Michigan Hall of Justice

Cellphones are everywhere. Except Michigan courts. Is that an injustice?

November 20, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Michigan Supreme Court considers a rule to allow cellphones in all courts. One justice says cell bans are “callous” and “incredibly insensitive,” but others say allowing devices in courts would create security problems.

Tiffany Clarke

Opinion | When cities don’t invest in neighborhoods, youth are the victims

November 20, 2019 | Tiffany Clarke in Guest Commentary

Lack of investment from businesses translates into a low-income tax base, lower home ownership rates, and lower investment in schools, says a Grand Rapids nonprofit director in this Guest Commentary.

Michigan term limits face court challenge from former lawmakers

November 20, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Ron French in Michigan Government

A group is arguing in a new lawsuit that Michigan’s strictest-in-the-nation legislative term limits are unconstitutional.

Michigan youth suicide rate doubles. What parents can do.

November 20, 2019 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson in Michigan Health Watch

The spike in suicide rates comes as a national poll suggests parents struggle to know the difference between normal ups and downs of the teen years and something more serious.

Michigan finds some success fighting opiate crisis on front line: emergency rooms

November 20, 2019 | Ted Roelofs in Michigan Health Watch

Three Detroit hospitals give overdose patients hope by combining medication with community-based treatment. Even so, Michigan is behind other states in intervention.

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

November 19, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson in Michigan Government

Tax requests increasingly are popping up in elections with low turnouts, such as March’s heavily Democratic presidential primary. Governments say it saves money. Foes say it’s anti-democratic.

As Detroit students settle into their first semester of college, ‘bridge’ programs provide needed support

November 19, 2019 | Lori Higgins in Detroit

She’s scheduled office visits with her professor. She’s asked the teaching assistants for help. She’s dropped into the math learning centers. But still, despite excelling in her other classes, Marqell McClendon has struggled.

Poisoned Michigan: How weak laws and ignored history enabled PFAS crisis

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz in Michigan Environment Watch

Michigan lawmakers said ‘never again’ after an agricultural mishap sparked one of the worst poisonings in history in 1973. But serious reform never came and some mistakes of that crisis are being repeated with the PFAS threat befouling state waterways.

In a Michigan town with a toxic legacy, residents fought for decades to heal

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jim Malewitz in Michigan Environment Watch

In the town of St. Louis, a  group of rabble-rousers ensured state and federal authorities didn’t forget their toxic legacy. The work is only half done, but could be a lesson for communities now battling PFAS contamination.

Michigan’s PFAS cleanup costs are mounting. Taxpayers may get stuck with the tab.

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

When a chemical disaster strikes – as it did in the tiny town of St. Louis – bills mount far faster than polluters’ willingness to pay. It’s a lesson survivors of the crisis fear will repeat with PFAS, which Michigan already has spent tens of millions to address.

Michigan found PFAS in Oscoda in 2010. There’s still no plan to clean it up.

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz in Michigan Environment Watch

An ignored 2010 report about PFAS is just one of several bureaucratic hurdles that has slowed Michigan’s response to the chemical that is now befouling waters. The delays are reminiscent of those that prolonged the PBB contamination of livestock in the 1970s.

Letter suggests Bill Schuette shrugged off request to sue 3M over PFAS

November 18, 2019 | Jim Malewitz, Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

As he left office, the former attorney general told Rick Snyder he couldn’t sue because the governor’s staff never greenlighted a lawsuit — even though Snyder himself requested the suit.

Graphic photos vivid reminders of horror of Michigan PBB chemical crisis

November 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

This slideshow shows how a 1973 mixup at a chemical company in St. Louis sparked an agricultural and health disaster statewide that still affects residents. Warning: Some photos may be upsetting.