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Violinist holds violin and looks at sheet music
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Today, on Stateside, we break down the numbers from the U.S. Census and what they mean for redistricting in Michigan. Plus, a conversation with longtime radio journalist Vickie Thomas about living and working in Detroit for 30 years. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan groups that provide meals for people who need them for Thanksgiving are having to make some changes this year due to COVID-19.

In Midland, Open Door executive director Renee Pettinger says her agency will be serving special Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of people.
  
She says because Open Door is not serving meals indoors, her agency is having added expenses.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state will try to order the company that owns the Edenville and Sanford Dams to fix failures that caused extensive flooding along the Tittawabassee River in May.

That action was announced Tuesday by the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking for a federal major disaster declaration for five Michigan counties still recovering from May floods.

In her letter to President Donald Trump, Gov. Whitmer says Midland, Gladwin, Iosco, Saginaw, and Arenac counties suffered a quarter billion dollars (at least $190 million for residents and over $55 million public infrastructure) in damage from flooding last month.

Michelle Hurd Riddick (used with permission)

The two dams that broke near Midland caused a massive flood that swept away bridges, roads, and damaged a lot of property. Because Midland is home to Dow’s original chemical complex, a lot of people were concerned about hazardous waste or waste in ponds at Dow.

State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to ask for a federal disaster declaration for parts of Michigan hard hit by flooding last month.

Heavy rains flooded towns and overflowed dams in parts of mid-Michigan, including Midland and Gladwin Counties. Thousands were forced to evacuate their homes as the Tittabawassee River rose to a record height. Weeks later, many people are still cleaning and repairing their homes and businesses. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered a state investigation into why two privately owned dams failed last week in Midland County contributing to record flooding.

After the Edenville and Sanford Dams failed, thousands were forced to evacuate and many towns along the Tittabawassee River suffered extensive damage.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Contractors are busy repairing damage from last week’s record flood in Midland County.

Many are also victims of the flood themselves.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many people in Midland County will be spending their Memorial Day holiday weekend cleaning up from this week’s massive flood.

It’s the very beginning of a process that may take months or years to restore or rebuild.

R&R Auto Sales in Midland after the flood
Ben Thorp / WCMU

Mid-Michigan residents are beginning to take stock of the damage wrought by historic floods.

The small village of Sanford has just over 800 residents. It lies just upstream from Midland along the Tittabawassee River.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has signed an emergency declaration for the communities struck by flooding this week in Michigan.

Two dams failed after heavy rains, swelling the Tittabawassee River to a record crest in the city of Midland.  The declaration only covers Midland County. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A dwindling number of people remain in flood evacuation centers in Midland County.

Thousands of Midland county residents were ordered to evacuate their homes after a pair of dams failed after days of heavy rain earlier this week. Many are still waiting for the waters to recede. 

National Weather Service

Flood waters have crested in Midland, but the cleanup will have to wait until the waters recede.

In Midland, the Tittabawassee River crested Wednesday at 35 feet — a record, but not as bad as first feared. Projections on Tuesday put the expected crest at 38 feet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The flooding in Midland is raising concerns about re-suspending old pollution that’s caused problems along the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers for decades.

A more than 50 mile stretch of the rivers was contaminated by dioxin from past activity at the Dow chemical complex. A decades-long fight between Dow and regulators was finally settled with a plan to cap the river bottom and clean up properties along the river.

A red bridge flooded in Midland
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is a developing story. It will be updated with new information as we receive it. Please check back.

Update: Wednesday, May 20, 12:48 a.m.

The city of Midland is bracing for the worst.

A pair of dam failures, fueled by up to eight inches of rain this week, have swelled the Tittabawassee River. The river flows through the city’s center.

Midland City Manager Brad Kaye says the flood could leave part of the city under nine feet of water.

“The 1986 flood that most people remember, that were here at least, or if you weren’t here, you certainly heard about it, was a 100-year flood. What we’re looking at is an event that is the equivalent of a 500-year flood,” says Kaye.

picture of Alden B. Dow Home and Studio Interior.
Mid-Century Modern Midland

From furniture show rooms to television shows like Mad Men, mid-century modern style has seen a renaissance in recent years. But for the people living in the city of Midland, those clean, sleek lines are a part of everyday life.

The city has an unusually large number of mid-century modern structures that include residential homes, doctor's offices, fire stations, churches, and businesses. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

2019 starts the countdown for the three-way split of a major Michigan company.

The chemical industry mega giant DowDupont was created by the August 2017 merger of the two companies. But the merger was always planned to be brief.

The company is on track to divide into three companies by the end of the second quarter of 2019.   Midland-based Dow is primarily going to be getting the basic chemicals production.

Seth Goldstein is an analyst with Morningstar. 

He isn’t ruling out more cost cutting by the three smaller firms, but he says the “lowest hanging fruit” in terms of layoffs and plant closures has already been done.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

It’s been a momentous couple of years for Jason Singer, who goes by the stage name Michigander.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The longtime chief executive of Dow Chemical, who led the company through the financial crisis, a merger with rival DuPont and then the planned disassembly of the entire enterprise, is stepping down.

A Michigan lithium battery maker is rolling out its next generation battery.

XALT Energy has suffered setbacks in recent years, including lost business opportunities in China when it changed regulations, and losing out on a major bus contract in California, resulting in layoffs at its facilities in Midland and Pontiac.

Lisa Stevenson is the director of cell development at XALT.    She says their next battery stores more energy and is a good fit for the electric bus market.

“Absolutely, it’s going to make us more competitive,” says Stevenson.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical’s merger with rival DuPont becomes to official today.  

Dow Chemical has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 1937.  But with the start of business Friday, its stock ticker symbol will be replaced with the new one: DWDP.

Those four letters will symbolize what is now the largest chemical company in the world, worth an estimated $130 billion.  

It took nearly two years for Dow and DuPont to get the regulatory approvals to merge. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company say they have cleared all regulatory hurdles and will complete their planned merger at the end of the month.

The two companies issued a statement Friday saying the merger will become official after the markets close Aug. 31, and that shares of the new DowDuPont company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange beginning Sept. 1 under the ticker symbol DWDP.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Dow Chemical is celebrating new investment in mid-Michigan today.

The chemical industry giant opened its new global headquarters in Midland and broke ground for a new $100 million research and development center.

The investment comes as Dow prepares to merge with rival DuPont next month.

Dow CEO Andrew Liveris calls Midland his company’s “heart”.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

On Monday, Dow Chemical will officially dedicate a new global headquarters building in Midland.

According to the company’s press release, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris will renew Dow’s commitment to Michigan and the Great Lakes Bay Region as the company celebrates the grand opening of the Global Dow Center in Midland.

picture of Dow chemical company sign
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Dow-DuPont merger is moving to a conclusion.

Last week, the proposed $130 billion merger cleared its last major regulatory hurdle.

Canadian regulators joined their counterparts in the U.S., China, Brazil, Australia, India and the European Union in giving their blessing.  

A car sits in the flooded parking lot of Midland's downtown farmers' market.
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As floodwaters begin to recede, government officials are assessing the damage in Midland and Isabella counties. 

Storms dumped more than seven inches of rain on parts of mid-Michigan last week, flooding homes and washing out roads.

“In Midland County alone, there’s been 116 roads affected,” says Mark Bone, president of the Midland County Board of Commissioners. “There’s a lot of roads out there we’re still gathering the information, but there’s a lot of damage.”

Getting to work or school is going to be a problem in the areas affected by the flooding.

flooded street in Midland
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has declared a state of disaster in two central Michigan counties after severe weather led to widespread damage and flooding.

Calley issued the declaration Friday for Isabella and Midland counties. It provides state resources to assist local response and recovery efforts.

Hundreds of homes, businesses and roads have been affected by flooding from heavy overnight rain.

The Mount Pleasant Morning Sun reports motorists were being advised to stay off roads in Isabella County.

A sign on a Dow Chemical Company building
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The proposed merger of Midland-based Dow Chemical and DuPont has cleared another regulatory hurdle.

Brazilian officials are the latest to give their blessing to the $130 billion merger of the chemical industry giants. The recommendation by Brazilian regulators still must be approved by an administrative tribunal, which is largely a formality.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is tight-lipped about whether his office will join a federal anti-trust probe into the proposed merger of DuPont and Midland-Based Dow Chemical.

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