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Flint

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivered her State of the City address last night.

At times, it sounded like a campaign stump speech.

Mayor Karen Weaver focused on positive developments over the past year in a city usually associated with problems. During the mayor’s 40-plus minute speech, she talked about economic development, lower crime rates and improving city services. 

Weaver also stressed the need to continue to recover from the city’s drinking water crisis.

gavel
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major project to remove century old contamination from the Flint River is moving into its final phase.

Last week, crews finished dredging part of the Flint River bottom to remove the last remnants of coal tar from the sediment. The coal tar came from a coal gasification plant that shut down in the 1920s.

Aditya Romansa/Unsplah

You couldn’t miss the headlines about Flint’s “fertility crisis” a couple weeks ago. “Flint’s water crisis led to fewer babies and higher fetal death rates,” Science Daily summarized. “An estimated 275 fewer children were born in Flint, Michigan, while the city was using lead-contaminated water from the Flint River, according to new research findings,” the article said.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There are fewer places for Flint residents to get free bottled water these days.

In August, Flint’s seven water distribution centers handed out 11,061 cases of bottled water a day. That's nearly 300,000 cases for the entire month. 

But just after Labor Day, the state closed three of the centers. Of the nine original sites, only four remain, located in different quadrants of the city.   

McLaren Hospital in Flint and the Genesee County Health Department have been working with the Centers for Disease Control since a court order is preventing local officials from talking directly with the state health department.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The family of a Grand Blanc woman, who family members believe died from Legionnaires’ disease in 2015, is suing Governor Rick Snyder and McLaren Regional Medical Center, among other named defendants, in a lawsuit filed Thursday.

Bertie Marble died March 20, 2015 while she was a patient at Flint’s McLaren Hospital. Attorney Bill Goodman is representing the family members that filed the lawsuit. He claims the decision by state officials to switch Flint's water source to the Flint River exposed Marble to Legionnella bacteria, and that state officials and the hospital failed to tell patients at McLaren about the risk.

A Flint water protest
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 


As the aftermath of the Flint water crisis drags on, attention has now largely turned toward the repercussions for those involved. Fifteen state and local government officials now stand accused of a combined 51 criminal charges. 

And this has led to a rather strange situation where the government is paying both the legal fees to prosecute the officials, as well as the legal fees to defend them. So far that has cost Michigan taxpayers $15.2 million.

banner that says flint fresh
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials broke ground in Flint today on a center to promote local farm goods. 

The million-dollar project will transform a dilapidated old building on the city’s east side into a climate-controlled warehouse.  

Erin Caudell, VP of Flint Fresh, says when it opens next spring, the food hub will enable small farmers to sell to larger institutions, like schools and hospitals.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major dredging project in the Flint River remains on schedule.

Consumers Energy is paying to remove tons of coal tar waste along a third of a mile stretch of the river in downtown Flint. The coal tar waste is the legacy of a gasification plant that closed almost a century ago. 

Consumers spokesman Kevin Keane says crews recently started using a so-called “moon pool” as part of the dredging work.

“The moon pool is used to contain excavations in the river and it collects sheen and sediments that otherwise might travel over the dam,” says Keane.

Amor Ftouhi
File photo / FBI

It appears likely the trial date for a suspect in a possible terrorist attack in Flint will be delayed.

Amor Ftouhi is scheduled to go on trial in January for allegedly slashing a police officer at Flint’s Bishop Airport in June. He’s charged with “violence at an international airport” and “interference with airport security.” He could face up to life in prison.  

City of Flint

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will face a city councilman in November’s recall election.

Scott Kincaid had tried to run both for mayor and for re-election to the city council seat he's held for 32 years. But a judge ruled he couldn’t, and ordered Kincaid to make a choice.

Scott Kincaid announced his choice to run for mayor at a UAW Labor Day rally.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has set a preliminary exam for four Flint water crisis defendants for early December.     

But defense attorneys and prosecutors remain at odds over evidence.

Two former emergency managers (Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley) and two former Flint city employees (Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson) will face a preliminary exam December 5th. They face a variety of charges, including willful neglect of duty. The exam will determine whether the case against them will move forward.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The man heading Flint’s lead pipe replacement program has a new contract.

The council voted 9-0 on a reconsideration vote during a special meeting Thursday. The council deadlocked 4-4 August 14 on extending a personal services contract for Mike McDaniel.

McDaniel has been the program director of the Fast Start program that has replaced more than 3,000 services lines during the past year. However, he’s been working without a contract since April.    

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next year, professional golf will return to the Flint area.

The Buick Open was a popular stop on the PGA tour for decades.

Tiger Woods won the final Buick Open in Flint in 2009. A lot’s happened to Flint and Tiger Woods in the decade since. At least professional golf is successfully making a comeback in Genesee County.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint voters will have a wide array of choices in November's mayoral recall election.

The city clerk's office says 17 people filed to run against Mayor Karen Weaver, including a longtime Flint city council member, a man that filed a lawsuit in January to arrest President Donald Trump, and a man that goes by the nickname Cowboy.

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

One of the toughest things about being a parent in Flint right now is the uncertainty. If your kid gets diagnosed with ADHD, or struggles in school, there’s a part of you that wonders: is it because of the lead exposure?  

Bruno Mars
Daniel Gregory / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Bruno Mars is donating $1 million from his Michigan concert to aid those affected by the Flint water crisis.

Mars told the audience Saturday at his show in Auburn Hills that he and tour promoter Live Nation are redirecting funds from the concert to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a charity.

In 2014, Flint switched water sources and failed to add corrosion-reducing phosphates, allowing lead from old pipes to leach into the water.

sign that says "vote here"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio Morning Edition Host Doug Tribou and Senior News Analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the results of yesterday's primary elections in Detroit, Flint and Pontiac. 

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint could soon get some relief from loans it took out years ago to fix its broken water system.  

Over the years, Flint borrowed more than $20 million from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. But the cash-strapped city has been struggling to pay interest on the loans.    

With its water system still broken, and the recovery from the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis ongoing, the federal Environmental Protection Agency says it’s ready to forgive the debt.

picture of the challenge from Mayor weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is challenging almost a quarter of the signatures that appear on a petition trying to recall her from office.

County and city clerks have certified more than 5,900 signatures on the recall petition targeting Mayor Weaver. That leaves recall backers with a margin of about 200 to get it on the ballot.

But Weaver’s camp filed a formal challenge targeting 1,200 signatures, either for issues with the person who signed the petition or the person who circulated it.

inside of lead service line
Terese Olson / University of Michigan

New University of Michigan research appears to confirm that improper corrosion controls caused Flint's water crisis.

The team of UM researchers focused on the layer of lead scale inside ten service line samples from around Flint. Service lines connect homes and businesses to city water mains. In addition to examining pipe samples under a scanning electron microscope, the researchers pulverized the pipe linings to analyze what they're made of. 

Ali Elisabeth / Michigan Radio

 


Last year, more than 27,000 Detroit homes had water shut off because of what the city says were unpaid bills. In some neighborhoods, one in five homes lost water access.

In 2014, the cash-strapped city started getting tough on people who couldn’t keep up with paying for water. City officials predicted the shutoffs would taper off as residents got on payment plans and bills started being paid, but Bridge Magazine reports residential shutoffs last year rose 18% over the previous year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a sign that the Flint water crisis is possibly nearer its end than the beginning, the state of Michigan is closing more than half of the bottled water distribution centers Flint residents have relied on since the crisis began.

For more than a year, Flint residents have included a stop at their neighborhood distribution center to pick up a case or two or more of bottled water during their errands.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint voters will decide if they want to make changes to their city charter on August 8.

If it passes, it will be the first time the city’s charter will be changed in four decades. A special panel has spent two years designing the 83-page charter update.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The man accused of stabbing a police officer at the Flint airport last month now faces up to life in prison.

In a clear, confident voice, Amor Ftouhi said “Allahu Akbar” a half dozen times as he entered the federal courtroom for his arraignment. The only other times he spoke were to tell the judge he understood the charges against him.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sued the City of Flint this week. The state says the city council's refusal to approve a long term deal to buy water from a Detroit-area system endangers a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the lawsuit filed by the state agency that's been blamed for much of Flint's water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal officials say $15 million is going to provide health and social services for people who have had or are at risk for lead exposure stemming from the Flint water crisis.

“We understand the urgency of the situation, and this funding will help connect affected and at-risk Flint residents to comprehensive health and social services proven to mitigate the effects of lead exposure,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
 

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is suing Flint, alleging that the city council's failure to approve a recommendation to buy water long term from a Detroit-area system is endangering a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court.

(Read more about why the city council is delaying its vote.)

U.S. Attorney General's office

The man charged in a suspected terrorist attack at Flint’s airport will spend the Independence Day weekend behind bars.

In a calm voice, Amor Ftouhi said “Allahu Akbar” twice as he entered a federal courtroom in Flint this morning. Ftouhi was shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit. He also wore a small surgical mask which a court spokesman says is for "unspecified health reasons."

Ftouhi is from Montreal.  He has joint Canadian-Tunisian citizenship. 

The hearing was to determine if a judge would grant bail for the man accused to stabbing a police officer at Flint’s Bishop International Airport.  The officer is recovering from a 12-inch gash to his neck.

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