News@noon: State of state, Warren's woes

The Detroit News

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, though it feels a little more like March 18, doesn't it?

Here's what's happening today:

Gov. Rick Snyder pledged to "fix" the Flint Water Crisis at his 2016 State of the State address, pictured here. One year later, he prepares for his seventh annual address with problems lingering in the beleaguered city.

State of the state

  • Gov. Rick Snyder cautioned that every corner of Michigan is at risk because of aging infrastructure in his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, pointing to Flint’s pipes and a massive Fraser sinkhole as he urged legislators to find ways to generate additional funding.
  • It wasn't all bad news, though, as Snyder touted the state's economic resurgence, and wants to push the population back over the 10 million mark by 2020.

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next secretary of education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Jan. 17, 2017 in Washington, D.C. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs, and was a longtime leader of the Republican Party in Michigan.

Meanwhile, in Washington ...

  • Supporters praised education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos of west Michigan as a change agent on Tuesday, but Democrats remained wary of her lack of experience as an educator and the potential conflicts of interest posed by her extensive investments and financial holdings.
  • At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he believes DeVos’ views are in the mainstream of public opinion, and that her critics’ are not.

Ready to march

  • President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration is Friday. A day later, more than 200,000 women — including roughly 7,000, if not more, from Michigan — are expected to march in Washington for what’s been billed as the Women’s March.
  • Organizers insist it isn’t an “anti-Trump” march as much as it is about women standing together on issues such as reproductive rights, equal pay, and lesbian and gay rights.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts denies it's his voice on a series of recordings that capture man making insulting comments about African Americans, older women, and people with disabilities.

Warren's woes

  • Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says he won't resign over ugly recordings that allegedly include his voice, despite local and state officials calling for his resignation.
  • Fouts denies it's his voice in the recordings, though Neal Rubin writes the embattled mayor's explanation is more absurd than the tapes.
  • Michigan's third-largest city also is dealing with allegations of police brutality. Gabrielle Stokes, 19, says she suffered arm and wrist injuries at the hands of police officers while hosting a small party for a friend moving to Texas. Warren officers showed up following a report of an incident outside.
  • Warren police declined to comment on Stokes’ allegations, citing an open investigation.

What a view

  • NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough tweeted a stunning picture Tuesday morning with Detroit as the star, alongside what appears to be Lansing, Pontiac, Toledo and Cleveland. Kimbrough is the commander of Expedition 50, aboard the International Space Station.

Remembering a friend

  • Bob Seger has shared “Glenn Song,” his first new song in more than two years, about the passing of his friend and fellow Detroit rocker Glenn Frey.
  • The track, which is available as a free download at, arrives on the one-year anniversary of the Eagles’ co-founder’s death at the age of 67.

Upset bid falls short

  • Michigan put up a fight and surged to an eight-point second-half lead but couldn’t overcome foul trouble and empty possessions down the stretch, falling short, 68-64, Tuesday night as No. 17 Wisconsin won its 17th straight at Kohl Center.

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