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Nov 20, 2013

For Illinois tornado survivors, relief is just being alive

, Nov 20 (Reuters) – After breaking her leg
late last year, having a double mastectomy in the summer and
seeing her house destroyed by a tornado that swept through
Washington, Illinois, on Sunday, Kim Wright said her luck was
due to change.

“They say bad luck comes in threes and I’ve had my three,”
Wright, 56, said on Wednesday, standing in the pulverized
wreckage of what just three days ago had been her home. “I’m due
now for some good fortune.”

Nov 20, 2013

Residents of tornado-hit Midwest city regroup amid looting

WASHINGTON, Illinois (Reuters) – Residents of a central Illinois city hit by a powerful tornado worked feverishly on Tuesday to salvage belongings from the rubble of their homes, as an over-burdened police force tried to stop looting.

Authorities doubled to 1,000 their estimate of homes damaged or destroyed in the fast-moving storm that hit Washington, a town of 15,000 located 145 miles southwest of Chicago, on Sunday. Winds reached up to 200 miles per hour (322 km per hour), and many houses were reduced to piles of sticks.

Nov 20, 2013

Decision time for Tea Party movement in U.S. political contests

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) – After a string of setbacks and losses, the insurgent Tea Party movement is at a crossroads, between learning to live within the Republican Party or pursuing its fight against those it sees as not conservative enough.

The choice is an easy one for Tea Party activists, who vow to keep up their campaign to vote out of office those Republican politicians they say have betrayed the tenets of the conservative cause – smaller government and less federal spending and taxes.

Nov 19, 2013

U.S. Midwest assesses storm wreckage, damage may be $1 billion

WASHINGTON, Illinois (Reuters) – Residents of a small central Illinois city hit by a powerful tornado were allowed back to comb through the wreckage of their homes for personal belongings on Tuesday, two days after the deadly storm caused an estimated $1 billion in property damage across the Midwest.

Authorities doubled to 1,000 their estimate of homes damaged or destroyed in the fast-moving storm that hit Washington, a town of 15,000 located 145 miles southwest of Chicago.

Nov 4, 2013

Why run for Detroit mayor? Winner may have real chance for change

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit, saddled with $18 billion in debt, has filed for bankruptcy. Crime is rampant, and the city cannot provide its depleted population with basic services. So why would anyone want to run for mayor, especially when a state-appointed emergency manager has all the power anyway?

“That’s a question I get asked all the time, because some people do wonder why they (the candidates) would want the job,” said Bill Ballenger, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. “But there is an opportunity here to achieve things that no mayor has been able to do for the past 30 years.”

Oct 30, 2013

Detroit city manager seeks $9 bln from suburbs for water dept

DETROIT, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn
Orr has asked suburban counties surrounding the city to pay $9
billion over 40 years to assume partial control of the Detroit
Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), an offer that Oakland
County Executive L. Brooks Patterson called unacceptable.

Oakland County is home to around 1.2 million of the DWSD’s
roughly 4 million customers.

Sep 11, 2013

Detroit woes complicate Michigan city, town borrowing: governor

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s bankruptcy filing has made it harder for Michigan’s municipalities to tap America’s municipal bond market but it is difficult to say exactly how much impact it has had, the state’s governor said in an interview Tuesday.

“I think it’s probably made it more challenging but it’s difficult to say what degree you would put on that,” Republican Governor Rick Snyder told Reuters in a phone interview while on a trip to China to promote investment and tourism in Michigan. “But the whole thing is it’s hard to tell because there are a number of issues in the debt markets these days. It’s becoming more challenging. Period.”

Sep 10, 2013

Michigan governor to be deposed in Detroit bankruptcy case

DETROIT (Reuters) – After a testy exchange between the judge presiding over Detroit’s bankruptcy and a Michigan official, attorneys for the state agreed on Tuesday to drop a challenge to a request by creditors’ lawyers to depose Governor Rick Snyder on the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy.

Citing executive privilege, the office of the state attorney general had filed a motion late Monday arguing Snyder should not be deposed. Creditors’ attorneys had said they wanted the governor’s deposition to determine his motivation in approving a request in mid-July from Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to take the city into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Aug 20, 2013

Analysis: Constitutional, good faith arguments unlikely to halt Detroit bankruptcy

By Nick Carey

(Reuters) – The key to eligibility for U.S. Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection for Detroit, as it is for any municipality, lies in proving the city is insolvent and has negotiated in good faith with creditors.

Few could disagree that the city is in woeful financial shape. It has long-term debts of $18.5 billion and has seen its population decline to 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in 1950, a loss of tax base that would cause trouble for any city.

Aug 8, 2013

Detroit manager’s hope: a clean balance sheet in 14 months

DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s emergency manager voiced confidence on Wednesday that the city could emerge from bankruptcy before his term expires in October 2014 and possibly without having to borrow more money.

Even so, Kevyn Orr, the bankruptcy expert who was appointed in March to a post that gives him almost unlimited power over Detroit’s finances, warned that the path back to financial health will not be painless for Detroit’s creditors.

    • About Nick

      "Nick Carey is a Chicago-based, British-born journalist who has covered everything from the near-collapse of the Big Three automakers to the U.S. housing crisis. Nick is currently on general assignment, reporting on the human impact of the recession. He previously spent ten years working in central and eastern Europe."
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