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.

Q&A

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. 

Pages

Education
11:36 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Lansing school district privatizing bus service

Five thousand Lansing school students will be riding buses operated by a private company this fall.

The school board voted last night to privatize its bus system. Dean Transportation currently provides bus service to a consortium of Ingham County school districts.

When the Lansing School Board tabled a proposal to privatize its bus service in January, the issue seemed to be put on the back burner until next year.

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Politics & Government
3:50 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Proposed expanded background checks brings out supporters and opponents

Linda Brundage is with Michigan Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. She says the state needs to take action to reduce gun violence.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Supporters and opponents of expanding background checks for gun buyers in Michigan were at the state capitol today.

House Bill 4774 has sat in the state House Judiciary committee for a year without ever being brought up for a committee hearing.  

The bill would expand state background checks to include long guns.

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Politics & Government
11:51 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Flint City Council members don't like budget plan which cuts police officers and firefighters

Flint’s emergency manager has proposed a budget that would cut 36 police and 19 fire department positions.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Insanity” – that’s how one Flint City Council member described plans to slash staffing in the city’s police and fire departments.

Flint’s emergency manager has proposed a budget that would cut 36 police and 19 fire department positions. The firefighter jobs are currently funded by a federal grant that expires next month, and the city doesn't have the money to keep them.      

The city is also dealing with rising retiree health insurance costs.

Flint’s police and fire chiefs are working on plans to reorganize their departments to absorb the cuts.

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Politics & Government
11:29 am
Tue May 13, 2014

City of Jackson looks for ways to avoid cuts to police and fire services

The city of Jackson needs to trim more than $700,000 from next year’s budget. The plan now calls for most of that to come from cuts to the city’s public safety budget and it would include several layoffs.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Potential layoffs to the city of Jackson’s police and fire departments will figure prominently at a public hearing tonight.

The city of Jackson needs to trim more than $700,000 from next year’s budget. The plan now calls for most of that to come from cuts to the city’s public safety budget and it would include several layoffs.

“While we don’t want to cut, sometimes when you are in an urban core community … where (property) values and revenues are going down ... we don’t have that much of a choice,” says Jackson City Manager Patrick Burtch.

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Transportation
5:51 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Detroit conference focuses on keeping senior citizens mobile

Keeping elderly Michiganders mobile is the subject of a conference this week in Detroit.

Kimberly Lariviere is one of the organizers of the conference. She says most adults will outlive their ability to drive safely by as much as seven to ten years.

Lariviere says the Michigan Department of Transportation will be releasing a guide for older drivers at the conference.

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Politics & Government
3:44 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Jackson voters may be asked to reconsider controversial storm water fee

Last year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the city of Jackson’s storm water fee was actually an illegal tax. The fee generated about a million dollars a year for street cleaning and leaf pickup programs which without funding the city cancelled last year.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jackson residents may decide in August if they are willing to pay a special tax to clean up their city streets.

Last year, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled the city of Jackson’s storm water fee was actually an illegal tax. The fee generated about a million dollars a year for street cleaning and leaf pickup programs which without funding the city cancelled last year.

Councilman Derek Dobies says that meant homeowners couldn’t just sweep their leaves into the street they had to dispose of the leaves themselves.

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Politics & Government
5:54 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

A campaign to continue Michigan's controversial wolf hunt nears milestone

Hunters killed 22 wolves in three specific zones in the Upper Peninsula last year. The hunt was the first after the gray wolf was removed from the endangered species list.
Credit USFWS Midwest

Michigan hunters are in the final phases of collecting signatures on a statewide petition drive to allow the state’s controversial wolf hunt to continue.

Hunters killed 22 wolves in three specific zones in the Upper Peninsula last year. The hunt was the first after the gray wolf was removed from the endangered species list.

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Politics & Government
9:22 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Michigan may soon bar minors from buying e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices that simulate tobacco smoking. The devices produces vapor instead of smoke.
Credit WKAR

There may soon be legislation on the governor’s desk that will make it against the law to sell e-cigarettes to minors in Michigan. The state House passed the bill today.   

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that simulate tobacco smoking. The devices produce vapor instead of smoke.

State Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, defends his legislation against critics who want e-cigarettes taxed like tobacco products, which this legislation doesn’t do.

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Politics & Government
2:33 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Same-sex marriage backers launch education campaign in Michigan

“We want marriage and need marriage for all the same reasons that you do,” says Emily Dievendorf. “It certainly is ‘legal rights’, but it’s also we’re falling in love for all the same cheesy, beautiful reasons."
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Backers of same-sex marriage are launching what an education campaign that could eventually evolve into a ballot effort to reverse Michigan’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Emily Dievendorf is part of the “Michigan for Marriage” campaign. She says Michiganders need to understand why gays and lesbians want the same ability to marry as heterosexuals. 

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Weather
7:32 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

BWL plans to hire a "czar" to guide planning for future emergencies

About 40,000 people lost power during the December 21st ice storm. Many had to wait 10 days or more to get their lights turned back on.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing Board of Water and Light plans to hire someone to handle planning for future emergencies.

One of the biggest criticisms BWL received after last December’s major power outage was that the utility wasn't communicating well with those most affected.

About 40,000 people lost power during the Dec. 21 ice storm. Many had to wait 10 days or more to get their lights turned back on.

A recent report claims the utility also failed to keep in touch with local governments, which were also struggling to recover from a major pre-Christmas ice storm.

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Law
4:41 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

A national crackdown on "designer" drugs includes arrests in Michigan

Credit www.retreat-lc.com

Michigan is part of a big national crackdown on illegal synthetic drug trafficking.

This week, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies arrested more than 150 people in more than two dozen states on charges they imported and sold illegal synthetic drugs. More than 20 of those arrests took place in southeast Michigan.

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Weather
11:01 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Report: Climate change is a challenge now for Michigan farmers

The new National Climate Assessment concludes that the harms of global warming will become more and more disruptive across the nation throughout this century and beyond.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Climate change is making Michigan farmers more vulnerable to dramatic weather shifts, according to a new report.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program released a report this morning claiming climate change is no longer a future threat but is a reality now.

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Politics & Government
8:13 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Report: Internal problems added to length of BWL outage last December

Michael McDaniel led the Community Review Team. He says they found problems with the Lansing utility’s tree trimming and storm damage policies. And a computer outage reporting system failure also complicated BWL’s response.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The length of last December's power outage in Lansing was made worse by problems within the city's utility, according to a new report.

For four months, a special panel has been reviewing what went wrong during a Dec. 21 ice storm that left thousands of BWL customers in the dark for 10 days or more. In all, the storm knocked out power to about 40,000 BWL customers just before Christmas.

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Health
3:36 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

Poll shows most parents are distracted behind the wheel

90% of parents admit to talking on the phone, eating and other distracted behavior while behind the wheel with their kids in the car.
Credit University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

It turns out parents are just as likely as other motorists to talk on the phone, eat, text or engage in other risky distractions behind the wheel, even with their kids in the car.

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital quizzed hundreds of parents with young children about their driving habits.

It turns out 90 percent admit to using their mobile phones, eating and feeding their kids while behind the wheel.

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Health
3:15 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Michigan's drop in teen pregnancies means taxpayers pay less

“We have seen enormous progress in Michigan and in all other states….and among all racial and ethnic groups,” says Bill Albert, “But the wrong message to take away from that is the mission is accomplished.”
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report claims teen pregnancies cost Michigan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. That’s a despite a sharp decline in teen birth rates during the past two decades.

Bill Albert is with the ‘National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’, which produced the report.

Albert says the finding is based on their estimate of costs to public assistance programs, reduced earnings, criminal justice and lost tax revenues. But he says there is a bright side.

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Law
6:16 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Some Flint police officers are trading a desk for a patrol car

“I know we’ve made multiple arrests today,” Flint Police Chief James Tolbert said on Friday, “We’re getting people with warrants off the street…you’re serving multiple purposes all at the same time.”
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Flint police officers are getting out from behind a desk today and getting back on the street. 

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert calls it ”inside-out" – taking police officers who usually spend their day doing administrative work and putting them into a patrol car.

He says that adds nine to 18 more patrol cars on Flint streets at a time.

“I know we’ve made multiple arrests today,” Tolbert said on Friday. “We’re getting people with warrants off the street … you’re serving multiple purposes all at the same time.”

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Politics & Government
6:05 am
Fri May 2, 2014

More than a quarter million Michiganders signed up for Obamacare

87% of the people in Michigan getting coverage through Obamacare are getting financial assistance from the federal government to help pay for their insurance policies.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The White House says more than 270,000 Michiganders signed up for health insurance under Obamacare.

The six month sign-up period ended a month ago, but this is the first state breakdown of the numbers.

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Politics & Government
3:19 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Law would make "revenge porn" a crime in Michigan

A half-dozen states already have laws on the books to punish people who post nude or sexually explicit photos to the Web without the person’s consent. The photo appearing on the computer screen in this picture is actually of a painting.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It may soon be a misdemeanor in Michigan to post “revenge porn” on the Internet.

A half-dozen states already have laws on the books to punish people who post nude or sexually explicit photos to the Web without the person’s consent.

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Politics & Government
5:59 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Stabenow: Republican opposition to minimum wage hike 'unacceptable'

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) says GOP opposition to the wage hike and to legislation to require equal pay for women is "unacceptable".
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow is criticizing her Republican Senate colleagues for blocking a vote on increasing the federal minimum wage.

The bill would have gradually increased the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10.

Democrats say it would have helped millions of low-income families.

Stabenow says GOP opposition to the wage hike and to legislation to require equal pay for women is "unacceptable".

“This is really the one-two punch that hurts women in Michigan,” says Stabenow. 

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Law
5:41 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court ruling may help clear the air in Michigan

The court's 6-2 decision Tuesday means that a rule adopted by EPA in 2011 to limit emissions from plants in more than two-dozen Midwestern and Southern states, including Michigan, can take effect.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Clean air advocates in Michigan are cheering a U.S. Supreme Court decision that will allow stricter regulation of coal-fired power plants.

The high court decided this week to overturn a lower court ruling and allow the Environmental Protection Agency to slap new limits on pollution from power plants.

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