News@noon: Profits and lawsuits; finding clarity

The Detroit News

Today is Thursday, March 23, 2017, and it's time for Sweet 16 basketball!

Michigan basketball takes on Oregon tonight with tip-off at 7:09 p.m. At stake is a spot in the Midwest Region final against whoever wins in the Kansas-Purdue game.

Michigan forward D.J. Wilson (5) talks with guard Zak Irvin (21) during the Michigan workout on the practice day for the NCAA Sweet 16 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. on March 22, 2017.

It's been a fun run thus far for the young team.

The defense is finally on track. And the offense? Fiery. Derrick Walton Jr. is the on-court leader. Zak Irvin is the quiet leader. Moritz Wagner is the generator.  Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman is the unsung hero.

Can they hold on? Follow along tonight for live updates.

Here's what else we're following today:

The mess in Macomb

  • Five former Macomb County officials accused in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have a history of personal financial trouble, including four who filed for bankruptcy, public records show. In addition, two failed to pay taxes, one was investigated as part of a controversial sale of township trucks and another has multiple drunken driving offenses, The Detroit News found.

Pricing the Pistons

  • The cost to build the proposed Henry Ford Health System-Detroit Pistons Performance Center is expected to be more than $83 million, according to a city document released Wednesday. The updated estimate cost is among the new details of the joint venture between the Pistons owner, Palace Sports & Entertainment LLC, and the Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System released by the city’s Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Ford profits and lawsuits

  • Ford Motor Co. expects to make an adjusted pre-tax profit of $9 billion in 2017, down from $10.4 billion last year. In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ford noted the 2017 profit would be lower due to “planned investments and emerging opportunities.” The company has said it plans to invest heavily in autonomous driving technology this year, among other things.

The lawsuit alleges the base model and models of the vehicle outfitted with the technology packages can overheat due to faulty transmissions and rear differentials that cannot keep cool at high speeds on a race track. This causes the vehicle to suddenly lose power and decelerate from high speeds and putting occupants at risk, the plaintiffs allege.

  • A class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in Miami claims some of Ford Motor Co.’s 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustangs aren’t as powerful of a muscle car as the Dearborn automaker advertised. Four plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial to determine whether damages are owed, or if Ford used deceptive marketing for the hot rod.

Trafficking minors

  • A 19-year-old Warren man is headed to trial on accusations of trafficking minors for sex, according to Attorney General Bill Schuette's office. Tremaine Woodall was bound over for trial Wednesday on two felony counts sex trafficking minors and two felony counts pandering. He faces 20 years in prison on each charge.

Sears spirals

  • The market will not be denied. It doesn’t care that Sears and its established Craftsman and Kenmore brands are woven into the fabric of many American families, that the Kmart chain founded in Garden City pioneered discount retailing, or that Macy’s department stores anchor many a mall across the United States.

  • Sears, a back-to-school shopping destination for generations of kids and the place newlyweds went to choose appliances, has said that after years of losing money that there is “substantial doubt” it will be able to keep its doors open.

Catfished and swindled

  • A 58-year-old Troy woman has apparently been fleeced for $703,000 she voluntarily wired to a man who said he was in financial trouble in England. The woman said she “met” the man – who identified himself as Danny Koch – on, a computer dating site, about a year ago, according to Troy Police Capt. Robert Redmond.

Finding Clarity

Detroit News auto columnist Henry Payne drove the 2017 Honda Clarity like a Motor City madman over the hills of Santa Barbara.

  • Henry Payne is tooling around the hills of Santa Barbara in a 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. Powered by the fusion of hydrogen and oxygen, the Clarity emits only water, which could be the solution to California’s drought issues: drive to work, produce H20, water your garden when you get home. But that’s not why the Clarity is only available out in La La Land. Here's why

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.