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

Rural Michigan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: What about us?

Rural Michigan to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: What about us?

January 30, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Beset with common but daunting problems, leaders in rural Michigan implore Michigan’s Democratic governor to create a Cabinet-level post to address their concerns.

A year later, $10M grant to help former Michigan GOP chair stuck in limbo

A year later, $10M grant to help former Michigan GOP chair stuck in limbo

January 9, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

Controversial grants to assist a southeast Michigan real estate development with strong Republican ties could be hampered by delays that could jeopardize state funding.

Michigan’s brain drain is back, as best and brightest leave state

Michigan’s brain drain is back, as best and brightest leave state

January 6, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson

New Census numbers show Michigan is still growing, albeit slowly. The bad news is a rise in migration to other states. Charts and maps tell the story.

Welcome to Michigan, President Trump. About that economy you promised …

Welcome to Michigan, President Trump. About that economy you promised …

December 17, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting, Mike Wilkinson

Jobs and wages are down in most of the 12 counties that switched support from Barack Obama to Donald Trump in 2016, but voters say they have confidence in the president and the economy.

Choice of Michigan college can make a (million-dollar) difference

Choice of Michigan college can make a (million-dollar) difference

December 10, 2019 | Ron French, Mike Wilkinson

A college degree still pays off, but pays off more at some universities than others, according to a new study. Compare the return on investment at Michigan two- and four-year colleges.

Community college costs soar in Michigan. Blame sinking state aid.

Community college costs soar in Michigan. Blame sinking state aid.

December 4, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The cost of attending a community college varies widely in Michigan, with schools in suburban Detroit half the cost of colleges elsewhere in the state.

Michigan youth suicide rate doubles. What parents can do.

Michigan youth suicide rate doubles. What parents can do.

November 20, 2019 | Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson

The spike in suicide rates comes as a national poll suggests parents struggle to know the difference between normal ups and downs of the teen years and something more serious.

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

Michigan government 101: Want more taxes? Hold elections when few vote

November 19, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Tax requests increasingly are popping up in elections with low turnouts, such as March’s heavily Democratic presidential primary. Governments say it saves money. Foes say it’s anti-democratic.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

Michigan counties profit from foreclosure. Supreme Court urged to halt law.

November 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

An Oakland County man lost his property to foreclosure over an $8.41 tax debt. Oakland then sold the property for $24,500 and kept the profit. His lawyers want the high court to end this practice in Michigan. 

Michigan schools are now average. That’s progress.

Michigan schools are now average. That’s progress.

October 30, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

The NAEP test, known as “the nation’s report card,” shows that state students are treading water on test results, as other states’ scores are going down. As a result, Michigan has risen to middle-of-the-pack status.

If literacy is a right, who pays bill, judge asks in Detroit schools suit

If literacy is a right, who pays bill, judge asks in Detroit schools suit

October 24, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A closely watched Detroit case is heard by a three-judge federal panel in Cincinnati. At stake could be nothing less than a complete overhaul in how Michigan schools are funded.

Is literacy a constitutional right? A Detroit legal case could decide

Is literacy a constitutional right? A Detroit legal case could decide

October 23, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

 Education advocates hope to overturn the dismissal of a case that argued that access to literacy was protected by the U.S. Constitution. The implications for Michigan and the nation are sweeping.

Rich districts profit by sending substitutes to Michigan private schools

Rich districts profit by sending substitutes to Michigan private schools

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Michigan’s exploding use of long-term substitute teachers isn’t confined only to charter and poor schools. Richer districts also profit through a program that allows them to send uncertified teachers to private schools.

Who’s leading classes? Uncertified teachers for thousands of Michigan kids

Who’s leading classes? Uncertified teachers for thousands of Michigan kids

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

New data show permits for long-term substitute teachers are on pace to equal or surpass last year in Michigan, continuing a surge in the use of lower-paid teachers who can have as little as two years’ education.

Check to see how many long-term subs are in your Michigan school

Check to see how many long-term subs are in your Michigan school

October 10, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

The use of long-term substitute teachers – who may have as little as two years of college – has soared in Michigan. Use this database to search how many are in your school so far this academic year.

Hate Michigan roads? Your neighbors’ may be way better. (with database)

Hate Michigan roads? Your neighbors’ may be way better. (with database)

September 26, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Yes, Michigan has bad roads, but their quality varies widely throughout the state, according to 2018 rankings of road conditions, which may inform lawmakers’ debate about whether to raise taxes for upgrades.

Talk about Pure Michigan: Outdoor pursuits generate $10B, report says

Talk about Pure Michigan: Outdoor pursuits generate $10B, report says

September 23, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

A new federal report for the first time puts a dollar figure on the boating, RVing, hiking and skiing that Michigan loves. The amount is less than industry groups have touted, offering an opportunity for growth.

Algae is again fouling Lake Erie. Thanks a lot, Ohio.

Algae is again fouling Lake Erie. Thanks a lot, Ohio.

September 6, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

As water quality fears rise, many Michigan farmers are doing their part to stem the flow of algae-producing nutrients, widespread measures that Ohio can only dream of.

Michigan M-STEP test scores are inching upward. See how your school compares.

Michigan M-STEP test scores are inching upward. See how your school compares.

August 29, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson, Ron French

Results from the state’s annual standardized test, given to students in grades 3-8, show faint signs of improvement. See how state students overall performed in the tests given last spring, and look up your own school.

Database: See how your Michigan school scored on M-STEP test

Database: See how your Michigan school scored on M-STEP test

August 29, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Use this database to check out how many students tested as proficient on Michigan’s M-STEP tests.

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