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Steve Carmody

Mid Michigan Reporter/Producer

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting. During his two and a half decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic.

Q&A

What person, alive or dead, would you like to have lunch with? Why?
My wife. She’s the best company I’ve ever had, or expect to, over lunch.
 
How did you get involved in radio?
I started listening to all news radio when I was about 8 years old. In my teens, when other kids were listening to rock stations, I was flipping between KYW and WCAU in Philadelphia. I was fascinated listening to the news developing and changing through the day. When the time came to decide on what I wanted to study at college, I was drawn to broadcasting and journalism. I spent most of my four years in college at the campus radio station, including two years as news director.  
 
What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
I read (usually two books at a time, one book at work, another at home) and I go to see a lot of movies (about 50 or more a year)
 
What has been your most memorable experience as a reporter/host/etc.?
Covering the federal building bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995 was a remarkable experience. It was going to be a quiet day newswise. Not much happening. I was at the state capitol to cover a rally. The earth shattering explosion changed that. I spent the next ten hours wandering around downtown, filing reports to my home station and NPR. For the next six weeks, it was literally the only story my station covered.
 
What one song do you think best summarizes your taste in music?
Zilch. I don’t listen to music.
 
What is your favorite program on Michigan Radio? Why?
This American Life. It’s the best story telling on radio.
 
What's a hidden talent you have that most people don’t know about?
I have no talent. Anyone who knows me well would agree.
 
What is one ability or talent you really wish you possessed?
The ability to cook.
 
What do you like best about working in public radio?
I like having the time to tell a story. I’ve grown tired over time working in commercial radio of trying to tell a complex story in 25 seconds or less. You can tell some stories in less than 25 seconds. But often, a truly interesting story needs a minute, 3 minutes or more to explain.
 
If you could interview any contemporary newsmaker, who would it be?
No one really.
 
Is there a T.V. show you never miss? If so, which one?
The Amazing Race. As a fan and a former contestant, I just enjoy the thrill of seeing different parts of the world.
 
What would your perfect meal consist of?
A light appetizer. A good fish course. A well done steak. A pleasant dessert. A fine 20 year tawny port.
 
What modern convenience would it be most difficult for you to live without?
The computer. It has changed my personal and professional life.
 
What are people usually very surprised to learn about you?
That I not only watch Reality TV, but that I’ve been a Reality TV star (retired).
 
What else would you like people to know about you?
I enjoy living in Jackson, MI. So many Michigan cities and towns are struggling these days. Jackson’s no different. But, the people there are forging ahead. Jackson is also committed to being a community. 

Ways to Connect

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new early childhood education center in Flint is intended to help children exposed to the worst of the city’s lead-tainted water.

“These nook areas are going to be further developed to be interactive,” Educare Flint Director Denise Smith said as she led a tour of the new $15 million facility.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council will hold a public hearing Monday night on a proposal to sell city hall to a developer.

Chicago-based Beitler Real Estate Services proposes turning Lansing city hall into a hotel. It’s part of a complicated deal under which the developer would spend $42 million renovating the building. Beitler would also turn the old Lansing State Journal building into the capitol city’s new city hall.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Michigan lawmakers this week may discuss changes to a law that prevents school districts from having a say on what happens to former school buildings.

A charter school operator wants to turn a former Detroit public school building into a new school. But there’s a problem: a deed restriction on the property says they can’t. 

The district no longer owns the school, but the deed restriction gave it control over the future use of the building. 

There is just so much to process, so much to, well, not to sound old, but growing up we just never would have anticipated this level craziness.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are celebrating the reopening of a downtown landmark.

The Capitol Theatre has been closed for nearly 20 years.

But thanks to a $37 million restoration, the theater is once again opening its doors.

“What makes this building special actually is the connection that the community has had with it for nine decades,” says Jarret Haynes, the executive director of the Whiting theater, which will manage the Capitol Theatre.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says a top aide to Governor Snyder is willing to wait for more information before considering cutting funding for bottled water distribution in her city.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of Detroit leaders is calling for major improvements in the city’s schools.

Today, the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren outlined six goals, including decreasing absenteeism, improving third grade reading scores, and fully funding special education.

bottom of chalkboard, with an eraser and chalk sitting on the ledge
User alkruse24 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan lawmakers are closer to exempting police officers from rules governing how unruly students can be handled in school.

State law requires public schools adopt policies on using seclusion and restraint and special training for school staff. 

However, State Representative Daniela Garcia says school resource officers, who are local police officers, should be exempt from those rules.

Boy in classroom with his hand raised
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

A new analysis has found that Michigan's schools are extremely segregated.

Jennifer Chambers and Christine MacDonald with the Detroit News report that the Associated Press analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics enrollment data from the 2014-2015 school year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major state newspaper is calling for the president of Michigan State University to resign or be fired.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Pontiac Silverdome will go out with a bang tomorrow as explosives begin the demolition of the former home of the Detroit Lions.

During its four decades of existence, the Silverdome was the home of Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons. The stadium played host to the Super Bowl, Wrestlemania, mega rock concerts and Pope John Paul II.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The latest testing shows lead levels in Flint tap water continue to decline.

The Department of Environmental Quality's George Krisztian says the latest testing shows lead levels at about five parts per billion.  That’s well below the 15 parts per billion federal threshold.

Speaking to the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee on Friday, Krisztian said Flint is getting to the point where the system has recovered.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers grilled Detroit’s school superintendent for not moving faster to implement new policies to grading school performance and merit pay for teachers.

Dr. Nikolai Vitti told the House Education Reform Committee he’s had other priorities, as he tries to fix the problem-plagued district.  

During one exchange, Vitti responded to Saginaw lawmaker Tim Kelly, who pressed Vitti on why Detroit has not moved faster on accountability standards.

young kids playing with toys on floor
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved the state of Michigan’s plan to meet new federal education standards.

Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 to replace the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.  The new law gives states more authority in overseeing public schools.  

Michigan originally submitted its proposal in April. The state’s most recent revisions to the plan were filed two weeks ago. 

Michigan’s plan includes less student testing, focuses on student academic growth and gives schools more flexibility.

NOAA

 A new report finds governments are not making “sufficient progress” toward insuring the “drinkability, swimmability and fishability of the Great Lakes.”

The report, entitled the First Triennial Assessment of Progress on the Great Lakes, comes from the International Joint Commission, or IJC.   The IJC is a bi-national organization created under the Boundary Water Treaty of 1909.

The triennial assessment released today was required under a 2012 agreement.

The report finds not enough progress in reducing pollutants, including phosphorus which is creating cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie.  A bloom three years ago forced Toledo to shut off its water for two days.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Flint city councilman will learn Monday if he is going to spend the next year in jail.

Councilman Eric Mays entered a plea of ‘no contest’ to a charge of willful neglect of duty in August.

Mays was charged in connection with pawning his city issued lap top computer several times.

This isn’t the first legal issue for Mays. He served three weeks at the Genesee County jail last year for "impaired driving."

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners are optimistic this will be a good holiday shopping season.

In a recent Michigan Retailers Association survey, 62 percent of Michigan store owners expect increased sales.  

Low unemployment and positive economic news may be boosting that optimism.  There is also an extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared to last year.  

“And also Christmas falls on a Monday,” says Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, “It gives consumers a full weekend of last minute shopping.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A state agency is warning car thieves may also be at Michigan malls looking for deals in the parking lot.

Tim Bailor with the Michigan Automobile Theft Prevention Authority says Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for auto theft.

Bailor says car thieves target shopping mall parking lots on Black Friday hoping to not only steal a car, but also flat screen TV’s, electronics and other big ticket items.

He says shoppers often make it easy.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This is a weekend for holiday shoppers looking for bargains.

But they may also want to spend extra time looking for bargains at the pump.

Hurricanes, delayed refinery maintenance and OPEC cutting back production has left us with gasoline prices about 50 cents higher than a year ago.   

However, a sharp drop in wholesale gas prices is creating an unusually wide spread in prices in some metro areas. 

Patrick DeHaan is with GasBuddy.com.   He says motorists can save big if they shop around.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Last night, the Flint city council voted five to four to approve a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The contract to provide Flint with drinking water has been held up since April by city council members worried about rising water bills under the deal. But most of those councilmen lost their seats in this month’s election.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s death rate from suicide, alcohol and drug use is poised to skyrocket over the next decade.

The report, Pain in the Nation, examines the effect of rising death rates related to drug use, alcohol abuse and suicide.

According to the report, Michigan’s death rate from these three preventable reasons is expected to soar 44% between now and 2025. That would lift Michigan’s death rate to 20th in the country. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

After years of construction, water from Lake Huron soon will begin flowing into Genesee County through the KWA pipeline.

The Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline was completed last year. But testing and permitting, as well as construction of a new water treatment plant, have delayed water flowing through the pipeline. Until now.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a top state official criminally charged in the Flint water crisis investigation to head a new council tasked with improving Michigan’s response to emerging public health threats.

Dr. Eden Wells is Michgan’s chief medical executive.   

Wells will be in court tomorrow for a hearing on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to an officer in connection to the Flint water crisis. Prosecutors say an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter will also likely be added.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint officials will try again tomorrow to decide whether to approve a new water contract.

But a federal judge may take that decision away from them.

The Flint city council met for three long days last week, examining the proposed 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority. They will gather again at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

The contract has been on the table since April. Flint city council members balked at signing the contract out of concern that it could result in higher water rates.  

But five of nine council members lost their seats this month’s election.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Wayne State University professor testified today that the state health department director worried a study of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak would upset the public.

At least a dozen people died during the outbreak from 2014 to 2015 in Genesee County.  

the Solanus Center

70,000 people are expected to pack Ford Field Saturday.

Not for a football game, but for a Mass to celebrate the life of a Catholic priest who is one step away from sainthood.

Fr. Solanus Casey died 60 years ago, but he continues to be an inspiration to many.  During his lifetime, he developed a reputation of a simple man who inspired faith and healed the sick.    

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major obstacle to Flint’s recovery from its drinking water crisis has been removed.

The city of Flint has been hobbled in its efforts to remain on its aging water system by its inability to repay more than $20 million borrowed from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF).  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge is considering whether to allow testimony that could link state health director Nick Lyon to an effort to limit a study into a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak.

Lyon is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.  

Wayne State University environmental engineering professor Shawn McElmurry was part of a team studying the legionella outbreak in Genesee County from 2014 through 2015.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top city official admits there has been a “learning curve” after the city of Flint took over bottled water distribution from the state two months ago.

Flint distributes more than 65,000 cases of bottled water a week, comparable to what the state was doing before it handed the job over to the city in September. The city is working with local churches, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and United Way of Genesee County to manage the water distribution program.  

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“I do solemnly swear,” intoned City Clerk Inez Brown, as she led the nine members of the Flint city council through their oath of office.

The new city council were sworn in today at noon. Five of the nine council members are new to the job.  Last week, Flint voters ousted a majority of incumbents from the panel.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggests voters wanted the new blood on the council to move beyond old arguments.

City of Flint emblem
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At noon today, the new Flint city council is sworn in. It could signal a change in the city’s long debate over where its tap water should come from.

Last week, Flint voters elected five new people to the city council. They replace five council members who have fought, in court and out, against signing a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.   Flint has been getting its tap water from the authority on a temporary contract since it turned off the tap to the Flint River.

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