Project Editor/Senior Writer Ron French joined Bridge in 2011 after having won more than 40 national and state journalism awards since he joined The Detroit News in 1995. French has a long track record of uncovering emerging issues and changing the public policy debate through his work. In 2006, he foretold the coming crisis in the auto industry in a special report detailing how worker health-care costs threatened to bankrupt General Motors. In 2007, French uncovered Michigan’s educator pension and health-care costs that are now at the center of policy debate in Lansing. He is also the author of “Driven Abroad,” a book chronicling the movement of Michigan jobs overseas. You can reach Ron via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 517-657-3501.
November 6, 2014 | Ron French
By all accounts, finding money to fix Michigan’s roads is a priority. But what after that? A school bill? Or something nuclear, like changing how we count presidential electoral votes?
With the state House perhaps up for grabs, uncertainty for tea party candidates and what could be a close race for governor, Lansing’s approach to road funding, education and other key issues is unsettled.
October 30, 2014 | Ron French
Incumbent Rick Snyder and challenger Mark Schauer differ on a lot of issues. Here’s a primer before you step into the voting booth.
October 21, 2014 | Ron French
Superintendent Mike Flanagan tells Bridge he is baffled by Michigan’s poor scores on national tests, has been slow to act on key reforms, and may have stayed in his job too long.
Students from Minnesota to Florida are learning more. Is Michigan ready to do something about it?
September 30, 2014 | Ron French
Emphasis on literacy and testing to monitor progress are credited with a rise in student learning in Florida, particularly for low-income and minority students. But some ask, how much is too much?
September 16, 2014 | Ron French
Minnesota traces its elite status to tough academic standards, the nation’s most extensive early childhood education program and higher investment in low-income schools.
September 12, 2014 | Ron French
A Bridge article revealing possible oil leasing under the virgin pines produced a backlash from environmental groups, and from the family that donated the land. The DNR says it may still allow drilling in other parts of the park.
August 7, 2014 | Ron French
The state may allow an oil lease under the largest stand of virgin white pine in the Lower Peninsula. Experts say drilling wouldn't harm trees. But critics fear a booming oil rig at Hartwick Pines State Park.
August 7, 2014 | Ron French
Revenue and jobs? Or undisturbed quiet? Make your voice heard on drilling proposals. Also, see if you live near a proposed drilling site.
July 31, 2014 | Ron French
Support from Republicans and Democrats. More than $8 million in spending. No organized opposition. Why is the public skeptical?
July 8, 2014 | Ron French
Cherries dumped in ditches? Polish imports? With the National Cherry Festival in full swing, one cherry producer is left with a sour taste.
June 12, 2014 | Ron French
More than 10,000 additional needy four year olds will likely find seats in public preschool next fall thanks to final legislative approval this week of Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to double the size of Michigan’s public preschool programs. This caps two years of work by local school districts, private preschool providers, and early childhood advocates to solve a major preschool shortage.
May 13, 2014 | Ron French
Like small communities across Michigan, Hillsdale is quietly laying off police, reducing services and watching its roads fall to pieces. And yet, there is support for state aid to Michigan’s largest city.