New York creditor wants payment before Detroit lighting improved

New York creditor wants to get paid before Detroit lighting is improved

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  • LeDuff report: Detroit's lighting system problems are shocking

    LeDuff report: Detroit's lighting system problems are shocking

    Friday, November 8 2013 11:22 AM EST2013-11-08 16:22:38 GMT
    Detroit street lights don't work like they do in most other American cities. They don't come on by a timer or solar sensors. That's right - they come on by hand. That is, if they come on at all. LeDuff investigates.
    Detroit street lights don't work like they do in most other American cities. They don't come on by a timer or solar sensors. That's right - they come on by hand. That is, if they come on at all. Charlie LeDuff investigates.

By: Charlie LeDuff

(WJBK) -- We reported to you Wednesday that the city is finally going to take some of your utility tax money, Detroit, and start fixing the street lights which haven't had a nickel dropped into them in over four decades.

But wait a minute.

A creditor of the city, a New York insurance company involved with the mortgage meltdown, filed motion in bankruptcy court saying, 'That's not fair!' if they're not going to get paid back their full amount.

And I quote from their motion:

"It does not answer why upgrading the city's entire lighting infrastructure makes sense for the city."

Maybe they don't understand that children get run down going to school on a dark street.

Fox 2's Charlie Langton explains: "This is a Chapter Nine filing. What this means is, cities just can't liquidate. You can't just sell off cities; ditch the police department; ditch the fire department; ditch the lighting authority. I think lights - I think! - lights are important in a city, and I would think that a judge is going to consider lights to be very important. Bond holders? They knew what they were getting into when they invested in Detroit. I don't care that Detroit doesn't have any money; the bond holders will take a loss, the lighting will go on. The lighting is priority."

"Tomorrow [Friday] we're going to start construction at 10 a.m. just south of Eight Mile, we're going to get going, start to put on the lights. At the end of the day, the fierce urgency of "now" demands it. The citizens view lighting not only as a component of the quality of life that they have, but more importantly, it's a hardcore component of safety for them. And we're going to move forward," says Odis Jones, the Executive Director of the Public Lighting Authority.

There's no timetable for the judge to rule.

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    Charlie heads to the frontlines of Ferguson and finds a voice of reason and bravery against impossible odds.
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    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
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  • LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

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    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like NYC or LA.
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  • Charlie LeDuff: Off The ChainCharlie LeDuff: Off The ChainMore>>

  • Sayonara Bingaling

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    Friday, December 13 2013 7:35 PM EST2013-12-14 00:35:18 GMT
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
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  • LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-12-04 00:57:27 GMT
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
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  • Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Friday, November 8 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-11-08 23:12:53 GMT
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary:a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary: a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
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