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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.


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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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.

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Mood of Michigan:

Among rural Trump supporters, an America that has lost its way

Voters in rural areas of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula say they have found their blunt savior in Donald Trump. Some are bracing for a fight if he loses.

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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.

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McPhail continues to lead Detroit charter school, faces more fines

Detroit Community Schools, run by former Detroit city attorney Sharon McPhail, faces $21k in monthly fines for continuing to employ her and another administrator who the state say lack proper certification as administrators. She has appealed.

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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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Michigan prosecutors defying U.S. Supreme Court on ‘juvenile lifers’

The U.S. Supreme Court has instructed states that only “rare” circumstances should keep juvenile offenders in prison for life. Despite this ruling, prosecutors across Michigan have filed petitions seeking to hold most juvenile lifers behind bars until they die.

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In prison for decades, one juvenile lifer’s quest for redemption

Convicted of a Macomb County murder in 1992, Bosie Smith, now 41, has earned consistent praise for his leadership from prison staff and even a former warden.

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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.

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Map: Addiction’s deadly trail

Michigan has not been left out of the opioid epidemic that has engulfed the nation in recent years.

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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.

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Map: Michigan counties share growing HIV risk

Eleven counties in rural northern Michigan are vulnerable to an HIV outbreak, according to the CDC

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How secret donors tried to shape Michigan’s next House GOP caucus

Mystery groups funded attacks against at least 7 GOP candidates for the state House before the recent primary. State campaign finance law makes it difficult to know who is funding these attacks.

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Politics meets facts on free-trade deals in Michigan

Expect plenty of anti-free-trade rhetoric this fall as the Clinton-Trump presidential campaign hits Michigan. But the economic record doesn’t quite match the rhetoric.

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The email trail of the latest workers charged in the Flint water crisis

Bridge Magazine culled its comprehensive timeline of the Flint lead-poisoning scandal for emails relating to the six state health and environmental workers charged Friday with criminal conduct.

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Missing in action: Michigan’s primary voters

Dozens of state House primary races will likely shape both parties for years to come. And yet 4-in-5 voters are expected to stay home on Aug. 2.

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Amid guns and violence and police shootings, a program that works

Operation Ceasefire, designed to get police and young people talking and taking responsibility, has shown results in cities across the nation. Kalamazoo is betting it can work there, too.

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