Sarah Cwiek | Michigan Radio
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Sarah Cwiek

Sarah Cwiek - Detroit Reporter/Producer

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October, 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit. Before her arrival at Michigan Radio, Sarah worked at WDET-FM as a reporter and producer.

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Pelle Sten / Creative Commons

A new federal grant could help exonerate more wrongfully convicted people from Wayne County.

It marks the start of a partnership between Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School Innocence Project, and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan and Canadian leaders, including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, were in Windsor Friday to celebrate the start of construction on the new Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The Canadian government sees the new bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario as a key national infrastructure project. Trudeau called it a “vital 2.5 km artery that will connect Windsor and Detroit and allow for an increased flow of people and goods between Canada and the United States.”

prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A suburban Detroit police department has fired an officer after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Sergeant Ronald Buckley and two paramedics were charged Thursday in the death of William Marshall.

Detroit City Council

Detroit City Council member Gabe Leland was indicted on bribery-related charges Thursday.

A federal grand jury indicted Leland on two counts of bribery, and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A group of Detroit students walked out of class in protest on Wednesday, the same day the state uses student attendance numbers to decide how much per-pupil funding school districts receive.

The students say they did it to draw attention to water contamination in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. The district cut off drinking fountains and other drinking water sources before the school year started, after tests found high levels of lead and copper in some schools.

The latest rendering of the Gordie Howe International Bridge.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Construction on the Gordie Howe International Bridge will get underway as soon as next week, as Canadian officials have reached a final deal with the private contractor that will build and operate the bridge.

Orange construction barrels
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Workers will return to road construction projects that have been stalled since Labor Day due to an employee lockout, Gov. Snyder’s office announced Thursday.

The governor’s office helped broker a deal between the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, and Operating Engineers 324. MITA, a construction industry group representing road contractors, had locked out union workers over an ongoing contract dispute, bringing about 150 road construction projects around the state grinding to a halt.

Photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

One Detroit city council member is putting forth a slew of proposals she says will help correct some major inequities in the city.

Council President Pro-Tem Mary Sheffield’s bills aim to address a widely-held perception: that while pockets of Detroit boom with new development, most of the city’s longtime residents aren’t seeing any benefits. These bills deal with some of the city's most pressing "socioeconomic and human rights issues," Sheffield said.

Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

A pilot project in western Wayne County will offer people struggling with opioid addiction a possible path to recovery.

The Rescue Recovery program will provide people referred from St. Mary Mercy Livonia hospital or one of 18 participating law enforcement agencies with the opportunity to go through specialized detoxification treatment at the hospital.

Diane Newman

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will allow a deaf, cognitively-disabled Detroit man to “make arrangements to depart the U.S. voluntarily,” the agency said Wednesday.

Francis Anwana faced an initial deportation deadline Tuesday. But ICE backed off that deadline after pushback from Anwana’s advocates and at least one member of Congress.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit has a new four-year plan to deal with the city’s transportation challenges from end-to-end, city officials announced Friday.

“For the first time in many years, the city of Detroit has a strategic transportation plan,” Mayor Mike Duggan said.

University Research Corridor / via Facebook

The presidents of Michigan’s three major research universities talked about state funding and campus sexual assault, and touted their combined research contributions and economic clout at the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday.

Nikolai Vitti
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest school district was back in session Tuesday, as around 50,000 students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District headed back to class.

Students and staff came back to a handful of big changes, some more visible than others.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s Labor Day, and that means political candidates are stumping for votes at events around the state – and many Democrats were in Detroit for the city’s annual Labor Day Parade.

Gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer and running mate Garlin Gilchrist met with skilled trades, Teamsters, and UAW union members.

They also rallied with Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry and SEIU members, where Whitmer pledged to use the governor’s office to champion the interests of labor.

The Tricycle Collective is working to help keep families in their homes through the tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit.
Michele Oberholtzer

515 Detroit families have the opportunity to stay living homes that were headed to tax foreclosure auction this fall.

They’re on the list for a buy-back program that involves the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and a non-profit housing group.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

There’s now a larger pot of money to help households struggling to pay water bills in Detroit and Flint. It comes from the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Water Residential Assistance Program, known as WRAP.

The GLWA board had $1.2 million dollars in WRAP funds dedicated to other communities left over from its last budget year. So it’s channeling that money into Detroit and Flint, where the need is greatest.

A SMART bus.
SMART

A razor-thin vote to continue supporting the SMART bus system has survived a recount in Macomb County.

Macomb voters approved the millage by just 39 votes this month. That prompted the group Michigan Taxpayers Alliance to  request a partial recount.

The University of Michigan Health System has been hit with a $4.3 million fine for violating federal drug control laws, per a new legal settlement with the U.S. government.

The settlement lays out just a portion of what the government calls, at minimum, thousands of violations of the Controlled Substances Act over a period of years.

Students at computers
User: Extra Ketchup / creative commons

When it comes to standardized testing, Michigan’s students don’t seem to be performing any better than in recent years — or too much worse.

The Michigan Department of Education released the results of the 2018 M-STEP test Wednesday.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit officials say they are continuously upgrading bus service after it was gutted by years of cutbacks and bankruptcy.

The city announced Tuesday that starting September it will offer 15-minute service and new buses with Wi-Fi along the city’s ten busiest routes next month.

Christopher Graveline
cg4ag.com

The Michigan Secretary of State must place an independent candidate for Attorney General’s name on the November ballot if he submits the right paperwork, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Independent candidate Christopher Graveline submitted nominating petitions with over 14,000 signatures by the state deadline in July. But those were rejected because Graveline did not meet the 30,000-signature threshold required by state law.

insurancequotes.com

In nearly every state, your credit score impacts how much you pay for car insurance.

But according to a new report from insurancequotes.com, it matters more in Michigan than anywhere else.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An African-American police officer is suing the Detroit police department, claiming rampant racial discrimination, a hostile work environment, and an atmosphere of retaliation against black officers.

11-year department veteran Johnny Strickland lays out that case in a new federal civil rights lawsuit. It accuses Detroit police of fostering widespread racial discrimination, where white supervisors retaliate against black subordinates who complain.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

While official data is still coming in, it appears that Michigan’s drug overdose deaths are continuing their upward trajectory since the start of 2017.

According to projections from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released earlier this month, Michigan saw 2,662 drug-related deaths in 2017.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan school districts are still racing to fill teaching positions before the new school year starts.

The Michigan Department of Education hosted a teacher hiring fair in Lansing last week.  Around 100 public school districts and charter schools attended, as did around 475 job-seekers, said Rebekah Emmerling, manager of the educator evaluation and professional growth unit at MDE.

Aretha Franklin
flickr user ktkatrina

Memorial and funeral plans have been announced for Detroit’s own Queen of Soul.

Arethan Franklin will lie in state at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on August 28 and 29. The viewing will be open to the public.

That will be followed by a private funeral at Greater Grace Temple on August 30.

Aaron Salter
Michigan Department of Corrections

After spending 15 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, Aaron Salter walked out of prison a free man Wednesday, as Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy dismissed charges against him.

Salter was convicted of shooting at four people on a Detroit porch 2003. One man was killed, and Salter was tried and convicted of the murder based solely on eyewitness testimony from one of the victims.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Another 50 Detroit families will own the homes they currently live in, thanks to a city program.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers heard what went wrong with the county’s election results website last Tuesday, as questions and concerns linger about problems with the Aug. 7 primary election.

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