Ted Roelofs


A day on the streets with a young panhandler

August 7, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

The story behind one man's sign.

A Republican civil war plays out in Michigan

July 31, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan GOP primary foes wage a battle of ideas and tone, echoing similar struggles within the party in Washington and elsewhere.

A primer for a primary with national themes

July 31, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Close races, marijuana referendums, a southeast Michigan mass transit tax proposal and a statewide business tax issue highlight the Aug. 5 ballot.

Help Wanted: Yes, there really are 70,000 good jobs open

July 15, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Well-paying jobs in manufacturing, health care and engineering are plentiful in Michigan, but our high school grads still lack the goods to grab them. Experts urge more focus on raising math and problem-solving skills.

Obamacare booms in Michigan, but wide differences in policy rates raise new questions

June 12, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

After a disastrous launch, Michigan residents are flocking to the Affordable Care Act. Yet the rates all those newly insured vary widely depending on where you live. A lack of competition in some local markets raises questions on why the same kinds of coverage have such different price tags across the state.

Medicaid expansion widens safety net, but are future costs a ticking time bomb?

June 12, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Nearly 270,000 low-income Michigan residents signed up for expanded Medicaid in less than two months. While officials project that number to explode, critics fear the program will prove too costly to sustain.

Is Michigan wasting 20,000 teen lives – and at great expense?

June 10, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan is among a dwindling number of states that prosecute 17-year-olds as adults, even though teens are more likely to commit more crimes when placed with adults. Most teens prosecuted as adults committed nonviolent crimes.

How one county keeps troubled teens out of prison

June 10, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Innovative programs in Berrien County are going to teens’ homes, not waiting for teens to find trouble. The result: recidivism is down sharply.

Michigan gets serious about high cost of prisons

April 15, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan prisons have increased seven-fold as a percentage of the state’s budget since 1980. Michigan also holds prisoners behind bars far longer than other states, a cost that conservatives say the state can no longer afford.

Judge haunted by 26-year-old conviction

April 15, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

In 1988, Judge Norman Lippitt sentenced Karen Kantzler to life in prison for killing her husband, who she said was abusive. Lippitt never imagined she would actually spend her life behind bars.

Conservatives seek to lead on prison reform

April 15, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Republicans are rethinking the wisdom of “tough-on-crime” formulas of the past, as they eye alternatives to incarceration.

Take me out to the (non-taxpayer financed) ball game

April 1, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

At a time when most professional sports stadiums tap public funds for stadiums, the West Michigan Whitecaps built and run a ballpark on private funds alone.

Public shells out for Detroit sports stadiums

April 1, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Taxpayers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars to help Detroit’s sports teams build stadiums over the decades. A look at some recent deals.

Despite congressional muscle, Michigan ranks near bottom in funding for veterans

March 13, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan’s congressional delegation controls some powerful defense and intelligence committees. So why does our state rank among the nation’s worst in money paid to veterans?

Self-medicating homeless vets not seeking help they need

March 13, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Military veterans are more likely to “self-medicate” for pain, both physical and otherwise, leading to a surge in homelessness.

No-fault reform would cut high rates, but beneficiaries fear losing quality of life

March 11, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

A recent Michigan court ruling leaves some brain-injured crash victims unable to afford the vans that get them out of the house. Lansing, meanwhile, is seeking even further restrictions on the state’s generous no-fault auto benefits, citing the high cost to drivers.

At issue: Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance

March 11, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan unlimited no-fault auto insurance benefits may soon be rolled back. We weigh the savings of such a rollback against the consequences.

Snow Wars: Schools struggle to meet required days of instruction

February 17, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

State education leaders are facing off against some districts and administrators who are balking at adding school days in June to account for a flurry of snow days this winter.

Snow closes the classroom, but the gym stays open

February 17, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

School districts debate the wisdom of closing schools on snow days while allowing basketball games and other activities to take place at night.

Like Michigan craft beer? Malt shortage could slow the pour

February 5, 2014 | Ted Roelofs

Farmers are eager to help Michigan’s growing beer and whiskey industry, but the state lacks enough malt operators to reach its potential