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  1. Affirmative action ruling jeopardizes Michigan's progress against inequality

    Tuesday's Supreme Court decision preserves this stingy status quo. It affirms the right of the people of Michigan to close doors that once swung open.

  2. Detroit crisis has spurred change; city doesn't need an 'overseer'

    Does Detroit need 'a permanent overseer?' That loaded phrase, used in a Crain's Detroit Business headline on a Keith Crain column, was swiftly changed to the less incendiary 'independent finance exec.'

  3. Offer of a fresh perspective might help Detroit out of bankruptcy

    It's like 'American Idol' for bankruptcy, without the glamour but plenty of bucks involved. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is hiring an expert to review the city's plan of adjustment and the auditions are today.

  4. Urban farmers expecting full harvest with co-op

    On the urban prairie, the chickens are laying, fresh compost is piled in a heap and a group of Detroit farmers is readying the land with the kind of hope and energy that spring brings.

  5. Personal tragedy drives Big Family founder's bid to help kids

    April is national child abuse prevention month perhaps because poet T.S. Eliot once celebrated its cruelty. Growing up, Jeanne Fowler considered every month cruel. Until she was an adult, she could only wonder: 'When is it going to get better?'

  6. Brutal beating shows extreme side of bad Detroit

    We live in Detroit Extreme, a place where man's inhumanity to man is too often just one child's step off the curb.

  7. Plan for urban woodland takes root May 17

    On May 17, John Hantz the financial services mogul who is planting an urban woodland plans to grill sandwiches for any volunteers who show up to help plant 15,000 young maple and oak trees on 50 acres of newly cleared urban prairie.

  8. Professional women give Barra's performance thumbs up

    Three automotive CEOs came to Washington, D.C., six years ago and blew up in spectacular fashion. Arriving with three private jets and haughty demeanors, their big moment was a public relations debacle.

  9. Ex-legislator who supported same-sex marriage ban now calls it 'mean-spirited'

    Chris Ward was a young, highly regarded Republican legislator in 2004 when he voted to banish even the prospect of gay marriage from Michigan.

  10. Tours let people rediscover Detroit Public Library

    Detroit library officials expected one or two curious people to show up when Barbara Cohn led her first tour of the main Detroit Public Library last December. Instead, that tour, and each one since, has been oversubscribed.

  11. For a fleeting moment, four county clerks open doors to all

    Your local county clerk is most often seen as a bureaucrat a keeper of records, vital statistics and precise office hours. But on Saturday, four county clerks in Michigan went a little bit rogue.

  12. Concern for 'life' should include babies already born

    Right to Life of Michigan might have proved its deep concern for Michigan's tiniest citizens last week. It could have mustered political support for living babies, fragile beings who survived passage out of utero and into the harsh world.

  13. Detroit's problem: Poverty, not gentrification

    One of Detroit's new restaurants is set to pop up next week on the southwest side. The proprietors are emphasizing the tension between their $121-per-person dining concept and the gritty neighborhood they've chosen for 'Goldfinch American.'

  14. Family carries Ford legacy forward with grace

    What's unusual about William Clay Ford Sr.'s offspring is not that they've rarely courted media attention, but that they've so successfully escaped it.

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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