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

Detroit shut off water to 11,800 homes this year. Most are still off.

August 19, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Records show 62 percent of Detroit residential shutoffs were without service as of Aug. 1. The vast majority had gone a week or more, contradicting claims that the city restores nearly all water within 48 hours.

How to get help with Detroit water payments and avoid shutoffs

August 19, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Every year, thousands of Detroit customers are disconnected for nonpayment. Many resources exist for help. Here is what is available.

Hey, CNN: Ask Democratic candidates these 6 Michigan policy questions

July 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth

From stagnant population to Great Lakes threats and lousy sewers, Michigan has extraordinary problems that require specific solutions. This is what we want the Democratic presidential hopefuls to address.

Thanks for making Detroit cool, artists. Here’s your eviction.

June 18, 2019 | Joel Kurth

As rising rents displace artists in Detroit, an ownership change and evictions at the onetime headquarters of the Grand River Creative Corridor sparks a debate about gentrification.

Down for so long, can Detroit remember how to include neighbors in growth?

June 3, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Detroit’s decline stripped neighborhood groups of power. As the city ascends, city hall manages most growth, fueling debate from Corktown to the city’s impoverished east side on the value of neighborhood voices.

Sheila Cockrel on Corktown’s transformation: ‘This is capitalism, baby’

June 3, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Former City Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel says she can’t disparage those in her neighborhood who are cashing in on peaking property values in the rising Detroit neighborhood.

Detroit serious about boosting census participation, Mayor Mike Duggan says

May 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Detroit is raising $3 million and plans to hire hundreds of workers to boost participation in the census, which provides $1,800 per person annually in federal funds.

Michigan leads nation in PFAS. It will lead cleanups, too, U.S. reps say

May 29, 2019 | Joel Kurth

A bipartisan group from Michigan’s congressional delegation vows to protect waterways in Michigan, push for PFAS standards and explore ways to keep Asian carp out of Lake Michigan.

She was born to fight – and did for 3 years without water in Detroit

May 14, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Fayette Coleman was tough as nails and endured an epic water shutoff. Now, activists wonder if that led to her death. Despite 100,000 shutoffs, no one knows because the issue is scarcely researched.

Michigan Republicans appeal gerrymandering ruling. What you need to know.

April 30, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle

Five questions and answers following Tuesday’s appeal of a bombshell federal court ruling ordering special elections in Michigan.

Michigan’s political districts illegally gerrymandered, court rules

April 25, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

A three-judge panel finds that 34 districts were drawn in 2011 to benefit Republicans and orders special elections in 2020.

 

It’s tax day, Michigan. Take this quiz or face an audit

April 15, 2019 | Joel Kurth

Okay, we totally lied about the audit. But it wouldn’t kill you to learn more about Michigan’s taxes and exemptions. Test your smarts with this quiz.

Detroit studies restoring passenger trains to Michigan Central Station

April 3, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Chastity Pratt

Report should wrap up this month to determine costs, logistics of resuming Amtrak service at the historic station that had become a symbol of Detroit’s decline.

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.

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