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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.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union claims Flint voters may be denied their right to vote absentee in the August primary.

The ACLU suit finds fault with how the Flint city clerk's office processes absentee ballot applications and other issues.  

Portraits of poet Semaj Brown as a student at Cass Technical High School in Detroit.
Courtesy of Semaj Brown

Buildings and streets all over Michigan bear the name of Michigan politician Lewis Cass, but in the past several weeks, there has been a push to change that. Cass was a former territorial governor and U.S. senator. He was also a slave owner, a proponent of letting states decide whether to allow slavery, and a key architect behind atrocities committed against Native Americans, including the Trail of Tears and the Trail of Death. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.  

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

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
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

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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