Flint MI gave their kids brain damage to save money

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Internet, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michigan state officials charged with manslaughter in deadly Legionnaires' outbreak | CNN


    Several Michigan state officials, including those who reported to Gov. Rick Snyder, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with a Legionnaires' outbreak that killed 12 people during the Flint water crisis, the Michigan attorney general's office announced Wednesday.

    Developing story - more to come


    New charges filed in Flint Water Emergency | ABC12 News


    The director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is accused of involuntary manslaughter in the Flint Water Emergency.

    Nick Lyon is also facing a misconduct in office charge.

    ABC12 News was the only television station in court Wednesday morning when the charges came down.

    The allegations against Lyon are tied to his involvement in the Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Flint.

    Michigan's chief medical executive is also charged in the water emergency. Dr. Eden Wells is accused of obstruction of justice and lying to a police officer.

    Involuntary manslaughter charges have also been added to Stephen Busch, Liane Shekter-Smith, Howard Croft and Darnell Earley.

    Those charges are all connected to the Legionnaires' disease death of 85-year-old Robert Skidmore of Mt. Morris.

    The warrants were sworn out Wednesday morning in the 67th District Court of Genesee County.

    Check back with for updates.

    More at

    Latest news: water&tbm=nws&tbs=sbd:1
    Two weeks ago, the notion that Attorney General Bill Schuette might bring felony charges against Gov. Rick Snyder was so outlandish that I could joke about it in a column without worrying that anyone would take me seriously.


    In bringing involuntary manslaughter charges against Department of Health and Human Service Director Nick Lyon and four other officials, Schuette has brought the Flint water investigation to Snyder’s threshold. Only the governor’s chief of staff — and Snyder himself — hold positions higher in the gubernatorial food chain.


    Establishing that Lyon and his codefendants are culpable for the death of an 85-year-old man in declining health may prove an impossible burden for prosecutors. If the charges against Snyder’s subordinates fail to bear fruit in plea deals or credible evidence of the governor’s criminal complicity, Schuette’s political future could be as tainted as Flint’s drinking water.

    I got out of the forecasting business last Election Night, but it’s hard to see how Schuette and Snyder both emerge from the crucible of Flint with their honor intact. Something’s gotta give, and the resolution promises to be neither friendly nor funny.
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    A Guide to the 15 Powerful People Charged With Poisoning Flint

    By Anna Clark, Fusion


    Whatever you do, stop calling the Flint water crisis a “failure at all levels of government.”

    That’s the going line used by Congressional investigators, the Michigan governor, the Michigan Senate Majority Leader, and impassioned commentators around the country. And sure, this is one cliche that’s accurate. But the passive voice blurs the fact that real people made real choices that created a human-made disaster, endangering a city of nearly 100,000 people with lead poisoning, Legionnaires’ disease, and the accelerated corrosion of its drinking water system.

    While lead and water lines captured the headlines, it’s Legionnaires’ — a severe form of pneumonia caused by a waterborne bacteria that can be inhaled, for example, during showers — that proved fatal. In a 17-month period over 2014 and 2015, 90 people got sick and 12 died. The outbreak is believed to be connected to that infamous 2014 Flint water switch.

    A special prosecutor appointed by the Michigan Attorney General has led an investigation that has criminally charged 15 people so far, with the most recent indictments delivered last week against two of the state’s highest-ranking health officials. Two civil lawsuits were also filed against corporations for professional negligence. Separate from the AG investigation, there was also a settlement in lawsuit where the state will pay $87 million to the city and replace at least 18,000 damaged water lines by 2020, among other requirements.

    As each wave of indictments comes down, with one formerly anonymous bureaucrat after another put in the spotlight’s glare, I’ve noticed how many observers seem to assume that if they have never heard of the officials who are charged, then they’re probably scapegoats. Unless the investigation reaches the governor’s office, the whole thing must be a sham.

    Not so, I say. After more than 18 months of reporting about what went wrong in Flint, I understand the skepticism. But these people, and these companies, appear to bear a lot of responsibility. The fact that few people nationwide recognize their names should not be mistaken for a lack of power and influence. While Governor Rick Snyder has absorbed the bulk of the public’s blame, “Michigan’s most comprehensive criminal investigation in modern history” is, appropriately, being built from the ground up.

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Professionals who exposed Flint water crisis win first MIT 'Disobedience' award

    By Natasha Mascarenhas, The Boston Globe


    The scientist and the pediatrician who helped expose the Flint, Mich., water crisis were named winners of the inaugural “Disobedience Award” from the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Friday.

    Marc Edwards, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech whose tests of Flint water showed dangerous amounts of lead, and Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician whose research revealed that children in Flint had high levels of lead in their blood, will share a $250,000 prize.

    The MIT Media Lab held a ceremony Friday in Cambridge for the awards, which were established to reward whistleblowers and activists whose work bucked conventional wisdom for social good. The efforts by Edwards and Hanna-Attisha proved the assurances by Michigan authorities that the water in Flint was safe to drink was false.

    The award was created by Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, Joi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, and LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman. Hoffman funded the $250,000 award, as well as $10,000 awards to finalists.

    Ito said they created the contest to reward activists for boldly challenging social wrongs, but in a civil way.

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Pittsburgh officials may have 'deflected' attention from lead-contaminated water

    By Jessica Glenza, The Guardian


    Health officials in a major American city downplayed dangers of lead contamination in water even as officials in Flint, Michigan, faced a criminal investigation, according to a report obtained by the Guardian.

    Residents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were given “misleading” statements by health officials who “deflected” attention from lead-contaminated water, according to the audit.

    The engineer who helped uncover the lead contamination crisis in Flint warned that the scandal there had undermined trust in drinking water and claimed the Pittsburgh report was a warning that similar mistakes could be repeated, including a failure of oversight by officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    “The road to Flint was paved with this nexus of complacency,” said Virginia Tech engineer Marc Edwards. “Water utilities were cheating, EPA was looking the other way, and health departments were all too happy to let that occur because they wanted to keep their focus on lead paint,” he said.

    “This is the one lead source that is government owned, government controlled, and directly affects a product intended for human consumption,” said Edwards.

    Five officials in Flint were charged with involuntary manslaughter after an investigation accused them of not doing enough to warn the public of the spread of Legionella bacteria, part of the water chemistry struggle that resulted in Flint’s lead tainted water. In total, 17 officials in Flint face criminal charges.

    Pittsburgh discovered lead contamination in residents’ water almost a year ago, after the water utility switched chemicals it used to control metal corrosion. The circumstances mirror those in Flint, though the city’s water troubles have received significantly less national attention.

    “I’ve been an elected official now for almost 12 years, and I have seen a lot,” said Chelsa Wagner, author of the report and the controller of Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is the seat. “But I think this is the worst thing I’ve seen.”

    Post-industrial Pittsburgh has remade itself as a tech hub. The city recently received attention for its willingness to experiment with companies such as Uber.

    However, elected officials have faced ongoing criticism after it was revealed that the water bought by residents from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) had high levels of lead. Like in Flint, plumbing in many homes in Pittsburgh is connected to water mains with old lead lines. Those lines can transfer lead to drinking water, especially when water chemistry is altered.

    The Guardian has seen a draftcopy of the controller’s report. The health department refused to comment on the report before it was made public.

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Lifetime movie ‘Flint’ dramatizes city’s water crisis | The Associated Press


    Melissa Mays, a resident of Flint, Michigan, came armed to discuss the city’s tainted water crisis and a new Lifetime TV movie dramatizing it.

    Mays, speaking to a TV critics’ meeting Friday, pointed to several bottles she had filled with her tap water and challenged the room to taste or even smell it. There were no immediate takers.

    The activist, who said the battle over water safety continues, is among the residents portrayed in Lifetime’s movie titled “Flint,” debuting Oct. 28. Mays is played by Marin Ireland, who co-stars with Betsy Brandt, Jill Scott and Queen Latifah.

    Executive producer Neil Meron said the film is intended to spotlight what happened in Flint, including how a united community and “the voice of the people” can force officials to act.

    Mays said there have been successes, including the outcome of a lawsuit to get half of the service lines replaced, although not the main lines or interior plumbing.

    “So one of the things we hope come out of this is to let people know it’s still not over. It’s not even close to over,” she said. The movie is intended to honor Flint victims by telling the story “that even in a poor, broken, poisoned town, we banded together, and we fought. We fought, and we win.”

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  7. Consensus Member

    Been here a month. There is a Madness in this city, one I've not seen elsewhere in my travels.
  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Study confirms how lead got into Flint’s water | PBS NewsHour

    The absence of a water treatment — called orthophosphate — was a major contributor to lead contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water supply, scientists confirmed recently in Environmental Science and Technology Letters. Omitting orthophosphate, which controls metal corrosion, caused lead embedded in the pipes to leach into the water. The results suggest Flint’s public health emergency could have been prevented if this corrosion control had not been overlooked.
  9. The Wrong Guy Member

    Gov. Rick Snyder picks Flint water defendant to lead new panel looking at public health threats | Michigan Radio


    Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a top state official criminally charged in the Flint water crisis investigation to head a new council tasked with improving Michigan’s response to emerging public health threats.

    Dr. Eden Wells is Michgan’s chief medical executive.

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    City Council narrowly approves long-term Flint water agreement | The Associated Press


    The Flint City Council has narrowly approved a 30-year agreement to get drinking water from a regional agency, bringing to end one battle among many in the Michigan city still recovering from a lead-tainted water crisis.

    The deal was approved Tuesday night by a 5-4 vote after hours of debate and comments from dozens of residents, following months of court-ordered negotiations. The pact means the Great Lakes Water Authority will continue to serve Flint. It has been providing water for Flint in short-term deals since fall 2015, when Gov. Rick Snyder acknowledged the crisis related to use of inadequately treated water from the Flint River.

    "We have been waiting for a decision for months," said Mayor Karen Weaver, who pushed for the deal and recently survived a recall election. "You can't please everybody, but we know we made the best decision for public safety and being fiscally responsible."

    The city stopped using Detroit's water system and instead tapped the Flint River during an 18-month period in 2014 and 2015, as a way to save money while the city's finances were under state control. But the river water wasn't properly treated, which caused lead from pipes in older homes and buildings to leach into drinking water.

    Some children were found to have elevated lead levels in their blood, which can cause developmental delays and other health problems. Some experts have also linked the tainted water to the deaths of 12 people who died after contracting Legionnaires' disease, a type of pneumonia.

    The crisis has led to 15 current or former governmental officials being charged with crimes, and lawsuits have been filed by numerous residents.

    Even with progress replacing pipes and decreasing lead levels, a judge admonished the City Council for failing to come up with a long-term water source and warned that bankruptcy could result. The state of Michigan sued Flint earlier this year, seeking to force the city to sign a 30-year deal with the Great Lakes Water Authority.

    Under the deal, a Flint representative will be appointed to the authority's governing board, and the city will be relieved of debts owed to the Karegnondi Water Authority, an upstart system that was intended to be Flint's primary water source after breaking away from the Detroit system. Additionally, the contract provides for $750,000 to be granted to the city for water bill relief and $100 million pledged for infrastructure improvements to be released immediately.

    The "sweeteners," as one councilman called them, weren't enough to assuage all in attendance.

    "It does not benefit the residents," said Arthur Woodson, a Flint resident who led the failed Weaver recall effort earlier this month that produced five new council members. "We are in crisis and we've never been made whole."

  10. The Wrong Guy Member

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Michigan's top public health official to stand trial for 2 deaths connected with Flint water crisis

    By Amir Vera, CNN, August 23, 2018


    A Michigan judge issued a ruling Monday sending the criminal case of the state's Health and Human Services director to trial for the deaths of two men tied to the Flint water crisis, according to CNN affiliate WJRT-TV.

    The men, who WJRT-TV identified as John Snyder and Robert Skidmore, both allegedly died of Legionnaires' disease after the city's water source was switched to the Flint River in 2014, which kicked off the water crisis. Eventually, 12 people died and more than 80 were sickened as a result of two waves of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Flint.

    Nick Lyon, the director, was charged last year with involuntary manslaughter, willful neglect of duty and misconduct in office for the deaths of the two men, WJRT-TV reports.

    Court papers say Lyon is accused of "failing to alert the public about a Legionnaires' outbreak in Genesee County when he had noticed that another outbreak was foreseeable and ... conducting an investigation of the Legionnaires' outbreak in a grossly negligent manner."

    Legionnaires' disease is a respiratory bacterial infection usually spread through mist that comes from a water source; it isn't spread person-to-person. Symptoms include fever, chills and a cough.

    During a hearing in May, Special Prosecutor Todd Flood said the city of Flint was stuck using the Flint water supply because it had already borrowed $85 million to build a new pipeline. He also noted a 400% jump in pneumonia deaths from the spring of 2014 to the end of 2015.

    "They were stuck, mandated to use the water treatment plant regardless of what was happening," Flood said during that court appearance.


    Aside from Lyon, 14 other Michigan state officials were also charged last year in connection with the water crisis. Wells was charged with obstruction of justice and lying to an officer.

    More at
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    All criminal charges are dropped in Flint water scandal as prosecutors announce they're starting the investigation over again
    • Charges against all eight people implicated the scandal were dropped Thursday
    • Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud said a new investigation is needed because 'all available evidence was not pursued' by previous prosecutors
    • The defendants include Michigan's former health director, Nick Lyon, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter
    • Lyon was accused of failing to timely alert the public about a Legionnaires' outbreak in 2014-15 caused by improperly treated water from the Flint River
    • As a result residents' water was tainted with dangerous lead levels
    • Flint was one of the worst man-made environmental disasters in US history
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