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. 

Ways to Connect

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of used, clear plastic water bottles collected in Flint will be worn by runway models in New York next spring.

Recycling water bottles has been an issue in Flint since the city’s lead tainted drinking water crisis.

Conceptual artist Mel Chin and a fashion designer, Detroit native Tracy Reese, are working with the Queens Museum in New York City to recycle water bottles from Flint into fabric for raincoats, swimwear and other clothes.

“The thing is, if you don’t....do something, we’re just talking,” says Chin. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 9:30 p.m.

A federal judge has denied the state’s request to give Flint’s mayor the power to sign a 30-year water contract before she faces a recall election next week.

The Flint city council has fought against the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

Mayor Karen Weaver supports the deal, but she faces a recall election next Tuesday. 

Judge David Lawson agreed to consider the state’s request, but not before the recall.   The judge scheduled a hearing on the state’s motion for November 13. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint police department is turning to technology to help reduce response times to calls.

Flint’s new police intelligence center will monitor closed circuit cameras in businesses and other locations around the city. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for data on criminal suspects.

Police Chief Tim Johnson expects the center will help officers get to the scene of crimes faster.

“We’re doing excellent for responding to crimes,” says Johnson. “But, of course it’s not good enough when you’ve got people waiting 20 and 30 minutes for police to respond to a call.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Democrats tried and failed today to get a congressional committee to subpoena documents from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder related to the Flint water crisis.

Questions have been raised about when Snyder learned of a deadly Legionnaires; disease outbreak.

Brook Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A plan to build a multi-million dollar soccer stadium in downtown Detroit appears dead.

Billionaire businessmen Tom Gores and Dan Gilbert have struck a deal with the Ford family to use Ford Field for a future Major League Soccer franchise. Gores and Gilbert have been bidding for a future MLS franchise for more than a year. The league is expected to announce its expansion plans next month.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It appears many officials in the Snyder administration were aware of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Genesee County in early 2015. But they didn’t want to let the public know.

State health department officials knew of the Legionella outbreak in January 2015. However, the government didn’t inform the public until January 2016.

At least 12 people died and dozens more were sickened by the Legionnaires' outbreak, which may have been linked to the Flint water crisis.

State health department director Nick Lyon is among several government officials facing involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with the outbreak.

State of Michigan

A $1,000 donation to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s campaign from a top aide to Governor Rick Snyder is drawing fire.

Rich Baird has been the governor’s point man in Flint dealing with the city’s water crisis.  He’s been seen often at Mayor Karen Weaver’s side during the crisis.

Earlier this fall, Baird bought eight tickets at a Weaver fundraiser at $125 each.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday night, the Lansing city council declared the opioid crisis a public nuisance. It’s a first step toward filing a lawsuit against drug companies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday afternoon, a state oversight board is expected to vote on allowing the city of Flint to enter into another 30-day contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The Receivership Transition Advisory Board meets at 2 p.m. in Lansing.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver hopes the board acts in the city’s financial and public health interests. Though Weaver admits she is tired of Flint’s future being decided by outside groups.

Sign of Flint Police Headquarters
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is getting some help from the federal government to combat its violent crime problem.

The $1 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department will help fund community programs on Flint’s north side for the next three years. Flint is one of nine communities nationwide to receive the grant from the U.S. Justice Department.

Hamilton Community Health Network, Flint city officials and local neighborhood groups will work together to develop community-based crime reduction plans and programs.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Latino leaders and others told the Lansing city council during a public hearing last Monday night why the city should rename part of a city street after activist Cesar Chavez. 

The civil rights icon died in 1993. 

In 1994, Lansing officials renamed part of Grand River Avenue street for Chavez. But a public vote reversed the decision the next year.   

Marisol Garcia says the rebuke still stings.

“It does because I have children,” says Garcia. “For them to see that the city of Lansing is not accepting of an important leader to our community…it’s hurtful.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Court hearings resume next month for state officials criminally charged in the Flint water crisis.

Nick Lyon’s preliminary exam is scheduled to continue the day after Halloween.   Lyon is the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.    He’s charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a man who died of Legionnaires Disease. 

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

So-called “Zombie” homes continue to be a problem in Michigan cities.

Attom Data Solutions is out with its annual report on vacant or abandoned residential properties.

Michigan has one of the highest percentages of “zombie” homes, with Flint and Detroit both in the top four nationally for cities with high vacancy rates.

But Attom’s Daren Blomquist says the number of “zombie” homes has dropped significantly since the Great Recession.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thursday morning, the state House Education Reform Committee takes up a bill that would channel tax money raised by county school districts to charter schools.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge may rule soon on whether to give the Flint city council more time decide on a future drinking water source for the city.

Tuesday, attorneys for the state of Michigan and city of Flint filed responses to a motion from the Flint city council asking for a delay in an order that it decide on a water source.

flint mayor karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's mayor is rejecting the city council’s proposed solution to the city’s future drinking water needs.

Monday night, the Flint city council approved a two-year extension of its current temporary contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.  

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she does “not believe a two-year extension is a viable solution.” 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is proposing a possible solution to the city’s long-term tap water needs, or at least a longer short-term solution.

Last night, city council members voted to extend Flint’s current temporary contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority by two years. GLWA has been supplying Flint’s water for two years already.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is getting a little more time to consider where the city’s drinking water should come from.

A federal judge had ordered the city council to make a decision on a future water source by today.     But that deadline has slipped.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson is giving attorneys for the state and Flint city council until tomorrow to respond to a motion filed Sunday by the council seeking a delay.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

November 7, Flint voters go to the polls to decide a recall election against the city’s mayor.  But few voters seem interested in learning more about the large field of candidates on the ballot.

Flint water plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council meets in executive session Friday to discuss its options now that a federal judge is ordering the council to decide on the city’s long-term source of drinking water by Monday.

It’s a decision that’s not only tethered to the city’s ongoing water troubles but to its contentious politics.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members are assessing their options now that a federal judge has told them the time has come to decide the city’s long-term tap water source. 

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015.   Flint’s mayor and state government officials agreed to a 30-year contract to keep the water flowing. But Flint council members have balked.

Their main concern is about rising future costs.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivered her State of the City address last night.

At times, it sounded like a campaign stump speech.

Mayor Karen Weaver focused on positive developments over the past year in a city usually associated with problems. During the mayor’s 40-plus minute speech, she talked about economic development, lower crime rates and improving city services. 

Weaver also stressed the need to continue to recover from the city’s drinking water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major project to remove century old contamination from the Flint River is moving into its final phase.

Last week, crews finished dredging part of the Flint River bottom to remove the last remnants of coal tar from the sediment. The coal tar came from a coal gasification plant that shut down in the 1920s.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday marks the second anniversary of Flint’s switch back to Detroit water.

October 16th, 2015 was the end of Flint’s experiment with getting its tap water from the Flint River.   

But the ramifications of improperly treated river water continue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is sidestepping questions concerning whether Governor Rick Snyder may have misled congress about when he learned of a deadly Legionnaires Disease outbreak.

Between 2014 and 2015, at least 12 people died after contracting Legionnaires in Genesee County. Dozens more fell ill with the bacteria pneumonia. Prosecutors have charged or announced their intent to charge six government officials with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the outbreak, which they say is connected to Flint's drinking water crisis.  

Appearing before a congressional committee investigating the Flint water crisis, Gov. Snyder testified under oath last year that he didn’t learn of the outbreak in Genesee County until January, 2016.  But as part of the criminal probe of the Flint water crisis, a top aide to the governor testified they talked about the outbreak a month earlier.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Self-proclaimed anti-fascist groups are expected to launch protests against President Trump on November 4th in Michigan and elsewhere.

Anti-fascist groups have risen in public awareness as far-right and white supremacist groups have become more vocal.   When the two sides meet, there has been violence.

Not surprisingly, when social media started circulating talk of antifa groups planning protests, alt-right groups and extreme right commentators started talking about the possible start of a ‘civil war’.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Attorney General will not be joining some of his fellow state attorneys general in challenging President Trump’s decision to end Obamacare subsidies.

The White House plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law.