Cecelia Crocker’s body provides her with a constant reminder of the most traumatic event of her life - one that she doesn’t otherwise remember.
At only 4 years old, Crocker was the lone survivor of a 1987 plane crash that killed 154 people aboard and two on the ground near Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
In the new documentary film, Sole Survivor, Crocker breaks her silence, discussing how the crash of the Phoenix-bound jetliner has affected her.
‘I think about the accident every day. It’s kind of hard not to think about it when I look in the mirror,’ she said.
‘I have visual scars. My arms and my legs. And I have a scar on my forehead.’
Crocker, 30, also sports an airplane tattoo on her left wrist.
‘I got this tattoo as a reminder of where I’ve come from. I see it as - so many scars were put on my body against my will - and I decided to put this on my body for myself,’ she says in the film.
It’s been more than a quarter-century since Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashed in the Detroit suburb of Romulus.
The plane was just clearing the runway at 8:46pm on Aug. 16, 1987, when it tilted slightly. The left wing clipped a light pole, and the damaged airliner sheared the top off a rental car building.
The MD-80 left a half-mile trail of bodies, charred wreckage, magazines and trays of food along Middle Belt Road when it crashed.
Detroit — Federal agents arrested a Saudi Arabian traveler who arrived at Detroit Metropolitan Airport with a pressure cooker, a key component used in the Boston Marathon bombings last month.
Hussain Al Kwawahir will be arraigned at 1 p.m. in federal court for allegedly using an altered passport and lying to a Customs and Border Protection Agent about the pressure cooker.
Al Kwawahir arrived at the airport Saturday from Saudi Arabia, via Amsterdam, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court.
He told agents he was visiting his nephew, who attends the University of Toledo.
During baggage inspection, officers noticed a page missing from his passport.
Al Kwawahir told officers he did not know how the page was removed from the passport.
During the baggage exam, officers found a pressure cooker.
Al Kwawahir said he brought the pressure cooker for his nephew because the devices are not sold in the United States, according to the complaint. [Total BS—VB]
From The Detroit News: detroitnews.com
Wingnuts going crazy with this!
DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its Focus small car was the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, with just over 1 million sold.
More than a quarter of all Focuses were sold in China, its largest market. The U.S. was the car’s second-largest market.
It was the second year in a row the Focus has outsold the Toyota Corolla, according to data from automotive firm R.L. Polk. Rounding out the top five sellers were Ford’s F-Series pickup, the Wuling Zhiguang minivan and the Toyota Camry midsize car.
Polk counts vehicles by nameplate, so versions of the Corolla sold under different names aren’t counted.
Toyota says if its Matrix hatchback and other Corolla variants are included, it outsold the Focus by 186,000 vehicles.
We own a Focus but I prefer my Escape SUV.
Mayor Dave Bing said today that Gov. Rick Snyder will announce on Friday whether he will appoint an emergency financial manager for the troubled city.
Bing, attending a policy conference today in Detroit, would not say what Snyder told him his decision was, saying only “that he’s going to let the governor make his announcement tomorrow,” said spokesman Bob Warfield.
But Bing said he doesn’t expect Snyder to name a person into that position on Friday.
Snyder’s representatives couldn’t be reached for comment today on his decision, which is widely expected to be that he’ll appoint an emergency manager to fix the disastrous finances of a city drowning in deficits and more than $14 billion in long-term debts and liabilities related to bonds, retiree pensions and health care benefits.
NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - With its violent crimes, high unemployment, dwindling population and financial crisis, Detroit was named on Thursday as the most miserable city in the United States.
It toppled Miami, which held the title last year, and surpassed Flint, Michigan, Rockford and Chicago in Illinois and Modesto, California, which rounded out the five most unhappy urban areas.
“Detroit’s problems are hardly news. It has been in a four-decade decline paralleling the slide in the U.S. auto industry,” according to Forbes.com, which compiles the yearly ranking.
Earlier this week, a panel of experts said the automotive city was facing a fiscal emergency and potential bankruptcy, as well as a possible financial takeover by the state.
Flint, which is being run by an emergency manager appointed by the state governor more than a year ago, faces similar problems and has some of the worst crime rates in the country and a jobless rate of 11.3 percent, according to Forbes.com.
To compile the list, Forbes looked at 200 of the country’s largest urban areas and ranked them on factors including crime rates, foreclosures, taxes, home prices, commute times, weather and decreasing populations.
Yayy, we are No. 1 in Suck!
Big letters have been placed on the overpass at the Packard Automotive Plant in Detroit that read in German “Work will make you Free,” concerning some metro Detroiters, given the resemblance to an infamous sign at the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. It’s unclear who put up the letters.
In capital red letters on a white background, the new sign at the decaying site on Detroit’s east side reads: “Arbeit Macht Frei,” the exact same words at the entrance to the concentration camps in Poland where Jews were forced to work and were murdered. The sign, which was used at other Nazi camps, became well known as an international symbol of cruelty.
“I found it disturbing,” said David Schulman, 53, a Huntington Woods resident who came across the Detroit sign while driving home last week from Belle Isle. His grandmother had family members killed in the Holocaust.
“It’s a form of hate speech,” Schulman said. “It really appalled me.”
An attorney who represents the owner of the plant said he wasn’t aware of the sign until contacted by the Free Press, but now intends to remove it or cover it up.
“This is a disgusting act,” said Troy attorney John Bologna, who represents the plant’s owner Dominic Cristini. Cristini is in a legal dispute with the city over the plant’s ownership.
The sign consists of separate white rectangular pieces for each letter. The style of the lettering in the Detroit sign has specific similarities to the Nazi sign at Auschwitz that made it unique: for example, the upper half of the letter “B” in “Arbeit” (“Work”) is bigger than the lower half, just like it is in Auschwitz.
The letters appear to have been hung there sometime this year, said Schulman. He didn’t notice them when driving about a month ago by the overpass, which sits across East Grand Boulevard near Concord Street.
The plant has become a symbol of Detroit’s industrial decline. Designed by the noted architect Albert Kahn, the Packard Plant used to be an auto manufacturing facility where thousands worked and was a symbol of the strength of blue-collar labor in America’s Midwest.
General Motors plans to make several announcements in the next few weeks about adding shifts and hourly jobs at U.S. plants, company and UAW officials said Tuesday.
UAW President Bob King, while touring the North American International Auto Show floor at Cobo Center, said he expects GM will soon surpass 20,000 jobs added since the bankruptcy restructuring of 2009.
He noted that Joe Ashton, vice president in charge of the union’s GM department, spoke Monday to the company’s board of directors, and King said Ashton “expects some more announcements very shortly.”
A GM spokesman said the automaker has thus far added 18,000 hourly jobs since the bankruptcy and confirmed that it’s looking to add capacity and shifts as it rolls out a wave of new product launches this year and next. Neither company nor UAW officials would reveal specifics about which plants will be next to get new work.
Leave it to “The Daily Show’ to find the absurdity in one of Detroit’s oddest political battles.
A segment on the comedy news show hosted by Al Madrigal looked at the plan to build a new bridge to Canada — free to Michigan taxpayers — and the surreal opposition to it that’s been powered by billionaire Matty Moroun, who happens to own Detroit’s other bridge to Windsor.
Ford is adding 2,200 U.S. salaried jobs this year — the most white-collar hiring the automaker has done in more than 10 years.
The jobs will be in such areas as product development, manufacturing and information technology. They are full-time Ford jobs with benefits — not agency or contract workers. Ford ended 2012 with 28,000 salaried workers in North America. Openings will be posted on the Ford Careers website at careers.ford.com .
Ford did not disclose the exact locations where the new salaried jobs will be, but “a significant number will be in southeast Michigan,” said spokesman Todd Nissen.
Last month, the Free Press reported that Ford plans to create 2,350 hourly jobs and invest $773 million in six southeast Michigan plants by 2015.
“As we expand our product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles, we need more people in critical areas — such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas.
Ford also is doubling its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, payable March 1, a move that pleased investors who pushed Ford shares to $13.83, its highest closing price since July 8, 2011.
The dividend hike may indicate Ford is confident that it won’t disappoint investors when it releases fourth-quarter earnings later this month. Those figures will be used to calculate profit-sharing for hourly workers and bonuses for salaried workers, usually paid in March. Last year, 40,600 UAW workers received average profit-sharing of $5,000.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -
Chevy Volt sales are cranking up. General Motors sold three times as many Chevrolet Volts in 2012 as it did in 2011, which was the car’s first full year on the market.
GM sold 23,461 Volts in 2012 compared with just 7,671 in 2011. While it’s an impressive jump, the Volt is still one of Chevy’s lowest-selling cars. However, the Volt greatly outdid the Corvette, for instance, of which only 14,000 were sold last year.
Its 2012 sales also put the Volt well ahead of its nearest competitor, the Nissan Leaf. Nissan sold about 9,800 Leafs in 2012, an increase of just 1.5% over 2011.
The single biggest factor driving the sales increase, according to both GM and industry analysts, was the Volt’s increased popularity in car-clogged California. Sales there jumped thanks to a few engineering tweaks that made the Volt eligible for California’s highly desirable carpool lane stickers for the first time.
“More than half of all Volt sales are in California,” said Alec Guitierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. The car has also been catching on in other markets, however, including Michigan and in the Chicago area, according to GM.
Besides the carpool lane stickers, the Volt has also been helped by aggressive leasing incentives offered in 2012. Last year, GM was offering the car for $289 a month with a $2,800 down payment. That was far less than a car with the Volt’s nearly $40,000 purchase price would ordinarily lease for, even factoring in a $7,500 plug-in car tax credit.