Wayside shooting suspect faces possible life sentence  A Kalamazoo bar employee was charged with murder and felony firearm Friday in connection with the deadly shooting inside Wayside West.


Detroit's Emergency Financial Manager

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 12:38 AM EDT
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Detroit has reluctantly handed over the keys to the city this week to its new Emergency City Manager.

But even as renowned bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr began his 18-month-term in office, there were angry protesters outside City Hall arguing that Orr's appointment is an effort to destroy democracy.

In tonight's Tom's Corner, Tom Van Howe says residents of Detroit, a city up to its forehead in debt, should instead be welcoming a chance to see what competent leadership looks like.


Detroit has been in the grip of incompetent and corrupt leadership for a long time.

Just about everyone in administration of Kwame Kilpatrick is off to prison, as well they should be.

Yet they still have their supporters. One can only guess that for those misguided souls it was something like growing accustomed to and accepting daily beatings as the norm.

Just take a look at what Detroit has become. Fifty years years ago it was one of the largest in the country with a population of 1.8 million. Now its residents number less than half that.

So many neighborhoods  have been abandoned, and the houses torn down, that 40 of the city's 139-square-miles are vacant.

Forty square miles—that's about the size of all of Boston or San Francisco.

Local and state leaders, and just about anyone else who's cared enough to take a look, have known for years that Detroit is a city in peril, desperate for a total makeover.

Instead, the city chose to operate with its collective head stuck in the sand.
How else can you explain the incredible overspending, and then all the over-borrowing to pay for all the overspending.

If you or I did that, we'd be prosecuted.

But no. Everyone watched, shook their heads, and went back to their own business. The City of Detroit apparently took  the silence as tacit approval and went merrily along its way.

As a result, Detroit's net debt-to-asset ratio is now an astonishing 33 to 1. For the record, a debt-to-assets ratio is essentially the city's total debt against its total assets.

When you add up long-term debt, what it  borrowed over the past few years to fund its pension and healthcare obligations—obligations that are not gonna go away, by the way—the city's total financial burden is about $15 billion.

It's money the city simply does not have, and is not expected to have anytime soon.

And last week the Reverend Jesse Jackson had the audacity to stand on the steps of Detroit's City Hall and do his best to turn the entire matter into a racial incident. He described the appointment of a city manager as plantation-ocracy.

Cute. Inflammatory. And wrong. Jackson would do everyone a favor by staying home.

Governor Snyder had an obligation to do something. And he did. It would have been foolhardy for him and all of us to keep looking the other way while hoping the insanity of Detroit would heal itself.

A man named Kevyn Orr is now the chief executive there. Mayor Dave Bing, who was at odds with his city council over almost everything during his three years in office, has promised to help him out.

As for me, I wish them both the best of luck. Michigan needs that city to do more than just better. It needs Detroit to do well.

In this corner...I'm Tom Van Howe.
Detroit's Emergency Financial Manager
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Last Update on April 17, 2014 17:08 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits last week rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. Jobless claims continue to be near pre-recession levels despite the slight increase.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell 4,750 to 312,000. That is the lowest four-week average since October 2007, just two months before the Great Recession started. The average has fallen by 53,500 applications over the past 12 months.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. The current level of claims suggests that employers are holding on their workers with the expectation of stronger economic growth ahead.

Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department reported. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by severe winter weather.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week for the second straight week as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.27 percent from 4.34 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.33 percent from 3.38 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Many analysts have been expecting an improving economy to lift the housing market, which has been recovering over the past two years. But housing has struggled to maintain momentum. Rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have held back some potential home buyers. Others have had trouble qualifying for mortgages.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Investment bank Goldman Sachs says its first-quarter earnings fell as fixed income trading slumped.

The bank earned $1.9 billion in the quarter, down 11 percent from the same period a year earlier when it made $2.2 billion.

The earnings were equivalent to $4.02 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $3.49 a share.

Revenue totaled $9.3 billion, down 8 percent from a year earlier, when the bank generated revenue of $10.1 billion. The latest quarterly revenue beat analysts' expectations of $8.7 billion.

Goldman's stock rose $2.78, or 1.8 percent, to $160 in pre-market trading.


NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo reports a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, says global snack volume rose 2 percent while beverages were even from a year ago.

In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. says volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $12.62 billion, higher than the $12.39 billion analysts expected.


EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) -- Toy maker Mattel says weak sales of Barbie and markdowns to clear out excess inventory left over from a sluggish holiday season led to an unexpected first-quarter loss.

Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets.

The largest U.S. toy maker says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 totaled $11.2 million, or 3 cents per share. That compares with net income of $38.5 million, or 11 cents per share last year. Analysts expected earnings of 7 cents per share.

The company which makes Disney Princess dolls and Hot Wheels cars says revenue fell 5 percent to $946.2 million. Analysts expected $947.6 million. Barbie revenue dropped 14 percent.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Target is vastly expanding the goods that are available to order by subscription as it fends off its biggest non-traditional retail rival, Amazon.com.

The nation's second-largest discounter first dabbled with subscriptions last September, trying to win over haggard parents with 150 baby care products.

That program has been expanded more than tenfold this week to nearly 1,600 items across a much wider array of consumer goods. Everything from beauty products and pet supplies, to home office supplies like printer ink, are now available through subscription.

Target, based in Minneapolis, is playing catch up in the subscription arena, which has exploded as companies test consumer appetites for almost every niche, from socks to razors, to clothing and entertainment.

Washington Times