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nick lyon

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Defense attorneys oppose a move by prosecutors to consolidate Flint water crisis criminal cases.

Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells, is charged with “obstruction of justice” and “lying to an officer” in connection with a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak during Flint’s tap water crisis.  She made a brief appearance in court today in Flint.   

During the hearing, prosecutors raised the potential of consolidating all the ongoing criminal cases in the Flint water probe into one court. Currently, the 13 cases are spread among several different judges in 67th district court. 

exterior of the Michigan state capital
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

These are busy days in Lansing. Among other things, the legislature is working out the final details of the state budget before its summer recess. Last week, state Attorney General Bill Schuette charged a number of current and former officials with crimes related to the Flint water crisis.

bill schuette announcing charges
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The involuntary manslaughter charges announced last week against the head of Michigan's health department and four other former state and Flint city officials have made big headlines. Why? Because such charges are exceptionally rare.

Adam Candeub, a professor of law at Michigan State University, joined Stateside today to put the charges into context.

A table filled with bottles of Flint water (both clear and brown)
Flint Water Study / Facebook

Michigan's Attorney General made big headlines when he announced charges of involuntary manslaughter against Michigan Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, as well as four others.

Charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer were leveled at the state's Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Eden Wells.

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of the Michigan health department is one of the five charged with involuntary manslaughter with regard to their involvement in the Flint water crisis.

McLaren hospital in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint’s McLaren Hospital is responding forcefully to state health officials' demands for more information on Legionnaires' disease cases and prevention. 

In a letter to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, McLaren hospital CEO Chad Grant accuses the department of misplacing blame for the Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County.

State still doesn't get it about Flint

Mar 6, 2017
Courtesy Nan Palmero / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last Friday, a number of university researchers and state and county public health professionals were supposed to have a meeting – actually, a conference call – with state officials.

The group is called the Flint Area Community Health Environment Partnership, and the subject was their preliminary analysis of the reasons behind a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Flint. More than 70 people got the disease during 2014 and 2015, when the city had been switched to water from the now-infamous Flint River.

McLaren Hospital in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

State health department officials are ordering McLaren Hospital in Flint to comply with new recommendations stemming from a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak. 

A majority of the people who got sick and died during the Legionnaires' outbreak from 2014 to 2015 were patients at McLaren.

As part of its order, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services cites a document from a contractor hired by McLaren to test the hospital’s internal water system.

In addition to providing hundreds of thousands with health insurance, Healthy Michigan has also helped Michigan hospitals save hundreds of millions of dollars because of a reduction in uncompensated care.
Chealion / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is in Washington today. He’s meeting with members of Congress to talk about Healthy Michigan, the state’s version of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.

During his State of the State address this week, Snyder noted Congressional Republicans’ plan to repeal, and likely replace, the ACA with something else. However, it’s uncertain what that replacement plan might be.

Nick Lyon, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, joined Stateside to talk about the current state of Healthy Michigan and what the future might hold for the program that has provided about 640,000 people with health insurance. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is demanding McLaren Hospital Flint and the Genesee County Health Department turn over records of several Legionnaire's disease cases from 2016.

The department wants "immediate action" taken to address potential legionella exposure problems at McLaren Hospital.

There were 17 cases of legionella in Genesee County last year.   

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (left) and Special Counsel Todd Flood, along with Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton and the Flint Water Investigative Team have been investigating the Flint water crisis for most of the year
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Prosecutors say they will announce another round of criminal charges in the Flint water crisis tomorrow.

The announcement does not indicate if there are new charges against the current defendants or if charges are being filed against new defendants.

Nine current and former government employees have been charged so far in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis.

Flint’s former utilities director and a retired state health department epidemiologist have cut deals with prosecutors. 

The other seven defendants face court hearings next year.

Nick Lyon
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A lawyer says Michigan's top public health official is a target in the criminal investigation of Flint's water crisis.

  Nick Lyon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, received a letter in early September from investigators indicating he is a focus, his attorney Larry Willey said Tuesday.

  Eight current or former state employees and one Flint worker have been charged in Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette's probe.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry talks about the state health director's statement that Ebola concerns distracted from a Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County, two bills on hold in the Legislature that would affect Michigan historic districts, and a report that says one in 10 Michigan kids has a parent who is or was in prison.


What caused the Flint water crisis?
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state’s health director says an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Genesee County did not get the attention it deserved from his agency. He says it was partially due to the department’s focus on a different health threat that never materialized.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

State officials are looking at a potential new source of data on lead exposure in Flint: baby teeth.

Assessing the effects of Flint’s lead tainted tap water in children is tricky. Blood lead tests only tell part of the story. 

State Health Department director Nick Lyon says studying baby teeth could help.

“The concept would be as children’s teeth fall out there is a potential that you could use information from that going forward as part of a lead registry,” Lyon said.

Lyon says the idea of studying baby teeth is still in its early stages.

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