Flint Mayor Karen Weaver and retired National Guard Brigadier General Michael McDaniel.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor unveils ambitious plan to replace all lead drinking water lines in one year

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says the city plans to team up with technical experts from the Lansing Board of Water and Light to replace all the lead lines in one year. Officials say the Lansing BWL has removed 13,500 lead pipes over the last 12 years at a cost of $42 million. The Flint lead pipe removal project is estimated to cost $55 million. That’s money the city doesn’t have, so Weaver is calling on the state and Congress to make the money available. At a press conference in Flint this mornin...
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Clockwise top left: Lee Anne Walters with her son Garrett, the Flint River, Marc Edwards, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha - Flint EMs Darnell Earley, Jerry Ambrose, Ed Kurtz, and Mike Brown. Center - water at the Flint Treatment Plant.
Steve Carmody, Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Listen to "Not Safe to Drink," a special documentary about the Flint water crisis

What would you do if your tap water turned brown? If it gave your children a rash every time they took a bath? Or worse, what if it made them sick? Listen to our special documentary below, and hear the wild story about how the water in Flint became Not Safe To Drink.
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House Foreclosure
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure last year dropped 22.6% from 2014, according to the analytics firm CoreLogic.

Economist Frank Nothaft says there were fewer completed foreclosures nationwide than any year since 2006.

And while the country hasn't yet worked through all of the extra foreclosures to reach "normal" pre-recession levels, "we're getting there," says Nothaft. "I think in the next year or two, nationwide, we'll be coming down to those levels, finally."

But it will take Michigan longer to get through its foreclosure backlog.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit teachers and parents had a “day of action” Tuesday.

It centered around a number of “walk-in” events at neighborhood schools throughout the city.

Those brief rallies were meant to show public support for investing in schools and educators.

They’re designed to complement the recent wave of teacher sickout protests that have drawn attention to deteriorating buildings and other crisis within the Detroit Public Schools.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Detroit parents, teachers, and school officials were in Lansing on Tuesday to speak out on bills meant to rescue Michigan’s largest district.

Demonstrators gathered outside a state Senate committee hearing on Senate bills 710 and 711. Not to oppose the legislation, but to bring attention to the deteriorating state of Detroit Public Schools (DPS).

Courtesy of Bill Schuette

The lawyer in charge of state Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigation into the Flint water crisis says some people may be charged with serious crimes before it’s all over.

  

Todd Flood says criminal charges could include official misconduct by public officials and involuntary manslaughter, depending on what the investigation uncovers. The inquiry will cover both the lead contamination of the drinking water, and outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease that caused 10 deaths.

  

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Education Tuesday unveiled its plan to dramatically improve the state's schools in the next ten years. 

Called the "Top 10 in 10 Years," the proposal aims to put Michigan in the top fifth of U.S. school systems. The proposal is the result of a seven-month planning period, with the department taking input from education policy experts and the public. 

Only 17 miles from Lake Michigan's shore, Waukesha, WI, wants to replace its irradiated drinking water with water from the lake
flickr user Rachel Kramer / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Should a Wisconsin city with a contaminated groundwater supply be allowed to siphon drinking water from Lake Michigan?

Waukesha's groundwater supply has a radium problem. Being 17 miles from Lake Michigan, Waukesha's proposed solution is to draw water from the lake. 

But according to the Great Lakes Compact, Waukesha cannot just lay down a pipeline and start drinking Lake Michigan water. It has to ask, and all eight Great Lakes governors have to say "yes."

According to Laura Reese, while Midtown Detroit is seeing some income growth, the rest of the city is only getting worse
wikimedia user Andrew Jameson / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Construction is moving along in Detroit on the new Red Wings arena scheduled to open in 2017.

It’s right across from the Comerica Park, which is across the street from Ford Field.

Do economic development tactics like shiny new stadiums and arenas, casinos, and festival marketplaces really pay off for cities? What really works in urban development?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor and others want to replace all the lead service lines in the city. Besides the cost, there’s been one huge hurdle: Flint doesn’t know where its lead service lines are.

Until now, those records have lived on 3-by-5 index cards, old maps, and in the minds of Flint water department employees.

Experts at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus spent the past few weeks poring over those records and putting them into a much more useful, digital database. They’ve finished their work and handed the new database to city leaders.

Frances Kellor reading on a dock
Harvard University, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

As our nation continues to lay entrenched in the immigration debate, it might do us well to remember the life and work of a woman from Coldwater.

Frances Kellor rose from very humble roots in Michigan to become a nationally respected reformer. She worked in prison reform and for women’s issues, championed the cause of immigrants, rural and African American workers, and challenged the country to think about what it really meant to be an American.

Loveland Technologies

What happened to Detroit Public Schools?

How did Michigan's largest school system go from boom in the 1840s – packing students into makeshift classrooms in storefronts, churches, and houses because it couldn’t keep up with demand – to bust? In the last 15 years DPS has closed almost 200 schools, and now teeters on the brink of collapse.

Detroit-based Loveland Technologies set out to answer that question in a report compiled after 18 months of research, using 200 years’ worth of documents and records.

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