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. 

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Auto/Economy
4:01 pm
Sat March 31, 2012

Rising gasoline prices have more Michiganders riding the bus

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

Public transportation is becoming more popular in Michigan as gasoline prices soar.

Gasbuddy.com reports the average price for a gallon of gas leaped to $4.10 this week.

Clark Harder is the president of the Michigan Public Transit Association.   Harder says bus ridership has been rising along with the price of gas in Michigan.

“For a lot of people four dollars is kind of a trigger factor that causes them to think about parking their car and trying out transit," says Harder.

Auto/Economy
1:01 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Rising gas prices = rising worries for Michigan retailers

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michigan retailers are becoming more concerned about the impact rising gasoline prices will have on sales.

Michigan’s average gas price leaped over four dollars a gallon this week.

The Michigan Retailers Association released a survey Wednesday showing lower sales projections over the next three months.

Tom Scott is with the Michigan Retailers Association.   He says rising gas prices will force retailers to spend more to ship their products and discourage customers from coming into their stores.

Offbeat
11:23 am
Wed March 28, 2012

Buying a chance to win a half billion dollars

Michigan lottery players have a chance to win the largest lotto prize in U.S. History.

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot on Friday night will be $500 million.   That’s about a hundred million dollars more than the previous U.S. lottery record.

“We do expect with this kind of a jackpot probably lines at many retailers, particularly Friday after work, you know as people are driving home they stop to pick up their ticket," says Andi Brancato, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Lottery, "This is virgin territory." 

Lansing
7:48 pm
Tue March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin protest reaches the steps of Michigan's state capitol

 A few hundred people, many wearing hoodie sweatshirts, gathered on the steps of the state capitol in Lansing  Tuesday to demand justice for a teenager shot and killed in Florida last month.

A month ago, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed.   The Florida teen’s death has spurred a national debate over what constitutes self-defense and concerns for the safety of young black men.      

Read more
Trayvon Martin
11:37 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin rally set for Michigan State Capitol Building

Trayvon Martin
(NPR.org)

Organizers of a rally to protest the shooting death of a Florida teenager hope to attract a few thousand people to the steps of Michigan’s state capitol Tuesday afternoon.

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed a month ago, in an incident which has raised questions about race and self-defense.

O.D. Harris is organizing the rally at the state capitol. He hopes the rally will help end tragedies rooted in ‘stereotyping’.

“We stereotype people based on what their attire is," says Harris, "I don’t want to make it a race thing…we stereotype people based on their names… we stereotype people based on all types of reasons… and we have to stop that.”

Similar protests took place in Kalamazoo, Flint and a handful of other Michigan cities on Monday.

Read more
Lansing
10:55 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Lansing mayor highlights furlough days in his budget plan

Lansing’s mayor says a combination of employee furlough days and union concessions are necessary to shrink a $4.7 million budget gap next year. He laid out his budget plan to the city council last night.

Mayor Virg Bernero blames rising health insurance costs and declining property tax revenues for the budget gap.

“We need to make some serious decisions," says Brian Jeffries,  the president of the Lansing City Council,  "(The decisions are) going to be painful.   Both in terms of the number of employees…as well as loss of services…and what does that actually means for the city.”

The Lansing city council has until mid-May to come up with any changes to the mayor’s spending plan.

Flint
4:32 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Flint emergency manager back in charge

Flint emergency manager Michael Brown is back in charge, temporarily, after today's court order
State of Michigan

Flint’s emergency manager is back in charge of the city.  At least, temporarily. 

The Michigan Court of Appeals today put on hold a lower court ruling that left questions about who was in charge in Flint.

Last week, Ingham County circuit court judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the state financial review team that recommended the appointment of an emergency manager in Flint had violated Michigan’s open meetings law.  The judge decided that the appointment and all the decisions emergency manager Michael Brown had made since December were invalidate.

The governor’s office appealed the judge’s order, describing it as "devastating."

The Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case.   The court put a stay on the lower court ruling and reinstated Michael Brown as Flint’s emergency manager.

In her order last week,  Judge Aquilina had directed Flint's mayor and city council to resume their roles.   One of the first things Michael Brown did as emergency manager was to limit the power of Flint's elected leaders. 

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling issued a statement after today's ruling of the Court of Appeals:

"As the legal challenges to PA4 move through the courts system, the Flint community needs to work together to address our long-standing challenges with finances, public safety and economic development. While the courts are flip-flopping on the critical issue of the Open Meetings requirement, I will work every day to make our community a better place for families and businesses."

The timing of the Court of Appeals decision today could be critical.   Flint, like other Michigan cities, is drafting its budget for next year.

Flint faces a budget deficit that could be as high as $20 million.

Lansing
1:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Doing "less with less" in Lansing

Lansing mayor Virg Bernero plans to tell the city council tonight how he plans to cut nearly five million dollars to balance the capital city’s budget.

That fact that Lansing is only facing about a five million dollar budget gap next year is actually good news.   Last fall, the mayor’s office was predicting the city might be facing up to a 15 million dollar shortfall.

But Mayor Bernero says voter approval of a special public safety millage, lower health care costs and more state revenue sharing money than expected has improved Lansing’s revenue picture.

Read more
Economy
1:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Red Cross workers set to go on strike in part of Michigan

American Red Cross workers during a previous strike (file photo)
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Once again American Red Cross workers are poised to strike in Michigan.

The strike could affect 65 counties in Michigan.

Ten days ago, two unions gave notice of their intention to strike against the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. It would be the third job action in the last two years.

The union members have been working without a contract for the past four years. The two sides remain far apart on several issues.

Monica Stoneking is a Red Cross spokeswoman. She says the Great Lakes Blood Services Region must collect 700 units of blood a day to meet demand.

“If we have less blood drives being held…then that’s going to further impact our blood supply… and it’s already at a low level," says Stoneking.

Stoneking says if a strike takes place they will have to import blood from other Red Cross regions to meet the need.

Flint
3:00 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Michigan governor's office asks court to put "devastating" order on hold

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The governor’s office is asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to overrule an order by a lower court judge that invalidated the appointment of an emergency manager to run the city of Flint.

This week, Ingham County circuit court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina ruled that the state panel the governor appointed to review Flint’s finances failed to abide by Michigan’s open meetings law.    

The judge found that violation invalidated the appointment of emergency manager Michael Brown and all his decisions since taking over Flint in December.

In the legal paperwork filed with the Court of Appeals, state officials are asking the court to put the lower court judge’s order on hold and eventually toss it out completely.

The legal brief describes the judge’s ruling as “devastating” since it puts the city “back to square one” even as it teeters on the “brink of insolvency”. 

Flint is an estimated $20 million dollars in the hole and only has $10 million  in hand. 

Science/Medicine
1:01 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Private practice vs a hospital paycheck: Michigan's evolving health care culture

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear legal arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The federal health care law has come under fire for a variety of reasons, including changes to the way Americans will get their health care.

Read more
Crime
7:01 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Traverse City may lose its federal courthouse

(loveamourlove.com)

The federal courthouse in Traverse City is on a list of 60 nationwide that may face closure.

The federal government is considering closing up to 60 courthouse across the country as part of an effort to cut costs.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show federal courthouses facilities in 29 states could be on the chopping block.   Many of the court sites are in rural areas and critics say closing them could make it more difficult for people to get to court proceedings.

Read more
Crime
3:53 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Michigan State Police investigate allegations of "racial profiling" in traffic stop

user GPDII wikimedia commons

The Michigan State Police is opening an internal investigation into a traffic stop that has raised allegations of racial profiling.

The ACLU called on the Michigan State Police to look into the February traffic stop of an American citizen of Mexican descent.

During the traffic stop in Livonia, the ACLU claims the state trooper interrogated about the man about his immigration status, apparently not believing the man’s claims that he is a naturalized citizen.

The driver was handcuffed, threatened with deportation and federal immigration agents were called.

The man was eventually released after his claim of being a legal U.S. citizen was confirmed.

In a written statement, the head of the Michigan State police says the department “expects its members to perform their duties in a professional and impartial manner”, adding the department does not condone “bias profiling”.

Offbeat
3:50 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

What are the odds? Michigan store sells five winning Mega Millions lottery tickets

user msspider66 flickr

Five winning tickets in Tuesday’s Mega Millions lottery drawing were purchased at a Meijer store in Northville.

The five tickets matched five of the six numbers drawn and they are worth a quarter million dollars each.

Michigan Lottery spokeswoman Andi Brancato admits one store selling so many winning tickets is unusual.

“There are a lot of things that can sometimes seem like they’re impossible to happen.  But we are talking about elements of chance that are what make up a lottery game," says Brancato.

Brancato says it’s possible that one person bought all five tickets.

“We have had players who’ve purchased multiple tickets, for the same drawing, with the same numbers in the past," says Brancato, "We need to have a ‘red flag’.  We need to have a reason to conduct an investigation.  Certainly if there was a problem, or we even thought that there was a problem, we would take a look at it.”  

Since no one matched all six Mega Millions numbers in Tuesday’s drawing, Friday’s jackpot will be worth 290 million dollars.

Flint
1:01 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Governor's office expected to ask higher court to overturn ruling ousting Flint's emergency manager

The governor’s office is expected to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals as early as today concerning a judge’s ruling that ousted Flint’s emergency manager.

Judge Rosemarie Aquilina also ordered the reinstatement of Flint’s mayor and city council.

The judge found the financial review panel that recommended the emergency manager’s appointment in Flint violated Michigan’s open meetings law.  

Read more
Flint
5:39 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

Judge: Flint emergency manager out/mayor and city council back in charge

 Flint’s emergency manager is out of the job (for now).    And the city’s mayor and city council are back in charge of the financially troubled city. 

Today's court hearing centered on whether the panel, appointed by the governor, to review the city of Flint's finances violated the state's open meetings law.   An attorney for the state insisted the process followed by the panel was not 'secretive' even though it's meetings were not open to the public.

But Judge Rosemarie Aquilina appeared incredulous.   

Read more
Flint
1:01 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Court hearing may determine immediate future of Flint emergency manager

Flint emergency manager Michael Brown
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A court hearing this afternoon may decide if Flint’s emergency manager can once again run the city.

Michael Brown has been in limbo since last Thursday.  That’s when a judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing him from acting as Flint’s emergency manager.

Brown’s been on the job since December.  But city unions claim the panel that recommended the appointment of an emergency manager in Flint violated Michigan’s open meetings law.

State officials hope today’s court hearing will lead to the reinstatement of Brown’s emergency manager powers.

Lansing
11:57 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Lansing city council gives OK to controversial casino project

A controversial plan to build a casino in downtown Lansing cleared an important hurdle last night. 

The Lansing city council gave its approval for the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians’ plan to build a casino next to the city’s convention center. 

Council members who voted for the casino cited the jobs it will create  and a college scholarship program for Lansing children it will fund.

Read more
Lansing
1:01 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Proposed Lansing casino faces key hurdle tonight

The Lansing city council has several items dealing with the casino project on its agenda tonight.

All the items must pass for the $245 million project to move forward.

City council president Brian Jeffries last week questioned if the city is giving up too much in the deal with the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and a group of local investors.

The proposal has drawn opposition from critics of casino gambling., other tribes that operate casinos, as well as the governor and state attorney general. 

Read more
Weather
1:01 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Blame (or Thank) the Jet Stream for Michigan's unusually warm weather

Michigan will be flirting with temperatures near 80 degrees today. 

The state has been seeing record or near record breaking temperatures for the past few days.

Amos Dotson is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.   He says we can thank the Jet Stream for the much higher than normal temperatures.

"This happens every once in a while," says Dotson,  "It’s pretty rare but it does happen where the Jet Stream pattern has just shifted further to the north and has just allowed very warm air to infiltrate our region.”  

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