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.

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   Members of the Detroit-based protest movement that formed in the wake of George Floyd’s killing say Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction is a vindication of their cause. 

Leaders from the protest movement called Detroit Will Breathe gathered with supporters in the snow in front of Detroit Police Headquarters just after the Chauvin verdict. They said the verdict shows the power of their movement, but it’s hardly the end point.

Nakia Wallace is a co-founder of Detroit Will Breathe.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena is on a campaign swing of sorts through Michigan this week. 

Barcena is rounding up support for ratification of the USMCA. That’s a newly renegotiated version of NAFTA.

Barcena says she’s trying to convince members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation that Mexico’s government is serious about major labor reforms. She says those reforms will open the door for truly democratic unions in the country.

ANN ARBOR, MI (MPRN)--   Businesspeople are relatively bullish on Michigan’s economic outlook for 2019, according to a new survey.

That survey was the subject of Tuesday’s meeting at the Detroit Economic Club.

It showed faith in Michigan’s short-term economic outlook is higher than the national average. But it also hints at worries about a possible longer-term slowdown, especially if national issues like trade policy stay unresolved.

Jeff Mason is CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He admits that’s a possibility.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her ninth executive order Monday.

It extends non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ state employees. It also protects LGBTQ people who work for state contractors or receive state services.

Whitmer says it’s about equal opportunity in state government, but she says it’s also about giving legitimacy to this type of protection.

“Elevating, legitimizing, protecting and moving forward to make sure that we expand it to everyone in the state,” she says.

The FBI is investigating the death last year of a 32-year-old man in a Michigan jail.

In March 2014, David Stojcevski was sentenced to 30 days in the Macomb County jail.

He died there a little more than two weeks later — despite being under 24-hour video monitoring for most of that time.

That video footage captured nearly every minute of the physical and mental breakdown preceding his death.

For Dafinka Stojcevski, David's mother, the anger is still raw. She is seeking justice for her son.

The Syrian refugee crisis has forced President Obama to consider admitting many more refugees to the U.S. Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the United States will take 100,000 refugees a year by 2017, increasing from 70,000 this year.

If there is an influx of Syrians, many could end up resettling in the Detroit area, which has one of the largest Arab communities outside the Arab world.

Local refugee advocates say they're equipped, but already feeling frustrated.

The Detroit Red Wings are kind of playing a home game on New Year's Day — even if it'll be played about 40 miles west of their home ice in downtown Detroit.

Mike Babcock, the Red Wings head coach, told the NHL Network that might not be such a good thing, because home teams haven't fared so well in prior Winter Classics.

"The reason the home team doesn't have much success is there's probably a New Year's Eve party going on in everybody's house," he said. "So you gotta decide whether that's more important, or the game's more important."

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