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 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 state and national 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 313-744-3749.

Articles

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.

Emails: Michigan Republicans brag that redistricting ‘protects incumbents’

October 13, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Some Republicans were ‘beyond pissed’ and ‘just hated’ proposed political districts that threatened their power, prompting wheeling and dealing to ensure favorable districts in 2011, new emails in federal gerrymandering suit claim.

Opinion | Gerrymandering has been ‘weaponized’ in Michigan

October 10, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Author David Daley has studied Michigan political districts and says expected Democratic gains only prove the power of gerrymandering in the state.

Michigan Republicans push ‘popular vote’ bills after trip to Hawaii

October 1, 2018 | Craig Mauger, Joel Kurth

A California group sponsored oceanfront trips to Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Weeks later came GOP bills to change how Michigan awards presidential votes. Lawmakers did not have to disclose the travel.

How a shadow Republican group gerrymandered Michigan – sparking a backlash

September 25, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Led by Michigan Chamber executives, the Michigan Redistricting Resource Institute paid $1 million to bolster GOP control of Lansing and the state’s congressional delegation even as state Democrats won just as many votes.

As elections loom, Bridge is changing its approach to Michigan Truth Squad

September 6, 2018 | David Zeman, Joel Kurth

Truth Squad is simplifying how its rates the accuracy of political ads and rhetoric, while making it easier to alert voters to statements that may be technically factual but misleading

Get to know Garlin Gilchrist II, Gretchen Whitmer's pick for Lt. Governor

August 19, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Garlin Gilchrist, 35, is not well known outside Detroit so it’s unclear how many votes he can inspire as candidate for Michigan's lt. governor under Gretchen Whitmer. He does bring smarts, national organizing skills and diversity.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan flexes clout, mostly scores with Dem wins

August 8, 2018 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey, Joel Kurth

The mayor got behind Gretchen Whitmer and targeted lawmakers who fought auto insurance reforms. But Duggan candidates had some big misses, too.

Truth Squad: Bill Schuette’s ‘push’ for 1,000 new Michigan cops

August 2, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Bill Schuette, the Michigan attorney general and Republican candidate for governor talks tough on crime. Does the public record back it up?

Republican Supreme Court justices have ties to Michigan gerrymandering group

July 31, 2018 | Joel Kurth, Riley Beggin

A campaign treasurer for Republican-backed justices is on the board of a dark-money group that helped finance the drawing of GOP-friendly legislative districts, federal records show. The justices say they didn’t know.

Democrats blast Michigan Chamber over gerrymandering emails

July 27, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Chamber president claims group had no knowledge of emails blasting Democrats. Emails reported by Bridge show a top chamber executive was involved in several emails about Dems.

Emails suggest Republicans gerrymandered Michigan to weaken ‘Dem garbage’

July 25, 2018 | Joel Kurth, Lindsay VanHulle

Emails involving Republican strategists and the Michigan Chamber emerge in a federal lawsuit. The messages suggest that helping GOP candidates was the central focus in redrawing legislative boundaries back in 2011.

Lawsuits, dirty tricks and an angry ex-wife: Is this Detroit’s ugliest election?

June 26, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Monique Baker McCormick’s 10-year campaign for Wayne County Commission is a primer on dirty political tricks. She’s learned well, but at what cost?

Is Detroit finally turning the corner?

June 19, 2018 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

Rising rents and tax breaks for developers revive Detroit gentrification fears. But city insiders also note easier access to loans and new business in some long-dormant neighborhoods.  

Poverty is Detroit’s biggest problem. Gentrification doesn’t come close.

June 19, 2018 | Joel Kurth

In a new book, scholar Alan Mallach argues Detroit should welcome newcomers and spend more money training workers and less money building stadiums.

Is your Detroit neighborhood primed for a rebound? (interactive map)

June 19, 2018 | Joel Kurth

Nearly 10,000 blocks of Detroit have been studied to determine whether home values are likely to surge, or are too far gone. How does yours fare?

Flint, Islam and fixing the damn roads. Your Michigan governor debate recap

May 31, 2018 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin, Joel Kurth

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley defends response to Flint. Attorney General Bill Schuette doesn’t like Jennifer Granholm. And religious animosity remains between Patrick Colbeck and Abdul El-Sayed.

Pages