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Investigative

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

I met Kyla James in her front yard on a hot day in the middle of a global pandemic. She sat in a chair in the shade of a tall tree, legs folded underneath her.

It had been almost three months since her former student – the one with the beautiful smile and the crazy good computer skills – was killed. Three months of knowing her coworkers were the ones responsible, that all of her former students had been traumatized by it.

She always knew Lakeside had problems. She thought she was helping make it better. Then she saw the report from the state documenting what happened. She learned about the years of violations at Lakeside.

“Even for someone working there, even seeing what I did in being there every day, it was still stunning,” James says. “It was stunning.”

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Dr. Robert E. Anderson was a physician at the University of Michigan from the late 1960s to early 2000s. Hundreds have accused him of sexually abusing them in the time period. The doctor is not here to answer for his actions. Most—but not all—of the people accused of enabling him are gone too. What, then, does justice look like?

The following interview is featured in this story by Anna Clark about those survivors, his enablers, and the institution that is finally facing a reckoning.

he University of Michigan has received nearly 400 complaints against Dr. Robert E. Anderson.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Let’s begin with the people whose names we don’t know.

The hockey player on scholarship who picked the University of Michigan over other Division I programs because it was his favorite and first choice.

The wrestler who grew up in a large family in a blue-collar neighborhood, where a university coach sat on the couch of his parents’ home and promised the team would take care of their son.

Martin Philbert
University of the Western Cape

Emily Renda’s ex-boyfriend was stalking her. It was 2012, and as a 28-year-old with a master’s degree in public health, she’d recently started a job she loved: working as a global health and student life coordinator at her alma mater, the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

Jan-Michael Stump / Traverse City Record-Eagle

This story is a Traverse City Record-Eagle data reporting project.

Political tension surrounding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home Stay Safe order boiled over during protests in Michigan’s capitol this week.

But a Record-Eagle analysis of anonymized cellphone tracking data indicates politics may have influenced Michiganders’ travel habits for weeks.

A drawing done by one of the young girls during a police examination.
Courtesy Rob and Crystal Barrett


Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Two weeks after she was sexually assaulted in April 2018, a Michigan State University graduate student got an email from a stranger.

cash bail
Adobe Stock

The Michigan Supreme Court has launched a pilot project to test a program called Public Safety Assessment or PSA. It's a risk assessment tool using a predictive algorithm to help judges make pretrial decisions.

The pretrial period is the time between someone being arrested and tried. At pretrial hearings, judges quickly have to decide whether a defendant should spend that time in jail or out on bail. To make that decision, they have to determine whether that person is likely to not show up to court or commit a crime.

close up of two doors on a car  that say Detroit Police
Sean Davis / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, new reporting contradicts the city of Detroit’s claim that police response times are going down. Plus, advocates are cheering a law passed during lame duck that makes it easier for people experiencing homelessness to get state ID cards. 

Photo courtesy of Trinea Gonczar

Today on Stateside, we hear the first episode of Believed. It's a podcast series produced by Michigan Radio and NPR that explores how former sports doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused patients for more than 20 years. Plus, an interview with the series’ co-hosts, Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells and Lindsey Smith.

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

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.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

A letter signed by at least 120 victims of former sports doctor Larry Nassar demands that Michigan State University's governing board remove interim school president John Engler.  

The women and girls issued a statement Tuesday, days before the board of trustees' next meeting.

Michigan Truth Squad: Koch brothers group attacks Gretchen Whitmer’s tax votes

May 31, 2018
Gretchen Whitmer
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Americans For Prosperity, a national conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers, has bought an online-only ad targeting Gretchen Whitmer’s Michigan gubernatorial campaign, claiming she has supported tax increases that hurt the state.

Turns out, Whitmer, a leading Democratic candidate, doesn’t seem to mind.

A graph shows that Black people have accounted for roughly 20% of the population of Grand Rapids for the last 5 years, while they've accounted for about 40% of the traffic stops.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

 


A year ago, the City of Grand Rapids released a study showing that black drivers are twice as likely to get pulled over as white drivers.

 

Since 2015, the most recent year considered by the study, the entire Grand Rapids Police Department underwent racial bias training. So we wondered, has anything improved for black drivers in Grand Rapids?

A chain-link fence and barbed wire
Max Pixel

 


Last year, a state prisoner complained of chest pain and difficulty breathing. According to a Detroit Free Press report, 37-year-old John Stein at the Cotton Correctional Facility at Jackson went to the prison healthcare unit. A short time later, he was sent back to his cell. There, he collapsed and died.  

 

A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan Department of Corrections and a private company hired to handle inmate health care, Corizon Health. 

Michigan State University sign
Michigan State University

Michigan State University has named a former state Supreme Court justice, Robert Young, to be its general counsel as it continues to deal with the fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

The school's interim president, John Engler, announced Monday that Young will replace Kristine Zayko, who's been serving as acting general counsel.

Tony Webster / FLICKR, https://flic.kr/p/svANYW

Prosecutors are seeking a 14-year prison sentence for a Detroit-area man convicted of dealing diseased body parts for medical training.

Arthur Rathburn is returning to Detroit federal court on Monday, four months after he was convicted of fraud and shipping hazardous material.

 

The sale of human remains is unusual but mostly legal, especially when body parts are used for medical training. But Rathburn was accused of failing to disclose that the parts had tested positive for diseases.

Rachael Denhollander and her husband
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Update, Sept. 10, 2018:

Michigan State University has frozen the Healing Assistance Fund while a fraudulent claim is investigated. 

The university says it will reopen the fund when the investigation is complete, but when that will happen is unknown.

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.

Tommy Schuette
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

This month a lot of people in Jackson County were shocked by accusations that their sheriff, Steven Rand, is a “multi-faceted bigot.” 

That was among a number of complaints in a federal lawsuit filed against the sheriff.

The Sheriff has apologized for his comments, but yesterday the Jackson County Board called for his resignation and added that if he doesn’t resign, then the governor should remove him. 

How is Detroit Doing?

Dec 22, 2017
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

When traveling out of state, people from Michigan often are asked, “Hey, how’s Detroit doing?”

The largest municipal bankruptcy and the subsequent stories about Detroit’s revival have captured the curiosity of the rest of the nation and the world.

Detroit’s successes in its business districts, downtown and Midtown, get most of the attention. Every billionaire’s acquisition, every refurbished building, every taxpayer assisted development have contributed to the conclusion that Detroit is America’s “Comeback City.”

Detroit has the highest auto insurance costs in the nation. Depending on the survey, it costs somewhere between seven thousand and ten thousand dollars a year.

Indiana lottery counter in a convenience store
User: Indiana Public Media / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What does it take to obtain information about the Michigan Lottery? Specifically, the information about whether there are repeat winners — people cashing in on a lucky ticket over and over again at incredibly improbable odds?

That's the question a team of investigative journalists has been exploring for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Judy Gail Krasnow standing outside Jackson prison
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In the first half of the 1800s, the city of Jackson fought hard for the right to build the state's first prison. The horrific conditions that developed at the prison from its gritty early days are well documented by Judy Gail Krasnow in her book Jacktown: History and Hard Times at Michigan's First State Prison.
 

Krasnow gave Stateside's Lester Graham a tour of the prison. She explained how it got started and what it's like today. 

LBJ Presidential Library

News media around the world are talking about Detroit’s resurgence.

Politicians in the city and the state, such as Gov. Rick Snyder, hype its revitalization.

“New investments have helped fuel a rapid dramatic transformation of Detroit and today it’s America’s comeback city,” he said in a video.

But that’s only part of the story of Detroit.

In the city’s neighborhoods, many people are still struggling.

However, there was a plan released in the 1960s to help end racial discrimination in Detroit and the nation.

Detroit in July of 1967
Walter P. Reuther Library / Wayne State University

The violence in Detroit in the summer of 1967 destroyed large swaths of the city, mostly in black neighborhoods. It also energized the political ambitions of the city's African-American citizens.

The Shrine of the Black Madonna, which opened a few months before the riots broke out, wanted to turn the black church into a political force in Detroit. Its founder Albert Cleage combined the church's history in civil rights activism with an emerging black nationalist movement.

As the nephew of the Shrine's first leader, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has a unique take on how the summer of 1967 changed the course of religious and political life for black people in Detroit. He also had a front-row seat to the chaos that broke out less than two blocks from his home.

Bill Goodman: "People during the uprising in 1967 were arrested en masse, huge numbers of people, hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of people were arrested."
Reuther Library

The mistreatment of African-Americans and Detroit's mostly white police force fueled the violence of July 1967. But black Detroiters didn't fare much better in the courts.

Bill Goodman was a young lawyer in the city during the uprising, when thousands of people were being arrested and held in cramped, unsanitary conditions.

When Isaiah "Ike" McKinnon was 14, he made the decision to become a Detroit police officer. Two years after joining the department, he was thrust into the city's 1967 rebellion.
Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

It was 1957 when 14-year-old Isaiah "Ike" McKinnon made the decision to become a Detroit police officer. It was a surprising decision given the beating he'd just suffered at the hands of the cops. But instead of turning against the police, McKinnon, who is African-American, decided to join them. 

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