Shattered: White Boy Rick

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At 14, Rick Wershe Jr. became the youngest FBI informant ever and helped bring down some of Detroit’s biggest drug dealers. Then the FBI abandoned him, and he became the dealer, until being busted with eight kilos of cocaine. Wershe has been in prison ever since. Hosted by WDIV investigative reporter, Kevin Dietz, and produced and edited by me, Shattered: White Boy Rick chronicles Wershe’s improbable life story. LISTEN HERE.

Uh, Can I Have This Dance?

KCRW's UnFictional

David and Zak

When a Jewish kid of 12 or 13 becomes bar or bat mitzvahed, they take their first step into adulthood. Following the actual ceremony, there's often a large party for family and friends of the newly minted young adult, and at the the center of these parties is dancing. Slow dancing, fast dancing. It might be the first time a kid ever dances or even touches a member of the opposite sex.

That's where Joe Cornell Entertainment comes in. Since 1957, the metro-Detroit company has been offering a 12-week dance class to sixth graders who are about to find themselves neck deep in bar mitzvah invitations. Producer Zak Rosen attended Joe Cornell as a 12 year-old. He and his friends have lots of memories from those innocent days. Now Rosen has found two young men who are just embarking on that memorable, often awkward journey.

Your behavior has a profound impact on the health of your LGBTQ child

Michigan Radio

A daughter, her mother, and the cost of rejection.

Remembering Grace Lee Boggs

Michigan Radio

Philosopher, activist, and writer Grace Lee Boggs has died at her home on the east side of Detroit. She was 100 years-old.

She played roles in most of the major social movements this country has known: labor, civil rights, Black Power, women's rights, and environmental justice.


Studio 360

A Nick Cave soundsuit featured in his solo exhibition,  Here Hear,  at the Cranbrook Art Museum. (Sam Deitch/

A Nick Cave soundsuit featured in his solo exhibition, Here Hear, at the Cranbrook Art Museum. (Sam Deitch/

This is not a story about Nick Cave the Australian rock star. This is a story about a differentNick Cave: a Missouri-born fabric artist, sculptor, and dancer. Cave has become famous in the art world for what he calls “soundsuits,” wearable sculptures composed of bottle caps, sweaters, toy drums, globes, metal buckets, tambourines, purses, and anything else Cave finds rummaging through flea markets.

Inspired by the brutal beating of Rodney King in 1991, Cave’s soundsuits have become increasingly relevant in the wake of recent violence against African Americans and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I think his work gives us a starting point for a conversation we really have to have,” says Laura Mott, the curator of a major retrospective of Cave’s work at the Cranbook Art Museum, in suburban Detroit.

This Detroit family knows when you don't have what you need, you improvise

Michigan Radio - (Bringing up Detroit)

Think about most of the news stories you read about kids in Detroit. What comes to mind?

Something about dysfunctional schools? Maybe a crime story?

When’s the last time you felt like a story transported you into the life of a family? Where you really got to know a child? Where you felt what it might be like to be a parent raising kids there?

For our project Bringing Up Detroit, those are exactly the kinds of stories we want to bring you.

And we’re starting today by introducing you to a family on the east side of Detroit. 

Catching up with Grandma Chris

Michigan Radio (Bringing up Detroit)

Ms. Chris

In pt. 1, I introduced you to Christina Lumpkin and her family. At the time, they were navigating a crisis. Lumpkins’s daughter, Maya, had lost her job at McDonalds, and the family didn’t have any money coming in. They were on the verge of eviction. Hear an update below. 

making a way out of no way

Michigan Radio (Bringing up Detroit)

Earlier in the year Christina Lumpkin took a fall that kept her out of work for a week. She thought she had put the pain behind her, but a recent pull, pop, and subsequent swelling told her otherwise. Now it's Christmas, and all Lumpkin wants is to give her family a decent holiday. But she won't be able to afford to if she misses any more work.

What kids with disabilities bring to the classroom

Michigan Radio


Bentley loves people. He’s usually wearing a big smile.  He’s a joy. But his mother, Adrienne Crawford, admits he’s a lot of work, too.

“I took a three-minute shower" the other day,  says Crawford. "And I came back and his bedroom was covered in baby powder. I don’t know why he did it.  I guess it looks fun, just pouring white powder on the floor.”

Bentley has Down syndrome.

Is Water a Human Right?

CBC's The Current

(Getty Images/Joshua Lott)

Since March of 2014, more than 30,000 Detroit households have had their water shut off because they are behind in their bills. The City declared bankruptcy a little over a year ago. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says it is owed approximately $90-million in back payments and it simply can't afford to let it continue.

About 60 per cent of the people who had their water cut off have now had it restored after making a payment. And yesterday, the city extended a temporary moratorium on any further cutoffs.

But that still leaves thousands who either haven't -- or can't -- pay their bills.

Work in Progress

Unfictional and The Story

On Georgia Street

World Vision Report and WDET


A New (Old) Kind of Work

Unfictional, The Story, and Deutsche Welle

photo from  Boiled Down Juice

photo from

photo from

photo from mlive

photo from mlive

photo from Michigan Trails

photo from Michigan Trails


Dumpster Diving in the D


from wiki commons

from wiki commons

from the  News-Herald

from the News-Herald

Red Band

The World and BBC Radio 4

On the Rise

World Vision Report