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Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Defiant to depressed: 10% of Flint households owed more than $1,000 in water bills this spring

Judith Pruitt’s water bill is $7,545.29. That’s after the Flint retiree withdrew nearly $900 out of her savings account a few weeks ago to pay the city, or else her water would’ve been shut off, she said. New data analyzed by Michigan Radio show Pruitt is not alone.

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Gov. Rick Snyder exits a Michigan State Police helicopter after a tour of flooded parts of Isabella and Midland counties.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder says it’s important for Michiganders to “rally together” in the wake of flooding in Isabella and Midland counties.

More than seven inches of rain Thursday caused rivers to burst from their banks, inundate neighborhoods and wash out roads.

This morning, the governor spent time inspecting the flood damage on the ground and from the air. Snyder saw many parts of the region are still underwater.

Matty Moroun, the billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge across the Detroit River, turned 90 earlier this month. I don’t know how he celebrated, but I do know something happened last week that may well have ruined his birthday.

Michigan Radio was recognized this past weekend with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI). The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for the station’s on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis. Michigan Radio was among the first news organizations to report about contaminated drinking water in Flint and has been bringing this story to listeners across the state and the nation from the very beginning.

Out of the 38 under-performing schools that could be closed in Michigan, 25 of them are located in Metro Detroit.
Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Friday marks the last day of the Education Achievement Authority, Michigan's controversial state-run turnaround district. 

The EAA's 15 schools will stay open, but they'll be absorbed back into the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Sonya Mays, treasurer for the DPSCD school board, says the district is working with the EAA to make it a smooth transition for students. 

A recall petition for Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recall petition targeting Flint’s mayor reaches a milestone this week.

Recall organizer Arthur Woodson declined to comment last week on the status of the campaign. However, in the past Woodson has said volunteers have collected more than 6,000 signatures since a judge cleared the way for recall petition process to begin in April.

Flint Mayor Weaver, Lansing Mayor Bernaro, and Ret. Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel stand next to the lead pipe.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Flint’s pipe replacement program faces a critical deadline at the end of this week.

By Friday, Flint needs to replace its 2,037th lead or galvanized service line.

That would be approximately 7% of the estimated number of suspect pipes tied to the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis.

The mandated 7% threshold is part of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.  

IRA GELB / CREATIVE COMMONS

In recent years, we've heard a lot more reports about law enforcement cracking down on human trafficking. In Michigan, a researcher is discovering that finding victims of human trafficking is different from finding help for those victims.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge will hold an emergency hearing Monday morning in Detroit, where the ACLU is asking him to temporarily block the deportations of all Iraqi nationals facing removal in the U.S.

This all started a few months ago, when Iraq agreed to accept Iraqi nationals the U.S. wants to deport. For years it had refused to issue travel documents to those individuals.

Then, earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up 114 Iraqis living in metro Detroit. Another 85 were taken into custody in other states.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The small town of Zeeland could be the latest in Michigan to restructure its police department.

The city has a new fact-finding committee to look at options for the department. The current police chief is set to retire in about a month.

Mayor Kevin Klynstra says the city may be able to save money by making changes to the department.

A car sits in the flooded parking lot of Midland's downtown farmers' market.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As floodwaters begin to recede, government officials are assessing the damage in Midland and Isabella counties. 

Storms dumped more than seven inches of rain on parts of mid-Michigan last week, flooding homes and washing out roads.

“In Midland County alone, there’s been 116 roads affected,” says Mark Bone, president of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. “There’s a lot of roads out there we’re still gathering the information, but there’s a lot of damage.”

Getting to work or school is going to be a problem in the areas affected by the flooding.

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