Flint water crisis | Michigan Radio
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Flint water crisis

Scroll through all of our coverage of the Flint water crisis below. And you can find our special series Not Safe to Drink here.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, the Flint city council may reconsider a contract to build a back-up drinking water source.

Saturday was the 6th anniversary of the Flint Water Crisis. On April 25th, 2014, Flint’s drinking water source was switched as part of an effort to save money. But improperly treated water from the Flint River damaged city pipes and released lead into Flint’s tap water.

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.

Work crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is suspending its lead pipe replacement program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flint started replacing service lines connecting city homes and businesses to city water mains in the wake of the city’s water crisis.

Since 2016, the city has inspected more than 25,000 service lines and replaced more than 9,000 lead and galvanized pipes.

A classroom.
User: LizMarie_AK / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, we checked in with two school districts about how they are planning to meet the needs of students during an unprecedented shutdown prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. Plus, the pediatrician who alerted the world to Flint’s water crisis talked to us about how kids in the city are doing more than five years after the crisis began. 

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The City of Flint is notifying its residents about a new drinking water violation. In the big scheme of things, this drinking water violation isn't major. But because of the Flint Water Crisis, it’s getting noticed by residents.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court is mulling over whether to allow a lawsuit to move forward against the state and several former government officials tied to the Flint water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court Justices
supremecourt.gov

The United States Supreme Court has dealt a victory to some Flint Michigan residents seeking damages for the city’s contaminated drinking water.

The court’s action last week clears a barrier residents faced trying to sue government officials.

But some Flint residents fear they’re still a long way from getting compensation.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents, sickened by the city’s water crisis, could be a major step closer to having their day in court.

Between 2014 and 2015, improperly treated drinking water exposed city residents to lead and other contaminants. Tens of thousands of Flint residents sued seeking financial damages. 

a sign that says Flint River along the actual flint river
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, it’s been four years since the state announced a criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis. We talked to two journalists who covered the crisis about lessons learned on government accountability and public health. Plus, the state of Michigan files suit against some of the biggest names in corporate America over PFAS contamination. We'll hear about how a similar case played out in Minnesota. 

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.

EGLE

The City of Flint says it needs more time to submit water tests from homes at highest risk for having lead water lines.  

Under the state and federal Lead and Copper Rule, Flint has to test for lead more often than other cities because of the water crisis.  

The city says it must test 60 homes with lead lines, every six months.  

Flint has tested more than 60 sites but, so far, believes they’ve only confirmed 43 of those lead water lines. The city says it needs more time to determine if the rest of its tests fit the criteria.

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.  

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

In a few short weeks, the 2010s will be over, and the 2020s will begin. It's the end of a decade (even if some people insist it's not exactly the end of the decade). Life in Michigan on the cusp of 2020 is quite a bit different than it was in 2010. Our newsroom has been reflecting on the stories that most shaped Michigan in the 2010s. Below is our list. What would you add? 

The outside of the Crowley's department store in a black and white photo
Courtesy of Michael Hauser

Today on Stateside, a new investigative report revealed that top exectutives at a firm contracted by the city of Flint knew there was a problem with lead contamination in the water system, but never alerted the public. Plus, a look at the golden era of downtown department stores in Detroit, and what their eventual demise tells us about how the retail landscape has changed. 

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.

State of Michigan

For the third consecutive year, Flint water is testing below state and federal action levels for lead, according to data the state released on Wednesday.

In the first half of 2016, at the height of the city’s water crisis, Flint’s 90th percentile result for lead-in-water samples was 20 parts per billion.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Dozens of water activists attended a conference in Flint Wednesday.

The conference examined the ongoing effects of lead, PFAS and other contaminants turning up in public drinking water supplies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

“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.

water facuet flowing into title of documentary
Flint: The Poisoning of an American City press kit

Flint was once a city of prosperity and thriving industry. Its successes were touted as an example for other U.S. cities. An old promotional film celebrating Flint's achievements in business and public education, summed it up this way:

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Construction crews will be busy in Flint this fall trying to finish replacing thousands of lead pipes.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Bills introduced Wednesday in the state House and Senate would extend the statute of limitations in criminal misconduct cases involving public officials.

The legislation was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich and Democratic Representative John Cherry.

The Flint water crisis prosecution team dropped remaining criminal charges without prejudice earlier this summer.

City of Flint Water Plant
Adobe Stock

This post has been updated with new information about the testing of Flint's water.

Five years ago, the city of Flint switched its water to the Flint River. Citizens soon complained of dirty, foul-smelling water. Doctors found evidence of high lead levels in children. Outside researchers proved the city’s water (because of a lack of corrosion control) was corroding pipes, bacteria levels skyrocketed, and thousands of people were without clean water.

children sitting on floor
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Kids in Flint are heading back to school Wednesday, as the district transitions to a year-round calendar.

It’s an increasingly popular model with a mixed track record, but school leaders in Flint say they’ve had some success with the “balanced calendar” already in one of the district’s elementary schools. And it’s worth trying, says Flint Community Schools Superintendent Derrick Lopez, if it can reduce summer brain drain and help instructors reach struggling students sooner. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Another day, another Democratic presidential candidate comes to Flint to talk about water.

In recent weeks, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX) made campaign stops in the Vehicle City. Monday was Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s turn.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A pair of Democratic presidential campaigns swung through Flint Wednesday.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at a downtown Flint office building.   

O’Rourke talked with the crowd about a variety of issues, including immigration and entrepreneurship.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for an online fundraising campaign for a program that uses Flint teenagers to test their neighbors' tap water.

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