News@noon: A 'cesspool,' sushi and vodka and a senator in jail
Today is Tuesday, March 29, 2016, and Virgil Smith is in jail, beginning a 10-month sentence for shooting at his ex-wife’s car. And he's still a state senator, which prompts today's question of the day: Does Virgil Smith need to resign from office?
Here's what else is making news today:
Viral video takedown
- The University of Michigan said an incident involving a student who has delivered a profanity-laced rant against an Uber driver has been turned over to police. In a 33-second video that has gone viral, the student, Jake Croman, is seen with a group of young men crowding around the vehicle of an Uber driver who is filming them. The student repeatedly uses the F-word and a gay slur as he mocked the man for his job.
- And speaking of takedowns, comedian Katt Williams is facing charges in his strange fight with a Georgia teen that was captured on cellphone video. Williams appeared to sucker punch the teen, who quickly managed to get him to the ground in a headlock.
A 'cesspool' of inaction
- A previously unreleased EPA email shows the agency’s Midwest whistle-blower pleaded with superiors to protect Flint residents from lead contamination and railed against their failure to do so.
- In the June 2015 communication, Region 5’s Regulations Manager Miguel Del Toral — called a “hero” by the agency’s top official — described the EPA as “a cesspool” for officials’ reluctance to act on what he perceived as an obvious public health threat.
- Today, Michigan legislators exploring the Flint water contamination crisis are hearing directly from local officials and residents during a legislative hearing in Flint. We'll keep you updated on this throughout the day.
- Find complete coverage of the Flint water crisis here
X marks the spot
- What do we really know about young Malcolm X? Archeologists in Boston are digging at the boyhood home of the slain black rights activist in the hopes of learning more about what his childhood was like.
- An Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir plane during a routine domestic flight to Cairo and forced it to land on the island of Cyprus has surrendered and was taken into custody after he released all the passengers and crew.
- Marathon Petroleum Co. is promising lower levels of pollutants at its southwest Detroit refinery, and plans to spend $10 million to achieve it.
Happening in sports
- Spike Albrecht will continue his basketball career, but it won’t be at Michigan, according to multiple reports late Monday night. In December, after shutting it down in time to preserve a redshirt season if he wanted, his emotional news conference was labeled a “retirement.” As he started feeling better through all the rehab, though, Albrecht started to contemplate continuing his career, as he first told The News in January.
- With the Red Wings looking to salvage a rough season and sneak into the last playoff spot, they may have found their answer in, of all people, Jimmy Howard, says Wojo.
- Josh Katzenstein breaks down the Lions roster, what they've got going for them and what they desperately need.
Boy and Bear and second chances
- "The Boy and Bear" a sculpture by artist Marshall Fredericks, was saved last year when Northland Center closed for good. The city of Southfield borrowed money from different funds to prevent the beloved piece from being handed over to receivership, and it will now have a new home at the Public Library. But that was a lot of money for the city to pay, so a suburban Detroit arts commission has started a fundraising campaign to recoup the cash spent on saving the sculpture.
The lighter side
- Looking for a way to get out and make new friends? Why not try a little sushi and vodka. Stephanie Steinberg introduces you to Social Sushi.
- Neal Rubin reminds us that the key to good BBQ (and everything else) is passion.
- You have until 5 p.m. today to enter Homestyle's "Decked Out" contest to win a $250 gift card to Great Lakes Ace Hardware and more prizes. Click here to learn more.
Detroit News at noon is a daily roundup of the biggest stories on www.detroitnews.com. Get more anytime by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram (@detroitnews). We're also on Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews").