Daily Briefs

 Judge revives talks on regional water agency 

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has ordered the city of Detroit and the suburbs to further explore the creation of a regional water department.

Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted Wayne County’s request Thursday to have the parties sit down with a mediator.
Detroit’s water department provides water to Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has expressed interest in spinning off the department as a regional agency.
But some suburban leaders are concerned about future financial burdens on their residents.
The judge says the bankruptcy case is a “unique opportunity” to keep negotiating. Otherwise, Rhodes says the opportunity “will be lost forever.”
 

Detroit recovery to be subject of college class 

 
DETROIT (AP) — The ongoing efforts to turn around bankrupt Detroit will be the subject of a course starting this spring at Wayne State University.
The Detroit school announced this week that “Detroit: Metropolis in Transition” will run from May 7 to July 23, and is open to Wayne State students, guest students and non-degree-seeking professionals. It will meet Wednesday evenings at the school.
The Department of Urban Studies and Planning course is structured as a guest lecture series. Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr is among the scheduled speakers, the school said. Orr took the city into bankruptcy last summer and is a key player in the ongoing restructuring.
“History is being made almost every day here in Detroit,” Robin Boyle, a professor in Wayne State University’s Center for Urban Planning, said in a statement. “From urban economic development and housing to food planning and community development, there isn’t a more dynamic urban environment.”
In addition to weekly lectures, students will learn about Detroit’s past and present, and go on field trips to destinations of interest throughout the city. The course will close with presentations on visions for the city going forward, including the Detroit Future City effort.
 

Judge won’t order recalled cars parked 

 
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has denied an emergency motion that would have forced General Motors to tell owners of 2 million recalled cars to stop driving their vehicles until their ignition switches are repaired.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos issued her order Thursday in Corpus Christi. Attorney Robert Hilliard, who represents some owners, had argued that the GM cars could at any moment lose power and expose their occupants to serious injury or death.
GM had urged the court not to intervene and instead let a recall overseen by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proceed. The carmaker said extensive testing had shown that if the recall instructions were followed, there was no risk that the ignition switch would fail.
GM has linked the switch to 13 deaths.