Steve Carmody

Mid Michigan Reporter/Producer

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting. During his two and a half decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic.


What person, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
My wife. She’s the best company I’ve ever had, or expect to, over lunch.
How did you get involved in radio?
I started listening to all news radio when I was about 8 years old. In my teens, when other kids were listening to rock stations, I was flipping between KYW and WCAU in Philadelphia. I was fascinated listening to the news developing and changing through the day. When the time came to decide on what I wanted to study at college, I was drawn to broadcasting and journalism. I spent most of my four years in college at the campus radio station, including two years as news director.  
What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I read (usually two books at a time, one book at work, another at home) and I go to see a lot of movies (about 50 or more a year)
What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter/host/etc.?
Covering the federal building bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995 was a remarkable experience. It was going to be a quiet day newswise. Not much happening. I was at the state capitol to cover a rally. The earth shattering explosion changed that. I spent the next ten hours wandering around downtown, filing reports to my home station and NPR. For the next six weeks, it was literally the only story my station covered.
What one song do you think best summarizes your taste in music?
Zilch. I don’t listen to music.
What is your favorite program on Michigan Radio? Why?
This American Life. It’s the best story telling on radio.
What's a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about?
I have no talent. Anyone who knows me well would agree.
What is one ability or talent you really wish you possessed?
The ability to cook.
What do you like best about working in public radio?
I like having the time to tell a story. I’ve grown tired over time working in commercial radio of trying to tell a complex story in 25 seconds or less. You can tell some stories in less than 25 seconds. But often, a truly interesting story needs a minute, 3 minutes or more to explain.
If you could interview any contemporary newsmaker, who would it be?
No one really.
Is there a T.V. show you never miss? If so, which one?
The Amazing Race. As a fan and a former contestant, I just enjoy the thrill of seeing different parts of the world.
What would your perfect meal consist of?
A light appetizer. A good fish course. A well done steak. A pleasant dessert. A fine 20 year tawny port.
What modern convenience would it be most difficult for you to live without?
The computer. It has changed my personal and professional life.
What are people usually very surprised to learn about you?
That I not only watch Reality TV, but that I’ve been a Reality TV star (retired).
What else would you like people to know about you?
I enjoy living in Jackson, MI. So many Michigan cities and towns are struggling these days. Jackson’s no different. But, the people there are forging ahead. Jackson is also committed to being a community. 

Ways to Connect

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Prosecutors say there is a link between Flint’s use of the Flint River as its drinking water source and a deadly Legionnaires Disease outbreak. 

The link was announced during a court hearing that saw another former government worker plead to charges in the city’s drinking water crisis. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is making progress on replacing lead service lines.

The pipes connect city water mains to homes and businesses. They're a primary source of lead in Flint’s tap water.

Earlier this year, the mayor’s Fast Start program sputtered, with just 33 lines being replaced.

Phase two of the program started again just before Labor Day.  

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will be in Washington D.C. asking for federal help with the city’s lead tainted tap water.

Weaver says she’s scheduled to meet with Michigan’s congressional delegation.   

She says she’ll give the lawmakers an update on Flint’s lead service line replacement program and other needs.

Recently an EPA official predicted Flint residents might have to use water filters for at least another year because of the lingering lead problem. Weaver says that opinion should strengthen Flint’s case for federal funds.

Michigan Attorney General's office

There is speculation that another person criminally charged in the Flint water crisis will agree to cooperate with prosecutors.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A special commission is studying what new infrastructure the state of Michigan will need 30 to 50 years from now.

Many Michigan communities are years behind in repairing and replacing aging sewer systems and crumbling bridges. It’s hard to think decades ahead, when you’re already so far behind.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is getting down to work on a final report on the Flint water crisis.

The process began roughly nine months ago when the commission decided to examine what factors may have contributed to the crisis. 

On Thursday, the commission held its third and final public hearing into allegations that classism and racism were root causes of the city’s lead-tainted drinking water.

Commission co-chair Arthur Horwitz says now the important work begins, putting together their findings in a final report.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A growing number of Flint officials are raising concerns about a court order blocking the state health department from talking directly with Genesee County health agencies.

The state health department is part of a criminal probe into the Flint water crisis. The court order is part of the investigation, with the intent of protecting potential evidence. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is concerned the health of her city’s residents may be affected by a legal dispute between state agencies and local health institutions. 

A dispute over a court order has led to sniping between the governor’s office, Michigan’s Attorney General’s office, the state health department, and Flint’s McLaren hospital.

This week, the state health department announced a seventh case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County this year. But it said it couldn’t confirm what the Flint hospital was doing in response.  

A Flint fire truck.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is hiring nearly three dozen new firemen.

A $3.7 million federal grant is paying to replenish a department that has seen more than 30 retirements and other departures in the past few years.

“Our firefighters have been doing an outstanding job with … so few firefighters on duty,” says Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton, “Just imagine what they can do if you almost double [the number responding to calls].”

Flint officials hope to fill the new firefighter jobs with city residents over the next six months.

McClaren hospital sign.
courtesy of Signs by Crannie /

A dispute between Michigan’s governor and attorney general is spilling over into institutions charged with protecting public health.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release yesterday saying there’s a seventh case of Legionnaire's disease in Genesee County. But it added it can’t say much more because it’s blocked by a court order from learning more.

From the release:

Steve Carmody

Court hearings into criminal charges in the Flint water crisis will drag on well into 2017.

Eight current and former state workers with the departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services face a variety of criminal charges related to Flint’s lead-tainted tap water. The defendants are accused of concealing and manipulating evidence, failing to take action to protect the safety of city drinking water, and neglect of duty.

But they won’t stand trial anytime soon. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Crews hired by Enbridge are back at work along the Kalamazoo River again this month.

In 2010, an Enbridge pipeline broke near Marshall, spewing about a million gallons of crude oil that fouled the Kalamazoo River. The company spent more than a billion dollars cleaning up the spill.

The clean-up is done. But Enbridge spokesman Ryan Duffy says the restoration of the habitat along the river continues.

“We’re just doing some work along the river,putting in logs, roots, woody structures, things like that along the river banks,” says Duffy.

Gov. Snyder office

This week…a state senate committee holds a hearing on Governor Snyder’s pick to head the Department of Environmental Quality.  

Heidi Grether is a former oil and gas industry lobbyist.  That doesn’t sit well with Mike Berkowitz. He’s the Sierra Club’s legislative and political director.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Genesee County is looking for people who are willing to open their homes to foster children.

The number of children in Genesee County in foster care remains stable.  But the number of foster homes has dropped significantly during the past few years.

Mike Milks is Genesee County’s Child Welfare director. He says the stress associated with Flint’s lead tainted drinking water is a factor for some.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State legislators return to Lansing this week and there’s a lot on the agenda.

State Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph) hopes the state House will act on a package of bills aimed at reducing recidivism in Michigan’s corrections system.  A higher number of ex-cons in Michigan return to prison compared to other states.

“What can we do to off-load some of those costs, invest in areas that might increase offender success and give us the best chance towards decreasing crime in our communities and seeing that continued drop in violent crime in our communities?” asked Proos.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The summer tourism season is winding down, but there is concern in the industry that it may not be as profitable as it could have been.

Deanna Richeson is the CEO of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. She says Michigan’s summer tourism season was strong overall.

But she’s concerned that a growing number school districts are starting classes in August. 

“When we have our school children returning to school prior to Labor Day that will cut into those revenues enjoyed by the tourism industry,” says Richeson.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, up to 40,000 people will take part in the annual Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge.

Bridge Authority CEO Bob Sweeney says the view from the bridge on foot is spectacular.

“It’s a perfect opportunity to take in the scenery of the Straits of Mackinac,” says Sweeney, “You get some beautiful scenery of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.”

This is the 59th year of the five-mile bridge walk.

The 5-mile-long Mackinac Bridge that connects Michigan's two peninsulas is the third-longest suspension bridge in the world. 

Ford Motor Company

This is a very busy weekend on Michigan highways.  

But in the future, many of the vehicles on the road won’t have a person behind the wheel.

The state senate is expected act quickly on a package of bills to loosen rules governing autonomous vehicles.

Kirk Steudle is the head of the Michigan Department of Transportation.  

He believes autonomous cars will eventually reduce fatalities on Michigan roads.

Steudle wants automakers to have more leeway to test driverless cars in Michigan.

A Michigan State University researcher is looking at whether home Wi-Fi systems can be used to help the elderly while protecting their privacy.

The families of many at-risk seniors rely on online cameras, wearable devices or sensors to make sure they haven’t fallen or suffered a medical problem.    

But at a cost of their privacy.

Mi Zhang is an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the MSU College of Engineering, He’s received a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a home Wi-Fi signal into a near range radar.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This may be a dry Labor Day for some Flint residents.

The city’s nine water distribution centers will be closed on Monday. They’ll also be closed on Sunday as usual.

Mission Flint spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says the decision to close on Labor Day was based on low demand on the last two holidays.  She says demand was a third of normal on Memorial day and the Fourth of July.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

An Ingham County judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking a Lansing hotel from evicting nearly 100 homeless people.  

The owners of the Magnuson Hotel say they want to close for needed renovations.

But the city of Lansing sought the injunction to delay the closing by up to 120 days, saying it needs that much time to relocate dozens of homeless men, women and children living there.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top Republican lawmaker says money for Flint’s water crisis is on “the short list” as Congress returns to work next week.

During a tour of Flint today, Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) was briefed on water distribution efforts in the city of nearly 100,000.

“The demand has not gone down,” one distribution center supervisor told Upton and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint). 

Ford Motor Company's self-driving vehicle
Ford Motor Company

Michigan is edging closer to clearing the road for driverless cars.

A state Senate committee approved a package of four bills that loosen existing rules for autonomous vehicles. The state created rules for driverless cars just a few years ago. But evolving technology has apparently made those rules “obsolete.”

A crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s long delayed second phase of its lead pipe replacement program is finally underway.

The city is replacing more than 200 lead and galvanized pipes connecting Flint homes and businesses to city water mains. The pipes are a primary source of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

Janet Hensley watched from her front door as contractors used shovels to dig up the front lawn of her home on Flint’s east side.

Little blue and yellow flags are dotted through Hensley’s block. The flags mark the location of natural gas lines and other underground utilities. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor has taken the unusual step of declaring a housing emergency in the Capitol city.

Mayor Virg Bernero declared the emergency after a hotel on the city's south side informed dozens of residents they will be evicted in the next few weeks.

Many motorists cars honked their approval (some expressed their displeasure) at Trump supporters in Saginaw.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Donald Trump campaign staged rallies today in cities across Michigan.

Dozens of Trump supporters took over two corners of one of Saginaw’s busiest intersections.

Local campaign organizer Debra Mantey says this is the way for the Republican nominee to win in Michigan.

“The way we’re going to turn Michigan ‘red’ is by face-to-face, with Michigander to another Michigander,” says Mantey.

Mantey downplays polls showing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leading in Michigan. She says recent polls showing Trump gaining ground.  

Presidential campaign merchandise.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A conservative group is running ads this week in Michigan and three other states asking Republican Donald Trump to withdraw from the presidential race.

The ad features Donald Trump saying he would get out of the race if his poll numbers were bad.  The quotes date back to when Trump was riding high during the Republican primaries.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city’s water crisis has given many people in Flint sleepless nights.

Last night, the man who helped reveal the problem spent a sleepless night seeing if things are getting better. 

In the wee small hours of the morning, Virginia Tech water expert Marc Edwards took and tested water samples at the Flint home of Lee Anne Walters. It was in Walters’ home that the extent of the city’s water crisis was first confirmed.

Edwards tested the water hourly to see how chlorine and bacteria levels changed during the hours when water generally flows slower through the system.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint officials are concerned the city may not be able to pay for recommended fixes to the city’s water system.

Today, the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee responded to a list of 44 recommendations made by a special task force set up by Gov. Rick Snyder in the early days of the Flint water crisis.

“We trust that those recommendations are putting into motion things that need to be done in order to right-size … the system to be safe and drinkable,” says Harvey Hollins, the man appointed to oversee the FWICC. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More than 15,000 people will be tying on their running shoes tonight and tomorrow in Flint.   

This is the 40th anniversary of the Crim Festival of Races.

But this year’s event will be a little different.  

In response to the city’s water crisis, race organizers redirected nearly $40,000 in prize money for race winners to create free race entries for city residents.

Crim race director Andrew Younger says organizers want to use the festival to promote healthier lifestyles, especially for those directed affected by the water crisis.