Sarah Cwiek | Michigan Radio

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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Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters are back at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices in Detroit, trying to stop the potential deportation of more Iraqi nationals.

The U.S. has deported a small number of people back to Iraq after winning a court case on appeal late last year.

close up of two doors on a car  that say Detroit Police
Sean Davis / Flickr -

Detroit police have started searching abandoned homes as part of an investigation into a possible serial killer and rapist.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the killer appears to be targeting sex workers on the city’s east side. Three women’s bodies have been found in vacant homes there in the past several months.

Dan Austin

Crews are at work replacing defective streetlights across Detroit.

About one-third—roughly 25,000—of the city’s new LED streetlights are prematurely burning out. Crews have replaced about 1,000 so far, according to the Detroit Public Lighting Authority.

Elizabeth Warren
Sarah Cweik / Michigan Radio

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren kicked off her first campaign swing through Michigan in Detroit Tuesday, unveiling a plan to boost U.S. manufacturing and job creation through investments in climate change-fighting technologies.

Speaking at Detroit’s FOCUS Hope job training center, Warren outlined a 10-year plan to invest $400 billion in federal investments in research and development for green technologies. It would include a requirement that any resulting products be manufactured in the U.S.

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib for Congress website

Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) reiterated her call on Thursday for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings for President Donald Trump.

Tlaib, a first-term congresswoman representing Michigan's 13th District, has led the drumbeat for impeachment for months. She’s formally introduced a resolution to open an impeachment inquiry, something which so far hasn’t been taken up by Democratic leadership in the U.S. House.

Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib for Congress Twitter

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) says working Americans deserve a direct boost, and that’s why she plans to introduce a bill that would expand access to refundable tax credits.

The LIFT (Livable Incomes for Families)-Plus Act would give up to $3000 in tax credits to individuals making less than $50,000 per year, while families making under $100,000 could get up to $6000. The refunds would be paid out monthly, or as a lump sum in advance.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state legislators and car accident victims are lashing out at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s support for legislation that changes Michigan’s car insurance system, calling it a betrayal of principles Whitmer had vowed to defend.

City of Detroit

The Detroit City Council green-lighted a deal with Fiat Chrysler Tuesday that should bring around 5,000 new jobs to the city, and represents the largest investment in auto manufacturing within Detroit city limits in decades.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state legislators from across Michigan are forming a coalition to push for an alternative version of changes to car insurance.

Calling themselves the “Real Deal” caucus, the legislators say current Republican bills jeopardize accident victims’ access to health care, and do little or nothing to address excessive rates, or eliminate the use of non-driving factors like credit scores to set rates.

Richard Phillips, longest-serving exoneree in United States history, and David Moran, an attorney from the University of Michigan's Innocence Clinic who worked on his case.
Sarah Leeson / Michigan Radio

Richard Phillips served more than 45 years for a 1971 murder he did not commit. Neal Redick served more than 15 years for criminal sexual assault against a minor—until the alleged victim recanted as an adult. Raymond McCann, a reserve police officer, was charged with perjury until surveillance footage proved him innocent and prosecutors dismissed the charges.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is spending $100 million on what it calls the most expansive infrastructure investment in the city’s recent history this construction season.

It includes the resurfacing of nearly 100 miles of major and residential streets throughout the city, along with the rebuilding or rehabbing of five bridges.

prison bars
Flickr user FatMandy /

Three female inmates are suing the Wayne County Jail over what they call embarrassing, humiliating, and degrading alleged strip search practices.

The inmates say jail guards often conducted mass strip searches in common areas of the jail, in full view of male guards and other inmates.

Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named the former McLouth Steel site in Trenton to its Superfund National Priorities List.

That list is reserved for sites with the most serious or uncontrolled legacy contamination. The contamination on the southern end of the property is from steel-making processes and an acid pickling line operation, according to the EPA.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena Coqui is on a campaign swing of sorts through Michigan this week.

Barcena is rounding up support for ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). That’s a newly-renegotiated version of NAFTA that still needs to be ratified by Congress.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is defending her decision to line-item veto legislation removing $10 million to compensate people wrongfully convicted. The money is needed to replenish the nearly depleted compensation fund.

The money was in legislation to improve transparency and reporting for the compensation fund.

auto factory
Fiat Chrysler

The city of Detroit and Fiat Chrysler are working on a deal to assemble land for the company. If it’s finalized, Fiat-Chrysler would begin a massive factory expansion and renovation project that the company says would create nearly 5,000 jobs.

First, Detroit needs more than 200 acres of land. The Moroun Family owns the biggest chunk, and the Morouns want a deal of their own in exchange.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek spoke to Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about the deal.

Wikimedia Commons

This week, the St. Clair County jail will start offering some inmates a chance to get on medications that can help them kick opioid addiction.

The state-funded pilot program, which will start with 12 inmates, puts the county among the small but growing ranks whose jails offer addicted inmates some form of medication assisted treatment.


In December 2016, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan flipped a switch and lit a streetlight along Detroit’s riverfront—a symbolic act to represent the complete transformation of the city’s streetlighting infrastructure, from traditional and shoddy to an all-new, energy-efficient LED-based system.

But just a handful of years later, around 20,000 — one-third — of the city’s LED streetlights are dimming and burning out, and the Detroit Public Lighting Authority expects a “system-wide failure” of those lights in the “short-term.”

California Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris made the first of several Michigan campaign stops in Detroit Sunday night, where she was the keynote speaker at the Detroit NAACP’s Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Minnesota Senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar made her first campaign stop in Michigan on Friday.

The Democratic candidate told the National Organization of Black County Officials that she wants to wrap up some of President Obama’s “unfinished business.” That includes passing a major infrastructure investment bill, and pressing forward on the president’s signature legislation expanding health care.

City of Detroit

The city of Detroit and Fiat Chrysler officially have a deal for a $2.5 billion investment in facilities on the city’s east side—including its first new auto assembly plant in more than three decades.

Fiat Chrysler says it will expand its Jefferson North plant, and revive and expand the defunct Mack Avenue Assembly facility. The company says that should create nearly 5,000 new jobs.

Detroit flooding
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood faces a persistent flooding threat until early summer—and the city is calling for volunteer help in an effort to save people’s homes.

Wayne County / via Facebook, used with permission

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Wayne County on Thursday night, just hours after Wayne County Executive Warren Evans requested her to do so.

City of Detroit

A 60 day deadline to pull together a major deal between the city of Detroit and Fiat Chrysler has come and gone, but city leaders insist it will still get done.

Fiat Chrysler wants to invest more than two billion dollars to expand two plants, including one that's currently defunct, on Detroit’s east side. The automaker says the project will bring about 5,000 jobs. It will be the city's first new automotive production facility since the 1980s.

Macomb County Jail

Two Macomb County corrections deputies face charges for crimes they allegedly committed in the county jail.

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Department says Deputy James Stanley faces two counts of assault and battery for two incidents involving uncooperative inmates being placed in restraint chairs.

Adee Braun / Changing Gears

Detroit’s Marathon refinery says it’s environmentally responsible, and a good neighbor to its surrounding community.

But some of those neighbors aren’t buying it.

Ecological Studies of Wolves on Isle Royale: Annual report 2018-2019 / Used with permission

Moose populations are still going wild on Isle Royale, but wildlife managers hope moving some additional wolves in will help restore some balance.

Michigan Technological University’s latest annual winter study of the animals’ Isle Royale populations found there are now more than 2,000 moose there, in comparison to just 15 wolves, most of them recent transplants via human intervention.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Two white former Detroit police officers are being sued over a Snapchat video that showed them making racist comments about an African American motorist.

Officers Gary Steele and Michael Garrison were fired over the Snapchat video post. It showed the two mocking Ariel Moore after towing her car, with commentary like “what black girl magic looks like.”

City of Detroit

The city of Detroit is racing toward a Saturday deadline to finalize a deal that would bring a major Fiat Chrysler investment to the city.

Fiat Chrysler wants to invest $2.5 billion to expand and update its Jefferson North Assembly plant, and revive its idled Mack Avenue Engine facility.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An “environmental audit” of northwest Detroit’s 6th police precinct has revealed pockets of racist behavior that was tolerated by command staff there, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said on Wednesday.

The audit was sparked by a January Snapchat video from a white 6th Precinct officer, Gary Steele. The video shows Steele and partner Michael Garrison mocking African American motorist Ariel Moore after having her car towed for expired tags, and included seemingly racist commentary like “this is what black girl magic looks like.”