News@noon: Probing Flynn; Fields' payday

The Detroit News

Today is Friday, March 31, 2017, and the President says his former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, should seek immunity from prosecution, calling investigations into alleged contacts between the Trump administration and the Russian government a political “witch hunt.”

“Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!” Donald Trump said in a Twitter post.

President Donald Trump will order on Friday a comprehensive study to identify every form of “trade abuse” that contributes to U.S. deficits with foreign countries, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

While it’s unclear if Trump was coordinating with his former adviser, Flynn has told investigators that he’s willing to be interviewed in return for immunity from prosecution. A congressional official confirmed on condition of anonymity that Flynn made the offer.

Here's what else we're following today:

When will the weather break?

  • It feels as though it's been dreary forever. And it's not going to get any better today. Metro Detroit can expect more rain to end the work week after a wet Thursday that sparked a flood watch for much of the region. The National Weather Service calls for a 90 percent chance of precipitation in southeast Michigan today. So keep that umbrella handy. 

Fields' payday

  • We've learned that Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields earned $22,102,498 in total compensation in 2016, more than $3 million higher than he earned in 2015.
  • The nearly 19 percent jump can be explained by an increased base salary, stock awards and an increase in pension value, which grew from $858,157 in 2015 to $2,845,003 in 2016. The company does not control pension values, which vary from year to year due to changes in interest rates and government-issued mortality tables.

A Piston in trouble

Would you try it?

Executive chef Mark Szubeczak shows the Little Caesars coney dog pizza at Comerica Park in Detroit on Thursday, March 30, 2017. The Detroit Tigers showed off the new food dishes and merchandise that will be available at the ballpark this season.

  • Little Caesars coney dog pizza. That's the big, new item that will be available to fans this year at Comerica Park. The Tigers introduced a number of new foods, merchandise and giveaways Thursday. Check out the details here.  

Profiting at students' expense?

  • A former Detroit Public Schools administrator could be sentenced today to two years in federal prison for her role in a nearly $1.3 million scheme that cheated students at the cash-strapped school district. Prosecutors portrayed Carolyn Starkey-Darden, 71, as a greedy thief who exploited a broken Detroit public education system by pocketing money for tutorial services children never received. We'll bring you updates as we learn more. 

Changes at DMC

  • The Detroit Medical Center has spent $1.2 million since September to correct problems with dirty surgical instruments and has put multiple systems in place to ensure the safety of patients, hospital officials told The Detroit News yesterday.

  • Three ranking DMC officials talked to The News following revelations last week that a third hospital in the health system — Children’s Hospital of Michigan — had failed an inspection in January. Inspectors with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found numerous violations of infection control and surgical services standards.

  • In good news, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit passed a surprise inspection Wednesday and is back in compliance with federal regulations.

Forced to jump

Flu deaths

  • Flu season is far from over. Michigan health officials say they’ve confirmed two influenza-associated deaths of children in the state during the 2016-2017 flu season. The deaths include a child from northern Michigan and a child from western Michigan, but those are the only details that were released. 

Writer in residence

  •  Born in Tehran but raised in Los Angeles, Liana Aghajanian now calls Detroit home after arriving here in one of the most unusual ways: She won a house through a program called Write A House, a writing-residency that gives homes in Detroit to low-income writers.
  • When Aghajanian applied for Write A House, she’d never been to Detroit. Still, she was intrigued by the city.

Big and little screens

Scarlett Johansson plays The Major in Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures in theaters March 31, 2017.

Bye bye dandelion

  • Dandelion yellow has reason to be blue. Crayola announced Friday, National Crayon Day, that it’s replacing the color dandelion in its 24-pack with a crayon in “the blue family.” The company says it will leave it to fans to come up with a name for the replacement color.

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.