Grand Rapids

How high is rent in six Michigan cities?

Finance guidelines say housing should not cost more than 30 percent of household income. But in 2013, thousands of Michigan rental households fall below that standard.   Michigan Two-bedroom fair market rental: $768 Hourly wages needed to afford two-bedroom fair market rental: […]

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Warehouse lofts in Grand Rapids fill fast due to affordable housing program

For years, the massive century-old brick furniture warehouse stood vacant in Grand Rapids as one developer after another took a pass. Thanks to a federal tax credit program, Baker Lofts opened for business earlier this year and is filled with dozens of […]

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New reports ID five housing ‘hot spots’ in Michigan

Michigan’s housing stock is thinning, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which pegged the state as one of only two with fewer housing units in 2012 than in 2010. Neighboring Illinois is the other. But the state of housing is far from […]

Read Kurt Metzger's article

A quick beginner’s guide to the world of Michigan craft beers

It’s hard to beat a refreshing beer on a warm summer day — and in Michigan these days, beer drinkers are seeing ever more options to quench their thirst thanks to the surge of craft brewing. In fact, for over half a […]

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Uninsured watch anxiously as Medicaid debate rolls on

Greg Hunt does not consider himself a gambler. But, in the back of his mind, the 25-year-old Kent County resident knows he is one health crisis removed from thousands of dollars in medical bills he can’t pay.  Given that he has Addison’s […]

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Grand Rapids races ahead of state on teacher evaluations

The old system of evaluating a teacher’s performance – a principal observing in a classroom – was not particularly effective, school administrators and teacher union leaders agree. The challenge is in coming up with a better system. A committee of education experts […]

Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

Best, worst of Michigan communities’ fiscal ratings

David Hollister knows a bit about how public budgets work. He served as mayor of Lansing for a decade. Before that, he served two decades in the Michigan House, representing Lansing. And he says, “We need to recalculate how urban centers are […]

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New rankings find fiscal troubles for city halls across Michigan

While the financial problems of Detroit have captured the headlines this spring, a new analysis released today on government finance finds that dozens of Michigan communities may be on a course for crisis. According to Munetrix, a Web-based data consultant in Auburn […]

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Volunteers offer short-term foster care for families in crisis

Nothing matters more to Stephanie Murphy than her girls. So when the single Holland mother of three had a medical crisis in 2011, she felt backed into a corner. Her oldest, Alexis Borgman, then 13, could stay with her father, who had […]

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Land O Links

*Two Michigan suburbs are ranked in the top 10 nationally for offering the best in the way of suburban life. Hint: One is in metro Grand Rapids and one is in metro Detroit. Click through to see if your guess was right. […]

Read Derek Melot's article

Let the river run: Dam removal accelerates in Michigan

Michigan may be the Great Lakes State, but its 36,000 miles of rivers are becoming popular commodities for cities looking to revitalize downtowns, attract visitors and lure new businesses. A growing number of communities across the state — large and small, urban […]

Read Jeff Alexander's article

In Michigan, small things add up to life writ large

Michiganders lament the brain drain that sees some of our best and brightest young people fleeing the state for supposedly bigger and better things on the coasts and in major cities. I was one of those young people (though I am dubious […]

Read Conor Dugan's article

Gun shop finds itself a frequent target – of theft

When Felix Pytlinske opened his West Olive shop the morning of Jan. 12, he found it had happened again. The metal gate separating the handgun room from the rest of his shop had been pried open. Thirty handguns and two long guns […]

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Violence hasn’t disturbed guns’ role in state culture

Rodrick Dantzler fired the first shot before 2:30 p.m. on a Thursday — July 7, 2011. Minutes later, his mother phoned Grand Rapids police to report her son had called and told her he had killed his wife. Had that been his […]

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ID gap makes streets meaner for ex-cons

GRAND RAPIDS — Jeff Lowery figured it was going to be a tough road as he left state prison in late February, hoping to find work and housing. But without proper identification, he feared it would be impossible: “There is nothing you […]

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Land O Links

* The complaint that lawmakers don’t even read all the bills that pass over their desks is as hoary as it is true. Well, the Tennessee House of Representatives has taken action to perhaps ease the problem. No member can file more […]

Read Derek Melot's article

What’s up, who’s down in state economy?

While the Holland area may be better known to outsiders for its Dutch heritage and pristine Lake Michigan beaches, the locals know its economy is driven by manufacturing. The area suffered as manufacturing output fell by a third during the Great Recession. […]

Read Rick Haglund's article

Leader of Grand Rapids homeless shelter keeps the focus on accountability

GRAND RAPIDS — A decade back, Stuart Ray was immersed in the business of fast foods as he presided over dozens of local Burger King franchises. Today, he’s immersed in the business of human salvation, as he guides a Grand Rapids homeless […]

Read Ted Roelofs's article

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