Sarah Cwiek

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.

An Ann Arbor man says he fears he will die if U.S. immigration officials don’t act soon on his request for protected status, “based on urgent humanitarian concerns.”

Abraham Navarrete-Morales, 32, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who’s been in the U.S. for about 14 years. He says he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure at age 24, and was on dialysis for years before receiving a kidney transplant last year.

After months of debate and public protest, Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners approved a policy for police use of facial recognition software by an 8-3 vote on Thursday.

The vote came after Detroit Police submitted a revised proposal that addressed some of the concerns that commissioners and activists had with facial recognition.

Detroit Police and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy say they have enough evidence to prosecute an alleged serial killer.

Worthy charged Deangelo Martin with the murders of four women in Detroit. They are Annetta Nelson, 57, Nancy Harrison, 52, Trevesene Ellis, 55, and Tamara Jones, 55.

As Detroit Police commissioners are scheduled to vote on a policy governing police use of facial recognition technology this week, the ACLU of Michigan and other civil rights groups are urging them to reject it.

The groups also sent a Freedom of Information Act request for records on how Detroit Police have used facial recognition software. The department has used the software to help identify criminal suspects for nearly two years, without a formal oversight policy.

GM workers have been on strike since midnight Monday.

Company and union leaders are back at the bargaining table in Detroit. They’re trying to hammer out a new contract after GM workers walked off the job for their first strike since 2007.

Any growth in state education spending over the past five years is being eaten up by greater teacher retiree system costs, according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Since 2012, school districts have had to return per-pupil funds to the state to cover unfunded liabilities in the Michigan Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS). According to current projections, those liabilities won’t be paid off until 2038.

Michigan House Democrats have introduced a series of bills that would expand unemployment benefits, and make fuller amends to people who were falsely accused of unemployment fraud during Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration.

The legislation would increase weekly benefit payments, and extend the eligibility period for collecting unemployment from 20 to 26 weeks.

A new report lays out the specifics behind a widely-acknowledged problem in Michigan school districts—they can’t find enough substitute teachers, and the problem is only getting worse.

The report, from Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, details just how bad and widespread the substitute shortage really is, with around two-thirds of 177 school districts reporting they have trouble finding enough subs on a regular basis. 64% reported that multiple sub positions go unfilled every week.

The alleged owner of three dogs that attacked and killed a nine-year-old Detroit girl was arraigned on murder charges Thursday.

In a rare move, the Michigan Court of Appeals has reversed the jury conviction of an environmental justice activist sentenced to two years in prison for brandishing a gun during a 2017 altercation in Detroit.

Siwatu-Salama Ra claims she acted in self-defense when she pointed her licensed, unloaded weapon at another woman. Ra, her mother and niece all testified at trial that the woman was enraged, and using her car as a weapon to threaten Ra’s mother and two-year-old daughter.

Ten years ago this month, a Wayne County assistant prosecutor found more than 11,000 untested rape kits in an abandoned evidence warehouse.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Kym Worthy celebrated the decade-long effort that followed to test those kits, investigate cases, and prosecute offenders.

All the kits have now been tested, thanks to the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, and a multitude of partners that helped fund and facilitate that process.

Worthy’s office has now investigated and closed more than 3,000 cases, winning 197 convictions so far. Another 588 cases are still either being investigated, or have yet to be tackled.

A tiny suburb in Detroit’s Downriver area has put some new restrictions on recording public meetings—some of which one attorney says seem to violate Michigan’s Open Meetings Act.

The Riverview City Council passed those restrictions last week. Among them:

Wayne County will foreclose on fewer Detroit homes this year for the fourth straight year, according to numbers the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office provided on Friday.

Wayne County has 3,023 residential Detroit properties on its tax foreclosure list right now. 1,083 of them are believed to be occupied homes.

The cities of Warren, Flint, and Jackson all had mayoral primaries on Tuesday, with the top two vote-getters advancing to November's general election.

In all three cities, the incumbents won their races and will move on.

Former Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson died on Saturday, but the race to replace him is already becoming complicated and heated--and sparked public criticism from Patterson's team.

By law, Oakland County commissioners have 30 days to appoint an interim successor for Patterson. If they don’t, a special election will be held to fill the remainder of his term through 2020.

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