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Karen Weaver

Karen Weaver is the mayor of Flint. She was elected in November 2015 as the Flint water crisis was unfolding.

There is just so much to process, so much to, well, not to sound old, but growing up we just never would have anticipated this level craziness.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are celebrating the reopening of a downtown landmark.

The Capitol Theatre has been closed for nearly 20 years.

But thanks to a $37 million restoration, the theater is once again opening its doors.

“What makes this building special actually is the connection that the community has had with it for nine decades,” says Jarret Haynes, the executive director of the Whiting theater, which will manage the Capitol Theatre.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor says a top aide to Governor Snyder is willing to wait for more information before considering cutting funding for bottled water distribution in her city.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Last night, the Flint city council voted five to four to approve a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

The contract to provide Flint with drinking water has been held up since April by city council members worried about rising water bills under the deal. But most of those councilmen lost their seats in this month’s election.

City of Flint emblem
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

At noon today, the new Flint city council is sworn in. It could signal a change in the city’s long debate over where its tap water should come from.

Last week, Flint voters elected five new people to the city council. They replace five council members who have fought, in court and out, against signing a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.   Flint has been getting its tap water from the authority on a temporary contract since it turned off the tap to the Flint River.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver scored a double win on Tuesday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Update 9:30 p.m.

A federal judge has denied the state’s request to give Flint’s mayor the power to sign a 30-year water contract before she faces a recall election next week.

The Flint city council has fought against the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

Mayor Karen Weaver supports the deal, but she faces a recall election next Tuesday. 

Judge David Lawson agreed to consider the state’s request, but not before the recall.   The judge scheduled a hearing on the state’s motion for November 13. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint police department is turning to technology to help reduce response times to calls.

Flint’s new police intelligence center will monitor closed circuit cameras in businesses and other locations around the city. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for data on criminal suspects.

Police Chief Tim Johnson expects the center will help officers get to the scene of crimes faster.

“We’re doing excellent for responding to crimes,” says Johnson. “But, of course it’s not good enough when you’ve got people waiting 20 and 30 minutes for police to respond to a call.”

State of Michigan

A $1,000 donation to Flint Mayor Karen Weaver’s campaign from a top aide to Governor Rick Snyder is drawing fire.

Rich Baird has been the governor’s point man in Flint dealing with the city’s water crisis.  He’s been seen often at Mayor Karen Weaver’s side during the crisis.

Earlier this fall, Baird bought eight tickets at a Weaver fundraiser at $125 each.  

flint mayor karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint's mayor is rejecting the city council’s proposed solution to the city’s future drinking water needs.

Monday night, the Flint city council approved a two-year extension of its current temporary contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority.  

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says she does “not believe a two-year extension is a viable solution.” 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council is proposing a possible solution to the city’s long-term tap water needs, or at least a longer short-term solution.

Last night, city council members voted to extend Flint’s current temporary contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority by two years. GLWA has been supplying Flint’s water for two years already.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

November 7, Flint voters go to the polls to decide a recall election against the city’s mayor.  But few voters seem interested in learning more about the large field of candidates on the ballot.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Next month, Flint voters will decide if they want to recall their mayor.  

The unusually large field of candidates may draw an unusually low number of voters to the polls.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor delivered her State of the City address last night.

At times, it sounded like a campaign stump speech.

Mayor Karen Weaver focused on positive developments over the past year in a city usually associated with problems. During the mayor’s 40-plus minute speech, she talked about economic development, lower crime rates and improving city services. 

Weaver also stressed the need to continue to recover from the city’s drinking water crisis.

gavel on a table.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge is tired of waiting for officials to choose the city of Flint’s long-term drinking water source.

Flint has been getting its drinking water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since the fall of 2015, when the city officially ended the ill-fated experiment of getting its tap water from the Flint River.

For months, a final decision on whether Flint would sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority has been on hold. Flint’s mayor and state officials signed off on the deal last spring.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major auto parts supplier officially broke ground today for a new plant in Flint.

Lear Corporation plans to manufacture seats on the site of the former Buick City plant. The new plant will employee hundreds of people.   

“There’s a lot of negative news today,” Ray Scott, executive vice president, Lear, and president, Lear seating business, told the crowd on hand for the ceremony. “To have a positive story is really a wonderful thing.”

Over the next year, Lear plans to transform 33 acres of blank concrete into a new 156,000-sq. ft. production facility that will assembly seats for GM trucks.

City of Flint

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver will face a city councilman in November’s recall election.

Scott Kincaid had tried to run both for mayor and for re-election to the city council seat he's held for 32 years. But a judge ruled he couldn’t, and ordered Kincaid to make a choice.

Scott Kincaid announced his choice to run for mayor at a UAW Labor Day rally.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor has dropped her legal challenge to a recall petition intent on ousting her from office.

Mayor Karen Weaver’s attorney signed on to a judge’s order dismissing the mayor’s suit.

Weaver had tried to raise questions about the validity of hundreds of signatures on the recall petition.   In court this week, a handwriting expert questioned whether some people who signed the petition also filled in the date. 

City of Flint

A Flint city councilman faces a decision: run for re-election in November or run in a potential mayoral recall election.

Scott Kincaid easily won the August primary in Flint’s 9th ward.  A few days later, he filed to run in a mayoral recall against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

However, a judge ruled Tuesday that Kincaid can not run in both elections in November. Kincaid has until next Tuesday to decide which seat he’ll pursue.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

At one point, Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut leaned back in his chair and said "Wow."

A court hearing today looking into irregularities with a recall petition against Flint’s mayor seemed to produce more questions about the Flint Police Department.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Witnesses in court today agreed there are issues with signatures on a recall petition against Flint mayor Karen Weaver. 

However, it remains unclear whether that will be enough to stop November’s recall election.

Handwriting expert Robert Kullman testified to numerous instances where one person filled in petition information for two signatures.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge wants to hear testimony from a handwriting expert in the next few days before deciding if a recall election against Flint’s mayor can take place in November.

Mayor Karen Weaver’s attorney launched a final legal attack on the recall petition this week, arguing before a judge that the county clerk’s office certified the petition despite numerous forgeries.

Courtesy photo / City of Flint

Long-time Flint City Councilman Scott Kincaid plans to run against Flint Mayor Karen Weaver in her November recall election.

Kincaid is already on the November ballot for his 9th Ward seat. He says he could potentially win both the council race and the mayor's race.

"If I win the mayor's race, then I would have to just resign from the city council," says Kincaid.  "And there'd be a special election and then we'd go through that process."

natasha henderson
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit claiming a former Flint city official was fired for accusing Flint Mayor Karen Weaver of corruption.

Former Flint City Administrator Natasha Henderson filed the case in federal court one year ago. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Sean F. Cox ordered to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Henderson’s allegation against Weaver was not protected under the First Amendment.

picture of the challenge from Mayor weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is challenging almost a quarter of the signatures that appear on a petition trying to recall her from office.

County and city clerks have certified more than 5,900 signatures on the recall petition targeting Mayor Weaver. That leaves recall backers with a margin of about 200 to get it on the ballot.

But Weaver’s camp filed a formal challenge targeting 1,200 signatures, either for issues with the person who signed the petition or the person who circulated it.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has until the end of the day Monday to challenge signatures on a recall petition against her.  

Opponents started the recall effort after she supported hiring a new company to pick up Flint’s trash.  Last summer, Weaver and Flint City Council fought over retaining Republic Services or hiring Rizzo Environmental Services.  At one time, both companies had trucks rolling down city streets emptying trash cans.  The dispute ended after Mayor Weaver dropped her support for Rizzo.  

Rizzo has since been linked to a federal corruption probe.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a sign that the Flint water crisis is possibly nearer its end than the beginning, the state of Michigan is closing more than half of the bottled water distribution centers Flint residents have relied on since the crisis began.

For more than a year, Flint residents have included a stop at their neighborhood distribution center to pick up a case or two or more of bottled water during their errands.

A worker in a bright-green vest loads bottled water into a silver SUV.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

City and state officials will talk about the future of bottled water distribution centers in Flint Wednesday morning.

A trip to the neighborhood distribution center has become a regular chore for many people in Flint since the city’s tap water became contaminated with lead.

But things are changing.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, along with local pastors, met with Governor Snyder on Tuesday.

Wednesday, Weaver and the state officials responsible for the state’s water distribution effort will announce the “next steps” in the program.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police are investigating allegations some city residents were misled into signing a petition to recall Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.

According to a news release from the Flint Police Department:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint police officers blocked water crisis protesters from entering Flint city hall today.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say the “fix was in” for months before a deal to keep the city on tap water from Detroit was made public.

Councilwoman Kate Fields says she’s obtained an email from a consultant showing the deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was set in February, months before it was announced to the public in April. 

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