FLINT – The federal government has launched the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative in Flint to improve the city.
In January, Flint was chosen to be a part of the program, also called SC2. The program uses experts to work alongside city leadership, community organizations, local business and philanthropic foundations to support the cities' visions for economic growth and development.
Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry sat down to discuss what's going on this week in Michigan politics. They covered the high price of water in Flint and Detroit, GM’s decision to move its Cadillac headquarters to New York, and the debates for Michigan governor and the U.S. Senate race.
Listen to Jack and Emily discuss this week's events in Michigan politics.
Flint Police say they're investigating more than 50 water theft cases across the city.
They say they've already arrested 7 people, including a City Water Department employee who is accused of illegally turning on water for residents.
Flint has some of the highest water rates in the county: an MLive analysis this summer showed that an average resident pays $140 dollars a month, while people in the neighboring town of Burton pay less than $58 a month.
The city of Flint is rejoining Genesee County’s 911 system.
Since 1997, the city has been using its own operators to handle emergency calls, but the city’s system is aging and out-of-date.
Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley says the plan is to fold Flint into the county’s 911 system by the middle of next year.
“Our citizens will have access to the most up to date features of next-generation 911, which will include the ability to send text or photos to 911 and other more cutting edge technology,” says Earley.
FLINT – Michigan is giving $2.6 million to Genesee County's land bank to demolish and improve 225 blighted properties in Flint's Civic Park neighborhood.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is making the grant with money from the federal Hardest Hit Fund.
The land bank now owns about half of the properties in the Civic Park area, and 71 more properties are recent tax foreclosures. The land bank says most are in need of demolition and greening because of deterioration and theft by metal and other scrappers.
State housing authority acting executive director Wayne Workman says the award will allow strategic demolitions and help preserve the neighborhood.
The Genesee County Land Bank also received $20 million last October to demolish, green, and maintain more than 1,600 properties.
Flint’s search for a city manager begins in earnest Sept. 1.
Emergency manager Darnell Earley wants to hire a city manager to serve as a bridge from state oversight of the city. He hopes to choose someone by December.
“I’ve already had some preliminary conversations with some executive recruitment firms,” says Earley. “Although we’re going to do this in-house, I’m going to beg and plead as much as I can for assistance to get that word out so that we can cast the widest net we possibly can.”
A Flint city manager would be joining the city at a time of major change.
A non-profit group in Flint hopes salvaging parts of some of the city’s blighted homes will help salvage the lives of some of Flint’s most in-need residents.
Lynette Delgado is with the B-Light Restoration Center. She says they are working with private property owners to salvage bits and pieces of homes to be demolished. She says they’re training local homeless and other at-risk individuals to remove architectural features of blighted homes.
Starting tomorrow, the city of Flint will be welcoming more than a half million car enthusiasts to the city’s annual downtown showcase of classic cars. But the city won’t be as welcoming to unaccompanied teenagers.
The city today announced a 6pm teen curfew downtown during “Back to the Bricks”.
Captain Collin Birnie is with the Flint Police Department. He says the curfew is in response to problems with unruly teens from past years.
Crime is down in Flint, but the city has still seen more than 800 violent crimes since the beginning of the year. State of Opportunity has the story of two young people trying to deal with the effects of all that violence, and the mentors trying to help them.
Flint city government may undergo some major changes, if the recommendations from a blue ribbon committee become reality.
Before the governor appointed an emergency manager to run the city of Flint in 2011, the city’s mayor ran much of the city’s day-to-day business. The city council, ombudsman and civil service office also held significant control.
When Flint eventually emerges from state oversight, someone else could be calling the shots.
Michigan State Police troopers faced a barrage of criticism during a community meeting in Flint today. Much of the complaints centered on recent fatal auto accidents involving state troopers.
It was a sometimes emotional three hour meeting between Flint residents and state police commanders.
Many people, including family members of two women killed in auto accidents linked to car chases involving state troopers, blasted the state police.
“You don’t even have a 'Plan B' when you’re chasing somebody,” a woman in the audience, “That just doesn’t make any sense, to come here as a professional and kill people who were not even involved in what you were dealing with.”
Dozens of Michigan State Police troopers are patrolling Flint city streets and assisting with investigations in the city. The troopers are augmenting Flint's depleted police department, which has been decimated in recent years by budget cuts.
This Week in Review, while Emily Fox sits in for Rina Miller, she and Jack Lessenberry discuss how selling works from the Detroit Institute of Arts wouldn't make financial sense in helping with the city's bankruptcy, the threat of an oil spill under the Straits of Mackinac, and money problems with Flint Community Schools.
DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit and Flint areas are getting nearly $9 million to help train new primary care providers.
Most of the money announced Monday goes to the Detroit Wayne County Health Authority for training in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. Flint's Hamilton Community Health Network is getting $900,000 for family medicine training.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the money is part of $83.4 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs nationwide. Overall, it will help train more than 550 doctors during the 2014-2015 academic year.
The Flint school district is sinking deeper into red ink.
Less than 12 months ago, an audit placed the district’s budget deficit at $10.4 million. It's now pegged at $20.4 million.
The Flint school district has been struggling to reduce its multi-million dollar deficit for years. But last night, school district officials described recent budget plans as being “far from reality,” even describing the district’s current budget as only ”close to reality.”
Isaiah Oliver is the president of the Flint Board of Education. He calls the new deficit number “devastating”
Soccer fans packed World Cup watch parties across Michigan Monday evening.
In Flint, dozens of people packed a downtown sports bar to cheer Team USA to its 2-1 victory over Ghana. The watch party doubled as a fundraiser to collect money to help rehab Flint’s 85-year-old Atwood Stadium.
“It’s encouraging,” says Tom Saxton, Michigan State University’s women’s soccer coach, “The game gets better and better every year in the United States, and we're excited to be a part of it.”
Next up for Team USA is a very strong Portugal team.
One of Flint’s leading urban farmers is being told she has to get rid of her chickens.
Roxanne Adair operates a commercial urban farm in Flint. She sells the produce from her two-acre farm at the local farmers market and to individual clients. She also keeps eight chickens in her home's backyard. She’s been raising chickens in her backyard for the past few years.
Adair says she eats many of the eggs herself and gives others away. She admits she will also sell another dozen or so a week.