Dustin Dwyer

As new development takes off, some find it harder to stay in Grand Rapids

Finding a home in Grand Rapids is becoming more difficult, especially for renters with low incomes. According to Zillow.com, the average cost of a rental unit in Grand Rapids rose almost 8 percent last year. That was the 11 th highest increase in the country , among the 200 largest cities. Even for those who can afford to rent, finding a place isn’t easy.

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Girls from low-income families often feel unprepared for puberty

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Gun violence can have a devastating impact on both individuals and society as a whole.

Trauma from gun injuries and homicides imposes heavy social and psychological burdens, and gun violence costs American taxpayers about $229 billion every year, according to Mother Jones.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

For more on this, read our previous blog post.

The morning after the election, I reached out to a number of people I’ve interviewed in the past who are immigrants, or who work with immigrants.


It’s fair to say there was shock, some in mourning. Some worried for the future. One mother wanted to know how she can set up guardianship for her kids in case she’s deported. She’s been in the U.S. since she was a child. She now has legal status through the Obama administration’s deferred action program. But Trump has promised to end that program.


Lots of people who previously felt safe now don’t.


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If you were to ask a group of parents today if they agree with the idea of spanking their kids, you would probably get a mixed response. The issue of spanking remains widely debated, despite growing evidence that shows physical discipline can pose serious risks to kids.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Donald Trump made a lot of campaign promises on his long path toward the presidency. But one of his signature issues from the very beginning was immigration. Trump has said repeatedly he plans to deport every one of the estimated 11 million people living without papers in the United States. 

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Nearly 2 million kids in the U.S. -- 3.4% of all K-12 students -- were home-schooled in 2012, according to a new report from National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Parents choose to break away from the traditional school system for a variety of reasons.

U.S. Department of Education / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

America's K-12 classrooms are more racially diverse than ever. The number of students who identify as minorities outnumber white students for the first time, and experts project that by 2023, only 45% of K-12 students will be white.

crowd in front of stage
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

Our most recent State of Opportunity documentary focused on Detroiters whose personal experience with violence has inspired them to advocate for peace in their city.

We wanted to create a place for people from Detroit's neighborhoods and other Michigan Radio listeners to come together and talk about issues of racial equity and peace in the city. So, we teamed up with the folks at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion to put on an evening of stories and conversation at the Matrix Center in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood. 

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When I was a kid, one of the highlights of the school year was when a classmate would bring in cupcakes to celebrate their birthday.

That has changed with my own daughter. Her elementary school only allows healthy birthday treats or an appropriate alternative, like pencils or stickers.

baby feet
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The rate of babies born prematurely in the U.S. worsened for the first time in eight years, according to the latest March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card released this week.

a community garden
April Van Buren / Michigan Radio

On the corner of South Washington and Garden Street in Lansing, you'll find a brown sign with the words "Welcome to Fabulous Acres Neighborhood" painted in bright yellow letters.

The community is just south of where the Diamond Reo plant once turned out its cars and trucks. By January of 1980, the plant had been torn down.

But Fabulous Acres lives on.