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.

Ways To Connect

via Michigan United

Supporters of a metro Detroit man facing deportation pleaded his case in front of Detroit’s federal courthouse Monday.

Jose Adolfo Zaldana came to the U.S. illegally. He’s been in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention for over a year, and he could be deported back to El Salvador as soon as this week.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools’ elected board has filed a federal civil rights complaint against Governor Rick Snyder.

The Title VI complaint — the portion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which deals with discrimination claims against institutions that receive federal funds — asks the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a number of allegations against the district and its state-appointed officials.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An unspecified “technical glitch” in the Detroit Public Schools’ payroll system has left teachers in the lurch this week.

Some teachers were shorted hundreds of dollars in the last pay period, while others weren’t paid at all, according to Detroit Federation of Teachers President Steve Conn.

Jim Wallace / flickr

After several postponements, the Detroit City Council has voted to approve the first step in a controversial land swap deal.

Detroit will receive almost five acres and $3 million from the Detroit International Bridge Company, which owns the Ambassador Bridge.

via 38th District Court

A low-income Metro Detroit woman who faced jail time over dog license fees got help from a higher court this week.

The Macomb County Circuit Court stepped in to stop an Eastpointe judge from sentencing Donna Anderson.

Anderson told 38th District Court Judge Carl Gerds she couldn’t afford the $455 in licensing costs and court fees.

The Detroit City Council has reversed course and agreed to hike the city’s water and sewerage rates.

The Council voted 5-4 to approve a 7.5% increase Tuesday, after voting it down last month.

Thomas Hawk / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state review team has confirmed a financial emergency in Wayne County.

The governor will have 10 days to decide whether he agrees that Wayne County is in dire straits. But no one expects the governor will take that long.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two largest counties are illegally foreclosing on thousands of properties for delinquent taxes, according to class-action lawsuits filed this month.

Wayne and Oakland counties have both foreclosed on thousands of properties for unpaid taxes in recent years.

But in doing so they’ve denied property owners their due process rights, according to the lawsuits filed in circuit courts for both counties.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans says the time to right the county’s finances is “fading quickly.”

Evans issued that warning Tuesday as he sent his $1.54 billion recommended budget to the Wayne County Commission for approval.

Jim Wallace / Flickr

The Detroit City Council Tuesday pushed back a vote on a major land deal backed by Mayor Mike Duggan until next week.

Some Council members have lingering concerns about a proposed land swap with the Detroit International Bridge Company. They’re still waiting on state reports and legal opinions concerning some key elements of the deal.

University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment

The Detroit City Council is set to vote on a riverfront land deal heavily touted by Mayor Mike Duggan today.

But some council members say there are too many unanswered questions about a key part of it.

Wikimedia Commons

A dog’s death at Detroit’s animal control shelter is sparking renewed calls to overhaul the facility.

The dog died of the highly-contagious parvovirus, after its owner and staff found it in grave condition at the shelter. Animal control officers had been holding the dog after it reportedly bit two people.

Kate Boicourt / IAN

The Detroit City Council will reconsider whether to raise the city’s water rates, after the state treasurer warned that could trigger greater state oversight of the city’s finances.

via Facebook

The Detroit City Council voted down a proposed jump in water rates Tuesday — and that means city officials have to figure out what to do now.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says it needs the roughly $27 million that 7.5% rate hike would have provided.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Muslim woman says the Dearborn Police Department violated her constitutional rights when officers forced her to remove her headscarf.

Maha Aldhalimi is suing the city of Dearborn, the police department, police chief Ronald Haddad, and the officers who arrested her last September.

Focus: HOPE / focushope.edu

A $5 million U.S. Department of Labor grant will help the city of Detroit provide more job training and placement services.

The initiative will target some of the hardest-to-employ city residents — particularly returning prisoners.

Christopher Peplin / Flickr

One new study suggests repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage law is a bad idea.

Smart Cities Prevail and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute — two groups that support union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects — say their research shows overturning the prevailing wage would have “quite profound impacts” on Michigan’s economy.

Hantz Farms

Wayne State University researchers are taking a close look at some of the potential hazards of urban agriculture.

They’ve launched a three-year study at several farm sites around Detroit, to examine soil and vegetable samples from those sites for “physical, chemical, and biological contaminants,” says Yifan Zhang, assistant professor of food and nutrition at Wayne State.

University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is out and about in Detroit, trying to drum up support for a controversial land deal.

The proposed deal involves the city receiving almost 5 acres of riverfront property, currently owned by the Ambassador Bridge Company, along with $3 million. The city will use that to expand and improve Riverside Park, which is adjacent to the bridge in southwest Detroit.

Charles & Adrienne Esseltine / Flickr

After months of outreach and efforts to avoid a massive foreclosure crisis, more than 32,000 Wayne County properties are still on track for the county’s annual property tax auction in the fall.

That’s 32,629 properties county-wide, according to the latest numbers from the Wayne County Treasurer’s office. 28,545 of those distressed properties are in Detroit, the heart of the delinquent property tax issues.

Wayne County executive Warren Evans has asked state officials to declare a financial emergency there.

In a letter to state treasurer Nick Khouri Wednesday, Evans lays out his reasons for requesting state intervention in Michigan’s largest county, and requests Khouri start the process that could lead to a financial emergency being declared.

Wikipedia

The Detroit City Council has rejected efforts to impose a four-day youth curfew preceding the city’s fireworks festival.

The annual fireworks are coming up this Monday, and there’s usually a curfew. This year, Detroit Police had asked to expand it to the three Detroit Riverdays preceding the fireworks.

The proposal drew some heated criticism at a public hearing Tuesday.

DIA

This week, the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees meets in Detroit for the first time in nearly 70 years.

The foundation’s roots are in Detroit, where it was launched by Edsel Ford and the Ford Motor Company in the 1930s. It moved its headquarters to New York in 1946, and has since become an organization with a global philanthropic reach.

wikimedia commons

Seven Ann Arbor restaurants must pay more than 100 employees over $145,000 in back wages.

That’s after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation into the city’s restaurant industry revealed a host of violations.

State Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth.
Michigan Republicans

One state legislator says the process of creating a regional authority to manage southeast Michigan’s water needs to start from scratch.

The Great Lakes Water Authority was finalized last week. The Authority will lease and run what’s now the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s system outside Detroit city limits for $50 million a year.

Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

A former Detroit high school teacher is suing the state-run Education Achievement Authority in federal court.

Tiffani Eaton used a broom to break up fighting students at Pershing High School, one of 15 schools the EAA runs in Detroit, in April last year. The incident was captured on cell phone video, and the district fired her.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s official: Jeff Blashill is the Detroit Red Wings’ new head coach.

Blashill was widely considered the heir apparent to Mike Babcock, who just left to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs. He signed a four-year deal with the team worth an undisclosed amount.

Blashill has been the popular and successful coach of the Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, for three seasons.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Wayne County has again extended the deadline for homeowners to avoid tax foreclosure.

Facing the prospect of an unprecedented foreclosure crisis, the county has expanded its outreach efforts to distressed homeowners, and had already moved back the original March payment deadline to Monday. 

Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office

Wayne County has partnered with UPS to make sure Detroit never faces a rape kit backlog again.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy says her office worked with UPS to design a tracking system for the rape kits—using the same kind of technology the shipping company uses to track packages.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A federal judge in Detroit sentenced Chicago-area Palestinian-American activist and community leader Rasmea Odeh to 18 months in prison for immigration fraud Thursday.

A jury convicted Odeh, 67, last year of lying on naturalization papers and unlawfully obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Odeh said she had never been convicted of a crime. In fact, an Israeli military court had convicted her of involvement in a 1969 Jerusalem terrorist attack.

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