Author

Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson is the assistant editor at Michigan Advance, where her beats include economic justice, health care and immigration. Previously the founder of the Muskegon Times and the editor at Rapid Growth Media in Grand Rapids, Anna has worked as an editor and reporter for news outlets across the country. She began her journalism career reporting on state politics in Wisconsin and has gone on to cover government, racial justice and immigration reform in New York City, education in Connecticut, the environment in Wyoming, and more. Previously, Anna lived in Argentina and Morocco, and, when she’s not working, she’s often trying to perfect the empanada and couscous recipes she fell in love with in these countries. You’ll likely also find her working on her century-old home in downtown Lansing, writing that ever-elusive novel and hiking throughout Michigan.

‘They don’t care if you live or die, but they want you to make them coffee’

By: - May 18, 2022

KC Laskey can count the number of students who usually wear masks in her son’s kindergarten classroom in West Michigan on one hand — and the number of COVID-19 cases in his classroom last week on two. “He is one of two wearing masks at school; since omicron quieted down, there have been two wearing […]

Michigan reports 27,705 new COVID-19 cases, 76 deaths over the last week

By: - May 11, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 2,472,596 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 36,140 have died from the virus — an additional 27,705 cases and 76 deaths since last week. The new numbers combine all confirmed and probable cases and deaths since last Wednesday, as […]

‘COVID hasn’t gone anywhere’: After brief respite, cases and hospitalizations climb

By: - May 9, 2022

After months of near silence, Nicole Kessler once again hears the ambulance sirens blaring outside her Beverly Hills bedroom window as they rush to the hospital. “I live close to Beaumont, and I can hear the ambulances — so every time [COVID-19] cases increase, I can hear the frequency of ambulances going to the hospital […]

In wake of Lyoya’s death, a reckoning with Grand Rapids’ history of police brutality

By: - May 7, 2022

The day before Grand Rapids officials released the video of Grand Rapids Police Department Officer Christopher Schurr shooting and killing Patrick Lyoya, a 26-year-old unarmed Black man, police began erecting concrete barricades around the department’s headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids.  The barriers, a police spokeswoman said at the time, were a “precaution” as police prepared […]

Michigan reports 18,945 new COVID-19 cases, 62 deaths over the last week

By: - May 4, 2022

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 2,444,891 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 36,064 have died from the virus — an additional 18,945 cases and 62 deaths since last week. The new numbers combine all confirmed and probable cases and deaths since last Wednesday, as […]

‘He’s doing their bidding’: Critics say Republicans use auditor general for partisan attacks

By: - April 17, 2022

When the Michigan State Capitol opened in 1879, the auditor general’s office was meant to be one of the largest spaces within the expansive new building — a space worthy of a role that’s essentially the state’s chief fiscal watchdog. Elijah E. Myers, who designed Michigan’s Capitol in Lansing and was one of the most […]

Group champions policies empowering ‘mamas of color’ 

By: - April 1, 2022

A video flashed on the screen being streamed Thursday evening by Mothering Justice, a Detroit-based racial and gender justice advocacy organization. In it, a woman leaned into the frame and spoke casually into the camera. Her words were a deluge of familiarity and gravity, turns of phrases that included terms like “Big Bang P” for […]

‘We are still here living it’: Sparrow Hospital staff process pandemic pain through art exhibit

By: - March 27, 2022

When two health care workers at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing first asked their colleagues to submit work for an upcoming art show centered around the pandemic, they didn’t know how many people would want to participate.  It was January, and caregivers were, yet again, stressed to their breaking point during the omicron wave. COVID-19 case […]

At Michigan’s only all-women prison, reimagining a ‘hostile situation’

By: - March 23, 2022

“There are only two things that can happen once you go to prison,” Lawanda Hollister said. “You are either going to die there, or you’re going to get out.” Hollister, who spent 34 years at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility before being released on May 8, 2020, was determined not to die there. No […]

‘I could not stop crying’: Why postpartum depression rates have soared during the pandemic

By: - March 20, 2022

When Kara Smith thinks of her pregnancy during the pandemic, there’s a word that seems to surface more than others: isolation.  Other words come, too, words like panic and anxiety, but it’s the loneliness that seems to permeate her language the most.  Which makes sense — Smith, a nurse who lives in Farwell, a small […]

As political threats intensify, Michigan Dems look to ban guns at polling places

By: - March 17, 2022

As experts warn of increased political violence in the coming elections and GOP lawmakers push voting restrictions, Michigan House Democrats on Wednesday announced a package of nine bills aimed at keeping guns away from polling places and expanding ballot access. “Before and during the Civil Rights movement, guns were used to harass and intimidate Black […]

DHHS did not misrepresent COVID-19 nursing home deaths, AG’s office says

By: - March 14, 2022

A January report from the state Auditor General’s office did not find that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) intentionally underreported or misrepresented the number of COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, despite some Republican lawmakers’ comments otherwise, according to an analysis released last week by state Attorney […]