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.


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

There are new concerns about lead in the water in Flint schools.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality tested the water in 13 Flint schools. 

MDEQ director Dan Wyant says tests at four schools came in above the federal action level for lead (15 parts per billion).

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is going back to Detroit water.   

The state, the city and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation together are kicking in $12 million to shut off the tap to the Flint River.

A year and a half ago, city leaders stood in Flint's water plant and raised plastic glasses to toast the city’s switch to the Flint River.

Eighteen months later, Governor Snyder has announced the end of the Flint River experiment.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A panel of experts is recommending the city of Flint return to Detroit's water system.

As protesters marched outside Flint city hall chanting “lead free water,” inside local, state and national health and water experts agreed that change is needed. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water controversy has led to the cancelation of a festival celebrating the Flint River.

Tests link the corrosive nature of the river water to high lead levels in Flint tap water.  Complaints about the quality of Flint’s drinking water have been escalating since the city switched from Detroit water to the Flint River last year.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today people lined up in the rain to get water filters in Flint.

The state is handing out 20,000 Brita filters to people at risk for high lead in their tap water.   Over the weekend, the Genesee County Health Department and United Way gave away 4,000 PUR filters.

“Our goal is to make sure that every single resident in the city of Flint, who needs a water filter gets one,” says Sheryl Thompson, with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Experts will try to come up with a solution to Flint’s water problems tomorrow.

State and federal regulators, along with national experts, will take part in the meeting that will take place at Flint city hall Wednesday afternoon.

They will hear a presentation from Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards. Edwards is in New York City for a prior commitment, but he’s rearranged his schedule so he can make his presentation to the tech panel remotely. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint school officials expect they will fall 300 students below their target on this week’s count day.

The district had budgeted for 5,700 students. But Superintendent Bilal Tawwab expects the number will be closer to 5,400.

He says that may force the district to make more hard choices.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today was the last day for Flint residents to register to vote in next month’s mayoral election. 

But some people in Flint don’t want to wait for a change at city hall.

Chanting “Walling gotta go,” a small group of protesters marched in a circle outside Flint city hall. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State and local officials Friday unveiled a plan for fixing Flint’s water problems.

But one demand of many city residents is not on the list.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality director Dan Wyant addressed what he sees as the critical problem in Flint. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The White Horse Tavern is turning alcohol into water these days.  All to help the Flint school district. 

White Horse tavern owner Chris Poulos offered me a free drink as I sidled up to the bar.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Recent studies have shown blood lead levels in Flint children have doubled, even tripled in some parts of town, since the city started using the Flint River as its drinking water source. 

So today Genesee County officials declared a public health emergency.

Courser website

Fourteen candidates to fill an open Michigan House seat are scheduled to appear at a debate Friday evening in Lapeer County, including the man who resigned the seat.

Todd Courser stepped down near the end of a marathon session as House members debated expelling him over allegations he used his office to cover up a romantic affair with another state lawmaker. An hour later, the House voted to expel State Rep. Cindy Gamrat, R-Plainwell, with whom Courser had a romantic relationship.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Fewer and fewer people are paying their water bills in Flint. 

Flint’s water bill collections are down by $1.75 million since a judge issued an injunction in August rolling back rates and ordering an end to disconnections.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report estimates it will cost the city of Flint $1.5 billion to repair the damage done since the switch to the Flint River as a water source.

Researchers from Virginia Tech based their estimate on the tests of the corrosiveness of the Flint River.

The researchers say the corrosiveness is “eating away” iron pipes, aging the system by more than 11.5 years in just the last 16 months.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting Thursday, more online companies will add the Michigan sales tax to purchases made by Michigan customers.

Online retail giant Amazon is among the companies that will add the 6% tax to their bills.

Tom Scott with the Michigan Retailers Association says compelling online companies with a presence in Michigan to charge the sales tax is a matter of fairness.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint officials are seriously looking at returning to Detroit water.

City Administrator Natasha Henderson is talking with the different groups needed to make the switch back to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The demand for clean water is growing louder in Flint.

Dozens of people chanted “Fresh, Clean Water” as they jammed the lobby of Flint city hall Monday.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It took five Home Depot employees a couple trips to unload a pickup truck filled with dozens of cases of bottled water into a classroom at a Flint elementary school this afternoon. 

The donation was the largest, but far from the only, bottled water donation to Flint schools today. 

Hekmati family

The President of Iran suggests he may be open to a prisoner exchange with the United States. 

That is giving hope to a Flint family.

Amir Hekmati has sat in an Iranian prison cell for nearly 1500 days.  The U.S. Marine veteran was visiting family in Tehran when he was arrested.  He was convicted of spying for the U.S., a charge he denies.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint has issued an advisory for lead in city drinking water.

The advisory comes a day after local hospital officials announced blood lead levels in young children in Flint have doubled, and in some cases tripled, since the city started getting its drinking water from the Flint River in April of 2014.

Mayor Dayne Walling says city residents should take steps to reduce their lead exposure.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s Oliver Towers will get a multi-million dollar makeover.

A fire in 2000 made the apartment building, a block from the state capitol, unlivable. 

For more than a decade, political squabbles stalled several efforts to rehab the eight story building leaving it to decay.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State hospital regulators may be asked to investigate a Catholic hospital’s decision not to allow a doctor to perform a sterilization procedure on a seriously ill pregnant woman.

Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc insists it is following “the ethical and religious directives of the (Catholic) Church” by denying the woman a tubal ligation. 

Jessica Mann’s scheduled to undergo a C-Section next month. It will be her third child. Mann also would like the child to be her last. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers this week will discuss outside oversight for prison food facilities.

State Representative John Kivela, D-Marquette, wants local health departments to inspect prison kitchens.

The facilities have been self-inspecting for decades.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports companies spent $21 million in the first seven months of the year.  That’s about 1.3% more than during the same period in 2014.

Multi-client lobbying firms dominated the filings, which presents a problem.

Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Amid growing concerns about Flint’s drinking water, federal, state and local elected leaders were briefed today in Lansing by federal and state environmental regulators. After the meeting, one prominent elected official called for more independent testing of Flint's drinking water.

Recent tests by researchers from Virginia Tech University have shown "serious" lead levels in a significant percentage of Flint homes. The tests showed lead levels in some homes at 15 parts per billion or higher. The researchers have advised many homeowners to stop drinking their tap water, especially if there are young children or pregnant women living there.

University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

A new poll shows disagreement among parents about what exactly constitutes cyberbullying.

The University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked hundreds of parents of children between 13 and 17 years old about cyberbullying.   

The poll found agreement that children bullying other children online is wrong. But agreement was more elusive on what exactly qualifies as cyberbullying and what’s the best response.

Coasters with sexual assault awareness messages are being distributed this month in Saginaw bars catering to a college age crowd.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At 13 bars popular with local college students in Saginaw, bartenders are handing out sexual assault awareness messages along with the drinks.

The Saginaw County Sexual Violence Prevention Team and other groups have printed hundreds of bar coasters with sexual assault awareness messages in the form of popular songs with their lyrics slightly altered.

Marc Edwards, PhD, of Virginia Tech University holds two vials of water, one from Flint and the other from Detroit. The Flint water is noticeably cloudy.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This past week, researchers from Virginia Tech University were back in Flint to conduct more tests of the city’s tap water. 

A previous round of tests of nearly 300 homes found ‘serious’ lead levels in nearly one in five homes.  

That’s at odds with tests conducted by the city of Flint and overseen by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which didn’t show higher than acceptable levels of lead in the water. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“Detroit’s back,” Vice President Joe Biden shouted at the audience in a city bus depot today.   

Sounding like the presidential candidate he insists he is not (yet), Biden touted federal and local efforts to help Detroit rebound.

Biden was in Detroit to formally announce a milestone in the city’s bus service. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals has dealt a blow to Flint’s legal fight against an order to lower city water rates.

The Court of Appeals turned down the city’s request to appeal an August ruling by Judge Archie Hayman. 

Hayman ordered the city to roll back a 2011 water rate increase. He found Flint leaders violated city ordinances by imposing the 35% increase in water and sewer bills. That increase was eliminated this month, and city officials have warned the lower revenues could spell financial disaster for Flint.