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News@noon: Sinkhole, fraud, a prodigy and an award

The Detroit News

Today is Friday, January 27, 2017 and the headache continues for residents living near the massive Fraser sinkhole.

Households and businesses serviced by a damaged interceptor that caused the sinkhole are being asked to restrict water usage after workers discovered the 11-foot diameter of the drain is completely blocked.

A home is gradually swallowed by the Fraser sinkhole at 15 Mile.

"We are working to avoid an environmental disaster," Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said in a statement. She'll address residents later today.

In other news:

No fraud, big penalties

When the state of Michigan wrongly accused Kevin Grifka of unemployment insurance fraud, he was hit with a $12,000 bill and a sobering question from his wife: Do we have to return the Christmas presents we just bought for our kids?

Thousands of Michigan residents like Grifka were falsely flagged for fraud by an automated computer system between 2013 and 2015. The state has since overturned almost 21,000 of the “robo-fraud” determinations, revealing a 93 percent error rate. Officials are now reviewing another 28,000 cases representing about 19,000 individuals.

Guy Stern is set to received France's highest award: a Legion of Honor medal.

International hero

Guy Stern, director of the Harry and Wanda Zekelman International Institute of the Righteous at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, will receive France's highest award today: a Legion of Honor medal. The Wayne State University professor emeritus served with the U.S. Army during World War II and helped liberate France. His family died during the Holocaust.


The Himelhoch, a 116-year-old downtown Detroit building with entrances on Woodward Avenue and Washington Boulevard, is under contract to be sold to American Community Developers, Inc. The building currently is part affordable senior housing and part market rate; the new owners plan to keep it that way.

Michigan basketball

University of Michigan cruised past Indiana University last night, snapping the Hoosier's three-game winning streak with a 90-60 victory of their own.

The Wolverines' defensive work ethic is reviving their season, columnist Bob Wojnowski says.

Meanwhile, a seventh-grader in Ann Arbor is making waves with his skills on the court. Emoni Bates, 12, is ranked the No. 1 in his grade by one recruiting website. He's got his eyes on the future, and would like to play at Michigan State or Kentucky one day.

Emoni Bates


Sophia Kingsley may be a toddler, but she knows a hit song when she hears it. The little girl from Lansing captured the hearts of millions around the world with her rendition of the country standard, "Jolene." The viral video is a must-watch.

The Detroit News' staffers Joel Kurth and Karen Bouffard have been honored for their reporting on dirty surgical instruments at the Detroit Medical Center system in Detroit.

Shameless plug

The Detroit News' investigative team leader Joel Kurth and health reporter Karen Bouffard have been named Michigan Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association Foundation, for their examination of dirty surgical equipment issues at the Detroit Medical Center system in Detroit.

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.