It's a city in crisis but with potential for a big comeback. Despite an ailing auto industry and the highest jobless rate in the nation, Detroiters are determined to make their hometown thrive once again. For the next year, CNNMoney will focus on that challenge.

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Scavengers hit

The company's most dramatic brush with vandals came last year. Sitting at his desk, Bruce Kafarski heard a tremendous thud and felt the impact's vibration straight through his whole body.

"I'm thinking to myself 'that can't be good,'" he recalls. "I went out back, and all I could see was this cloud of smoke billowing by. Then I saw the bridge. The guys were cutting out the steel suspension beams. There were six beams holding the bridge up. They cut down five, and got to the sixth one, and boom. You could see them crawling out from under the bricks."

After falling one story to the ground, into the rubble of the collapsed bridge, the dazed scavengers fled. Kafarski filed a police report, but hasn't heard of any process, and the city had no interest in cleaning up the damaged structure. The wreckage remains where it landed.

NEXT: Firebugs hit often

Last updated November 03 2009: 10:14 AM ET
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