with the quip: 'Don't say we don't understand women.'

  8. Can this love fest last? Grand bargain brings state, city together

    The 'grand bargain' sounds like a special sale at Macy's. But until now, it's been the political holy grail a noble-sounding but unobtainable goal.

  9. Haven to offer services for abuse victims under one expanded roof

    Haven, the Oakland County shelter for domestic abuse survivors, has no sign and no listed address. It's effectively a stealth residence, maintaining the idea that secrecy protects victims from the abusers they so desperately fled.

  10. Cranbrook offers DPS seventh-graders day at museum to ignite interest

    Michael Stafford, the director of Cranbrook Institute of Science, leads a handful of students behind a door and pulls out his favorite display three otter skins used as shaman medicine bags between the 18th and late 19th centuries.

Metro Columnist

Laura Berman is a Detroit News columnist who writes about local, national and, occasionally, personal issues.

Laura has been a features writer, columnist, business and political reporter and magazine staff writer at the Detroit Free Press, and a contributor to many national magazines. Her journalism awards include a National Headliner Award for column writing. She has a degree in history from the University of Michigan.

Continuing Coverage

Ongoing stories from The Detroit News

The Detroit Public Library

The cash-strapped library system might have to close branches and lay off employees, even as critics question lavish spending at the main branch, nepotism and management decisions. -- Read More

Analyzing the 2010 Census

Explore a special section on the census and its implications for Michigan, with a database and interactive maps that dive deep into the data for each community. -- Read about the 2010 Census

Detroit City Hall corruption

The federal investigation of Detroit City Hall corruption that led to the indictment of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick began more than five years ago. Ten people have pleaded guilty in connection with the Detroit investigation. -- Read about the investigations

Leaders meet at Mackinac

More than 1,500 business and community leaders and public officials from all levels of government met at the 31st annual Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference to discuss mutual issues and challenges. -- Read More

Special Report

Detroit's top property players

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Private investors, many owning hundreds of parcels, complicate the reshaping of Detroit

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