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.

Former United Auto Workers Vice President Norwood Jewell has been sentenced to 15 months in prison as part of a far-reaching corruption scheme that involved siphoning money from a joint UAW-Fiat-Chrysler worker training center.

Jewell pleaded guilty in April to violating federal labor law when he used his training center credit card to pay for union expenses, including trips to California golf resorts, steakhouse dinners and parties.

The Detroit Police Department has proposed a new policy for using facial recognition technology, but it’s already opposed by a coalition of civil rights groups.

DPD has been using facial recognition without a formal oversight policy in place for more than a year. The department withdrew an initial proposed policy after the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners tabled a vote on it in June, and submitted a revised version in its place last week.

As the Democratic presidential candidates prepare to debate in Detroit over the next two days, hundreds of nursing home care workers have gathered in the city to highlight what they call in an “ongoing care crisis” in that industry.

Ten presidential candidates, nine Democrats and one Republican, made their cases to voters at the NAACP’s national convention in Detroit Wednesday.

Senators Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar took the stage at a voter forum moderated by White House correspondent April Ryan. Former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, and former Texas State Rep. Beto O’Rourke rounded out the Democrats in the field. Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld was the sole Republican there.

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williams says the country needs to atone for slavery and racist oppression, and she’s the person who could bring that about.

Williamson spoke at the NAACP’s national convention in Detroit Tuesday, telling the audience that her years as a spiritual speaker, activist and author have given her the tools to facilitate racial healing.

Detroit is hosting the national NAACP’s 110th annual convention this week, and Democratic lawmakers are flocking there to address convention-goers ahead of the 2020 election.

This year’s convention motto is “When we fight, we win.” It’s heavily focused on engaging and mobilizing Black voter turnout next year, as well influencing policy on like voting rights, criminal justice reform, and other racial justice issues central to the historic civil rights group’s agenda.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan publicly clarified his stance on police use of facial recognition technology Thursday, as his police chief tried to quell some skepticism from members Detroit’s Board of Police Commissioners about the controversial technology.

“The Detroit Police Department has not and will not use facial recognition technology for surveillance,” Duggan said in a statement put out on social media. “No one is watching you on any camera in this city with facial recognition software. I will not support the software ever being used in that way.”

As Detroit expands its network of surveillance cameras, Detroit police are looking to expand their capability to monitor and process the footage.

The police department is asking the Detroit City Council to approve a $4 million contract to expand its existing real-time crime center at police headquarters. It would also add two mini-centers at the eighth and ninth precincts.

Can a county government seize a home for back taxes, sell it for price that exceeds the tax debt, and pocket the profits?

That issue is at the heart of the lawsuit that Erica Perez filed against Wayne County and County Treasurer Eric Sabree Tuesday.

Michigan Congressman Andy Levin joined a group of interfaith leaders in Detroit on Monday to protest against the idea of war with Iran.

Levin (D-9th District), an Oakland County Democrat and Jewish leader, stood alongside Muslim and Christian leaders at Central United Methodist Church to denounce a possible war, saying it would be both morally unjustified and strategically disastrous.

Detroit’s Fourth of July long weekend is off to a violent start, with police reporting at least ten shooting incidents across the city Thursday night into Friday morning.

Most of the shootings appear to have resulted from interpersonal disputes. They started with a non-fatal shooting during an argument at a fireworks display around 11:30 p.m.

The Michigan Public Service Commission is demanding Consumers Energy take more action to prevent a possible repeat of a fire last January.

That fire broke out at the utility’s Ray Township compressor station on Jan. 31, during frigid temperatures at the height of the polar vortex.

Two Macomb County leaders made pleas for a new jail—and a millage to support it--from inside the county’s current facility on Monday.

County Executive Mark Hackel and Sheriff Anthony Wickersham talked to reporters from inside a cell block that dates back to 1954. “D Block” is an old-school, dormitory-style cell block surrounded by iron bars that both say illustrates the need for a new facility.

Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree is applauding a new law signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer that allows county treasurers to work with homeowners, and implement payment plans with reduced interest rates on back property taxes.

A temporary law from late 2014 allowed this, but was scheduled to sunset June 30th. Now, the law has been extended until 2026.

The city of Detroit plans to put $500 million into its water and sewer systems, in what officials call the city’s first large-scale upgrade of its water infrastructure since 1930.

The five-year capital improvement project calls for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to replace or re-line more than 50 miles of water mains and sewer collection pipes this year alone. It also calls for more green infrastructure projects to manage storm water.

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