News@noon: After Dallas, Tesla autopilot, tiny houses

The Detroit News

Today is Friday, July 8, 2016, and last night at least one gunman shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven others in Dallas during what had been a peaceful protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states.

The suspect was killed by police using explosives in a parking garage where the man had exchanged gunfire with officers. Before he died, the suspect reportedly told police he wanted to kill white people, particularly white officers.

A Dallas police officer, who did not want to be identified, takes a moment as she guards an intersection in the early morning after a shooting in downtown Dallas, Friday, July 8, 2016.

The shootings occurred days after Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were shot and killed by cops during traffic stops in Louisiana and Minnesota, respectively, reigniting the national debate over how law enforcement treats people of color.

The president spoke out about the attack, which has police at home on high alert. And as Detroit Police Chief James Craig questioned whether the tactics used by Louisiana cops were appropriate, he also took time to speak to 18 new police officers who graduated from the police academy this morning.

We will continue to update these stories as we get more information. In the meantime, here are some other things going on today:

Not a true autopilot

Trouble along I-275

  • As Metro Detroiters enjoy the summer weather, some businesses off Interstate 275 are looking forward to the fall. Several near the 6 1/2-mile stretch on I-275 between Five Mile and the I-96/I-696/M-5 interchange say sales dropped when all southbound lanes closed May 2, causing them to slash employee hours. Southbound lanes reopened July 1 – but northbound lanes closed Tuesday and aren’t expected to open until mid-September, leaving some businesses in Livonia, Northville Township, Farmington Hills and Novi waiting to rebound.

Edsel Ford and friend

  • Police Chief Daniel Jensen is a close friend of Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. and has worked as the auto baron’s bodyguard, but their relationship played no role in the city’s decision not to charge cousin Edsel Ford II following an alleged domestic violence incident Monday, the chief said.
  • Jensen defended his department’s conduct two days after city Prosecutor Robert Ihrie decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Edsel Ford following an incident at the auto heir’s home.

New visions for Belle Isle 

  • Belle Isle supporters interested in planning a community event or program for the island are invited to present their ideas during a mini-grant contest in August. One winner will receive grant dollars and staff support to make their idea a reality.

After the fire

Charred wood stands after a fire ripped through a fireworks store in Wyoming, Mich., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

No swimming

Farmington Hills cop 

  • A Farmington Hills police officer resigned effective last month after he was arraigned on several charges of using a computer to access child pornography, according to police and court records. Matthew Charles Parsons, 48, stepped down June 15, police announced Friday. He faces five counts of possession of child sexually abusive material, five charges of using a computer to commit a crime and three counts of illegally recording an individual, according to a statement from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in May.

This weekend in entertainment 

Cat Chloe (voiced by Lake Bell), left, terrier mix Max (Louis C.K.), and excitable Mel (Bobby Moynihan) star in “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Tiny houses, big design dreams

Richard Brown, the owner of Michigan Tiny House which builds tiny houses and cottages, sits on the porch of a 145-square-foot model unit he built in Whitmore Lake. He's selling it for $39,500.

  • America may be known for its “bigger is better” approach, but for many, tiny is tops these days. Tiny houses – houses often smaller than 400 square feet – continue to surge in popularity and Metro Detroit is no exception. From Whitmore Lake to Detroit, several tiny projects are either in the works or under construction.Check out some of them in the Detroit area

Detroit News at noon is a daily roundup of the most talked-about stories on detroitnews.com. For more anytime, like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterInstagram (@detroitnews), Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews") and LinkedIn

Don't forget to enter the Celebrate Michigan photo contest by sending us your best photos from around the state. We pick four finalists every Wednesday (here's this week's). Winners will get some pretty great prizes (including a first-place prize of a two-night stay for two at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island). If you need some more inspiration, here are last year's winners and finalists

Finally, if you're a talented gardener, we want to reward you with the 2016 Homestyle Garden Photo Contest. Send in your photos here and you could win a $100 gift certificate to English Gardens.