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

Economy
3:08 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Snyder drums up 'relentless positive action' after bad news weekend about Detroit

Governor Rick Snyder helps cut the ribbon on a new expansion of an auto supplier in Muskegon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Detroit’s bankruptcy will make it tricky to brand Michigan as the comeback state.

True to his “relentless-positive-action” style, Governor Rick Snyder didn’t let a weekend of bad news about Detroit’s dismal finances get him down.

On Wednesday morning, as a hearing on the bankruptcy was beginning in federal court in Detroit, Snyder attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for an auto supplier that’s expanding in Muskegon. He urged factory workers to spread the good news about Michigan to everyone they meet.

“I’m not talking just ‘Pure Michigan” tourism messages, Snyder told the crowd. He asked they spread the news about Michigan’s educated workforce and its culture “of making the world’s best products.”

He admitted to reporters the bankruptcy has sidelined conversations about the state’s economy.

Read more
Politics & Government
1:56 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Report shows taxpayers could save $500,000 if Saugatuck and Douglas merge

Members of the Michigan State Boundary Commission review a map of Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

A new study from an independent research group shows taxpayers in the cities of Douglas and Saugatuck could save more than half a million dollars a year if the local governments merged.

Eric Lupher is Director of Local Affairs for the independent Citizens Research Council of Michigan. He authored the study on a potential merger of city governments in Saugatuck and Douglas. You can read the full report on the CRC’s website.

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Energy
7:04 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Palisades, Davis-Besse on list of dozen nuclear plants 'most at risk' of closing early

The Davis-Besse nuclear plant sits on the shores of Lake Erie about 30 miles east of Toledo, Ohio.
Ohio Sea Grant Creative Commons

A new study deems the Palisades Nuclear Plant one of a dozen in the country most at risk of closing before its operating license expires in 2031.

“I’m not making predictions here and I really do want to stress that,” the study’s author Mark Cooper told reporters on a press conference call Wednesday afternoon.

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Business
6:24 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

CEO of office furniture giant Steelcase to retire in February 2014

Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett
Courtesy photo Steelcase

Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett announced to the company’s board of directors during an annual shareholder meeting Wednesday he’ll retire early next year. Hackett led the Grand Rapids-based company for 19 years.

“I couldn't be happier about what Steelcase has become and where we're headed,” Hackett said, “But it's time to provide opportunity to others, and time for me to pursue some other interests. While continuing to run the company with as much energy and excitement as I did when I took the role in 1994, I'll also ready myself for the next chapter in my life.”

Steelcase has been around for more than a hundred years. But over the last decade the recession and technology have forced all the big office furniture companies in West Michigan to adapt to major changes in how and where people work.

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Energy
8:05 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

It’ll take months to determine any violations stemming from radioactive leak at Palisades

The tank that was fixed is only used during refueling outages and in cases of emergencies.
Mark Savage Entergy

Federal nuclear regulators say it’ll be several weeks before they can determine if Entergy, the company that owns the Palisades Nuclear Plant, violated any regulations during an incident in May when 80 gallons of slightly radioactive water leaked into Lake Michigan.

Related: Read this for a brief summary of all the problems at Palisades

The leak happened in May. Regulators say there was no threat to public safety, and the leak is now fixed.

When workers fixed the leaky tank they discovered the sand bed that was supposed to be supporting the tank was never installed. Palisades was built in 1968.

“If the causes (of there being no sand bed) were so long ago and it’s not indicative of recent performance then it’s assessed a little bit differently,” Jack Giessner said during a public forum held online Tuesday afternoon. Giessner is branch chief at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“It still may have some follow up needed but in general, it’s not like we’re going to try to interview people from 1968,” Giessner said.

Read more
The Environment Report
9:00 am
Tue July 16, 2013

EPA delays decision on 'Mount PCB,' cleanup continues at another site

The EPA's Paul Ruesch describing where current work is underway in Portage Creek. Sarah Reding (right) is VP of Conservation Stewardship at Kalamazoo Nature Center.

You can listen to today's Environment Report above.

For decades, paper mills dumped waste into the Kalamazoo River. The waste contains polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.  

People can be exposed to PCBs by eating fish from the river. The chemicals can cause cancer, and other health effects.

The biggest concentration of the waste is a 1.5-million-cubic-yard pile in a residential area in Kalamazoo, nicknamed Mount PCB.

Now, the Environmental Protection Agency says it will release a feasibility study of the options for the pile by September. For a little perspective, this study was supposed to come out as far back as April 2011.

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Energy
6:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

This week nuclear regulators take questions on latest shutdown at Palisades Nuclear Plant

The Palisades Nuclear Plant sits on the shores of Lake Michigan in southwest Michigan.
Mark Savage Entergy

Federal regulators will host a public meeting this week to recap the latest shutdown of the Palisades Nuclear Plant. The plant restarted about a month ago after fixing a water leak.

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Education
10:23 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

State issues emergency loan so Buena Vista schools can pay off state loan

Lucy Perkins, Mark Brush Michigan Radio

The financially troubled Buena Vista school district got an emergency loan from the state Wednesday. But the district’s future remains uncertain.

Buena Vista schools borrowed money from the state last year. This was a typical advance that a lot of school districts get in the summer until state aid payments are dispersed in the fall.

The district needs to repay $2 million by August 20.

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Environment & Science
7:55 am
Wed July 10, 2013

State wants judge to issue $700,000 fine to small farmer for special pigs

A farmer in Michigan could face up to $700,000 in fines for keeping a hybrid breed of pig if Michigan’s Attorney General’s office has its way.

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources banned a species of wild Russian boar two years ago. The concern is that the pigs could escape from hunting reserves or farms and become hard to manage in the wild.

Mark Baker grows produce, and raises chickens, pigs and other animals at Baker's Green Acres in Marion.

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Politics & Government
11:14 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Benton Harbor leaders have more convincing to do on income tax proposal

It was standing room only at a town hall style meeting about the proposed income tax at Benton Harbor City Hall Monday night.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Elected leaders in Benton Harbor have a lot more convincing to do if they want to get a city-wide income tax on the November ballot.

Supporters of the income tax proposal aren’t sure exactly what the rate would be or how the money would be spent. They have general ideas, but that ambiguity makes business owners nervous.

“If they really want to do something like this they really have to have the trust of the citizenry and the business community that they will, in fact, spend the dollars that they earn in the way in which they say that they’ll spend them,” said Pat Moody, Executive Director of the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce.  

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Politics & Government
11:24 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Proposed ordinance would ban various kinds of discrimination in Kalamazoo Township

LGBT rainbow flag flapping in the sun
user Marlith Flickr

Tonight Kalamazoo Township’s board of trustees will consider an ordinance that would protect people from discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, among a number of other factors, including:

“..The actual or perceived race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, height, weight, marital status, familial status, citizenship, physical or mental ability, gender identity, sexual orientation or genetic information of another person."

State law already protects from discrimination based on factors like a person’s sex, age, race or religion.

Read more
Education
11:13 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Benton Harbor student population down 45% in a decade, schools work to reverse decline

Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Benton Harbor Area Schools is already campaigning to get students enrolled in the fall. That’s because the district hopes to dig out of a major budget deficit by attracting more students.

Benton Harbor schools narrowly avoided a state appointed emergency manager a couple of years ago.

Superintendent Leonard Seawood says since then, they’ve balanced the budget for two years in a row.

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Politics & Government
10:35 am
Fri July 5, 2013

After 3 years with an emergency manager, Benton Harbor considers an income tax

The City of Benton Harbor has been under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager since March 2010.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The city of Benton Harbor has been under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager for more than three years. Now some elected leaders in the state’s poorest city are proposing a new way to raise revenue.

Benton Harbor has done a lot to try to get out of debt; laid off workers, combined the police and fire departments, restructured its loans. But City Commissioner Trenton Bowens is convinced the city of roughly 10,000 people needs a citywide income tax.

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Environment & Science
5:42 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Enbridge Energy could face fines after incident with pipeline that's under construction

Enbridge Energy has until July 31st to submit a plan to resolve problems with its new oil pipeline. The line will span much of lower Michigan once completed. It’ll replace the one that burst in 2010, causing the oil spill in the Kalamazoo River.

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality cited a dozen violations of the conditions of a water discharge permit.

MDEQ investigated the site in Livingston County’s Tyrone Township after a video surfaced online of reddish colored hydrostatic test water spewing into North Ore Creek.

MDEQ found Enbridge didn’t have someone on site overseeing the tests on the pipeline. Water sampling and testing wasn’t done as required. There was too much oil and grease discharged, among other issues.

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Politics & Government
3:35 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Democrats want investigation into quality of care for veterans after worker privatization

State Representative Brandon Dillon talks to reporters at a park in front of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Friday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Update 4p.m.

The home’s administrator Sara Dunne says the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs just completed an annual inspection of the home in April. “They will not leave the homes if they feel there’s sub-standard being provided,” Dunne said.

There is no abuse and neglect going on at the home,” Dunne said, “There’s very strong language of what abuse and neglect is in long term care and there have been no instances of that at all.”

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Education
10:47 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Muskegon Heights schools emergency manager: 1 year to local control, 28 to pay off debt

EM Don Weatherspoon at a meeting in May 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

With a little luck and another loan from the state, Muskegon Heights Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon is predicting the district will pay of its debt the year 2041.

Don Weatherspoon told a small crowd gathered in the high school auditorium Monday night he hopes to hand local control back to the district’s elected school board in one year.

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Education
11:09 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Standardized test results remain status quo for Michigan high school students

Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Education released overall standardized test results for Michigan's high school students this morning.

Test results for all subjects in the Michigan Merit Examination (MME) were down slightly when compared to last year. ACT results showed a mix bag when compared to last year's results.

When looking back over the last four years, officials at the Michigan Department of Education say the test results show an "upward trend in student proficiency on both the 2013 Michigan Merit Examination (MME) and ACT college entrance exam."

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Law
11:05 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Proposed changes to Michigan’s home foreclosure laws allow unannounced inspections

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Housing advocates are asking Governor Rick Snyder to veto a package of bills that would change home foreclosure rules.

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Education
9:12 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Muskegon Heights schools' emergency manager to update community tonight

MHPS Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon at a town hall meeting in May 2012.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Muskegon Heights Public  Schools had nearly a $12 million deficit at the end of last school year. That's when the district’s newly appointed Emergency Manager Don Weatherspoon said the district couldn't afford to open school in the fall. He laid off most all the staff and hired charter school company Mosaica Education to run the schools for five years.

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Law
8:55 am
Fri June 21, 2013

'Thrill seekers' in emergency situations would pay for their own rescue under new bills

Jetskiiers on the flooded Grand River this past April.
YouTube

People who need to be rescued after taking part in “reckless” behavior during emergencies would be fined under bills introduced in the state house this week.

Emergency responders had to rescue several people who tried to kayak down fast-moving, swollen rivers during record flooding this spring in Michigan. Officials repeatedly warned people to stay out of the waters.

There’s this video online with four guys on jet skis during the record flood of the Grand River this spring. They jump over flooded playground equipment; duck real low to fit under bridges. It looked like a lot fun, but it’s probably not the brightest idea safety-wise.

State Representative Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) says emergency responders had enough on their plate at that time.

“We want to make sure that their lives aren’t put unnecessarily in jeopardy by going to have to rescue somebody who is doing thrill-seeking behavior or acting in an extremely reckless manner,” Dillon said.

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