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Flint

workers in the front yard of a home replacing lead pipes
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

President Biden wants to spend more than two trillion dollars rebuilding the nation’s aging infrastructure. One chunk of that would replace all lead pipes connecting homes to city water mains.

"Everybody remembers what happened in Flint, there's hundreds of Flints all across America," Biden said.

The experience of Flint, Michigan, is not only a cautionary tale about the dangers of letting infrastructure decay. But it’s also a warning about the challenges of fixing the country’s lead pipe problem.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s talk of a major investment in Flint Community Schools.

But at this point, it’s still just talk.

Flint public schools have been caught in a downward spiral for years, declining enrollment fueled by aging buildings.

But key players in Flint have been talking behind the scenes about a plan to build new schools.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In the final few days before Monday’s deadline to opt-in or opt-out of the settlement, people stood in long lines outside the Flint water settlement law office in downtown Flint. Many needed help filling out the settlement forms.

But it appears the wait was successful.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has agreed to put the criminal case against former Gov. Rick Snyder on hold for a few months.

Snyder is facing two misdemeanor counts of Willful Neglect of Duty tied to the Flint water crisis. If convicted, the former governor could face up to year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. He has entered pleas of not guilty.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday is the deadline for people to register for the $641 million Flint water crisis master settlement.

As of a week ago, more than 33,000 people had registered to be part of the settlement.  

Attorneys say they have seen a crush of people in the last week wanting to opt-in or opt-out of the settlement. The lawyers say the deadline crunch will make it difficult for them to help people register and file objections to the settlement.   They asked U.S. District Judge Judith Levy to extend the deadline by another 60 days.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The criminal case against former governor Rick Snyder will proceed.

A judge rejected his lawyers’ request to dismiss the charges against him Thursday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys are asking a judge to set aside nearly a third of the proposed $641 million civil settlement tied to the Flint water crisis for lawyer fees.

They made the request in a court filing this week.  

The State of Michigan and the city of Flint, along with a Flint engineering firm and a Flint hospital, agreed to put up the money as part of an agreement to settle legal damage claims tied to the city’s water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Gov. Rick Snyder should learn soon if a judge will dismiss charges against him connected to the Flint water crisis.

The former governor is charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty.   The exact reasons for the charges are unclear since a judge has yet to release evidence presented to the one-man grand jury that issued the indictment.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A judge has denied a defense motion to dismiss a perjury charge against a former top aide to former Gov. Rick Snyder.

Jarrod Agen was Snyder’s communications director and chief of staff.

He’s among nine people, including the former governor, recently criminally charged as part of the state's investigation into the Flint water crisis.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There is a question whether the state’s case against former Gov. Rick Snyder will be able to move forward before the judge currently assigned the case.

The former governor is charged with two counts of Willful Neglect of Duty related to his handling of the Flint Water Crisis.

But during a brief court hearing Tuesday morning, District Court Judge William Crawford II delayed arguments until next month on a pair of defense motions to dismiss the misdemeanor counts against Snyder.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Attorneys for former Governor Rick Snyder are formally asking a judge to toss two misdemeanor charges tied to the Flint water crisis.

Snyder was formally charged with willful neglect of duty as part of an investigation by the Michigan attorney general's office into alleged criminal activity tied to Flint’s lead tainted tap water.

Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

During a court hearing Tuesday, the attorney representing former Gov. Rick Snyder argued that he shouldn’t face charges in Genesee County related to the Flint water crisis.

In April 2014, Flint’s municipal drinking water source was switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River. Improperly treated river water damaged pipes.   The pipes leached lead into the city’s drinking water.   Tens of thousands of Flint residents were exposed to high levels of lead and other contaminants before the water source was switched back in October 2015.  

Former Governor Rick Snyder is one of nine people arraigned Thursday on criminal charges tied to the Flint water crisis. Michigan state senator and long-time Flint resident Jim Ananich is glad the prosecution is happening.

Flint residents unimpressed by Snyder charges linked to lead exposure

Jan 14, 2021

As volunteers loaded her trunk with cases of bottled water Thursday at the RL Jones Community Outreach Center, a weekly ritual that involves waiting for hours in a line of cars that snakes far down the highway, Paula Stephenson simmered with anger.

Days after Flint residents learned that former Gov. Rick Snyder and other officials would face criminal charges for their role in the water crisis that poisoned Flint residents, news emerged that Snyder would face two misdemeanors for, in Stephenson’s words, “destroying us.” 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has been charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty in the Flint water crisis.

Years After Flint Water Crisis, Lead Lingers in School Buildings

Jan 13, 2021
Photo: 2016 Photo © J. Carl Ganter / Circle of Blue

 

In its 2021 budget, Congress included millions for lead testing in schools, where children are still exposed to the toxic metal.

Michigan Executive Office

A proposed settlement for many Flint water crisis civil lawsuits took another step forward Wednesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a pair of bills creating the Flint Settlement Trust Fund.  The legislation addresses how the state would handle funding of the $641 million settlement of Flint Water civil cases.

“What happened in Flint should never have happened,” says Whitmer, “While this settlement will never be enough to compensate for what happened, it is a major step toward helping the people of Flint heal.” 

The Flint City Council meets Monday night to once again consider settling the Flint water crisis lawsuit. The council met twice last week, debating whether to approve a resolution to settle the Flint water litigation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University will conduct a study into how to communicate the need for antibody tests for COVID-19 in communities that are often mistrustful of government health campaigns, and with good reason.

Ryan Garza for the Detroit Free Press

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has reached a milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the state recording more than 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.  

Among the latest to test positive is a top state lawmaker.

State Senator Jim Ananich announced his positive test on Twitter.

Polling station sign
user jaina / Creative Commons

The U.S. Justice Department will be closely watching Tuesday's election in seven Michigan communities.

The Department’s Civil Rights Division plans to have personnel in 44 jurisdictions in 18 states to monitor for compliance with the federal voting rights laws.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are spending the weekend campaigning in Michigan ahead of Tuesday’s election.

Former President Barack Obama served as Joe Biden’s lead in at a pair of drive-in rallies Saturday in Flint and Detroit.  

Obama’s main message focused on voting.

The Breath Project

Today on Stateside, we’ll hear about the Native Justice Coalition’s call to action in support of missing and murdered indigenous people. Also, we talk to artists working for a Flint theater project borne out of the civil rights protests sparked by George Floyd’s death.

African-American man in blue suit standing in front of green outdoor space
Courtesy of the City of Flint

The City of Flint has a new police chief. Terence Green comes to the department after several years as chief in the Flint suburb of Mount Morris Township.

Green is a Flint resident and also worked for the Genessee County Sheriff's Department for more than 20 years.

Green talked to Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Doug Tribou about his priorities for city’s police department.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are getting extra help dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic through a program set up after the city’s water crisis.

The program was created to help people affected by Flint’s lead tainted drinking water. 

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha discovered evidence that the change of Flint’s drinking water source led to a spike in blood lead levels in Flint children in 2015.     She also played a significant role in creating the Flint registry.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A letter is fueling a dispute over how the city of Flint handles elections.

After the August primary, Genesee County Election Supervisor Doreen Fulcher sent a letter to Flint City Clerk Inez Brown outlining problems with how the city processed votes. The letter was sent from County Clerk John Gleason’s office. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint religious leaders plan on taking to streets on Saturday to pray, after a recent spike in violent crime.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is decrying a Saturday night “pop-up party” that drew hundreds of people and ended with six wounded by gunfire.

Police had broken up two previous attempts to hold the event, which attracted up to a thousand people. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is looking at ways to get illegal guns off the streets, either by seizing them or buying them.

Flint officials say the city has seen a 17% increase in violent crime this year over last year, including an increase in murders.

For Mayor Sheldon Neeley, the violence is close to home.

“There have been a few shootings on my street where I live,” Neeley told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s no fun not being able to sit out on my deck and worry about what might happen in my neighborhood.”

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