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

Economy
3:02 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Fewer new homes available for buyers in southeast Michigan

Two of the attendees at today's Building Industry Association of Southeast Michigan conference in Sterling Heights
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

There is a growing shortage of new homes in southeast Michigan.     That could be good news to the region’s home builders who have been struggling since before the recession began.

New home construction bottomed out in southeast Michigan in 2009 when few people were in the market for a home, new or not.

Last year, the number of home construction permits tripled, but still demand for new homes outstripped the supply.

Read more
Sports
7:14 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Flint boxer wins again at U.S. Olympic trials

                                      

16 year old Claressa Shields dominated another more experienced fighter in Tuesday's Olympic women's boxing trials.   Shields is now a step closer to her goal of representing the United States at the London Olympics this summer.  

ESPN reports:

Claressa Shields kept up her surprising charge through the middleweight bracket with a 31-12 victory over Andrecia Wasson. The impressive 16-year-old built on her upset of Franchon Crews, the top American 165-pounder, a day earlier.

Read more
Science/Medicine
4:32 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

A milestone for the University of Michigan's stem cell program

A researcher at the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at U of M describes the stem cell on the computer screen
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The stem cell research lab at the University of Michigan has reached a significant milestone.

A stem cell line developed from a 5 day old human embryo donated to U of M’s stem cell program has been certified by the National Institutes of Health. That’s significant, because there are only 147 embryonic stem cell lines approved by the NIH. Many of them are old lines with certain drawbacks for researchers.

Gary Smith is the co-director of the stem cell program.    He says U of M is just one of a handful of universities in the United States making new human embryonic stem cell lines for research.    

“Any investigator across the United States...or really across the world can utilize those embryonic stem cells," says Smith, "And in fact (the researchers) can use those embryonic stem cells to submit research….or for funds from the National Institutes of Health to do research on those lines.”   

Smith says U of M plans to submit another 10 stem cell lines for certification.

Offbeat
3:46 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Creating a sense of place

A view of Detroit's Campus Martius Park
(campusmartius.org)

Michigan’s realtors say communities need to rethink how they design and use public spaces.    They say it could affect Michigan’s future economic growth.

It’s a concept called ‘placemaking’.     The idea is to make public spaces, like small parks, into places people want to be that become magnets for business investment.

Detroit’s Campus Martius  is cited as an example of how this has been done well.

Read more
Sports
7:47 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Flint boxer convincingly wins her first bout in Olympic trials

16 year old Claressa Shields photographed in January as she trained at Flint's Berston field house
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

16 year old Claressa Shields is the youngest fighter trying to win a spot on the U.S. Olympic boxing team.   

She made her case for representing the U.S. in London this summer by defeating the top ranked woman in her weight class last night. 

Here's what the Seattle Spokesman-Review said about Shields performance last night:

The 16-year-old middleweight from Flint, Mich., turned the first U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Women’s Boxing on end Monday night with a dominant performance in upsetting top-seeded Franchon Crews in a crackling highlight to the opening round.

And on a night when nerves seemed to earn a draw in more than a handful of bouts, the youngest competitor among the 24 trying to take the next step to the London Olympics betrayed none.

“I wanted it – I wanted to fight her as soon as I qualified,” said Shields. “She was saying she’s the best, so if she’s the best, I wanted her. Piece of work.”

It’s hardly over for Crews, a five-time national champion. But now she’ll have to fight her way back in the double-elimination event, as only the champions in the three weight classes qualify for the AIBA World Championships in China this May.

A top-eight finish there guarantees fighters a spot in the first Olympic women’s boxing competition in July.

Shields will face another Michigan fighter in her next bout. Centerline's Andrecia Wasson was the 2010 Welterweight World Champion.

Flint
9:57 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Flint emergency manager 'conferring' with city unions

Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager is talking with city unions.  The talks may be critical to coming up with a way to solve the city’s multi-million dollar budget deficit.

Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown briefed the city council last night on where things stand on correcting the city’s financial troubles.   Flint faces an $11 million budget deficit this year.

Read more
Science/Medicine
3:06 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

MSU's FRIB project gets half its planned funding in Obama budget

The budget plan President Obama delivered to Congress today contains $22 million for Michigan State University's Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.   MSU officials originally expected $55 million.

The future of the nuclear research facility has been in some doubt since January.  The U.S. Secretary of Energy declined to promise federal funding for the project during a stop at the North American International Auto Show.     He said budget constraints had to be considered.

Read more
Politics
12:01 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

Rick Santorum tops new poll of likely Republican presidential primary voters

Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum
(celebrityhotnews.com)

Rick Santorum is leading in a new poll of likely Republican presidential primary voters in Michigan.   The primary is in two weeks. 

A poll by Public Policy Polling finds 39% of likely primary voters (70% Republicans/30% Democrats and Independents) say they support the former Pennsylvania United States Senator.

Read more
Flint
10:29 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Flint city council to meet with emergency manager this evening

It's been a few months since opponents of Michigan's emergency manager law planted this lawn sign in front of Flint's municipal building. Tonight, EM Michael Brown will talk about what he's been doing.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

The Flint city council tonight will do something it hasn’t done in a while.  Actually meet.   

One of the first things Flint’s emergency manager did after he took over city hall last December was to suspend the pay for city council members.  He also canceled council meetings.

He later reinstated some of their pay and he directed the city council members to meet with their constituents.

Read more
Politics
4:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Michigan congressman raises concerns about defense spending

Air National Guard logo

The budget President Obama delivers to Congress this week will spend about 8 billion dollars less on the Defense Department.  That's going to directly affect two Michigan Air National Guard Bases.

Read more
Flint
6:23 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Marking the end of the Flint Sit Down Strike

Surviving Flint Sit Down Strikers John Briggs (left) and James Todd (center) talk with one of the people who attended Friday's celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the sit down strike
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Saturday marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Flint Sit Down Strike.   

Hundreds of UAW members gathered in Flint today to commemorate the pivotal moment in the history of the union movement.   

Union members honored in song the six surviving sit down strikers and women’s brigade members who gathered to mark the anniversary of the strike that many say legitimized the United Auto Workers union.

Art Reyes is the president of UAW local 651.   He says the surviving sit-down strikers are an inspiration.

Read more
Education
3:29 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

4 year community college degrees in Michigan on hold

A push to allow students to get some kinds of four-year degrees at Michigan community colleges is facing a roadblock at the state capitol.

Community colleges want to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing and a handful of other fields. Michigan universities oppose letting community colleges offer four-year degrees.

But state senators are concerned the state constitution may not allow community colleges to offer four-year degrees. So for now, the bill is on hold. 

Mike Hansen is the president of the Michigan Community College Association. He says the writers of the state constitution were a little vague on what could be taught at the community college level.

“I wonder why they didn’t just say…shall not offer baccalaureate degrees…in the constitution," says Hansen,  "I think the reason they didn’t do that was so the legislature can make that decision.”  

Hansen is optimistic the state senate will brush aside the constitution question and approve the bill. 

Sports
2:03 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

All but official: NHL's Winter Classic coming to the Big House

The last time a hockey game took place at the Big House the U of M Wolverines defeated the MSU Spartans 5-0, before a crowd of more than 100,000 fans in December, 2010.
(http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:AndrewHorne)

The National Hockey League tomorrow will make official that Michigan Stadium will host next year’s Winter Classic matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Today,  the University of Michigan Board of Regents agreed to lease the college football stadium for a pro hockey game for three million dollars.

Big time hockey in the open air is rare, but not unheard of.    For example, this won’t be the first hockey game at the Big House.  More than 104 thousand fans watched U of M defeat MSU on a specially built ice rink on the Michigan Stadium field in 2010.  The NHL matchup is expected to draw as many fans, and possibly more,  to Ann Arbor.

The largest crowd ever to see an NHL hockey game was 71 thousand at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2008. 

This will be the second time the Red Wings have skated in the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic.  

Since its inception in 2008,  the Winter Classic has become a popular event on the NHL schedule.  

Economy
5:43 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Michigan to share in mortgage industry settlement of foreclosure complaints

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 The state of Michigan is expected to reap a half billion dollars from a settlement between 40 states and five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.  

Michigan has been among the hardest hit states in the foreclosure crisis. The settlement will help homeowners who were in foreclosure between 2008 and 2011.

Bank of America, Ally Financial,  Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup are the banks in the settlement.   The deal will settle complaints the mortgage lenders wrongly foreclosed on borrowers and forged documents.

Read more
Science/Medicine
12:34 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

MSU expanding reach of medical research

A view of the recently constructed Secchia Center, MSU's headquarters for the College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids
user JohnE777 Flickr

Michigan State University’s Human Medicine program is expanding its research facilities far away from East Lansing.

Last month, MSU announced its buying the old Grand Rapids Press building.  This week, developers say they hope to turn an old newspaper building in Flint into a home for MSU medical researchers.

Aron Sousa is an associate dean at the MSU College of Human Medicine.  He says expansions in Grand Rapids and Flint, as well as Midland and Traverse City, reflect the communities’ needs.

“Both the college [of Human Medicine] and the university want to be more active across the state.  We’re the land grant school for the state of Michigan.  We take that mission and that history seriously," says Sousa. 

 MSU is ending some medical programs in Kalamazoo and Saginaw, to make way for new medical schools at Western and Central Michigan Universities.

Lansing
11:51 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Lansing city council delves into casino deal

An artist' conception of the proposed casino in downtown Lansing
(courtesy of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of chippewa Indians)

The Lansing city council has plenty of questions about a plan that could bring a quarter billion dollar casino project to downtown.   The council was briefed on the legal agreement Monday.    

An Upper Peninsula tribe and a developer have already signed off on a deal that outlines revenue sharing,  property transfers and other economic development issues.

But councilwoman Carol Wood says there are several issues that aren’t spelled out in the lengthy agreement.

Read more
Crime
6:05 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Jury selection begins Tuesday for the trial of Hutaree Militia members

A Hutaree Militia patch
(photo taken from a Hutaree Militia website)

Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow in the case of members of a Christian militia group accused of plotting attacks on Michigan police officers.

 Members of the Hutaree Militia are accused of plotting to murder a police officer.  Then attack the officer’s funeral procession, in order to kill more law enforcement officers.     The attacks were allegedly to inspire an insurrection against the government

Read more
Politics
11:49 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Pete Hoekstra reacts to charges of racism in wake of Super Bowl commercial

Screen shots of Pete Hoekstra's Super Bowl ad. The ad generated buzz, but some are wondering if it's the right kind of buzz.
Mark Brush Michigan Radio

Republican senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra is defending a controversial television commercial attacking U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

He made statements during a call with the media today, you can listen to Hoekstra's statement in the audio file above.

The commercial aired during the Super Bowl and featured an Asian woman speaking in broken English thanking Senator Stabenow for sending U.S. jobs to China.

That ad has been criticized by Democrats, Asian groups and some Republicans as ‘insensitive’ and ‘racist’.

Hoekstra calls the ad aggressive.

“I’m excited,” said Hoekstra. “It has jump started the debate right to where Republicans, independents, fiscal conservatives, business people want this debate to go. It’s about stopping spending in Washington.”

Hoekstra is one of a half dozen candidates running for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow in November.

The Associated Press reports a coalition of black ministers in Detroit is calling on U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra to apologize for the Super Bowl ad:

Rev. Charles Williams II of Detroit's King Solomon Baptist church where Malcolm X once spoke said in a Monday release that the woman's broken English in the ad is no different than "having a black person speaking in slave dialect.

If Pete Hoekstra does not see any wrong in this commercial," he said, "he doesn’t deserve to be in the race."

Economy
1:01 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Home sale prices plunging in Michigan

A sign of the times in Michigan's real estate market
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Home sellers in Michigan saw prices drop significantly in the last three months. And one analyst predicts it’s a trend that shows few signs of easing.

Clear Capitol reports Michigan home sale prices between October to January dropped by 5.3 percent compared to a year ago. And the overall trend is even worse.

Alex Villacorta is the director of Research and Analytics at Clear Capitol. He says home sale prices in Detroit were down nearly 12 percent. Villacorta blames the fact that half the homes sold in the Detroit during the last three months had been foreclosed. He says banks sold the repossessed home at discounted prices.

“With more than one in two homes selling as a distressed sale,  it really puts significant downward pressure on home prices," says Villacorta.

Villacorta advises people not to put their homes on the real estate market right now if they don’t have to. But if you're in the market to buy a home, Villacorta has different advice.

“For a buyer, (this is) certainty a fantastic time to buy," says Villacorta, "(With) prices at levels not seen in decades…..with mortgage rates at record low levels it’s a great time to get in.” Villacorta says other markets around the country hit hard by the foreclosure crisis are showing signs of recovery. But not Detroit.

Arts/Culture
4:01 pm
Sat February 4, 2012

Shh! The Super Bowl commercials are on.

 A group of Michigan State University professors will get together to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.   But unlike most people, they won’t be watching the game, they’re more interested in the commercials.

Read more

Pages