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Left Behind – rural Michigan’s dilemma

In rural areas across the state, residents endure higher poverty, serious health and social ills, and little hope for the future.

A graying population poses challenges for Up North counties

High up on Michigan’s Mitten, arthritis is creeping into the fingertips. Michigan leads the nation with the most counties with a median age over 50.

Read Nancy Derringer's article

Up North, isolation impedes health care for seniors

In far-flung rural Michigan, hardly anything is close by. It can be a problem for those in need of medical attention.




Read Nancy Derringer's article

Along Michigan’s back roads, thousands of homeless children

Brenda Greenhoe scours abandoned garages and backwoods lots in rural counties, bringing adrift children to school.




Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

A charter school for the rural poor closes

Is it better to keep low-income students together despite poor test scores? Or do they benefit from learning alongside middle-class children?




Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

Free speech goes begging in Grand Rapids

Across Michigan, communities are trying to craft restrictions on panhandling that don’t run afoul of First Amendment protections.




Read Ted Roelofs's article

Down and out in Lake County

Lake County competes for the unwanted title of Michigan’s poorest county. Like many rural areas across the state, Lake residents endure higher poverty, serious health and social ills, and little hope for the future.




Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

Living poor, in a county of wealth

Being poor is tough anywhere. But wanting for basics in Livingston County, the state’s most affluent, carries a different kind of sting.




Read Pat Shellenbarger's article

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