Prosecutors put a Michigan man in prison for life. Then they got him out.

February 20, 2020 | Anna Clark

Ramon Ward was released Thursday after serving 25 years for a double murder he didn’t commit. His exoneration followed a review by prosecutors, one of several steps the state is taking to right past wrongs.

Cherry closeup

Why Michigan cherry industry lost trade fight with Turkey, and its Plan B

February 18, 2020 | Bob Campbell in Economy

The U.S. International Trade Commission flatly rejected claims that Turkish imports hurt domestic dried tart cherry processors. But Michigan’s cherry industry has a new line of attack against imports.  


Frustrated by teacher shortages, Michigan educators offer their solutions

February 17, 2020 | Ron French in Talent & Education

Want to solve Michigan’s teacher shortage? A new report skips policymakers and asks the state’s teachers what they would do. More class support and financial incentives to new teachers would help, they say.

ballot box

Michigan ballots loaded with tax requests in primary GOP voters may skip

February 17, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

Michigan voters to decide 245 local ballot proposals in March, an unusually high number for a primary. The requests are prompting debate because Republican participation turnout may be low because President Trump faces token opposition.

water meter

Detroit wants to expand water help. Here’s how to avoid disconnections.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth in Michigan Health Watch

Detroit officials want to double the amount of help available for low-income customers facing water shutoffs. Most programs help those who aren't yet disconnected.

I hate to complain, but I haven’t had water in a year. A Detroit story.

February 17, 2020 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson in Michigan Health Watch

After two years of decline, Detroit water shutoffs jumped 44 percent last year, as the city stopped water to 1 in 9 homes. Most stayed off a month or more, and nearly 10,000 homes still don’t have service.

jail bars

Court: Much of Michigan sex offender registry not enforceable until fixed

February 14, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

The federal ruling puts pressure on the state Legislature to produce clearer rules that are fair to offenders on the list and stand up to constitutional scrutiny.

Kratom in jars

Michigan debates future of kratom, an herbal remedy linked to 9 state deaths

February 14, 2020 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

Made from a tree in Southeast Asia, kratom is promoted for pain relief and as an energy booster. Some say it helps kick opioid addiction. But health officials warn of another, more dangerous side.

Fact Squad | Gary Peters touts veterans work, bipartisan record in first ad

February 14, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

The first-term incumbent senator says he’s one of the most effective and most bipartisan legislators in Congress. A subjective claim? For sure. Fact Squad takes a look.

Amber DeLind with David Coulter

Bridge membership director honored for leadership by Oakland County

February 13, 2020 | Alexandra Schmidt in The Center for Michigan

Amber DeLind was recognized as one of Oakland County’s Elite 40 under 40 for her work helping spark policy changes in Michigan.

Andrew Brisbo

Pot businesses join Michigan GOP in opposing labor pacts with workers

February 12, 2020 | Riley Beggin in Michigan Government

A debate over marijuana industry rules made unlikely bedfellows of the state’s new marijuana industry and conservative politicians and business groups that had opposed recreational pot.


Sheriff’s plea on mentally ill prisoner reveals gap in Michigan treatment

February 12, 2020 | Ted Roelofs in Michigan Health Watch

An Upper Peninsula sheriff went to Facebook to get state help for a delusional man in his jail. His post highlights severe shortages in the state for violent or severely mentally ill people caught up in the criminal justice system.

Kathryn Dugal of the Center for Michigan

Wary of water safety, Michigan residents want stronger regulation

February 11, 2020 | Alexandra Schmidt in Michigan Environment Watch

Polling by The Center for Michigan of more than 3,100 residents shows broad support for increased regulations to protect waterways and heightened anxieties about their safety.