Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson joined 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

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

Edenville Dam owners file for bankruptcy, blaming regulators for floods

August 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Facing a host of lawsuits, companies that operated the dams that failed during historic flooding seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, using the filing to list a litany of grievances against federal regulators and neighbors.

President Trump worries about voter fraud. Here’s the reality in Michigan.

President Trump worries about voter fraud. Here’s the reality in Michigan.

July 31, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

As Trump questions mail-in voting, records show Michigan has 225,000 more registered voters than voting-age residents. That is no proof of fraud, which experts say is rare, but some clerks say Michigan’s rolls need to be cleaned to increase confidence in elections.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

Michigan coronavirus cases rise. Here’s why we are not Texas or Florida.

July 17, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Case increases in Michigan bear watching but the state is not yet experiencing the explosion seen in the South and West. Here are the metrics public health experts follow to mark the virus’ arc in Michigan.

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

Michigan’s newest headache: Young adults are driving coronavirus growth

July 7, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

 Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.

Hold on, they begged. In Michigan, a gun and loophole helped him let go.

Hold on, they begged. In Michigan, a gun and loophole helped him let go.

July 6, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

The coronavirus pandemic made it hard to see therapists but easy to buy a gun. Now, a Michigan family is grieving and searching for answers after their son’s suicide.

As coronavirus cases rise, Whitmer halts plans to further reopen Michigan

As coronavirus cases rise, Whitmer halts plans to further reopen Michigan

July 1, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

Public health experts say they expected coronavirus cases to rise as Michigan's businesses reopened but say they worry about COVID fatigue leading to more cases.

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

Michigan lawmakers to fed regulators: You blew it on Edenville Dam

June 23, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members are hauled before a Senate panel to answer why it took so long to act against a dam with decades of safety issues.  Levying fines would have been like “getting blood from a turnip,” one regulator says.

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

Feds skipped check of whether Edenville Dam owner could afford repairs

June 22, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Federal regulators tell Congress it never performed a check on Boyce Hydro’s finances before it bought a dam in need of repairs. They blame a loophole that says such checks aren’t necessary for dams bought out of foreclosure. The dam failed in May.

New Michigan auto insurance: savings for most, but Detroit still pays more

New Michigan auto insurance: savings for most, but Detroit still pays more

June 22, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Mike Wilkinson

Insurer filings reviewed by Bridge show most drivers will save money under a reform law set to take effect July 2. But universal savings appear exaggerated and where you live still impacts what you will pay.

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

Whitmer administration names outside team to probe Edenville dam failure

June 18, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

After criticism from experts and others who argued the state should not lead an investigation into what caused the dam failure that flooded mid-Michigan last month, the state announced an independent six-person team

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

Corrected: Michigan knew of Edenville dam issues in August 2019

June 16, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The owner of the failed Edenville dam claimed it lacked money to make needed safety upgrades. Instead of demanding flood repairs, state lawyers played hardball on the cost of dead mussels.

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

More than 1,900 coronavirus deaths in Michigan nursing homes

June 15, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs, Robin Erb

Michigan health officials finally announced the death toll for nursing homes and the results were sobering. Dozens of nursing homes had 20 deaths or more.

Edenville Dam owner claims Michigan regulators to blame for flooding

Edenville Dam owner claims Michigan regulators to blame for flooding

June 10, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

One day after Michigan sued the owners of the Edenville Dam for millions, Boyce Hydro claims in court papers the state repeatedly blocked permits for repairs that could have prevented massive flooding in mid-May.

Neighbors of Edenville Dam don’t want state investigating its failure

Neighbors of Edenville Dam don’t want state investigating its failure

June 9, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Riley Beggin

The same day Michigan sued owners of troubled dams whose failures sparked a catastrophic flood in Midland, nearby property owners call for an independent investigation. The residents say the state is misstating facts about its failure to regulate the dams.

Northern Michigan braced for coronavirus surge that has yet to arrive

Northern Michigan braced for coronavirus surge that has yet to arrive

June 8, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broadly reopened much of northern Michigan over the Memorial Day Weekend. More than two weeks later, few new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed across the region.

Michigan COVID-19 deaths swell, as state tweaks how it tallies cases

Michigan COVID-19 deaths swell, as state tweaks how it tallies cases

June 5, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan’s coronavirus caseload has increased by 240 to 5,800 now that “probable” deaths are included. The changing of definitions has caused controversy in other states.

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

After Edenville Dam fail, five other Michigan dams may pose lethal danger

June 5, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

Five state-regulated dams listed as high-hazard and in poor condition could kill people and cause widespread damage if they fail, according to the state. They are located throughout the state.

After devastating flood, Sanford Lake homeowners face new threat

After devastating flood, Sanford Lake homeowners face new threat

June 4, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

More than two weeks after dam breaks and a flood, new woes have emerged in mid-Michigan where erosion threatens homes along the shoreline of Sanford Lake just northwest of Midland.

Before and after satellite photos show damage wrought by mid-Michigan floods

Before and after satellite photos show damage wrought by mid-Michigan floods

June 2, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

New satellite images, taken one year apart, contrast what Edenville and Sanford dams looked like before and after floods, as state and federal investigators investigate their failure.

White cops in black communities underscore tension in Michigan protests

White cops in black communities underscore tension in Michigan protests

June 1, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Police departments in several Michigan cities have a lower share of African-American officers than the communities they serve, leading to some scars that have yet to heal. 

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