Sarah Cwiek http://michiganradio.org en Was it murder or self-defense? Jurors will decide case of man who shot Renisha McBride http://michiganradio.org/post/was-it-murder-or-self-defense-jurors-will-decide-case-man-who-shot-renisha-mcbride <p>Was it murder or self-defense?</p><p>That’s the question jurors will decide in the case of Theodore Wafer, whose <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140723/NEWS02/307230038/Renisha-McBride-porch-shooting-trial">trial on charges including second-degree murder is now underway</a> in Detroit.</p><p></p><p>Wafer is the white, Dearborn Heights homeowner who shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride on his front porch last fall.</p><p>No one disputes that Wafer shot and killed McBride after she knocked on his front door around 4 am on November 2<sup>nd</sup>.</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:08:05 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18500 at http://michiganradio.org Was it murder or self-defense? Jurors will decide case of man who shot Renisha McBride Detroit retirees said "yes" to the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan. What's next? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-retirees-said-yes-citys-bankruptcy-restructuring-plan-whats-next <p>Detroit retirees voted overwhelmingly to approve emergency manager Kevyn&nbsp;Orr's plan of adjustment.</p><p>That plan includes the unprecedented "grand bargain"--a mixture of public and private funds that will minimize cuts to city pensions, while protecting the Detroit Institute of Arts' assets from other city creditors.</p><p>But retirees aren't the only group of creditors who voted on the plan. Other groups did as well--<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140722/NEWS01/307220112/Syncora-detroit-bankruptcy-grand-bargain">and not all voted "yes."</a></p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:47:24 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18480 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit retirees said "yes" to the city's bankruptcy restructuring plan. What's next? Detroit retirees say yes to the "grand bargain" in big victory for Kevyn Orr, DIA http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-retirees-say-yes-grand-bargain-big-victory-kevyn-orr-dia <p>The proposed "grand bargain" that would soften the blow to Detroit pensioners while preserving the city's art collection has cleared a major hurdle.</p><p>That's because city retirees have <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140721/NEWS01/307210176/Detroit-bankruptcy-pension-grand-bargain-vote">voted for the plan by an overwhelming margin.</a></p><p>As city creditors, pensioners got to cast ballots for or against emergency manager Kevyn Orr's bankruptcy restructuring. The grand bargain is an integral part of that plan of adjustment.</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 04:37:02 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18461 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit retirees say yes to the "grand bargain" in big victory for Kevyn Orr, DIA We should learn whether Detroit retirees approved the "grand bargain" today http://michiganradio.org/post/we-should-learn-whether-detroit-retirees-approved-grand-bargain-today <p>We should know how Detroit retirees voted on the proposed “grand bargain” later today.</p><p>City pensioners had until July 11th to vote on the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, formally known as the “plan of adjustment.”</p><p>The grand bargain is just one part of that plan.</p><p>It would use more than $800 million in combined state and private foundation dollars to backstop city pension funds, minimizing retiree losses.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18446 at http://michiganradio.org We should learn whether Detroit retirees approved the "grand bargain" today Nurses rally against water shutoffs, declare "public health emergency" in Detroit http://michiganradio.org/post/nurses-rally-against-water-shutoffs-declare-public-health-emergency-detroit <p>Hundreds of protesters gathered near city hall in downtown Detroit Friday, to <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140718/NEWS01/307180136/">demand the city stop ongoing water shutoffs</a>.</p><p>More than 17,000 Detroit households have had their water shut off for non-payment since March, though many have since had service restored.</p><p>City officials say the shutoffs are a necessary measure, because too many people simply don’t pay their bills--starving the water system of up to $100 million in revenues.</p> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 15:41:37 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18438 at http://michiganradio.org Nurses rally against water shutoffs, declare "public health emergency" in Detroit At Detroit conference, Biden tells activists the time is ripe to "bend history a little bit" http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-conference-biden-tells-activists-time-ripe-bend-history-little-bit <p>Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd of activists Thursday that “we are at an inflection point in national and world history.”</p><p>Biden addressed the Netroots Nation convention at Detroit’s Cobo Center.</p><p><a href="http://www.netrootsnation.org/about/">That group describes itself</a> as a means to “amplify progressive voices by providing an online and in-person campus for exchanging ideas and learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate.”</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18428 at http://michiganradio.org At Detroit conference, Biden tells activists the time is ripe to "bend history a little bit" Detroit clerk, Michigan Democrats debut online absentee ballot application http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-clerk-michigan-democrats-debut-online-absentee-ballot-application <p>Detroit voters will now be able to access, sign and submit absentee ballot applications on their smartphones.</p><p>Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey and Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lon Johnson <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2014/07/democrats_partner_with_detroit.html">announced the new initiative Wednesday.</a></p><p>Winfrey said it’s simply a matter of meeting voters where they tend to be these days—online.</p><p>“So why not? Why not be able to use their smartphone to request an absentee ballot?” Winfrey asked.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:22:13 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18412 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit clerk, Michigan Democrats debut online absentee ballot application DIA secures $26.8 million in corporate pledges, reaches 80% of "grand bargain" goal http://michiganradio.org/post/dia-secures-268-million-corporate-pledges-reaches-80-grand-bargain-goal <p>The Detroit Institute of Arts is closer to fully funding its portion of the “grand bargain.”</p><p>The museum announced $26.8 million in additional corporate pledges today on Wednesday.</p><p>8 companies announced contributions. The Penske Corporation led the way with a $10 million donation, while both Quicken Loans/Rock Enterprises and DTE Energy chipped in $5 million.</p> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 03:20:21 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18408 at http://michiganradio.org DIA secures $26.8 million in corporate pledges, reaches 80% of "grand bargain" goal Is building deconstruction viable on a large scale? Project suggests it just might be http://michiganradio.org/post/building-deconstruction-viable-large-scale-project-suggests-it-just-might-be <p>Wayne County officials say a large project proves that building deconstruction is becoming a viable alternative to demolition.</p><p>Deconstruction is the process of carefully taking apart abandoned properties, and salvaging as many materials from them as possible.</p> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18354 at http://michiganradio.org Is building deconstruction viable on a large scale? Project suggests it just might be Detroit "grand bargain" ballots were due today http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-grand-bargain-ballots-were-due-today <p>Today was the deadline for Detroit retirees to vote on the city’s bankruptcy restructuring plan, known formally as a “plan of adjustment.”</p><p>The California firm tallying the votes had to receive them by today.</p><p>All creditors get to vote on the plan of adjustment. But pensioners’ votes are particularly key—especially when it comes to the future of the “grand bargain.”</p><p>That’s the deal to use more than $800 million in public and foundation money to minimize pension cuts, and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection from being sold to pay off creditors.</p> Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:38:35 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18353 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit "grand bargain" ballots were due today $5 million from JP Morgan will help aspiring Detroit homeowners buy, rehab homes http://michiganradio.org/post/5-million-jp-morgan-will-help-aspiring-detroit-homeowners-buy-rehab-homes <p>The JP Morgan Chase Foundation is giving $5 million to a grant fund that will help Detroiters buy and rehab homes.</p><p>It’s part of the global mega-bank’s pledge to donate $100 million to Detroit-boosting causes over the next five years.</p><p>JP Morgan has actually given the money to Liberty Bank’s non-profit community development bank. To start with, the program will apply only to some homes up for sale on Detroit’s online auction site, <a href="http://buildingdetroit.org/Home">buildingdetroit.org.</a></p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:35:51 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18338 at http://michiganradio.org $5 million from JP Morgan will help aspiring Detroit homeowners buy, rehab homes Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-shutting-water-delinquent-customers-everyone-getting-same-treatment <p>In Detroit, controversy is raging over one of the few things the bankrupt city has in abundance: water.</p><p>So far this year, Detroit has shut off for 17,000 customers as it tries to collect millions in overdue bills.</p><p>But many residents are upset with how the city is going about it—and question whether some are getting special treatment.</p><p></p><p></p><p><strong>“Here we are, giving out water…and we still owe on the water bill”</strong></p> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:57:10 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18337 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit is shutting off water to delinquent customers. But is everyone getting the same treatment? What explains Michigan's large Arab American community? http://michiganradio.org/post/what-explains-michigans-large-arab-american-community <p>Michigan Radio is launching <a href="http://micurious.michiganradio.org/about">M I Curious</a>&nbsp;- a news experiment where we investigate questions submitted by the public about our state and its people.</p><p>Our first installment of M I Curious originated with Jeff Duncan, a firefighter from Sterling Heights. He submitted this question:</p><p><strong><em>Why is there such a large Arab American community in southeast Michigan?</em></strong></p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:04:06 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18308 at http://michiganradio.org What explains Michigan's large Arab American community? Detroit officials get pay raises http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-officials-get-pay-raises <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit emergency manager </span>Kevyn<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Orr has </span><a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140708/NEWS01/307080120/Kevyn-Orr-mayor-pay-increases" style="line-height: 1.5;">given the city’s leaders a pay raise.</a></p><p>Orr signed an order hiking city appointees and elected officials’ pay by 5% on June 30<sup>th</sup>. It went into effect July 1.</p><p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan seemed genuinely surprised to hear that news on Tuesday.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18302 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit officials get pay raises Duggan: We'll start seizing drug houses http://michiganradio.org/post/duggan-well-start-seizing-drug-houses <p>Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is expanding his program to seize houses that violate the city’s nuisance abatement laws—and this time, he’s going after drug houses.</p><p>On Tuesday, Duggan announced an initiative to seize and auction off homes that have been raided twice for drug activity.</p><p>Duggan says more than 300 homeowners have already been put on notice—and that starting next week, their neighbors will start getting notices in the form of postcards, too.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 03:32:19 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18303 at http://michiganradio.org Duggan: We'll start seizing drug houses New U of M study digs into why some soldiers can't continue military service http://michiganradio.org/post/new-u-m-study-digs-why-some-soldiers-cant-continue-military-service <p>A new <a href="http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201407/iraq-veterans-muscle-bone-injuries-and-mental-health">University of Michigan study suggests muscle and bone injuries</a> are the most prevalent common factor among soldiers deemed “unfit” for further military service—but other factors play nearly as a big a role.</p><p>The researchers followed an Army brigade of more than 4100 soldiers who deployed to Iraq in 2006 through their 15-month deployment, and for another four years after they returned.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:30:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18273 at http://michiganradio.org New U of M study digs into why some soldiers can't continue military service As Detroit water shutoffs continue, groups look to provide emergency relief http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-water-shutoffs-continue-groups-look-provide-emergency-relief <p>Thousands of Detroit residents are without water service right now due to unpaid bills—but social service agencies and community groups are trying to make sure no one goes thirsty.</p><p>The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department cut off service to more than 7500 delinquent account-holders in April and May—and ramped up shutoffs in June.</p><p>Department officials say it’s a necessary step to collect millions of dollars in back payments.</p><p>But critics say it’s caused real suffering, and could lead to a public health crisis.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18272 at http://michiganradio.org As Detroit water shutoffs continue, groups look to provide emergency relief Some children fleeing Central American violence may be headed to Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/some-children-fleeing-central-american-violence-may-be-headed-michigan <p>Michigan will probably receive some refugee children from Central America—but not an “overwhelming number” of them, according to one immigrant rights advocate.</p><p>About 50,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, have <a href="http://www.unhcrwashington.org/sites/default/files/UAC_UNHCR_Children%20on%20the%20Run_Full%20Report.pdf">overwhelmed the southern border in recent months</a>. Most say they’re fleeing mounting gang violence, chronic poverty, and social breakdown in those countries.</p> Sat, 05 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18267 at http://michiganradio.org Some children fleeing Central American violence may be headed to Michigan After rejecting consent agreement, Lincoln Park gets an emergency manager http://michiganradio.org/post/after-rejecting-consent-agreement-lincoln-park-gets-emergency-manager <p>Governor Snyder has named Brad Coulter as emergency manager for the city of Lincoln Park.</p><p>Coulter will take a leave of absence from his job as a consultant with O’Keefe &amp; Associates, a firm specializing in turnaround restructuring and corporate finance services, to try and balance the downriver Detroit suburb’s books.</p><p>Lincoln Park’s mayor and city council asked the Michigan Department of Treasury to review its finances last year.</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 02:46:43 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18266 at http://michiganradio.org After rejecting consent agreement, Lincoln Park gets an emergency manager Aramark contract "up in the air" after more maggots found in prison food http://michiganradio.org/post/aramark-contract-air-after-more-maggots-found-prison-food <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Aramark Correctional Services, the private company that provides food to Michigan prisons, is in trouble again.</span></p><p>Inmates at the Charles Egeler Reception &amp; Guidance Center in Jackson&nbsp;<a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20140702/NEWS06/307020165/prison-food-maggots-aramark">found maggots while peeling potatoes Tuesday morning</a>.</p><p>Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan says the warden was notified, and quickly moved to dispose of all the potatoes.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 18252 at http://michiganradio.org Aramark contract "up in the air" after more maggots found in prison food