Public Sector

Citizens cannot do their job of running their government if they don’t know what their public servants are doing. Bridge will take you beyond the political food fights into the policy decisions that affect everyday life.


Michigan maker of Hush Puppies called on its toxic past

November 9, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Residents in Kent County were exposed for decades to contaminated water, traced to waste dump belonging to Wolverine Worldwide. The Rockford company has struggled to explain its slow response.

What Wolverine knew: A timeline

November 9, 2017 | Bridge Staff

Wolverine World Wide claimed it didn’t learn until last year that its industrial dump site contained a dangerous chemical. Newly released documents contradict the company’s stance.

Water crisis hits Michigan suburbs. ‘We’ve been sounding alarms for years’

October 26, 2017 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

Aging infrastructure and delayed repairs are an increasing alarm in Michigan. More than $60 billion in fixes may be necessary.

Michigan keg law repealed. Lesson: Kegs are less harmful than booze.

October 26, 2017 | Lindsay VanHulle

A law intended to curb underage drinking at parties had the reverse effect, prompting enterprising teens to turn from beer to hard liquor.

How Michigan’s auto insurance premiums became the nation’s highest

October 24, 2017 | Chad Livengood, Mike Wilkinson

As Lansing debates auto industry reform, hospitals and insurance companies face off over how, or whether, to curb soaring medical costs from accidents.

Detroit isn’t the only city with outsized auto insurance rates

October 24, 2017 | Mike Wilkinson, Chad Livengood

The high rates in Detroit are creeping into the suburbs and beyond, and with them huge disparities between auto insurance bills in one city versus another.

Michigan gerrymandering petition on pace for ballot. Will state justices stop it?

October 19, 2017 | Ron French

The 300,000-plus registered voters may not be as important as seven state Supreme Court justices in determining if an independent commission should set political boundaries rather than politicians.

California holds clues to how a redistricting commission could change Michigan

October 19, 2017 | Ron French

More competitive races. More public input. But don’t look for a massive swing in electoral prospects.

After Las Vegas, Michigan GOP Reps are weighing action on deadly device

October 12, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

The state’s Republican House members have received strong backing from the NRA. Would their vote to ban so-called bump stocks imperil that support?

Where Michigan Delegation stands on NRA, bump stocks (slideshow)

October 12, 2017 | Bridge Staff

We asked the state’s 14-member House delegation about banning the device used in Las Vegas shooting. Here’s what they each told Bridge.

How much money Michigan would lose under Graham-Cassidy

September 26, 2017 | Ron French

Estimates range up to $8 billion-plus as Republicans prepare for one final shot at repealing Obamacare before a coming deadline.

Reefer madness in Michigan. Marijuana shops face hazy future.

September 19, 2017 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Cloud of confusion envelopes statewide industry. Michigan tells pot shops to close doors, while Detroit may open more.

Michigan has barely made any money off marijuana. That ends next year.

September 19, 2017 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

A 3 percent tax next year could allow dispensaries to operate legally and generate money for the state and cities that allow the pot shops.

Michigan medical marijuana 101: A primer.

September 19, 2017 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

There’s a lot of moving parts as the state moves to shore up the ‘wild west’ industry. Here’s what you need to know.

Betsy DeVos wants to rethink how colleges probe sexual assault. She may have a point.

September 12, 2017 | Ron French

Bridge investigations into assault cases at major Michigan universities reveal practices that should trouble both victims of sexual assault, and those who are accused.

Small-town Michigan high schools dump traditional football

September 7, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Rural Michigan high schools are turning to eight-player teams,  as thousands of young athletes across Michigan reject the troubled sport.

Michigan employers brace for challenges with end of DACA

September 7, 2017 | Lindsay VanHulle

Lawyers say impact of ending program for those whose parents entered U.S. illegally will be greater than most anticipate.

Michigan apologizes for screwing residents. Then fights like hell.

August 29, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

Whether it’s false fraud charges, poisoned water or abused prisoners, state government too often is not here to help.

Does your Michigan police force have Army surplus gear? (Check our database)

August 29, 2017 | Mike Wilkinson

Trump administration lifted ban on military weaponry for local police.

Now what? A familiar fear when disabled children turn 26.

August 24, 2017 | Ted Roelofs

The murder-suicide of a respected educator and his son serves as a rallying cry to some about the stresses that begin when special education ends.