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Detroit residents, leaders focus on bettering community after deadly mass shooting

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Detroit residents, leaders focus on bettering community after deadly mass shooting


(CBS DETROIT) – A call to action is unfolding on Detroit’s east side after a mass shooting over the weekend. Their message is it’ll take a village so our young people know right from wrong.

“Simple values and morals that we can instill in our young people that we can’t legislate, we can legislate our way out of everything or police our way out of everything,” said Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield.

Dozens gathered just a few blocks away from where the July 7 mayhem unfolded. The city council president detailed how to create a safer community, it takes a community.

“Like, come on, what if that was your mom, your sister, your niece, your daughter? Then what would you do? They know who I’m talking to, man. We got to start holding people accountable,” one person spoke to the crowd.

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A reinforcement of community policing was shared amongst the crowd. Family members of the victims killed even took time to speak while sharing tears in the process.

“She was 20 years old. She got shot in her face,” one family member said.

Although two were killed and 19 were injured, the effects stem far and wide. Even Detroit Police Commission Chair Darryl Woods reflects on how close these situations can hit home.

“My niece, her sister, was shot in this situation; I never shared that with anyone,” Wood said.

The late-night block party amassed a massive crowd when suddenly gunshots began. DPD is still looking into what caused the chaos but the victims range from teens to their late twenties.

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One of them is a recent Michigan State University graduate. His fraternity brothers joined the call to action, asking for better conflict resolution and community respect.

“Mr. Thornhill, he had nothing to do with the conflict that arose, so it’s like I had no enemies out here, and to have your life taken like that. It’s terrible,” said Shawn Hurst, a member of Omega Psi Phi.

Authorities have already announced a bigger police presence when there’s the word of block parties. Leaders said there is an investigation into the 911 calls made before the shooting.

“We want to be open and transparent in this situation.  If there were 911 calls made, we going to investigate that and be very transparent with the public,” Woods said.

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Detroit, MI

5 Reasons for Optimism for Lions’ 2024 Season

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5 Reasons for Optimism for Lions’ 2024 Season


The Detroit Lions have their eyes on the prize at the start of the 2024 season.

Fourth-year coach Dan Campbell has guided the team from the bottom of the NFC North to the top, captivating the national audience and igniting the fan base in the process. Now, the Lions have realistic aspirations of winning the Lombardi Trophy in 2024.

Because of this, Detroit has plenty to be excited about as training camp begins this week.

Here are five reasons to be optimistic about the Lions’ chances to compete for the Super Bowl in 2024.

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Culture changed

The Lions’ organization has been long associate with losing. In fact, it’s no secret that their two playoff wins last season marked the first time the team had won in the postseason in 30 years. Last year’s division title also snapped a three-decade span without one.

However, the tides are certainly changing in Detroit. Each of the last two Draft classes have been apart of teams that have only finished above .500, and Campbell’s record in three seasons is inching ever closer to .500 after a 3-13-1 finish to his first campaign.

The franchise once synonymous with losing is now changing its tune. With a young group of talent that only knows winning, the culture and expectations are shifting.

Additionally, Detroit’s young nucleus is very talented. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell have already inked massive second contracts, while Aidan Hutchinson may be on the brink. If their rookie seasons are any indication, Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta and Brian Branch look like pillars of the future.

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Having just went to the NFC Championship game, the Lions’ young collection of talent is building its winning pedigree.

Coaching staff continuity

Detroit has been fortunate to retain the majority of its coaching staff since Campbell took over. Several coaches, such as Ben Johnson, Aaron Glenn, Hank Fraley, Antwaan Randle El and Mark Brunell, have been with the Lions since or before Campbell took over.

As a result, young players can be treated to familiar schematics year over year. In a league full of turnover and changes, the Lions have been able to retain the coaching talent on their staff.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been interest elsewhere, as Johnson and Glenn have both garnered head coaching interest over the last two campaigns. However, both have returned to Detroit with aspirations of leading the organization to a title.

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With Campbell leading the way and so many familiar faces still in tow, Detroit’s foundation on the coaching staff remains in solid shape.

Improved secondary

The Lions’ secondary has added several new pieces that are expected to change the fortunes of the unit in 2024. After being one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses a year ago, Detroit is relying on players such as Carlton Davis, Terrion Arnold, Amik Robertson and Ennis Rakestraw to compete in a better fashion.

Last year, the cornerback position had the feel of a revolving door of sorts. Detroit struggled to find a second option opposite Cam Sutton, who had struggles of his own. This year, Davis and Arnold are among the possible replacements.

Additionally, Emmanuel Moseley is back in the fold after an injury cost him most of last season. If he can emerge with a spot, it will be an encouraging sign given the depth that now resides in the cornerback room.

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Offensive weapons

The Lions have a vast array of offensive weapons that allow them to score with any possible opponent. Ben Johnson’s offense boasts two talented running backs and a collection of pass-catchers with diverse skill sets.

With David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs providing a nice 1-2 punch in the run game, Detroit has to worry little about whether or not they can survive on the ground. Gibbs also brings a presence as a pass-catcher that the Lions want to explore more in 2024.

Through the air, the effort starts and ends with the connection Jared Goff has with Amon-Ra St. Brown. The All-Pro wideout surpassed 1,500 yards last season and looks the part of one of the league’s best at his position.

If Jameson Williams can emerge as a reliable second option, the Lions’ offense becomes all the more dangerous. Sam LaPorta offers a secure option at tight end, and Kalif Raymond and Donovan Peoples-Jones will battle for an increased workload at receiver.

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Toughness in trenches

It’s no secret that the Lions have one of the league’s best offensive lines. Sewell and Taylor Decker give the team two solid bookend tackles, and the interior is headlined by one of the NFL’s best in Frank Ragnow. 

As a whole, the unit has done an excellent job setting the tone for Detroit’s run-oriented scheme. They also have had plenty of success keeping Goff clean in the pocket. Last year, Sewell was one of the best pass-protecting tackles in addition to his prowess as a run-blocker. 

Defensively, the Lions have a strong core foundation on the line as well. Aidan Hutchinson will bring the heat as a pass-rusher, and the addition of DJ Reader as the nose tackle could be a game-changer. With Reader occupying the blockers in the middle, players like Alim McNeill could be allowed to roam free or operate with less attention. 

Because the Lions have committed so much to the trenches, they have the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage. By controlling this area of the game, they can put themselves in a position to dominate.

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Detroit Lions training camp preview: Aiming for goal no NFL team has hit in 3 decades

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Detroit Lions training camp preview: Aiming for goal no NFL team has hit in 3 decades


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When Dan Campbell said after the Detroit Lions’ NFC championship game loss to the San Francisco 49ers in January that it was “going to be twice as hard to get back to this point next year,” he was speaking from experience.

Campbell was assistant head coach with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 when that team lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC title game on a missed pass interference penalty.

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The Saints went 13-3 the next season, but lost their playoff opener to the Minnesota Vikings in overtime and haven’t played for a conference title since.

The Saints aren’t alone. No NFC runner-up has gone on to win the Super Bowl the next season since the Green Bay Packers in 1995-96. The Packers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in the 1995 playoffs, then beat the New England Patriots —pre-Tom Brady — a year later in Super Bowl 31.

GET READY: Detroit Lions training camp FAQ: Everything you need to know for 2024

Before last year’s 49ers, no NFC team that lost in the previous year’s conference championship game had even advanced to the Super Bowl since the 49ers also did it (under then-head coach Jim Harbaugh) in 2011-12. Of the 10 NFC runners-up from 2012-2021, five failed to make the playoffs.

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“I mentioned this last year and I’ll say it again: It’s going to take a lot more than it did last year to get to where we were,” Campbell said this spring. “That’s just the nature of how it goes. But we’re going to be more than capable of doing that. Things got to go your way, but it does start with you. It starts with those players, starts with the coaches. We’ve got to put the work in.”

The Lions, by all accounts, had a successful spring.

They re-signed cornerstone players Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Penei Sewell to long-term contracts. They overhauled their sieve of a secondary, signing Amik Robertson in free agency, trading for Carlton Davis and drafting Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw. And they retained all three of their coordinators, including offensive wizard Ben Johnson, giving them unmatched continuity.

The Lions will open training camp Wednesday as one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, though they will have to navigate a more treacherous schedule to get there. The NFC North is better, with improved rosters in Green Bay and Chicago and a still-young nucleus in Minnesota, and they play a first-place schedule featuring games against fellow Super Bowl hopefuls the 49ers, Cowboys, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills, among others.

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Here are five storylines to kick off camp and that will in many ways define the season.

Great expectations

The Lions were most everyone’s pick to win the North last season, so they’re not in completely uncharted territory. But you have to go back to at least the 1990s to find a Lions team generating this much Super Bowl buzz.

That’s a good thing, without qualification. Most every other NFL team would love to be in the Lions’ shoes. But there unquestionably are pitfalls that come with being the hunted rather than the hunter.

The weight of heightened expectations can be sizable, both individually and as a team. Expectations will grow as the calendar turns, and the smallest of stumbles can take a team down the wrong path. The Lions seem built to handle whatever comes their way with Campbell as head coach, but most people thought the same about the Philadelphia Eagles last year, and they were left watching the playoffs after just one week.

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Falling in line

The Lions have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. They return four of five starters, including arguably the NFL’s best lineman in Sewell, and added Pro Bowl guard Kevin Zeitler to fill their only opening.

But three-fifths of the line — Zeitler, center Frank Ragnow and left tackle Taylor Decker — sat out spring practice because of injuries, and the line averages nearly 30 years old. It’s not a young group, and injuries to any of the starters could sink the ship.

Goff’s play is hugely dependent on the protection he gets up front, and the backbone of the Lions’ high-powered offense is the running game. Campbell won’t overtax his veterans in camp, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make it through the regular season in one piece.

Bates Motel

The Lions should have a real, bona fide kicking competition in camp for the first time in years.

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Michael Badgley has made 26 of 30 field goals over parts of the past two seasons for the Lions, but his limited leg strength could be a liability in end-of-half and close-game situations. The Lions signed UFL star Jake Bates away from the Michigan Panthers in June. Bates has a hammer for a leg — he made three 60-plus-yard field goals for the Panthers — but is unproven after never kicking in college.

Bates will have to earn the Lions’ trust in camp to beat out Badgley for the job. One thing that might work in his favor: He was a kickoff specialist in college, and if he proves reliable in that area in camp, he could be a weapon under the NFL’s new kickoff rules.

Second in command

The Lions don’t have many holes on their roster, but they do have some question marks. Offensively, there’s not a lot of depth at receiver, and Jameson Williams, their No. 2 pass catcher, remains largely unproven.

Williams will play opposite Amon-Ra St. Brown and has the speed and explosive ability to challenge teams deep. He needs to be more consistent catching and tracking the ball and running routes, but coaches insist he made major strides in those areas this offseason.

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At defensive end, the Lions have been searching for a complement to Aidan Hutchinson. They signed Marcus Davenport in free agency. They’ll get James Houston back from a lost season due to injury. And Mitchell Agude is coming off an eye-catching spring. If one of that trio — or anyone else — emerges as a reliable No. 2 pass rusher, the Lions defense will be better off.

Corner store

The Lions acquired enough depth in the secondary this offseason that Campbell said in June he had no idea who would start in his secondary this fall.

Davis and Arnold seem likely to open camp as the first-team cornerbacks, and Robertson could play the slot if the Lions are serious about giving Brian Branch the chance to win a starting safety job. Rakestraw probably opens as a backup slot defender. Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu give the Lions two more playmakers at safety. And at some point, Emmanuel Moseley may be ready to contribute in his return from a torn ACL, too.

There’s enough depth to survive the season, but the Arnold and Rakestraw face big learning curves as rookies playing one of the NFL’s most dangerous positions and Branch and Moseley sat out the spring in their rehab from injuries. Nothing’s a given in the NFL, no matter the size of the offseason investment.

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Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on X and Instagram at @davebirkett.





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Pucks for Autism faces Detroit Red Wings alumni in charity game at Notre Dame

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Pucks for Autism faces Detroit Red Wings alumni in charity game at Notre Dame


SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena played host on Saturday night to a hockey match between the Pucks for Autism team and alumni of the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL.

This event is part Pucks for Autism charity games, in which the organization travels to various hockey arenas across the country to promote autism acceptance during the 2024-25 NHL season.

“Pucks for Autism is a 501(c)(3) charity that my husband and I started in honor of our son, Henry,” explained Eva Pheiffer. “From that, we have grown exponentially from being just a small tournament once a year. We now have our large tournament every year in June, but we also have several tournaments throughout the year, like this one where we raise money and donate to local charities or local facilities that also assist with special needs children and adults.”

Pucks for Autism welcomes players of all skill levels and abilities to join them for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play on NHL ice.

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Proceeds from Saturday night’s game will benefit Camp Milhouse, which has deep roots here in Michiana as a residential camp for people with disabilities.



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