News@noon: Brussels attacks, Big Apple autos, helping vets
Today is Tuesday, March 22, 2016, and it's a difficult day in Belgium. Explosions, at least one likely caused by a suicide bomber, rocked the Brussels airport and subway system Tuesday, prompting a lockdown of the Belgian capital and heightened security across Europe. At least 31 people were reported dead and dozens of others injured.
President Barack Obama, traveling in Cuba, was briefed Tuesday morning on the Brussels attacks. The White House said U.S. officials were in contact with Belgian officials about the explosions.
Here's what else is making news today:
DPS and Flint
- Leaders of the Michigan Senate are hoping to hold a vote Tuesday on a $700 million-plus plan to divide Detroit’s ailing school district in two and launch a new district with better schools. A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans said an agreement has been reached among negotiators. But now it depends on whether enough senators will support the legislation in a floor vote targeted for Tuesday.
- The Detroit Federation of Teachers, meanwhile, is calling for a long-term funding solution to the district's woes.
- Another plan that is drawing attention is Gov. Rick Snyder's sweeping plan for dealing with Flint’s water crisis, including an initiative welcomed by Republican lawmakers to create tougher drinking water standards above and beyond federal rules.
- Snyder released a new 75-point action plan to address the contamination crisis, calling for a “much higher standard” for drinking water regulations but stopping short of advocating for complete replacement of all underground lead service lines in the city.
- Since we're on the topic of government funding and activities, did you know Michigan received an "F" grade for transparency and ethics in government? That's according to a Center for Public Integrity survey. Business columnist Daniel Howes has more.
Ahead of the game
- The new Red Wings arena being built in Detroit, the expansion to the Big House at University of Michigan, the major overhaul of the Daytona International Speedway that debuted last month: These are all part of an arms race to build venues that are as much about entertainment as they are about sports. And when it comes to the as-yet-unnamed Wings arena, the builders are ahead of the game.
Big Apple autos
- Automakers will shine in the Big Apple this week with premieres of dozens of new and updated vehicles at the New York International Auto Show. Highly anticipated global debuts include the 2017 Acura MDX midsize sport utility vehicle, 2017 Subaru Impreza compact and a Genesis concept from Hyundai Motor Co. Autos reporter Mike Wayland will be there bringing you the latest from the show.
- Wayland and his cohort Mike Martinez previewed the premiers and what to expect in their weekly Miked Up podcast. If you've got a few minutes, give it a listen.
Happening in sports
- The Wings and the Pistons have been put on notice: If the teams want to make the playoffs, they need to pull it together, says columnist John Niyo.
- The Pistons couldn't argue with the end result of last night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks: a bench-clearing celebration after Andre Drummond’s tip-in with 2.1 seconds left let Detroit to escape with a 92-91 victory.
- Some players want to play at UM so badly, they are already announcing their commitment a season ahead of time. That was the case for Josh Ross, a four-star linebacker from Orchard Lake St. Mary's, who committed to Michigan's 2017 recruiting class this morning.
A shelter by any other name...
- The Dearborn Animal Shelter has come a long way since it was the city's pound. The group, backed by hundreds of volunteers and donors, does important work in the community. But now a proposal suggesting a name change to reflect the shelter's reach beyond the city is causing an outcry among some Dearborn residents.
The lighter side
- “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which premieres Friday and will feature many scenes shot in Detroit, may confuse those who have thought of the Dark Knight and The Man of Steel as best friends. The strange thing is, the pair have been BFFs for much of their published history, although that hasn't stopped them from coming to blows many times throughout the years. How did these Spandex superstars become the best of frenemies? Weirdly, it began with the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
- From Neal Rubin: There’s nothing wrong with putting a ribbon-shaped magnet on the back of your SUV, but if you really want to Support Our Troops, come help out at the horseshoe pit.
- Dequindre and 15 Mile has become the heart of a Metro Detroit Polish community that spans several generations. Photographers Charlotte Massey and Robin Buckson feature this block in their latest piece on the many ethnic food businesses you encounter while traveling north on Dequindre Road. Check out the first and second pieces here.
Detroit News at Noon is a daily roundup of the biggest stories on www.detroitnews.com. Get more news anytime by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@detroitnews). We're also on Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews")