Dustin Dwyer | Michigan Radio
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Dustin Dwyer

Reporter / Producer

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Radio’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Radio since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom. He left the station in 2010-2011 to be a stay at home dad, and returned to be part of the Changing Gears project, a collaboration between Michigan Radio, Ideastream in Cleveland and WBEZ in Chicago. From 2012 – 2017, he was part of the team for State of Opportunity, and produced several radio documentaries on kids and families in Michigan. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife and three kids.

Photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

The ACLU of Michigan is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to get records related to the arrest and detention of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a Marine combat veteran who faced possible deportation last year.

The ACLU says it filed a Freedom of Information Act request in March to get the records. So far, it says no records have been released.

Photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

shelves of liquor
WikiCommons

Bars and store shelves across Michigan are a little short on liquor and wine lately.

That's because one of the state's three authorized liquor distributors has been having trouble making deliveries.

About 13,000 businesses in the state depend on Republic National Distributing Company.

Filling a sample bottle.
Virginia Tech

Twenty-one drinking water systems in Michigan this year have found lead amounts that exceed the federal action limit, according to state officials.

Those results are at least partially due to the state’s new standards for lead testing.

Out of the 21 systems that exceeded the federal action level, nine were over because of the new standards, state officials says.

John McGuire for Michigan Radio

More than 40% of the prisoners at Lakeland Correctional Facility are lifers. But not every life sentence is the same.

We’ve reported a lot on the lifers who were sentenced for crimes they committed before they were 18. Some of those lifers have a new sense of hope after the Supreme Court decided that sentencing juveniles to life without the possibility of parole is unconstitutional.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

On her first day of strike duty, Cindy Holmes looked up at a clear blue sky and saw a bald eagle soaring over the picket line.

“It was flying really low, and it was just circling around, soaring, it was just doing it’s thing, you know what I mean? It was like, ‘Ah, I’m cool.’”

It seemed like a promising sign on the first day of what would become a historic strike.

UAW workers striking in Flint.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The United Auto Workers and General Motors have reached a tentative contract agreement that could end a month-long strike that brought the automaker's U.S. factories to a standstill.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer stopped by a UAW picket line at a General Motors plant near Grand Rapids Thursday evening.

The governor and her team rolled up in black SUVs just before dusk. Whitmer posed for pictures, shook hands, and listened as workers described what’s at stake for them in the strike.

Nearly 50,000 workers have been on strike against GM since last month. They say they’re holding out for higher wages, and job security for temporary workers.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio


UAW worker on strike
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

At the union hall for UAW Local 167 in Wyoming, just south of Grand Rapids, it’s nearly lunchtime for the workers walking the picket lines

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Inside the union hall for UAW Local 167 in Wyoming, there are cases of bottled water stacked against the wall, bags of chips lined up along the table, and more donations coming in all the time.

“Good luck, keep up the good fight,” one woman says as she drops off more food for the striking workers.

“I’m actually overwhelmed by the support of the community,” says Willie Holmes, President of UAW Local 167. “They have just been stepping up left and right like you would not believe. I mean, every time I blink, here comes another truckload of food. Or just, somebody wants to come in and just donate their time.”

UAW workers went on strike in Flint Monday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

United Ways in Michigan are preparing to help workers affected by the UAW- GM strike.

If the strike goes on, workers will get $250 per week in strike pay, and their health care benefits have already been cut.

factory
Thomas Hawk / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The effects of the UAW strike at GM are beginning to be felt by parts suppliers.

But suppliers may not feel the pain as much as in years past.

Brian Long is director of Supply Chain management research at Grand Valley State University. He surveys supply companies in West Michigan every month. And he says most have diversified their businesses.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The city of Muskegon has fired a veteran police officer, after a local couple found a KKK document in the officer’s home. City manager Frank Peterson confirmed the firing, which was first reported by MLive.

The couple toured the home of Officer Charles Anderson with a realtor, and posted photos of the framed KKK document on Facebook.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Thousands of people still don’t have power in West Michigan after severe thunderstorms – and possible tornadoes – passed through the area Wednesday night.

Consumers Energy reported more than 20,000 customers were without power in the wake of the storm.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The Benton Harbor School Board says it supports the concept of a new advisory committee with the state to turn around the district. But the board says it will take more time to create the committee.

The idea for the committee is the latest in a back and forth between the leaders of the district and the state over how to turn things around. In May, the Whitmer administration proposed closing Benton Harbor High School to help the district cope with its debt and low performance on standardized tests. The school board unanimously rejected the plan.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The Benton Harbor school board could vote this week to create a new advisory committee with the state to turn the district around.

The idea was floated by state officials last month, after the school board rejected an earlier proposal for the district from the Whitmer administration. The committee would include staff, teachers, and other community members, as well as state education leaders.

UAW-GM Center for Human Resources
Bill VanderMolen/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Another former high level UAW official has pleaded guilty to charges that he took bribes and kickbacks while working for the union.

Michael Grimes is the ninth person to plead guilty in the ongoing corruption investigation of the UAW. He’s the first so far from the UAW’s General Motors division.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The Muskegon Department of Public Safety has finished its investigation into one of its police officers, though a final decision on his fate may not come until next month.

A couple from the Muskegon area found a KKK document framed on the wall of the house of officer Charles Anderson while they toured the home with a realtor.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A veteran Grand Rapids police captain was put on a 20-hour suspension, and will have to go through additional training, after the city’s Civilian Appeal Board found he violated department policy.

Captain Curt VanderKooi is the officer who contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the case of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a U.S. citizen who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and faced possible deportation based on a tip from VanderKooi.

Grand Rapids city commissioners passed a new human rights ordinance to protect against discrimination in the city

The ordinance expands the group of people who can be considered a protected class.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

The Kent County Sheriff says federal immigration officials have decided not to renew a contract to hold its detainees at the Kent County jail.

The county stopped complying with so called “detainer requests” from Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this year.

Filling a sample bottle.
Courtesy photo / Virginia Tech

Legislators in Lansing are introducing a series of bipartisan bills that would change the state’s emergency manager laws and require more testing for lead in drinking water.

One bill (SB 395) would require water tests at “vulnerable population centers” such as child care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Parents and students in Benton Harbor are getting ready for the upcoming school year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration had proposed closing Benton Harbor high school next year. But the state backed down from that proposal last week.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Less than three months ago, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration made an announcement that stunned the community in Benton Harbor.

The city’s school district was in a financial and academic crisis, the state Department of Treasury said. The district was $18.4 million in debt. Governor Whitmer said the district would have to close Benton Harbor High School for the 2020-21 school year.

picture of the sign outside U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Wikimedia / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Advocates are encouraging immigrants in Michigan to study the new “public charge” rule before it takes effect in October.

The rule is meant to discourage immigrants from seeking public assistance.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Muskegon residents called for a public apology and more transparency from the city’s police department at a commission meeting Tuesday night.

Those calls came after the city placed a senior officer on leave when an old KKK document was found in the officer’s home.

The officer, Charles Anderson is on leave while the city investigates.

But at Tuesday night’s meeting, members of the community say they want more of a response.

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