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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

Delta airplane
Delta Airlines

Some Michigan state lawmakers are reaching out to Delta Airlines, in wake of Georgia officials dropping a big tax break for the air carrier.

Georgia Republican lawmakers stripped the airline of a $50 million tax credit after Delta dropped a discount for members of the National Rifle Association following the Florida school shooting.  The tax credit for jet fuel used by Delta at its main hub at Atlanta’s airport was part of a larger bill before the state legislature. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

It may soon be easier to register to vote in Michigan.

Nine in ten people eligible to vote in Michigan are already registered. Most registered when they got a driver’s license or state identification card.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson wants to allow people to register to vote online through the state’s existing Express SOS software program.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A special statewide hotline saw a significant jump in tips of possible school attacks in Michigan last month.

The OK2SAY hotline was started several years ago to give Michigan students a place to call to complain about bullies or warn of a student considering suicide.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s retirement system has sold off the last of its holdings related to the gun industry.

The State of Michigan Retirement systems (SMRS) recently sold off two million dollars’ worth of stock in a Mississippi chemical company. The Olin Corporation also owns gun manufacturer Winchester. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan congressional leaders are asking the EPA about the status of an investigation into the causes of the Flint water crisis.

The EPA Office of Inspector General launched its investigation in January 2016 into the causes of the crisis that exposed the people of Flint to lead-tainted tap water and other health threats.

However more than two years later, the full report has still not been released.

Michigan Court of Appeals

The chief judge of Michigan’s Court of Appeals is retiring. 

Michael J. Talbot has served as a judge for four decades. He was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1998. Talbot is 72 years old.  

Talbot has drawn praise for his skills as a jurist and for his administrative abilities.

While a member of the appeals court, Talbot is credited with cleaning up Detroit's 36th District Court in 2013-14. The district court had struggled with budget problems and employee issues.

campus sign and building
Central Michigan University / Facebook

The campus of Central Michigan University is quiet today for a very different reason than it was at the end of last week. Students are on spring break, but on Friday the campus in Mt. Pleasant went into lockdown after word spread that a gunman had killed two people in a campus dorm.

James Eric Davis Jr., 19, is accused of shooting his parents James Davis Sr. and Diva Davis. Police eventually arrested Davis Jr. early Saturday morning.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody was on campus covering the story. He spoke with "Morning Edition" host Doug Tribou.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, state lawmakers will consider a package of bills that would affect how colleges prepare student teachers.

Suzanne Gibbs is an elementary school teachers in Spring Arbor. During her 20 years, she’s had a lot of student teachers in her classroom. She admits it hasn’t always been a good experience.

“It’s scary to let those candidates in sometimes.  Because you don’t know what you’re going to get,” says Gibbs.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University campus is preparing for Monday’s event featuring white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend Monday’s speech at the MSU Pavilion.

The speech comes during the university’s spring break. But many people are expected to take part in a demonstration a short distance from the event. 

Central Michigan University

“This has been a tragic day at Central Michigan University.”

That’s how CMU President George Ross summed up day of violence, fear and confusion on the mid-Michigan college campus. 

The search continues for a 19-year-old Central Michigan University student who allegedly shot and killed two people at his residence hall this morning.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A state House committee has approved a bill creating an “A thru F” grading system for Michigan schools.

The bill approved by the House Education Reform committee would use existing criteria to create a letter grade system for evaluating schools. HB 5526 now moves to the full state House.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report says Michigan’s auto insurance rates are still the highest in the nation.

The ZEBRA is a company that tracks auto insurance rates across the country.

Zebra’s Alyssa Connelly says the average annual auto premium in Michigan is about $2600, which is nearly twice the national average.  According to the report, North Carolina motorists pay the lowest annual premiums ($865). 

The 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report finds motorists in Detroit pay $5,414, on average.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Teachers in Michigan’s second-largest school district are taking big cuts in their new contract.

The two-year contract approved this week includes wage and benefit concessions from Utica teachers of more than $9 million.   

The agreement includes:

·         Five furlough days

·         Benefit change to high deductible health insurance

·         Dental insurance carrier change

·         Step freeze for the first year of the agreement (2017-2018)

·         Half-step freeze for the second year of the agreement (2018-2019)

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A bill stalled in the Michigan state Senate is the latest skirmish in a national fight over who will supply water pipes to cities.

State Senator Rick Jones says his bill is about giving communities choice when it comes to picking pipes for public works projects. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This year’s mid-term congressional elections could be the most expensive ever in Michigan.

The Michigan Campaign Finance Network reports the 30 candidates running in Michigan’s 14 congressional districts raised $14.7 million as of the end of last year.   And the money keeps rolling in.

The network’s Craig Mauger says Democrats are benefiting from donors wanting to defeat Republicans and derail President Trump’s agenda.

kate wells / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two U.S. Senators want universities that receive federal funding to certify they are properly handling sexual abuse investigations.

Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced “The Accountability of Leaders in Education to Report Title IX Investigations (ALERT) Act" this week.

Beitler Real Estate Services

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor is reopening, slightly, the bidding process involved in the sale of city hall. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State and federal officials say they expect to make headway this year on an underground chemical plume expanding from a former Air Force base.

The chemicals (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are linked to firefighter training on the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base. The firefighters used the foaming chemicals to extinguish jet fuel fires starting in the 1960s. The base closed in the 1990s. But while Wurtsmith’s been closed for decades,  the chemical plume continues spreading through the groundwater into local wells and nearby open water.

GABRIELLE EMANUEL / Michigan Radio

New tests show lead is still a concern in the water in Flint schools.

Two-thirds of the more than 700 recent water samples taken at Flint’s 13 school buildings came back with no detectable levels of lead. But about 3% of the samples tested at or above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. The highest spikes were recorded at Doyle Ryder Elementary.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Some Democratic state lawmakers are laying out what they want in new legislation aimed at addressing the problem of sexual assault on college campuses.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state House may vote this week on a package of bills that would expand the state’s college savings program to include some K through 12 expenses.

Michigan’s Education Saving Program was created to help families save for college, with tax-free accounts.  

But the proposed changes would allow money to be spent on primary and secondary school costs, including some expenses at non-public schools.

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.”

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