Flint

Politics & Government
3:54 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Flint's elected leaders will get special training on how to govern their troubled city next month

Flint's nine city council members attending their swearing in ceremony earlier this month
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint city council members will receive special training next month that may help pave the way for the city to emerge from state oversight.

An emergency manager, appointed by the governor, has run the city of Flint since 2011.

City leaders hope to retake control of the city, possibly as early as late next year.

Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley says before that can happen it’s important the city’s elected leaders learn how to properly govern.

That’s why he’s organizing the Dec. 14th training session.

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Business
6:49 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Flint's Genesee Towers slated to fall next month

Genesee Towers office building, Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s tallest building will come crashing down close to Christmas.

Officials announced today, the 19-story Genesee Towers building will be imploded on December 22nd at 10am. 

Built in 1968, the building suffered decades of neglect. The office tower has sat mostly empty for more than a decade.    The city eventually condemned the building.   A judge ordered the city of Flint to purchase the 45-year-old building in 2007.

The city sold the Genesee Towers for a dollar earlier this year, clearing the way for the building’s demolition next month.

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Education
6:17 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Flint school board members to review audit, with state aid payment on the line

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint School Board will hear the findings of the district’s most recent audit this evening.

The audit is expected to show continued problems with misspent funds, lax oversight and other issues.

“Our students deserve the very best and we’re definitely going to do that. In order for us to do that, we’re going to have to turn this district around,” says Larry Watkins, Flint’s interim school superintendent.

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Offbeat
2:20 pm
Sun November 24, 2013

Demolition plans on track for Flint's tallest building

Genesee Towers, Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Construction crews have started to put up plywood to protect nearby buildings in anticipation of the mid-December demolition of Flint's tallest building.

Uptown Reinvestment bought downtown Flint's 19-story Genesee Towers from the city for $1.

MLive.com  says plywood protection is going up at the nearby C.S. Mott Building, and Flint officials say two nearby streets have been closed and fenced off in the past week and will stay closed into the spring.

WEYI-TV reports that the new owners plan to transform the site into Exploration Park.

Politics & Government
11:14 am
Sun November 24, 2013

Arson arrests drop in Flint

Flint firefighters battle yet another suspicious fire (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A newspaper reports that Flint is spending less time and money investigating arsons and making fewer arrests for the crime even though the city leads the nation in arsons per capita.

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Law
1:16 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Flint sees improvement in violent crime rate

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says violent crime is down in his city, despite the city reaching a grim milestone this past week.

Last Sunday, 16 year old Wesley Gillmore became the 50th person murdered in Flint this year.   Flint has notched at least fifty homicides in each of the last four years. The city set a record with 67 murders in 2012.

Still police Chief James Tolbert says Flint’s violent crime rate is improving, down 29% in the last 11 months.

To keep that downward direction, Tolbert says the public’s help is needed.

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Business
5:39 pm
Sat November 16, 2013

Buick City's future brightening in Flint

The long vacant Buick City auto assembly plant site in Flint
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The announcement this week that an Alabama company plans to build a pipe factory in Flint could help spur further investment in a former General Motors site there.

The 235 acre Buick City site is being marketed by the Racer Trust. The trust was set up to sell off abandoned General Motors properties. American Cast Iron Pipe is the first company to invest in Buick City.

Elliot Laws is with the Racer Trust. He says they’ll be blasting news of American’s plans to build in Flint to other potential investors…

Auto
4:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Flint's old Buick City is getting a new tenant

Buick City in Flint (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

An old auto plant site is getting new life in Flint.

"We are proud to announce,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling told a news conference today, “American Pipe will be made in Flint”

Alabama-based American Cast Iron Pipe Company confirmed today that it plans to build a new multi-million dollar manufacturing plant on part of the old Buick City site.

The factory will produce pipes for a project to bring water from Lake Huron to Genesee County. 

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Politics & Government
3:55 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Flint's controversial new city councilman sworn in

Fifth Ward Flint city councilman Wantwaz Davis taking his oath of office
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The new Flint city council was sworn in to office today, including a new councilman who served time for murder.

Wantwaz Davis served 19 years for murdering the man he claims assaulted his mother.   He was paroled in 2010.

Davis says he embraces the biblical story of Paul, who changed from being a persecutor of Christians to being a Christian leader.   He says it’s a path people in Flint should follow.

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Newsmaker Interview
4:10 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Federal election monitoring in Detroit, Hamtramck and Flint

Not as many people vote in gubernatorial election years compared to Presidential election years.

It's Election Day, and federal election monitors are keeping an eye on voting in Detroit, Hamtramck and Flint. The Department of Justice wants to ensure those cities comply with the Voting Rights Act. 

Joining us to talk about the monitoring is Executive Assistant United States Attorney, Stephanie Dawkins Davis. 

"This is an effort to protect the integrity of the process. It isn’t that there has been any specific concern or that there has been any wrong doing in any of these jurisdictions. The U.S. government would like to protect the integrity of the process," Davis said.

Stateside
4:53 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What is driving the violence in Detroit and Flint?

Joy VanBuhler Flickr

Election Day 2013 is close at hand.

And that's when Detroit voters will decide whether their next Mayor will be Mike Duggan or Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

The winner of the election will inherit the huge challenge of what to do about the crime rate in Detroit.

At least 386 people were murdered in the city last year, and recent FBI statistics put Detroit neck and neck with Flint for the top spot of most violent cities in America.

The high crime rate means those folks who can are getting out of these cities, which makes the economic downward spiral even worse.

What can be done? And do we really know what is driving the violence in cities like Detroit and Flint?

Michigan State University sociologist Dr. Carl Taylor joined us today from East Lansing. His new book "Third City" looks at the challenges in post-industrial Detroit and Michigan. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:58 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Will this new plan help Flint grow?

Flint's skyline.
Flint Michigan Facebook.com

On Monday, the Flint City Council approved a new master plan — the first new plan in more than 50 years.

The plan calls for stabilizing neighborhoods hit hard by blight, and creating new opportunities for business investment.

City officials and residents have spent the last two years coming up with the plan. Flint, about 50 miles northwest of Detroit, has been under state oversight since 2011. The city currently is dealing with $3 million in structural debt.

Will this new plan help Flint grow?

Listen to full story above.

Politics & Government
8:49 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Flint has a new 'master plan', now the work begins

Flint residents discuss changes to their city's master plan during a recent community forum
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint city council approved a new master plan for the city last night. 

Now the question is how to pay for it.

City officials and Flint residents have spent the last two years coming up with the plan. The last one was drafted more than a half century ago and it envisioned a very different city than what Flint became.

The new plan calls for stabilizing neighborhoods hard hit by blight and creating new opportunity for business investment.

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Offbeat
2:37 am
Fri October 25, 2013

December implosion planned for Flint's tallest building

Genesee Towers, Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - An implosion planned for December is taking down Flint's tallest building.

Uptown Reinvestment bought downtown Flint's 19-story Genesee Towers in March from the city for $1.

Multiple news outlets are reporting Jacksonville, Fla.-based Drilling & Blasting will handle implosion engineering and blasting efforts, with help from Michigan-based Burnash Wrecking Inc. and Certified Abatement Services Inc.

The demolition is part of a $32 million redevelopment plan.

Politics & Government
11:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Flint water rates to be reviewed

Flint's water and sewer rates have more than doubled since 2011, prompting many complaints and a lawsuit
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The rates Flint residents pay for water are going to be reviewed. 

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Politics & Government
4:07 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Flint begins knocking down hundreds of abandoned homes

Wrecking crews turn the abandoned home at 2010 Barth Street into the empty lot at 2010 Barth Street
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The first of 1,600 homes in Flint fell to a backhoe today.

The Genesee County Land Bank and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority are using a $20.1 million federal grant to pay for the largest blighted home demolition program in Flint’s history.

The program is expected to eliminate a quarter of Flint’s 5,600 abandoned homes. 

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says tearing down a derelict home has a positive effect on the surrounding neighborhood. 

“When dangerous houses come down, surrounding property values stabilize.  Safety increases,’ says Walling.

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Law
12:41 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Flint's new police chief gets to work

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says to address violent crime in Flint it’s important to look at all the “underlying crimes”, like larceny or breaking & entering, which affect the violent crime rate.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

New Flint Police Chief James Tolbert says he wants to “make Flint safe for the people who live here, (and) the people who visit here”

This is the first day on the job for Tolbert.  He previously served for more than 25 years in the Detroit Police Department, where he rose to Deputy Chief. 

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Politics & Government
9:25 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Flint may have a new 'master plan' by the end of this month

Flint residents pored over maps during a community meeting on the city's new master plan earlier this year.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

By the end of this month, the city of Flint could have its first new master plan in more than 50 years.

A master plan is a guide for community leaders to chart a city’s future economic development and neighborhood growth. 

But Flint’s current master plan was written in 1960, when the city’s population was twice its current size.   The plan also envisioned an economy that has long since disappeared from Flint.

Megan Hunter is Flint’s chief planning officer.  She expects this new master plan will actively guide Flint for the next 20 years. 

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Politics & Government
1:10 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

Michigan dams getting old, need attention

The Hamilton dam along the Flint River (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A newspaper reports that many Michigan dams are old and need upgrades, especially the Hamilton dam in downtown Flint.

State dam safety chief Byron Lane tells the Detroit Free Press that dams are like any aging public infrastructure. He says they can be a "ticking time bomb."

The newspaper reported Sunday that the Hamilton dam on the Flint River is considered to be in unsatisfactory shape, along with the Otsego and Trowbridge dams on the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County.

Law
10:05 am
Sat September 28, 2013

US settles race complaint against Flint hospital

Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - The federal government says it's settled a discrimination complaint against a Flint hospital following accusations that black nurses were barred from treating a white newborn.

The Flint Journal reported Friday the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission will conduct annual training for the management staff of Hurley Medical Center. The EEOC also will work with the hospital on other educational and developmental efforts aimed at Flint-area youth.

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