Detroit Book Tower to Reopen in the Spring, Parents of Oxford Shooter to Stand Trial, & More

Plus, even more metro Detroit headlines from last week including the Flint Water Crisis settlement and gun storage bills that passed the Michigan House.
Photograph courtesy of Bedrock

Detroit’s Book Tower Expected to Reopen This Spring

After sitting vacant for more than a decade, the architecturally renowned Book Tower is making a comeback thanks to a $300M renovation funded by Bedrock, the Detroit-based, full-service real estate management firm of Rocket Companies.

Parents of Oxford shooter to go to trial.

A three-judge panel with the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that Jennifer and James Crumbley will go to trial for their role in the attack. Their son, Ethan, used his father’s semi-automatic handgun to kill four students and injure others. They are accused of “making the gun accessible and failing to recognize warning signs” and face involuntary manslaughter charges.

State judge approves Flint Water Crisis settlement.

After nearly a decade since the crisis began, a Genesee County judge granted a final approval for a settlement of $626 million. Under the settlement, the state of Michigan will pay $600 million, the city will pay $20 million, McLaren Regional Medical Center will pay $5 million and Rowe Professional Services will pay $1.25 million, which will go to residents harmed by the water.

New grocery store opens in Detroit.

Linwood Fresh Market opened inside a former liquor store in the Linwood-Dexter area of Detroit. It offers a variety of fresh produce, salads, and sandwiches.

Michigan families and food banks struggle amid SNAP cuts.

Following cuts to federal pandemic-related programs like extended unemployment, rental assistance, and emergency food allotments, around 1.3 million Michigan residents will receive at least $95 less in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits this month, putting a strain on area food banks.

Detroit councilwoman calls to halt the sale of occupied homes to the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

As part of the Buy Back program, the Detroit Land Bank is seeking to buy and renovate 42 homes in various neighborhoods. Councilwoman At Large Mary Waters called for a halt of the sale because 26 of the 42 homes are occupied.

Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance awarded $800K in grants to fight the racial wealth gap.

The two grants include $600,000 from the Gilbert Family Foundation and $200,000 from JP Morgan Chase, and will go to support the organization’s Capital Connect program, which connects small Black-owned businesses with funds.

Century-old railroad depot in northern Michigan for sale.

Not much is known about the old depot in East Jordan, but it appears to have been built in the early 1900s and is located on five acres near the Jordan River estuary. It can be yours for a cool $198,500.

Michigan House passes gun storage bills.

The Democratic-led House approved legislation on March 22 that implements safe storage requirements in the state. The package of four Senate and four House bills underwent several changes before being approved 61-45. It joins other previously passed gun legislature that requires universal background checks and registration for all firearm sales.

Healthcare experts warn that Michigan needs more family doctors to meet demand.

Michigan is currently short by over 600 primary care physicians, leaving one in five Michigan adults without a primary care doctor and 8% of kids without primary or preventative care. The Michigan Academy of Family Physicians is urging the state to come up with solutions and find more funding to motivate people to become, and stay, a Michigan physician.

Ann Arbor college to participate in Free College Week.

Washtenaw Community College is offering 140 free virtual college courses the first week of April for Free College Week. These free courses are available in areas like business, IT, cooking, personal finance, skilled trades, travel, and more.

Michigan House votes to ditch letter grade system for K-12 public schools.

The A-F grading system, which has long been opposed by state education officials, was pushed through by Republican-led Legislature during a lame-duck session in 2018. The system did not conform with federal law requirements, and according to the Michigan Department of Education, “relies too heavily on assessment data to the exclusion of other important measures of student progress.”

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