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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 313-815-7068.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
A group of Detroit students asked: Is there a constitutional right to literacy? A United States appeals court says yes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.