Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell retired in 2012 from the Detroit Free Press, where over a 30-year career he had been the politics editor and environment writer. He is an occasional contributor to Bridge Michigan and edited the book, “Poison on Tap,” based on Bridge’s coverage of the Flint water crisis.
 

Articles

Michigan’s deer season could scatter COVID-19, health leaders say

Michigan’s deer season could scatter COVID-19, health leaders say

November 1, 2020 | Robin Erb, Bob Campbell

Cards, drinking, shared meals and sleeping quarters — deer camp traditions could send hunters home with COVID-19 as well as a prized buck, say health officials.

Signature errors ruin thousands of Michigan ballots. Don’t be that voter.

Signature errors ruin thousands of Michigan ballots. Don’t be that voter.

October 6, 2020 | Bob Campbell

A sloppy signature, forging the names of family members, or failing to sign a ballot envelope: There are many ways to ensure your November vote won’t count. Here’s what clerks are searching for, and why you might want to leave your phone number, too.

Absentee ballot drop boxes boom in Michigan, despite controversy elsewhere

Absentee ballot drop boxes boom in Michigan, despite controversy elsewhere

October 5, 2020 | Bob Campbell

As Texas and Ohio limit absentee drop-off boxes, they are multiplying in Michigan as clerks brace for a record number of mail-in votes for the Nov. 3 election. Clerks say they are safe and effective, despite protests from President Trump and some Republicans.

At 98, a pilot who fought the Nazis urges unity against the coronavirus

At 98, a pilot who fought the Nazis urges unity against the coronavirus

April 5, 2020 | Bob Campbell

Benjamin Rollason finds common themes in the bombs that German planes dropped on his childhood home near Birmingham, England and an invisible virus that has families huddled inside their homes.  

At Michigan groceries, nerves are as thin as some shelves amid coronavirus

At Michigan groceries, nerves are as thin as some shelves amid coronavirus

April 4, 2020 | Bob Campbell

Tales from the coronavirus front of the grocery stores: Anxiety in the aisles, long waits for online orders and a viral video from a Grand Rapids doctor about how to keep food safe (spoiler alert: leave it in the garage for three days.)

Northern Michigan to downstate residents: Stay home during coronavirus!

Northern Michigan to downstate residents: Stay home during coronavirus!

March 25, 2020 | Bob Campbell

The mayors of Traverse City and Petoskey, and plenty of local residents, are putting out the unwelcome mat to people who own second homes in the region.

Guns and viruses: Why Michigan gun and ammo sales are exploding

Guns and viruses: Why Michigan gun and ammo sales are exploding

March 19, 2020 | Bob Campbell

Michigan gun shop owners report booming sales of guns and ammo as coronavirus spreads. Self-protection is a big theme, but that doesn’t mean deer are safe.

Why Michigan cherry industry lost trade fight with Turkey, and its Plan B

Why Michigan cherry industry lost trade fight with Turkey, and its Plan B

February 18, 2020 | Bob Campbell

The U.S. International Trade Commission flatly rejected claims that Turkish imports hurt domestic dried tart cherry processors. But Michigan’s cherry industry has a new line of attack against imports.  

Michigan cherry industry still trying to absorb tariff loss to Turkey

Michigan cherry industry still trying to absorb tariff loss to Turkey

January 22, 2020 | Bob Campbell

Stunned by a recent ruling against the struggling industry, the state’s cherry growers consider next steps, including a new offensive that involves Brazil and U.S. Customs. 

11 safety tips for deer firearms hunting in Michigan

11 safety tips for deer firearms hunting in Michigan

November 13, 2019 | Bob Campbell

With the beginning of Michigan’s firearms deer hunting season this Friday, Nov. 15, here are some reminders to help avert tragedy.

Michigan hunters thought they shot deer, squirrels — they hit other hunters

Michigan hunters thought they shot deer, squirrels — they hit other hunters

November 13, 2019 | Bob Campbell

While accidental shootings are down in Michigan, a review of hunting incident reports reveal some common mistakes that can lead to hunters shooting themselves or others.

 What went wrong in the shootings of three Michigan hunters last year

What went wrong in the shootings of three Michigan hunters last year

November 13, 2019 | Bob Campbell

Matthew Boeck was shot on the far side of a bait pile. Justin Beutel was killed as he field dressed a buck. Chong Moua Yang survived a secret war in southeast Asia only to die at the base of his tree stand.

‘You just react’ — Hunter deaths shadow opening of Michigan firearms season

‘You just react’ — Hunter deaths shadow opening of Michigan firearms season

November 12, 2019 | Bob Campbell

Last year, three hunters were killed in the opening days of deer firearms season, which begins Friday. As hunters return to Michigan’s woods, the shootings illustrate how quickly a human life can be lost.

Good news for Michigan cherry industry. Bad news for Turkey.

Good news for Michigan cherry industry. Bad news for Turkey.

September 23, 2019 | Bob Campbell

A U.S. Commerce Department ruling is likely to result in large duties imposed on Turkish dried cherries, which Michigan growers accuse of being illegally dumped on the U.S. market. 

A summer of despair for Michigan’s cherry growers

A summer of despair for Michigan’s cherry growers

August 21, 2019 | Bob Campbell

For decades, the peninsulas of Old Mission and Leelanau have produced ideal conditions for tart cherries. But harsh weather, pesky bugs and Turkish imports are prompting farmers to reconsider their futures.

Chaos in Traverse City, as county government wrestles with pension debt

Chaos in Traverse City, as county government wrestles with pension debt

February 20, 2018 | Bob Campbell

Grand Traverse County is searching for its fourth administrator in three years as county workers go to war over benefit cuts. Could the political upheaval be a bellwether for other distressed communities?

Michigan cities and counties haunted by retiree liabilities

Michigan cities and counties haunted by retiree liabilities

February 20, 2018 | Bob Campbell

While the political chaos playing out in Grand Traverse County is bizarre, it’s a harbinger of local troubles throughout the state.

Democrats and Republicans agree: Shut down Enbridge Line 5

Democrats and Republicans agree: Shut down Enbridge Line 5

June 27, 2017 | Bob Campbell

A strange-bedfellows coalition of Trump supporters and progressive Democrats are finding common ground in opposing the Enbridge oil lines in the Straits of Mackinac, united by deeply personal ties to the Great Lakes.

A cheat sheet to the Enbridge Line 5 controversy

A cheat sheet to the Enbridge Line 5 controversy

June 27, 2017 | Bob Campbell

Give us five minutes, we’ll give you the basics on this environmental showdown under the Straits of Mackinac.

Retired diplomats bring the world, and a dose of civility, to Traverse City

Retired diplomats bring the world, and a dose of civility, to Traverse City

March 16, 2017 | Bob Campbell

State Department veterans Jack Segal and Karen Puschel are selling out lecture halls in Northwest Michigan discussing American foreign policy in the Age of Trump. No shouting. No fistfights. What’s their secret?

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