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Flint

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Over the past three months Flint has restored water service to hundreds of homes.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley ordered the city to start reconnecting water service to occupied homes on March 12, a few weeks before Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered all Michigan cities to end water shutoffs and restore service.

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This week, Flint marks the sixth anniversary of the drinking water switch that led to the city’s water crisis.

Improperly treated water drawn from the Flint River exposed city residents to lead and other contaminants.

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Starting Thursday, the city of Flint is imposing a curfew to try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.   

Two weeks ago, Flint was untouched by the coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday, Flint and Genesee County have recorded 249 positive COVID-19 cases and eight deaths.  

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A pair of storm sewers are being rerouted around Flint’s former Buick City site to try and keep PFAS out of the Flint River.

“We have on the site some storm water lines, old ones, that when they’re below the groundwater table, contaminated groundwater can leak into those storm sewers and migrate to the river,” says Grant Trigger. He's the cleanup manager for the former General Motors properties in Michigan. 

Trigger says they’ll spend the next three to four months replacing more than 3,600 feet of storm sewer lines.

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Flint voters on Tuesday are being asked to support a change in how their school taxes are spent.

Voters are being asked to approve extending a current millage that raises money for capital expenses. But school officials are asking voters to allow the millage to be used to pay down the district's debt more quickly.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint mayor Sheldon Neeley admits his new budget proposal is “not perfect.”

Neeley presented his $55.6 million budget proposal to the city council on Monday.

The mayor says rising property values are increasing city revenues. But he says Flint is also facing significant legacy costs. 

He hopes Flint city council members don’t make major changes to the budget blueprint.

children sitting on floor
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Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez filed a formal complaint earlier this month with the Genesee Intermediate School District over special education funding.

Flint gets less money from the county compared to other districts, even though it has more kids who qualify for special education services. 

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Children in Flint faced a myriad of problems well before the city’s water crisis raised new fears of potential negative health effects from lead tainted drinking water.

The challenges faced by Flint kids and the progress that’s been made since the water crisis was the subject of a conference Friday.

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The Michigan State Police are investigating an alleged bar fight between two Flint city officials.  

The fight between councilman Eric Mays and Mayor Sheldon Neeley’s Deputy Chief of Staff allegedly took place at a Flint bar last week. City police turned the investigation over to the MSP.

Eric Mays told reporters Monday night that he’s scheduled to meet with the state police Tuesday morning. 

Mays accuses the mayor of protecting his aide.

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Flint residents surprised by a recent big water bill are getting some relief.

In the past, aging meters forced the city to estimate how much water people were using.

The city of Flint is using $9.2 million in federal money from the city’s water crisis to install 26,000 new water meters. About 5,000 meters have been replaced so far.

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The city of Flint is launching a coordinated campaign to attack blight.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley says illegal dumping is a prime target.

Michael Hood and Laurie Carpenter, founders of the humanitarian aid group Crossing Water.
Stephanie Kenner / Crossing Water

Crossing Water, an advocacy group founded to provide outreach in Flint during the water crisis, will be headed to Newark, New Jersey this week. Newark has recorded elevated of lead in its water for several years.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor admits his city should have started preparing for this year’s census a year ago. But he says the city is trying to catch up.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Liane Shekter-Smith sat quietly in court Wednesday as the Michigan Solicitor General railed against the plea deal that was about to lead to the dismissal of the case against her.

Flint school lockers
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated January 3, 2020: A spokesperson for Flint Community Schools sent the following statement, attributed to FCS Superintendent Derrick Lopez:   “The Flint Community Schools District is deeply committed to the well-being and success of all students. In keeping with District policy, we will not be commenting on pending litigation.” Requests for comment to the Michigan Department of Education were directed to the Attorney General's office, which has not yet responded at this time. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State prosecutors are still not saying when to expect new criminal charges in the Flint water crisis probe.

Thursday evening, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley in cutting a ribbon officially opening the department’s new office in Flint. The office will handle multiple jobs. But its highest profile mission is related to the investigation into Flint’s water crisis.

Kate Wells/Michigan Radio

It’s a quiet winter morning at Neithercut Elementary in Flint, and the kids in Theresa Skene’s kindergarten class are munching contentedly on their school breakfasts: milk, Froot Loops, strawberry yogurt, some kind of strudel stick wrapped in plastic. Mindfulness music (as Mrs. Skene calls it) plays softly in the room, as she stops at one boy’s desk to praise him for cleaning up a spill.  

City of Flint Water Plant
Adobe Stock

Flint's newly-elected mayor, Sheldon Neeley, says it appears the city's water fund doesn't have a deficit, as previously projected. Rather, there's a $20 million balance for the 2020 fiscal year. 

With less than a month on the job, newly elected Mayor Sheldon Neeley says it's pretty clear the previous financial department was, as he puts it, "anemic, to say the least. They really had no capacity...no quality control element."

He says it looks like they just used estimates and projections for years, rather than what money was actually coming in and going out. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint school district officials are putting off decisions on closing some district schools.

Flint Community Schools are facing a multi-million dollar deficit. Earlier this month, district officials floated a proposal to eliminate the debt, that included closing some schools in January.

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Flint’s former city spokeswoman is joining a crowded field of candidates to fill a vacant state House seat.

Sheldon Neeley resigned from his State House 34th District seat, after winning this month's Flint mayoral election.

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An effort is underway to improve property values in some Flint neighborhoods.

Driving through Flint’s north side, it’s not uncommon to see nicely kept single family homes sitting next door to vacant and blighted homes.

A new program hopes to rehab those blighted homes, and in turn bring in first time homebuyers and improve property values around the entire neighborhood.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“I do solemnly swear or affirm…” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley repeated as he took his oath of office on Monday, before an overflow crowd at Flint City Hall.

Neeley defeated incumbent Mayor Karen Weaver last week in a very close election.

In his address, Neeley repeatedly stressed the need for unity going forward.

Neeley also urged Flint residents to take a similar oath.

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Flint Police Chief Tim Johnson decided not to wait to be fired by the city’s new mayor.

Johnson announced Friday that he was resigning.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint school officials are considering how to respond to a multi-million dollar structural deficit.

The Board of Education heard reports on Thursday night on the district’s financial position.  

There are a variety of factors contributing to the school district's financial woes, including legacy costs.  The district is also struggling to pay for the services required for students with special needs. The percentage of special needs students in Flint public schools is twice the state average.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The mayor who led Flint through its water crisis lost her bid for another term on Tuesday.

Unofficial results show State Rep. Sheldon Neeley defeated incumbent Mayor Karen Weaver by a few hundred votes.

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The Michigan Secretary of State’s office has declined a request by a Flint mayoral candidate to give special oversight of Tuesday’s election.

State Representative Sheldon Neeley made the request last month. Neeley is running against incumbent Mayor Karen Weaver in this week’s Flint mayoral election.

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A debate Thursday night between the two candidates for Flint mayor saw few sparks, but some sniping.

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“When our city needed a champion, he fought to get answers and justice.”

That’s how Flint Mayor Karen Weaver describes Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings

Cummings died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from longstanding health challenges.  He was 68.

headshot of Becca and David
StoryCorps

David Feingold has bipolar disorder. He discussed how the disease has shaped his work as an artist and how it contributed to his divorce from his ex-wife. He spoke with his current significant other Becca Buchalter at the StoryCorps mobile booth in Flint.

headshot of mother and daughter
StoryCorps

Dorothy Maxine Keely McClanahan is 95 years old. At the StoryCorps mobile booth in Flint, she and her daughter, JoAnn McClanahan, talked about her memories of growing up in a large family in the city during the Great Depression.

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