Hilary Farrell

Reporter

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.

Hilary's investigative work has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Michigan Associated Press, including awards for best investigative and documentary journalism.

Ways to Connect

Michigan residents interested in adding solar power to their energy mix can soon do so right on their utility bills.

That’s the goal of a Consumers Energy residential solar pilot program which launches later this year.

As part of that program, the Jackson-based utility will construct a seven-to-14 acre solar array in West Michigan, on land owned by Grand Valley State University. 

A program at the Kent County Jail offers mentorship and life skills training to high-risk female inmates in the hopes of reducing recidivism rates.

Jamie Riehle is the New Beginnings mentor coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. She says they’ve worked with more than 200 inmates to-date. A recent $52,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation allows them to continue that level of service.

Rosalynn Bliss
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

 With two-thirds of the popular vote, Grand Rapids Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss becomes the city’s first female mayor on January 1.

"I believe that there's still a lot of work that we need to do, and I want to be part of that. I want to be part of making that happen," Bliss says. "We have worked hard to get the city moving in the right direction, and I want to make sure that continues."  

Bliss says her top priority is strengthening neighborhoods.

National Guard solar field
U.S. Air Force via Wikimedia | Public Domain image / Wikimedia.org

 Michigan residents interested in solar power as an energy source can soon do so right on their utility bills.

That’s the goal of a Consumers Energy residential solar pilot program which begins marketing efforts in the fall.

Roger Morgenstern is a senior public information director at the company. He says the community solar program looks to leverage the desire for clean energy with the demands of an effective business model.

West Michigan Leadership Collaborative
West Michigan Leadership Collaborative

  A recent report puts a multi-billion dollar price tag on inequality in the state, and calls for action by local leaders.   

 Eric Williams is the executive director of Equity Affairs at Grand Rapids Community College, and a former city commissioner.

“One of the things we wanted to look at is, what’s the dollar cost?" Williams says. "And can we put a dollar cost on discrimination?” 

He’s one of two head researchers of a recent report highlighting the high costs of inequality.

One focus is lost economic growth.

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