Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press

Bill Laitner

Detroit Free Press

Detroit, MI, United States

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Recent articles by Bill:

Car cruises disappear amid COVID-19 concerns

Folks said summer temps would kill COVID-19, but its death was exaggerated. With a rebound in cases, summer cruise events for vintage cars are dying. → Read More

3 arraigned in Pontiac as city fights urban gun crime

Thirty miles north of Detroit's gun crime is Pontiac, poverty-pocked seat of rich Oakland County. Three suspects are the latest to face gun charges. → Read More

State and feds announce new way to combat 'green slime' still flowing in Madison Heights

"Green slime" on a freeway in suburban Detroit made headlines in December. A factory owner went to prison for it. But the toxic tale isn't over. → Read More

Detroit struggles while two tiny suburbs are nationwide census leaders

In this two-minute money maker for any state, Michiganders excel: filling out the 2020 census form. The more who do, the more federal dollars flow. → Read More

Protesters call for Chief Craig to resign after their run-in with police in SUV

Craig has defended the actions of his officers, but says an investigation is underway. → Read More

Ola Mae Spinks, retired librarian, dies at 106; helped organize 'Slave Narratives'

On her own dime and time, this Michigan school librarian volunteered in 1972 to help organize the historic "Slave Narratives." She just died, age 106. → Read More

Metro Detroit marches in step with nation at racial crossroads

The protests after George Floyd's death surprised many Americans. Will they bring lasting change to police conduct and race relations? Seems likely. → Read More

Southfield man accused of trying to run down 2 Detroit cops on bikes during protest

This week's protests evoked all kinds of people and behavior -- some pushing for positive change by police, but some just being aggressive to cops. → Read More

Amid crisis, class of 2020 struggles to keep semblance of graduation traditions

Pandemic trauma? Key victims are high school seniors. Experts say they can't get do-overs for missing milestones. But here's what schools are doing. → Read More

Police: Suspect flees after attempted Bloomfield Township ATV heist, bloodies own nose

When cops close in and you were bad, there are good reasons why you shouldn't flee. First, you'll be in deeper trouble. Second, consider your nose. → Read More

If a small business wants to reopen, a free 'toolkit' awaits in Oakland County

If mom and pop want to reopen their small shop in Oakland County, Michigan, they'll get a boost from county government with this $400 in freebies. → Read More

Dream Cruise cities vote to cancel 2020 event due to coronavirus concerns

In Michigan's Oakland County, can you cancel the Woodward Dream Cruise? Not easy to squelch this popular August event. But civic leaders want to. → Read More

Trump arrives at Metro Airport before visit to Ford plant

President Trump's visit to Michigan comes as he looks to tout his response to the coronavirus pandemic in a pivotal battleground state. → Read More

Kroger, other chains to end 'heroes pay' for frontline retail workers

Kroger and other big chains have paid hourly folks bonuses to keep working during the pandemic. Now, many bonuses are ending. → Read More

Michigan denies Candice Miller's idea to turn St. Clair Shores canal into sewage storage

In heavy rains, partially treated sewage from Macomb County can end up in Lake St. Clair. How to prevent that? There's a debate on that, right here. → Read More

Michigander's historic novel about 1796 epidemic sounds eerily familiar

Think nothing like COVID-19 raged in the good old days? No, epidemics often swept early America. Here's a novel about one in 1796, based on history. → Read More

Royal Oak residents lob threats after official censured for flouting social distancing

In Royal Oak, Mich., an elected official got censured for flouting the governor's social-distancing rules. Now, partisan nasty grams are flying. → Read More

Oakland County awards a fresh $12 million to aid small businesses

Small business is America's economic backbone. And Michigan's richest big county just quadrupled its aid program to small shops, services, eateries. → Read More

Royal Oak commissioners censure member who flouted COVID rules at anti-Whitmer rally

Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs is censured in 5-2 vote for attending April 15 protest in Lansing against governor's stay-home order. → Read More

DTE Energy spinning big new batch of wind turbines with more to come this year

Detroit-based DTE, one of the nation's largest electric utilities, said it has opened its largest batch yet of windmills and has many more to come. → Read More