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. 

Ways to Connect

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is moving forward with the next phase of the city’s lead service line removal program.

Damaged service lines are suspected of being a prime source for lead in Flint’s drinking water. But to date, only 33 lead service lines have been removed from Flint homes.  

However, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says the city is starting the process of hiring contractors to replace hundreds more. She says the requests for proposals will be posted tomorrow.  

Weaver expects the next round of her Fast Start program will begin in about a month.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

U.S. and Canadian government agencies took part in a mock oil spill drill along the St. Clair River just south of Port Huron today.

With temperatures in the low 80s and a light breeze, it was a lovely day to respond to a fake disaster.

But while a few first responders spent a sunny day on boats in the river, most of the more than 200 people taking part in the exercise spent their time indoors dealing with a scenario for a fictional disaster that included the need to corral thousands of barrels of oil leaking from Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Government agencies will practice responding to an oil spill from a pipeline crossing the St. Clair River tomorrow. 

The pipeline passes beneath the St. Clair River just south of Port Huron.

The drill will involve a simulated 13-minute, 5,000-barrel oil spill. The exercise will involve boats in the river and absorbent booms in the water, all to corral and collect fictional oil leaking from the pipeline.

The drill involves government agencies and the pipeline’s owner, Enbridge.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a "state of energy emergency" in Michigan.    

The governor issued the executive order in response to issues at a Detroit oil refinery and a Wisconsin pipeline.

The Marathon refinery in Detroit is currently experiencing an “outage” related to maintenance work.    

a giant tooth greets children. Not as terrifying as it sounds.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

New programs are getting underway in Flint to help protect the teeth of thousands of children.

Since Flint’s drinking water crisis began, parents have stopped letting their children drink from the kitchen faucet.  

But while that is protecting the kids from contaminants in the water, it’s also cutting them off from fluoride added to the water to protect their teeth.

“We do know that kids who don’t have access to fluoridated water are much more likely to develop cavities,” says Terri Battaglieri, director of the Delta Dental Foundation.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The last Flint fire station distributing water to city residents will stop doing it by the end of this week.

Michigan National Guardsmen have been handing out cases of bottled water and filters at the fire station on Martin Luther King for months.

Gen. Greg Vadnais leads the Michigan National Guard. He credits the public’s support for the guard’s ability to respond to the city’s drinking water crisis.

“It’s really helped us to be able to complete our mission to provide the resources to them that they needed,” Vadnais sais last week.

Michigan Oil and Gas Association

Leaders of Michigan’s oil and gas industry are optimistic their business is poised to rebound from a prolonged price slump.

Oil and natural gas prices are half of what they were in recent years. But just over the past few months, oil prices have jumped nearly 50 percent.

Allan Cleaver / Flickr

A new report says the tax burden on Michigan businesses has declined slightly.

The Anderson Economic Group report ranks Michigan’s business tax burden 20th in the nation, improving from 21st last year.

Jason Horwitz is a senior AEG consultant. He expects the trend line will continue to go down in the coming years.

“When you look where taxes are so high for businesses in Michigan, the reason to be optimistic is that even though it’s been going down for five years, we would expect it to continue going down over the next few years,” says Horwitz.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint restaurants and bars are hoping to lure back customers turned off by the city’s drinking water crisis.

Many of Flint’s restaurants and bars have seen their business dip since lead was discovered in the city’s drinking water last year.  

To fight back, owners installed water filters and added promotions. 

This week is Flint Restaurant Week, a promotion involving more than 2 dozen establishments.

Sitting in Flint’s Soggy Bottom Bar, organizer Ken Laatz is focused on the future.

user eyspahn / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This weekend, Michigan Democrats will select most of the state party’s delegates to this summer’s convention.

State Party Chairman Brandon Dillon expects Saturday’s district meetings will go smoothly and avoid the fights between Sanders and Clinton supporters seen recently in Nevada.

“We don’t anticipate any major problems and are confident that things will go as smoothly as possible,” says Dillon.

Steve Monti is a Bernie Sanders supporter.  He’s running to be an alternate at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

About a dozen protesters, many wearing red paint splashed clothes, tried to get Governor Snyder’s attention today. 

They held a ‘die-in’ outside a Flint conference room where the governor met with his top Flint water crisis advisors.

"We have no say over our future, over our recovery, over what’s coming through our pipes, over the pipes still being in the ground,” says activist Melissa Mays, “All we want is to have a voice in this.”

Governor Snyder did not see the protest.  He left the building through a side door. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s home vacancy rate is more than four times the national rate, according to a new report.

Realty Trac says nationally 1.6% of homes are vacant. In Michigan, it’s 3.4%. In Flint, 7.2% are vacant.

Daren Blomquist is with Realty Trac.  He says Flint’s high vacancy rate is “defining the housing market”.

“When you get to a certain threshold, and I would say Flint is far above that threshold, it becomes a driving piece of the market.” Says Blomquist. 

Activists form a bucket brigade to carry water from the state Capitol.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Activists came to the state Capitol today to dramatize the need for tens of millions of dollars to fix Flint’s damaged water system.

A line of people passed little buckets of water from a faucet inside the Capitol building to a 20-gallon drum outside. 

Ryan Bates with Michigan United says they wanted to show what it’s like to live in Flint without tap water people can trust. 

Bates says state lawmakers should be doing more to help.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint public school district is expanding early childhood education programs. 

The three-, four- and five-year-olds at the Great Expectations Early Childhood Program at Holmes STEM Academy are the lucky ones. The waiting list to get into this program is hundreds of names long.

But Superintendent Bilal Tawwab says the University of Michigan-Flint is working to expand the program, which he says is critical.

ObesityinAmerica.org / The Endocrine Society and The Hormone Health Network

A nearly 20-year study of African-American teenage girls in Flint has drawn a connection between the fear of violence and obesity.

Dr. Shervin Assari is a research investigator with the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health in the U-M School of Public Health.

He says a study involving hundreds of Flint teen girls shows a correlation between fear of violence in the teen years and obesity in their 20’s and 30’s.

"Chronic anxiety due to fear from living in a high crime neighborhood is taking its toll on Flint residents,” says Dr. Assari.

Many households store drugs that should be disposed.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll finds many parents fail to keep track of their children’s pain medicines.

The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health surveyed more than a thousand parents about what they do with their child’s old pain medicines.  Most said they keep it at home.

Fifteen percent of parents polled said they either don’t know where the meds are or gave them to other family members.

That worries Sarah Clark, co-director of the poll. She says opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone should not stay in the home when they are no longer needed.

Michigan Army National Guardsmen earlier this year.
Master Sgt. Sonia Pawloski / wikimedia commons

Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill to require that every National Guard facility have at least one armed solider on duty. The bill is in response to recent shootings at a U.S. Army base in Texas and a recruiting office in Tennessee.

“HB 5357 will ensure that security at our state military facilities is not left to chance and that personnel in every Michigan National Guard facility will be able to defend themselves and their colleagues from terrorist or other attack,” Rep. Gary Glenn (R-Midland) wrote in a recent email to supporters of his bill.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

The Michigan State Police wrapped up an investigation into what happened at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality during the Flint water crisis more than a month ago. But Gov. Rick Snyder says he hasn’t seen the final report.

According to a state police spokeswoman, on Jan. 24, 2016, MDEQ Director Keith Creagh requested assistance from the MSP with conducting an internal, administrative investigation of MDEQ employees for violations of DEQ policies and work rules.

An investigator from MSP’s Professional Standards Section assisted DEQ’s human resources staff.

bathtub faucet running
Jacob Barss-Bailey / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Starting tomorrow, a multi-media ad campaign will urge Flint residents to flush their pipes.

Television, radio and online messages will urge people in Flint to turn their faucets on full blast for 10 minutes a day (five minutes for bathtub spigots and five minutes for kitchen faucets) for the rest of May.

The public relations blitz comes nearly two weeks after government officials urged Flint residents to start flushing their pipes. 

Gov. Rick Snyder says the state is picking up the tab for the water going down the drain.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint has hired an attorney to investigate allegations that Flint’s mayor tried to redirect donations from a water crisis fund to another fund she controlled.

The allegation is part of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed earlier this week by Flint’s former city administrator. Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declines to address the allegation, but she does have a few words about the suit.

Virg Bernero, mayor of Lansing.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing's mayor has vetoed a city council decision on affordable housing, which may or may not be about affordable housing.

The city council approved a moratorium on tax breaks for affordable housing on a five to three vote.   

Mayor Virg Bernero says the moratorium discriminates against low income residents, so he vetoed it Wednesday.  It will take six votes to override his veto. 

The veto is the latest salvo in a conflict between the mayor and city council involving affordable housing.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Ten major charitable foundations plan to spend nearly $125 million to help the city of Flint.

Today’s announcement touches on practically every aspect of life in the Vehicle City, from education to the economy; from providing health care to making sure the city’s water is safe to drink.

Lansing Board of Water and Light facility
Steve Carmody / MIchigan Radio

Lansing utility officials are weighing a plan that could greatly increase their reliance on alternative energy.

The Lansing Board of Water & Light will soon have to shut down three coal-fired power plants. The plant produce about 80% of the utility’s electricity. 

A panel is recommending BWL replace the electricity from three soon-to-close coal plants with power from wind, solar and natural gas.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s former city administrator is suing the city and Mayor Karen Weaver.

The lawsuit claims Natasha Henderson was fired after she raised questions about donations to a Flint water crisis charity being redirected to another fund created by Mayor Weaver.

Katherine Smith Kennedy is Henderson’s attorney. She claims Henderson’s job was terminated hours after she raised the issue with the city attorney.

“The timing is so suspicious,” says Kennedy, who admits she doesn’t know if there was anything illegal about redirecting donations.   

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan National Guardsmen are no longer distributing bottled water at three Flint fire stations as part of the state response to the water crisis.  

Just before noon, guardsmen loaded pallets of the cases of bottled water onto trucks behind Flint Fire Station #8. 

For months, this was one of five Flint fire stations where residents went to pick up bottled water and filters.  But the city is transitioning to nine neighborhood giveaway sites manned by paid employees.

Staff Sergeant Thomas Vega says it’s a sign of progress in the Flint water crisis.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

A legislative panel investigating the Flint water crisis will hear a report tomorrow about how serious the problem might be in the rest of the state.

The Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and Public Sector Consultants released a report last month on Michigan’s water infrastructure. 

Mike Nystrom with MITA says the report found Michigan is up to a half billion dollars short annually of what it should spend on water infrastructure.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Expanded Medicaid coverage starts in Flint today.

The expanded Medicaid coverage was approved in response to the Flint water crisis.

Medicaid will cover Flint residents up to 21 years old and pregnant women. 

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, says they’ve been “waiting for this day for a long time.”

“This city’s residents have been exposed to lead in their water,” says Wells, “This requires long-term access to good, comprehensive primary and specialty healthcare.”

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for the petition drive to recall Governor Rick Snyder.

A spokesman says the Stop Snyder petition drive has collected around 400,000 signatures. 

a sink
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The effort to get Flint residents to flush their pipes daily moves into its second week this weekend.

But it’s not known if people are doing it.

“Run your water for five minutes a day. In the kitchen. In the bathroom,” Nicole Lurie told reporters at a news conference this week.  Lurie leads the federal response to Flint’s water crisis.

She says running the water will help flush lead particles out and allow chemicals to get in that will heal the damaged pipes.   

The campaign to get Flint water customers to run their water every day started last Sunday.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests it’s getting harder to get reproductive health care at Michigan hospitals.

A series of hospital mergers in recent years means more hospitals in Michigan are part of a Catholic health system.

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