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.

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.

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Detroit banks on green infrastructure to rescue city from heavy rains

Severe storms have been a recurring disaster in basements across Detroit. The city’s drive to install rain gardens and other innovative infrastructure not only reduces flooding, but is far less expensive than adding more underground pipes.




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How to take wildlife photos like a boss this summer

Legendary outdoors writer Eric Sharp shows you how to capture that eagle, moose, or other wonder of nature without spending a fortune on camera gear.




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Threat of environmental injustice extends beyond Flint

Whether it’s lead paint in older homes, airborne pollutants from factories, or the everyday stress of life on the margins, poor and minority communities in Michigan too often bear the brunt of environmental peril.




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In an improving economy, Michigan workers’ part-time blues

Even as Michigan's unemployment rate falls below 5 percent, some 300,000 workers seeking full-time jobs are stuck with part-time paychecks.

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Mining’s last stand? A UP way of life is threatened

Michigan’s last two producing Upper Peninsula iron ore mines hang by a thread, as slumping ore prices cripple the industry.




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From Italy to the UP: A mining family album

The story of one immigrant family, common in this region, is four generations deep.




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Empathy, action, truth: How crisis communications might save Flint

Experts say the key to rebuilding trust is skilled crisis management, but that’s not happening in Flint, at least not yet.




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Signs of trouble at MDEQ, years before Flint lead crisis

A 2010 federal audit expressed concern about shortcuts Michigan’s drinking water safety program was taking to save money. An expert testifying before Congress today concludes from the audit that water safety regulation in Michigan is “more broken than we think.”




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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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