Rural Michigan

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

May 18, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Kelly House

Gretchen Whitmer announces bars, restaurants and other retail establishments in 32 northern Michigan counties can reopen with some restrictions on Friday. And she hints that she could announce this week that more areas can reopen.

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

Coronavirus has spared the Keweenaw Peninsula but may kill summer tourism

May 18, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Untouched until now by COVID-19, this Upper Peninsula tourist haven needs thousands of downstate visitors to keep its economy alive. The opening of restaurants and bars may not be enough to save many of its businesses.

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

With higher suicide risk during coronavirus, Michigan makes plans to help

May 5, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Mental health advocates highlight a rise in anxiety from the pandemic and economic disruption in Michigan, as experts devise ways to help health care workers and ordinary residents in an extraordinary time.

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

May 3, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Northern Michigan has more than half of the state’s land mass and 2 percent of its coronavirus cases. As Gov. Whitmer says she’ll take geography into account to reopen the economy, Bridge examines regional differences in cases, hospital capacity, testing and unemployment.

Opinion | Michigan’s rural communities, schools are being overlooked again

Opinion | Michigan’s rural communities, schools are being overlooked again

April 27, 2020 | Ellen Offen

What do our leaders think is going to happen in the years to come if our national response to COVID-19 is only to bail out big corporations while small towns in Michigan and across the country get a drop in the bucket?

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

Some in Michigan make more from unemployment than work during coronavirus

April 26, 2020 | Paula Gardner

Businesses in the northeast Lower Peninsula say some workers are not quite ready to return to their jobs, given the boost in income they receive from special federal and state funding during the pandemic lockdown.

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

Rural Michigan hospitals gutted by coronavirus, even those without cases

April 23, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A halt on elective surgeries cripples rural hospitals with few or no coronavirus patients.

Five counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula await arrival of coronavirus

Five counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula await arrival of coronavirus

April 21, 2020 | Ashley Wong

Some of Michigan’s most remote regions have so far been spared, at least in what’s been officially recorded. With a vast geography, few tests and even fewer hospital beds, they wait and hope for the best. 

In rural Michigan, teacher mourns coronavirus loss not counted in hospitals

In rural Michigan, teacher mourns coronavirus loss not counted in hospitals

April 12, 2020 | Ron French

The learning deficit that a Mayville third-grade teacher fears from her “kiddos” being out of classrooms for nearly six months is playing out across the state.

Opinion | In pandemic, a small Michigan hospital staff counts on each other

Opinion | In pandemic, a small Michigan hospital staff counts on each other

April 9, 2020 | Shelly Johnson, Jordan Sall

How a rural west Michigan hospital community leans on each other to weather the pandemic -- and finds itself lifted by the community.

Aging and isolated, rural northern Michigan braces for coronavirus

Aging and isolated, rural northern Michigan braces for coronavirus

March 24, 2020 | Kelly House

Alcona County has high rates of diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses and hardly a doctor in sight. Residents here are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, when it hits.

Rural Michigan hospitals say coronavirus crisis may soon force some to close

Rural Michigan hospitals say coronavirus crisis may soon force some to close

March 24, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Many small or rural hospitals were already struggling before COVID-19 forced them to halt the elective procedures that help pay the bills. They are looking largely toward the government to help them recover lost revenue.

Coronavirus shutdown could leave 1 in 4 jobless in northern Michigan

Coronavirus shutdown could leave 1 in 4 jobless in northern Michigan

March 23, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

 Already gearing for a recession, Michigan faces billions of dollars in lost wages and tens of thousands of job cuts. Using maps and charts, Bridge explains how the impact of the coronavirus shutdown will vary widely by industry and maps.

A Michigan school bus turns food truck during coronavirus school shutdown

A Michigan school bus turns food truck during coronavirus school shutdown

March 20, 2020 | Kelly House

In one sparsely populated, vast Northern Michigan school district, school buses are delivering meals to students who otherwise might go hungry amid a three-week shutdown of the state’s schools.

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

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

February 18, 2020 | Bob Campbell

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.  

Rural Michigan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: What about us?

Rural Michigan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: What about us?

January 30, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Beset with common but daunting problems, leaders in rural Michigan implore Michigan’s Democratic governor to create a Cabinet-level post to address their concerns.

Along Michigan-Ohio border, small-town Morenci is transformed by marijuana

Along Michigan-Ohio border, small-town Morenci is transformed by marijuana

January 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Once a frontier town dominated by agriculture, Morenci now finds itself on a new frontier, with the scent of pot wafting through its streets. Despite reluctance from “conservative farm folks,” most support the financial boost the industry has brought. 

Michigan county threatens to bulldoze Amish homes in poop dispute

Michigan county threatens to bulldoze Amish homes in poop dispute

January 15, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

An Amish community, with help from the ACLU, argues that Lenawee County is violating its religious freedom by demanding it stop using outhouses and spreading human waste in fields. Local residents are backing the Amish. 

Michigan Republican pushes to deregulate health care. Some hospitals call foul.

Michigan Republican pushes to deregulate health care. Some hospitals call foul.

January 8, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

A GOP legislative package would remove barriers to small rural hospitals expanding or offering some of the same services as larger hospitals in the region. Both sides say their vision would lower costs. 

Old motels, campsites and shelters fill housing void in northwest Michigan

Old motels, campsites and shelters fill housing void in northwest Michigan

December 16, 2019 | Anna Clark

Even middle-income workers are now priced out of safe, affordable homes in Michigan’s resort region. Housing stock has declined for all but the affluent, leaving high school students to fill the construction breach.

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