New NMU Board Appointments, Medicaid Review, Hiring Veterans, Child Care Coalition, and Facts From the World Around Us

Untitled design (90)


This Week in RI

On Wednesday we will be publishing an article by Michael and John Broadway taking a look at the degree to which flight delays in and out of Marquette have increased due to weather conditions, comparing data from the Bureau of Transportation. They also offer a solution to how we might remedy this. If you’ve ever traveled in and out of the Upper Peninsula, chances are you’ve experienced delays! Watch for this article on Wednesday.

New NMU Board Appointments

Governor Whitmer appointed three alumni to NMU’s Board of Trustees. Greg Toutant, Steve Lindberg and Bridgette LaPoint-Dunham. All three bring unique and different talents to the board. These three appointments bring the number of NMU alumni on the board to seven of the eight members of the board.

Rural Insights did a podcast interview with Trustee LaPoint-Dunham on December 1, 2021 where we discussed many issues related to her role as CEO of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. It is on our website, under the podcast tab. You can listen to it or read a transcript of the session. Worth your time–you will learn a lot about the newest member of NMU’s Board of Trustees.

Medicaid Review Could Hit Rural Areas Hard

Federal and state officials will begin on April 1st a review of Medicaid eligibility for individuals. “State analysts expect upwards of 400,000 people in Michigan will lose Medicaid coverage in the year after the review process begins.” (Ted Roelofs, Bridge Magazine, 2.2.23).

Many, many of those losing eligibility can be expected to live in rural areas. Questions being raised are where will those families in the 400,000 losing eligibility go for their health care? More to come on this.

Hiring Veterans

We have raised this before and have received lots of positive feedback on the idea. Give our military veterans a preference in hiring at public and private organizations. Instead of just saying “thanks for your service,” how about we give them a helping hand in getting a job or a promotion into a higher level of employment?

A veterans preference will help get us to this goal. How many veterans does your organization employ? Let us know. How about the public universities and state government lead the way on this?

Child Care Coalition in Marquette

This coalition is putting together a pilot program to teach new childcare providers how to teach and run a business. Hope is that this will help get more childcare small businesses started and relieve the pressure on families who are looking for child care and child care that is more affordable. Childcare access is a problem in  rural and urban areas and needs this kind of local assistance and more help from the federal and state government.

Tell us more about other local Upper Peninsula coalitions and efforts to help relieve local child care access and affordability. Let us know what is happening in your community in the UP.

You can find two reports by Rural Insights on Child Care access and cost in the UP on our website, under our research tab. One is  dated July 21, 2021 and the other is dated May 14, 2020. Both have lots of good data.

The World Around Us

1.4 million Americans have access to classified documents. Last year, 9.5 million documents were made classified at various levels of secrecy.  (Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post).

Do too many people have access to these classified documents and are too many documents unnecessarily marked classified?  We are sure we will hear more about this in the coming months.

One in four children benefit from the child care tax credit, according to a report by Michigan League for Public Policy.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.

“Badmen need nothing more to compass their ends, than than good men should look on and do nothing.” John Stuart Mill.

Books Recommended By Readers

“The Pink Pony.  Murder on Mackinac Island.”  Charles Cutter.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at We love to read them. 

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

Like Whispers?

If so, please forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here or on our website:

TWITTER: Follow us @ruralinsightsUP.


bold fix

David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Cynthia Dutcher on February 6, 2023 at 8:27 am

    I agree with giving veterans hiring priority, but after the many incidences of police brutality lately I honestly think we need to keep combat veterans out of policing and correction jobs. My father was in combat in WW2 and he always felt that the training to react simply never goes away, and I agree with him. No one seems to want to talk about this subject.

    • Bryce Elson on February 6, 2023 at 9:21 am

      Unfortunately there has been little emphasis on the militarization of police forces in the USA , and that at least 25% of officers are ex military. The military of the past 30 years focused on counter terrorism, combat vets were involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and involved in brutal urban and non traditional warfare. It is crazy not to see some of this in our current problem with violence. I don’t believe in “defunding”, and I don’t think all officers are prone to violence or brutality. However, there is an ethos that promotes compliance and control in today’s forces, which seems to actually take priority over solving problems and actually stopping an actual crime incident. Officers with guns and civil power have qualified immunity and communities pay for this in both financial settlements, and in cases of illegal police violence. The elephant in the room is the proliferation of guns (illegal and legal) in our society, and I really sympathize with the officer who has to walk to a stopped car assuming(it seems) that the driver has or at least could have a weapon ready.

  2. Bryce Elson on February 6, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Medicaid: the effect on rural communities is already very damaging. In states that have not accepted Medicaid expansion rural hospitals are closing or going bankrupt. At the present time MIssissippi is in a serious crisis in this regard as the governor there refuses to accept the expansion, sadly, while 80% of Mississippi residents are in favor of it. The health care situation in the USA is such an exception in the world , we seem to be moving more toward corporate (profit or nonprofit) control of our healthcare. One example is the success of Medicare Advantage which really is not “Medicare” but essentially a continuation of the Insurance company HMO and PPO coverage that people who awaited Medicare scorned. As the comedian Yakov Smirnov says “What a Country!”

    • james katakowski on February 6, 2023 at 6:33 pm

      We desperately need national health care to save the outrageous costs for health care. Non-profit seems the way to profitability because they are all doing it. It seems to be costing more and we are all getting less and paying greater deductibles. It is time to be part of the world of industrialized nations who all have national health care programs. Please do not believe the stuff you keep hearing about Canada and other countries. We need to make health care equitable.

  3. Sharon Miland on February 6, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    why is it those who need the help the most always get their benefits and food taken away from them. Why don’t they stop at the top or use a real task force to look into those who are getting benefits from the state that really don’t need it or don’t do anything to help themselves? It always seems that the rich get richer and the poor just have to scrape even closer to the bottom of the barrel to get a meal? Why, I don’t understand it.

    • james katakowski on February 6, 2023 at 6:36 pm

      It is finally time to take back what has seemingly been given to big business. Take care of the real people who desperately need help. Sharon you are spot on keep pushing for help…..

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Related Articles