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.
A State House committee this morning approved $10 million to for the Pure Michigan tourism advertising campaign. The full House is expected to vote on the funding this week, and the Senate next week.
The measure may hit the governor’s desk before the end of the month.
George Zimmerman is a vice president with Travel Michigan. He says the money is needed as soon as possible.
"The funding for the national cable TV buy has already been provided up to this point. But we don’t really have the funding yet for the regional Spring/Summer buys, in key out of state markets like Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Columbus etc."
The Pure Michigan campaign is expected to be fully funded at $25 million this year with a mix of public and private money. The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is credited with boosting the state’s tourism industry, but state budget cuts threatened to keep the campaign off the air.
The Finance and Claims Committe of the State Administrative Board unanimously passed the city of Flint's resolution requesting a $20 million fiscal stabilization bond. The resolution now goes to the full board February 15th.
Flint is facing a multi-million dollar budget deficit this year and other long-term debts. Flint mayor Dayne Walling says the city needs the money to help keep the city afloat financially.
“There is nothing more important for our city right now than the bond. We’ve been carrying a crushing load of past deficits on our shoulders. And we’ve come to the point where the pooled cash is not there to make payroll throughout the entire month of March without an infusion of cash.”
Walling is optimistic state officials will approve their bond request.
“If this, for some reason, were not approved by the State Administrative Board, then we’ll get right back to the table with Treasury and we’ll talk about what our options are."
If the city of Flint can’t get the money it needs, the state may eventually takeover Flint’s finances.
This could be a pivotal week for the future of Borders Books with some sources saying the company could seek bankruptcy protection.
The Ann Arbor-based bookseller delayed payments to publishers and others the past two months. The company has been trying to negotiate with its vendors and come up with a plan to move forward. Borders has a half billion dollar financing deal in place, if it can come to terms with its vendors.
Jeff Manning is a managing director with BDO Capitol Advisors. Manning’s company closely follows the retail market.
"The challenge, if you look at the statistics, majority of companies that enter bankruptcy do not emerge. If you look at recent statistics with retailers, an awful lot of retailers have gone straight into liquidation."
Manning expects Borders’ vendors will decide it’s more in their interest to keep Borders viable. He says, if Borders does file for bankruptcy, the company will probably exit bankruptcy before Christmas. But Manning says Borders execs must be careful, since the bookseller is in a precarious position:
"One foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel," says Manning.
From General Motors adding another shift at the Flint Assembly plant to expansion in the city's medical and echnology centers, Flint's job picture is brightening.
Flint city leaders say their community posted one of the ten biggest drops in unemployment in the U.S. over the last 12 months.
Between December 2009 and December 2010, Flint's jobless rate fell from 16 percent to just under 12 percent. Flint Mayor Dayne Walling says the city helped create or keep mare than a thousand jobs by encouraging entrepreneurial businesses.
For everybody who's left, there's a project out there that kept a job here too. That?s the other part of the story. It may not be a new job. It's not someone who's newly employed. But there are another 500 or 1000 people who would have left here if these projects wouldn't have been successful.
This all builds on what our president said in his State of the Union, that we need to create jobs and industries of the future by doing what America does best. Investing in the creativity and innovation of our people.
Walling concedes people leaving Flint also helped improve the city's unemployment rate. Flint's unemployment rate is still above state and national levels.
MSU researchers compared about 80 children, between 3 and 4 years old, whose birthdays were just weeks apart. Some were just old enough to enter preschool. The others had to wait. MSU researcher Lori Skibbe says the students who attended pre-school got a jump start on their peers in literacy.
"We found that children who essentially made the cut off we’re in preschool earlier demonstrated greater gains in literacy than children who were not enrolled in preschool at this time.”
Other recent studies suggest that pre-K programs do not have long term beneficial effects on students. Skibbe disagrees. She says the programs do help students develop literacy skills they need.
Flu outbreaks have been reported in most regions of Michigan. Nursing home patients, college students and other groups of people living in close quarters have fallen ill with the flu. State health officials report one child has died from the flu.
"Budgets have become so incredibly tight that these events become more and more difficult to absorb. And again, depending on the magnitude of the storm, if it’s as big as it says, it could be a two to three day event, and you know, getting everything cleared and back up to speed it will become very costly for folks."
Minghine says money spent now on snow removal is money that won’t be spent on road repair and other projects this Spring.
Ann Arbor-based Borders Books may be able to stave off bankruptcy, thanks to a new financing deal announced this week . Professional writers are waiting to see what the company’s next chapter will bring.
The study examined cases of physical neglect, in which the caregiver failed or refused to meet a resident’s needs of food, water, personal hygiene, clothing, medicine, shelter, personal safety or comfort.
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).