tornado siren
Flickr user diversey

Officials say hacking apparently is to blame for the recent sounding of emergency warning sirens in Genesee County.

The county's 911 executive board director Mark Emmendorfer says the tones of the sirens Tuesday in the Flint area suggest hacking. Officials previously blamed an apparent malfunction. 

It's the third time in about a month that the sirens used during for tornado warnings and civil defense emergencies went off when there was no emergency.

Tuzen / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Think of that moment when you have to make a 911 call. It's a crisis – often life-and-death. And that 911 call is likely going through a system that's nearly a half-century old.

Senate Bill 400 is now before the State House. It aims to modernize Michigan’s 911 system.

How and why that AMBER Alert woke you up at night

May 16, 2016
An amber alert on a phone
Flickr user Tony Webster/Flickr

A carjacking involving a 3-month-old child Monday morning in Detroit led to an AMBER Alert. This incident and other recent incidents throughout the state have raised some questions: Under what circumstances are AMBER Alerts issued? Who receives them? How do we get them?


Sarah Krebs is a Michigan State Police Detective Sergeant. She’s the state AMBER Alert coordinator and the Missing Children’s Clearinghouse manager.

Krebs joined us to explain how the State Police department issues AMBER Alerts.


flickr user The National Guard / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Imagine for a moment what it's like to be a firefighter rushing into a burning home. The smoke can be so thick you can't see your own hand in front of your face.

You're searching for survivors and trying to knock down that fire while doing your best to stay safe.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are debating whether someone should face penalties if they fail to act when they know someone else is in danger.

A state Senate panel is holding hearings on the concept – but no bill has been introduced yet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is rejoining Genesee County’s 911 system.

Since 1997, the city has been using its own operators to handle emergency calls, but the city’s system is aging and out-of-date.

Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley says the plan is to fold Flint into the county’s 911 system by the middle of next year.

“Our citizens will have access to the most up to date features of next-generation 911, which will include the ability to send text or photos to 911 and other more cutting edge technology,” says Earley.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Police chiefs in Michigan are concerned that changes coming to the way the U.S. manages its broadcast spectrum may negatively affect their radio systems.

The Federal Communications Commission hopes to auction off part of the broadcast spectrum next year to meet growing demand for personal electronic devices.

The auction is expected to generate more than $20 billion dollars.