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.

Pit bulls versus everybody. Should they be banned?

In the aftermath of two grisly deaths, some cities defend laws restricting pit bulls, even as a bill in Lansing would strip local governments from being able to ban specific breeds.

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Young talent continues to flee Michigan

It's not as if Sarah Noffze dislikes Michigan. After all, she grew up in suburban Detroit, went to Michigan State University and served on the homecoming court. She remains loyal to her beloved Sparty. But as she neared graduation in 2014, the […]

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In reversal, rising death rates among middle-age whites in Michigan

A national study finds rising death rates for midlife whites without a college education, even as mortality rates for other groups fall. So it is in Michigan, with stress and poor health leading to drug and alcohol overdoses and suicide.

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Amid Flint’s water crisis, a quiet success story

Flint has seen roughly 30 percent of its blighted homes demolished since 2014, exceeding the city’s goals when it received federal funds to fight blight.

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Why Flint is planting clover, rather than grass, on vacant lots

Cities are turning to this perennial plant as a low-mow solution for maintaining abandoned or vacant properties.

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Improved smiles for some low-income Michigan children

Medicaid expansion and innovative programs are giving more low-income Michigan children a shot at healthy dental care. But access still lags in some rural and urban areas, and impoverished adults continue to suffer from lack of preventative care after years of uncertain funding.

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Effort to ban fluoride in drinking water makes little headway in Michigan

Concern over fluoride’s effect on the human body – and some anti-government sentiment – is forcing dentists and scientists to defend the longstanding practice of putting fluoride in water systems to improve dental health.

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Despite concussion fears, Michigan allows long hours of prep football hitting

The state is on the front lines of detecting head injuries. Yet Bridge found that Michigan allows high school football teams anywhere from four to six times as much full-contact hitting at practices as states like Ohio, Alabama and Texas.

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From high school football star to ‘a completely different person’

A lawsuit claims that youth football led to brain damage and the suicide at age 25 of an Upper Peninsula football player.

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Giving Michigan nurses more authority to prescribe drugs and treat patients

With new legislation on the horizon, advocates for expanded practice rights for highly trained nurses say the move would lower costs and improve access to health care, particularly in rural Michigan.

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Husband and wife, doctor and nurse, at odds over nurses’ roles

In this rural Upper Peninsula family, one doctor, one nurse practitioner and two opinions on giving some nurses more autonomy to treat patients.

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So a chicken walks into a bar: Michigan’s legal battle over urban farming

Should a law that protects rural farmers also allow urban farmers to raise goats in city neighborhoods?

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Women farmers, rising in the field

An interest in locally grown food is raising the profile of women farmers in Michigan, particularly on small-scale farms.

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Battle building over fish farming in Great Lakes

Supporters see a potential $1 billion industry for Michigan, while conservation and sport fishing groups cite the risks of pollution and disease.

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Oil and water: Searching for truth on the Mackinac pipeline

With 23 million gallons of oil and gas passing beneath the Straits of Mackinac each day, Bridge weighs the evidence on the safety of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline.

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Enbridge: Trust us to be safe

Enbridge Energy has historically kept inspection data about the Straits of Mackinac pipeline to itself.

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Algae bloom, the sequel, spells big trouble for Lake Erie

This year’s bloom promises to be bigger, slimier and more trouble for marine life than past years. While experts are calling for tougher regulation of industrial farming, the state says Michigan’s current conservation efforts are working.

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Voluntary measures haven’t stopped algae blooms in Gulf of Mexico

Fifteen years after landowners along the Mississippi River were asked to help reduce conditions for blooms, there has been no reduction in a marine dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. One expert suggests tougher regulation.

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