Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

November 19, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Tax requests increasingly are popping up in elections with low turnouts, such as March’s heavily Democratic presidential primary. Governments say it saves money. Foes say it’s anti-democratic.

Michigan transplant surgeon calls vaping damage to teen’s lungs 'evil'

November 12, 2019 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

As vaping illnesses climb, doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit perform a double lung transplant on young vaping victim — reportedly the first operation in the country as a result of vaping damage.

‘You just react’ — Hunter deaths shadow opening of Michigan firearms season

November 12, 2019 | Bob Campbell in Quality of Life

Last year, three hunters were killed in the opening days of deer firearms season, which begins Friday. As hunters return to Michigan’s woods, the shootings illustrate how quickly a human life can be lost.

Think your house is hard to unload? Try selling a prison.

November 12, 2019 | Anna Clark in Michigan Government

Prison closings can decimate towns that depend on the jobs. With 24 Michigan prisons and camps shuttered in the past 15 years, state and local officials are trying to think smarter about what’s next. 


Marquette girds for climate change in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz in Michigan Environment Watch

Marquette may become a destination as high heat and drought drive folks from southern communities more vulnerable to a shifting climate. But it still faces challenges — from intensifying rains to disease-carrying pests.

Old mines, perilous drains in Michigan’s Copper Country, which now eyes a fix

November 11, 2019 | Jim Malewitz in Michigan Environment Watch

Epic floods devastated Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. Foundations are now stepping in to fix a unique vulnerability: century-old drainage systems — built by mining companies — that sat neglected after mines shuttered and towns shrank.

As climate change threatens Midwest cultural identity, cities explore how to adapt

November 11, 2019 | Dan Gearino in Michigan Environment Watch

The spring floods were just the latest wake-up call as global warming raises the risks for everything from ice fishing to growing seasons.

Zaneta Adams

Opinion | The veteran population is changing. We must change with it

November 9, 2019 | Zaneta Adams in Guest Commentary

Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) is restructuring operations and expanding its reach amid a high suicide rate among young veterans and a rise in women who need service, the director writes in this Guest Commentary.

emergency room

Measures aim to end ‘surprise billing’ for Michigan medical patients

November 8, 2019 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

Think your ER visit is covered? Even savvy consumers fall victim to unannounced costs, especially in emergencies. Pending bills would cap some of those charges or give consumers the ability to opt out.  

Experts: Pay teachers more to curb Michigan’s long-term substitute ‘crisis’

November 7, 2019 | Jim Malewitz in The Center for Michigan

Long-term subs have spiked in recent years. Paying more could help solve the issue –  and so could stopping ‘talking about teachers as if they’re idiots,’ according to a panel of experts convened by Bridge.  

Michigan’s flu season turns deadly early, with some clinics short on vaccine

November 7, 2019 | Robin Erb in Michigan Health Watch

Michigan’s first reported flu death comes as county health departments in some parts of the state cancel or postpone clinics while they await a resupply.

No deal: Senate GOP rejects possible budget compromise

November 7, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting in Michigan Government

County sheriffs, small schools, local governments and other groups grappling with state funding cuts may have to wait several more weeks for Michigan leaders to resolve an ongoing budget dispute.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

November 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson in Michigan Government

An Oakland County man lost his property to foreclosure over an $8.41 tax debt. Oakland then sold the property for $24,500 and kept the profit. His lawyers want the high court to end this practice in Michigan.