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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

Two more deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Michigan.

The two female deer are from a farm in Mecosta County, north of Grand Rapids. The farm has been quarantined and other deer are being tested for CWD. 

State wildlife officials are investigating to see if the source of the infection can be determined.

CWD can be transmitted directly from one animal to another, or indirectly through the environment. 

A photo collage of Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at ways to improve their response to Flint’s water crisis, almost three years after the disastrous decision to pump water from the Flint River. 

As the city of Flint continues to rip out thousands of old lead and galvanized pipes connecting homes and businesses to city water mains, state officials expect they will see spikes in lead levels in the water.

Inside the Flint water treatment plant.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say they need to know more about plans to upgrade the city’s water plant.

Mistakes made treating water drawn from the Flint River resulted in corrosive water damaging the city’s pipes. The damaged pipes leeched lead into Flint’s tap water.  

More than a year after the city’s drinking water source was switched back to treated water from Detroit, tests still show elevated levels of lead in the tap water of many Flint homes. 

U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Midland, meets with people in Stanton, Michigan
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As Congress pushes forward with repealing the Affordable Care Act, Michiganders are giving conflicting advice to members of the state delegation.

This week, as the nation prepared to inaugurate a new president, Republican lawmakers too time to meet with people in town hall sessions. 

Republican John Moolenaar met with constituents in Stanton this week, as part of listening tour of his mid-Michigan congressional district.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Scottpruitt.com

At his confirmation hearing today, the man chosen by president-elect Donald Trump to lead the Environmental Protection Agency says the EPA should have responded faster to the Flint water crisis.

Scott Pruitt has not been a fan of EPA action in the past.

As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has fought many EPA regulations opposed by the state’s oil industry and agricultural leaders. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Lansing city council remains deadlocked over who should lead them this year.

Last night, the council tried and failed again to break a four-four split on the vote for council president. It was the third straight meeting they failed to do their first job of the new year.

City Clerk Chris Swope says the council can’t just flip a coin or pick a name out of a hat.

“They do have to agree. They have to come to some consensus,” Swope said after the meeting, “and that’s what the framers of the charter had in mind.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A year ago, a Flint man walked free from an Iranian prison cell after being held for four years on spying charges.

Amir Hekmati continues to move on with his life.

He posted a note on his Facebook page thanking everyone who’s helped him and his family get through the “difficult times” they’ve faced in the last five years.

These days, Hekmati is taking college courses near his home in Flint.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In Lansing, the city council will try again tomorrow to pick a new leader.

The council traditionally picks a new president in January. And as is somewhat traditional, they’re having trouble agreeing on who it should be.

The council has met twice already this year, but no one has garnered enough votes to win the center seat on the council horseshoe. Tuesday’s meeting will give the 8 council members a chance to break their deadlock.

This is a pivotal year for the Lansing city council, with four seats up for election this fall.

Walter P. Ruether Library / Wayne State University

Two months before his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marchers down Woodward Ave. in Detroit.

Rev. King famously called the March “the largest and greatest demonstration for freedom ever held in the United States.”

Over 125,000 people participated in the “Detroit Walk to Freedom” on June 23, 1963. The March was partially a practice run for the historic “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

One Democratic Michigan congressman says he’s willing to keep an “open-mind” about Republican plans to replace Obamacare.

Large crowds gathered across the nation on Sunday, including in Warren, to oppose the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act.   

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee is concerned a quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act will leave 20 million people, including hundreds of thousands in Michigan, without health insurance.

Kildee wants to see how Republicans will keep some popular provisions of the health care law in place.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Preparing Flint’s water plant to treat water from a new Lake Huron pipeline will take a few years.

Problems at the water plant helped to create Flint’s current troubles with lead-tainted tap water. 

JoLisa McDay, Flint’s interim utilities director, told a town hall meeting Wednesday that it’s about more than buying new equipment. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is getting a $500,000 grant from the state to develop a registry of Flint residents exposed to the city’s tainted drinking water.

The grant is coming from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's chief medical executive, says while children’s exposure to lead in the water is a primary concern, the registry will follow other health issues as well.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (at the podium) was joined by national and local experts to discuss the latest Flint water test results.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Government and independent experts told people at a town hall meeting in Flint last night that the city’s lead-tainted tap water is improving. But audience members remained skeptical. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is demanding McLaren Hospital Flint and the Genesee County Health Department turn over records of several Legionnaire's disease cases from 2016.

The department wants "immediate action" taken to address potential legionella exposure problems at McLaren Hospital.

There were 17 cases of legionella in Genesee County last year.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow, state and federal officials meet in Chicago to discuss the latest data on Flint’s water crisis.

Critics of the state’s handling of the Flint water crisis say they don’t want to hear the city’s tap water is safe to drink once again.

Flint’s water became contaminated with lead after the city’s water source was switched to the Flint River.   Improperly treated river water damaged city pipes. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The proposed merger of DuPont with Midland-based Dow Chemical took another formal step in a pivotal regulatory review today.

Getting the approval of the European Commission to the multi-billion-dollar merger is seen as a key obstacle for Dow and DuPont.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The next few months may prove pivotal to plans for Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont to merge.

The two rival chemical industry giants announced their $130 billion merger plans a year ago. It’s among several proposed mergers in the industry.

The Dow-DuPont merger has yet to win the blessing of government regulators. It’s also drawn the attention of Congress and several state attorneys general.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s hospital administrators are concerned what will happen if Congress repeals Obamacare in 2017.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act tops the agenda for Republicans after the new congress is sworn in during the first week in January. 

But the Michigan Health and Hospital Association is concerned what will happen if Obamacare is repealed without a replacement strategy ready to take its place.

The association points out, between 2010 and 2019, Michigan hospitals will lose about $7 billion in reduced Medicare reimbursements.  

FLICKR USER TONY WEBSTER/FLICKR

Starting today, Michigan’s Amber Alert will only be issued for cases of child abductions.

Det/Sgt Sarah Krebs is the Amber Alert coordinator. She says the change is intended to stress the urgency of the alert.

“Unfortunately, when you have a broad set of criteria, you’re going to be putting out more Amber Alerts,” says Krebs. “That’s why we want to reserve it for those really crucial cases, those being children abducted by strangers.”

Detroit Lions

The season is on the line for the Detroit Lions as they take on the Green Bay Packers Sunday night.

The Lions have only defeated one team with a winning record this season. But they could still sew up the NFC North division title by defeating the Packers. That would give the Lions a home playoff game.

It didn’t need to come down to this game. The Packers are riding a five game winning streak after struggling for the first half of the season. Meanwhile, the Lions have lost their last two games, setting up Sunday’s decisive matchup.

A $1.8 million grant is going to help protect the Huron River satershed.

The money is coming through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Meghan Prindle is the Community and Landowner Outreach Coordinator for the Legacy Land Conservancy. She says the grant will help with several problems, including fertilizer runoff and erosion.

“This is largely going to take the form of reaching out to landowners and trying to help them tap into federal program funding,” says Prindle.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lake Superior State University’s annual list of "banned words and phrases" is heavy with contributions linked to the 2016 presidential campaign.    

LSSU has been turning out its year-end tongue-in-cheek list of overused words and phrases for 42 years.

University spokesman John Shibley says it’s not surprising people from across the country turned to bruising election rhetoric for words and phrases that have been so overused they should be banned. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s minimum wage workforce gets a pay raise on New Year’s Day.

The state’s minimum wage is increasing to $8.90 on Sunday, that’s up from the current $8.50 per hour.   

Wendy Block is with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.   She says many hourly workers were already making at least that much.

“The economy has obviously helped tremendously in terms of that upward pressure on wages and really helped employees to be able to earn a higher minimum wage, or a higher wage than they would than what is mandated under state law,” says Block.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The threat of hackers grew in 2016 for many Michigan businesses.

So-called "ransom-ware" attacks also became more common. 

In one example, the Lansing Board of Water & Light paid a $25,000 ransom after a hacker got into the utility’s internal communications system. 

Zara Smith is with the Michigan Small Business Development Center.  

Her group has been changing its approach as the cyber threats have grown and evolved.

“So that again we can reach as many as possible businesses and help them not be the next victim,” says Smith. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan motorists will see state taxes on gasoline and diesel jump this weekend.

On New Year’s Day, the gas tax is rising 7.3 cents a gallon.  The diesel tax is increasing by 11 cents.  The increase will give Michigan the 5th highest gas tax in the nation.   

The tax increase, along with state auto fees, will help fund desperately needed road repair and improvements across the state.

Denise Donahue is the director of the County Road Association of Michigan.  She says it’s important for motorists to see the money being used to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed a bill making it illegal to financially benefit by selling or distributing a fetus or any fetal tissue – a practice that's already illegal.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new study shows Michigan’s skin cancer death rate is rising.

The study’s author suggests better education is needed. 

About 9,000 people die of melanoma every year in the United States. 

Dr. Robert Dellavalle is a public health professor at the University of Colorado-Denver. He examined the rates of diagnosis of melanoma and mortality rates across the U.S. between 2003 and 2013.

Gassing up at the pump.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gasoline prices in Michigan are running about 50 cents higher than this time last year.

One analyst expects prices will continue to rise in 2017.

Patrick DeHaan is with GasBuddy.com. He says gasoline prices have been rising steadily since the beginning of November.

DeHaan expects prices at the pump in 2017 will probably continue to run 20 to 30 cents higher than in 2016.

“Sometimes prices maybe more similar to what we saw this year,” says DeHaan, “Sometimes we could get close to that $3 a gallon figure.”

mark brush / Michigan Radio

Ohio State University researchers say the public is willing to pay part of the price to address Lake Erie’s cyanobacteria problem.  

Incoming sheriffs attend a training session in East Lansing.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

On January 1, 33 new sheriffs will begin their new jobs.

It’s the biggest change at the top of Michigan law enforcement in decades.

Terry Jungel is the executive director of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. He can’t remember a time when so many of Michigan’s 83 county sheriffs were new to the job.

“I think it’s a new generation coming in with a new expectation,” says Jungel, who adds that many of the retiring sheriffs had difficulty with public demands for greater transparency, including body cams.

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