Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005.
Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
During his three-plus decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic.
Yesterday, the Ann Arbor bookseller announced it had lined up $550 million dollars in financing to stay afloat.
The deal is contingent on Borders reaching a deal with book publishers. It's been reported that the company set a February 1st deadline for the publishers to agree to take up to a third of the booksellers debt. A Borders spokeswoman would only say the company has not stated a specific date.
The deal with GE Capital announced Thursday could help. Or it may not. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Borders is still looking for money to finance the company through a possible bankruptcy filing.
Pontiac police officers will continue to patrol their city. The police officers union has reached an agreement with the city's state appointed emergency financial manager which will avoid a court injunction sought by the union.
The Oakland Press reported Oakland County sheriff's deputies were preparing to takeover police patrols in the city. The county board of commissioners approved the plan last week.
Pontiac is struggling with a massive city budget deficit. Bringing in the sheriff's deputies was intended to save some money. But the police union argues their contract with the city doesn't expire for another year.
The Detroit News reports Pontiac police chief Val Gross is relieved that the situation is finally resolved.
"This is not the end of the war, just one battle."
A decade ago state lawmakers banned gun owners from taking their weapons into certain public places out of fear of gunplay. But State Senator Mike Green of Mayville says experience has shown those fears were unwarranted, since he believes people have been carrying in ‘gun-free zones’ already without incident.
It was an obstacle ten years ago because people feared, a good, honest, law-abiding citizen would use it in a way that would hurt or harm other people. But the fact is, in 11 years there’s not been hardly anything that happened like that.
Green’s legislation would also put the Secretary of State’s office in charge of processing concealed carry permit applications. He says local gun boards are not completing background checks on the applicants fast enough.
Mike Conway is an airport spokesman. He says baggage handling workers alerted security officials after a box containing electronic equipment and loose wiring entered the building. The box was being moved from one airplane to another.
Conway says the security officials closed 8 gates in the McNamara Terminal while they investigated the box.
“The area below that is where the nuts and bolts where all the processing of all the luggage, packages and stuff like occur…this package was on a belt…in the bag makeup area for that section of gates.’"
Conway says the box did not originate in Detroit. He says the shipper is being contacted.
Airport spokesman Mike Conway says the box was found about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday and passengers were removed from part of Concourse B at the McNamara Terminal out of "an abundance of caution." Conway says planes that were to use gates at the concourse were using other gates at the airport. The concourse at the airport in Romulus primarily is used by regional aircraft.
He says details about why security officials determined the box to be suspicious weren't immediately available.
Lansing mayor Virg Bernero delivered his sixth state of the city address last night. He had a lot to say about past accomplishments, but said next to nothing about the city’s projected $15 million budget deficit.
Look around and see for yourself, it’s happening in Lansing.
Lansing mayor Virg Bernero told the audience during his state of the city address. To that end, Bernero spoke a lot about recent business investment in the capitol city.
He didn’t speak directly to Lansing’s projected $15 million budget deficit. He did suggest part of the budget problem can be found across the street from Lansing city hall at the state capitol.
City budgets across Michigan are on life support. The loss of property tax values means the loss of property tax revenue. High unemployment means the loss of income tax revenue. And the continued failure of state government to manage its own budget problems has cost of tens of millions in state shared revenues.
Bernero also said Lansing needs to work with its neighbors to deal with a variety of regional problems.
The dean of Michigan's congressional delegation plans to stay in Washington. John Dingell says he plans to run again for the seat he's held since the mid-50's.
Here's the Associated Press story:
Two months after winning a 28th full term in the U.S. House, Michigan's John Dingell says he's going for 29. The 84-year-old Dearborn Democrat tells The Detroit News he'll be a candidate for re-election in 2012. Dingell has been in Congress since 1955. He calls it "the greatest job in the world."
The man known as "Big John" currently represents the 15th District, which could be in jeopardy as redistricting looms. The number of House seats in Michigan will drop one to 14 next year, and majority Republicans could change up Dingell's district.
It now encompasses the far southeastern portion of the state, including Monroe and Ann Arbor. Dingell says he's "had three bad redistrictings" and has "survived every one of them.
The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow involving Meijer officials who may have violated state campaign finance law.
The company financed a public relations campaign to kick out village trustees who opposed Meijer’s plans to build a new store in their community. The move may have violated Michigan’s campaign finance law, which bars corporations and their agents from making campaign contributions. The Grand Traverse Eagle has done a great job covering the case.
Alan Schneider is Grand Traverse County Prosecutor. He’s wanted to pursue an investigation against the Meijer officials. But attorneys for the Meijer officials involved say only the Secretary of State’s office has the authority to prosecute campaign finance cases. Alan Schneider says the Michigan Supreme Court must decide who’s right.
“If there’s a crime, that’s a state crime, we are obligated to prosecute.”
Republicans and Democrats say they're encouraged by what they heard from Governor Rick Snyder last night. The Republican delivered his first State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Lansing. Laura Weber sent this report:
Democratic lawmakers say they are eager to work with Governor Snyder on many of the issues he brought up, but their optimism is tempered with caution.
They say they’re waiting for Snyder’s budget proposal in February. "At this point the voters have given him the ball, he needs to advance it up field, and I think the next big play will be on February 17th where we’ll really get to see what their priorities are and how they’re going to balance the budget," said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer.
Republican lawmakers say they are most eager to work with Snyder to reform or eliminate Michigan’s complicated business tax.
Update - 1/19/11, 8:58 p.m.:
For those wishing to keep track of the goals laid out in the State of the State address, Governor Snyder announced a new website. The "Michigan Dashboard." The information on the website claims to tell you "how the state performs in areas that affect you and your family."
Update - 1/19/11, 8:20 p.m.:
Here's the audio of Governor Snyder's State of the State address:
But the Republican governor says he’s come up with a way to make the bridge a reality.
Transportation Director Kirk Steudle and I have secured a unique agreement with the federal Highway Administration to use this $550 million investment in our infrastructure towards the matching funds required for all federally funded highway projects across our state.
The bridge still faces opposition. The owners of the Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge have waged a long fight against a new bridge built and operated by anyone other than them.
It sends a message to the world when a company like P& G chooses a state like Michigan to do a collaboration like this.
Weinert says the state of Michigan will benefit because of the ripple effects of business investment. The program will eventually expand to other Michigan universities. Procter & Gamble has a similar research corridor in Ohio.
This Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that may determine if police officers have an expectation of privacy when they are doing their jobs.
It all started with a video.
Detroit city police and members of former Mayor Dennis Archer’s staff wanted to prevent a sexually explicit video from being played at a Dr. Dre concert in July 2000.
A camera crew for the rapper videotaped police officers saying they would pull the plug on the concert.
Former police officer, and current Detroit City Council president pro-tem Gary Brown, is seen on the video saying "we're going to shut this show down."
Eventually, Dr Dre decided not to show the video police were concerned about.
But the video of the police officers making their threats was put onto a concert DVD.
Thanks to YouTube user "snoopfroggydogg," you can see the "Detroit Controversy" videos here (WARNING: they contain images and words not suitable for younger viewers):
Detroit city officials sued, claiming the DVD makers violated Michigan’s anti-eavesdropping law by putting the video on the DVD without their permission.
The city officials and police officers claim their privacy was invaded by being videotaped and the video being shown publicly.
Attorney Herschel Fink represents the DVD’s producers. He says police officers have no 'right to privacy when they’re doing their job:
"I think the very essence of law enforcement is transparency...and I think this case has implications for mainstream news gathering and not just private citizens who are videotaping police berating them which was the case here."
Lower courts have tended to side with the DVD producers.
2010 was the worst year in a decade for home foreclosures in Michigan, according to new data out today. And 2011 is expected to be worse.
One in 33. That’s how many Michigan homes received a foreclosure notice in 2010.
Realty Trac ranks Michigan as having the 7th worst home foreclosure rate in the nation last year. Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says Michigan’s foreclosure numbers should be worse this year.
The University of Michigan Athletic Department has announced that San Diego State University football coach Brady Hoke will be the next Wolverine football coach, succeeding Rich Rodriguez. Here's the U of M statement Hoke Named Michigan Football Coach ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon announced today (Tuesday, Jan. 11) the hiring of Brady Hoke as the 19th coach in the 131-year history of Michigan football. Hoke arrives in Ann Arbor after spending the past eight seasons as a head coach at Ball State (2003-08) and San Diego State (2009-10).
General Motors is stepping up its advertising budget for major sporting events. GM says it has reached a deal with NBC to be the exclusive domestic automotive advertiser during the 2012 London Olympics.
General Motors invested heavily in Olympic advertising in the past, but that spending dipped as the automaker has struggled in recent years. That reduced spending also included the Super Bowl.
Clarke says the two talked about both being graduates of Cornell University.
He expressed sadness on the attempt on Giffords' life, but he says that danger is just a fact of life that all elected officials must face:
"I'm not going to change how I work. I'm going to be as open and available to the public. I think that's very important. I represent the taxpayers. I'm paid by the taxpayers. I'm hired by them to work for them. They need to know that their government is open and available to them."
Here's a video of Carl Brower, editor-at-large of Edmunds.com talking about the Chevy Volt winning the "Car of the Year Award."
Update: 10:11 a.m.:
Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody spoke with Edmunds.com editor-at-large, Carl Brower. Brower headed the jury of auto industry journalists who picked the Volt. Brower said:
"I think the Volt represents not only a break from traditional drive train technology, but a break from the manufacturing image. It's a hybrid plus. It's beyond a hybrid. And I don't know how many people would have believed that a big domestic auto maker like GM could pull this off a few years ago."
Finalists for the car award were the Volt, Hyundai Sonata and Nissan Leaf. Truck finalists were the Dodge Durango, the Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Forty-nine auto journalists from the U.S. and Canada made the picks. The vehicles are judged on innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value.
The NAIAS opened this morning for media previews. The show is open to the public on Saturday and runs through January 23rd.
The Secretary of Defense says he wants to cancel a defense contract that would eliminate hundreds of potential new jobs in Michigan.
The contract would be for an amphibious vehicle for the U.S. Marine Corps. The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was intended to replace a Vietnam era model. A Sterling Heights based division of General Dynamics is the contractor that has been developing the 40 ton vehicle.
Peter Keating is a company spokesman. He says canceling the program now will cost as much as moving forward with production.
"We would expect our congressional delegation in Washington DC to take a look at that and in their wisdom decide if it’s something they’d like to support."
The marine vehicle has been plagued with cost overruns and other problems since the Reagan administration. Escalating costs prompted the U.S. Marine Corps to cut in half the number of Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles it planned to purchase. Keating insists past problems have been resolved.
The football team has struggled on the field and violated NCAA rules off the field.
Now, the once premier football program faces years on probation and an uphill climb to become truly competitive.
Brandon says whoever he hires as head coach needs to be more than an average football coach:
“This individual has to be able to compete at the highest level. The expectations here are extraordinarily high. The passion for this football program is unbelievable. If you don’t believe me, you should see the email traffic. There are people out there who care. And it’s beyond just sport for them. It’s part of their life. That’s put a coach in a position where they have to have the ability. To stand up to that pressure and perform against it.
The press conference has concluded. Brandon entertained a lot of questions about potential replacements for Rich Rodriguez, but said he has yet to talk with potential candidates and plans to do so soon.
It appears Brandon plans to increase the amount of pay the next head football coach at the University of Michigan will receive. Rich Rodriguez had a six-year $15 million contract. Brandon feels Michigan has been in the "middle of the pack" in terms of coaching pay for top tier college football programs.
President Obama is expected today to sign legislation to improve the nation’s food safety. The new law will put more regulations on Michigan farmers.
2010 ended with national recalls of parsley, alfalfa sprouts and cilantro because of possible salmonella contamination. The recalls were just the latest problems that prompted Congress to revamp the nation’s food safety system. The changes include better tracking of all kinds of food, from the farmer’s field to the consumer’s plate.
December auto sales numbers are due tomorrow. It’s expected to be another good month for Detroit’s automakers.
After watching auto sales dwindle in the depths of the recession, auto companies have seen a surge in buying demand in recent months. December is expected to be the third straight month of strong domestic auto sales.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) says it commissioned a study that tested tap water in 35 cities across the United States and found a cancer causing chemical in 31 of the cities they tested.
In Michigan, the EWG tested for evidence of hexavalent chromium in Ann Arbor's water supply and found the chemical at .21 parts per billion. The group says a proposed "safe" level in California is .06 parts per billion.