Joel Kurth

Managing Editor Joel Kurth has spent more than two decades in journalism in Michigan. He worked 17 years as an editor and reporter at The Detroit News, the last five of which he served as editor of investigations and projects. He’s overseen projects that prompted a reassessment of property taxes in Detroit, changed laws about tax foreclosure sales, prompted reforms at the Detroit Medical Center and led numerous investigations into municipal corruption. Kurth also worked at The Saginaw News and in the Upper Pensinsula and has won more than 30 national and state journalism awards, including being co-winner of The Michigan Press Association’s “Journalist of the Year” award in 2016. You can reach Joel via email at jkurth@bridgemi.com, or call him at 586-306-4708.

Articles

Fiat Chrysler promises 5,000 jobs. But not all Detroiters love the plan.

March 14, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Fiat Chrysler hosts its first community meeting for a massive investment on the eastside of Detroit. It could have gone better, with several neighbors doubting whether the deal would benefit nearby residents.

One in five Detroit rentals face eviction. Time to call in the lawyers?

March 12, 2019 | Joel Kurth

A coalition of foundations and law firms is calling for low-income renters to be represented by a lawyer at eviction hearings. In New York, a similar program actually saved the city money.

Crime dips in Detroit. But ‘people do not feel safe,’ commissioner says.

March 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Violence remains a big impediment to Detroit’s comeback. Despite encouraging trends, there’s no ‘magic formula’ for Mayor Mike Duggan, a veteran police commissioner says.

Detroit is billing residents for rain. It’s going as well as you’d think.

March 4, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Facing major repairs, Detroit has revamped rates on treating stormwater. That’s led to astronomical rates, a lawsuit and familiar questions about equity in a rapidly changing city.

That’s a wrap. Michigan gerrymandering case now in hands of three judges

February 23, 2019 | Joel Kurth

More than 650 pages of arguments filed by parties in hotly disputed case over whether Michigan political districts that have favored Republicans are unconstitutional.

Redistricting guru: Michigan’s maps are legal, even if process was political

February 7, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s gerrymandering trial wraps up with testimony from the architect of the state’s political maps. He says he was besieged with requests but kept the process ‘bipartisan.’

Expert testifies gerrymandering in Michigan is worse than almost anywhere

February 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

An unusual federal trial that could redraw Michigan’s political boundaries before 2020 began Tuesday in Detroit. Republicans defend the maps, saying demographics are to blame, not partisan tricks.

Michigan Republicans defend political maps as gerrymandering trial opens

February 5, 2019 | Joel Kurth

An unusual federal trial that could redraw Michigan’s political boundaries before 2020 begins in Detroit. The stakes are huge, but spoiler alert: there may be few theatrics.

Federal court scuttles Michigan gerrymandering deal, rejects trial delay

February 1, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

Less than a week before a trial is expected to start, federal judges paved the way for a landmark showdown over Michigan’s legislative districts, which Republicans drew and Democrats have derided as unfair.

Jocelyn Benson seeks to settle gerrymandering suit by redrawing House seats

January 25, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan’s new Democratic Secretary of State proposes deal before 2020 elections. Republican lawmakers call effort a partisan coup.

Gerrymandering settlement would give Michigan Dems hope, GOP despair

January 23, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is drawing fire from Republicans, who say she’s trying to ‘rig elections to favor Democrats’ with a deal to end a suit over redistricting.

Michigan secretary of state wants to settle gerrymandering lawsuit

January 17, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Jocelyn Benson seeks to settle the lawsuit that labeled the state’s legislative districts unfair. A settlement could pave way for new districts to be drawn for the 2020 election.

Michigan’s water crisis is coming to city near you, report says

January 14, 2019 | Joel Kurth

A new report says Detroit’s beleaguered water system is a harbinger for state and nation. Rising rates could make water unaffordable for 1 in 3 Michiganders in five years.

Will Jocelyn Benson defend Michigan gerrymandering tactics she once fought?

January 11, 2019 | Joel Kurth

The new Michigan secretary of state has spent years criticizing partisan redistricting. Now she heads the office that has defended the state against gerrymandering accusations. A federal trial is only weeks away.

Michigan gerrymandering trial on for February; court cites ‘profound’ bias

November 30, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Emails, election results are enough for three-judge federal panel to rule that a League of Women Voters lawsuit challenging Republican redistricting maps in Michigan can go to trial

Gerrymandered districts help Republicans keep control of Michigan Legislature

November 8, 2018 | Mike Wilkinson, Joel Kurth

Michigan Democrats win big in statewide balloting Tuesday. But district lines drawn in 2011 helped the GOP maintain majorities in state House and Senate.

Lead levels drop in Michigan kids after Flint spike. But so does testing.

November 2, 2018 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

With map: After a one-year increase, blood lead levels are down again in Michigan. But is it because fewer people are getting tested now that the Flint water crisis has faded?

Detroit studying whether to shut water in underpopulated neighborhoods

October 24, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Rising costs, aging infrastructure: Are closing taps to abandoned blocks the answer? Detroit is amid a study to find out.

In Detroit, surviving without running water has become a way of life

October 24, 2018 | Joel Kurth

New records show more than 1,500 occupied homes never had water restored this year after disconnections for nonpayment. That’s at least 1 in 10 shutoffs this year from Detroit’s aggressive collections.

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