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.

After Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection last summer, the media was flooded with stories about Chinese investors pouring money into real estate there. Headlines like this one summed it up: "Chinese investors are buying up Detroit."

The home of the Ford Model T is now an abandoned factory complex along busy Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, Mich., and there's not much to distinguish this place from Detroit's other industrial ruins.

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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A 54-year-old man from suburban Detroit faces charges, including second-degree murder, in the shooting death of Renisha McBride. The case has parallels to the Trayvon Martin shooting, with a white man allegedly shooting an unarmed black teenager. But as Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports, many questions remain about what happened the night McBride knocked on the defendant's door.

Even before the city's recent bankruptcy filing, Detroit was often viewed with scorn and even contempt. And you'll find as much, if not more, of that attitude toward Detroit in the state of Michigan itself. But how did Detroit get such an intensely bad reputation? And how might it affect the city's ability to rebuild itself in bankruptcy?

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Detroit last week became the biggest city in U.S. history to file for bankruptcy. And now we're learning about some of the tough decisions that may come with that. Assuming the filing goes forward, Detroit will have to figure out how to reduce billions of dollars of debt. Creditors will, of course, push for the most money they can get, which means they're eyeing some of the city's most treasured assets. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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The financial future of Detroit lies in the hand of a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr. He's trying to wring concessions out of the city's creditors before deciding whether to file for bankruptcy on the city's behalf. Orr is proposing shared sacrifice among all creditor groups. That means some will get back just pennies on the dollar. And all of the creditors are fighting each other for those pennies as Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports.

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Residents of Detroit are absorbing the message sent by Michigan's governor. Rick Snyder swept aside the city's elected officials. He's using his power to appoint an emergency manager to take over city finances. Residents are deeply divided about this move, as we hear from Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek.

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