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.
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.
Foreclosure filings in Michigan fell 20% between October and November, but most of the decline came in homes in the final stages of foreclosure according to data released by Realty Trac, a group that calls itself "the nation's leading online foreclosure marketplace."
The pace of homes entering the system remained relatively unchanged.
Here's some video of the release of the indictments from the Detroit News:
Update 4:28 p.m.:
Barbara McQuade, the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, had this to say of the new indictment:
“The indictment charges all of them with working together to abuse Kwame Kilpatrick’s public offices. Both his position as state representative, as well as his position of mayor of Detroit, to unjustly enrich themselves, through a pattern of extortion, bribery and fraud.”
Update 4:18 p.m.:
Here's an excerpt of the indictment (info in parens added):
"(Former Detroit Mayor) Kwame Kilpatrick, (Kilpatrick’s long-time friend) Bobby Ferguson, (Kilpatrick’s father) Bernard Kilpatrick, (former director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department) Victor Mercado and (Chief Administrative Officer then Chief Information Officer to Kilpatrick) Derrick Miller… extorted municipal contractors by coercing them to include Ferguson in public contracts, and/or by rigging the award of contracts to ensure Ferguson got a portion of the revenue from those contracts…. Ferguson got tens of millions of dollars in work and revenues from municipal contractors."
Update 3:39 p.m.:
Federal Prosecutors in Detroit are announcing more corruption charges against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
The indictments also include Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick; former city contractor Bobby Ferguson; former Detroit Water Department head Victor Mercado; and former city official Derrick Miller.
Representatives from the FBI, IRS, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development are also on hand for the announcement.
The new charges are a sign the years-long investigation into Detroit municipal corruption is approaching an apex.
Peter Henning is a Wayne State University law professor. He says this investigation has been typical of public corruption probes that slowly “work from the outside in.”
“The government’s committed a lot of resources. When that happens then it’s much more likely to see charges brought, simply because the government wants to see some return on its investment.”
Kwame Kilpatrick already faces federal tax evasion and other charges for allegedly using a non-profit civic fund as a personal slush fund.
Ferguson also already faces federal charges in an alleged city bid-rigging scheme.
The other shoe is finally dropping on former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. The US Attorney in Detroit is holding a news conference at 4pm to announce indictments against Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, and others allegedly involved in city hall corruption in Detroit.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is considering prosecuting the mayor under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, among other federal criminal laws, according to a source. The Department of Justice's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section reviews and approves each proposed federal prosecution under the RICO statute.
So far, 14 people have pleaded guilty to felonies and one person has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the Detroit investigation and a spinoff probe in the city of Southfield. Those convicted include former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers.