Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson

Derek Robertson is a former reporter for the Advance. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Whitmer, Cousins to speak at MSU commencement

By: - March 26, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will both speak at Michigan State University’s commencement ceremonies in May, the university announced this week. The two alumni, who have distinguished themselves in very different — yet no less competitive — fields, will both receive honorary doctorates at the May 3 ceremonies. Whitmer will speak […]

AG’s office: Why we canceled Engler interview

By: - March 22, 2019

Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Friday that she had never encountered a situation in which an attorney was asked to recuse herself because someone essentially said, “I don’t like you.” Nessel and Assistant Attorney General Christina Grossi were elaborating at a joint roundtable with reporters on their decision to cancel a planned interview with […]


Nessel settles Michigan same-sex adoption lawsuit

By: - March 22, 2019

Updated, 4:54 p.m. with comments from Mike Shirkey and Sam Bagenstos Attorney General Dana Nessel settled Friday with the plaintiffs in a 2017 lawsuit claiming illegal discrimination against a same-sex couple who were denied the opportunity to adopt. Under the terms of the settlement in Dumont v. Lyon, the Michigan Department of Health and Human […]

$35M spent on 2018 state Senate races — the most in Michigan history

By: - March 21, 2019

The 2018 campaign for the Michigan Senate turned out to be the most expensive in state history, clocking in at $34.5 million across the primary and general elections, according to the nonprofit Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The most recent record was $19.9 million in 2006, according to the MCFN, with spending increasing by 73 percent […]

John Engler

AG office ‘certainly hopes’ subpoenaing Engler won’t be necessary

By: - March 20, 2019

A dispute over former Gov. John Engler’s scheduled interview with Attorney General Dana Nessel’s investigators regarding his role overseeing the Dr. Larry Nassar scandal turned public — and nasty — this week, as Engler’s lawyer accused her investigation of bias. Engler had served as interim president at his alma mater, Michigan State University, until he […]

Low-wage working households on the rise in Michigan

By: - March 20, 2019

The Great Recession may be over, but its impact continues to linger in Michigan, especially for those at or near the bottom of the economic ladder. The Michigan Association of United Ways on Wednesday released a report examining “ALICE” households, an acronym that refers to those that are “Asset limited, income restrained [and] employed.” That […]

Teacher survey: Dreading 3rd grade reading law, tired of being called ‘loser socialists’

By: - March 20, 2019

A new survey shows Michigan’s educators have major concerns with their profession, including a vast majority who believe their schools aren’t prepared for a new third grade reading law. The advocacy coalition Launch Michigan surveyed more than 15,000 teachers and administrators last month on topics including classroom size, funding allocation and professional development. The group […]

Gov. declares state of emergency after Newaygo flooding

By: - March 19, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has followed Newaygo County officials in declaring a state of emergency after the area saw heavy rainfall last week. That combined with melting snow to close down area roads and damage over 100 homes. “As Newaygo County continues to deal with the effects of severe flooding, we are doing all we can […]

Multi-million-dollar Michigan computer system continues to fail abused, neglected kids

By: - March 19, 2019

The $231 million computer system used to track Michigan’s child abuse and neglect cases is so ineffective that it should be scrapped just five years after its 2014 launch, according to an independent assessment released last week by Michigan’s Eastern District Court. That assessment, conducted by former federal Department of Health and Human Services analyst […]


Whitmer’s LGBTQ directive could face lawsuit on religious grounds

By: - January 22, 2019

The head of the State Bar’s Religious Liberty section is seeking to file a lawsuit that would challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new executive directive barring LGBTQ discrimination, according to an email obtained by the Michigan Advance. Tracey Lee, a West Bloomfield family law and nonprofit attorney, wrote to a group of lawyers encouraging them to […]