Daily Briefs . . .

Michigan class  teaching Detroiters how to buy, fix homes

DETROIT (AP) — A University of Michigan class is teaching students from Detroit how to acquire abandoned homes, fix them up and rent them out as part of an effort to create lively, walkable neighborhoods.

Peter Allen, an adjunct lecturer at the Ann Arbor university’s Ross School of Business, recently started the class with 18 students at the university’s Detroit Center.

Allen is joined by three of his former students to help mentor those taking the class. They’ll work to develop strategies to rehabilitate homes and bring in revenue.

“I’m going to teach you in this class how to map it out. This is not some academic effort — it’s a real house,” Allen recently told students. “You will begin to figure out what you can buy it for, how much it costs to fix it up, how we can finance it and rent it out.”

Detroit has worked for years to deal with vacant homes and buildings, and thousands of them have been razed. The city has a number of efforts to encourage people to buy vacant homes and fix them up as well as to get rid of structures that are beyond repair.

The class targets six Detroit neighborhoods that are part of the Skillman Foundation's Good Neighborhoods program, including Brightmoor and southwest Detroit. The first class took place May 30 and the remaining classes are June 27 and July 25.


Cardinal Health  opening $30 million distribution center

DETROIT (AP) — Cardinal Health is opening a $30 million medical supply distribution center in Detroit.

The Dublin, Ohio-based company says an event to mark the official opening is taking place Wednesday at the 18-acre property.

The multi-year project is a collaboration involving Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center. The 275,000-square-foot center was built by KIRCO, a Troy-based real estate development, investment and construction business.

The facility houses about 100 employees.


Wayne County reaches deal to cut retiree health care costs

DETROIT (AP) — Wayne County and about 5,000 retirees have agreed to a deal that will cut their health care benefits and save the county about $20 million each year.

Officials say Wednesday that the annual costs to the county will be cut from $30 million to $10 million.

The county says the agreement includes the settlement of a retiree lawsuit accusing the county of reducing benefits contrary to union contracts.

About 80 percent of the retirees affected by the settlement are eligible to receive Medicare and will get $130 per month to buy supplemental Medicare health insurance. The remaining 20 percent are not yet Medicare eligible and will get a stipend for health insurance.

Wayne is Michigan's most populous county, with about 1.7 million residents. It faces a $52 million structural deficit.