Detroit News at noon: Ellen's big donation, I-75 expansion, Valentine's Day recipes
The Detroit News
Today is Thursday, February 11, 2015. Here's what's in the news today.
Ellen's big surprise
- Students and staff at Detroit's Spain Elementary-Middle School were shocked when Ellen DeGeneres secured a massive donation on their behalf.
- At one point, pop star Justin Bieber popped out next to Ellen and he promised to donate $1 from every ticket sold for his April 25 show at The Palace to Auburn Hills to the school.
- The talk show host didn't stop there: She announced she was setting up a GoFundMe page with the goal of drawing $5 million in donations for the Detroit Public Schools building that serves more than 650 students.
- Spain Elementary-Middle School, like many schools in DPS, has faced troubles that led to a series of sickouts earlier this year. These problems include mold growth and warped wood that has closed down the school gym.
- The issues teachers raised inspired Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to announce that all DPS buildings would be inspected by the city’s Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department by the end of April.
- The episode will air today at 3 p.m.
I-75 relief coming
- Work on widening congested Interstate 75 through Oakland County will begin this summer, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said Wednesday night during his State of the County address. The project will begin with a three-mile stretch in the Square Lake Road area and cost $127 million.
Chicago auto show update
- Kia Motors Corp. debuted three hybrid vehicles, including the company’s first plug-in hybrid electric model and the Niro “hybrid utility vehicle.”
- Ram Truck unveiled two updated heavy-duty pickups for off-road enthusiasts on Thursday at the 2016 Chicago auto show.
- If that's not enough off-road power, there's also a 2016 Roush F-150 now. In other Ford news, the automaker has plans to add four all-new sport utility vehicles to its Ford and Lincoln brand vehicle lineups in the next four years. Up until now, the company would only say its plans were for the "next few years."
- Nissan Motor Co. took the wraps off its all-new 2017 Armada full-size sport utility vehicle ahead of the show.
- Autos reporter Mike Wayland is at the show and keeping you updated on Twitter.
Let's get political
- Expect the Kasich train to be heading to Michigan. After a second-place finish in New Hampshire Tuesday, Republican presidential contender John Kasich is setting his sights on our primary next month because we are what his campaign considers a "vital must-win state."
- "Little House on the Prairie" star and Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Melissa Gilbert is taking heat from the Republicans for what they say is using the Flint water crisis to raise money for her campaign.
Are you ready for Valentine's Day?
- Did you wait too long to make dinner reservations? Or maybe you just forgot? Valentine's Day is Sunday and we are here to help keep you out of the doghouse. Here are some solid options for going out.
- But let's be honest, it's probably too late for a reservation. But never fear, we are here with some simple but tasty dinner and dessert recipes: Pasta to wow your valentine | Warm winter farro salad | Easier coq au vin | Dressed up truffles with chai spices | An elegant meal of seared scallops | Strawberries with black pepper and balsamic reduction | Salt & pepper chocolate bark
- And if all else fails, you can't go wrong with oysters!
Happening in sports
- It was an emotional night for former Pistons player Chauncey Billups as his No. 1 jersey was retired to the rafters at The Palace. It was almost too much for Billups to handle. "As I went through my career, I never shot for that; that was never a goal of mine," he said. "I just wanted to be the best I could be; I didn’t know that was my best.”
- Now all eyes turn to Reggie Jackson, the one currently left wearing the No. 1 jersey on the floor, who will be expected to pick up the point guard mantle.
- In case you missed it, Petr Mrazek put on a show last night for the Red Wings.
- A Detroit police sergeant’s Facebook post connected to this year’s Super Bowl half-time show is under investigation.
- A legal fight continues to fester over the homemade coat Rosa Parks allegedly was wearing when she refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus to a white passenger in 1955. It has a local twist.
The lighter side
- Nerd Alert! Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is bringing an even nerdier ‘Comic Con’ to Silicon Valley.
- For those who are willing to brave the freezing temperatures this weekend, you'll be helping a good cause. The 2016 Meridian Winter Blast stands to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the city of Flint. Catch up on all the news about Flint's water crisis here.