Flint

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s new school superintendent wants to do something with the district’s unused buildings.

Superintendent Bilal Tawwab says he’s forming a task force to figure out what’s the best thing to do with nearly two dozen empty school buildings, many of which have sat unused for years.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting tomorrow, Flint water and sewer customers can expect to see a drop in their bills, though maybe not by as much as they expected.

Last month, a judge issued an injunction ordering the city to stop collecting a 35% rate hike put in place in 2011. The judge found the rate hike was improper.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Critics say they have new reasons to demand the city of Flint go back to Detroit water.

“It’s time for us to stand up … speak up and tell this mayor to get out of town,” Pastor Allen Overton told a small crowd gathered outside Flint city hall on Monday. Overton and others are angry with Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and other city leaders for the city’s problem-plagued water system. 

Courtesy of Michigan Nonprofit Association

The Next Idea

In Michigan and across the country, our society is suffering from a lack of civic engagement. Many people do not have strong connections to their communities. In addition, we have vast unmet needs in our cities, our neighborhoods, and our other social infrastructure. Government has limited resources, and communities are suffering. But there is a generation of young people like me who want the opportunity to make a difference in our country by helping communities address their most difficult social challenges.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge will consider granting class action status  on Monday to a lawsuit against the city of Flint in the continuing legal fight over that city’s water rates.

Giving the lawsuit class action status could expand the suit to include as many as 30,000 Flint water and sewer customers. 

Since the city raised rates by 35% in 2011, many Flint residents say they can’t afford the higher bills.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting next week, Flint pastors will begin handing out water filters to people who don’t trust the city’s tap water.

The 1500 water filters come from an anonymous donor. A spokesman says the filters will remove particulates, like lead. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint may soon cut its water bills to comply with a court injunction.  Maybe.

The injunction requires the city to reduce its rates, stop disconnecting delinquent water customers and reimburse the city’s water fund for $15 million. 

The city announced Monday it plans to utilize a lower rate structure with its next water bills.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As many as 20,000 runners and walkers will take part in the Crim Festival of Races this weekend in Flint.

This week, the Crim Fitness Foundation announced a partnership with the University of Michigan-Flint to expand its campaign year-round.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint police officer has lost his job because of a post on his Facebook page.

Police Chief James Tolbert says Robert Garceau violated the department's social media and code of conduct policies with a Facebook post after a recent double shooting. One man died and another was critically wounded. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge is expected to sign an order Monday to force the city of Flint to roll back its water rates. But an appeal is also expected.

Judge Archie Hayman is expected to sign a preliminary injunction ordering the city to stop disconnecting and enforcing liens against delinquent water customers.

The city would also have to roll back a 35% rate hike put in place in 2011.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gun violence has claimed 11 lives in Flint in the past two weeks.

As police work to solve the murders, the community is left to find its own answers.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State Police say they are seizing more illegal firearms in Flint.

This as the city reels from 11 gun-related murders in two weeks.

First Lt. Tom Kish is the state police post commander in Flint. Wednesday he stood next to a table filled with hand guns and long guns confiscated by troopers in the past two weeks.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After 11 murders in two weeks,  law enforcement officials say the city of Flint is facing a crisis.

Police have made five arrests and have suspects in four other cases. But the double murder of a one-year-old boy and a 71-year-old woman remains unsolved.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This story was updated at 1:49 pm on 8/11/15

Flint officials will meet this evening to look for money to hire more police officers.

There have been eleven murders in the past 2 weeks.  The latest victim was shot and killed last night.  So far this year, Flint has seen 35 homicides.  That’s more than in all of 2014.  

Budget cuts have dramatically reduced the size of Flint’s police force in recent years.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of people will be in Flint this week for the annual ‘Back to the Bricks’ auto showcase and cruise.

Flint police Captain Collin Bernie says a 6 p.m. teen curfew will be in effect again this year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge’s ruling today may bring relief to Flint water customers.   It may also push the city closer to bankruptcy.

Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman’s rulings affect thousands of Flint water customers.

The judge enjoined the city from collecting a 35% water rate hike imposed in 2011, as well as other fees.   Hayman also is blocking the city from enforcing liens on thousands of homeowners with delinquent accounts. His order also says the city must stop shutting off water to delinquent customers.

Juan Beltran

 


Tunde Olaniran’s music has been reviewed and featured across the nation on NPR, the New York Times and Pitchfork Magazine. People are paying attention to his music coming out of Flint.

 

He’s not only a singer and songwriter, he’s a producer, designs his own costumes, and choreographs his own shows (accompanied by backup dancers). By day, Olaniran is an outreach manager for Planned Parenthood. This past year, he’s spent his free time creating a new album.

Flint Institute of Arts
Sarah Razak / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Several Flint cultural institutions are getting a big boost, thanks to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 

The Flint Cultural Center Corporation, Flint Institute of Music and Flint Institute of Arts will share nearly $5 million in grants.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of teenagers fanned out across Flint today to help clean up the city.   Many hope by doing so they can also help clean up the city’s battered image.

Teens spent hours picking up trash, hauling away brush and painting boarded up homes.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

During a debate last night, the four candidates running for Flint mayor largely agreed on what needs to be done.  Just not who should lead the city.

Incumbent mayor Dayne Walling, businesswoman Karen Weaver and councilmen Eric Mays and Wantwaz Davis shared the podium and their opinions during their final pre-primary debate.

This photo gives you a sense for why the pig was called "Giggles."
Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor / Facebook

Flint's mayoral race has been one to watch this year. An incorrect deadline given by the city clerk led to an almost completely write-in election that brought us the campaign of Giggles the pig.

The legislature eventually stepped in and there are now four candidates on the ballot. Next week Flint voters will finally get to go to the polls for the city's August 4 mayoral primary.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says a crackdown on ‘parking lot partying’ is paying off. 

Convenience and party store parking lots have been a place to ‘hang out’ in Flint for years. But Police Chief James Tolbert says many people have been doing more than hanging out. The ‘parking lot partying’ has also included illegal drug use and prostitution.   Violent crime has also been an issue. 

Jason Lorenz / City of Flint

Along the mix of downtown buildings and neighborhoods filled with small single family homes, the city of Flint also has its share of mobile home parks.  

The trailer parks are the usual collection of mobile homes laid out in neat lines. But in some cases, it’s not so neat.

Flint has torn down thousands of old, dilapidated homes in the name of blight elimination.  The city is now turning its attention to its handful of trailer parks.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents should get a notice in their mail this week telling them there is still a problem with their tap water. 

However, city officials hope this will be the last time they have to mail out that notice.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s city council has been overruled by a state-appointed oversight board.

Yesterday, the Receivership Transition Advisory Board, or RTAB, approved a tax break for a downtown development project.  

Governor Snyder removed Flint’s emergency manager earlier this year, giving the city a greater degree of local control. But RTAB has final say. 

wikipedia

A group of activists protesting water shutoffs in Detroit and water quality issues in Flint wrapped up a 70 mile walking journey between the two cities this week.

Members and supporters of the Detroit People's Water Board Coalition are calling on Michigan lawmakers to end shutoffs and implement an income-based water affordability plan.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters in Flint face a deadline today [Monday] to register for next month’s mayoral primary. But it’s not that easy.

Anyone wanting to register to vote at the Flint city clerk’s office today will find the city hall’s doors locked.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cost and quality of tap water in Michigan cities is the subject of a week long journey starting in Detroit today.

Activists, led by the The Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition, are upset about water shutoffs in Detroit and the quality of Flint’s troubled water system.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents will soon get another letter saying there’s a problem with their tap water. It’s a letter they’ve seen before.

The city remains technically in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for higher than acceptable levels of the disinfectant byproduct Total Trihalomethanes, otherwise known as TTHM.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says a campaign to persuade city residents to talk to police is having an effect.

The "Stop the Silence" campaign asks people to share what they know about crimes with law enforcement.

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