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Rat trap

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Along with much positive feedback (y’all rock!), News Hits has received a few hits of its own in recent weeks from miffed readers asking what purpose is served by our new “Abandoned House of the Week” feature. They suggest that we’re needlessly contributing to a negative image the city is desperately trying to shed. As far as we know, none of the complainers lives near any of these wrecks. If they did, maybe they’d appreciate that, in our own perverse way, were trying to turn up heat on the city and help people like Ron Coffey.

Coffey, a father of five, lives next to this week’s featured selection, a dump at 15715 Virgil in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood. “It’s an eyesore,” says Coffey. “A lot of rats are around the house, and now in the neighborhood.”

Neighbors say the place has been abandoned since 1999. The building was scheduled for demolition, but was reportedly given a reprieve by the city last year. So, if you’re one of those offended by this feature — or, better yet, if you’re offended that people like Ron Coffey have to put up with dumps like this every single day — call our new mayor and tell him you want the city to do more to address the problem. His number is 313-224-3400.

Johnette Garner is a Metro Times editorial interns. You can reach the column at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com

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