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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

You’ll hear the phrase “build the wall” repeated often during this week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

But it’s that type of rhetoric that may cost the party some votes in Michigan.

Voting for the first time can be intimidating.

So to make it a little easier, a small group of people gathered in a community center gymnasium on Saginaw’s south side recently to vote for their favorite Coney dog.

“So there’s One, two, three hot dogs … coney dogs to choose from,” organizer Debbie Vasquez tells the crowd.

Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan played a curious role in last night’s confirmation of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

People were scratching their heads after Michigan state Republican Party chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said this when the roll call of the states reached Michigan:

“Madame Secretary, Michigan passes,”  Romney-McDaniel announced, drawing confused looks by some in the delegation. 

Romney-McDaniel says she was asked, five minutes before Michigan was scheduled to announce how the state’s 59 delegates would vote, to pass.

Michigan's delegates have a good view of the Quicken Loans Arena, not quite as close a view of the main stage itself.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Republicans raising money for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign are hearing the word ‘no’ from some Michigan donors.

Trump’s initial intent to self-fund his campaign, along with his rejection of the party’s establishment, has turned some donors off.

David Nicholson’s family have a long history of donating to Republican candidates.

The family gave thousands to the Jeb Bush and John Kasich campaigns early on.  Nicholson is attending the Republican National Convention as an alternate Kasich delegate,

Gov. John Kasich, R-OH, posed for photos with Michigan delegates after their morning meeting in Akron.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan delegates say they are disappointed Ohio Governor John Kasich did not endorse Donald Trump for president when he met with them today in Akron.

Kasich was among the 16 other Republicans who ran and lost to Trump in the Republican primaries and caucuses.

John Kasich is skipping the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week.  He is attending a few satellite events like the one this morning with the Michigan delegation in Akron, Ohio. 

  Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention are focused on picking a presidential nominee.  

But some of them are also thinking about the Michigan governor’s race in 2018.

The house band at the House of Blues played oldies Sunday night while Michigan delegates mixed and mingled.  

The event was one of many during the lead-up to the four-day Republican National Convention in Cleveland. It was hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.

"This country needs to learn how to pay its bills, protect its borders [and] invite in legal immigrants." Judi Schwalbach said.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Republican leaders insist their party is united, despite Monday’s unrest on the floor of the Republican National Convention.

Anti-Donald Trump forces had collected enough signatures to force a roll call vote on the party’s official rules. But supporters of the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, circulated a form enabling delegates to remove their names.

GOP officials say delegates from Maine, Minnesota and the District of Columbia pulled their names from petitions calling for a state-by-state roll call vote on the rules. That short-circuited the anti-Trump move.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s drinking water crisis took center stage at the Republican National Convention today, if only for a moment.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is the only Michigander scheduled to speak from the podium during the convention’s four-day run at the Quicken Loans Arena.

Gov. Chris Christie, R-NJ, spoke to the Michigan RNC delegation at their hotel in Cuyahoga Falls.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s delegates to the Republican National Convention cheered a former rival to Donald Trump when he called for all Republicans to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was an hour late getting to the Michigan delegation meeting at a hotel in Cuyahoga Falls, but his message to the delegates was in tune with the sentiment with most in the room.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

  In Cleveland later this morning, a coalition of Muslim groups plan to hold a news conference to "Challenge the GOP’s  'Politics of Fear'."

Concern about growing islamophobia has led to a push to get more Muslim Michiganders to the polls in November. 

Last month, services at mosques in Michigan were crowded with people observing Ramadan.

On the final Friday of Ramadan, as worshippers gathered at a mosque in Canton, they were greeted by volunteers trying to get them registered to vote.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Republican delegates get down to work Monday, after spending the weekend partying in Cleveland.

Cleveland has been rocking all weekend with Republican Party parties.

Michigan delegates spent part of Sunday at the House of Blues, a party hosted by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. But Calley says they’re ready to get started.

“We’re really excited about the energy in the room,” says Calley. “The delegation is ready for this convention to get inspired about this election season so we can win in November.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan Republican delegate who's trying to stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination at the GOP Convention insists the fight isn’t over.

Wendy Day looks at the “Dump Trump” movement in football terms.

And it’s a game now deep in the fourth quarter.   But it’s a game where the Trump faction has scored all the points.

They have the votes and the convention rules committee blocked an effort to let delegates change their vote.

Still Day isn’t throwing in the towel just yet.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his running mate is getting approving nods from Michigan delegates in Cleveland.

Trump announced his decision over his favorite medium: Twitter.

Work crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint plans to move ahead with plans to remove more lead service lines.

Pipes connecting homes to city water mains are a prime source of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

But so far, of the thousands of suspect service lines under city streets, only 33 have been replaced. 

Now Mayor Karen Weaver says she’s asking the city council to approve contracts with two Flint companies (Goyette Mechanical and WT Stevens Construction, Inc.) to remove 250 service lines as part of a new pilot program.

College graduates
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

According to a new report, it’s taking Michigan students more than four years to get a four-year degree.

The state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information has released its first report on postsecondary success rates for students at Michigan public universities and community colleges.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A $32 million campaign to renovate an historic building in downtown Flint is getting a big boost.

The 90-year-old Capitol Theatre has been a vaudeville house, movie palace, and for many years a vacant, decaying building in downtown Flint.

But the theater has been undergoing extensive renovations. 

Today, The Hagerman Foundation donated $4 million to the project.

Philanthropist Phil Hagerman remembers as a 14-year-old going to the Capitol to see The Sound of Music with his family.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next week, Virginia Tech researchers return to Flint to test the city’s drinking water for a third time.

A year ago, their tests showed high levels of lead in the city’s tap water.

A second round of testing showed improvement, but not enough.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This weekend, Michigan delegates to the Republican National Convention get to work on the party’s national platform.

This will be Meshawn Maddock’s first convention as a delegate. At the state party convention this spring, she was chosen to be one of two Michiganders on the platform committee. Maddock has spent the past few weeks reviewing past party platforms and getting input from her fellow Michigan Republicans.

Maddock says there are certain issues about which she doesn't want to see the party’s position shift.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This fall, water experts from around the world are expected to come to Flint for a summit on water infrastructure issues.

Flint’s water crisis has become a symbol for the problems facing aging water systems.

Bryce Feighner is special advisor on drinking water with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He’s helping to organize the summit.

Feighner says they’re reaching out to experts across the U.S. and Europe, seeking innovative answers to the problems that Flint and other cities with aging, faltering municipal water systems face.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This month’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions are big parties. 

But they’re expensive parties for the participants.

Charles Niswander is a Bernie Sanders delegate. He’s looking forward to being in Philadelphia for the DNC. 

But there’s a cost: $3,000 to $4,000 in travel and hotel.

“There is a part of me that feels like they would rather keep poor, working people out and not have their voices heard as much,” says Niswander.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After a busy Fourth of July weekend, more than a hundred Michigan State Police troopers will travel to Cleveland to provide security during the upcoming Republican National Convention.

The Michigan troopers will be part of the large police presence in Cleveland during the four-day convention in mid-July.

The troopers leave July 16th for a seven-day deployment to northeast Ohio where they will assist with security and crowd management outside the convention center as well as motorcycle escorts for motorcades.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A top economist says Michigan’s economy is at its strongest point in seven years, but he expects growth to begin flattening out.

Robert Dye is the chief economist with Comerica Bank. His mid-year Michigan Economic Activity Index looks at home prices, payrolls, exports and a variety of other economic factors.

Dye says strong auto sales have powered Michigan’s economy since the Great Recession.    But he believes auto production has plateaued.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Institute of Arts is planning a “fiery” expansion.

FIA officials are announcing plans to expand the museum’s gallery space, and add a glass making studio.

Executive Director John Henry says museum-goers will be able to watch as glass artists work with fire to create art.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Genesee County Medical Society suggests pregnant women and children under 6 in Flint should stick to bottled water until more tests are performed.

That's despite the fact that federal agencies claimed water filters are working to remove lead from Flint tap water.

"We finally have enough data to agree that the filters work so well to remove the lead that everyone in Flint -- even pregnant women, nursing moms and young children -- can used filtered water here," Dr. Nicole Laurie, leader of the federal response to the Flint water crisis, told reporters last week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pastor says donations of bottled water to his Flint church have dried up in the past month.

Donations poured in from across the nation in the weeks and months after it was learned that Flint's drinking water was contaminated with lead. At times, the response nearly overwhelmed the effort to distribute water to Flint residents.  

Bishop Roger Lee Jones’ north side church parking lot used to be filled with pallets of water, but now the flood of donations has slowed to a trickle. 

Dow sign on wall
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is cutting 2,500 jobs worldwide, including hundreds in Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The layoffs come as the Midland-based company absorbs operations of Dow Corning and prepares for a merger with rival DuPont.

“We are moving quickly and effectively to integrate Dow Corning and deliver the synergies that will drive new levels of value creation for our customers and generate even greater returns for our shareholders,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Lansing has a new city attorney.

The city council confirmed Jim Smiertka Monday night. He replaces interim city attorney Joseph Abood.   Abood came on board after the sudden departure earlier this year of City Attorney Janene McIntyre. 

McIntyre’s unexplained departure and her $160,000 severance package raised questions about transparency at city hall.

Smiertka says he will work to address those concerns.

“I think it’s important to send a signal that going forward there won’t be these issues,” says Smiertka. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint continues to struggle to replace damaged pipes.    

Mayor Karen Weaver said bids from contractors to replace up to 500 service lines came in “extremely high”. 

But there is an offer on the table that could potentially present the city with a big savings.

Walter Wang is the owner of JM Eagle, a California company that produces plastic pipes.  Back in February, Wang offered to give the city enough plastic PVC pipe to replace thousands of damaged lead service lines for free.

But to date, Flint officials have not accepted Wang’s offer.

Crew works on replacing a lead service line in Flint earlier this year.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city officials are scheduled to sit down with seven contractors tomorrow with hopes of getting the city’s pipe replacement program back on track.

Contractors submitted bids last week to replace hundreds of lead service lines in Flint.

The pipes connect homes to city water mains, and are a prime source of lead that’s leeching into Flint’s drinking water.

But Mayor Karen Weaver says those bids were “extremely high.” She says Monday’s meeting is intended to hopefully find ways to reduce the cost.

The state will pay the full costs of bottled water and filters in Flint after the federal emergency ends August 14.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is setting aside more money for future disasters and emergencies.

This past week, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill to raise the cap on Michigan’s Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund from $4.5 million to $10 million.   

The fund provides state assistance to counties and municipalities when federal assistance is not available.

Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder says its “premature” to speculate on how Great Britain’s exit from the European Union might affect Michigan’s economy.

Britain entered uncharted waters after the country voted to leave the European Union.  The decision shatters the stability of the continental unity forged after World War II in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

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