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


Michiganders say emergency managers wield too much power

March 21, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

With Flint on their minds, state residents are overwhelmingly opposed to Michigan’s divisive emergency manager law and want the state should work more collaboratively with locally elected officials.  

Abused as a small boy. Now what?

March 14, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

A new statewide program aims to intervene with children exposed to drugs or violence to help them become healthy, capable adults

State Commission: Consider abolishing Board of Education

March 9, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

An education commission created by Gov. Rick Snyder has concluded that one way to reverse the slide of public schools is to give the governor’s office more control over education policy. Other recommended reforms would require significant state money.

On Michigan farms and in restaurants, who will fill the jobs?

February 28, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Fruit and vegetable growers across the state say immigration crackdowns will scare away seasonal workers, with few Americans eager to fill in.

Trump’s travel ban could spark crisis in state’s doctor shortage, healthcare leaders say

February 16, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Foreign-born doctors play a huge role in underserved areas of Michigan, particularly among the state’s rural and urban poor. The president’s immigration policies are causing many to reconsider their future in Michigan.

Broken: The human toll of Michigan's unemployment fraud saga

February 7, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Even with settlement of a federal lawsuit, thousands of Michigan workers accused of unemployment insurance fraud await justice

In bid to eliminate state income tax, fears of another Kansas

January 31, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan Republican lawmakers propose eliminating a $9 billion source of revenue, the state income tax. Bridge dives into the numbers to see how that revenue would be replaced, if it is replaced.

From lawmaker to lobbyist. Should the state slow down the revolving door?

January 18, 2017 | Craig Mauger, Ted Roelofs

Most states have a “cooling-off” period before a departing lawmaker can become a lobbyist. Not so in Michigan, where most who take the leap are lobbying their former colleagues within six months.

Revision to ‘Kevin’s Law’ means quicker treatment for the mentally ill

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

With about 300,000 Michigan adults with serious mental illness, the changes allow judges to order outpatient treatment more quickly, before a crisis 

At 17, living in a tent by the river

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Homeless off and on since he was 17, he’s slept in a van, stayed with relatives, in shelters, in abandoned buildings, and lately, in a tent in several spots along the Grand River.

Homeless student, meet volunteer family. Now, graduate.

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

An innovative program in Lenawee County has drawn national attention for getting every last homeless student through high school, with most advancing to post-secondary programs.

Fewer homeless veterans. More homeless children in state.

January 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

A 10-year plan to end homelessness in Michigan has failed families and children, even as the number of homeless veterans and people using shelters has fallen sharply.

We hope you enjoyed your stay at the county jail. Here’s your bill.

December 13, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan’s county jails charge inmates up to $50 per day for housing, fees that can saddle ex-offenders with five-figure debt loads.

The price of Michigan's cash bail system

November 15, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Critics say locking up criminal defendants before trial because they can’t post bond screws the poor while needlessly raising jail costs borne by taxpayers. Is there a better way?

Among rural Trump supporters, an America that has lost its way

October 18, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Voters in rural areas of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula say they have found their blunt savior in Donald Trump. Some are bracing for a fight if he loses

Young voters feel they’re ‘screwed either way’

October 6, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Among Michigan millennials, Clinton may be the favorite, but with heavy sighs over politics as usual.

Is college still worth the cost? Usually

September 15, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

In spite of rising tuition and loan debt, experts say a college degree still looks like a wise financial investment for most Michigan students, if they choose wisely.

Michigan prosecutors defying U.S. Supreme Court on ‘juvenile lifers’

August 25, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed states that only “rare” circumstances should keep juvenile offenders in prison for life. Despite this ruling, prosecutors across Michigan have filed petitions seeking to hold most juvenile lifers behind bars until they die

In prison for decades, one juvenile lifer’s quest for redemption

August 25, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Convicted of a Macomb County murder in 1992, Bosie Smith, now 41, has earned consistent praise for his leadership from prison staff and even a former warden

Missing in action: Michigan's primary voters

July 26, 2016 | Ted Roelofs

Dozens of state House primary races will likely shape both parties for years to come. And yet 4-in-5 voters are expected to stay home on Aug. 2