Public Sector

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.

Articles

Will metro Detroit voters approve mass transit that most will not use?

October 13, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Metro Detroit’s miserable public transit picture has a potential solution, requiring buy-in from those who use it and the businesses and communities that benefit from it. Whether voters will get on board remains an open question

McPhail continues to lead Detroit charter school, faces more fines

September 29, 2016 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Detroit Community Schools, run by former Detroit city attorney Sharon McPhail, faces $21k in monthly fines for continuing to employ her and another administrator who the state say lack proper certification as administrators. She has appealed.

How long will Flint’s water chief remain unpaid?

August 30, 2016 | Ron French

Flint hired a former brigadier general to oversee replacement of its lead pipes. The Mott Foundation gave Flint money for his salary. So why hasn’t Michael McDaniel been paid? The answer tells you all you need to know about the slow pace of Flint’s recovery.

Mott president on Flint: ‘You hit rock bottom multiple times’

August 30, 2016 | Ron French

Ridgway White says he is buoyed by the amount of philanthropic money flowing in to address Flint’s water crisis. But the Mott president tells Bridge he sees graver challenges in improving the city’s longer-term economic trajectory

Michigan prosecutors defying U.S. Supreme Court on ‘juvenile lifers’

August 25, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed states that only “rare” circumstances should keep juvenile offenders in prison for life. Despite this ruling, prosecutors across Michigan have filed petitions seeking to hold most juvenile lifers behind bars until they die

In prison for decades, one juvenile lifer’s quest for redemption

August 25, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Convicted of a Macomb County murder in 1992, Bosie Smith, now 41, has earned consistent praise for his leadership from prison staff and even a former warden

Amid opioid crisis, few doctors use Michigan’s outdated drug monitoring tool

August 18, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Michigan’s online system is supposed to detect physicians and patients who abuse prescription painkillers. But the current version is so slow most doctors don’t even bother. And a bill to update the system hardly seems a cure-all.

Map: Addiction's deadly trail

August 18, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Michigan has not been left out of the opioid epidemic that has engulfed the nation in recent years

Northern Michigan counties vulnerable to HIV, hepatitis C outbreaks

August 18, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Federal public health officials say 11 poor and rural Michigan counties share characteristics that make them ripe for illness, much of it stemming from drug abuse.

Map: Michigan counties share growing HIV risk

August 18, 2016 | Bridge Staff

Eleven counties in rural northern Michigan are vulnerable to an HIV outbreak, according to the CD

How secret donors tried to shape Michigan’s next House GOP caucus

August 9, 2016 | Craig Mauger

Mystery groups funded attacks against at least 7 GOP candidates for the state House before the recent primary. State campaign finance law makes it difficult to know who is funding these attacks.

Politics meets facts on free-trade deals in Michigan

August 4, 2016 | Chad Selweski

Expect plenty of anti-free-trade rhetoric this fall as the Clinton-Trump presidential campaign hits Michigan. But the economic record doesn’t quite match the rhetoric.

Missing in action: Michigan's primary voters

July 26, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Dozens of state House primary races will likely shape both parties for years to come. And yet 4-in-5 voters are expected to stay home on Aug. 2

Amid guns and violence and police shootings, a program that works

July 21, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

Operation Ceasefire, designed to get police and young people talking and taking responsibility, has shown results in cities across the nation. Kalamazoo is betting it can work there, too

As hunting wanes, selling Michigan to a new outdoors generation

July 19, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Critics say the state must better promote a $19-billion industry built on biking, kayaking and other pursuits to attract young adventurists, and residents. More REI than Cabela’s.

Blue-collar Duluth transformed by outdoor tourism economy

July 19, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

A once-declining industrial city now breathes new life by banking on its outdoor recreation assets

Bridge book on Flint crisis offers lessons on government failure

June 22, 2016 | Nancy Derringer

“Poison on Tap,” the first book released on Flint’s lead-poisoning disaster, shows how a series of government missteps left children in this impoverished city with a lifetime of heartache. A portion of book sales will go to help those children.

Michigan balks at rule shortening full-contact practice for high school football

June 16, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

A new guideline recommends no more than 90 minutes of hitting a week to reduce brain injury, but official policy still allows up to six hours. That’s six times what Ohio and Wisconsin allow.

City dwellers came for the tax breaks. Will they stay when breaks expire?

June 14, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon lured young professionals to struggling neighborhoods with tax breaks that allowed them to pay a pittance in taxes for beautiful homes or condos. Should those breaks be extended?

Live free and die: Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law four years later

June 7, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

In 2015, Michigan recorded the highest number of motorcycle deaths in 30 years, with an average of 14 more deaths annually since a law requiring helmets was dropped. Lansing has no interest in revisiting the helmet law

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