2012 in Review: A look at some of the stories of 2012

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    President Obama re-elected
    On Nov. 6, President Obama secured a second term as the 44th president by defeating former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Obama won 332 electoral and 65,455,010 popular votes vs. Romney’s 206 electoral and 60,771,703 popular votes.

    Remembering Sam Logan
    The year 2012 began on a somber note as the Michigan Chronicle staff dealt with the unexpected death of longtime publisher Sam Logan the previous December. Logan started at the Chronicle in sales and worked his way up to publisher over the decades.

    Pancakes and Politics opens seventh season
    Within days of the announcement that Gov. Snyder would be the keynote speaker for the March 12 Pancakes and Politics forum — the first of the seventh season — tickets were sold out.
    Pancakes and Politics is a preeminent discussion series tackling critical issues facing Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

    Detroit NAACP celebrates a century
    In April, the Detroit Branch NAACP under the leadership of Rev. Wendell Anthony celebrated 100 years. It remains the only branch in the nation that has hosted presidents, secretaries of state, and international dignitaries at the annual Fight for Freedom Dinner. Attorney General Eric Holder was the keynote speaker at the 2012 dinner.

    Police chief resigns amid scandal
    Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee resigned from the Detroit Police Department in October. He had already been suspended for 30 days by Mayor Bing for his involvement in a sex scandal.

    Bing won’t sell city assets
    In February, Mayor Bing’s office struck down any talk of the selling assets owned by the city, such as Belle Isle, Detroit City Airport and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Roy Roberts speaks about the new DPS Action Plan

    Detroit Public Schools System Emergency Manager Roy Roberts spoke to the Chronicle about a new action plan for the district. He said the biggest challenge will be getting people to accept change.The plan has four components: citywide accountability, local school stability, a redesigned central office, and a focus on financial stewardship.

    Gov. Snyder vetoes gun bill
    A bill sponsored by Republican lawmakers in the state legislature that would have allowed people to carry guns in schools, churches and other formerly restricted places was vetoed by Gov. Snyder. The bill was passed the same week that a madman shot 20 children and six adults to death in an elementary school in Connecticut.

    Tuskegee Airmen host screening of ‘Red Tails’ in Detroit
    The Detroit chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen hosted a special advance benefit screening of the movie “Red Tails” on Jan. 14. The movie centered on the first all African-American aerial combat unit, known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
    The Detroit chapter is the founding chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and home to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum, located on the grounds of Historic Fort Wayne.

    Math Corps teaches in more ways than one
    According to Math Corps Director Steve Kahn, director of the WSU Center for Excellence and Equity in Mathematics, the Wayne State University Math Corps, which began in 1992, is committed to providing as many kids as possible with the same kind of educational and lifetime opportunities other kids receive.
    Math Corps runs six weeks in the summer, with 10-week Saturday sessions in both fall and winter. Students start the summer before seventh grade.

    DMC building new heart hospital
    The Detroit Medical Center broke ground on construction of the long-anticipated DMC Heart Hospital near the intersection of Mack and Brush streets.
    DMC’s Cardiovascular Institute and its 45 heart care physicians will manage the DMC Heart Hospital once construction is completed in early 2014.

    Innocence Clinic seeks to improve the legal system
    The goal of the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School is to shine the light on the places where the criminal justice system goes wrong, so that the legal system can make improvements.
    According to Bridget McCormack, co-director of the Innocence Clinic, those improvements will produce a system that’s more fair and has more integrity. McCormack was elected to the state supreme court in November.

    Thousands rally in Detroit in memory of Trayvon Martin
    On March 26, 1,500 to 2,000 people gathered at Hart Plaza for a justice rally for Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old who had been shot and killed in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer a month earlier. Martin had been walking back to his father’s home from a store. The case has sparked national outrage, especially since, at the time of the rally, the shooter — who claimed he was justified under Florida’s “stand your ground” law — had not been arrested. He since has been, but the case has yet to go to trial.

    Ficano’s administration under federal scrutiny
    The administration of Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano fell under the gaze of the federal government, with investigations bringing charges against former Chief Information Officer Tahir Kazmi.

    Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences receives $55,000 in donations
    In March, the Pueblo, Colorado-based Professional Bull Riders delivered $55,000 in gifts and donations to the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences. Approximately 1,300 packed backpacks were delivered to a class assembly of about 300 students, along with a $1,000 donation to the school.

    Boys and Girls Club showcased at Friendship Club Breakfast
    On March 30, the Detroit Athletic Club hosted the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan’s Friendship Breakfast, which also served as a fundraiser. The goal of the event was to raise more than $100,000, the amount raised last year.

    The Clubs support 20,000 kids every year. Among those who spoke were Boys and Girls Clubs members Nia Anderson, Jennifer Henry and Da’Lano Bass, each of whom related how the clubs have helped them.
    Michigan Chronicle publisher Hiram Jackson, a club alumnus and member of the Board of Directors, also spoke, saying the Boys and Girls Clubs saved his life.

    Bella Marshall dies
    Bella Marshall, widow of the late Don Barden, died on May 1. Marshall had been finance director under Mayor Young. She had also served as both Wayne County’s chief financial officer and its chief operating officer.

    Fitch upgrades Wayne County Community College bond rating
    In May, Wayne County Community College District under Chancellor Curtis Ivery received a bond rating upgrade to A+ by the national bond rating agency Fitch.

    Parker leaves Wayne County Commission
    That same month, Wayne County Commissioner Bernard Parker announced that he would be stepping down at the end of his term. He said his decision to leave was due to the impart of redistricting.

    Covenant House connects with homeless kids
    Covenant House Michigan, which provides shelter, an education and vocational programs to youth age 16-22, also has a mobile outreach unit which travels around metro Detroit to let young people know about the organization’s services.

    The outreach team covers the entire metro area. They have gone as far away as Flint.

    Southfield Mayor campaigned for congressional seat
    Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence campaigned for the newly created 14th Congressional District. She ran in the Democratic primary against U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D- Bloomfield Hills), U.S. Rep Hansen Clarke (D- Detroit), and former State Rep Mary Waters. Peters ultimately won the seat. In 2008, Lawrence ran for Oakland county executive against incumbent L. Brooks Patterson, and in 2010 she was Virg Bernero’s running mate in his bid to become governor.

    Detroit Night Walks launches
    On may 23, approximately 30 religious leaders joined with Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Barbara McQuade, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and other community leaders at the community room of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners to announce the launch of Detroit Night Walks, a program designed to help prevent crime and stabilize neighborhoods.

    Judge Willie Lipscomb, Jr. retires
    36th District Court Judge Willie G. Lipscomb Jr. retired after nearly three decades on the bench.
    Lipscomb, known across the country for his commitment to the Handgun Intervention Program, dedicated his Saturday mornings for almost two decades to conducting workshops and classes with defendants, as a condition of their bonds.

    John Covington outlines EAA’s goals
    John Covington, chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA), told the Chronicle what makes EAA different from other school systems is flexibility and autonomy, thus allowing it to bring about the necessary changes everyone knows are needed to improve public education.

     

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