News@noon: Dueling politicians, tax delinquents, soccer

The Detroit News

Today is Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 and the battle continues between Warren Mayor Jim Fouts and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

The two traded barbs this morning before a meeting to unveil a two-year, $150 million project to rebuild a nine-mile stretch of Mound in Warren and Sterling Heights.

During a stakeholders kickoff meeting for the Innovate Mound initiative, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, left foreground, and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel , standing right, listen to a speaker Thursday in Warren.

"I guess (this is how) stalkers are. He won't let go," Hackel said. "This is a very bizarre way to get my attention."

Around the corner, Fouts paused briefly when asked about Hackel's comment.

"That's typical Mark Hackel," the mayor said. "When he doesn't have the facts, he attacks. That's my response to that."

The two are embroiled in an ongoing dispute over the dumping of excavated dirt at the Sterling Heights amphiteatre, a former landfill.

Here's what else is happening today:

The Downtown Development Authority board approved spending $250 million in taxes on Little Caesars Arena, seen under construction this fall.

Checkered past

  • The Downtown Development Authority board spending $250 million in taxes on Little Caesars Arena is dominated by tax delinquents with financial problems and in some cases criminal records, according to public records.

Routine traffic stop

  • Michigan State Police seized 1,049 oxycodone pills and some marijuana during a traffic stop Monday in southern Wayne County. The drugs were discovered after the occupants gave "conflicting stories" and troopers decided to deploy a K-9 to examine the vehicle.

Soccer in Detroit?

  • Major League Soccer this afternoon is expected to detail how a new city and team could be added to the league. Two interested parties are Quicken Loans Inc. founder Dan Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, who in April announced their bid for a franchise, to play at a proposed $1 billion mixed-use stadium complex on the site of the stalled Wayne County jail project in Greektown.

Auto Show meets Winter Blast

  • The Meridian Winter Blast is scheduled to kick off earlier this year, moving from February to the last weekend of the North American International Auto Show, Jan. 20-22. Organizers hope the simultaneous events will result in a 20 percent increase in Winter Blast attendance.
  • Speaking of the auto show, Walt Disney Co. is using the event to unveil a life-sized version of a character from the upcoming animated film “Cars 3." That's just one of many signs that "smart money" and tech  are moving to Detroit, according to columnist Daniel Howes.

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