Ted Roelofs

Ted Roelofs of Kentwood, has been a general assignment reporter at Bridge since 2012 and has written extensively on health care in that time as well as prison and juvenile justice reform. Roelofs spent nearly three decades at the Grand Rapids Press where he covered politics, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, rural poverty and mental illness among the homeless. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Reach Ted at ted.roelofs@gmail.com

Articles

Trump demonizes refugees. Biden wants more. Whose plan will Michigan back?

Trump demonizes refugees. Biden wants more. Whose plan will Michigan back?

September 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

President Trump has cut refugees and curtailed foreign guest workers. Joe Biden wants to restore higher admissions for people seeking to escape persecution in other countries. Michigan has a stake in which candidate prevails.

MI government removes bureaucratic mumbo jumbo from benefit renewal form

MI government removes bureaucratic mumbo jumbo from benefit renewal form

September 2, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announces simplified renewal forms for millions of residents who may need food or cash assistance or other state benefits.

Blacks far more likely to face felonies In Washtenaw County, report shows

Blacks far more likely to face felonies In Washtenaw County, report shows

August 27, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An Ann Arbor citizens group’s analysis of court records indicates that African Americans are far more likely to be charged with high-level felonies and, at least in one judge’s courtroom, more likely to face harsher punishment.

Michigan seniors mourn the closing of activity centers during coronavirus

Michigan seniors mourn the closing of activity centers during coronavirus

August 17, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

With hundreds of senior centers largely closed during the pandemic, virtual bingo has its limits. Some seniors indicate they’d rather chance contracting the virus than face an uncertain future filled with loneliness.

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

$5 million in federal grants not a lot to solve Michigan’s rural opioid crisis

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

One mental health official says the funds “won’t go very far at all,” as the state’s opioid overdose rates start to climb once again after the coronavirus outbreak hit Michigan in the spring.

Defund police or reform? What a city in Oregon can teach Michigan

Defund police or reform? What a city in Oregon can teach Michigan

August 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

In Eugene, thousands of 911 police calls involving the mentally ill are routed to a mobile crisis team that’s been on the road more than 30 years. That gives police more time and focus to handle violent crime for which they are better trained.

Getting Michiganders to take COVID-19 vaccine: ‘My trust just isn’t there’

Getting Michiganders to take COVID-19 vaccine: ‘My trust just isn’t there’

July 28, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Large numbers in the U.S., especially African Americans with an eye on history, say they’re wary of a COVID-19 vaccine. Public health leaders say much work is needed to develop public confidence in the safety of a vaccine.

As Michigan reopens, workers find that child care centers still closed

As Michigan reopens, workers find that child care centers still closed

July 21, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A recent study found that half of Michigan’s licensed child care centers and homes remain closed, a huge impediment to getting the state’s economy moving again. And access to child care was a big problem in the state even before the pandemic.

Huge drop in Michigan vaccinations scares experts during coronavirus

Huge drop in Michigan vaccinations scares experts during coronavirus

July 8, 2020 | Ted Roelofs, Ron French

Michigan vaccinations in May were down 46 percent, raising health concerns about the flu and other illnesses. More troubling: rates for children 9 to 18 were down 66 percent, casting doubt on whether they will be allowed to enroll in school in the fall.

Michigan hospital: Our coronavirus test gives results in minutes, not days

Michigan hospital: Our coronavirus test gives results in minutes, not days

July 6, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Researchers at Beaumont Health say they are using technology they first developed to detect the zika virus. The test, which has yet to win FDA approval, is reliable, inexpensive and easier to administer, researchers say.

Michigan prison reform faces hurdles from Democrats Whitmer and Nessel

Michigan prison reform faces hurdles from Democrats Whitmer and Nessel

June 30, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A group seeking to end mandatory minimum sentences is facing challenges from Michigan’s progressive governor and attorney general in it tries to get the issue on the November ballot. COVID-19 plays a pivotal role in the legal battle. 

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

Are Michigan gyms safe during coronavirus? A study in Norway suggests yes.

June 26, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A government study in May involving five indoor gyms in Oslo found that gym members practicing modest safety precautions did not increase the spread of COVID-19. Skeptics say they would like to see broader studies before accepting the findings.

Michigan auto, business groups pan Trump's halt on foreign workers

Michigan auto, business groups pan Trump's halt on foreign workers

June 23, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

President Trump’s suspension of visas during the coronavirus outbreak cuts off critical foreign supply, business and industry groups say. Backers of the order say it provides more openings for U.S. workers during an economic crisis.

As coronavirus drives remote learning, many Michigan students will suffer

As coronavirus drives remote learning, many Michigan students will suffer

June 23, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An analysis of K-12 schools found huge numbers of low-income students in rural and urban areas lack Internet access or the computers needed for online education. Without equal access, achievement gaps are likely to grow.

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

June 15, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs, Robin Erb

Michigan health officials finally announced the death toll for nursing homes and the results were sobering. Dozens of nursing homes had 20 deaths or more.

From couch potato to bike trails: a coronavirus silver lining in Michigan

From couch potato to bike trails: a coronavirus silver lining in Michigan

June 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Stir-crazy from quarantine, Michiganders are snapping up bicycles as fast as stores can stock them. Hunting and fishing license purchases are also up dramatically as residents find comfort and urgency in exploring more of the outdoors.

Michigan gives no coronavirus data on thousands of seniors and disabled

Michigan gives no coronavirus data on thousands of seniors and disabled

June 10, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

State health officials say they will finally reveal COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. But this leaves out tens of thousands of vulnerable residents at homes for the aged, adult foster care and unlicensed assisted-living facilities.

What police have learned, or not, about how to defuse mass protests

What police have learned, or not, about how to defuse mass protests

June 5, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Heated demonstrations against police violence, and police reaction to them, have created tense moments and fatal encounters between police and protesters. Here are some proven tactics for police to turn down the temperature.

What is my future? How Michigan teens and young adults deal with isolation

What is my future? How Michigan teens and young adults deal with isolation

June 3, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Experts expect a wave of mental health issues for adolescents and young adults following months of quarantine during the coronavirus crisis.

White cops in black communities underscore tension in Michigan protests

White cops in black communities underscore tension in Michigan protests

June 1, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Police departments in several Michigan cities have a lower share of African-American officers than the communities they serve, leading to some scars that have yet to heal. 

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