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.

Pages

Politics & Government
5:01 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Duggan sworn in as Detroit's 75th mayor

Mike Duggan, after winning the Detroit mayoral primary.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Wasting no time, Mike Duggan was officially sworn in as Detroit’s 75th mayor on New Year’s Day.

Duggan took the oath in a small interoffice ceremony, surrounded by his family.

He comes into office as Detroit’s fate hangs in the balance in bankruptcy cout, with his mayoral powers limited by emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

Orr and Duggan have a power-sharing agreement that gives the mayor control of most day-to-day city operations. Duggan says he’ll do what he can with that.

Read more
Sports
6:00 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Hockey fans invade Detroit, gear up for NHL Winter Classic

Hockey fans outside Comerica Park in Detroit
Credit NHL Network / via Twitter

Downtown Detroit is alive with the sounds and smells of outdoor hockey right now, as the city enters the fifth and final day of the Hockeytown Winter Festival.

And those festivities are just a prelude to the big event in Ann Arbor — the 6th annual NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on New Year’s Day.

That outdoor game will feature two of the NHL’s Original Six teams, the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The game alone is expected to draw well over 100,000 fans to the Big House.

Read more
Transportation
9:59 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Expect to see driverless cars test-driving on Michigan roads soon

A Toyota Prius, modified by Google to function as a driverless car
Credit Wikipedia

Governor Snyder has signed a law that opens up Michigan’s roads as testing grounds for driverless cars.

More and more, it seems that these autonomous vehicles — “intelligent” cars that can drive themselves and even communicate with each other — will be a big part of our transportation future.

At least, that’s what Gov. Snyder and the state’s carmakers are banking on. And they want to stay ahead of the curve in research and design.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:47 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Detroit, banks reach new deal on pension debt

Peter Martorano Flickr

The city of Detroit has reached another tentative agreement to pay off two banks for a complicated pension debt deal that's costing the city millions of dollars each month.

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr  proposed to borrow $350 million, and use most of it to pay off the banks and end the deal, at about 75 cents on the dollar.

But bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes questioned whether that agreement was too generous. He ordered the two sides to go back to the bargaining table.

After days of “intense negotiations,” the parties reached a Christmas Eve deal that would pay the banks more like 55 to 60 cents on the dollar, saving Detroit about $65 million.

But Judge Rhodes must still approve those terms.

Politics & Government
8:17 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Proposed new Red Wings arena, entertainment district clear more hurdles

Credit Wikipedia

A proposed new hockey arena and entertainment district in Detroit has cleared more hurdles.

The Detroit City Council voted Friday on two measures that will allow the $650 million project to move forward.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Duggan, Orr reach power-sharing agreement in Detroit

Detroit mayor-elect Mike Duggan will have broad powers to run the city’s day-to-day business.

Duggan and emergency manager Kevyn Orr have reached a power-sharing agreement that gives Duggan control over most city functions.

While Duggan will have substantial operational powers, he’s also promised not to “interfere” with any of Orr’s financial control.

Read more
Law
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Homeowner who shot Renisha McBride will go on trial for murder

Renisha McBride
Credit Family photo

The Dearborn Heights homeowner who shot an unarmed teenager on his front porch has been bound over for trial.

Theodore Wafer will face trial for second-degree murder, manslaughter, and a felony firearms charge in 19-year-old Renisha McBride’s death.

Dearborn Heights judge David Turfe ruled Thursday the case can proceed after nearly two days of expert and witness testimony.

Read more
Sports
10:17 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

NHL gift benefits hockey rink at Detroit's Clark Park

Clark Park hockey players prepare to for a clinic with the Detroit Red Wings.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Red Wings’ charity and the National Hockey League have teamed up to refurbish Detroit’s only outdoor hockey rink.

The gift, which benefits southwest Detroit’s Clark Park, was announced there Monday. The facility will get a new Zamboni, new lighting and other upgrades worth about $200,000.

Read more
Law
2:56 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Judge rules that his Detroit bankruptcy finding can be directly appealed

John Meiu Detroit Legal News Publishing LLC

The judge in Detroit’s bankruptcy case says creditors can appeal his recent eligibility ruling directly to a higher federal court.

Judge Steven Rhodes ruled earlier this month that Detroit is eligible to proceed with its historic bankruptcy case.

He also ruled that city pensions can be cut in federal bankruptcy court — despite a public pension guarantee in Michigan’s state constitution.

City unions, pension funds and retiree groups immediately said they intended to appeal both decisions.

Read more
Politics & Government
9:52 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Deal for new Red Wings arena moves forward; state could pay for Joe Louis demolition

Credit Wikipedia

The Detroit Red Wings are a step closer to getting a new home.

Detroit’s Downtown Development Authority approved a concession management agreement that provides the framework for a new $450 million sports and entertainment arena Friday.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:08 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Obama administration touts Detroit jobs efforts

Two Obama administration officials were in Detroit this week to highlight White House efforts to help Detroit.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited Macomb Community College.

That school is one of eight Michigan community colleges sharing a $25 million grant to “create and expand innovative partnerships between community colleges and businesses” to train more workers for in-demand jobs.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:38 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

In his farewell speech Bing says, 'I will remain involved in Detroit's transformation'

Dave Bing

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing says he’s pleased with how his administration has “moved the needle forward on Detroit’s future.”

Bing talked about his accomplishments and challenges as mayor in a farewell speech to the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:23 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Rand Paul says Detroit needs 'freedom from government' to flourish

Rand Paul

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says Detroit needs “freedom from government” to flourish again economically—and told the Detroit Economic Club Friday he has a plan to make that happen.

Paul is proposing legislation that would create “economic freedom zones” in high-unemployment areas like Detroit.

He says those areas would work like “enterprise zones on steroids,” mostly by lowering taxes.

Read more
Economy
9:02 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Protesters target Walmart in suburban Detroit

Protesters, including SEIU President Mary Kay Henry (center), protest at the Sterling Heights Walmart Friday.
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters called for higher wages and better working conditions for Walmart employees at stores around the country Friday, including one store in suburban Detroit.

Store managers and security met the protesters as they marched to the entrance to the Sterling Heights Walmart.

They were blocked from going in—but did hand over petitions protesting Walmart’s treatment of its workers. Police also arrived, but the protesters left peacefully.

Read more
Education
12:35 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Study: Michigan is national leader when it comes to for-profit charter schools

Nearly 80% of Michigan’s charter schools are managed by private, for-profit companies, according to a new report from the National Education Policy Center.

The report shows that when it comes to privately-managed public charter schools—those run by Education Management Organizations (EMOs)—Michigan is a stark anomaly.

Read more
Health
11:36 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Report finds there's still 'Trouble in Toyland'

Safety is gradually improving, but toy-shoppers should still be watchful this holiday season.

That’s the main message from this year’s annual ‘Trouble in Toyland’ toy safety report from the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM).

The group says the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed in 2008, has improved toy safety.

But it warns that some toys can and do fall through the regulatory cracks. The group found toys that exceed federal standards for lead, cadmium, phthalates, and other toxins that can impair child development.

And PIRGIM suggests some of those laws could be tightened up, too.

Spokesman Eric Mosher points to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil case. It contains much more of the toxic element cadmium—about 600 parts per million--than federal law allows.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:17 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Michigan, feds to collaborate on fungal meningitis outbreak investigations

Attorney General Bill Schuette

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is joining forces with federal authorities to investigate last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak.

Michigan was hardest-hit by the nationwide outbreak that’s linked to tainted steroids from a now-defunct Massachusetts compounding pharmacy, the New England Compounding Center.

More than 750 people in 20 states have contracted fungal meningitis from steroid injections that were meant to relieve pain. In Michigan, 22 people have died, and more than 260 people were sickened by the disease.

Read more
Education
5:53 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Enrollment plummets in state-run Education Achievement Authority schools

Michigan’s attempt at a state-run “turnaround district” for the lowest-performing schools is bleeding students.

The Educational Achievement Authority is one of Governor Snyder’s signature policy initiatives. It launched in the last school year, with 15 former Detroit Public Schools.

State data now show the EAA lost more than 2,000 students since last school year. That’s nearly a 25% decline.

Read more
Politics & Government
9:50 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Report questions assumptions behind Detroit bankruptcy

 A new report says declining revenues and bad Wall Street deals—not out-of-control spending or generous pension benefits--contributed the most to Detroit’s bankruptcy.

The report from the left-leaning think tank Demos also accuses Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr of attacking the problem in “inappropriate” ways that are “not rooted in fact.”

Read more
Politics & Government
12:15 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Michigan Congressman calls for extending federal unemployment benefits

Sander Levin

Detroit-area Congressman Sander Levin says the federal government must extend federal unemployment benefits.

Levin,  the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, and other Democrats introduced bills Wednesday that would renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for another year.

Read more

Pages