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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

Work begins this week on the demolition of a nearly century-old dam in Flint.

The Flint River has flowed through the Hamilton Dam since it was constructed in 1920.

But the dam has been crumbling for decades.

Last year, the state government approved spending $3.1 million to demolish the dam, as part of a project to revitalize Flint’s riverfront.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new poll shows most Michigan parents have doubts about the education their children are getting.

Ed Sarpolus, with Target Insyght, says pollsters asked the opinions of 1,000 parents of children in traditional and charter public schools, private schools and home schools. 

He says only 12% say current teaching practices in Michigan are meeting the needs of their children.

“They’re not confident that the methods being taught now do help their children succeed. Not only in class but also in life,” says Sarpolus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor says Michigan’s Capitol City is in a “good place.”

Schor delivered his first State of the City address Wednesday. He took office January 1. 

Schor talked about new efforts to improve Lansing public schools, better connect with city neighborhoods, and promote arts and culture.  

But the mayor says infrastructure, especially crumbling city streets, is a problem.

“We’re going to spend what we have,” says Schor, “but what we have is not enough to fix all the roads.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The business leaders who unsuccessfully pitched Detroit to Amazon are now being asked to make a similar commitment to public education.

Billionaire Dan Gilbert and top Michigan businessmen made every effort to convince Amazon to put its second headquarters in the Motor City.  They failed.

Amazon left Detroit off its short list.  The web giant cited problems with Michigan’s “talent” pool pipeline, including Kindergarten through 12th grade. 

But a coalition consisting of students, educators and civic leaders see an opportunity.

flint symbol
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It has been nearly two years since the first indictments were handed down in the state's investigation into the Flint water crisis.

15 current and former state and city government officials were charged.

Read more: These are the 15 people charged for their connection to the Flint water crisis

Four of those cut plea deals. Ever since last fall, Special Counsel Todd Flood has been methodically laying out his case against the remaining eleven.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody joined Stateside to give an update on where things stand.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are considering dropping one requirement for a professional teaching certificate in Michigan that everyone agrees is a needed skill.

In order to get their professional certificate, veteran Michigan teachers need to pass a reading disability diagnostics course. The intent is to train teachers to assist struggling students to read at grade level.

Sarah Kerson / Michigan Radio

Seventeen-year-old Madison Horton is a student at the International Academy of Macomb. She’s also endured multiple surgeries to remove skin cancers.  As a result, sunscreen is a big part of her life.

But Horton says she was surprised to learn other Michigan students are not allowed to apply sunscreen at school.

When she testified last week before the House Education Reform committee, Horton equated sunscreen with Epi-pens, which are allowed.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan wildlife officials are launching a five-year study to see if deer movement is spreading a serious disease.

Since 2015, 58 cases of Chronic Wasting Disease have been identified in the state.  CWD attacks the brain of infected animals, resulting in death.  The outbreak started near Lansing, but has spread to other areas.

MSU professor David Williams is fitting deer with collars to see if their movements are increasing their contact with infected herds.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, Gov. Snyder rolls out his final budget plan.

He’s promised more money for K-12 education.   

In his State of the State address last month, Snyder promised the largest increase in minimum per pupil funding in 15 years. We’ll find out exactly how much that will be when his budget plan is delivered to state lawmakers on Wednesday.

Michigan teachers will be closely watching.

The Michigan Education Association calls news media reports saying the governor will propose a $233 increase “promising.”

Men posing with large fish
DNR

Michigan’s shortest hunting or fishing season begins, and likely ends, Saturday morning.

Starting when the clock strikes 8am, more than 300 ice fishermen will take part in this weekend’s Black Lake sturgeon season. 

The prehistoric fish can grow to up to eight feet in length.  

Lake sturgeon are listed as a state threatened species.  After being over-fished for more than a century, the lake sturgeon population has been rebounding slowly. 

Starting in 1997, the annual Black Lake season has been part of the state’s sturgeon management plan. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials with the company hired to oversee Flint's lead pipe replacement program met with city residents Thursday night.

Last November, the city hired Los Angeles-based AECOM to oversee the project to replace thousands of lead service lines connecting homes to city water mains. The international engineering firm is being paid $5 million dollars. 

Thursday night, top executives delivered a broad outline of their plans.

Governor Rick Snyder
Flickr user Michigan Municipal League / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to improve the state's water infrastructure by investing $110 million annually to help ensure access to safe drinking water.

Snyder's office says Thursday the money would come from a new state fee on water customers. It would be used for priority projects such as water main and lead service line replacement, upgrades for failing infrastructure and collection of information on water infrastructure.

SCREENSHOT FROM ENBRIDGE REPORT TO THE STATE

Governor Rick Snyder is rejecting a proposal to shut down an oil pipeline that runs beneath the Mackinac Straits.

Last month the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (MPSAB), a panel created by the governor, urged Snyder to temporarily shut down Enbridge Line 5 until it can be inspected for gaps in the external coating and all the gaps are repaired.

But today, the governor says recent tests indicated there “is not a risk of imminent failure.”  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

We should find out next week how Michigan’s attorney general plans to investigate Michigan State University’s handling of the Larry Nassar affair.

The former MSU doctor was sentenced this week to a minimum of 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting young women seeking care for sports injuries. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

One of Flint’s former emergency managers appears ready to head to trial on charges related to the city’s water crisis.

Today, Gerald Ambrose waived a preliminary exam on the charges against him, which include conspiracy, misconduct in office and willful neglect of duty. That clears the way to send his case to trial.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Wayne State University professor testified today that state officials didn’t want information getting out about continuing problems with Flint’s drinking water.

In 2016, Dr. Shawn McElmurry led a research team, hired by the state, to investigate a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak that occurred in Genesee County in 2014 and 2015.  At least a dozen people died from the pneumonia-like illness. Scores more were hospitalized.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Michigan State University and Flint officials are kicking off a campaign to get people exposed to the city’s lead-tainted water to sign up for a special registry.

Tens of thousands of people who drank Flint tap water since 2014 have likely been exposed to lead.

The Flint Registry being launched this week is a way to connect people with resources aimed at minimizing the negative health effects of lead, as well as programs promoting wellness.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Most Michiganders haven’t felt the impact of the federal government shutdown.

But that may change soon.

For the most part, it will be another 30 days or more before some of the state government’s major programs that rely on federal funds start seeing that money running out.

State officials say, if the shutdown persists, it may force them to prioritize food assistance programs like school lunches, meals on wheels and the WIC program.   

Other programs may run out of money sooner.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan fares well in a new study of science and math investment in the USA. 

But the state’s future may not be as clear.

The National Science Foundation report  says the U.S. remains the global leader in science and technology, with China making significant gains.

France Cordova is the director of the National Science Foundation. She says Michigan is playing an important role in supporting the nation’s science and technology economy, with the state’s greatest strength being its highly skilled workforce.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Livingston County's Hamburg Township is expected to be swarming with meteorite hunters this weekend.

People have found more than a half-dozen suspected fragments from a meteor that streaked through the night sky early this week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

State House lawmakers are considering a package of bills that would change how a program originally created to help Michiganders go to college can be expanded for other educational needs.   

People currently use the Michigan Education Savings Program to contribute money to tax-free accounts to pay for college. The revised federal tax law opened the door to expand tax-free college savings accounts to allow for people to pay for elementary and high school expenses. 

SCREENSHOT FROM ENBRIDGE REPORT TO THE STATE

Tired of waiting for the state, environmentalists are offering their own plan for shutting down an oil pipeline that runs beneath the Mackinac Straits.

In recent years, concerns the aging pipeline could leak prompted calls from various groups to stop oil flowing through the pipeline. The Line 5 pipeline is owned by Enbridge Energy, which is a corporate sponsor of Michigan Radio.

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.

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