Lindsey Smith

West Michigan Reporter/Producer

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Lindsey has worked as a reporter at radio stations in both West and Southeast Michigan, and her work has been recognized by both the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and Michigan AP. She's a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Specs Howard School of Media Arts.

Q&A

What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter?
Reporting from a hot air balloon was one of the scariest. Trying to bubble-wrap my recording equipment to come with me down a giant waterslide took the most preparation and ingenuity. Mostly I remember people; so many downtrodden, truthful, funny, inspiring, regular-everyday people. Nearly everyone I meet and talk to shapes how I view life in at least the slightest way.

What is your favorite program on Michigan Radio?
"Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me." It's hilarious. "On the Media" is a very, very close second.

What do you like best about working in public radio?
Mostly, I'm proud of what we do and the stories we produce.

What modern convenience would it be most difficult for you to live without?
The internet! What did anyone do without it! I mean, I remember life without it, but it's amazing how much I rely on it every day.

What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
It depends on the season. I love wakeboarding in the summer, hanging out on the beach, going on long walks with my dog Lola, grilling. In the winter I wish I could hibernate. I do enjoy snowboarding and movies and warm drinks indoors then.

What are people usually very surprised to learn about you?
If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise!

Pages

Politics & Government
9:38 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Clinton supporters rally in Grand Rapids: 'Never too early' to start the 2016 election

Hillary Clinton supporters rally in Grand Rapids. Clinton spoke at a dinner that was closed to the press Monday night.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The next presidential election is more than three years away. But supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gathered in Grand Rapids Monday night to encourage her to run.

Clinton headlined a big black tie dinner the Economic Club of Grand Rapids puts on every year. It was closed to the press.

Read more
Economy
8:19 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

West Michigan’s big three getting lots of attention at office furniture show in Chicago

Grand Rapids-based Steelcase, Holland based-Haworth and Zeeland-based Herman Miller are showing off new lines of chairs, collaborative office spaces, and home offices at the annual show for the office furniture industry show known as NeoCon.

Together, West Michigan’s ‘big three’ sell nearly $6 billion in office furniture a year; making up more than half of all sales in the country. Designers and suppliers from across the state are also involved in this year’s show - MLive.com/The Grand Rapids Press lists them all here.

Industry analyst Mike Dunlap has been going to NeoCon for 34 years. He sees new technologies like smart phones and tablets creeping even further into what would traditionally be considered furniture.

“All of the major manufactures now are beginning to change their thinking to putting technology into the furniture as opposed to putting it on it,” Dunlap said.

Dunlap says Haworth is getting lots of attention for its new product called Bluescape, which he calls “an Ipad on steroids.”

Read more
Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

West Michigan’s largest planetarium to undergo major technology upgrades

The planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum facebook.com

The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is getting a major upgrade.

The planetarium is popular; pulling in about 60,000 visitors a year. But it uses technology that's almost two decades old. GRPM spokeswoman Kate Moore says the upgrade will make a huge difference.

“Right now our shows, not only are they out of date technology wise, but some of the information is not shown in the best way that’s possible. They’re not at maximum capabilities to what, especially students, but also the general public is used to seeing these days,” Moore said.

Read more
Energy
10:40 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Palisades springs minor leak as repairs continue to tank that caused shutdown

Inside the control room at Palisades. (file photo)
Mark Savage Entergy

It’s been more than a month since the Palisades Nuclear Plant near South Haven shut down after an unexpected release of slightly radioactive water into Lake Michigan.

Nuclear watchdog groups are upset there was yet another leak into the plant’s control room last week.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:34 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Amash: government collecting phone records without probable cause is “outrageous”

Congressman Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) file photo
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Two Republican congressmen from West Michigan blasted the federal intelligence community for secretly collecting the phone records of millions Americans. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) and Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Holland) discussed the program during a luncheon in Grand Rapids today.

“I think it’s outrageous,” Amash said, “I think the American people are outraged about it and it has to stop.”

Read more
Education
10:21 am
Fri June 7, 2013

State fines Muskegon Heights schools for hiring teachers without proper certification

The Muskegon Heights school system has been fined nearly $100,000 by the Michigan Department of Education. The department launched the investigation after Michigan Radio reported the new Muskegon Heights charter school district had about 10% of teachers working without a valid teaching certificate or permit. It’s against state law to do that.

Read more
Education
5:39 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Schools that can’t follow deficit elimination plans could be dissolved under new bill

Lucy Perkins, Mark Brush Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are working on legislation they hope will prevent another crisis like the one in the Buena Vista school district. Students there sat at home while school was closed for two weeks last month because the district couldn’t afford to pay its teachers. Buena Vista is not alone; a number of districts have had problems keeping their doors open because of financial problems this year.

Read more
Education
6:09 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Classes count towards high school diploma and college degree under new pilot program

FSU President David Eisler (right) and Rockford Schools Superintendent Michael Shibler
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Juniors and seniors at Rockford High School will be able to earn up to 30 credit hours at Ferris State University for free in a pilot program announced today.

Say you’re taking calculus at Rockford High School, when you get to college, you could test out of calculus but you wouldn't get any credits.

The pilot program differs from dual enrollment programs.

If a student passes a single calculus class, it will count toward both their high school diploma and their college degree.

Read more
Education
10:43 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Despite restructuring, likely boost in state funding, Grand Rapids schools expects layoffs

Grand Rapids Public Schools will have to dip into its savings account to cover a projected $7.9 million deficit next school year. That’s despite a major restructuring plan and a small increase in funding that’s expected from the state. Grand Rapids schools will still have to lay off roughly 70 employees to balance its budget next school year; 14 of them teachers.

GRPS will get an extra $11 per student next year if Governor Rick Snyder signs a school spending bill, as he's expected to.

The district’s business and finance director, Julie Davis, says that’s an improvement.

Read more
Economy
10:38 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Grand Rapids celebrates a decade of “Local First” with massive street party Saturday

More than 10,000 people are expected at a street party in Grand Rapids Saturday to celebrate all things local.

Locals bands, local food, and of course local beer; brewed special for the party with locally produced honey. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for Local First, a non-profit that supports locally owned businesses throughout West Michigan. It's their 10th anniversary.

Executive Director Elissa Hillary says if everyone in Kent County shifted 10% of their purchases to locally owned businesses, it would create 1,600 jobs.

“It’s important for us to just be aware that our daily choices have an impact and that they can have an incredibly positive impact,” Hillary said, “So if we’re making choices to support businesses in our community we’re essentially choosing to support people who live in our community.”

Read more
The Environment Report
8:37 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Prehistoric fish species with 'personalities' get help from humans to survive

Kids get a chance to see the small sturgeon raised in the facility up close during a release party in 2011.
Kazoo Sturgeon kazoosturgeon.org

You can listen to today's Environment Report above.

It’s near the end of spawning season for Michigan’s oldest and biggest fish species, the lake sturgeon. Overfishing and hydraulic dams built to power industry have wiped out many lake sturgeon populations in the Great Lakes.

A group of people and government agencies are trying to increase the odds the kind of sturgeon specific to the Kalamazoo River will survive.

Sturgeon have been around since the age of dinosaurs. So they’re a lot different from other fish in the Great Lakes. They don’t have a normal skeleton. Instead, they’ve got these bony plates on the outside of their bodies, called scutes. They have no fish scales.

“They’re kind of rubbery on the outside and they are extremely docile, unlike the fish with the flopping and all that,” said Ron Clark. He’s with the Kalamazoo River Sturgeon Restoration Project out of New Richmond.

“They let you move them; they let you hold them,” Clark said.

Read more
Offbeat
3:45 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Small community attempts to 'make it right' for Michigan soldier whose medals came late

Boyscouts line up to shake Wright's hand and thank him for his service.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Update 5/29/13: This story has been corrected to reflect Wright’s rank as Specialist, not Sergeant. Wright misrepresented his rank during the formal event.  

Memorial Day was particularly special for an injured Iraqi war veteran from Allegan.

Hundreds huddled close at Oakwood Cemetery Monday morning. Some wept as Amy Wright finally pinned a Purple Heart on her husband’s uniform. He kneeled so his 7-year old daughter Torin could pin on the other one.

Read more
Politics & Government
9:53 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Benton Harbor emergency manager predicting budget surplus on the horizon

Benton Harbor City Hall
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Benton Harbor’s new emergency manager says the city is on track to eliminate its structural deficit within a year. The city's finances have been under state control for more than three years.

Emergency Manager Tony Saunders started in February after the state ended the previous manager's contract at the city commission’s request.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:40 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Review team finds 'financial emergency' exists, again, in Hamtramck

Businesses in Hamtramck, Michigan
Ian Freimuth creative commons

An independent review team says the city of Hamtramck is indeed dealing with a “financial emergency.” The small city takes up about two square miles within the city of Detroit.

Hamtramck just emerged from the control of an emergency financial manager six years ago. Now its deficit is $3.3 million. That’s 20 percent of the money the city expects to bring in this fiscal year.

Read more
Education
7:30 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Despite state takeover, special education problems linger for Muskegon Heights schools

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Listen to the on air version of this story.

New reports show special education students in Muskegon Heights didn’t get all the services they should have this year. The company that runs the state’s first all-charter public school district is working to correct the problems.

Problems with charter company’s handling of special ed services

Federal law and state regulations outline the rules that are supposed to make sure kids with special needs still get a fair education.

Michigan’s Department of Education found more than a dozen ways the new Muskegon Heights charter district violated those rules, affecting a couple hundred special education students.

“In my opinion this was probably the worst delivery of special education services I’ve seen in my career,” said Norm Kittleson, a former special education teacher at Muskegon Heights. He’s been teaching for 15 years.

Kittleson started teaching a small class of students with learning disabilities and emotional issues at Muskegon Heights last October.

Read more
Environment & Science
9:33 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Kalamazoo rallies to pressure EPA to remove hazardous paper mill waste

More than a hundred people meet up for the rally at a Goodwill building in Kalamazoo. 1.5 million cubic yards of waste sits behind a barbed wire fence in the background.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

More than a hundred people, a dozen strollers and a few dogs lined up and marched about halfway around the Allied landfill site in Kalamazoo Wednesday night chanting – “What do we want? Cleanup! When do we want it? Now!”

It isn’t a typical landfill. It’s where a paper mill dumped decades-worth of waste that’s laced with cancer-causing chemicals.

Everyone here wants the pile gone. They don’t care if it’s the most expensive option and the company that owned the site went bankrupt.

Read more
Energy
7:17 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Residents, regulators, activists and plant workers mingle at Palisades’ open house

Around 80 people came to Palisades' open house Tuesday night at a conference center in South Haven.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

You can listen to a related Environment Report segment above or read an expanded version below.

Even though Palisades is temporarily shut down, the nuclear power plant last night held a public open house it had scheduled more than a month ago.

In a small conference center in South Haven Tuesday night, anti-nuclear activists mingled with federal nuclear regulators, residents, and plant workers. Palisades Site Vice President Tony Vitale says that's a good thing. He says the open house is designed for people in the community to come talk to some of the plant workers firsthand.

“We’re not hiding anything. We want to run, and will run, and I will demand we run a transparent operation,” Vitale said.

Read more
Energy
11:41 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Palisades closer to solving leaky tank issues, Upton says he’ll return before plant reopens

Protestors gather outside the entrance to the Palisades plant on Monday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Crews are still trying to figure out exactly what caused an unplanned release of slightly radioactive water from the Palisades Nuclear Plant last week. They have discovered a new crack in a water tank that’s been leaking on and off for at least two years.

The plant was shut down a little over a week ago because of the leak.

“The risk to the plant safety was very small. There really was no increased risk,” Palisades Chief Operating Officer Tim Mitchell told reporters Monday afternoon.  

Read more
The Environment Report
8:11 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Kalamazoo residents struggle with EPA over "Mount PCB"

Kalamazoo River Cleanup Coalition Executive Director Gary Wager points to the 1.5 million cubic yards of paper mill waste neighbors have dubbed Mount PCB.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

You can listen to today's Environment Report above.

People in Kalamazoo are rallying to get rid of a major dump site that contains cancer causing waste.

Imagine decades’ worth of wood pulp and grey clay waste from the paper mill industry. There are 1.5 million cubic yards of it and it’s laced with polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs.

Now, plop it in the middle of a neighborhood.

Sarah Hill lives a little more than a mile away from what neighbors have dubbed "Mount PCB."

Read more
Environment & Science
6:30 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

New partnership should give a boost to Grand River rapids restoration project

Kayakers can't go too far in the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids because the dams are dangerous.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

An effort to restore the rapids into the Grand River is getting a boost from a new federal partnership.

The rapids that gave Michigan’s second largest city its name are long gone. Hydraulic dams that used to power the furniture industry are major safety hazards for small boats and kayaks. They also block fish like sturgeon from spawning upstream.

Read more

Pages