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2022 Year in Review: Michigan stories you may have missed

Paulette Parker
Michigan Radio

A lot of big news happened this year across the state of Michigan. It may have been hard to keep up. We've rounded up some of the 2022's major stories.

Many rural towns have neglected drinking water systems for decades

The Village of Akron, Michigan is just one example of rural towns struggling to find money to maintain or replace aging drinking water systems.
J. Carl Ganter
Circle of Blue
The Village of Akron, Michigan is just one example of rural towns struggling to find money to maintain or replace aging drinking water systems.

While many of Michigan’s communities get water from the Great Lakes, many rural communities are too far away. They often rely on wells.

Akron’s experience is a common one in many areas of Michigan where shrinking populations, growing poverty, and diminished state and federal assistance have fueled a crisis of underfunded drinking water infrastructure. Those problems often are compounded by a lack of qualified staff to keep up with water system operations and little to no expertise in applying for grants and loans that could help bolster utility budgets.

It’s just one facet of a broader crisis of decrepit infrastructure in Michigan, the Great Lakes News Collaborative has found.

"Why is it up to us kids to save ourselves?": Oxford community joins nationwide March for Our Lives

Students, parents and community members marched in Oxford in June, many in orange Oxford strong T-shirts or blue ones that
said March For Our Lives.

Organizers say nearly 600 people showed up to the demonstration in Oxford.

There were an estimated 300 protests across the country, including ones in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Traverse City, and Port Huron.

The march was almost seven months after the shooting that killed four Oxford High School students and injured seven other people.

Detroiters facing unsafe conditions can withhold rent payments. Here’s how one woman put her rent money aside and got to keep it.

Many renters in Detroit are living in uninhabitable homes, according to a study from the University of Michigan. Moldy walls, water backed up in the basement, broken porch steps and a lack of hot water can make a home unsafe.

But renters do have options to get their landlord to fix the issues. Here’s how one Detroiter did it.

Michigan Radio consulted residents, lawyers, academics, and activists to round up what renters can do to protect themselves when building problems go unaddressed.

Study finds skyrocketing number of severely injured car-crash patients have lost care

A follow-up study has found that the number of severely injured car crash survivors in Michigan who've lost medical care has
skyrocketed, due to changes to the state's 2019 auto no-fault law.

In January, the first phase of a study by the Michigan Public Health Institute found 1,500 severely injured car crash patients had lost medically necessary care since last summer.

Now, the institute said, that number has more than quadrupled to 6,800. The study also found more than 4,000 workers in the care industry lost their jobs.

This Detroit neighborhood is using the community land trust model to help ensure affordable housing

Tasneem Joseph sits on the front porch of a yellow, two-story house on Detroit's west side, just down the street from the Detroit Muslim Center.

“This house has literally changed my life," said Joseph. "It's given me a haven for my children.”

Home for Joseph and her kids is the Indus Detroit Artist Residency, a house that was rehabbed by the Dream of Detroit community development organization, which operates out of the Muslim Center. It's one of the first homes the group moved into its newly formed Dream Community Land Trust.

Hundreds of people like former Red Wings player Vladimir Konstantinov losing home care after car crashes

A well-known figure to hockey fans is about to to join the hundreds of auto accident survivors adversely affected by Michigan's new auto insurance law.

Vladimir Konstantinov was severely injured in a car crash six days after he helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 1997. Since then, he has relied on Michigan's nationally-renowned system of care for auto accident victims, receiving 24/7 professional care in his home, along with therapies to help him regain physical and mental functions.

Vladimir Konstantinov was a ferocious hockey defenseman with a Stanley Cup under his belt and a bright future in the NHL. Then, a horrible car crash changed his life forever. For nearly 25 years, the extensive care he needs has been covered by Michigan's no-fault auto insurance. But soon, that care could disappear.

Paulette is a digital media reporter and producer for Michigan Public. She started as a newsroom intern at the station in 2014 and has taken on various roles in that time, including filling in as an on-air host.