Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

December 4, 2013

Judge: Detroit eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy

DETROIT (AP) — A judge ruled Tuesday that Detroit is eligible to shed billions of dollars of its long-running debt, including the pensions of thousands of workers and retirees, in a much-anticipated decision that shifts the city's epic bankruptcy case into a new and delicate phase.

Judge Steven Rhodes, who wondered aloud why the bankruptcy had not happened years ago, said pensions can be cut just like any contract because the Michigan Constitution does not offer bulletproof protection for employee benefits. But he signaled a desire for a measured approach and warned city officials that they must be prepared to defend any deep reductions.

"This once proud and prosperous city can't pay its debts. It's insolvent," Rhodes said in announcing that Detroit was formally eligible for the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history. "At the same time, it also has an opportunity for a fresh start."

The ruling came more than four months after Detroit filed for Chapter 9 protection.

Rhodes agreed with unions and pension funds that the city's emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, did not negotiate in good faith in the weeks ahead of the July filing, a key condition under federal law. But he said the number of creditors — more than 100,000 — and a wide array of competing interests probably made that "impossible."

Detroit "could have and should have filed for bankruptcy long before it did. Perhaps years," the judge said.

The decision set the stage for officials to confront $18 billion in debt with a plan that might pay creditors just pennies on the dollar and is sure to include touchy negotiations over the pensions of about 23,000 retirees and 9,000 workers. Orr says pension funds are short by $3.5 billion.

Rhodes promised that he would not "lightly or casually" sign off on just any cuts.

The city has argued it needs bankruptcy protection for the sake of beleaguered residents who have for years tolerated slow police responses, darkened streetlights and erratic garbage pickup — a concern mentioned by the judge during a nine-day trial that ended Nov. 8.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Arrest made in slaying of woman found in field GREENFIELD (AP) — An Indianapolis woman has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of a woman found dead last week along a central Indiana road. Twenty-seven-year-old Amanda Gonzalez was formally charged Monday with murder and assisting a cri

    July 29, 2014

  • Madison County voting records sought in US probe ANDERSON (AP) — A federal grand jury has subpoenaed Madison County voting records after absentee ballots cast in Anderson's 4th Ward determined the winners of several races. The subpoena issued by federal prosecutors seeks several records from the Ma

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana U. commemorating WWI centennial in 2014-15 INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana University plans to spend the upcoming academic year exploring the lingering impact of World War I. "The Great War" began 100 years ago. Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton are joining a round-

    July 29, 2014

  • Coroner rules Lafayette toddler's death a homicide LAFAYETTE (AP) — A coroner has ruled as a homicide last week's death of a 14-month-old Lafayette girl who succumbed to a traumatic head injury. The Marion County Coroner's office reported Monday that the cause of Skylar Foster's death was blunt force

    July 29, 2014

  • 65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire WARSAW (AP) — Thousands of chickens have been killed in a fire on a northern Indiana farm. Approximately 65,000 chickens died in a fire that broke out at Egg Innovations early Monday morning. The Atwood Fire Department responded to the Warsaw busines

    July 28, 2014

  • Ebola American Doctor [Duplicate] Mother: Doctor with Ebola sought to be missionary INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis woman whose son contracted Ebola while working in Liberia says family members are praying for his recovery. Dr. Kent Brantly is the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan's Purse in t

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Accident at NE Indiana factory kills contractor GARRETT (AP) — A northeastern Indiana coroner says a Fort Wayne man died from a head injury he suffered when a scissor-lift toppled inside a factory as he was installing a safety feature on a crane. DeKalb County Coroner Jeff Warner says 54-year-old

    July 28, 2014

  • Former Indiana synagogue to get historical marker LIGONIER, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana museum that originally served as a synagogue for a thriving Jewish population will receive a state historical marker next month. The marker honoring the 125-year-old former temple will be unveiled Aug. 31 in t

    July 28, 2014

  • Muncie man charged in crash that killed woman, 89 MUNCIE (AP) — A Muncie man faces reckless homicide and other charges stemming from a 2012 car crash that killed an 89-year-old woman. Tra Hunter Privett was being held on a $20,000 bond following his Friday arrest on charges of reckless homicide and

    July 28, 2014

  • Police: Carmel couple dies in murder-suicide CARMEL (AP) — Indianapolis-area police are investigating the death of a husband and wife as a murder-suicide. Carmel police say they responded to a report of a shooting Sunday evening and found 38-year-old David Hall and 40-year-old Shannon Hall dead

    July 28, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller