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

Families & Community
12:16 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Report: Minorities more likely to get thrown into Michigan's child welfare system

“We know that what happens to those kids in those formative years results in either stable or less stable family relationships," says Lynn Jondahl, co-chair of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about how Michigan's child welfare system treats minorities.

The report finds African-Americans, Latinos, and Native American children are more likely than white children to be removed from their homes.  

Minorities are also twice as likely to age out of the foster care system as whites.

Former State Rep. Lynn Jondahl is one of the co-chairs of the Michigan Race Equity Coalition.  

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Sports
2:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Auction of Silverdome items postponed

Once the home of the Detroit Lions and Pistons, where Elvis and Led Zeppelin performed, and where Pope John Paul II celebrated mass for 100,000. Today the Pontiac Silverdome is not even a shadow of its former glory.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The planned auction of parts of the old Pontiac Silverdome is on hold.

This week, parts of the Silverdome were supposed to go on sale.

People were going to be able to buy forklifts, generators, soap dispensers, and even a Zamboni.

But the sale is now on hold for up to three weeks, and it’s not clear why.

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Politics & Government
11:22 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Lansing City Council passes city budget

The Lansing Police Department will move about 70% of its officers into the Hill Center by the end of August.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing City Council signed off on next year’s budget last night.

The only controversial part of the budget centered on moving the bulk of the city’s police department from Lansing’s north side to the south side.

Many north-side residents worry moving the patrol and investigative units will bring more crime to their neighborhoods.

Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski insists police officers will remain highly visible in north side neighborhoods.

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Politics & Government
3:12 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Poll shows strong support for raising taxes to pay for repairing Michigan roads

More than two-thirds of those polled said they would be willing to pay $10 a month more for gasoline, if it meant more money to fix Michigan’s roads.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A proposal to greatly increase Michigan’s gas tax goes before a state Senate committee tomorrow.

The proposal has already cleared the state House. Among other things, it calls for taxing fuel based on price, instead of volume. It would generate about $500 million in new tax revenue. That's about a third of what Gov. Rick Snyder and others say is needed to fix the roads.  

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Politics & Government
1:32 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

The 'Grand Bargain' may see progress this week at the state capitol

Governor Snyder hopes the State House will make progress toward approving the ‘Grand Bargain’ this week.

Critics complain it’s not fair for the rest of the state to pay for Detroit’s financial missteps. Supporters say restoring Detroit to financial health is important to all of Michigan.Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan RadioEdit | Remove

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Politics & Government
1:27 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Gov. Snyder wants the state House to consider minimum wage legislation soon

The state Senate already approved a bill to increase Michigan’s minimum wage, in steps, to $9.20 an hour.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder hopes the state House will turn its attention soon to a proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage.

The Senate already approved a bill to increase Michigan’s minimum wage, in steps, to $9.20 an hour.

Snyder says it was good to see the bill pass in the Senate with bi-partisan support.

“I hope the House will take it up relatively soon. And make a serious review of it,” says Snyder.

Supporters say Michigan’s minimum wage has needed an increase for a long time.

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Transportation
9:11 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Roads will be busy this Memorial Day weekend

AAA predicts 1.1 million Michiganders will travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That’s a slight increase over Memorial Day weekend 2013.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan roads are expected to be crowded later this week as people take advantage of the first big summer holiday weekend.

AAA predicts 1.1 million Michiganders will travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. That’s a slight increase over Memorial Day weekend 2013.

AAA says most people will travel by car, encouraged by slipping gasoline prices, though they can expect to pay more for hotel rooms and rental cars.

Not everyone is traveling by car or truck.

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Law
1:01 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Flint man nears 1,000 days in an Iranian prison

Amir Hekmati will soon pass one thousand days in an Iranian prison.
Credit The Hekmati family

The family and friends of a retired U.S. Marine from Flint are taking their campaign to gain his release from an Iranian prison cell to the White House on Monday.

Iranian officials arrested Amir Hekmati nearly three years ago while he was visiting relatives.

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Politics & Government
1:28 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Debate over Keystone XL pipeline heating up

This weekend, opponents are launching a campaign to convince the Obama administration to say ‘no’ to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Credit epaabuse.com

The two sides of the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline are stepping up their campaigns.

For six years, the Obama administration has been reviewing the proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would carry tar sands oil south from the Canadian border to the Texas Gulf Coast.

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Politics & Government
2:46 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Michiganders to stop paying fee for non-existent federal program

Since 1982, Michiganders have paid about $800 million in utility fees to support a non-existent nuclear waste disposal program.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DTE and Consumers Energy electric customers may notice a slight dip in their monthly bills.

Since 1982, utilities have tacked on a 15 to 20 cent fee on monthly electric bills.

It was supposed to pay for a federal program to dispose of spent fuel from nuclear power plants. Only one problem: The program never actually disposed of any waste.

Last fall, a federal court ordered an end to the fee.

Michigan Public Service Commissioner Greg White was part of the lawsuit.

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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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