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  1. Detroit civil rights symbol Dunbar Hospital going to highest bidder

    When it opened in 1919, Dunbar Hospital was a symbol of self-determination and achievement for Detroit's first black doctors. Today, it's up for grabs in the Wayne County tax auction.

  2. Land bets on no-show strategy

    Terri Lynn Land's no-show strategy for a U.S. Senate seat is a weird dare to Michigan voters: She's gambling you won't notice her near total disappearance from the campaign trail.

  3. Detroit Future City helps shape public, private visions into area's transformation

    As a city official, Cockrel recalls being busy solving crises, 'so focused on the daily grind, putting out fires every day, that you don't get a chance to think about how to prevent fires from starting.'

  4. Small contractors make big gains working on Detroit's M-1 Rail project

    In her hard hat and chartreuse neon vest, Tiffany Hart is at ease supervising a crew of traffic flaggers amid chaotic Woodward Avenue traffic. As she should be: She's the CEO of an asphalting firm with a million-dollar contract on the M-1 Rail project.

  5. Warren Mayor Fouts sues to stop Prop 1

    Warren Mayor Jim Fouts didn't simply threaten to sue after Proposition 1 was approved by 69 percent of Michigan primary voters. He sued.

  6. Ice-cold bucket of water turns out to be a red-hot fundraising idea

    A rare and devastating neuromuscular disease has become a summer fad, as everyone from Bill Gates to Ben Affleck in a Detroit T-shirt to my 13-year-old daughter have responded to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

  7. Candidates might dispute notion that it helps to be female

    There's no official war on women, just a continuing snark campaign that's apparent even when women candidates run and win.

  8. Ex-State Fair site plans get makeover

    The State Fair and its pig races are over. At the fairgrounds, it's time for the controversy to begin. Last October, Magic Plus LLC signed a purchase agreement for the 157-acre site, signing on Redico as the developer. Critics were able to pressure the state, forestalling any transfer of cash and land before the developer met a series of requirements.

  9. Vote for Proposal 1 not as easy as it appears

    What do you do when a ballot question requires a week's worth of study and analysis to understand and still begs for a judgment call?

  10. Volunteers power Forgotten Harvest's seed-to-table farming effort

    While community gardens are everywhere, Forgottten Harvest Farms is different: It's a professional farm, designed to produce at high yields to ensure a reliable supply of fresh vegetables year-round.

  11. 14th District race packed with action, but there's little attention

    Michigan's 14th Congressional District is a test-tube baby, conceived by gerrymandering to favor Democrats. Misshapen and geographically bizarre, it wends its way from Pontiac to Farmington Hills to Grosse Pointe. Its midsection in Southfield and a chunk of Detroit swells like a boa constrictor after a hearty meal.

  12. Michigan Roundtable leader a CEO with kumbaya in him

    Steve Spreitzer is not a cynic or a screamer. He believes we can overcome. He believes we can all get along and perhaps one day will.

  13. Charges for Grosse Pointe Woods teens for graffiti draw rash of attention

    When the graffiti girls popped up on my computer screen, I wasn't sure whether I was looking at mug shots or a promotion for the new 'Girls of Grosse Pointe North' show.

Metro Columnist

Laura Berman is a Detroit News columnist who writes about local, national and, occasionally, personal issues.

Laura has been a features writer, columnist, business and political reporter and magazine staff writer at the Detroit Free Press, and a contributor to many national magazines. Her journalism awards include a National Headliner Award for column writing. She has a degree in history from the University of Michigan.

Continuing Coverage

Ongoing stories from The Detroit News

The Detroit Public Library

The cash-strapped library system might have to close branches and lay off employees, even as critics question lavish spending at the main branch, nepotism and management decisions. -- Read More

Analyzing the 2010 Census

Explore a special section on the census and its implications for Michigan, with a database and interactive maps that dive deep into the data for each community. -- Read about the 2010 Census

Detroit City Hall corruption

The federal investigation of Detroit City Hall corruption that led to the indictment of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick began more than five years ago. Ten people have pleaded guilty in connection with the Detroit investigation. -- Read about the investigations

Leaders meet at Mackinac

More than 1,500 business and community leaders and public officials from all levels of government met at the 31st annual Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference to discuss mutual issues and challenges. -- Read More

Special Report

Detroit's top property players

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Private investors, many owning hundreds of parcels, complicate the reshaping of Detroit

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