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Flint

Flint water bottle station
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge won't force the state to immediately resume giving out bottled water to Flint residents affected by the city's lead-tainted tap water crisis.

The decision Friday concerns the case of Flint resident Allen Bryant Jr. A recently filed lawsuit says that Bryant and other residents still have dangerous levels of lead in their tap water. It asks a judge to compel the state to continue funding bottled water distribution.

Flint water bottle station
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s mayor is talking about “legal options” after an unsuccessful meeting with Governor Snyder about restarting bottled water distribution.

Chief National Guard Bureau / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Governor Snyder has decided the water in Flint is safe enough to end bottled water distribution, although the state will continue to distribute water filters to residents.

The Democrats are also holding an endorsement convention this weekend in Detroit. The most hotly contested race is for attorney general. Three Democrats – Pat Miles, Dana Nessel, and William Noakes – are running for the party nomination.

a cartoon of Governor Rick Snyder endorsing Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
John Auchter / Michigan Radio

I don't blame politicians for avoiding the "politician" label. Politician, after all, is a dirty word. They are all rotten, lying, cheating, crummy, crooked politicians, right? Well... maybe not all. In this representative form of government, we all profess to love so much, good politicians are critical to its success. Good politicians are advocates of the people. They listen, they understand, they form a consensus, and then they lead.

 

Bottled Water
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has decided there’s no further need to distribute bottled water to people in Flint. That free bottled water program began after tests revealed extremely high levels of lead in the city’s drinking water.

But the state says lead levels in Flint haven’t exceeded government action levels for over two years, so it’s ending the water distribution program.

George Thomas / FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Governor Snyder’s administration has announced that it will stop providing free water bottles to Flint residents. The state says lead levels in Flint drinking water have not exceeded government action levels for more than two years. So, it's ending the bottled water distribution program, though it says Flint residents can still receive free water filters.

Representative Dan Kildee, D-Flint, joined Stateside today to discuss how ending the water bottle program will affect the city’s residents, how Flint residents feel about the water crisis, and how trust in government can be restored in Flint.

A box of Ice Mountain brand water bottles
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved a permit for Nestle to increase the volume of water it pumps from its well in Osceola County from 250 gallons per minute to up to 400 gallons per minute.

More than 80,000 people spoke out against Nestle's permit request, but the MDEQ said it cannot base its decision on public opinion.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss potential political blow-back that could stem from the state's approval of Nestle's permit.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After more than six years of state oversight, the city of Flint is finally emerging from receivership.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver could hardly contain her feelings about the end of state oversight of her city.

“I’m excited. I’m glad they’re gone,” Weaver told reporters after the news broke this afternoon.

The city of Flint is the last Michigan municipality to be under state financial oversight through a Receivership Transition Advisory Board.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is trying something new to reduce water shut-offs, while at the same time increasing revenues from water and sewer services.

The city is launching a 60-day trial of lower fees for residents trying to get their water service turned back on.

Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, Wayne State University / Wikim

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a public charity created by and for the people of Genesee County. Isaiah Oliver is the youngest-ever president and CEO of the foundation. He is also the first Flint native and first African-American to lead the group.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan congressional leaders are asking the EPA about the status of an investigation into the causes of the Flint water crisis.

The EPA Office of Inspector General launched its investigation in January 2016 into the causes of the crisis that exposed the people of Flint to lead-tainted tap water and other health threats.

However more than two years later, the full report has still not been released.

water faucet
Flickr user Bart / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Low-income, rural areas are the most vulnerable to drinking water quality violations that could affect people’s health, according to a new nationwide study.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Work begins this week on the demolition of a nearly century-old dam in Flint.

The Flint River has flowed through the Hamilton Dam since it was constructed in 1920.

But the dam has been crumbling for decades.

Last year, the state government approved spending $3.1 million to demolish the dam, as part of a project to revitalize Flint’s riverfront.

flint symbol
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State Treasurer Nick Khouri says Flint's mayor and city council now have the ability to conduct most city business without state oversight.

Khoury said Monday that state oversight through the Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board has been diminished after the panel recommended moving the city out of receivership and continuing the process of transitioning to full local control.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio/NPR

Michigan State University and Flint officials are kicking off a campaign to get people exposed to the city’s lead-tainted water to sign up for a special registry.

Tens of thousands of people who drank Flint tap water since 2014 have likely been exposed to lead.

The Flint Registry being launched this week is a way to connect people with resources aimed at minimizing the negative health effects of lead, as well as programs promoting wellness.

Sign of Flint Police Headquarters
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint City Council has approved a $24,500 payment to a former police investigator who said he was demoted after reporting the possible mistreatment of another officer.

The Flint Journal reports the lawsuit alleged that police Chief Tim Johnson retaliated against Rodney Williams after he allegedly corroborated claims of gender discrimination that Capt. Leigh Golden brought against Johnson and the police department.

Courtesy of Carma Lewis

Today marks two years since Governor Rick Snyder declared a ‘state of emergency’ in Flint because of lead contamination in the city's water.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported that water quality has improved since the city switched back to Detroit system after using the Flint River, whose improperly treated water corroded pipes. The city has also seen almost 6,000 lead lines replaced. That’s around a third of the number to be replaced.

But there’s still a lot of confusion among Flint residents. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis criminal process is set to resume after taking a break for the holidays.

State health department director Nick Lyon is due to return to court next week. For the past several months, a series of witnesses have testified about how the health department under Lyon was slow to publicly reveal a deadly Legionnaires disease outbreak in Genesee County.  Lyon is charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with that outbreak.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Starting next month, Flint’s first city-organized youth basketball league in 15 years will tip off.

Sean Croudy, the city’s director of community recreation, says the program will fill a void in after-school programs for 8- to 17-year-olds. Croudy adds it’s not just about playing basketball.

“Teamwork, build self-esteem,” says Croudy. “A lot of learning opportunities.”

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver says promoting sports is also an important part of helping Flint kids exposed to high lead levels in the city’s tap water.

flint mayor karen weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency wrote a letter to the City of Flint and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality last week urging them to spend $100 million in federal funds for water infrastructure repair.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver responded Friday that the city plans to have any requested information available to the EPA in January.

“Inspiration in the wake of desperation.” That’s the theme of a powerful documentary called For Flint.

In the film, director Brian Schulz shows the foundation for a rebuilt Flint can be found in the lives of its neighbors.

There is just so much to process, so much to, well, not to sound old, but growing up we just never would have anticipated this level craziness.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint residents are celebrating the reopening of a downtown landmark.

The Capitol Theatre has been closed for nearly 20 years.

But thanks to a $37 million restoration, the theater is once again opening its doors.

“What makes this building special actually is the connection that the community has had with it for nine decades,” says Jarret Haynes, the executive director of the Whiting theater, which will manage the Capitol Theatre.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A major obstacle to Flint’s recovery from its drinking water crisis has been removed.

The city of Flint has been hobbled in its efforts to remain on its aging water system by its inability to repay more than $20 million borrowed from the Drinking Water Revolving Fund (DWRF).  

Flint City Clerk Inez Brown administers the oath of office to the new Flint city council members.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“I do solemnly swear,” intoned City Clerk Inez Brown, as she led the nine members of the Flint city council through their oath of office.

The new city council were sworn in today at noon. Five of the nine council members are new to the job.  Last week, Flint voters ousted a majority of incumbents from the panel.   

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver suggests voters wanted the new blood on the council to move beyond old arguments.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver scored a double win on Tuesday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Another top state official is scheduled to appear in a courtroom in Flint Monday in connection with that city’s tainted tap water crisis.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Thousands of used, clear plastic water bottles collected in Flint will be worn by runway models in New York next spring.

Recycling water bottles has been an issue in Flint since the city’s lead tainted drinking water crisis.

Conceptual artist Mel Chin and a fashion designer, Detroit native Tracy Reese, are working with the Queens Museum in New York City to recycle water bottles from Flint into fabric for raincoats, swimwear and other clothes.

“The thing is, if you don’t....do something, we’re just talking,” says Chin. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint police department is turning to technology to help reduce response times to calls.

Flint’s new police intelligence center will monitor closed circuit cameras in businesses and other locations around the city. It will also serve as a clearinghouse for data on criminal suspects.

Police Chief Tim Johnson expects the center will help officers get to the scene of crimes faster.

“We’re doing excellent for responding to crimes,” says Johnson. “But, of course it’s not good enough when you’ve got people waiting 20 and 30 minutes for police to respond to a call.”

Sign of Flint Police Headquarters
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is getting some help from the federal government to combat its violent crime problem.

The $1 million grant from the U.S. Justice Department will help fund community programs on Flint’s north side for the next three years. Flint is one of nine communities nationwide to receive the grant from the U.S. Justice Department.

Hamilton Community Health Network, Flint city officials and local neighborhood groups will work together to develop community-based crime reduction plans and programs.  

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