The beta version of our new website is now available. Switch to beta – you can come back to our original site at any time.

Jacob Wheeler lives in Leelanau County. He edits and publishes the Glen Arbor Sun and Betsie Current newspapers.

In Cheboygan, waiting for entrepreneurs to take a chance

The city’s downtown stores are shuttering. While some hope for a shift to a tourism-based economy, a port project is betting on new industry.

Read more

Are prostitutes lawbreakers or trafficking victims?

A human trafficking court in Washtenaw County is dispensing with assembly line prosecution of prostitutes. Instead, the court identifies whether women have been coerced into the sex trade, and offers them services to begin a new life.




Read more

What government owes Flint’s poisoned immigrant community

Latino immigrants, including some in the U.S. illegally, were among the last to know about lead in Flint’s water. What is the state’s duty to help hard-to-find residents?




Read more

One year later, undocumented immigrant children quietly settling in Michigan

The anti-immigration protests last summer in Vassar have given way to the more mundane process of placing nearly 200 unaccompanied minors with relatives or foster families. Michigan remains one of the nation’s most welcoming states.




Read more

Hispanic immigrants playing more critical role in Michigan’s farm economy

As residents flee rural areas in Michigan and across the country, Hispanic workers are becoming an even greater force in agricultural production. Nearly 3-in-10 Michigan farms are now owned by non-U.S. citizens.




Read more

New rules for fracking disclosure in Michigan

Proposed rules require more testing around drilling sites and disclosure of the chemicals used by energy companies. Environmentalists call the rules a step forward, but not nearly enough to protect Michigan waters and public health.




Read more

Tension on Au Sable and Manistee rivers

A conservation group squares off against Encana over frack drilling near a Michigan fly fishing haven.




Read more

Michigan’s fracking bonanza challenges state regulators

Michigan has seen explosive growth in hydraulic fracturing, bringing a mix of high-paying jobs and environmental and health concerns to rural communities.




Read more

Oil and gas is big business for Kalkaska County

Oil and gas field workers average $64,000 in Kalkaska County, a region where unemployment still tops 10 percent.




Read more

Fracking’s Hollywood problem

One indelible image related to hydraulic fracturing – that of a homeowner setting his own water on fire – has dogged the fracking industry since the release of “Gasland,” a documentary.




Read more

A divisive practice’s pros and cons

Fracking’s economic benefits are weighed against the potential risks to Michigan’s environment and public health.




Read more

Downhill run for Sugar Loaf: Property decays and owners dither

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.




Read more

Community groups try, and fail, to reopen Sugar Loaf

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




Read more

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

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.




Read more

Traverse City splits over festival fatigue

On a cold night in mid-December, Front Street in Traverse City resembles a university town on football game day. It is Men’s Night, an annual pre-Christmas shopping event when downtown stores stay open late, serve alcohol and appetizers, and entice young men […]

Read more

Michael Moore: Traverse City and the Next Cool Thing

Bridge recently asked Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, founder of the nonprofit Traverse City Film Festival, to talk about the city’s thriving arts scene, some local complaints of festival fatigue, and what the region needs next. Bridge Magazine: When you look around Traverse […]

Read more

Sleeping Bear goes from ‘most beautiful’ to ‘most crowded’

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was honored by Good Morning America as the “Most beautiful place in America” in the fall of 2011. The results for nearby Glen Arbor that autumn and the following summer were striking, as both the village […]

Read more

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.