11:45 am
Wed November 12, 2014

In Flint, it takes a village to raze a house

This burned-out house on Parkbelt Drive in Flint was torn down yesterday with funding from a crowdsourcing effort.
Credit Courtesy Parkbelt Drive residents

Back in August, we brought you the story of an online fundraising effort aimed at bringing in enough money to pay for the demolition of a single burned-out house in Flint. Gordon Young is a Flint expat and author of “Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City”. His idea was simple: while Flint has hundreds of abandoned homes, and some neighborhoods suffer mightily from such blight, he wanted to find a house that needed tearing down in an otherwise well maintained neighborhood, one where the demolition would improve the neighborhood’s chances of thriving into the future.

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12:27 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Flint expat pursues single home demolition through crowdsourcing

The burnt-out, abandoned house is located on Parkbelt Dr. in an otherwise well-kept neighborhood.
Credit Courtesy - "Fight Blight and Spur Revival in Flint, Michigan"

It’s no secret that Flint has been ravaged by blight and neglect over the past couple of decades. Hundreds, if not thousands, of abandoned homes are scattered across the city. While Flint’s problems are pretty daunting when viewed all at once, one former Flint resident has decided to help out by focusing on a single, burned-out, abandoned house.

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1:37 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Between pensions and police: Flint faces financial situation

Credit Flickr- Michigan Municipal League

In Flint, city leaders and residents continue to struggle with serious fiscal challenges. Lately, the focus of the debate has been over whether city services or benefits for municipal retirees is more important.

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1:03 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Lawsuit triggers threat of Flint bankruptcy

Flint struggles with new lawsuit that may end in bankruptcy.
Credit Flickr

Flint is renowned as the birthplace of General Motors and for the prosperity it once enjoyed as “Vehicle City.” More recently, that success has been overshadowed by troubles that have trailed the decline of auto manufacturing such as population loss, blight, crime, drugs, and debt.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Former EM: Flint will take time

Michael Brown is back at Prima Civitas after two years as Flint's emergency manager.
Credit http://primacivitas.org/

For two years, Flint native Michael Brown served as the city of Flint’s Emergency Manager. He has recently returned to Prima Civitas in East Lansing as president.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:25 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Flint formalizes plan for future

Imagine Flint Land Use Workshops were held this summer.
Credit http://www.imagineflint.com/

Flint is a city that has lost half its population over the last 50 years.  Its poverty rate far exceeds the state average.  And across the nation, Flint bears the harsh moniker of the “murder capital of America.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Photographers capture the beauty and the misery of Flint

Juan Madrid

Flint: the most violent city in the nation, a failed city, an urban wasteland.  These are the headlines that have defined Flint, but they don’t tell the whole story.

“Welcome to Flint,” is a collaborative project by photographers Juan Madrid and Brett Carlsen.

The two New York-based artists travel on and off to Michigan, trying to capture the city of Flint. Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke to the pair about their project.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:42 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

'Teardown' author reflects on his work after Detroit bankruptcy

Gordon Young is the author of 'Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City.'
Credit WKAR File Photo

Back in June, we heard from author Gordon Young. His book about Flint, called “Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City,” had just been published. Gordon Young is back in East Lansing today to do a Brown Bag presentation for Our Daily Work, Our Daily Lives,  a multi-faceted project run by the Michigan Traditional Arts program at the MSU Museum, and by MSU’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:26 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Flint expat writes on returning home

Gordon Young, a senior lecturer in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University, has appeared in publications including his own Flint Expatriates, a blog for those no longer living in the birthplace of General Motors.
Credit www.teardownbook.com

"Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City" by Michigan native Gordon Young depicts his attempt to return to his hometown of Flint, Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:26 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Once found only in developing world, microfinance takes root in Michigan

The Kiva online platform allows entrepreneurs like Marcus Bieth of Flint to connect with community lenders for zero interest loans.
Credit Courtesy of Marcus Bieth

The concept of microfinance -- essentially small loans given to entrepreneurs who are too little or too under-funded to qualify for traditional bank loans -- has exploded in the developing world. 

One of the leading online platforms for microfinance is called Kiva, which connects entrepreneurs with interest-free loans offered by community members. About two years ago, with the help of Michigan Corps, a Detroit-based non-profit organization, Kiva became the first microfinance effort in the United States. Last month, Michigan Corps expanded Kiva’s platform into Flint.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:17 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

Different wars, similar motivations: the history of foreign fighters

Before publishing 'Animal Farm' and '1984,' English author George Orwell joined a Marxist militia to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last week, the rather startling news broke of a Flint woman who was killed while fighting in Syria. According to Syrian state television, 33-year-old Nicole Mansfield was killed by government forces on May 29 while fighting alongside anti-government rebels in the northwestern city of Idlib.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:56 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Congressman Dan Kildee on his lastest initiatives

Dan Kildee began his electoral career in 1977 as the Flint Board of Education’s youngest ever committee member. He was 17 years old. That was followed by long tenures on the Genesee county board of commissioners and as county treasurer.

Last week, Michigan Congressman Dan Kildee said he supports a “Marshall Plan” for U.S. cities that are struggling to get back on their feet.  The Flint Democrat says some cities need help transitioning to the “new economy.”  Current State’s Mark Bashore talks with Kildee on his plan, the challenges facing Flint and Saginaw, and deficit reduction.

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2:56 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

With Detroit facing emergency management, Flint leaders share their experience

A report released Tuesday afternoon by the Detroit emergency review team all but clears the way for Governor Snyder to appoint an emergency manager to take over the city’s finances. This scenario is nothing new to Flint, where, in late 2011, Governor Snyder appointed Michael Brown as emergency manager.  

We speak with Brown, as well as Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, about what the experience is like and what Detroit officials can learn from it.

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3:44 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Michigan House Welcomes Flint's Gold Medal Boxer

Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields receives a proclamation from the State of Michigan recognizing her achievement.
Kevin Lavery WKAR

Members of the Michigan House of Representatives are welcoming home Flint native Claressa Shields, the first Olympic gold medalist in women’s boxing. 

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12:00 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Embattled Samaritan: Lansing’s Michael Brown Leads Flint During Emergency

Mark Bashore WKAR

Michael Brown has spent decades in public service putting out fires.  Nine years ago, he restored order at the Capital Area United Way after a $900,000 embezzlement scandal.  He’s also served as interim mayor of the city he grew up in, Flint.Today, Brown is battling his biggest firestorm yet.  For the last six months, he has served as Flint’s Emergency Manager.  WKAR’s Mark Bashore has this profile of a Lansing resident in the eye of a political storm.


Take a seat in Michael Brown’s downtown Flint office and it’s impossible not to see the man who inspired his career.

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6:45 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

Snyder Administration Defends Financial Reviews

Lawyers acting for Governor Rick Snyder have asked the state Court of Appeals to reverse lower court rulings that blocked the administration’s efforts to resolve financial crises in two cities.

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