News@noon: EM law under fire; lost in space
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, and it's a sad day for the Detroit newspaper family. The Detroit Free Press lost its longtime food critic Sylvia Rector yesterday. She had colon cancer.
Sylvia spent 17 years as a food writer and food editor for our sister paper. She retired last year.
We wish her friends and family well.
Here are some of the stories we are covering today:
- Former NFL player Robert Eddins was one of two men found fatally shot in a Detroit basement in what police are calling an "execution-style" slaying on city's west side Tuesday evening. Police say each suffered a gunshot wound to the head. They say they believe the two men had been there for hours, at least.
Should Fouts go?
- Mayor Jim Fouts came under fire Friday after he was accused by Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel of being caught on audio making disparaging comments about people with special needs. “But you see these people, like uh, I don’t know, what good are they? They’re dysfunctional human beings. They’re not even human beings,” a man alleged to be Fouts says on the audio.
- While Fouts denies that it's his voice on tape, the fallout continues, with residents of the city and community speaking out against him.
- As for the validity of the tape, an audio expert says there's an 80 percent chance the recording is actually of Fouts. To prove it was doctored, all he'd have to do is read the words attributed to him for comparison with the tape.
- And then, of course, there's what all this stems from: Fouts' allegations that Hackel is "covering up" illegal dumping at Freedom Hill, which was formerly a landfill and is now a concert and festival venue.
Teen killed in shooting
- A 16-year-old Detroit boy is dead and his 18-year-old brother is in police custody after a fatal shooting Wednesday morning on the city’s east side, police said.
Flint and the emergency manager law
- Two former emergency financial managers — empowered by state law and appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration to run Flint — now face criminal charges for actions taken during their tenures that prosecutors say contributed to the city’s water crisis.
- A yearlong Michigan Attorney General’s Office investigation into Flint’s water contamination issues has targeted the highest-ranking officials thus far. On Tuesday, investigators announced charges against former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose, as well as a pair of former city officials.
- In response to new criminal charges filed in connection with the Flint water crisis Tuesday, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee renewed his call for a subpoena for Gov. Rick Snyder’s records and blasted the panel’s chair for “prematurely” closing its probe. Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s ranking member, said it was “inconceivable” that the committee rushed to close its investigation just days earlier, while documents that the panel sought from Snyder’s administration remain outstanding.
- At the same time, the Michigan Court of Appeals has canceled three confidential protective orders issued by a Genesee County judge that limited state agencies’ access to Flint health data. A three-judge panel issued its decision Tuesday, saying that 7th Circuit Judge Geoffrey Neithercut had no authority to issue them and the scope of his orders constituted an abuse of the judge’s discretion.
Pro Bowl snub
- Despite a 9-5 record and being first place in the NFC North, the Detroit Lions have been shut out of the Pro Bowl.
- New Census numbers have been released and Michigan remains the 10th most populous state in 2016. North Carolina bypassed Michigan in 2014 to become the nation's ninth largest by population. Utah was the fastest growing, with its population increasing 2 percent in 2016 to an estimated 3,051,217 million
Out this week
- “Passengers” is a one-way ticket to nowhere, a big-budget star vehicle that leaves Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence stranded in space. Critic Adam Graham calls it "dull and under-realized."
- For a movie that sets out to celebrate the transformative power of pop music, “Sing” hits a bum note. It falls into the trap of the latter seasons of “American Idol,” where hard luck stories and sentimentality overshadow the music.
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.