Lester Graham


A day in the life of one Detroit high-crime neighborhood

June 29, 2017 | Lester Graham

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham tags along as a neighborhood police officer completes his rounds in the city’s MorningSide community.

The future of small business outside Detroit’s bustling downtown is uncertain

May 30, 2017 | Lester Graham

It’s not only the residents who continue to struggle in the city’s vast, impoverished neighborhoods. Small stores are barely hanging on.

Detroiters in poverty face nearly insurmountable obstacles

June 16, 2016 | Lester Graham

Politicians and media reports indicate Detroit is in the middle of an economic resurgence. That’s true for the central business districts. That’s not the case for many residents in the poorest neighborhoods

Police brutality: The struggle isn't over

April 21, 2016 | Lester Graham

In Baltimore Freddie Gray died after being arrested and thrown in the back of a police van. In Cleveland, video captured images of 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he was shot by a Cleveland officer. And in Ferguson, Missouri, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead in the street. These events and others have increased racial tensions in cities across the nation in a way not seen since the 1960

City of Detroit has rocky relationship with Arab-American gas station owners

July 13, 2015 | Lester Graham

The proprietors of many of the city's fuel stops say they're being unfairly targeted – and ticketed – for relatively minor offenses, in a pattern that suggests deliberate harassment.

Detroit lowballing the number of dangerous, broken fire hydrants in city

June 11, 2015 | Lester Graham

A local muckraking journalist found that the city’s count of 70 hydrants in disrepair does not match his own survey, which suggests the number could as high as 1,800. Broken hydrants mean more homes could be swept up by fires.

Wayne County residents unnecessarily losing homes to foreclosure

May 26, 2015 | Lester Graham

Advocates say the county is overestimating property values and that many people are losing their homes because they don’t know they can challenge their assessment.

Landing a job isn’t the end of obstacles facing one Detroit mom

March 24, 2015 | Lester Graham

For ordinary Detroiters like Fatima Mixon, finding a job is just the first step. Securing transportation to get to work can feel like winning the lottery. In Mixon’s case, that’s exactly what happened.

For one Detroit mom, a complicated path to employment

March 19, 2015 | Lester Graham

Fatima Mixon is one of many jobless Detroiters struggling to learn new skills to support her family. Can she overcome the obstacles of daily life?

Benchmark: City services

June 24, 2014 | Lester Graham

Mayor Duggan promised progress on lights, blight and buses and, by his office’s own count at least, there is progress.

Even with limited powers, Duggan in control

June 24, 2014 | Lester Graham

Six months in, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is focused intently on improving city services, selling himself to residents and consolidating power within the bankrupt city. Can the honeymoon last?

Michigan Radio: Being broke makes Detroit get creative

March 10, 2014 | Lester Graham

For Detroit, municipal bankruptcy has made the world aware of what Michigan already knew: Detroit is broke. No matter how it turns out, bankruptcy is not going to change things very quickly. Detroit will still be broke. Lester Graham with Michigan Watch reports that’s going to force the city to get creative.