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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

In the future, Michigan high school juniors might have one less test to take.

Since 2007, Michigan high school students have spent half a day taking the ACT Work Keys exam.  The exam tests a student’s ability to solve workplace problems and thus assess whether they are ready to enter the workforce.

However, many educators question the value of the half-day test to students and the schools.

sarah cweik / Michigan Radio

Business and educational leaders agree that more needs to be done to encourage Michigan high school students to consider pursuing careers in skilled trades. 

However, they disagree on one possible solution.

An Educational Development Plan (EDP) is a document school counselors develop showing a student's education and career goals, and a way to achieve them.

Lawmakers are discussing two bills that would require schools to provide students with more career information and help create a talent portfolio for every student.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Beginning Friday, victims of a former Michigan State University doctor convicted of sexually assaulting young gymnasts can begin accessing help through a fund set up by the university.

MSU has selected Commonwealth Mediation and Conciliation Inc. (CMCI) and the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA) to help the victims of former MSU physician Larry Nassar to get counseling and mental health services.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers passed a bill today that would make it harder for school districts to prevent former school buildings from being used for new education purposes.  

The deed restrictions are often meant to keep competitors from opening schools that would siphon students away from the district.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

One of the Flint residents to first sound the alarm about the city’s water problems testified today that state environmental officials refused to listen.

Lee Anne Walters testified against Department of Environmental Quality officials charged with various crimes related to the Flint water crisis.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is edging closer to getting out from under state oversight.

Gov. Rick Snyder put the city of Flint under receivership in 2011 due to a financial emergency.  Under a series of emergency managers, the city’s elected officials had their powers stripped.

But today, at Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s request, the state oversight board has voted to return local control to the city’s elected officials. State Treasury officials must give the final say, but that’s expected. 

Flint water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Court of Appeals is weighing legal arguments which may determine if a class action lawsuit against the state concerning the Flint water crisis may go forward.

The lawsuit is seeking damages from the state for Flint residents affected by decisions that created the city’s tap water problems. It’s one of many lawsuits related to the water crisis.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The government's chief prosecutor in the Flint water crisis criminal case suggests top officials pressured state employees to switch Flint’s water source before the city was ready to treat it.

Special Counsel Todd Flood says he plans to call two dozen witnesses this month for the preliminary hearing for four current and former Department of Environmental Quality staffers. The four face a variety of charges related to the Flint crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s been two years since Governor Rick Snyder followed the lead of local officials and declared a state of emergency in Flint.

Officials say progress is being made.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michiganders are buying Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets this week in hopes of winning their share of roughly a billion dollars in prize money.

The multi-state lottery jackpots get all the attention.   But it’s the smaller games that make most of the money.

Spokesman Jeff Holyfield says Powerball and Mega Million sales represent only about six to seven percent of the Michigan Lottery’s revenues.

Bilal Tawwab, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of Flint's public schools says he wants the state to agree to a comprehensive plan to monitor water in district schools.

Flint school buildings had some of the highest lead levels in their tap water when the city’s water crisis began, but little testing has taken place since.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Later this month, a new report detailing how much it costs to educate students in Michigan will be released.

Nearly a year ago, the governor’s 21st Century Education Commission reported Michigan needs to “invest with urgency” in some “high-yield” education strategies or risk falling behind.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis criminal process is set to resume after taking a break for the holidays.

State health department director Nick Lyon is due to return to court next week. For the past several months, a series of witnesses have testified about how the health department under Lyon was slow to publicly reveal a deadly Legionnaires disease outbreak in Genesee County.  Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with that outbreak.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing has a new mayor.

Andy Schor took his oath of office at noon today.

He’s the capitol city’s first new mayor in a dozen years.

Schor struck an optimistic tone in his inaugural address at the Lansing Center before hundreds of supporters and dignitaries.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan home builders expect demand to drive more home construction in 2018.

The Home Builders Association of Michigan predicts a one percent increase in the number of single-family homes to be constructed in 2018.   

CEO Bob Filka says demand is actually outpacing their ability to build homes.

“We’re pretty much tapped out at about 17,000 homes in terms of the current capacity to build new homes in our state,” says Filka.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, the city of Lansing will swear in its first new mayor in a dozen years. 

Former State Rep. Andy Schor will take his oath of office during a midday ceremony at the Lansing Center. 

Schor won November's general election with nearly three-fourths of the votes cast.

The soft-spoken Schor replaces the at-times combative Virg Bernero, who has sat in the mayor's office since 2006. 

Among the challenges the new mayor faces is tackling Lansing's looming legacy costs. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

“Fake news” is real news today.     

President Donald Trump’s favorite way of describing news reports he doesn’t like tops this year’s list of banned words and phrases.

Lake Superior State University has been producing its annual tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for more than 40 years.   

List editor John Shibley says “fake news” received more nominations from the general public than any other word or phrase on the list.

“It’s telling you how to think. And I think a lot of people are rebelling against that notion,” says Shibley.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s minimum wage is set to rise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.90 to $9.25. The rate is slightly lower for some trainees and teen workers. Restaurant and other workers who rely on tips will also not be making the new minimum wage.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's mayor says city employees are focused first and foremost on replacing lead water pipes but are also working to provide status reports required under a legal settlement.

Karen Weaver issued a statement Thursday in response to plaintiffs asking a federal judge to intervene because they say Flint hasn't been sharing information, as it agreed to do.

Weaver says no one wants to get the lead out of Flint more than her.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit claim the city of Flint is not abiding by the terms of an agreement that opened the door to nearly $100 million in funding for the city's water crisis recovery efforts. 

Earlier this year, a group of Flint residents and advocacy groups reached a settlement with the city and the state of Michigan over replacing thousands of damaged lead pipes. 

LITTLE TRAVERSE BAY BANDS OF ODAWA INDIANS

Wildlife specialists will soon be in the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, tracking wolves. 

The Department of Natural Resources last conducted a wolf census in 2016, when it estimated more than 600 wolves prowled in the U.P.

The DNR's Kevin Swanson says they don't know what to expect. But he says conditions may be right for an increase in the wolf population. 

"We have a lot more deer on the landscape now," says Swanson. 

But Swanson says there are other factors, like canine distemper, that could negatively affect the wolf population. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study may ease some of the concern among Flint parents about the future of their children exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water. 

Flint children who've tested with high blood lead levels from their drinking water may experience learning problems as they age. Some scientific research, in particular a 2008 University of Cincinnati study, suggests the children may also be prone to criminal behavior later in life. 

However, new research refutes that. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners are optimistic their after-Christmas sales will be as strong as pre-holiday sales have been this year. 

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says the growth of gift cards as presents has boosted post-holiday sales. 

"They often don't spend just what the gift card is worth," says Holland. "They are buying more than that."

Anecdotally, retailers say this has been a very good holiday shopping season. But we won't know how good until major retailers report their fourth quarter numbers next year. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting next month, Flint’s first city-organized youth basketball league in 15 years will tip off.

Sean Croudy, the city’s director of community recreation, says the program will fill a void in after-school programs for 8- to 17-year-olds. Croudy adds it’s not just about playing basketball.

“Teamwork, build self-esteem,” says Croudy. “A lot of learning opportunities.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says promoting sports is also an important part of helping Flint kids exposed to high lead levels in the city’s tap water.

MSU

Researchers at Michigan State University have come up with a way to help "distance learners" get more engaged in the classroom.

More and more students are sitting at home using a computer to connect with teachers and their classmates. But many feel disconnected.  

Christine Greenhow is an MSU associate professor of educational psychology and educational technology. She’s been experimenting with using robots to establish connections between students and instructors.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds Michigan is falling short of being prepared to respond to a health emergency.

John Auerbach is the president and CEO of Trust for America's Health. 

He says the Trust’s latest “Ready or Not” report finds Michigan meeting only three of ten main recommendations on public health preparedness.

Auerbach says it’s important that states like Michigan prepare now for future health threats.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan store owners expect to be very busy this weekend.

Meegan Holland, with the Michigan Retailers Association, says with Christmas falling on Monday many holiday buyers will be shopping in stores and online.

“Going into this Super Saturday weekend, 45% of people still have some Christmas shopping to do,” says Holland, “It could be an epic weekend.”

A payment technology firm says that holiday spending is surging in the days before Christmas.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office has lost another round in court over suspending the driver’s licenses. 

The state wanted a delay on a ruling that blocked the state from suspending the driver’s licenses of motorists who are unable to pay their traffic fines.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker issued a preliminary injunction on December 14.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s unemployment rate ticked up last month.

The number of people with jobs increased in Michigan in November (up 11,000).   But so did the number of people without jobs  (up 6,000).

The result of an expanding workforce is a one-tenth of one percent increase in the state jobless rate to 4.6%.

It’s the fourth straight monthly increase.  However, last month’s unemployment rate was still a half percentage point lower than November 2016.

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.  

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