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25 years ago in Metro Times: In May, the FBI and New Orleans Police Department foil an assassination plot by Sikh militants against two Indian government officials. They discover that the Sikhs hired some professional help: two mercenaries trained in Grosse Pointe by the Michigan branch of the Mercenary Association. The Mercenary Association, which also operates out of Alabama, is one of a large crop of new paramilitary organizations for hire appearing around the country, and they aren't shy about what they do. John Martin, the head of the mercenary training camp in Grosse Pointe, openly admitted to his work overseas, and that "there's people right now that work for me that are in New Orleans because they were hired to take part in the assassination plot." Martin isn't worried about bad press, since he cooperated with the FBI to catch the would-be assassins. Flash forward to today, and, four months ago, the police arrested a paramilitary group that didn't fight for money, but religion. Eight members of the group, called Hutaree, were arrested on charges of plotting to kill police officers. What was happening: Black Uhuru at the Michigan Theater, Ray Charles and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at Meadowbrook.
13 years ago in Metro Times: Plans by Detroit foresters to plant 10,000 new trees in the city are derailed when a massive storm destroys 10,000 trees around the city. MT opines that "Once upon a time, Detroit was called 'Paris of the Midwest', for its grand and green public spaces," but "today, Detroit has just 57 percent of the federally recommended treed green space for its 1 million residents." The city's foresters, and several green organizations plan to plant trees and make Detroit green again. Before Detroit was famous for cars and music, it was famous for the huge elm trees that lined its boulevards. In 1952, an epidemic of Dutch elm disease struck Michigan, killing thousands of the grand old trees. Today there is greater environmental awareness than ever before, but the only trees growing outside of parks in Detroit are the stubborn little ones that manage to survive in abandoned property, and the Emerald Ash Borer has been menacing the ash trees of the suburbs for years now. What was happening: The Who at Pine Knob, Thornetta Davis at the Magic Bag, Electric Light Orchestra at Meadowbrook.
9 years ago in Metro Times: Manuel "Matty" Moroun once again gets his way, writes News Hits. Thanks to a ruling by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James J. Rashid, Moroun's Detroit International Bridge Company is allowed to expand the Ambassador Bridge's truck plaza, building more than 20 new stalls and 11 new diesel pumps. Moroun had his men begin working on the new plaza without legal permits or zoning, which prompted the city to sue. Rashid, however, rules that the Bridge Company is not subject to local zoning laws, so Moroun's construction project goes on, in spite of the increased noise and pollution it subjects local residents to. Armed with plans for a second bridge right next to his first, Moroun is once again throwing his weight and money around, defying the will of just about everybody in Detroit and Windsor to build the second bridge farther downriver, to mitigate the pollution the combined bridges will cause. We could go on, but what more can we say about Matty that we haven't already said? What was happening: Rod Stewart at DTE Energy Music Theater, Cradle of Filth at Harpo's, Bad Company at Royal Oak Music Theatre.