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

Staff Writer Nancy Derringer has been a writer, editor and teacher in Metro Detroit since 2005.

Half a world away from the Middle East, a reporter finds black gold

Some of the best journalism on Iraq’s oil industry comes out of a company based in Kalamazoo. That’s right.

Read more

In state with low reading scores, a West Michigan effort shows promise

Many of today’s kindergarteners may eventually have to repeat third grade if their reading skills fall short. In West Michigan, 100 school districts have joined forces to boost early reading. The goal: to pass every student to fourth grade.




Read more

Dewey defeats Truman 2.0, and why so many pollsters were blindsided by Trump

Polling is scientific – really. But its accuracy depends on skillful practices, which can be constrained by outside pressures like time and money.




Read more

State House bill takes partisanship out of some primaries

Why do we require local sheriffs, prosecutors and clerks to declare a party affiliation in the primaries? One U.P. representative lobbies to end this practice in a Bridge Q-and-A.




Read more

Why Flint’s lead pipe replacement costs so much, and moves so slowly

How do you replace an entire city’s aging underground infrastructure? One house at a time.




Read more

Will metro Detroit voters approve mass transit that most will not use?

Metro Detroit’s miserable public transit picture has a potential solution, requiring buy-in from those who use it and the businesses and communities that benefit from it. Whether voters will get on board remains an open question.




Read more

Study rips state for higher tuition, lack of support for higher ed

In a report released today, a public policy group says the legislature is underfunding its public universities at a critical time in a transforming economy.




Read more

How Grand Rapids is prepping for the next big storm

Michigan, like most states, will have to spend billions on aging water infrastructure. But cities like Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and even tiny Manistee are already dipping their toes into innovative projects to keep surging stormwater at bay.




Read more

Amid opioid crisis, few doctors use Michigan’s outdated drug monitoring tool

Michigan’s online system is supposed to detect physicians and patients who abuse prescription painkillers. But the current version is so slow most doctors don’t even bother. And a bill to update the system hardly seems a cure-all.




Read more

Northern Michigan counties vulnerable to HIV, hepatitis C outbreaks

Federal public health officials say 11 poor and rural Michigan counties share characteristics that make them ripe for illness, much of it stemming from drug abuse.




Read more

Bullets over Cleveland?

One Michigan entrepreneur, a purveyor of online sex toys, is selling bargain-priced bulletproof vests to folks attending the Republican National Convention this week.




Read more

Businesses gain from stable child care, but what are they doing about it?

Quality child care for low-income workers benefits families, but also the businesses that parents work for. Yet only a small fraction of businesses subsidize child care and the Michigan Chamber says it is not pushing to increase state funding.




Read more

State child-care program still reeling from claims of lax oversight

A federally funded program to help the poorest workers pay for child care used to serve 60,000 Michigan families, three times what it serves now. A 2008 audit exposed financial lapses, caregivers with criminal pasts, and possible fraud. The numbers have yet to recover.




Read more

Michigan’s low investment in child care costs state and poor children alike

Michigan has one of the most restrictive policies in the nation on giving low-income families access to subsidized child care. Yet research shows investing in high-quality care can put more parents back to work and improves the odds for vulnerable children.




Read more

Bridge book on Flint crisis offers lessons on government failure

“Poison on Tap,” the first book released on Flint’s lead-poisoning disaster, shows how a series of government missteps left children in this impoverished city with a lifetime of heartache. A portion of book sales will go to help those children.




Read more

Human trafficking fight plagued by bad data, as well as bad guys

Sex and labor trafficking are problems. But the state is left to create laws with no reliable data on the scope of problem in Michigan, or even a common understanding of what constitutes trafficking. Too often, Hollywood fills the vacuum.




Read more

In Battle Creek, a starving Cereal City

The “breakfast capital of the world” is having its lunch eaten by a fraying municipal infrastructure.




Read more

Not waiting for government, philanthropy steps up to help Flint

In an echo of Detroit’s “grand bargain,” 10 Michigan foundations, led by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, are combining to inject up to $125 million into Flint’s recovery.




Read more

Invest in non-partisan journalism.

Donate to The Center for Michigan. Find out why.