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The Flint River.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis began 5 years ago today. Is the city better off?

Five years ago today, Flint’s drinking water source was switched, setting the stage for the city’s water crisis.

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construction crew at hole in the road
Eric Schwartz

On April 25, 2014, the city of Flint switched its water source to the Flint River without properly treating it. That damaged thousands of lead and galvanized water pipes which the city is replacing. 

In 2016, University of Michigan researchers developed an algorithm to determine the neighborhoods most likely to have lead pipes. The on-again, off-again use of the model has raised concerns about the efficiency of the city's pipe replacement program.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A top Pentagon official told an audience in Oscoda on Wednesday that another four years of study are needed on the PFAS contamination seeping from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.

The industrial chemicals present a threat to human health. They've been used in firefighting foam on U.S. military bases.

John Henderson is an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force. He says the Pentagon would like to move faster on cleanup efforts, but it has to be careful.

“We continue to study aggressively, as quickly as we can, what the extent of the problem is,” says Henderson. "So when we do get a solution, it’s the right solution. We get it right the first time.”

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An “environmental audit” of northwest Detroit’s 6th police precinct has revealed pockets of racist behavior that was tolerated by command staff there, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said on Wednesday.

The audit was sparked by a January Snapchat video from a white 6th Precinct officer, Gary Steele. The video shows Steele and partner Michael Garrison mocking African American motorist Ariel Moore after having her car towed for expired tags, and included seemingly racist commentary like “this is what black girl magic looks like.”

Michigan State Capitol.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Legislature held key votes on Wednesday on bills that would make various changes to the state’s criminal justice system.

The state Senate passed a series of bills that some lawmakers say will make the criminal justice system fairer for young people. The so-called “Raise the Age” legislation would automatically treat 17-year-olds as juveniles for certain crimes. Right now, they’re automatically tried as adults.

“We want to make sure our kids are not hindered because they’ve made poor decisions in their youth,” said bill sponsor Senator Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Several events are scheduled Thursday to look back at the beginning of the Flint water crisis. There’s also one looking forward.  

On April 25th, 2014, the city’s drinking water source was switched to the Flint River. But improperly treated river water damaged pipes, releasing lead into Flint’s drinking water.

picture of robots at a robotics competition
User: Daniel Ernst / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Today on Stateside, Vice President Mike Pence comes to Detroit to whip up support for the new North American trade deal, even as automakers nervously eye President Trump's threatened tariffs. Plus, student robotics team from around the world descend on Detroit this week for the 2019 FIRST Robotics Championship.

A typical student's view inside the Big House.
Andrew Horne / wikimedia commons

A cooperating prosecution witness testified on Tuesday that he paid college football players at seven major football programs, including the University of Michigan. The schools named were Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Alabama, and North Carolina.

picture of an old lead pipe.
Michigan History Center

 


On April 25th, 2014, officials switched Flint’s drinking water supply from the Detroit city system to the Flint River. Without proper corrosion control treatment, the river water corroded the city's pipes, leaching lead into the drinking water of thousands of Flint residents.

This Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of that historic moment for Flint. 

Inside the doctor's office.
Jennifer Morrow / Flickr

The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing Thursday before a state Senate committee.

The bills would call the procedure “dismemberment” abortion in state law, and make it illegal.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

EMU approves 2-year faculty contract extension

18 hours ago
Eastern Michigan University
krossbow / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Eastern Michigan University will extend its contract with professors for two more years. The extension was approved by the university's Board of Regents meeting Tuesday.

The professors’ union, the American Association of University Professors, conducted the negotiations. The agreement covers about 650 tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Geoff Larcom is EMU’s spokesman. He says a level of empathy from both sides helped negotiations.

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