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. 

Pages

Offbeat
4:01 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

Tax Time

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The clock is ticking if you haven’t filed your state and federal income tax returns.   But there’s still time.

April 15th is usually the day taxpayers must file their income tax forms by.

But since April 15th fell on a Sunday this year, and because of a Washington D.C.  holiday (Emancipation Day) falls on April 16th, the Internal Revenue Service decided to make April 17th the deadline for this year.

Caleb Buhs is with the Michigan Treasury Department.     He says most of the returns filed this year have received refunds.

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Environment
12:14 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Michigan State University commits to green energy (but not enough for some)

Not going anywhere soon. MSU's T.B. Simon power plant will continue to provide electricity for the East Lansing campus for years to come
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees has approved a plan that will increase the East Lansing campus’ reliance on renewable energy sources.

The plan approved this morning will require MSU to get 40 percent of its electricity from wind, solar and other alternative energy sources by 2030. Renewables account for about two percent of MSU’s power right now.

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Politics
4:16 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Michigan motorcyclists wait for the governor to decide on major change to state helmet law

Time is running out for Governor Snyder to decide if he’ll sign a major change to Michigan’s motorcycle helmet law.

The governor has until Monday to decide if he will OK the change which would allow riders over 21 to ride without a helmet for the first time since the 1970’s.

Rusty Bongard is the spokesman for ABATE, a group of Michigan bikers who have  been lobbying for the helmet law’s repeal.   He says they’re not just waiting to see if the governor will sign the helmet bill into law.

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Environment
11:39 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Michigan State University Trustees expected to vote on energy plan

MSU's T.B. Simon Power Plant
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michigan State University is in the midst of a debate over how much the school  can rely on alternative energy sources to power its East Lansing campus.   

The university’s Board of Trustees meets Friday to vote on an energy plan for MSU. 

Earlier this week, MSU students used a giant inflatable inhaler to dramatize their concerns about the university’s large coal fired power plant located just south of campus. 

The students want MSU to commit to turning completely to wind, solar and other alternative energy sources for the university’s electricity needs.

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Auto/Economy
1:01 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Home foreclosures declining in Michigan

(file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Realty Trac is reporting today that Michigan’s home foreclosure rate is improving.

Foreclosure filings were down nearly 20% during the first three months of the year compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. The decline was even steeper compared to the same time a year ago.

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says nationally foreclosure numbers haven’t looked this good since before the recession started in 2008.

“I definitely think in Michigan…we’re passed the worst of this foreclosure problem… we’re on the downward slope," says Bloomquist, "But there’s just a few bumps I the road going forward before we completely… are out of the woods in terms of foreclosure in Michigan.”

Bloomquist expects there will be a spike in new home foreclosures in the second half of the year.

Politics
4:08 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Saugatuck and Douglas take a step toward becoming Saugatuck-Douglas

Members of the Michigan State Boundary Commission review a map of Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The picturesque west Michigan towns of Saugatuck and Douglas have taken another step toward becoming the picturesque city of Saugatuck-Douglas.

A state commission decided a proposal to merge the two into one city met enough legal requirements to move to the next step.    

Merger supporters say it will save money.

“Our studies have shown that we could save a million dollars annually through just the simple unification of the governments into one unity," says Bobbie Gaunt, with the Consolidated Government Committee, which is pushing the merger proposal.

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Lansing
3:39 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Tribe members start voting this week on a proposed casino in Lansing

An artist's conception of the proposed Kewadin Lansing casino
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Ballots are being mailed this week to more than 14 thousand members of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.   The vote may decide if the tribe will go ahead with plans to build a casino in downtown Lansing.

The proposed casino is controversial, not just among those who generally oppose any effort to expand gambling in Michigan, but also among some Sault Ste Marie tribe members.

The tribe already operates five casinos in the Upper Peninsula.  But some tribe members don’t like the way revenue from a Lansing casino would be divided.

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CORRECTION
4:47 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

A correction: Decline in number of people receiving cash assistance

We have a correction to a story we recently aired regarding the declining number of people receiving cash assistance through a particular welfare program in Michigan.

Michigan Radio recently reported on a sharp decline in the number of people receiving aid through the Family Independence Program.    

The program provides cash assistance to families with young children and pregnant women. The program is intended to help with living expenses, like rent and utilities. 

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Auto/Economy
4:01 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

As strike continues, Red Cross workers prepare to head back to the bargaining table

American Red Cross workers on strike in Lansing (file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Contract talks are set to resume tomorrow between the American Red Cross and its two striking unions.

The strike that started March 30 has greatly slowed blood donations for large parts of Michigan.

The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region tries to collect 700 units of blood a day. Since the strike began, they’ve only been able to collect about 100 units a day.   

About 200 members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union  and the Teamsters went on strike more than a week ago.   The union members have been working without a contract for several years.  

The unions say the two sides have not been able to resolve safety and collective bargaining issues. The Red Cross contends health care costs are the main sticking point in the unresolved contract.

The strike has affected blood collection in 65 Michigan counties, from Kalamazoo and Lansing to the northern parts of the state.       

Red Cross blood drives in southeast Michigan are unaffected.

Flint
4:16 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Flint emergency manager preparing to send budget plans to state

Downtown Flint (file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Flint’s emergency manager and his staff are working this week to wrap up a budget plan for the city.    The plan will include a request for up to $20 million in bonds to help close the city’s massive budget deficit.

Flint Finance Director Jerry Ambrose hopes the plan will be ready to submit to the state by early next week.   He says the budget plan will address the need to do “less with less”.   Ambrose says layoffs and furlough days are likely.

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Politics
1:01 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Michigan state lawmakers waiting on a court decision on "immediate effect"

A view from the floor of the Michigan State House
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The Michigan Court of Appeals may rule today in a dispute about how State House Republicans are passing bills.    

House Republicans have tacked on “immediate effect” provisions on more than 500 bills this year.  That means the bills will become law as soon as Governor Snyder signs them. But Democrats complain the “immediate effect” provisions are being added without the constitutionally required two-thirds vote.

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Arts/Culture
10:57 am
Sun April 8, 2012

Mike Wallace, legendary broadcast journalist and U of M alumnus, dies

Mike Wallace ringing a bell at a 2006 Knight-Wallace fellowship event
(Courtesy of KWF)

NEW YORK (AP) — A spokesman says CBS newsman Mike Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on "60 Minutes," has died. He was 93.

CBS spokesman Kevin Tedesco says Wallace died Saturday night.

Wallace was on the staff of "60 Minutes" when it began in 1968, and was one of its mainstays from then on.

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Auto/Economy
4:17 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Michigan homeowners will have to wait to get their share of a national foreclosure settlement

(file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michiganders hard hit by the foreclosure crisis might get some help thanks to a national settlement approved this week by a federal judge.     But that help won’t be coming immediately.

The $26 billion settlement involves 49 states, the District of Columbia and five of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States:  Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank and Ally Financial. 

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Science/Medicine
10:12 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Should Michigan 'rebalance' how it spends Medicaid dollars on long-term care?

File photo
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

AARP is out with a proposal this week that calls for targeting state Medicaid dollars to fund at-home care. The senior citizen advocacy group says the state could care for three people at home for the cost of one patient in a nursing home. 

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Politics
3:29 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Campaign to keep Medicare as is visits Michigan retirement communities

Opponents of proposals for major changes to Medicare spent today making the rounds of retirement communities in Michigan.

They denounced the budget plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  Under the Republican budget plan, future retirees would get a stipend to buy health insurance.   Its an approach Republicans say would hold down costs and begin to rein in the deficit.

Max Richtman  is the president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.   He says House Republicans want to do away with what’s left of the ‘New Deal’.

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Politics
3:54 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

School unions file federal lawsuit to stop Michigan law blocking payroll deduction of union dues

A beautiful Spring day at the state capitol
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Four Michigan unions are asking a federal judge to strike down a new state law barring school districts from collecting union dues through payroll deduction.  The unions filed the lawsuit today.

When he signed the law, Governor Snyder said it would ensure “public transparency” and make sure public resources are spent on their intended purposes.   

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Politics
11:58 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Detroit draws closer to consent agreement, as Court of Appeals tosses restraining order

Laughlin Elkind Flickr

The Michigan Court of Appeals today lifted a temporary restraining order that prevented the state financial review team for Detroit  from meeting.

The court’s move has opened the door to a major step in fixing Detroit’s city finances.

The financial review team, appointed by the governor,  was supposed to meet Tuesday to vote on a “consent agreement” that would restructure the city of Detroit’s finances.

The agreement would help the city avoid the appointment of an emergency manager, but would require painful budget cuts.

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Auto/Economy
3:06 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Michigan's falling unemployment rate not isolated to any part of the state

user Thewmatt Flickr

There’s new information showing Michigan’s drop in unemployment is spread out across most of the state.

Last week, the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget reported that the state’s unemployment rate had fallen to 8.8 percent. The last time the state’s jobless rate was below 9 percent was September of 2008.

New data from the state shows the decline was spread widely through Michigan. 

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Politics
12:15 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Does Michigan need more casinos? It's a question voters may answer this fall

A petition drive is underway that may end with asking Michigan voters if they want more casinos.

The state Board of Canvassers approved the form of the petition today.

If enough signatures are collected, voters this fall will be asked to approve expanding the number of private casinos in Michigan by eight. The expansion is opposed by Michigan’s existing casino owners.

Emily Palsrok is with the Citizens for More Michigan Jobs, the group behind the petition drive.    

“Well we think there’s more room for competition.  We don’t think anyone should be afraid of that," says Palsrok, "The gaming industry in Michigan is doing very well.  If we look at the numbers that just the three Detroit casinos posted…they’re doing very well…there’s room for more competition.” 

There are several other proposals that could eventually double the number of casinos in Michigan.

Supporters of the campaign would have to collect more than 300,000 voter signatures to make a statewide ballot.

Among the locations that would get new casinos through the proposal are Detroit, Pontiac, Grand Rapids and Romulus. Others would be in Birch Run, Macomb County's Clinton Township, Wexford County's Clam Lake Township and DeWitt Township in the Lansing area.

Politics
11:54 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Some local elected officials want to add sexual orientation to Michigan's civil rights law

Letter signed by 65 local elected leaders supporting amending Michigan's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A battle over gay and lesbian legal protections is heating up.

Sixty-five local elected officials have signed a letter supporting a bill that would add sexual orientation to the state civil rights act.

Derek Dobies is a city councilman in Jackson. He says this is an economic issue for Michigan.

“Given Michigan’s brain drain," says Dobies, "we need to do everything that we can…both at the local level and at the state level that’s within our power…to put a welcome sign on Michigan.” 

Jon Hoadley is the director of the Unity Michigan Coalition. He says its important to have the support of local leaders in this statewide fight.

“We have elected officials in Grand Rapids…Kalamazoo and Jackson," says Hoadley, "cities big and small across the state saying ‘we think that non-discrimination protections are good for us and they’re good for Michigan’.” 

Eighteen cities in Michigan have local ordinances against discrimination against gays and lesbians.

There is a bill in the state House to nullify those local ordinances.

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