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Detroit, MI

Lions lock up offensive tackle Penei Sewell with long-term extension

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Lions lock up offensive tackle Penei Sewell with long-term extension


Hours after agreeing to a long-term extension with All-Pro wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Detroit Lions locked up another cornerstone from the team’s 2021 draft class, coming to terms on a four-year extension with offensive tackle Penei Sewell, a source close to the negotiations confirmed to The Detroit News.

The pact is worth up to $112 million with $85 million in guarantees. That would make the 23-year-old Sewell the highest-paid player at his position, by annual average value, easily topping the $25 million per year package signed by Houston Texans offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil last offseason.

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Sewell, the No. 7 pick in the 2021 draft, was the first selection of general manager Brad Holmes’ tenure. Despite starting just one year at Oregon, and opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Sewell had minimal issues making an immediate impact as a rookie.

Initially starting that year as a left tackle while blindside blocker Taylor Decker recovered from a broken finger, Sewell has since settled in at right tackle, a position he hadn’t played before coming to Detroit.

Sewell has shown steady improvement each of his three seasons, and was graded as the league’s best offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus last season, earning career-high marks as both a run blocker and pass protector. In 2023, he allowed just 20 quarterback pressures and a single sack. For his early-career dominance, he’s twice been named to the Pro Bowl and was selected as a first-team All-Pro last season.

Despite his young age, Sewell also has rapidly emerged as a leader on Detroit’s roster. He was selected by his teammates as a captain last year and routinely breaks down with pre-game huddle with fiery speeches.

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

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Detroit, MI

Demonstrators refuse to leave Wayne State University encampment

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Demonstrators refuse to leave Wayne State University encampment


(CBS DETROIT) – Pro-Palestinian demonstrators are maintaining their encampment at Wayne State University on Monday, despite the university saying it must be disbanded. 

The encampment has been in place since last Thursday. The university asked the group to disperse, citing safety concerns, but the group refused. Organizers said they are planning to stay in place until the university meets with them on their terms.

“We’re here today, defending our encampment. Because our only and main goal is divestment and they are declining meeting with us on our own terms,” said alumnus Zaynah Jadallaa.

On Monday evening, demonstrators gathered and prepared for a possible dispersant of their encampment when they ignored the 6:30 p.m. deadline to evacuate. 

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“Across the country, they have been using tear gases, they have been using other harmful methods. So we’re just preparing ourselves,” said Jadallaa.

She and others say the pro-Palestinian encampment is a demonstration of their right to freedom of speech and expression.

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Pro-Palestinian demonstrators are maintaining their encampment at Wayne State University on Monday, May 27, 2024, despite the university saying it must be disbanded. 

Nico Doades/CBS News Detroit


In a message to students, faculty, and staff, Wayne State University president Kimberly Espy wrote, “Wayne State is a university of inclusion that supports free speech and the right to protest. … At the same time, we must distinguish free speech from actions that violate laws, threaten health and safety, or disrupt campus operations.”

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A Wayne state spokesperson says the university asked the group to remove the encampment by 6:30 p.m. Monday, and they did not.

“It’s basically an ultimatum. Either that we accept their meeting on their terms, or we would have to remove the encampment. And that’s not acceptable,” said Jadallaa.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlib joined the demonstrators at the encampment and offered her support. Organizers said they have no plans to leave.

“We’re going to stand our ground because we believe in human rights. And it’s not controversial to say we do not want to invest in war,” organizers said.

The demonstrators are now requesting a meeting with the university on their terms. They are asking to meet with Espy and the Board of Governors at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Detroit, MI

‘Bargain Block’ stars launch fundraiser to replace roofs in Detroit neighborhood

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‘Bargain Block’ stars launch fundraiser to replace roofs in Detroit neighborhood


Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, stars of Detroit-based HGTV show “Bargain Block,” are teaming up with several area nonprofits to raise money for new roofs in a Detroit neighborhood.

Bynum and Thomas are looking to raise $100,000 to replace 10 roofs in Detroit’s Fitzgerald neighborhood as an effort to “Roof The Block,” as the project is called.

“This initiative is really focusing in on the people that have lived in these neighborhoods for a long, long time, and to stay in their house, they need a new roof,” Bynum said in a video posted to the duo’s Instagram pages.

On “Bargain Block,” the team renovates old, often abandoned houses around the city of Detroit, doing the necessary repairs to make them safe and livable. They then sell those homes for $100,000 or more, with a focus on boosting the values across whole neighborhoods by working on clusters of houses. In the third and upcoming fourth season, the show is centered in the Fitzgerald neighborhood on the city’s west side.

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Repairing roofs prevents water damage and and is one of the most important ways to stop homes from becoming unlivable, the effort says on its GoFundMe page.

Through their design office Nine Design and Homes, Bynum and Thomas have paired with nonprofit Brilliant Detroit and the Relentless Care Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Community Financial Credit Union, for the fundraiser.

On the show, Bynum and Thomas have flipped more than 50 homes, according to their Instagram post. The couple joins with Shea Hicks Whitfield, who serves as the real estate agent for the homes. Bynum and Thomas, who met in Colorado before moving to the area in 2017, even documented the process of flipping the Detroit home that would eventually become their own, including later renovations to expand on it.

The fundraiser, which can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/rooftheblock, had raised more than $4,300 in the first few hours after it was posted to social media.





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Detroit, MI

Memorial Day off to rainy start, some roads flooded, as a drier afternoon expected

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Memorial Day off to rainy start, some roads flooded, as a drier afternoon expected


Memorial Day is off to a wet start, with a steady stream of rainfall across southeast Michigan that started early Monday morning.

The rain snarled some Detroit roadways, according to Michigan Department of Transportation updates, causing flooding on the northbound Interstate 75 ramp to eastbound Davison freeway and flooding on westbound I-696 near Evergreen Road, blocking one lane.

But the National Weather Service forecasts that the storms should roll out of the area by the afternoon, with a chance of some windy conditions.

It’s unclear if the weather will affect the Movement Festival’s third day of music in Hart Plaza. On Saturday, storms led to a lengthy pause in festivities, but the partying later resumed. Monday’s first acts are scheduled to take the stage at 2 p.m.

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Contact Lily Altavena: laltavena@freepress.com.



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