Gentrification, racial disparities in childbirth, abusive priest: Your Thursday morning briefing

The Park Avenue House is evicting all of its residents, many of whom are lower income.

“Morning Briefing” is a new feature in Motor City Muckraker to keep you informed as we add award-winning reporters to our independent newsroom that soon will be a nonprofit watchdog. Your donations are key to our ability to produce more vigorous, meaningful, nonpartisan journalism at a time when news rooms are cutting back on impactful, investigative stories.

These are the top stories you’re waking up to:

Lower-income tenants evicted from downtown apartment building

Another downtown Detroit apartment building is displacing lower-income residents as gentrification continues around the tax-funded Red Wings arena.

Tenants living at the Park Avenue House were given notices over the weekend that they must vacate within 30 days, the Free Press reports.  

It wasn’t immediately clear who purchased the building, which was listed for $15 million and is just south of Little Caesars Arena.

Study finds racial disparities during childbirth

Black women are 70% more likely to develop life-threatening complications during childbirth than white women, according to a new University of Michigan study.

The biggest racial disparity involved blood transfusions, the Free Press reports.  

Other life-threatening conditions included in the study were heart failure, kidney failure, sepsis, shock, hysterectomy, ventilation and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Retired priest accused of sexually abusing children

The Archdiocese of Detroit has barred a retired senior priest from public ministry after fielding credible allegations of sexual abuse involving minors, the church announced Wednesday.

Some of the complaints against Rev. Robert Witkowski, 83, stretch back decades ago, the Detroit News reports.

The announcement comes amid a state Attorney General’s Office investigation into clergy misconduct at all of Michigan’s Catholic diocese.

The archdiocese published a list of clergy who have been accused of sexual assault.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.