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Bridge Magazine

prison exterior
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

In April and May, Michigan prisons saw a wave of COVID-19 infections among inmates. Things simmered down in midsummer, but have spiked again recently with a large outbreak at the Muskegon Correctional Facility.

Throughout the pandemic, prisoners have raised concerns about how the Michigan Department of Corrections is responding to COVID-19 in the state's prisons. 

Joey Horan is a reporter with Outlier Media. In an investigation for Bridge Magazine, he found that once the virus enters a facility, prison officials rely heavily on punitive measures to control its spread.

Michigan’s Beaumont Health cancels merger with Ohio system, vague on why

May 29, 2020
beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Plans to merge Beaumont Health, Michigan’s largest hospital system, and Ohio-based Summa Health have ended — unrelated to financial losses from COVID-19, Beaumont said Friday morning.

Summa CEO Dr. Cliff Deveny said Beaumont surprised Summa officials last week, notifying Summa in phone calls and “official letters” that it was withdrawing from the planned merger.

Nearly killed by COVID-19, Michigan doctors, nurses return humbled, smarter

May 26, 2020
Anna Liza Casem, a Beaumont nurse, was on the front lines during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan when she too got sick.
Mandi Wright / Detroit free press

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel talks about plans to restart on-campus instruction in the fall. Plus, an epidemiologist's advice for navigating reopened public spaces.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

May 8, 2020
doctor holding hydroxychloroquine
baranq / Adobe Stock

Thousands of people are being recruited to participate in southeast Michigan clinical trials — touted as among the largest in the country — to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in the battle against COVID-19.

But since a 3,000-person Detroit trial was announced April 2, an increasing number of reports have shed doubt not only on the drug’s effectiveness, but also its safety. Some warn of potentially deadly changes to the heart’s rhythm — an alarming side effect so widespread the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of a closely-monitored hospital setting or clinical trial.

operating room with doctors
Courtesy Photo

By 7:30 Monday morning, Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund had scrubbed in for surgery for the first time since March 16.

A spine surgeon at Beaumont Health’s Royal Oak hospital, Fischgrund spent the next hour or so repairing the patient’s ruptured disc. In March, the disc caused tolerable discomfort, but over the next six weeks it had worsened, the surgeon said, to excruciating pain so bad that it would necessitate potentially addictive opioids.

The patient’s wrists were weakening, too, a result of compressed nerves.

Retired surgeon Dr. Robert Bartlett
Courtesy of Michigan Medicine

In the fight to save lives against the coronavirus, Michigan doctors are turning to a last-resort machine — one that offers hope when a ventilator isn’t enough.

“It doesn’t treat the patient, but it buys time,” said Dr. Robert Bartlett, a retired University of Michigan surgeon and researcher who helped pioneer the technology.

Why Michigan hospitals are laying off workers as they battle coronavirus

Apr 22, 2020
beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The coronavirus pandemic has tanked large sectors of Michigan’s economy, leaving more than a million people jobless, including workers in restaurants, entertainment, travel and government.

Across parts of the country, healthcare systems have seen their staff, equipment and physical space stretched beyond capacity to care for an influx of COVID-19 patients. Some have called on retired doctors and reassigned doctors and nurses from other specialties to help with the surge.

Michigan needs big boost in coronavirus testing to reopen economy

Apr 22, 2020
testing swab
Shutterstock image

Michigan plans to begin reopening its economy in 10 days. To do so safely, public health experts agree widespread testing for the coronavirus is key.

But with chronic shortages of testing supplies, and no solutions on the near horizon, the state is not close to meeting testing benchmarks experts have set, making it difficult to predict which parts of the economy can safely reopen, and when.

MSU nursing student trades class time for 12-hour shifts on coronavirus ICU

Apr 20, 2020

The first thing Johnny Choi noticed when he walked into the coronavirus intensive care unit was the sea of ventilators.

The Michigan State University nursing student had just been pulled from a twice-monthly externship helping with victims of head injuries and strokes at Ascension Providence Hospital in Novi to a full-time position as a support nurse in the COVID-19 unit.

Wearing scrubs and masks that dig deep ridges on their cheeks, working all day and all night tending to the sick in this global coronavirus pandemic, health care workers have been called to become our heroes.

Putting their own health and safety at risk, they work under unimaginable pressure, saving lives, offering comfort and carrying the grief over those who couldn’t be saved.

PFAS clean-up costs are increasing. Michigan taxpayers may have to foot the bill.

Nov 18, 2019
Terry and Tom Hula exit a shed that contains a 1,500-gallon water tank on their property in Belmont.
Steve Jessmore / Bridge Magazine

Terry Hula loves Christmas. So much so, she and her husband, Tom, bought a home 28 years ago that was surrounded by a Christmas tree farm.

Here are the winners and the losers in Michigan’s new budget

Oct 4, 2019
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Radio

After months of negotiations, twists, stalemates and unprecedented moves, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer finalized the state budget this week just in time to avoid the first government shutdown in a decade.

Bridge: Climate change drives shifts between high, low Great Lakes water levels

Jul 23, 2019

The North American Great Lakes contain about one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water. In May, new high water level records were set on Lakes Erie and Superior, and there has been widespread flooding across Lake Ontario for the second time in three years. These events coincide with persistent precipitation and severe flooding across much of central North America.

Bridge: Republican ideas to fund Michigan road repairs taking shape over summer

Jul 17, 2019
Potholes on a road in Ann Arbor.
Daniel Hensel / Michigan Radio

One Republican idea to help counties and larger cities in Michigan pay for local road repairs: allowing them to levy their own gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.

Bridge: Think it’s hot now? Michigan’s 90° days could quadruple in 20 years

Jul 16, 2019
Adobe Stock

All 83 counties in Michigan are getting hotter, and a report released Tuesday predicts it will only get worse, as the number of days with heat indexes over 90 degrees will quadruple in the next 20 years.

The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit science advocacy group, predicts extreme temperatures will soar nationwide if nothing is done to curb climate change.

Detroit skyline
Bridge Magazine

The eviction notice arrived last month at William Nunley’s modest two-story house in Detroit’s Fitzgerald neighborhood, one of the hottest real-estate markets in the city. He had lived in the house for three years with his wife and their three children and had hoped to buy it from their landlord.

Truth Squad | Bill Schuette goes low, accusing Whitmer of terror sympathy

Sep 12, 2018
YOUTUBE Video Still / Bill Schutte for Governer

The Michigan Republican Party and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette have attacked the Democratic team of governor candidate Gretchen Whitmer and lieutenant governor candidate Garlin Gilchrist II, saying the Democratic team wants to abolish ICE and “sympathizes with terrorists.”

Truth Squad rates the claims misleading.

Rising rents. Falling wages. Detroit’s poor face housing crisis.

Aug 21, 2018
Bridge Magazine

Clark Washington Jr. works 10 hours a day, five days a week driving a hi-lo on a shift that starts at 9 p.m.

He keeps his costs low, living with his 70-year-old father, and only has one major expense: his cell phone.

Trouble is, he makes entry-level wages, $9 an hour, and that makes it hard nowadays to find housing in Detroit, the poorest big city in the United States.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 


Emails have emerged in a federal lawsuit which suggest Michigan Republicans gerrymandered congressional districts despite years of claims the lines were drawn without political bias.

Journalists Joel Kurth and Lindsay VanHulle broke the story for Bridge Magazine. 

One email from a GOP staffer, according to the article, bragged about cramming “Dem garbage” into four southeast Michigan Congressional districts. In another, a longtime Michigan Chamber of Commerce executive predicts the maps will keep Republicans in power for years.

Screen showing Line 5 on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Has Governor Snyder's team partnered with Enbridge Energy in deciding the fate of Line 5?

That's the question explored in a joint investigation by Bridge Magazine and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.

gretchen whitmer twitter post on college affordability
Twitter

 

Michigan Radio is partnering with Bridge Magazine's Truth Squad project this year, as we have for each election year during the past eight years, to fact check political claims.

This time, we're looking at gubernatorial candidates.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

As Michigan gets ready to vote for governor in November, Bridge Magazine is also preparing. They’re gearing up for the Truth Squad to keep candidates accountable.

John Bebow, president of the Center for Michigan, which publishes Bridge Magazine, joined Stateside to discuss what’s ahead for the journalism outfit.

Listen above for the entire conversation.

Are there two Detroits? A new report says yes, but…

Sep 13, 2017
Detroit skyline
City of Detroit

Turns out, there could be something to perceptions about “two Detroits” after all.

The Urban Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, issued a report Tuesday that concludes tax subsidies in Detroit have disproportionately favored downtown and Midtown.

Those areas received 57 percent of state, federal, and local tax subsidy investments from 2013 to 2015, even though they only contain 46 percent of the city’s 245,000 jobs, the report found.

Pre school classroom
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For working parents with young children, child care is not a luxury. It's a necessity. But for many low-income families in Michigan, it's out of reach.

Consider this: it costs around $10,000 a year to send a toddler to high-quality child care.

That is almost as much as it costs to send a kid to college at a public university.

What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis is now an important piece of the city's story and history.

It will affect the city and its residents for decades to come.  

Michigan Radio and countless other local and national news outlets have reported various aspects of the crisis, from how it unfolded to how the crisis will affect the city's children as they grow into adults. And that reporting will continue into the foreseeable future, since Flint water is still not safe to drink, unfiltered.

Kurt Nagl

Imagine driving through a war zone in Iraq to report on the latest offensive against ISIS. As you nervously head toward the frontlines, you turn the car's radio dial and suddenly hear an Eminem song. That's exactly what happened to reporter Kurt Nagl. 

In his latest article for Bridge Magazine, Nagl tells the story of Michigander Noor Matti. Born in Iraq, Matti's family fled the country while he was still a child and made metro Detroit their home.