How Detroit Found $816 Million to Save the City; Florida’s Harmful Smelly Snail Invaders

Detroit, Michigan Detroit, Michigan Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.com

From our State & Local news roundup for the weekend of November 7-9, 2014 ...

DETROIT, Michigan: Now that the city of Detroit's path out of the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy has been officially approved by a federal bankruptcy judge, more details are emerging as to how the so-called Grand Bargain was pulled together. As Monica Davey of The New York Times writes, Judge Gerald Rosen, the mediator in the city’s bankruptcy case had to convince the philanthropic community to open up their wallets to give big—and fast. Joel L. Fleishman, a professor of law and public policy at Duke University and an expert on nonprofit groups, told The Times:

“In terms of foundation giving, there is nothing comparable to the scale or purpose of this. There are plenty of examples to point to of foundations getting together on an issue, but I don’t know of a single example of an effort to come in and save a city from bankruptcy.”

The Ford Foundation pledged $125 million, the Knight Foundation gave $30 million and the Kresge Foundation committed $100 million.

DALLAS, Texas: Dallas is officially Ebola-free. As Sherry Jacobson of The Dallas Morning News reports, the last of the 171 people being monitored for possible symptoms have hit the end of the 21-day monitoring period, which was cause for celebration in the city. “I’m relieved and thankful that we have come to the end of the monitoring period for all contacts and potential contacts for Ebola,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement released Friday. “I’m proud of the way in which the city of Dallas was able to contain the virus.”

MIAMI, Florida: The state of Florida has been tracking and trying to eradicate the giant African land snail, an invasive species that not only leaves behind smelly excrement but also can carry a parasite that can transmit meningitis to humans. Craig Pittman of The Miami Herald reports that officials have killed 151,000 snails in Miami-Dade County and “recently fielded its first reported infestation in Broward County.”

WILMINGTON, Delaware: City Council members voted late last week to increase the minimum wage paid by city contractors to their employees working on city contracts, according to Yann Ranaivo of The News Journal. The new minimum wage of $10.10 per hour is expected to boost the city’s wage tax revenue.

LOS ANGELES, California: Officials in the nation’s second-largest city broke ground on the long-awaited “Subway to the Sea,” an extension of the L.A. Metro’s Purple Line into the heart of the Wilshire Boulevard corridor on the city’s Westside. As Dan Weikel of the Los Angeles Times reports, the first phase of the subway extension will go 3.9 miles and cost an estimated $2.8 billion.

(Photo by Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.com)

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