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Flint water crisis

Scroll through all of our coverage of the Flint water crisis below. And you can find our special series Not Safe to Drink here.

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

Samples of various drinking water pipes.
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

Flint’s problem water pipe records are forcing the city to rely more on a special tool to determine if homes are using lead or copper service lines.

Digging a hole with a backhoe to see if the pipe connecting homes to city water mains is slow and expensive. It's not something a city like Flint, which is replacing thousands of suspect service lines, has time or money to do.

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Genesee County official charged with collecting delinquent taxes says she won't collect money for tax liens placed on homes with overdue water bills. That means Flint homes with delinquent water bills will avoid the threat of foreclosure. 

Flint’s state-appointed Receivership Transition Advisory Board recently ordered the City of Flint to resume placing tax liens on homes that didn’t keep up with their water bills during the time when Flint’s water wasn’t safe to drink or use for bathing.

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. 

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality sued the City of Flint this week. The state says the city council's refusal to approve a long term deal to buy water from a Detroit-area system endangers a public already troubled by a lead-tainted water crisis. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the lawsuit filed by the state agency that's been blamed for much of Flint's water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Federal officials say $15 million is going to provide health and social services for people who have had or are at risk for lead exposure stemming from the Flint water crisis.

“We understand the urgency of the situation, and this funding will help connect affected and at-risk Flint residents to comprehensive health and social services proven to mitigate the effects of lead exposure,” says U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
 

Todd Flood
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

More charges may be coming in the Flint water investigation.

Special Counsel Todd Flood hinted at the possibility of new charges during a hearing for a defendant facing an involuntary manslaughter charge in connection with a fatal Legionnaires' disease case.  

JORDANMRCAI / CREATIVE COMMONS

The political and legal drama continues to swirl around the beleaguered people of Flint.

The latest twist?

The state is suing the city of Flint for not approving a plan to get its drinking water from Detroit’s Great Lakes Water Authority.

downtown Flint street
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

On Monday,  the Flint City Council decided not to sign a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority - at least, not yet. The GLWA is providing Flint's water for now, and it's also Detroit's water source. In the long run, the city could be on the hook for about $600,000 a month in additional if it doesn't sign it. The mayor wanted the deal, but the council didn't.

“Morning Edition” host Doug Tribou and senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what this means for the future of Flint water. 


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of delinquent Flint water customers are once again at risk of losing their homes.

Today, a state oversight board struck down a moratorium on putting unpaid water bills on county tax rolls.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Defense attorneys oppose a move by prosecutors to consolidate Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.  She made a brief appearance in court today in Flint.   

During the hearing, prosecutors raised the potential of consolidating all the ongoing criminal cases in the Flint water probe into one court. Currently, the 13 cases are spread among several different judges in 67th district court. 

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

Judith Pruitt’s water bill is $7,545.29.

That’s after the Flint retiree withdrew nearly $900 out of her savings account a few weeks ago to pay the city, or else her water would’ve been shut off, she said.

New data analyzed by Michigan Radio show Pruitt is not alone.

Michigan Radio was recognized this past weekend with two awards from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI). The station received a First Place award in the Large Newsroom-Nationally Edited Continuing Coverage category for the station’s on-going reporting about the Flint water crisis. Michigan Radio was among the first news organizations to report about contaminated drinking water in Flint and has been bringing this story to listeners across the state and the nation from the very beginning.

Flint Mayor Weaver, Lansing Mayor Bernaro, and Ret. Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel stand next to the lead pipe.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Flint’s pipe replacement program faces a critical deadline at the end of this week.

By Friday, Flint needs to replace its 2,037th lead or galvanized service line.

That would be approximately 7% of the estimated number of suspect pipes tied to the city’s lead tainted tap water crisis.

The mandated 7% threshold is part of the federal Lead and Copper Rule.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council is defying state and federal government officials, as well as the city’s mayor, and is putting off a vote on a drinking water contract for another two weeks.

legionella bacteria
Wikipedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

New data suggest people who have tested negative for Legionnaires' disease may actually have been infected and not known it.

That's according to research by University of Michigan professor Michele Swanson.

Swanson's research shows only one type of Legionella, "serotype 1," shows up positive on the traditional Legionnaires' disease diagnostic test. 

Michigan has a reputation abroad, but it's not a good one

Jun 22, 2017

It’s nice to be back. I’ve been gone for the last few weeks on my first real vacation in a few years. Last Sunday, I was doing something I’ve wanted to do all my life – visiting the excavated ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, buried by a volcano in 79 AD.

I was with a group that included many different nationalities when suddenly the guide asked, “Is anyone here from Michigan?”

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

These are busy days in Lansing. Among other things, the legislature is working out the final details of the state budget before its summer recess. Last week, state Attorney General Bill Schuette charged a number of current and former officials with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A defense attorney wants a court to limit prosecutors’ future public comments about the Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Lawyers took part in a probable cause conference today in Flint.

Attorney James White represents former Flint city public works director Howard Croft, who’s facing numerous charges, including involuntary manslaughter.

bill schuette announcing charges
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The involuntary manslaughter charges announced last week against the head of Michigan's health department and four other former state and Flint city officials have made big headlines. Why? Because such charges are exceptionally rare.

Adam Candeub, a professor of law at Michigan State University, joined Stateside today to put the charges into context.

(l to r) Former Flint Emergency Managers Gerald Ambrose and Darnell Earley, and former city employees Howard Croft and Daugherty Johnson.
Steve Carmody, and State of Michigan / Michigan Radio

A Genesee County courtroom will see another hearing in the Flint water crisis later today.  

The probable cause hearing will look at issues related to a variety of charges against former emergency managers Darnell Earley and Gerald Ambrose and former city employees Daugherty Johnson and Howard Croft.

The 15 people charged in the Flint water crisis so far.
Booking photos from the Michigan AGs office and others.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette's investigation into what went wrong during the Flint water crisis has been going on for two years. During that time, Schuette has held several press conferences announcing new charges against those involved.

To date, 15 current and former state and local officials have been charged with 51 criminal charges for their role that led to the crisis.

(Read more: Why didn't state officials heed the warning signs in Flint?)

sign that says flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Those involuntary manslaughter charges against state health director Nick Lyon and four others in the Flint water disaster push things right into Governor Snyder's inner circle.

As he spoke to Stateside about the charges, Attorney General Bill Schuette said he wants to continue to hold those responsible for the Flint water crisis accountable.

Schuette is delivering a message that one would expect to hear from a state attorney general, but Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes says there's also a healthy dose of politics in the mix.

That's due in large part to the fact that he is widely expected to announce his candidacy for governor soon.

A table filled with bottles of Flint water (both clear and brown)
Flint Water Study / Facebook

Michigan's Attorney General made big headlines when he announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, as well as four others.

Charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer were leveled at the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team took over a tent at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival last night for an Issues & Ale event.

Co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta joined panelists Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council, and Colleen Pero, chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party, to talk about the latest political news in our state.

In the heat of the afternoon, Pluta began the discussion with a summary of the big news that came out yesterday in relation to the Flint water crisis:

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

New charges in the Flint water crisis are connected to the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Five current and former government officials are now facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the Flint water crisis. The charges are in connection with a Legionnaires' disease outbreak during the height of the crisis. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia caused by bacteria.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton sit across a table from reporter Rick Pluta.
Rick Pluta / MPRN

New charges have been filed in the Flint water crisis – this time in connection with the Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people and sickened 78 more in Genesee County.

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