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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.

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
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. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A campaign to oust Flint’s mayor from office reached a milestone today.  

This afternoon, recall campaign organizers dropped off nearly nine thousand petition signatures with the Genesee County clerk’s office. If there are enough valid signatures, Flint residents could vote as early as November on the recall.

A sign that says "City of Flint Municipal Center"
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint city council members say they need more information before they can approve the agreement with the Great Lakes Water Authority. The 30-year deal is part of a broader agreement addressing Flint's water crisis.  The council did approve a three month extension of the current contract instead.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recall petition targeting Flint’s mayor reaches a milestone this week.

Recall organizer Arthur Woodson declined to comment last week on the status of the campaign. However, in the past Woodson has said volunteers have collected more than 6,000 signatures since a judge cleared the way for recall petition process to begin in April.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is the latest to call on the city council to sign-off on a plan to keep Flint’s tap water flowing from Detroit.

Back in April, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced she wanted her city to continue to get its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority. The agreement has support from various stakeholders, but so far not the Flint city council.

Flint city hall
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council today voted to override the mayor’s veto of next year’s city budget.

The dispute over a miniscule amount of money threatened to leave Flint without the ability to pay city workers next month.   

It’s the latest in a series of squabbles over city spending between the council and Mayor Karen Weaver. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint city council Monday night delayed a vote on extending the contract with the city’s drinking water supplier.

Flint has been getting its tap water from the Great Lakes Water Authority since October, 2015. The switch to GLWA ended an 18-month experiment that had the city get its drinking water from the Flint River, with disastrous results.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Flint residents are upset that the city has started threatening to put liens on homes that are delinquent on their water and sewer bills.

Last month, the city of Flint sent out notices to more than 8,000 water customers.  The notices advise customers to either pay their delinquent water bills, or the city will put a lien on their home.   The delinquent bills amount to nearly $6 million.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today, people in Flint marked the anniversary of the start of the city’s drinking water crisis.

It was three years ago, when Flint officials pushed the button switching the city’s tap water source from Detroit to the Flint River.  Improperly treated river water damaged pipes, which then leached lead into the drinking water.

Since then, Flint’s lead-tainted drinking water has drawn national attention and local protests.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Today, a judge put a recall campaign against Flint’s mayor back on track.

Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut says Genesee County election officials were correct when they approved language in a recall petition against Mayor Weaver.    

The petition language cites the mayor signing a contract to hire a new trash hauling company for the city of Flint in response to an 'emergency.' A court later issued an injunction blocking the city from hiring Rizzo Environmental. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Genesee County judge is scheduled to hear arguments Monday concerning a recall petition targeting Flint’s mayor.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has been in office for a year and half.    

There have been several efforts to recall her from office. But so far only one has received the green light from the Genesee County Election Commission.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver (right) stands next to the lead drinking water line that was pulled from a home in Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It was April 16 of 2013, almost exactly four years ago, when emergency manager Ed Kurtz signed the contract that switched the city of Flint to the Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA). It was heralded as a cost-cutting move.

That decision led to one of the biggest water contamination crises in American history.

The lead poisoning forced the city to go back to getting its water from the Great Lakes Water Authority, which serves Detroit, until the KWA system was in place.

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