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      After Detroit, Flint ponders bankruptcy

      As Detroit attempts to emerge from bankruptcy this year, another Michigan city with strong auto industry bonds could be on the brink of beginning the same process.

      Flint also has suffered a spectacular drop in population and factory jobs, and a corresponding rise in property abandonment, much like its insolvent big brother an hour's drive south.

      Flint's state-appointed overseer says the city can forestall bankruptcy with imposed cost-cutting and tax- and fee-increases. But he's concerned it would have to seek court relief if a judge rules against cutting retiree health benefits.

      Some experts agree that adding $5 million to this year's budget alone dramatically increases the risk of bankruptcy. Yet some retirees say the city is threatening, not negotiating, and that going back on long-promised benefits will hurt pensioners.