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Flint water crisis

Scroll through all of our coverage of the Flint water crisis below. And you can find our special series Not Safe to Drink here.

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.

natasha henderson
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming a former Flint city official was fired for accusing Flint Mayor Karen Weaver of corruption.

Former Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson filed the case in federal court one year ago. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox ordered to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Henderson’s allegation against Weaver was not protected under the First Amendment.

Nick Lyon
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The head of Michigan's health department is asking a judge to force prosecutors to release additional evidence in their case against him in connection to the Flint water crisis.

An attorney for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon has filed motions asking a judge to compel the release of requested discovery material and to issue subpoenas for the state Office of Inspector General, state Office of Auditor General, Lyon's own department, and McLaren-Flint hospital.

Judge orders Flint and DEQ into mediation over water

Aug 2, 2017
Water running from tap
jordanmrcai / Creative Commons

A federal judge has ordered the state of Michigan and the city of Flint into mediation to try to resolve their differences regarding the future of Flint’s drinking water.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson on Tuesday appointed Troy-based attorney Paul Monicatti to facilitate an agreement between the city and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

water going into cup from faucet
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It happened last December, in the final hours of the last Congress.

After a lot of heavy lifting by Michigan lawmakers on Capitol Hill, a federal aid package for Flint was finally passed.

Today, we've learned 14.4 million of the federal aid dollars from that package will go to Michigan State University to set up a registry of everyone exposed to the lead-tainted water in Flint. 

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan needs to improve its oversight when it comes to the Flint water crisis. That is a finding by the Michigan Auditor General released in a report Monday.

It says the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) didn’t provide enough oversight of the food and water lead safety inspections.

“The work got done, but the paperwork, documentation, should have been better,” said Jennifer Holton of MDARD.

MDARD oversees the inspections performed by the Genesee County Health Department.

Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Perhaps no state in the country is more aware of water safety than Michigan. Seeing the Flint water disaster play out since 2014 has given us all a harsh lesson in not taking safe water for granted. 

Yet President Trump's proposed budget takes an ax to the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one of the agencies most responsible for protecting our water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A literacy program is hoping to get more Genesee County children reading this summer. 

Ja’Nel Jamerson is the director of the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network.

He says it’s important for children everywhere to maintain their education levels during their summer vacation.  

But Jamerson says it’s especially important in Flint, where thousands of children were exposed to lead in their drinking water which can negatively affect their neurological development.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Class-action lawsuits against state and local officials involved in the Flint water crisis will go forward.

A federal appeals court reinstated claims against officials all the way up to Governor Rick Snyder.

The court dismissed claims against Governor Snyder in his official capacity, and against the departments of Environmental Quality and Health and Human Services.  But plaintiff attorney Deborah LaBelle says the governor could still be found liable for the drinking water crisis.

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. 

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.

A worker in a bright-green vest loads bottled water into a silver SUV.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City and state officials will talk about the future of bottled water distribution centers in Flint Wednesday morning.

A trip to the neighborhood distribution center has become a regular chore for many people in Flint since the city’s tap water became contaminated with lead.

But things are changing.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, along with local pastors, met with Governor Snyder on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Weaver and the state officials responsible for the state’s water distribution effort will announce the “next steps” in the program.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police officers blocked water crisis protesters from entering Flint city hall today.

Samples of various drinking water pipes.
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Flint’s problem water pipe records are forcing the city to rely more on a special tool to determine if homes are using lead or copper service lines.

Digging a hole with a backhoe to see if the pipe connecting homes to city water mains is slow and expensive. It's not something a city like Flint, which is replacing thousands of suspect service lines, has time or money to do.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Genesee County official charged with collecting delinquent taxes says she won't collect money for tax liens placed on homes with overdue water bills. That means Flint homes with delinquent water bills will avoid the threat of foreclosure. 

Flint’s state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board recently ordered the City of Flint to resume placing tax liens on homes that didn’t keep up with their water bills during the time when Flint’s water wasn’t safe to drink or use for bathing.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say the “fix was in” for months before a deal to keep the city on tap water from Detroit was made public.

Councilwoman Kate Fields says she’s obtained an email from a consultant showing the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was set in February, months before it was announced to the public in April. 

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.
 

Todd Flood
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More charges may be coming in the Flint water investigation.

Special Counsel Todd Flood hinted at the possibility of new charges during a hearing for a defendant facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal Legionnaires' disease case.  

JORDANMRCAI / CREATIVE COMMONS

The political and legal drama continues to swirl around the beleaguered people of Flint.

The latest twist?

The state is suing the city of Flint for not approving a plan to get its drinking water from Detroit’s Great Lakes Water Authority.

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

On Monday,  the Flint City Council decided not to sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority - at least, not yet. The GLWA is providing Flint's water for now, and it's also Detroit's water source. In the long run, the city could be on the hook for about $600,000 a month in additional if it doesn't sign it. The mayor wanted the deal, but the council didn't.

“Morning Edition” host Doug Tribou and senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what this means for the future of Flint water. 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of delinquent Flint water customers are once again at risk of losing their homes.

Today, a state oversight board struck down a moratorium on putting unpaid water bills on county tax rolls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Defense attorneys oppose a move by prosecutors to consolidate Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.  She made a brief appearance in court today in Flint.   

During the hearing, prosecutors raised the potential of consolidating all the ongoing criminal cases in the Flint water probe into one court. Currently, the 13 cases are spread among several different judges in 67th district court. 

A sign that says "City of Flint Municipal Center"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say they need more information before they can approve the agreement with the Great Lakes Water Authority. The 30-year deal is part of a broader agreement addressing Flint's water crisis.  The council did approve a three month extension of the current contract instead.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Judith Pruitt’s water bill is $7,545.29.

That’s after the Flint retiree withdrew nearly $900 out of her savings account a few weeks ago to pay the city, or else her water would’ve been shut off, she said.

New data analyzed by Michigan Radio show Pruitt is not alone.

Michigan Radio was recognized this past weekend with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI). The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for the station’s on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis. Michigan Radio was among the first news organizations to report about contaminated drinking water in Flint and has been bringing this story to listeners across the state and the nation from the very beginning.

Flint Mayor Weaver, Lansing Mayor Bernaro, and Ret. Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel stand next to the lead pipe.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Flint’s pipe replacement program faces a critical deadline at the end of this week.

By Friday, Flint needs to replace its 2,037th lead or galvanized service line.

That would be approximately 7% of the estimated number of suspect pipes tied to the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis.

The mandated 7% threshold is part of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.  

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