Michigan agrees to pay $80 million in juvenile prison suit, enact reforms

February 27, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Attorney General Dana Nessel agrees to pay $80 million and make prison changes to settle lawsuits alleging sexual assault of juvenile prisoners in adult prisons.  

empty classroom

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

February 27, 2020 | Ron French, Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

 Would schools close for weeks at a time? Would lessons be online? What if a student travels overseas? Michigan districts are creating protocols on the fly to address a possible outbreak.

Coronavirus Tracker: What Michigan needs to know now

February 27, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

The new coronavirus is claiming hundreds of lives and infecting thousands more, threatening to become a pandemic. Here are the latest updates from the Bridge Health Watch team.

PFAS water

Michigan adopts new PFAS standards over industry, farmer objections

February 27, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Environment Watch

Environmentalists cheer as Michigan approves limits for the forever chemicals that are much stricter than federal advisory levels. But some question whether there was a rush to make the rules.

Thousands want to draw Michigan’s political districts. Most are white men.

February 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

A new independent redistricting panel has attracted 6,000 volunteers, but Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says they don’t yet reflect Michigan’s demographic and geographic diversity. 

water department

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

February 26, 2020 | Joel Kurth in Michigan Health Watch

 Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is unlikely to declare a state emergency to end Detroit water shutoffs, prompting debate about how much proof is needed about health detriments that researchers say are obvious.  


How to prepare for coronavirus in Michigan. Step 1: Breathe

February 26, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

Health experts say the COVID-19 coronavirus is on its way. As hospitals and health systems prepare, simple steps can help protect you and your loved ones.


1.2 million Michiganders at risk of not being counted in 2020 Census

February 26, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

State officials warn that an undercount could have serious repercussions for the state, including diminished funding and less representation in Congress.

Michigan primary 2020: What you need to know, where to vote, absentee rules

February 26, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

 It’s almost Election Day, and a lot has changed since the last major election. Here’s how to vote in the presidential primary.


As U.S. braces for coronavirus, Detroit hospital sets up 5 patient rooms

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

A CDC official said the virus’s spread to the United States is inevitable, which is why Michigan officials are preparing as they battle flu cases. In one Detroit hospital ‘negative pressure rooms’ await patients.   

Gretchen Whitmer asks to stop Michigan Medicaid work rules; 80,000 at risk

February 25, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

80,000 Michiganders who must report to work — or prove to the state why they can’t — have until Saturday to file reports, according to the governor’s office. The state GOP stands behind the work rules. 

Michigan’s big bet on small tech fell flat. Now the $250M bill is due

February 24, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

In the depths of the Great Recession, Michigan invested in a fund to help high-tech startups. Some of those firms have left the state, and the program spent $255,000 for every job it created. Taxpayers are stuck with the tab.

Michiganders accept climate change but say others more likely to suffer

February 24, 2020 | Alexandra Schmidt in Michigan Environment Watch

Yale polling data find most Michigan residents believe in climate change, are worried about it, and think it’ll harm people in the United States. But they also believe they won’t be impacted personally.