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Ron French was a reporter at The Detroit News for 15 years before helping launch Bridge in 2011. He can be reached at rfrench@bridgemi.com . See more stories by him here.

Dual enrollment growing in popularity and frustration

Opportunities to take college courses while in high school vary widely across Michigan, but the credits earned aren’t always what students expect.

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Got polling fever? Five points for surviving until the election results tonight

Anxiety-inducing polls are driving Americans to the edge. One expert explains how today’s polls work – and don’t work – and how best to read them.




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How accurately have polls predicted the presidential race

Individual polls can vary to a maddening degree, but the average of final national polls tallied at the RealClearPolitics.com website has been fairly accurate in the past three presidential elections.




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Strangest. Election. Ever. Or how choosing a president sank from civics to reality TV

Demonic possession and lesbian farmers. Pickle jars and Tic Tacs. Bridge takes a walk of shame through the 2016 presidential campaign.




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For most students, the nurse won’t see you now

Michigan has fewer school nurses than almost any state. Some districts are getting creative to try to solve the problem.




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Little action in Lansing to increase college degrees

A sobering report recommends a half billion dollars to improve college access. Lansing responds with a yawn.




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How other states are getting college dropouts to drop back in

From financial incentives to colleges designed for dropouts, states are finding ways to help residents get their diplomas. Could these programs help Michigan?




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Michigan’s college dropout dilemma

Thousands of adults are just a few classes away from a degree. So why isn’t Michigan, so hungry for skilled workers, doing more to help them finish?




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Over 28? You’ll get no student aid from Michigan

Obsolete state policies favor financial aid for young students over the older, part-time students who are increasingly filling college campuses.




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How long will Flint’s water chief remain unpaid?

Flint hired a former brigadier general to oversee replacement of its lead pipes. The Mott Foundation gave Flint money for his salary. So why hasn’t Michael McDaniel been paid? The answer tells you all you need to know about the slow pace of Flint’s recovery.




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Mott president on Flint: ‘You hit rock bottom multiple times’

Ridgway White says he is buoyed by the amount of philanthropic money flowing in to address Flint’s water crisis. But the Mott president tells Bridge he sees graver challenges in improving the city’s longer-term economic trajectory.




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Beyond bottled water: Huge checks, slow progress test patience in Flint

Delivering pallets of water was the easy part. Now it gets messy, as various players jockey for position, balance competing interests and struggle with plans to repair the city and its people after a crisis like no other.




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Think America doesn’t give a damn about Flint? 15,000 donors disagree

15,000 donations have poured in to help Flint kids battling lead poisoning. One-dollar bills and five-figure checks arrive almost daily from schoolchildren and prison inmates, elderly widows and romance writers. Here are a few of their stories.




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The 3 biggest head-scratchers in Michigan education cost study

The report was supposed to be a big win for education reformers. But holes in the study may undermine efforts to increase school spending.




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Welcome to Pennsylvania, where cash-poor cities work together with state emergency managers.

In Part 2, Bridge shows how Pennsylvania and Ohio are taking a different approach to keeping their cities strong




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U.S. Education Secretary criticizes Legislature for inaction on DPS

The failure to come up with more than short-term fixes shows “a lack of concern for people,” says John B. King Jr., who urged a permanent resolution.




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Flint 101: In business schools and seminars, a tough grade for Snyder

Michigan’s CEO governor is the subject of case studies and forums in which the culture in his administration is being compared with oil spills and the Challenger explosion.




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For inspirational homeless student, graduation day

Ramone Williams completes his journey for a degree from Eastern Michigan University. Now he must find a job.




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