Flint city hall
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council today voted to override the mayor’s veto of next year’s city budget.

The dispute over a miniscule amount of money threatened to leave Flint without the ability to pay city workers next month.   

It’s the latest in a series of squabbles over city spending between the council and Mayor Karen Weaver. 

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Governor Rick Snyder
State of Michigan

The latest updates in the Flint water crisis criminal case put Governor Rick Snyder and state Attorney General Bill Schuette at odds once again. 

The charges announced Wednesday against Nick Lyon, head of the state health department, and Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's chief medical examiner, only added to the leaders' infamous rivalry.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Six people who were arrested at a recent Flint town hall meeting will not face state charges.

The Genesee County prosecutor has declined to file charges, but the protesters could still be prosecuted by the city for misdemeanors.

Attorney Greg Gibbs of the ACLU represents five of the six people involved.  

The meeting was held in a church, and the arrests happened after one of them complained that town hall meetings should not be held in churches.

Gibbs says the arrests were wrong.  

-erin / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0


The Flint Institute of Arts has been a center for arts and culture in Flint since it was established nearly 90 years ago, in 1928.

It's the second-largest art museum in Michigan and one of the biggest art museum schools in the nation. Today, the FIA is still growing and evolving.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has dropped charges against one of the government officials charged in connection with the Flint water crisis.

Mike Glasgow is Flint’s former utilities director. He appeared in court today, where a judge agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor charge against him.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Flint residents are upset that the city has started threatening to put liens on homes that are delinquent on their water and sewer bills.

Last month, the city of Flint sent out notices to more than 8,000 water customers.  The notices advise customers to either pay their delinquent water bills, or the city will put a lien on their home.   The delinquent bills amount to nearly $6 million.   

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The weekly political roundup on Stateside tackles a few of the biggest stories of the week. Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader, along with Vicki Barnett, former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic legislator, joined the show to break it all down.

Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District: "Right now, we are putting systems in place so that we're able to meet the needs of all of our children."
Flint Community School District

Who were the ones most vulnerable to lead poisoning in the city of Flint?

The children.

With that, Bilal Tawwab, the superintendent of the Flint Community School District (FCSD), joined Stateside's live show in Flint to talk about the state of the school district.

What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It's been three years since Flint's ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its' drinking water source.

Then-Mayor Dayne Walling pushed the button that ended 50 years of getting Detroit water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today, people in Flint marked the anniversary of the start of the city’s drinking water crisis.

It was three years ago, when Flint officials pushed the button switching the city’s tap water source from Detroit to the Flint River.  Improperly treated river water damaged pipes, which then leached lead into the drinking water.

Since then, Flint’s lead-tainted drinking water has drawn national attention and local protests.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of big names to Genesee County. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, officials from Lansing and the EPA, all visited the city.

But they flew in and out. They were not living day in and day out with water that wasn't safe to drink. 

Stateside’s Cynthia Canty spoke with two different Flint residents whose families lived through the crisis, with two different outcomes: one family stayed, and one family made the tough choice to leave Flint.

Courtesy of the Flint River Watershed Coalition

When it comes to the Flint water crisis, there has been plenty of blame to go around.

In addition to the human errors and incompetence from the likes of the Snyder administration, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the EPA, and a series of unelected emergency managers, many have pointed fingers at another culprit: the Flint River itself.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today marks three years since the city of Flint’s drinking water source was switched, creating the city’s lead-tainted tap water crisis.

In a Genesee County courtroom this morning, attorneys representing two former state-appointed emergency managers and two city of Flint employees took part in a court hearing concerning criminal charges against them.

In all, 13 current and former state and city officials face a variety of charges, including neglect of duty and misconduct in office.  Two have agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, in exchange for lesser punishment. 

The Flint Water Treatment Plant
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Three years ago today, the city of Flint switched to the Flint River for its drinking water. We all know how that story goes.

So now, three years later, how has what happened in Flint changed the way we look at our drinking water?

City of Flint

A program to mow and maintain vacant lots is having a side effect in Flint: lower crime rates in those neighborhoods, including assaults, burglaries and robberies.

A Michigan State University researcher compared crime data to neighborhoods with active “clean and green” abandoned lots. He says his survey of crime stats from 2005 to 2014 shows crime rates decline as “clean and green” lots take hold.

Detroit Public Schools Community District sign
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools Community District school board has chosen Nikolai Vitti as its first permanent superintendent. Vitti grew up in Dearborn Heights and is currently the superintendent in Duval County, Florida.

Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and Senior News Analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what the district's new pick means for Detroit schools. 

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (right) stands next to the lead drinking water line that was pulled from a home in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It was April 16 of 2013, almost exactly four years ago, when emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed the contract that switched the city of Flint to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). It was heralded as a cost-cutting move.

That decision led to one of the biggest water contamination crises in American history.

The lead poisoning forced the city to go back to getting its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which serves Detroit, until the KWA system was in place.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

People walking near part of the Flint River will see, and likely smell, a major dredging project this summer.

About a quarter mile segment of the Flint River will be dredged to remove tons of soil contaminated with coal tar from a gas plant that closed a century ago.    The plant operated from the mid-1800’s to the late 1920’s. Consumers Energy bought the old coal plant back in the 1920’s.   

Jim Innes with the MDEQ is the project manager.    He says coal tar does present a potential health issue for people.

michigan state capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The meter continues to run on the state’s legal expenses for the Flint water disaster.

Lansing City Hall building
Michigan State Historic Preservation Office / Flickr

Lansing City Council officially designated itself a "sanctuary city." That move follows the Ann Arbor City Council's decision to not have police or city employees ask people about their immigration status. The Trump administration says "sanctuary cities" could lose their federal funding. Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about whether that would impact the two communities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s former city attorney has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Mayor Karen Weaver and the city.

Stacy Erwin Oakes was fired in January after being Flint’s city attorney for less than a year.   At the time, the mayor’s office declined to comment on why Oakes was let go.

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Stateside is teaming up with MI Curious, folks!

MI Curious is Michigan Radio’s project that asks for your questions about our state and its people.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

About half of Michigan’s homeless do not have one vital tool they need to get off the streets: A valid form of ID.

The head of a Flint homeless advocacy group says about half the people who walk through its doors have no form of identification. That makes it difficult for them to receive housing and services.

But this isn’t just a problem in Flint. 

Jason Weller is with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.  He says their surveys show this is a statewide problem.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

People in Flint are still digesting the terms of this week’s legal settlement and what it’ll mean for them.

Tuesday, U.S. District Judge David Lawson signed off on the deal, under which the state and federal governments will set aside $97 million to pay for replacing 18,000 lead and galvanized service lines during the next three years.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A major lawsuit over the Flint water crisis has been settled. Under the deal, the state will pay for the replacement of 18,000 lead service lines. This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Doug Tribou and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why the deal might set a precedent for other cities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A federal watchdog agency plans to conduct an audit of $25.5 million in demolition costs in Flint related to the federal Hardest Hit Fund.

  The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, informed the U.S. Secretary of Treasury last week of the planned audit.

  That letter said the audit would examine demolition and related costs in Flint that were reimbursed with TARP dollars.

At PechaKucha 20x20, speakers have to tell the audience "Why Flint?" using 20 images and 400 seconds.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

You've heard of poetry slams, TED talks and the Moth. Now, we'll introduce you to PechaKucha 20x20, happening Thursday at Tenacity Brewing in Flint.

David Stanley, one of the organizers of the event, joined Stateside to explain what this presentation style is all about.  

Map and charts of Legionnaires' disease in Michigan in 2015
Kaye LaFond/Michigan Radio

In 2014 and 2015, Genesee County saw the largest outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in at least a decade. The outbreak coincided with the city of Flint's switch from Detroit city water to water from the Flint River (and the subsequent lead exposure crisis).


Michigan Radio has been announced as a winner of a 2016 Scripps Howard Award in the Radio In-Depth Coverage category for its on-going coverage of the Flint water crisis. The Scripps Howard Award for Radio In-Depth Coverage honors the best in-depth and investigative reporting of a single event or issue that was broadcast or covered online by a radio station or radio network.

Courtesy Nan Palmero / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last Friday, a number of university researchers and state and county public health professionals were supposed to have a meeting – actually, a conference call – with state officials.

The group is called the Flint Area Community Health Environment Partnership, and the subject was their preliminary analysis of the reasons behind a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint. More than 70 people got the disease during 2014 and 2015, when the city had been switched to water from the now-infamous Flint River.