Quality of Life

Michigan is a great place to live. Bridge will report that fact often — and on potential threats to the assets that make it so.


In rural Michigan, a doctor shortage promises to get worse

July 21, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

A shortage of primary care doctors is associated with worse health outcomes and higher death rates. What steps Michigan can take to close the doctor gap.

MSU’s mission to train rural doctors

July 21, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

Since 1974, Michigan State University's medical school has offered intensive training for rural primary care physicians

Five years later, state parks Recreation Passport a financial success

July 16, 2015 | Ted Roelofs

Michigan's state park system adapts to budget squeezes and changing values about the outdoors. But major costs kicked down the road.

Dreaming big: A walking trail spanning Michigan’s vast coastline

April 21, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Could Michigan’s coast tracing the Mitten and Upper Peninsula be the centerpiece of a Great Lakes walking trail? At more than 10,000 miles, a proposed Great Lakes trail would be the world’s longest.

A graying population poses challenges for Up North counties

March 12, 2015 | Nancy Derringer

High up on Michigan’s Mitten, arthritis is creeping into the fingertips. Michigan leads the nation with the most counties with a median age over 50.

Cringe over troubled water - Flint’s smelly dilemma

January 29, 2015 | Chastity Pratt Dawsey

Flint calls on the state to clear up the city’s low-quality drinking water. Who is responsible for the city’s water problems?

DNR yields to public and will not allow drilling under prized land at Hartwick Pines

September 12, 2014 | Ron French

A Bridge article revealing possible oil leasing under the virgin pines produced a backlash from environmental groups, and from the family that donated the land. The DNR says it may still allow drilling in other parts of the park.

Oil lease proposed under 400-year-old virgin pines

August 7, 2014 | Ron French

The state may allow an oil lease under the largest stand of virgin white pine in the Lower Peninsula. Experts say drilling wouldn't harm trees. But critics fear a booming oil rig at Hartwick Pines State Park.

How to comment on possible oil drilling under Hartwick Pines State Park

August 7, 2014 | Ron French

Revenue and jobs? Or undisturbed quiet? Make your voice heard on drilling proposals. Also, see if you live near a proposed drilling site.

The fish that got away

June 5, 2014 | Eric Sharp

Have plankton-devouring Asian carp finally reached the Great Lakes? After years of trying to block the invasion, the answer is: Nobody knows. Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it needs another $18 billion to cut the carp’s march up the Mississippi.

Asian carp, from mouth to tail

June 5, 2014 | Eric Sharp

Where they come from, what they do, and how they threaten the ecosystem of the Great Lakes.

Hunting for Asian carp by what they left behind

June 5, 2014 | Eric Sharp

A new form of DNA allows scientists pick up the trail of the invasive species from the slime or waste detected in water samples.

For-profits gobbling up community hospitals in Michigan

March 18, 2014 | Julie Edgar

Nonprofit community hospitals, once a backbone of civic life, are increasingly selling out as health care changes make survival difficult. For-profits bring infusions of cash to hospitals and communities, but also concerns about costs.

Michigan hospitals – Who owns what

March 18, 2014 | Julie Edgar

Keeping a tally of the changing hospital landscape in Michigan: At least a dozen community hospitals in Michigan have been purchased since 2010 by larger health systems

Hospital consolidations tend to raise prices, change priorities, studies find

March 18, 2014 | Julie Edgar

Competition among hospitals tends to keep medical prices down. Other studies find that for-profit hospitals tend to invest more in services that make more money.

Downhill run for Sugar Loaf: Property decays and owners dither

February 26, 2014 | Jacob Wheeler

Since its closing in 2000, the iconic Leelanau ski resort has been a case study on how to turn a magnificent property into a rotting, unsellable eyesore.

Community groups try, and fail, to reopen Sugar Loaf

February 26, 2014 | Jacob Wheeler

Hearts are in the right place, but missteps dog efforts to sell the scenic resort.

How to run a profitable ski resort? Think summer, too

February 26, 2014 | Jacob Wheeler

A beautiful mountain is no longer enough to keep a ski resort in business in Michigan. Successful resorts include facilities and attractions to keep tourists coming year-round.