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 40 national and state journalism awards. You can reach Joel via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 586-306-4708.
March 21, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Ten days into an emergency effort to restore water to Detroit homes, several hundred residents still remain without water and activists wants Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to enlist the National Guard to help in the effort.
March 13, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Detroit has turned water back on to fewer than 100 homes despite a program that slashes reconnection fees to $25. City officials say they are racing to solve phone and contractor issues they blame for the delays.
March 9, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Detroit is offering to turn back on water for $25 to halt the spread of coronavirus, and for 30 days, the state of Michigan will pick up the tab for those who can’t afford it, Mayor Mike Duggan announced.
March 2, 2020 | Joel Kurth
One day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer denies a request for a health emergency in Detroit’s water shutoffs, activists again are seeking another one, saying that living without water could spread coronavirus.
February 26, 2020 | Joel Kurth
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.
February 19, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Citing a Bridge Magazine article, Sanders calls water shutoffs a ‘moral outrage.’ City officials say they want to expand relief efforts for thousands of impoverished residents with no running water.
February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Detroit officials want to double the amount of help available for low-income customers facing water shutoffs. Most programs help those who aren't yet disconnected.
After two years of decline, Detroit water shutoffs jumped 44 percent last year, as the city stopped water to 1 in 9 homes. Most stayed off a month or more, and nearly 10,000 homes still don’t have service.
With the Michigan primary just weeks away, Bridge Magazine is unveiling its 2020 Fact Guide to help frame the debate and separate rhetoric from facts.
February 10, 2020 | Joel Kurth
Michigan is often mischaracterized. Here are 50 facts about demographics, education, health care, the economy and government that shape the state.
Education funding in Michigan hasn’t kept up with other states, and lawmakers are trying a host of reforms to boost outcomes that, while improving, lag much of the nation.
Michigan has vastly improved access to state-funded preschool, but gaps remain. Should the state spend another $400 million to make its Great Start Readiness Program universal?
More Michigan graduates than ever have college degrees. But disinvestment in higher education has prompted skyrocketing tuition, leaving graduates with big debts.
In the past five years, total employment and personal income have grown by double-digits in Michigan, while poverty has plunged. But not all news is good.
The loss of 300,000 well-paying manufacturing jobs means that, even though, Michigan wages have climbed over the past few years, they’re still less than the nationwide average.
Like much of the Midwest, Michigan is more obese and less healthy than the rest of the nation. The state has terrific rates of insurance, immunization and primary care physicians, though, making the state’s overall health a bit of a puzzle.
Flint was a wake-up call about access to clean water. Since that crisis, numerous new threats have emerged to Michigan’s waterways, from PFAS to corporate extractions.
Even with new funding to pay for roads, Michigan’s infrastructure is aging rapidly. Solutions are not only expensive but politically divisive in an era of divided government.
More than $25 billion in tax breaks go to businesses and Michigan is considered the nation’s 12th most business-friendly tax state. And even though tax bills increase, the amount of money flowing into state coffers is restricted.
The average Michigan state government worker is a woman who makes $64,000 and works in either corrections or health and human services. That’s just one takeaway from a vast enterprise with a $60B budget.