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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

An infectious disease expert says the public should have been alerted to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County sooner. 

At least a dozen people died from the respiratory illness between 2014 and 2015. 

State health officials were discussing concerns about an outbreak in January 2015. But the government did not publicly acknowledge the outbreak until January 2016.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys spent hours Thursday battling over what the state’s chief health official knew about a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak, and when. 

Between 2014 and 2015, a dozen people died and dozens more were hospitalized for the respiratory illness.  

In January 2015, state health department officials started circulating an email raising concerns about a rising number of Legionnaires' cases in Genesee County. But it was another year before state officials publicly announced the outbreak.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council voted tonight to extend the city’s tap water contract for another month. 

The council continues to balk at agreeing to a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

Council President Kerry Nelson says council members remain concerned about future rate hikes.

“Our one goal is to make sure we’re getting the best, affordable, drinkable water there is,” says Nelson.

In June, the state filed a complaint with a federal judge claiming the city is endangering Flint residents by not having a long-term water contract in place.

Michigan Health and Human Services Dept. Director Nick Lyon
State of Michigan

Tomorrow, a judge will begin hearing the prosecution’s case against State Health Department Director Nick Lyon.  

It’s the first preliminary exam in the ongoing criminal investigation of the Flint water crisis.

Nick Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a deadly Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Genesee County in 2014 and 2015. The outbreak killed at least 12 people.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan hospitals are coming out against the Republicans’ latest plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The new bill, sponsored by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, would replace Obamacare with a system that gives states more control.

Todd Flood and Mark Kriger men at podiums
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The stage is set for the next step in the Flint water crisis criminal probe.

Today, a judge scheduled preliminary exams for five water crisis defendants for early January. That will give defense attorneys a little less than four months to wade through tens of thousands of pages of evidence recently turned over by prosecutors.

Michigan civil rights commission
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A large crowd is expected Monday when the Michigan Civil Rights Commission is asked to revise how the word “sex” is interpreted under the state’s anti-discrimination law.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This will be a busy week for Flint water crisis prosecutors.

A Monday court hearing will handle motions in the criminal cases against five MDEQ employees, including Liane Shekter-Smith. She was was fired from her job as head of the department’s drinking water unit. 

The five (Shekter-Smith, Michael Prysby, Stephen Busch, Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook) are facing a variety of charges, including misconduct in office, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, willful neglect of duty.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette picked up a big endorsement for his campaign for governor.

A presidential tweet:

Donald J. Trump‏ @realDonaldTrump

"Attorney General Bill Shuette will be a fantastic Governor for the great State of Michigan. I am bringing back your jobs and Bill will help!"

The president did misspell Schuette’s name.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Virginia Tech researchers say their latest tests of Flint tap water are consistent with state tests showing the city’s water is within federal standards for lead.

Dr. Marc Edward’s team has conducted five rounds of testing over the past two years. The team’s original 2015 test revealed high levels of lead in Flint tap water.

school zone ahead sign
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan ranks near the bottom of a new report on distracted drivers in school zones.

Jonathan Matus is CEO of Zendrive, a company that uses cell phone data to analyze driver behavior.

He says Michigan ranks 47th among the 50 states when it comes to distracted driving in school zones.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Mayor Karen Weaver’s office announced a plan Wednesday to continue bottled water distribution in Flint for the foreseeable future.

Four delivery sites will continue to serve the roughly 2,100 Flint residents with mobility issues or limited access to transportation. Ten pickup locations will also be accessible.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The public will get a look tonight at four proposed futures for the site of Lansing city hall.

Developers bidding to buy Lansing city hall have four different visions for the property across from the state capitol.

One would renovate city hall into a hotel. Two other bidders would construct new towers on the current City Hall plaza, each featuring a hotel. The fourth proposal would tear down city hall and replace it with a hotel.

Developers will deliver 45-minute presentations starting tonight at the Lansing Center.

Bill Schuette speaks to a crowd of supporters.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Our next governor, Bill Schuette,” Cynthia Schuette introduced her husband to an enthusiastic hometown crowd in Midland on Tuesday.

Michigan’s attorney general’s interest in the state’s top job has not been a secret. 

In his speech, Schuette laid out his priorities.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

U.S. Rep. Dave Trott, R-11th District, says he will not seek reelection next year and will retire after four years in Congress.

Trott says he always intended for his congressional career to be brief. He said in a written statement he’s ready to return to the private sector and spend more time with his family. But he possibly faced a tough reelection bid next year, and The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trott was growing increasingly frustrated with President Trump. He recently advised Trump in a tweet to spend more time on the golf course and stay away from microphones.

Trott’s decision will set off a scramble among Republicans and Democrats to find nominees to replace him. Michigan’s 11th District leans Republican, but even Republicans acknowledge it’s possible for a Democrat to take it.   

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A group of East Lansing businesses and university student leaders wantS the city council to cancel plans for a vote on a city income tax in November.

The ballot proposal calls for creating a tax that would tax residents 1% of their income and non-residents 0.5%.  The tax would generate around $10 million annually. About half the revenues would go toward a property tax rate reduction. City leaders say implementing an income tax would help deal with mounting employee legacy costs

But opposition to the income tax is mounting.

Lansing city hall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A developer is scheduled to be selected to buy Lansing city hall by the end of this week.

Four developers submitted proposals to the city. Mayor Virg Bernero says the winning bidder will be the one that makes the highest and best use of the property.

flint symbol
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

An edict from a former Flint emergency manager stands in the way of a plan to reinstate the city's ombudsman office.

Flint voters approved changes to their city charter in August.  The new city charter is scheduled to take effect in January. The changes include reinstating the city’s ombudsman office.   

But former emergency manager Micheal Brown eliminated the city’s internal government watchdog office.   The intent was to save money. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report calls for more aggressive action to reduce lead exposure, such as that seen in Flint children during the city’s water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There are fewer places for Flint residents to get free bottled water these days.

In August, Flint’s seven water distribution centers handed out 11,061 cases of bottled water a day. That's nearly 300,000 cases for the entire month. 

But just after Labor Day, the state closed three of the centers. Of the nine original sites, only four remain, located in different quadrants of the city.   

banner that says flint fresh
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials broke ground in Flint today on a center to promote local farm goods. 

The million-dollar project will transform a dilapidated old building on the city’s east side into a climate-controlled warehouse.  

Erin Caudell, VP of Flint Fresh, says when it opens next spring, the food hub will enable small farmers to sell to larger institutions, like schools and hospitals.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major dredging project in the Flint River remains on schedule.

Consumers Energy is paying to remove tons of coal tar waste along a third of a mile stretch of the river in downtown Flint. The coal tar waste is the legacy of a gasification plant that closed almost a century ago. 

Consumers spokesman Kevin Keane says crews recently started using a so-called “moon pool” as part of the dredging work.

“The moon pool is used to contain excavations in the river and it collects sheen and sediments that otherwise might travel over the dam,” says Keane.

Sparty
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

"Go Green" has some added meaning in East Lansing today.

Michigan State University officials say the university has reached an important fundraising goal.

Six years ago, MSU officials quietly launched the “Empower Extraordinary” campaign.

The campaign to raise $1.5 billion dollars to fund expansion of the East Lansing university’s business, medicine and music programs became public three years ago.

As of today, university officials say the campaign has met its goal, a full year ahead of schedule.

Amor Ftouhi
File photo / FBI

It appears likely the trial date for a suspect in a possible terrorist attack in Flint will be delayed.

Amor Ftouhi is scheduled to go on trial in January for allegedly slashing a police officer at Flint’s Bishop Airport in June. He’s charged with “violence at an international airport” and “interference with airport security.” He could face up to life in prison.  

City of Flint

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will face a city councilman in November’s recall election.

Scott Kincaid had tried to run both for mayor and for re-election to the city council seat he's held for 32 years. But a judge ruled he couldn’t, and ordered Kincaid to make a choice.

Scott Kincaid announced his choice to run for mayor at a UAW Labor Day rally.

USFWS

Backers of a ballot question to legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan are approaching a milestone.

Organizers say hundreds of petition circulators have been busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend collecting signatures.

Josh Hovey is the spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. He expects their petition drive will collect its quarter-millionth signature this week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate is below 4% on this Labor Day.

Other jobs numbers are not as good.

A new report says there are 326,000 fewer Michiganders in the workforce than in the year 2000.  

A decade of recession, a plunging number of manufacturing jobs, and people leaving Michigan to find work have left the state’s workforce grayer. 

Peter Ruark is with the Michigan League for Public Policy. He says the percentage of young people in the workforce has fallen sharply over the last 20 years.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates may jump in Michigan next year, depending on a decision by the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has threatened to end Cost Sharing Reduction payments.  The federal government offers those subsidies to offset the cost of insurance policies that cover low income residents.  

State insurance officials say Michiganders buying health insurance through the marketplace will see rates rise between 16% and 59% next year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor has dropped her legal challenge to a recall petition intent on ousting her from office.

Mayor Karen Weaver’s attorney signed on to a judge’s order dismissing the mayor’s suit.

Weaver had tried to raise questions about the validity of hundreds of signatures on the recall petition.   In court this week, a handwriting expert questioned whether some people who signed the petition also filled in the date. 

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