Flint

Roundup
7:45 am
Fri March 8, 2013

What's up this morning? Levin retiring, Flint wants back taxes, Consumers explosion review

Morning News Roundup, Friday, March 8, 2013
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

U.S. Senator Carl Levin announced his retirement

Saying he wants to focus on his last two years in the Senate without the distraction of a campaign, Sen. Carl Levin announced he would not seek re-election in 2014.

The Washington Post wrote "don't let his rumpled suits or avuncular glasses fool you..."

Levin is ready for a fight.

The former civil-rights lawyer is famous for his deep policy knowledge - he spends more than 20 hours getting ready for hearings so he'll "know when the B.S. is flying," and he nailed George W. Bush administration officials with his precise questioning.
As Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Levin has spearheaded some key proposals on national security. He fought tirelessly to end the Iraq war, which he opposed from the start.

Flint tries to collect unpaid taxes

Flint is trying to cut into a $19 million budget deficit. Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reports the city hopes to collect on past taxes:

To chip away at part of that, city officials plan to pressure people who haven’t paid their city income taxes for a while. The city estimates that it’s owed between $300,000 and $400,000 in unpaid income taxes for just 2010.

Consumers Energy halts drilling practice after explosion

The Associated Press reports Consumers Energy says it has halted projects throughout Michigan that involve the same drilling method used before a deadly Detroit-area house explosion. Consumers Energy says employees and contractors are conducting a review of projects involving boring. Fifty-eight-year-old Daniel Malczynski died in the Royal Oak blast last month.

Politics & Government
12:23 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Flint telling people who haven't paid their city income tax: Pay Up Now

Downtown Flint (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is hoping to collect some unpaid city income taxes. The money could help reduce Flint’s crushing budget deficit.

The city of Flint is struggling to reduce its $19 million budget deficit.

To chip away at part of that, city officials plan to pressure people who haven’t paid their city income taxes for a while.

The city estimates that it’s owed between $300,000 and $400,000 in unpaid income taxes for just 2010.

Politics & Government
11:41 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Companies refuse to pay Flint false alarm bills

Flint is charging alarm companies for false alarm bills.
Flint Michigan Facebook.com

Alarm companies in Flint are refusing to pay nearly $134,000 in bills from the city of Flint related to police response to false alarm calls.

David Harris of the Flint Journal reports:

The Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan is fighting a policy in Flint that bills the alarm company directly as opposed to the customer, said Karen Majeske, the association's board director.

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Politics & Government
8:02 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Flint increasing water service deposit fees on rental property

Downtown Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is once again hiking water rates.

The move is likely to stir controversy.

Beginning March 1st, the city of Flint is raising the deposit required for water service to rental properties, from 100 dollars to 350 dollars.

A city spokeswoman says the 350 dollar deposit will begin to reduce the current $2.8 million owed the system.

Water rate increases have been highly controversial in Flint.

Since 2011, the city has hiked water rates by more than 100 percent.

Law
8:54 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Michigan hospital, nurses settle discrimination suit

Hurley Medical Center, Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A Michigan hospital has settled a lawsuit that accused it of agreeing to a man's request that no black nurses care for his newborn.

Hurley Medical Center and four nurses who sued said Friday the lawsuit was "amicably resolved."

The Flint hospital says the conduct wasn't consistent with hospital policies and that it "fundamentally opposes" racial discrimination.

The suit was filed by nurse Tonya Battle, who alleged a note was posted on an assignment clipboard reading, "No African American nurse to take care of baby.

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Economy
1:13 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Forbes: Detroit and Flint are the top 2 most 'miserable cities' in the U.S.

Detroit from the air.
Aaron Headly Flickr

Every American city has its miserable parts.

Forbes Magazine says there are just more miserable parts to Detroit and Flint than other U.S. cities.

Complete with photos of burned out buildings and cop cars, Forbes Magazine put Detroit and Flint at the no. 1 & 2 spots on its "American's Most Miserable Cities 2013" list.

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Politics & Government
5:16 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Stateside: Mayor of Flint talks about the future

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling.
Facebook

The Mayor of Flint says it's time to say goodbye to its emergency manager and make Flint the first city in Michigan to have a transition team appointed under the new emergency manager law, a team that would guide Flint back to being run by its mayor and city council

That was one of the key messages as Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered his State of the City message last night - his fourth State of the City address.

Mayor Dayne Walling joined us from Flint. You can listen to our interview with him above.

Law
4:43 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

National Action Network to rally over 'no-black-nurses' lawsuit

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

Update 4:43 p.m.

The CEO of the Hurley Medical Center in Flint denied accusations that it kept black nurses from caring for an infant after a father made a request to do so.

From the Flint Journal:

Hurley CEO Melany Gavulic said the father was informed that his request could not be granted...

Gavulic said the request was not granted and that all nurses remained available to care for his baby.

“We (Hurley) value the support of the patients who entrust us with their care and the dedication of our physicians and staff,” she said. “This includes nurse Battle and her quarter century of professionalism and dedication.”

Gavulic declined to comment or answer questions regarding the lawsuit.

11:24 a.m.

The Flint Journal's Ron Fonger reports that Al Sharpton's National Action Network (NAN) will hold a rally today outside the emergency room of the Hurley Medical Center in Flint.

The  Rev. Charles E. Williams II, president of the Michigan chapter of NAN, said the Hurley story is being watched across the nation.

"There is growing concern around the country about how this could be in 2013," Williams said today. "There will be growing pressure as Hurley continues to be quiet."

The group is protesting the treatment of an African-American nurse who claims she was barred from treating an infant after the father made a request that no black nurses be allowed to treat his child.

The Flint Journal reports the incident occurred last fall. The suit claims the father went to the nurse's supervisor with the request.

The father, who is not named in the suit, told the supervisor that he did not want an African American nurse taking care of his baby, the suit alleges. The father allegedly rolled up his sleeve and showed a tattoo that was believed to be a swastika while talking with the supervisor, the suit says.

According to the lawsuit, the supervisor then reassigned the infant to a different nurse.

On Nov. 1, 2012, a decision was made to grant the father's request that no African American nurses care for his child, the suit alleges.

In a statement, Hurley Medical Center says it "does not comment on past or current litigation."

Robin Erb of the Detroit Free Press spoke with legal scholars about the case.

Requesting care based on religious principles or sex appears to be requests hospitals try to accommodate, but others draw the line on requests based on race.

Read more
Politics & Government
7:06 am
Tue February 19, 2013

This morning's headlines: Detroit's finances, Flint State of the City, Sleeping Bear Dunes

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Report on Detroit's finances due today

"Governor Snyder is expected to receive a long-awaited report on Detroit’s financial situation today. It’s widely expected that the report will depict a city on the brink of insolvency—and suggest further state intervention," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Flint State of the City addresses violent crime

"Flint mayor Dayne Walling says his city must now make a transition to an era of "reconstruction" after a "generation of decline." Walling told the audience at his State of the City address yesterday that in order to begin that transition Flint must deal with its crime problem. Flint had the worst violent crime rate in the nation last year," Steve Carmody reports.

Sleeping Bear Dunes get $100,000

"The state Transportation Department has received $100,000 in federal funds to extend Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Heritage Trail by nearly five miles. The funding is part of $12.5 million for 29 projects in 20 states to improve access to national parks, forests and wildlife refuges," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
8:17 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Flint's mayor talks about violent crime, budget deficit and 'reconstruction'

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered a wide ranging speech on Monday, outlining the 'State of the City'
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint mayor Dayne Walling says his city must now make a transition to an era of 'reconstruction' after a 'generation of decline.'

Walling told the audience at his ‘State of the City’ address Monday that in order to begin that transition Flint must deal with its crime problem.

Flint had the worst violent crime rate in the nation last year. 

“We have lost too many lives. Too many of our promising youth who were confined to environments that were always dangerous and all too often became deadly,” Walling told his audience.

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Politics & Government
9:04 am
Mon February 18, 2013

In this morning's news: Undocumented immigrant IDs, film tax incentive, Flint State of the City

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Undocumented immigrants to get state IDs

"Illegal immigrants brought to the country as children can start applying for Michigan driver's licenses and state IDs this week. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office will begin accepting applications Tuesday," the Associated Press reports.

Lawmakers lobby to maintain Michigan's film tax incentive

"Michigan film producers and Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville say they will lobby to maintain the state's $50 million film credits cap. Governor Rick Snyder is calling for a $25 million dollar cap in film incentives in the budget he has proposed. The amount is the same he proposed last year, but lawmakers raised the cap to $50 million during budget negotiations," the Associated Press reports.

Flint mayor to address his State of the City today

"Flint’s mayor plans to use his State of the City address today to talk about how his city can start planning for a future without an emergency financial manager. A state appointed manager has been running the city since December 2011," Steve Carmody reports.

Politics & Government
2:17 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Flint mayor will use 'State of the City' address to look to a future without an emergency manager

Flint, Michigan Mayor Dayne Walling (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivers his State of the City address tomorrow.

He says he’ll map out a path for Flint to no longer need an emergency financial manager running his city.

Mayor Dayne Walling says now’s the time to begin preparing for life after an emergency manager.

The city has been under the direction of a state appointed manager since December of 2011.

The new emergency manager law that takes effect next month includes a provision that details how cities can get back to self-control.

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Politics & Government
12:44 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Flint's water and sewer rate hikes subject of lawsuit

Downtown Flint, Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A judge will consider a request to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Flint’s skyrocketing water and sewer rates this week.

Since 2011, Flint’s water and sewer rates have more than doubled. City officials say the rate increases are needed to cover rising costs in the system.

But Attorney Val Washington says that’s not how the city is using the money.

“Instead of being used what it’s for….water and sewer….related expenses,” says Washington,  “It's being used to pay the general obligations of the city.”

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Politics & Government
3:29 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Flint outsourcing trash collection

24 Flint city workers are losing their jobs as the city outsources trash collection in the city
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A private company will start picking up Flint’s residential trash next month.

Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz says Republic Services can handle Flint’s waste collection for a million dollars a year less than the city can itself.    The two sides signed a contract this week. 

Read more
Politics & Government
1:06 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

Flint to buy state data to hunt for tax dodgers

Downtown Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Flint is spending money to collect more money.

The city wants to know if some residents haven't filed city tax returns. It will spend $11,000 to get state tax data to determine if there are people who haven't paid the local income tax.

Arts & Culture
5:38 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Stateside: Sandra Bernhard and growing up in Michigan

Sandra Bernhard
Wikipedia

Sandra Bernhard talks about life in Michigan and her career.

Sandra Bernhard is appearing at The Ark in Ann Arbor this Friday and Saturday. We spoke with Bernhard about growing up in Michigan and her overall career.

She talks about Flint, a city she grew up in and how she plans to visit the city this weekend with a friend she met through Twitter.

Politics & Government
2:11 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

State changing the hiring rules for Michigan's emergency financial managers

Former Flint Public Safety Administrator Barnett Jones (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The state Treasury Department is changing the rules for people hired by emergency financial managers.

Barnett Jones was hired last year as Flint’s Public Safety Administrator by the city’s emergency manager.  He resigned earlier this month after it was discovered he had a second full time job as the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department security director.

To avoid having that happen again, the state Treasury Department is inserting language in future contracts that says emergency financial manager appointees can not engage in other employment, unless approved by the EFM.

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Politics & Government
4:32 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Flint contemplates its future, through planning

Mayor Dayne Walling
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The City of Flint is hosting a public forum this evening to discuss its plan for the future.

"This is a chance for a lot of the political leaders and some community people to lay out the process and to get additional information from the audience," said Michael Kelly of the Flint Area Public Affairs Forum. He says the forum will allow city leaders to talk  about assets and challenges that face the city.

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Offbeat
4:00 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Getting the public involved in fighting blight in Flint

Blighted home in Flint, Michigan (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The city of Flint plans to use a $25 thousand grant to get the public involved in efforts to reduce blight in the city.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says blight is a multi-faceted challenge that includes demolishing abandoned homes and reclaiming neighborhoods.    He says volunteers are critically important to solving Flint's problem with blight.

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Politics & Government
3:16 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

State lawmaker may push for higher city income tax rates in Michigan

Is it time to increase city income tax rates in Michigan?
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Some Michigan cities that collect an income tax might soon see a revenue boost.

A state lawmaker wants to increase the tax rate cities can charge.

State representative Andy Schor is looking at lifting the current state cap on city income tax rates.   Four cities (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Saginaw and Highland Park) are already allowed to collect more than the 1% limit on city residents and  .5% on non-city residents.

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