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. 

Pages

Environment & Science
9:57 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Making plans for the future of the Kirtland's warbler in Michigan

Lower Michigan has the largest population of Kirtland’s warblers. The song bird’s habitat covers roughly 19 counties.
Credit Joel Trick / USFWS

The Kirtland’s warbler is starting its migration from Michigan to the Caribbean.

By the time the song birds return to their Michigan breeding grounds next year, the Kirtland’s warbler may no longer be listed as an endangered species.  

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Business
11:22 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Fireworks business booming in Michigan

“It has been a good fireworks state. And now with the laws having been relaxed, Michigan is on its way to becoming a great fireworks state," says Bill Weimer with Phantom Fireworks.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Business is looking up for people selling fireworks in Michigan.

Since state lawmakers expanded the kinds of fireworks that can be sold in Michigan, fireworks are a growing business in the state.

Bill Weimer is a vice president with Phantom, one of the nation’s largest fireworks retailers. He says Michigan is a ‘developing’ market since the state loosened the rules on ‘consumer” fireworks starting in 2012.

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Politics & Government
1:40 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Outside groups already spending big in Michigan's U.S. Senate and governor's races

Even though outside groups are hoping to sway Michigan voters in November with their political ads, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network's Rich Robinson says the benefit of such early TV ad spending is questionable for candidates and their supporters.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly $18 million has been spent so far this year on political TV ads in Michigan’s U. S. Senate and governor’s races. Most of the money has been coming from national Republican, Democratic, conservative and liberal groups.

Rich Robinson is the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He analyzed TV ad buys by political groups in a half dozen television markets in Michigan. 

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Transportation
6:08 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Highway Trust Fund shortage threatens road work in Michigan

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is important because it helps pay for state and local transportation projects. But the trust fund is facing a shortfall.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Transportation officials in Michigan are hearing from their federal counterparts this week about a funding shortage that may affect next year’s orange barrel season.

The problem is fuel efficient cars, at least partially. More fuel efficient cars mean less gas revenue flowing into the Federal Highway Trust Fund.  The federal gas tax rate has remained at the same level for two decades.  

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Business
5:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Food trucks will soon roll into downtown Battle Creek

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Battle Creek is the latest Michigan city to welcome food trucks to its downtown.

The city commission voted last night to lift a longtime ban on food trucks.  Starting later this month, the city will start handing out permits to up to seven food truck vendors to set up shop in a specific zone in downtown Battle Creek.  

Supporters say food trucks will add much-needed vitality and variety to Battle Creek’s downtown.

Downtown business owners are not happy. They fear the food trucks will hurt struggling downtown restaurants.

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Law
6:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Michigan company's legal fight against Obamacare goes on

The U.S> Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan company’s legal fight against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception requirement will likely continue, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar case Monday.

The Supreme Court says corporations can hold religious objections that allow them to opt out of the new health law requirement that they cover contraceptives for women. 

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Health
2:43 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Study: The better a child can ID a fast food logo the more likely they are overweight

Young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” ”silly rabbit,s” and “a king’s crown” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report links a young child’s knowledge of fast food and snack food logos with their being overweight.

A research team asked three- to five-year-olds if they could identify various advertising logos.

It turns out the young children who could easily ID things like “golden arches,” "silly rabbits,” and “a king’s crown,” were more likely to have higher body mass indexes.

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Law
3:54 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Little fallout expected from landmark ruling on cell phones and police in Michigan

The nation’s highest court ruled that police need a warrant to search a criminal suspect’s mobile phone.

Michigan police officers and defense attorneys don’t expect much to change in the state after a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in a privacy case.

The nation’s highest court ruled that police need a warrant to search a criminal suspect’s mobile phone.

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Health
1:23 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Group wants "Health" to be a key consideration in all government decisions

The idea is that the “health” is determined by many factors that fall outside the control of health care professionals. Factors include: income, employment, education and where people live, work, and play.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A handful of Michigan county health department leaders say “health” should play a bigger role in local decision making. 

Health department officials from Wayne, Genesee, Ingham, Kent, Kalamazoo, Saginaw and Washtenaw counties met in Lansing this past week to strategize how to change the way local governments do pretty much everything. 

Linda Vail is Ingham County’s Chief Health Officer.   She says city and county leaders often fail to consider the potential effects their decisions will have on their community’s health.

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Arts & Culture
3:56 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Prison museum in Jackson offers a "captivating" experience

“Cell Block 7” at the state prison in Jackson will officially open to the public on Saturday. The museum is located in the old Southern Michigan Correctional Facility. The cell block was closed in 2007.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This Saturday, a unique museum experience will open in Michigan.

“Cell Block 7” at the state prison in Jackson will officially open to the public.  The museum is located in the old Southern Michigan Correctional Facility. The cell block was closed in 2007.  

The museum will chronicle the history of state prisons in Jackson, which dates back to the 1830s.    

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Education
10:48 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Flint school district budget deficit soars to $20 million

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school district is sinking deeper into red ink.

Less than 12 months ago, an audit placed the district’s budget deficit at $10.4 million.  It's now pegged at $20.4 million.  

The Flint school district has been struggling to reduce its multi-million dollar deficit for years. But last night, school district officials described recent budget plans as being “far from reality,” even describing the district’s current budget as only ”close to reality.”

Isaiah Oliver is the president of the Flint Board of Education.  He calls the new deficit number “devastating”

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Business
7:21 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Michigan bars score with World Cup

Soccer fans have been packing Michigan sports bars during the World Cup, especially when Team USA is playing.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Team USA lost to Germany today at the World Cup in Brazil.  

But Michigan sports bars are counting themselves as winners.

Since the global soccer tournament began, sports bars have been very busy.   

Business at Peppinos in East Lansing usually slows in June as the college crowd thins. But not this year.

Soccer fans have been packing the bar during the World Cup, especially when Team USA is playing.

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Health
6:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Michiganders should expect to pay more for Obamacare next year

The next Obamacare enrollment period begins in November 15th.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cost of Obamacare health insurance plans will likely rise next year in Michigan. 

272,000 Michiganders signed up for health insurance using the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act.   They will be paying more for those plans if proposed rate increases released this week are approved by state and federal regulators.

Josh Fangmeier is a health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation at the University of Michigan.    

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Families & Community
3:31 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Lansing groups coming together to improve the lives of young people of color

"Every young person, particularly those of color, can believe and know that they have a bright future. That’s what we’re committed to,” says Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero,
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Lansing is launching an effort to coordinate programs aimed at improving the lives of young people, especially children of color.

Mayor Virg Bernero says the community must work together to provide better opportunities for children and young adults.

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Health
6:05 am
Tue June 24, 2014

'Visiting hours' are not over at a rising number of Michigan hospitals

A recent study found 76% of hospitals have restrictive visiting hours policies. The number rises to 90% of hospital intensive care units.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s a push underway to get hospitals to do away with restrictive ‘visiting hours’ policies.

Two Michigan hospitals are being cited as successfully doing just that.

The Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care is a Maryland-based group launching a campaign this week to encourage hospitals to give families 24 hour a day access to patients.

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Business
5:12 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Michigan's long, slow climb from home foreclosure crisis continues

Realty Trac reports Michigan home prices continue to improve, claiming the median sale price for a Michigan home last month was $100,000, that’s up 18% in the past year.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure crisis of a few years ago can still be felt by the state’s real estate industry.

In February, 2011, 35.3% of the homes sold in Michigan were distressed homes: formerly foreclosed on or being sold short for a loss.

In May of this year, 18.6% of home sales involved distressed homes.

Realty Trac reports Michigan home prices continue to improve, claiming the median sale price for a Michigan home last month was $100,000, that’s up 18% in the past year.

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Environment & Science
1:25 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

A rare bloom is expected to cause a big stink in East Lansing this week

Many people, like Pam Saunders, lined up last week to take a look, and sneak a sniff, of the Corpse Flower before it bloomed. The experience this week will not be as pleasant.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people are expected to be drawn like flies to see and smell a reeking flower in East Lansing this week. 

“The Latin name for this plant is Amorphophallus Titanium,” says Peter Carrington, assistant curator of MSU’s Beal Botanical Garden, “which gloriously translates into "the very huge misshapen penis.”

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Education
1:32 pm
Sat June 21, 2014

Stop looking at this kitten and pay attention in class

MSU researchers found that students who we’re busy shopping online or watching cat videos did not test as well as other students who stayed off-line.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

College students should stop surfing the internet in class and start paying more attention to their professors. That’s the finding of a new report from Michigan State University.

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Law
7:58 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Report: Detroit's elected leaders need policies for future "non-official" interactions with police

The City of Detroit Office of Inspector General says there is ‘Insufficient evidence” that Councilman George Cushingberry abused his position during a January traffic stop.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s elected leaders are being advised to come up with a policy for how to deal with “non-official” interactions with city police officers, after a stop involving a Detroit city councilman.

Last January, Detroit city councilman George Cushingberry's was stopped by a city police officer.

There was marijuana and an empty alcohol bottle in the car. A passenger in the car was a medical marijuana patient and Cushingberry was not given a sobriety test.

Cushingberry entered a guilty plea in March to driving above the speed limit.

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Sports
10:20 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Michigan soccer fans celebrate USA victory over Ghana in the World Cup opening round

In Flint, dozens of people packed a downtown sports bar to cheer Team USA to its 2-1 victory over Ghana
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Soccer fans packed World Cup watch parties across Michigan Monday evening.

In Flint, dozens of people packed a downtown sports bar to cheer Team USA to its 2-1 victory over Ghana.    The watch party doubled as a fundraiser to collect money to help rehab Flint’s 85-year-old Atwood Stadium. 

“It’s encouraging,” says Tom Saxton, Michigan State University’s women’s soccer coach, “The game gets better and better every year in the United States, and we're excited to be a part of it.”

Next up for Team USA is a very strong Portugal team. 

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