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

Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed.

Two heirs bought Midland dams as a tax shelter. Tragedy followed.

May 27, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, Riley Beggin

Heirs to the fortune of the Boy Scouts founder — an architect and a bagpiper — purchased the Edenville Dam as an investment to avoid taxes, records show. For 14 years, the family trust clashed with government officials on taxes, regulations, fishing and other issues. Then came the rains.

New accounting fuels hope that coronavirus is better contained in Michigan

New accounting fuels hope that coronavirus is better contained in Michigan

May 25, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan has changed how it reports positive coronavirus tests and the implications could influence how quickly the state's economy reopens

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

Michigan regulators moved fast on dangerous dam. To protect mussels.

May 21, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, Robin Erb, Riley Beggin

In court papers, the owners of a dam that failed this week near Midland acknowledged it was considered unsafe for decades. But Michigan’s only action against the dam was a suit contending it lowered water and killed freshwater mussels.

Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe.

Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe.

May 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

For a decade, safety regulators demanded improvements to a 95-year-old dam that failed this week. The repairs never came, and Michigan regulators deemed the dam in “fair condition.” One critic calls it a “catastrophic failure both of the dam and of our government at all levels.”

Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations

May 19, 2020 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.”

Michigan changing how it classifies coronavirus deaths. Expect tally to grow.

Michigan changing how it classifies coronavirus deaths. Expect tally to grow.

May 19, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Two months into the pandemic, Michigan will begin tallying ‘probable’ COVID-19 deaths rather than just those confirmed with a test. Already more than 5,000 have died statewide, and the changes could increase tally 10 percent.

When will Gov. Whitmer reopen Michigan? It’s complicated. And a bit vague.

When will Gov. Whitmer reopen Michigan? It’s complicated. And a bit vague.

May 17, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson

Unlike some other states, Michigan isn’t using precise metrics to determine when to reopen the state from the coronavirus lockdown. Whitmer and epidemiologists say that’s necessary, but Republicans and some business leaders say the lack of transparency is infuriating

Coronavirus came to Michigan earlier than thought, records show

Coronavirus came to Michigan earlier than thought, records show

May 17, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Records detailing when coronavirus victims first felt symptoms show that coronavirus came sooner to Michigan than originally believed, and the decline in the state has lasted longer. 

Michigan governor, GOP leader inflate the rhetoric in coronavirus fight

Michigan governor, GOP leader inflate the rhetoric in coronavirus fight

May 11, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

With more than 4,500 Michiganders dead and nearly 48,000 confirmed cases, COVID-19 has already captured residents’ attention. But officials have inflated or mischaracterized facts in the battle to publicly frame debate.

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

Few coronavirus cases, lots of land. Should northern Michigan reopen?

May 3, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House

Northern Michigan has more than half of the state’s land mass and 2 percent of its coronavirus cases. As Gov. Whitmer says she’ll take geography into account to reopen the economy, Bridge examines regional differences in cases, hospital capacity, testing and unemployment.

As coronavirus ravages nursing homes, Michigan records spotty at best

As coronavirus ravages nursing homes, Michigan records spotty at best

April 28, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan last week released records on coronavirus at nursing homes, but the records are incomplete and contain glaring omissions, a Bridge review has found.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

Coronavirus cases rising again in Michigan. That may not be bad news.

April 24, 2020 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson, Brie Zeltner

For much of April, coronavirus cases dropped consistently in Michigan. They are jumping upward again in the past few days as cases spread outstate. But experts also attribute the rise to more testing.

Patients at 1 in 3 Michigan nursing homes have coronavirus, records show

Patients at 1 in 3 Michigan nursing homes have coronavirus, records show

April 24, 2020 | Ted Roelofs, Mike Wilkinson

For the first time, Michigan regulators released records about the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes. It’s as bad as many thought: more than 2,100 cases at 141 homes. (With database to search for homes)

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

Coronavirus surges in Grand Rapids area, bucking trends in rest of Michigan

April 24, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

A spike of virus cases among homeless people helps push Kent County’s daily coronavirus cases to levels equal to those seen in metro Detroit. Officials in the west Michigan county say a peak could be three weeks away.

Education is a fundamental right, appeals court rules in Detroit case

Education is a fundamental right, appeals court rules in Detroit case

April 23, 2020 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson

A group of Detroit students asked: Is there a constitutional right to literacy? A United States appeals court says yes.

Michigan may be past coronavirus peak, but cases grow outstate

Michigan may be past coronavirus peak, but cases grow outstate

April 18, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

The coronavirus is moving across the state at different rates, relaxing its grip on metro Detroit but infections are still rising in parts of the state as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer eyes the reopening of the economy.

Michigan Legislature won’t extend Whitmer’s stay-home order, Shirkey says

Michigan Legislature won’t extend Whitmer’s stay-home order, Shirkey says

April 18, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

 Senate majority leader says, unlike other states, Michigan won’t extend its stay-home order after April 30. But Mike Shirkey says plenty of restrictions are likely even after the order expires.

Back to work, but not to normal: life in Michigan when coronavirus ebbs

Back to work, but not to normal: life in Michigan when coronavirus ebbs

April 17, 2020 | Kelly House, Mike Wilkinson

You can go to work, but prepare to have your temperature taken at the door. You can visit your family, but not the bar. Baseball season may never start. A peek into your future when Michigan’s stay-home order ends.

Michigan has highest U.S. coronavirus death rate, ranks low in testing

Michigan has highest U.S. coronavirus death rate, ranks low in testing

April 13, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

One month into the pandemic,  charts tell a disturbing story: Deaths comprise 6 percent of all COVID-19 cases, while the state has the lowest per-capita rate of testing in the nation.

GOP, merchants upset Michigan’s stay-home order is tougher than other states

GOP, merchants upset Michigan’s stay-home order is tougher than other states

April 11, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Jonathan Oosting

Michigan’s coronavirus caseload is beginning to slow, prompting some to question Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s expanded stay-home order. She and doctors say vigilance is necessary or infections will spike.

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