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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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Detroit city clerk candidate Garlin Gilchrist II.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The candidate who narrowly lost his bid to become Detroit city clerk says he’ll ask for a recount of some votes cast in this month’s election.

Garlin Gilchrist II lost to incumbent clerk Janice Winfrey by about 1,400 votes. He easily won votes cast at polling precincts, but Winfrey dominated absentee votes by an even bigger margin.

The Flint water treatment plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is on the verge of moving ahead with a 30-year drinking water contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority, under an agreement hashed out in federal court Monday.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says Flint needs to choose a long-term water supplier to move ahead with a lawsuit settlement reached earlier this year. The $97 million settlement lays out a series of measures to mitigate lasting effects of Flint’s water crisis, such as removing the city’s lead service lines.

Detroit brought in new voting equipment for 2017 elections after rampant problems with 2016 vote.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Wayne County Board of Canvassers will meet on Tuesday to review Detroit’s election tallies.

The board must certify the results that day to meet a state deadline.

Detroit elections officials say they’re confident the November 7 election results will be made official, despite some reported irregularities with absentee ballots, and lingering doubts over the city clerk's botched handling of the 2016 general election.

Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

A Wayne County judge has thrown out a lawsuit against Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey, saying there’s “no evidence” her office mishandled absentee ballots or violated state law in last week’s general election.

The lawsuit was brought by election challengers who said Winfrey’s office used copies of absentee vote envelopes, rather than original envelopes with ballots, to verify voter information for about 1200 absentee votes dropped off at the clerk’s office on Election Day.

Ann Arbor's Skyline High School. Ann Arbor Public Schools has been on the state's "significant disproportionality" list for over-suspending black students for five years, but says it's taken aggressive steps to correct that disparity.
Wikimedia Commons

Twelve Michigan school districts made the state’s 2017 list of schools that disproportionately suspend students of color.

The Michigan Department of Education puts out an annual “significant disproportionality list” in three areas: student discipline, students with identified disabilities, and educational environment.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence's website

Michigan Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence’s Chief of Staff, Dwayne Marshall resigned today following multiple sexual harassment allegations.

Congresswoman Lawrence says her office will “move forward with an investigation focused on the current and future climate of our workplace.”

Dino Bucci
Macomb Township Board of Trustees

The federal government has dropped its biggest, highest-profile indictment yet in the sprawling Macomb County corruption investigation.

Dino Bucci, 58, was a Macomb Township trustee for 16 years until this past December. He was also a manager with the county’s Department of Public Works, and well-known as longtime former Public Works Commissioner Anthony Marrocco’s close associate.

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday put a short-term hold on plans to start a land swap that could provide a new location for the Wayne County jail.

The three-party property exchange would set that plan in motion.

Right now, a half-finished jail is sitting on a piece of downtown Detroit real estate that developer Dan Gilbert wants. The project has been sitting idle since 2013, when Wayne County abandoned initial plans because of cost overruns.

user jdurham / MorgueFile.com

A Detroit activist has filed a lawsuit, asking a Wayne County judge to throw out absentee ballot results from Detroit’s election last week.

Anita Belle is co-chair of the Committee for Voter Justice and a gubernatorial candidate for the Michigan Green Party. She was an election challenger at Detroit’s Cobo Center last Tuesday.

Belle says per state election law and its manual for election officials, election workers are supposed to check ballot envelopes against absentee voter applications and precinct lists from the state’s Qualified Voter File before counting the votes.

young kids playing with toys on floor
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

There are new guidelines for boosting early childhood development efforts in Detroit, and they come with a $50 million investment.

“Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Community Framework for Brighter Futures” emerged from a year’s worth of planning efforts.

It has a variety of suggested strategies, some more concrete than others. But one thing is concrete: it comes with a $50 million pledge from the Michigan-based Kresge and Kellogg Foundations.

The former Hudson's site, prime real estate along Woodward in the heart of downtown Detroit, has been a city-owned underground parking garage since the Hudson's building was demolished in 1998.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit has a city ordinance that requires most big project developers to negotiate benefits packages with neighborhood groups.

But some members of those groups say the process has been a sham so far. They’re calling on the Detroit City Council to give the ordinance more teeth.

Detroit voters approved one of two competing community benefits agreement last year.

scales of justice
North Charleston / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The former head of a garbage hauling company pleaded guilty Thursday to playing a central role in Macomb County’s widespread corruption scandal.

Chuck Rizzo was the CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services, which had garbage service contracts with a number of Macomb County communities.

Rizzo admitted in federal court that he conspired to bribe two local officials, in Clinton and Macomb Townships, to get and maintain favorable contracts for the company.

Garlin Gilchrist II may seek a recount in the Detroit city clerk's race.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Garlin Gilchrist II, who narrowly lost the Detroit city clerk’s race to incumbent Janice Winfrey Tuesday night, says he may petition for a recount.

Gilchrist was leading the vote tally for most of election night. But Winfrey surged ahead at the very end, squeaking out a win with just over 50% of the vote.

That could be due to Winfrey dominating the absentee ballot returns, which tend to be counted last.

Mike Duggan celebrates winning a second term as Detroit mayor.
Duggan for Detroit / via Twitter

It wasn’t even close.

As expected, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan coasted to an easy re-election victory Tuesday night, defeating State Sen. Coleman Young II with over 70% of the vote.

WDIV

Campaign finance filings reveal the lopsided nature of Detroit’s mayoral race between Mike Duggan and Coleman Young II.

First-term incumbent Duggan raised more than $752,000 since the end of August. His campaign has raised over $4.2 million since he won the mayor’s office in 2013.

By contrast, Young’s campaign raised just under $20,000 in the past couple of months, and a total of $53,680 for the whole election cycle.

Duggan’s campaign finance filings also show he’s built a national donor base in the past four years.

water going into cup from faucet
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

One candidate for governor says Michigan’s failure to provide clean, affordable water to all epitomizes its “political dysfunction.”

Abdul El-Sayed said this applies to the Flint water crisis, and to ongoing mass water shutoffs in Detroit--and there’s “pretty good evidence” the latter is also causing a “public health crisis” in Detroit.

El-Sayed is a Democrat, and a medical doctor. He was also the city of Detroit’s health department director.

Fairy's signature black-and-white "Andre the Giant" face appeared on a water tower in downtown Detroit.
Eugene Kim / Flickr

Detroiters will vote for mayor on Tuesday, and first-term incumbent Mike Duggan is expected win re-election handily.

That’s despite his opponent having one of the best-known names in Detroit political history.

And it’s despite Duggan’s time in office exposing some major rifts in a rapidly-changing city.

Detroit has finally updated rules and strengthened penalties for rental properties in the city.

The Detroit City Council officially revised the city code Tuesday. City Council member Andre Spivey, who sponsored the revised rules, says everyone recognized the need for update.

The number of Detroit rental properties has surged in the past decade, but fewer landlords are registered with the city now than 30 years ago. Spivey says they hashed out enforcement details with landlord groups to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Women's Convention in Detroit this weekend bills itself as the follow-up to the Women's March that brought massive crowds to city streets across the world the day after the president took office.


GLWA crews install new pipe at site of broken water main on Wednesday.
Great Lakes Water Authority / via Twitter

The mandatory boil water advisory affecting more than 300,000 Oakland County residents won’t be lifted Friday as originally planned.

The Great Lakes Water Authority says it’s made “great progress” repairing the broken water transmission main that caused system pressure drop, prompting the boil water advisory to be issued early Tuesday.

State Sen. Coleman Young II and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, during their debate broadcast from WDIV-TV's Detroit studios.
WDIV

Detroit’s one and only debate between its two mayoral candidates got very contentious last night, with plenty of personal attacks.

(You can watch the full debate here.)

State Senator Coleman Young II is the underdog challenger. Young said he’s running to help struggling Detroiters who’ve faced water shutoffs, losing homes to tax foreclosure, and various forms of what Young called “racist redlining.”

"Out of water" sign after Oakland County water main break
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

The Great Lakes Water Authority says more than 300,000 Oakland County residents currently under a boil water advisory should expect it to last for at least another two days. That's the bad news.

Good news is, repairs are underway, hospital clinics and most schools are reopening, and water pressure has been restored to all but some 35,000 Farmington Hills residents (that's as of Wednesday afternoon.)

Protesters, including David Stojcevski's mother Dafinka Stojcevski, outside the Macomb County jail in October 2015.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

David Stojcevski died in the Macomb County Jail on June 27, 2014. He was serving a 30-day sentence for failing to pay fines related to traffic offenses.

At the time, Stojcevski was undergoing medical treatment for chronic substance abuse problems. He did not receive his prescribed medications while in jail. In his autopsy report, the county medical examiner listed his cause of death as “acute withdrawal” from those prescription drugs, resulting in severe dehydration and seizures.

University of Michigan

A University of Michigan-run bus line between Ann Arbor and Detroit will open that service to the public.

The Detroit Connector bus has served U of M students, faculty and staff since 2013.

Now, the university says it will open up to the general public too.

It will also expand the service in other ways.

The Detroit Connector will run seven days a week, with extended service hours.

It will also add a stop at U of M’s Dearborn campus.

Gov. Snyder, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and other leaders kicking off the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers summit in Windsor, Ont.
Conference of Great Lakes Governors and Premiers

Leaders from six Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces met in Detroit over the weekend to discuss trade, environmental protection, infrastructure and other shared regional issues.

Flickr/lavocado

A battle is shaping up over two Detroit ballot proposals on medical marijuana, and things got pretty heated between supporters and opponents of the measures Thursday.

A group of City Council members, pastors, and community activists held a press conference to urge “no” votes on the two ballot questions next month. But a few pro-medical cannabis activists showed up too, with the two sides exchanging impromptu jabs at times.

Needle
bradadozier / Flickr / http://bit.ly/2yVn117

Twelve men face federal charges for their alleged roles in an Oakland County-based drug ring that’s linked to at least one overdose death.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit unsealed an indictment against the men Wednesday.

The indictment alleges the men were part of a “drug trafficking organization known as the TEAM.” The “TEAM” was reportedly a merger of two former street gangs who “joined together to distribute heroin” starting in 2010.

Workers at Sakthi Automotive facilities in southwest Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An India-based auto supplier is expanding again in Detroit.

Sakthi Automotive plans a $7 million expansion of its manufacturing and distribution centers in the city. It’s the third expansion since the company came to Detroit in 2014.

The company now employs about 500 people in the city. And Sakthi has recruited about a third of its current workforce from employment programs for the formerly incarcerated.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says a high-speed chase that ended with a teen’s death Monday was an “egregious incident” that “never should have happened.”

Craig has already suspended the two officers involved in the pursuit, which ended in a collision that killed the 19-year-old driver and injured a 67-year-old man.

Detroit NAACP President Rev. Wendell Anthony led the call for "insitutional" change at MSP.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit chapter of the NAACP and other civil rights advocates say the Michigan State Police has a race relations problem, and needs serious institutional change.

Some leaders, including Detroit NAACP leader Rev. Wendell Anthony, called again Tuesday for current MSP Chief Col. Kristy Etue to resign.

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