News@noon: Homecoming and happenings in Detroit
Today is Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, and it's a busy day in Metro Detroit.
Things are moving and shaking in Detroit, where Shinola and Dan Gilbert's Bedrock announced they will be opening a boutique hotel near the old Hudson's Department Store site. It's expected to open in 2018 with 130 rooms in two different downtown buildings along Woodward.
Much sooner than that, area residents will be able to get their fill of tasty chicken at not one, but two Chick-fil-A restaurants opening next month.
Oh, and the first of the QLine cars arrived last night, ahead of schedule. So soon you'll be able to take the light rail wherever you want along Woodward downtown. Things are still on track for a spring opening.
Here's what else is happening today that we're following:
Trump in Flint
- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is planning a trip to Flint today that includes a visit to the treatment plant at the center of the city’s water crisis. The campaign didn't release any details about this visit, so we'll keep updating the story as we learn more.
- Also happening now: Flint residents and activists are asking a federal judge to order home delivery of bottled water as their city continues to struggle with two years of lead-poisoned tap water. Follow Holly Fournier for live updates on Twitter.
DPS in court
- We've got more sentences for former Detroit Public Schools principals that defrauded the district. A federal judge sentenced Marcus Garvey Academy ex-principal James Hearn to 10 months in prison for stealing $11,500 from the district as part of a $2.7 million kickback scheme. Clara Smith, the former principal of Thirkell Elementary, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $194,000. And Willye Pearsall, the former principal at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, will be sentenced this afternoon. He faces 24-30 months in prison for taking $50,000.
- The State Board of Education is set to vote today on controversial policy recommendations for schools to create “safe and supportive learning environments” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. The guidance memo suggests schools allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity while offering more private options to any student that requests one. Follow Jonathan Oosting for live updates on Twitter.
- The third annual Detroit Homecoming begins tonight. This three-day program brings back successful expatriates of the city and encourages investment in Detroit. Among the speakers are former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer as well as Tony Fadell, a founder of the iPod and founder of NEST.
- Since the homecoming event began in 2014, it has brought more than 300 expats with ties to Metro Detroit “home” to re-experience the city, organizers said. Detroit expats have committed investments of more than $260 million in city projects and businesses. Follow Louis Aguilar on Twitter for live updates tonight.
Ford's betting on self-driving
- Today, Ford Motor Co. said it expects autonomous vehicles will account for 20 percent of industry-wide U.S. yearly sales by 2030. The Dearborn automaker believes autonomy will play a key role in its future, but in the short term, it expects financial results will drop in 2017 before rising again in 2018 as it continues to invest in new opportunities.
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 Twitter, Instagram (@detroitnews), Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews") and LinkedIn.