News@noon: Taking back tenure; Detroit empire

The Detroit News

Today is Wednesday, March 29, 2017, and today Robert Snell brings you the story of a prominent Detroit music mogul who allegedly is one of the largest heroin dealers in the Midwest. And, he's using his rap label to launder drug money, according to sealed federal court records.

The alleged drug ring is headed by Brian Brown, right, and includes his wife Akia Brown, left.

BMB Records owner Brian “Peanut” Brown also is responsible for selling heroin laced with fentanyl, the synthetic pain medication fueling the nation’s deadliest addiction crisis, according to court records that chronicle a sprawling drug investigation involving Brown’s wife, a girlfriend, millions in drug profits and a mansion with a secret “Narnia” room.

Here's what else we're following today:

Taking back tenure

  • In a move rarely seen in academia, Wayne State University is trying to fire multiple faculty members depicted as abusing their tenure by doing as little work as possible. Hearings to revoke tenure start today for the first of five WSU medical school professors who allegedly are performing poorly in research, scholarship or teaching. Another five professors, including some outside the 996 faculty members in the medical school, also may face dismissal proceedings, university officials said.

Bigger! Better! Badder!

  • That was the tagline for WrestleMania III, and it certainly lived up to the hype — never mind that the whole thing, 12 matches in all, was a pumped-up soap opera in spandex. On March 29, 1987 — 30 years ago now — the first ringside bell was rung at the colossal Pontiac Silverdome (which is about to be razed thanks to a new deal between owners and the city).
  • Adam Graham and Tony Paul bring you an oral history of Wrestlemania III, taking a look back on the day, many say, that wrestling went mainstream, and Hulkamania exploded. 

Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker, provided some comic relief for WrestleMania III, especially during his pre-match interview with Andre the Giant.

Dantonio gets serious

The streak is dead

  • The Red Wings’ streak of making the playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons came to an end Tuesday in Carolina. Playing their third game in three days, the Red Wings lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1, marking one end of the mathematical equation that kept the Red Wings at home.

Mich. Supreme Court justice retires

  • Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young Jr. will retire from his elected position on the bench in late April and return to private practice, the court announced today. Young served 18 years on the Michigan Supreme Court, including six years as chief justice.

Travel ban on trial

  • A federal judge in Hawaii who temporarily blocked President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban planned to hear arguments Wednesday on whether to extend his order until the state’s lawsuit works its way through the courts. But even if U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson does not issue a longer-lasting hold on the ban, the temporary block would stay in place until he rules otherwise.
  • Legal experts say it is unlikely Watson would side with the Trump administration. The state says the policy discriminates against Muslims, while the government says it falls within Trump’s power to protect national security. Here’s a look at what led up to the hearing in Honolulu.

Auto recall

  • A risk of engine fires has Ford Motor Co. issuing a safety recall for 230,000 vehicles in North America. The automaker on Wednesday said models impacted by the recall include the 2014 Escape, 2014-2015 Fiesta ST, 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and 2013-2015 Ford Transit Connect. All are outfitted with 1.6-liter GTDI engines. Get more details here

A Skip for all seasons

The Skip bar officially opens Thursday in the Belt Alley in Detroit.

  • Alley way cocktail lounge the Skip is back permanently after a cold-weather hiatus. The Belt alley hangout opened in downtown Detroit last spring on a seasonal basis, but owners have installed a weatherproof roll-up door to allow for year-round service.

Kangaroo ID'd

  • A kangaroo in a video clip that went viral after it was spotted hopping down a Detroit street has been identified. The exotic animal is named Darwin, according to his handler, Javon Stacks of Exotic Zoo. He’s a 2-year-old red kangaroo.

  • The Snapchat video posted on Twitter had drawn nearly 10,000 retweets by Tuesday afternoon. In the video, a man, apparently Stacks, is seen running down Birchcrest Drive with a 4-foot-tall kangaroo on a leash. A small crowd can be seen watching.

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.