Kaye LaFond | Michigan Radio
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Kaye LaFond

Data Journalist

Kaye is shared between Michigan Radio and Interlochen Public Radio.  A graduate of Michigan Tech's environmental engineering program, she covers science, the environment, northern Michigan, and stories that involve crunching a lot of numbers.

She lives in Antrim County with her 3 cats. She enjoys anything outdoors, but is partial to swimming in the Great Lakes.

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Kalkaskans aren't enjoying the newfound national media attention they've attracted the last few weeks, thanks to village president Jeff Sieting's Islamophobic, racist and transphobic Facebook posts.

Sieting, for his part, has not backed down from his statements. Just the opposite: he's given media interviews defending posts like "Kill them all - every last one" about Muslims and "Arm yourself and thin the heard" in regards to Black Lives Matter.

On Monday night, residents packed a village meeting to share a range of opinions and frustrations, from concern for the town's reputation, to support of Sieting, to local business owners saying they've already suffered losses due to negative press about the town.

A map of the 13 trillion gallon plume of contaminated groundwater extending from Mancelona, Michigan.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

When I arrive at Bethany Hawkins' home, the first thing she does is offer me a glass of her well water.
"Our water's always been really good," she says.

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.

A very large leather-vested man with a bald head and full beard gets in the face of a much smaller man, also bald, wearing glasses and a red handkerchief around his neck.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

A northern Michigan town is divided over a local official's Islamophobic Facebook posts.

Jeff Sieting is the village president of Kalkaska.

He's come under fire for a series of Facebook posts that call for violence against Muslims and other minority groups.

About 100 protestors calling for Sieting’s removal gathered in downtown Kalkaska last night.

 

Land contracts have been around for a long time.

 

If you can’t get a mortgage, they can look like a good alternative to becoming a homeowner. You put some money down, and pay the owner of the house in installments over time.

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Michigan was hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. But now, almost nine years after the crash, the state's housing market is showing promising signs of life.

That's especially true in Grand Rapids, which has one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation. 

Michigan Radio mapped 49 bottled water facilities in Michigan. An interactive version is below.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Tomorrow evening at 7pm, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is holding a public hearing on a request from Nestle Waters. 

A U.S. Census Bureau form sent to a Michigan address last year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its 2016 population estimates for U.S. counties and metro areas. Michigan was, again, notable for high decline in one place: Wayne County.

Map and charts of Legionnaires' disease in Michigan in 2015
Kaye LaFond/Michigan Radio

In 2014 and 2015, Genesee County saw the largest outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in at least a decade. The outbreak coincided with the city of Flint's switch from Detroit city water to water from the Flint River (and the subsequent lead exposure crisis).

 

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

As this infographic shows, only Pennsylvania ranks higher than Michigan when it comes to handing out life sentences without the possibility for parole to juveniles.

The U.S. Supreme Court says states have to review these sentences for all those who were convicted and sentenced as juveniles, and that "life without the possibility of parole" should only be reserved for "the rarest of juvenile offenders, those whose crimes reflect permanent incorrigibility."

Click on the graphic to see more.

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