Mark Brush

Digital Media Director

Mark is Michigan Radio's Digital Media Director. He works to develop and maintain the station's overall digital strategy. As a senior producer/reporter from 2010 to 2016 he helped move the station toward publishing more online-first stories.  

From 2006 to 2010, as the unit's co-manager and senior producer, Mark helped transition the station's regional environmental news unit into an award-winning national news service known as The Environment Report.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Michigan ('00 MS in Environmental Policy and Planning & '91 BA in Political Science) and has been a "public radio junkie" since 1992. Much of Mark's storytelling philosophy was influenced through his close work with veteran CBC "réalisateur" David Candow.

Ways to Connect

A "hacking" sign.
Alexandre Dulaunoy / Flickr -

Update 4:00 p.m.

The offending posts have been removed from the Facebook pages. Kurt Svoboda, an associate director with U-M's athletic department sent us this statement via e-mail:

We are actively working to resolve the issue with experts throughout the University and at Facebook. That remains our top priority. 

Original post 1:12 p.m.

I was wondering why Michigan Football wanted me to know about "22 Child Stars That Grew Up And Got Superhot" last night as I scrolled through my Facebook feed. 

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions
user Machine Elf 1735 / Wikimedia Commons

Whether you have personal struggles, or you know a family member or friend who has needed help - it seems just about everyone has been personally touched by mental health issues at some point in their life.

The reporters and producers at Michigan Radio are planning a series of stories focusing on mental health in Michigan. But before we get started, we want to hear from you.

What questions or issues have you run across that you want answers to?

Frank Zinn and his family owned a farm right next to ground zero. They sued Enbridge saying their plans for a environmentally-frienly vineyard were lost.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

On July 25, 2010 at 5:58 p.m., Enbridge's Line 6B split open in a wetland near Marshall, Michigan.

The break was not discovered for 17 hours. During that time, with the pipeline split open, Enbridge controllers in Alberta restarted the system twice, thinking they had a pressure problem in the line.

A diver inspects Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac for a possible dent. Enbridge performs inspections, but won't share what they find.
Credit an Enbridge inspection video shared with the state of Michigan

People in Michigan are naturally concerned about the thousands of miles of pipelines crisscrossing the state. After all, Michigan suffered through the worst inland oil spill in U.S. history.  

And there's one pipeline in particular that people are quite concerned about: Enbridge's Line 5 moves more than 500,000 barrels of oil and other liquid petroleum products (like propane) a day under Lake Michigan at the Straits of Mackinac.

This aerial photo of the 2010 Enbridge oil spill was taken five days after the initial spill. We're approaching the five-year anniversary now.
State of Michigan

We're coming up on the five-year anniversary of the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history.

On a Sunday evening, July 25, 2010, an Enbridge oil pipeline split open and dumped around 1 million gallons of thick, heavy, tar sands crude oil into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.

No one knew there was a major oil spill underway until the next day.

Since that time there have been massive clean-ups, river restoration projects, real estate being bought and sold, and countless lawsuits.

Your experience

MDOC Spokesperson Chris Gautz told us that while it was “a very serious situation,” the events of September 10 at Kinross Correctional Facility don’t meet the definition of a “riot.”
flickr user Thomas Hawk /

The state of Michigan is terminating its contract with Aramark to provide prison food services.

The state and Aramark say the decision to end the $145 million contract was mutually agreed upon.

Aramark has faced fines and other sanctions since the company took over prison food services in December of 2013.

Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services.

Veterans returning home after World War II received a big helping hand from American taxpayers. The GI Bill helped millions get a college education. 

Today, veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan also get help paying for college. The Post 9/11 GI Bill can pay up to around $20,000 a year in taxpayer-funded college tuition.

9-11 veterans: Jamaine Atkins, Sherman Powell, Russ Dotson (top, L-R), Cassie Michael, Curtis Gibson, Andrew Hunter (middle), Eric Fretz, Cody Barnhart, Brendan Lejeune (bottom).
Mark Brush, Paula Friedrich, Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

There used to be a time in our country's history when many people had a connection to someone serving in the Armed Forces - people had a brother, a cousin, an uncle or an aunt who served in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam.

Today, having that connection to the military is not as common. Volunteers fill the military's ranks, and civilians have grown farther apart from those who put their lives on the line.

All this week, we're bringing you stories about Michigan's post 9/11 veterans - stories about what life has been like since their return home.

The DeYoung Power Plant in Holland burns coal. The city is switching over to natural gas soon.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the state of Michigan, and many other states and industry groups, in their challenge to emissions rules from the Environmental Protection Agency.

They argued that the EPA should consider the costs and benefits of regulating mercury pollution from power plants.

Stephanie Wade (R), and Lori Hazelton (L) from Muskegon get married.
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Same-sex couples are already getting married in a number of Michigan counties after today’s Supreme Court ruling.

With TV crews hovering nearby, Lori Hazelton and Stephanie Wade exchanged rings in a tiny conference room at the Muskegon County Clerk’s office.

It wasn’t the quite the wedding Hazelton once hoped for; one with family and friends.

In a 5-4 decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court changed the lives of millions of gay Americans, allowing them to have the same legal rights of marriage as heterosexual couples.

The state of Michigan played a big part in the case, as April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse challenged Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage in federal court – a case that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This timeline shows the path of how we got here. If you don't see the timeline below, you can view it in full here.

The winning team from Michigan. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse (seated), and their legal team - L-R - Robert Asedler, Dana Nessel, Carole Stanyar, and Kenneth Mogill.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that gay marriage is now legal throughout the U.S.

The sweeping ruling clears up years of confusion around a patchwork of state laws both banning and allowing same-sex marriages.

Read the historic opinion here.

The U.S. Supreme Court.
Supreme Court of the United States

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of one of the central parts of the Affordable Care Act, keeping the law in place in states throughout the country.

Their decision comes three years after the high court upheld the constitutionality of the law.

The case before the court, King v. Burwell, centered on health care exchanges run by the federal government – as is the case in Michigan.

The answer is still forthcoming. So far, the National Weather Service has confirmed one EF-1 tornado that touched down in Portland, Michigan yesterday. More than 50 homes were damaged in Portland and there were no reports of serious injuries.

We're seeing a lot of other reports of damage due to the storms, but determining whether those were caused by a tornado takes some ground truth. 

Detroit skyline.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Development action is centered on downtown Detroit as the city gets back on its feet after bankruptcy. Corktown and Midtown have seen a lot of new construction, and now a developer is stepping up to put ideas and money into a west side Detroit neighborhood, the Herman Kiefer complex.

Gov. Rick Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a set of laws that let adoption agencies refuse referrals that violate their beliefs.

The new Michigan laws allow agencies that take money from the state for placing children with families to turn away same-sex couples. There would have to be a sincere religious objection and a good-faith effort to refer the couples to another adoption service.

Michigan softball playing earlier this year in Ann Arbor.
MGoBlog / Flickr

Michigan lost to the defending champion Florida Gators in the final and decisive game of the Women's College World Series last night by a score of 4-1. The Gators scored early in the game and it proved too much for the Wolverines to overcome.

Michigan (60-8 on the season) faced a tough pitcher in Lauren Haeger, the National Player of the Year.

U of M pitcher Megan Betsa.
MGoBlog / Flickr

The University of Michigan’s women’s Softball team will go for a national championship tonight starting at 8 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

They’re up against the Florida Gators – the defending national champion – in game three of the Women’s College World Series. The series is tied 1-1 after the Wolverines beat the top-ranked Gators in game two of the series last night.

A 140 square foot "tiny house."
Gregory Johnson / The Environment Report

A member of the Ann Arbor City Council says he will introduce a resolution directing city staff to draft a plan for establishing a small village of tiny houses on city-owned property across from the YMCA.

Ryan Stanton of the Ann Arbor News reports that council member Stephen Kunselman announced Tuesday his plans to bring forward the resolution at the next council meeting on June 15.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White and Eugene Robinson with the Washington Post.
Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, is joining Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White for a discussion on race, health, education and culture during a session hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference.

The press arrives to grab images of the Giant Tire.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

When we heard that the Automotive Press Association was holding an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Giant Uniroyal Tire along 1-94, we couldn’t resist.

Not only because, well, it’s the GIANT TIRE – who wouldn’t want to see inside of it?! – but also because it gave us a chance to look into a question put to our M I Curious page.

Live from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Larry Jonas / Michigan Radio

Stateside with Cynthia Canty went on the road for a live show from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

The show aired on May 21, 2015 and featured the following guests:

Researchers believe these are the only remaining wolves on Isle Royale National Park — a mated pair and their offspring (left).
John Vucetich / Michigan Technological University

The wolf population on Isle Royale has been dropping for some time.

There were nine animals last year. In their latest winter study report, researchers on Isle Royale only spotted the three wolves pictured above on the entire island.

Solar panels
Ford Motor Company / Flickr

DTE Energy is moving forward with a solar power project near Ann Arbor.

Ryan Stanton of The Ann Arbor News reports the project will be visible to motorists traveling the highway. 

On the Kalamazoo River just downstream from the confluence of Talmadge Creek. Around 1 million gallons of tar sands oil spilled into the river in 2010.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Today, the state of Michigan announced a settlement with Enbridge Energy over the largest inland oil spill in American history.

The state’s $75 million consent judgment with Enbridge won’t be coming as a huge cash payment. Most of the money has already gone to, or will be going to river restoration or recreation projects along the Kalamazoo River.

The Detroit River.
Patricia Drury / Flickr

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy hopes to raise $3 million to fund a new transportation system in Detroit. They envision a system of water taxis and trolley buses working in and along the Detroit River.

The Detroit News’ Jennifer Chambers reports the conservancy hired Michigan-based Freshwater Transit to study the feasibility of such a system.

A fall leaf on Election Day.
Mike Perini / Michigan Radio

We've told you how Proposal 1 went down in spectacular defeat. You can see vote tallies on that statewide ballot measure here.

Elsewhere in Michigan, voters faced all manner of local elections for things like schools, roads, and marijuana decriminalization.   

User _chrisUK /

We in Michigan have been talking about fixing our roads for years.

"Just fix the damn roads," was the mantra Michigan lawmakers heard over and over from their constituents.

Now the refrain sounds more like "just don't fix the damn roads this way."

Michigan State Route 46.
Doug Kerr / Flickr

When it comes to spending on roads, Michigan lags behind its neighbors.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press looked at how much states spend on roads. The numbers show how far Michigan lags behind.

From Matt Vande Bunte of MLive:

The Michigan meridian is clearly visible in the map of Native American land cessions in Michigan.
wikimedia commons

This month marks the 200th birthday of something that helped make Michigan the state we know today.

It's the bicentennial of the Michigan meridian.

That north-south line was the reference point for the Michigan Survey. Every single piece of property in Michigan is defined by that meridian and two east-west baselines.