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 email@example.com or call him at 313-815-7068.
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.
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.
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.
Industries that serve the vulnerable see risky behaviors among young workers, but say they’re limited on what they can do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.