Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The cost and quality of tap water in Michigan cities is the subject of a week long journey starting in Detroit today.

Activists, led by the The Detroit People’s Water Board Coalition, are upset about water shutoffs in Detroit and the quality of Flint’s troubled water system.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents will soon get another letter saying there’s a problem with their tap water. It’s a letter they’ve seen before.

The city remains technically in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act for higher than acceptable levels of the disinfectant byproduct Total Trihalomethanes, otherwise known as TTHM.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says a campaign to persuade city residents to talk to police is having an effect.

The "Stop the Silence" campaign asks people to share what they know about crimes with law enforcement.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

It’s just another forgotten vacant lot in Flint.

But starting this weekend, 2920 Lewis Street will begin transforming into a rain garden.

“This particular location falls into this new zoned ‘green innovation’ area, which is looking at productive use of vacant land,” says Kevin Schronce, a senior Flint city planner.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s another problem connected to Flint’s troubled city water supply.

The University of Michigan-Flint sent an email this week to people on campus, warning of elevated levels of a disinfectant by-product known as Total Trihalomethanes or TTHM in the water on campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The party’s over for parking lot partiers in Flint.

Police Chief James Tolbert says convenience store parking lots have become a place to hang out for some people. He says this often means drinking, illegal drug use and prostitution.  

The Hekmati family

The family of a Flint man imprisoned in Iran is traveling to Europe to make the case for his release.

Amir Hekmati’s family released a statement this morning announcing that they are traveling to Austria.

Talks are underway in Vienna between the governments of Iran, the United States and several other countries concerning Iran’s nuclear program.   

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has dismissed a request for an injunction to force the city of Flint to return to Detroit's water system.

U.S. District Judge Judge Stephen J. Murphy III turned down the request today.

“The Court is unable to determine the Coalition’s legal theory, or even whether the Court has the power to grant the requested relief,” wrote Murphy in his opinion. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board has decided it needs more time to pick its “preferred” candidate for the district’s soon-to-be vacant superintendent job.

The board heard from the two finalists for the position last night.

Bilal Kareem Tawwab is an assistant superintendent in the Detroit Public School district. Errick Greene is an executive with an education consulting businesses.  Greene is also the son of one of Flint’s school board members.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board may pick the district’s new superintendent this evening.

Larry Watkins is currently Flint's interim school superintendent. His decision to retire prompted the district to launch a national search for his replacement.

The school board is scheduled to hold a final round of interviews with the two remaining finalists for the superintendent job.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit to reduce Flint's high water bills say they would like to reach a deal.

Soon after taking the job in 2011, former Flint emergency manager Michael Brown hiked the city's water and sewer rates.   

The lawsuit claims Brown violated city ordinances by imposing the rate hike. The suit also contends that Michigan’s emergency manager law didn’t give him the authority to do that. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint has hired a new chief financial officer with experience with troubled city finances.

Jody Lundquist comes to Flint from Benton Harbor, where she was the city’s finance director. Like Flint, Benton Harbor spent years being run by an emergency manager, appointed by the governor to fix the city’s money problems.

Benton Harbor exited direct oversight more than  a year ago. Flint did the same a few months back.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A lawsuit challenging the price Flint residents pay for water is heading back to court.

The Michigan Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision dismissing the lawsuit.

Soon after Michael Brown was appointed Flint’s emergency manager, he increased the rates the city’s residents paid for water.   Many Flint residents say their water is too expensive. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The United States Army has wrapped up its training exercises in Flint and other Michigan cities.

For the past week, low flying helicopters and explosions could be heard as special training exercises popped up, often unexpectedly in urban areas.

The intent of the exercises has been to give members of the military specialized training in urban environments.   

This photo gives you a sense for why the pig was called "Giggles."
Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor / Facebook

There’s one less candidate running for mayor of Flint.

A post overnight on the “Giggles the Pig for Flint Mayor” Facebook page announced the four-legged candidate was dropping out of the race for Flint mayor.

Giggles entered the race after a mistake in the city clerk’s office meant none of the two-legged candidates qualified for the August Primary.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A coalition of pastors and other groups is asking a judge to force the city of Flint to go back to getting its tap water from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. 

Last year, the city shut off the DWSD pipeline and started tapping the Flint River. Since then, there have been numerous problems with the city’s tap water, from being cloudy and smelly to having high levels of e-coli and other chemicals.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint school board will interview candidates for its superintendent job next week.

The board will quiz the finalists about ways they can improve the struggling school district.

Wednesday, a search firm released the names of the six finalists for the position.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor’s race is just a governor’s signature away from getting back on track. 

The race was thrown into chaos in April after the city clerk gave candidates the wrong date to submit petition signatures. No candidate submitted enough signatures by the correct deadline to qualify for the August primary. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Officials with the United States Army and the city of Flint are apologizing to people in a city neighborhood jarred by a series of explosions on Tuesday.

The loud explosions were part of a training exercise at a former school building nearby. The event was not publicly announced beforehand. 

Cody LaRue

As part of our M I Curious project, Flint's Cody LaRue asked us the following question:

There is an old railroad bridge in Flint that has "grand funk railroad" on it. Did the band do this, or were they involved in some way?

The graffiti was painted over a “Grand Trunk Western Railroad” bridge in Flint. We checked in with the band to find out.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This may be a pivotal week for efforts to get Flint’s mayor’s race back on track.

The state House may vote this week on a bill that would allow Flint to hold an August primary for mayor. 

A screw up by the city clerk meant no candidate filed their petition signatures on time.    

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint Institute of Arts is opening its door to city teachers.

It’s been several years since Flint had a comprehensive arts program. 

The FIA is giving more than 400 Flint teachers free family museum memberships. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea is calling on Catholics in the mid-Michigan diocese to help the poor. Specifically, he wants them to focus on poor people living in Flint. 

Flint is part of the 10-county diocese. But Boyea feels too many Catholics ignore Flint and its needs.

Decades of economic decline and population flight has left Flint with a poverty rate well above the state average. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers want Flint’s city clerk to get more training and supervision.

Or she can resign or be replaced.   

The demands are part of a bill to let Flint hold a mayoral primary in August. 

The city clerk threw the mayor’s race into chaos when she gave the candidates the wrong filing deadline.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The clock is ticking for Flint mayoral candidate Eric Mays to find enough validate signatures to guarantee a spot for him on the November ballot.

Flint voters are electing a mayor this fall.     

Councilman Eric Mays fell 48 signatures short of the 900 needed for a spot on the ballot. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

People across Michigan are taking time today to remember those who’ve died serving in the US Armed Forces.

Thousands of people lined the streets in Dearborn for that city’s 91st annual Memorial Day parade. 

Further north in Flint, a much smaller observance of the holiday took place.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police spent part of this past week reaching out to the city’s teenagers.

"It’s all about safety,” Police Chief James Tolbert told students at Flint Southwestern Classical Academy.   Tolbert spoke during a session on things the teenagers can do to avoid trouble.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“We have to right-size this school district.”

That’s what outgoing interim Flint schools superintendent Larry Watkins said tonight, after the school district voted to close three more schools.

Closing the three elementary schools will save the district an estimated $7 million over the next seven years.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Wednesday was not an ideal day to plant a garden. 

A chilly day with frost in the forecast overnight. 

But hundreds of people in Flint were more than ready to dig in the dirt.

Sue McVey / Flickr

Flint’s games will go on.

Flint school district students have competed against their peers from Hamilton, Ontario for more than a half-century in a variety of sports.

Last year, the financially troubled school district decided to end its funding, putting the future of the games in doubt.