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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.

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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Where to catch the biggest fish in Michigan

The state’s Master Angler program rewards those who catch the biggest everything, from bass to pike, crappie to walleye. But its database also rewards novice anglers.




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Monster fish finder

Use Bridge’s database of data from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to find where Michigan’s biggest fish are hooked. Plus, see a slideshow of monster fish submitted by readers.




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A different kind of house call: The doctor will see you now – remotely

Living far from a major hospital may not always be a hindrance to high-quality health care. Telemedicine can deliver healthcare to rural corners of Michigan, where a specialist may be hundreds of miles away.




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In rural Michigan, a doctor shortage promises to get worse

A shortage of primary care doctors is associated with worse health outcomes and higher death rates. What steps Michigan can take to close the doctor gap.




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MSU’s mission to train rural doctors

Since 1974, Michigan State University’s medical school has offered intensive training for rural primary care physicians




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Five years later, state parks Recreation Passport a financial success

Michigan’s state park system adapts to budget squeezes and changing values about the outdoors. But major costs kicked down the road.




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