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. 


6:21 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Michigan's falling home foreclosure rate suffers a "blip"

In July, the number of home foreclosure filings in Michigan increased by 26% over the previous month. But July’s foreclosure filings were down 22% from July 2013.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is experiencing an uptick in initial home foreclosure filings.

Michigan has seen 45 straight months of year-over-year declines in the number of home foreclosure filings.

But for the last two months, the number of foreclosure notices have been inching higher. In July, the number of foreclosure filings increased by 26% over the previous month.  However, July’s foreclosure filings were down 22% from July 2013. 

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He was surprised to see a 6% increase in foreclosure starts last month.

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5:41 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Mold a concern for flooded southeast Michigan homeowners

Credit via

  First the flood waters, now the concern is about mold.

Many southeast Michigan basements flooded on Monday.

George Miller is the director of Oakland County’s Department of Health and Human Services. He says to avoid mold, homeowners should remove everything damaged by water from their flooded basement.

“The biggest thing is, the faster you can get the water out of your basement and start to dry it out, the less chance you’re going to have for the mold that everybody’s concerned with,” says Miller.

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Politics & Government
3:33 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Flint voters will likely cast ballots on 6 questions that would reshape city government

Robert Wesley and other members of the Blue Ribbon committee talk to the media about proposed changes to Flint's city charter.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There may be six questions on Flint’s November ballot that would revamp the city’s 40-year-old city charter. 

The paperwork was filed with the clerk’s office today. 

Five of the proposals would eliminate some city offices. The sixth would create a charter commission to consider totally revamping Flint’s city charter. 

Robert Wesley headed up a blue-ribbon committee that looked at how Flint’s city government works. He hopes Flint residents will support the ballot questions.     

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3:28 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Monday's floods may have damaged key interchange in Detroit

I-75 at I-696 is still covered with water and debris from Monday's storm.
Credit MDOT

Monday’s floods may have caused serious damage to Michigan’s busiest highway interchange.

Diane Cross is a Michigan Department of Transportation spokeswoman. She says there are concerns about safety of the I-75 road surface at I-696.

“It looks like the road is fine,” says Cross, “but you can see where the substructure has already eroded away. We’re not sure it can hold any weight.”

Cross says it may take a few days to return the interchange to service, but it could be a week or longer, depending on the extent of the damage.

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Politics & Government
3:22 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

UPDATE: Bay City water use restrictions lifted

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

UPDATE  3:50pm

Water use restrictions in Bay County have been lifted.

A major water main break in Bay City leaked nearly 20 million gallons of water since Saturday.

Bay City officials on Sunday imposed strict water use restrictions on more than 90,000 people in Bay County.

The source of the leak was found late Monday.

The water use restriction that was in place allowed the water treatment plant to restore its reserve to an acceptable and safe operating level.

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Politics & Government
8:51 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Big crowds expected at Flint's Back to the Bricks this week (but teens face curfew)

Flint Police Capt. Collin Birnie speaks at a news conference featuring members of the task force handling Back to the Bricks security
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting tomorrow, the city of Flint will be welcoming more than a half million car enthusiasts to the city’s annual downtown showcase of classic cars.  But the city won’t be as welcoming to unaccompanied teenagers.

The city today announced a 6pm teen curfew downtown during “Back to the Bricks”.

Captain Collin Birnie is with the Flint Police Department.   He says the curfew is in response to problems with unruly teens from past years.

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Politics & Government
5:25 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Bay City may have located elusive water main break

This sign greeted people entering the Bay City YMCA today.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Bay City officials believe they have finally found a water main break that has drained the city’s water system.

City officials estimate that between 15 and 20 million gallons of water have leaked from the city’s water system since Saturday.

Ryan Manz is Bay County’s emergency management coordinator. He says late today they identified a 36-inch water main which appears to be the source of the leak.

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Politics & Government
6:01 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Wolf hunt debate returns to the state capitol this week

Last year, nearly two dozen wolves were shot and killed by hunters during the state’s first wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula. The number of wolves killed was well below the 43 state wildlife officials had set as a target.
Credit USFWS

The State Senate may vote this week on a proposal that could once again open the door to wolf hunting in Michigan.

Hunting groups collected enough petition signatures on a proposed law giving state wildlife officials total control on which animals will be hunted in Michigan.

Drew YoungeDyke is with Michigan United Conservation Clubs. He insists the hunting groups are not trying to outflank groups opposed to hunting wolves in Michigan.

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3:37 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Should women "man up" during a job interview? Maybe so

Credit Michigan State University

Michigan State University researchers suggest women should “man up” when applying for a job in a male-dominated field.

MSU researchers say gender bias is “pervasive and persistent” in many male-dominated career fields.

Often female applicants have trouble just landing a job interview.

But when they do, their own words can work against them.


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Environment & Science
1:19 pm
Sat August 9, 2014

Michigan parks offer unique view of Perseid meteor shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower reaches its peak during the next few days. Nearly two dozen state parks will have special viewing parties between now and August 16th
Credit NASA

Beginning this weekend, state parks are hosting a special weeklong stargazing event.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak during the next few days.

Elissa Dennert is with the Department of Natural Resources. She says nearly two dozen state parks will host stargazing events to give people a great view of the heavens.

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Politics & Government
4:00 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Troubled Michigan prison food service company keeps contract, but pays a big fine

Aramark will keep its contract to provide food service to state prisons.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The company behind Michigan’s troubled prison food service is keeping its contract.  But it’s also paying a price.

Aramark’s problems have ranged from maggots in the food to food service employees having sexual relations with inmates. 

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced Aramark will pay a $200,000 fine. The governor says there will also be changes to the food service contract.     

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5:33 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Developer offers millions for closed Lansing golf course

Lansing's old Waverly golf course has been closed since 2007. The sale of the property could herald something new.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Lansing could soon get a nearly $6 million check from a developer who wants to buy one of the capital city’s old municipal golf courses.

The Waverly golf course has been closed since 2007.  A few years ago, the city put the 120 acres up for sale. Now a Livonia developer is offering $5.8 million for the property on the city’s west side.

Mayor Virg Bernero credits an improving economy for the interest in the golf course and other parkland the city wants to put on the market.

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Politics & Government
4:43 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Huntington Woods battles over trees

The city of Huntington Woods

People in Huntington Woods are upset about  a new city ordinance aimed at making it harder to cut down trees.

The ordinance requires property owners to get a permit and pay a hefty fee to remove a tree, even on residential property.

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9:35 am
Wed August 6, 2014

More Michiganders are using wind and solar to power state electric grid

Since 2008, when Public Act 295 required the establishment of a statewide net metering program, net metering has increased by 1,474 customers.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says the number of people generating their own electricity in Michigan and sharing it with others is growing.

This week, the Michigan Public Service Commission released its annual "net metering" report. There’s been an 18% increase in electricity being added to Michigan’s power grid by homeowners, non-profits, and small businesses using their own solar and wind-power generators.

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Politics & Government
12:56 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Moolenaar wins 4th congressional district Republican primary

State Senator John Moolenaar emerged from a sometimes brutal three way primary to win the Republican primary in Michigan’s 4th congressional district.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State Senator John Moolenaar  emerged from a sometimes brutal three way primary to win the Republican primary in Michigan’s 4th congressional district.

Moolenaar says voters responded to his efforts to reduce state spending and make Michigan more attractive to business. 

"It’s kind of a good prescription for Washington D-C.," Moolenaar said after winning the Republican nomination on Tuesday, "People really responded to that message.”

Moolenaar says he’s  looking forward to the fall campaign.

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Politics & Government
6:14 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Lansing voters to decide if mayor should run BWL during emergencies

Roughly 40% of Lansing Board of Water & Light customers lost power during the December, 2013 ice storm. It took the utility ten days to get electricity restored to the vast majority of its customers.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s mayor may have real ‘power’ at his fingertips at times of emergency, if city voters agree in November.

Tens of thousands of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers spent days in the dark last December after a major ice storm.   The utility’s leadership was heavily criticized for a disorganized response to the black out. 

BWL’s response to the storm and its aftermath were the subject of reviews by a panel appointed by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the state Public Service Commission and by the utility itself.

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Politics & Government
4:03 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Zoo animals are among the interested parties in Tuesday's election in Saginaw

About 150 animals call the 85-year-old Children's Zoo at Celebration Square home.
Credit Children's Zoo at Celebration Square

The future of Saginaw’s Children’s Zoo may be decided tomorrow.

Saginaw County voters are deciding if they want to raise their property taxes by a small amount to support the zoo.

The Children’s Zoo has a little bit of everything, from monkeys and kangaroos to butterflies and reptiles.  In all, about 150 animals call the 85-year-old zoo home.

But what the zoo does not have a lot of is money.

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Politics & Government
1:05 pm
Sat August 2, 2014

Mount Clemens voters face a choice - a big tax increase or possible state takeover

Mount Clemens voters have rejected three recent attempts to increase their property taxes.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Voters in Mount Clemens face a difficult choice on Tuesday: Approve a big property tax increase or risk a state takeover of their city.

The recession of 2008 cost Mount Clemens more than a quarter of its property tax revenues.   The city also saw a more than 40% drop in state revenue sharing between 2000 and 2012. 

Robert Bruner is Mount Clemens' interim city manager.   He says the city has only been able to balance its books in recent years by slashing employees and by dipping into the city’s reserves which are now nearly gone. 

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Politics & Government
11:57 am
Sat August 2, 2014

The pro-Proposal 1 campaign enters the home stretch

Dan Machnik (left) with the Jackson Chamber of Commerce voices support for Proposal One on the August 5th ballot.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A statewide campaign to convince Michiganders to vote to end the personal property tax is coming to a close.

Proposal 1 on next Tuesday’s ballot is an awkwardly worded question that if approved will be the final step in scrapping the PPT. The PPT is levied on business and manufacturing equipment, even if that equipment was purchased long ago. 

Business associations have poured some $8 million into the campaign.  Various municipal and government employee groups have lined up, often literally, to show their support for Proposal 1.

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Politics & Government
6:56 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Jackson's hottest August 5 vote centers on an unusual controversy

Jackson residents had to collect and dispose of their own leaves last year, after the city had to cancel the annual fall leaf pick up for budgetary reasons.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Jackson voters face a controversial ballot question next week.

They will decide Tuesday if they want to pay a new fee to have their leaves collected.

In 2011, the Jackson City Council created a fee to pay for leaf pick up, street cleaning and other things needed to be done to keep the city’s storm drains clear of debris. The fee raised over $1 million annually. 

But Jackson County government and local businessmen took the city to court.      

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