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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:33

Stakes now even higher for Detroit retirees

DETROIT (AP) - Some experts believe the time is right for serious talks aimed at solving a pension shortfall in Detroit's bankruptcy case.

Judge Steven Rhodes said Tuesday that pensions can be cut as part of an overall plan to bring Detroit out of bankruptcy.  It's a blow to more than 20,000 retirees who argue that the Michigan Constitution offers complete protection.

Most city pensioners get less than $20,000 a year.

Former bankruptcy judge Melanie Cyganowski says a settlement would bring certainty to anxious retirees. Unions acknowledge that negotiation is important but they're pledging to appeal the judge's decision.

Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr says he understands the hardship. But he says the city doesn't have money to shore up pension funds that are underfunded by $3.5 billion.

Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — There seems little appetite from either Democrats or Republicans in Washington for a federal rescue of the birthplace of the automobile industry. Detroit now stands as the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy protection.

During the bleakest days of the Great Recession, Congress agreed in bipartisan votes to bail out two of Detroit's biggest businesses, General Motors and Chrysler.

Such a bailout would be huge, perhaps as much as $20 billion. Federal resources are strained, with the national debt at $16.7 trillion and the federal government struggling under the constraints of automatic spending cuts that took effect in March.

Published in National News

DETROIT (AP) - A videographer for a reality television show crew filming a Detroit police raid that left a 7-year-old girl dead has pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice.

 

   The Wayne County prosecutor's office says a perjury charge against Allison Howard was dismissed Thursday. Howard will serve 1{ to 2 years' probation in Massachusetts.

 

   A crew from cable's "The First 48" was shadowing police during a 2010 search for a murder suspect.

 

   Aiyana Stanley-Jones was asleep on a sofa when she was shot during the raid on her home. Howard was accused of withholding video of the raid from investigators.

 

   Officer Joseph Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter in Aiyana's slaying. A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday after jurors failed to reach a verdict in Weekley's trial.

 
Published in National News

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