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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Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Low-income Detroiters spend more household income on water bills than comparable households in other cities, according to a new report that tracked residential water shutoffs nationwide.

protesters carrying signs
Michigan Radio

More than 100 Iraqi nationals being held in immigration custody should be released because the government lied about Iraq’s willingness to repatriate them, the detainees' lawyers told a federal judge in Detroit Wednesday.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Wayne County prosecutors told jurors Tuesday that former Michigan State Trooper Mark Bessner action's went “beyond the pale” when he tasered 15-year-old Damon Grimes during a police chase through a Detroit neighborhood in the summer of 2017.

Bessner’s defense attorney countered the trooper “reasonably believed” that Grimes presented a threat, and that he used appropriate force during a “tense, uncertain, rapidly-evolving situation.”

The "Diag" on the University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has seen sexual misconduct complaints against faculty, staff and third parties shoot up 161% in one year, according to a new university report.

The report covers complaints made from July 2017 through June 2018. U of M policy defines sexual misconduct as a range of behaviors, ranging from inappropriate comments to sexual assault and stalking.

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office

Jury selection began today in the murder trial of a former Michigan State Police trooper.

Mark Bessner faces second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes in July 2017.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

After spending 34 years behind bars for a murder he didn’t commit, Darrell Siggers was officially cleared of the crime on Friday, as Wayne County prosecutors announced they would drop all charges against him.

Siggers always maintained that he was innocent of the 1984 murder of Robert Montgomery on Philip Street in Detroit. He filed numerous appeals over the years, to no avail. 

Detroit Police Department

Most Detroit police officers will get raises under a newly-extended contract.

Mayor Mike Duggan opened the Detroit Police Officers Association contract two years before it’s set to expire. Under the new contract, which runs until 2022, all DPOA officers will get2 percent base wage hikes immediately, and 7 percent hikes by 2021. That’s in addition to an already-scheduled 3 percent increase in 2019.

Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow and Republican challenger John James
Detroit Public Television

Michigan’s senior U.S Senator and her Republican opponent faced off in a debate Monday in front of the Detroit Economic Club.

Eighteen-year incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow faces challenger John James, a Detroit native and U.S. Army combat veteran who served in the Iraq War.

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.

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