Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson joins us from the Detroit News as Bridge’s computer-assisted reporting specialist. Mike performed a similar role at the News, where his work showed, for instance, that just under half of all Detroit property owners paid their annual tax bills. He was also part of a team at The Blade of Toledo that won national honors, including the National Headliner and Gerald Loeb awards, for exposing widespread political corruption in a scandal that came to be known as Coingate. The stories led to political reform in Ohio state government. You can reach Mike via email at mwilkinson@bridgemi.com or call him at 313-815-7068.

Articles

Michigan and the death of entrepreneurship

August 9, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

If the state doesn’t create a new generation of business owners, its future will remain hostage to the swings of the manufacturing sector

Booming again: West Michigan’s economy is on a roll

June 23, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

The Grand Rapids region continues to surge ahead, adding jobs (if not high wages) across a wide area. Can its success be exported to the rest of Michigan

City dwellers came for the tax breaks. Will they stay when breaks expire?

June 14, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids and Muskegon lured young professionals to struggling neighborhoods with tax breaks that allowed them to pay a pittance in taxes for beautiful homes or condos. Should those breaks be extended?

Revenue tools help Toledo survive through tough times

May 17, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

What Michigan can learn from this Ohio border city, which manages to balance its budget and keep cops on the street despite budget challenges

Fewer cops, abandoned parks, and why more cities will crumble unless Michigan changes

May 12, 2016 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson

When cities lose 2,300 police officers, it’s time for Michigan to look in the mirror.

Not so fast: A bill to raise state speed limits veers off track

May 5, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

A measure to raise speed limits on Michigan highways is intended to align speed laws with how fast people actually drive. It’s not working out that way.

How school districts sell funding projects across Michigan

April 28, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

On Tuesday, residents in more than two dozen districts will vote on whether to pay for construction, technology or other projects. If history holds, half will fail. Here’s what successful Michigan districts do right.

Flint report offers damning verdict on state emergency manager law

March 24, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

In a blunt report putting the blame for Flint’s water crisis squarely on state government, a task force finds that Michigan gives too much power to emergency managers and not enough voice to local residents in distressed communities

Flint’s switch to river water left residents holding the tab

March 24, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Beset by financial woes, Flint’s state-appointed leaders kept charging high rates to the city’s impoverished residents even though the switch to the Flint River sharply reduced city expenses

Flint’s legacy may include dramatic expansion of public records law

March 15, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Questions about the state’s bungled response to Flint’s water crisis have led to a bipartisan push to make the governor’s office and legislature subject to the state’s public records law. Michigan now ranks at the bottom for government transparency.

Academic State Champs: How to make sense of your school’s M-STEP scores

February 11, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Last year, Michigan replaced its longstanding MEAP standardized test with a new assessment aligned with the Common Core. Bridge’s Academic State Champs analysis allows you to compare your school with peer schools across the state.

Meet the 2015 high school Academic State Champs

February 9, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

Bridge Magazine recognizes 44 high schools across the state earning top marks for preparing students for college or career succes

With gas prices falling, should the state start collecting taxes for roads now?

January 14, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson

November's tortuous road-funding deal called for a raise in gas taxes beginning next year to help repair crumbling roads. But why not raise taxes this year, when gas prices are cheap, easing the tax burden in 2017? Lansing, that’s why

Far from Flint, lead remains an irreversible scourge

December 10, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Lead poisoning rates have dropped dramatically in Michigan over the past decade. But in many cities and towns, child exposure rates far exceed those in Flint.

Tracking progress in Detroit police response times a fool’s errand

November 10, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Detroit touts huge reductions in police response times as evidence the city is keeping residents safer since the days before bankruptcy. But records obtained by Bridge show that grading the department’s gains is nearly impossible.

Universities want more money. Snyder wants more innovation.

November 3, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

A college degree is more critical, yet more expensive, for Michigan families. At a Center for Michigan summit Monday, the governor and university chiefs clashed over how to make college more affordable.

Drinking students ring cash registers: the business of alcohol

September 30, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Across Michigan on game day, or just about any night during the week, alcohol is readily available to most any students who seek it (though, to be sure, many of the businesses that serve alcohol are vigilant in making sure students are of age).

Unconscious students on hospital gurneys: A Game Day diary

September 28, 2015 | Nancy Derringer, Ron French, Mike Wilkinson

Universities are spending millions to curb dangerous drinking. Yet blackout partying persists in a puke-and-rally culture. Bridge investigates what works, and what doesn’t, in the ongoing battle to keep college students safe.

Residents like these programs to reduce college costs

September 15, 2015 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan residents are intrigued by initiatives to earn free college credit and shave debt burden.

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