Detroit News at noon: More Flint emails, Oscars fever and hockey nostalgia
Today is Friday, February 26, 2016, it's stopped snowing, the weekend is here and the state released more emails pertaining to the deals that lead to the Flint water crisis. Here's what's making news.
New Flint email revelations
- Our reporters went through 1,600 more emails released from Gov. Rick Snyder's office and found that warnings about the quality of Flint's water reached the governor's inner circle long before anything was done about it. Two top advisers to Snyder urged switching Flint back to Detroit’s water system in October 2014 after General Motors Co. said the city’s heavily chlorinated river water was rusting engine parts, according to the emails.
- But that's not all that was revealed by the emails: The communications director for the state Department of Environmental Quality didn’t want his boss calling Flint water “safe” in January 2015 because of a spike in deadly Legionnaires’ disease cases — an outbreak the public would be unaware of until Snyder disclosed it nearly a year later.
- The emails also show many of the high-level players in the decision-making process were on board with the idea. Nearly everyone not linked with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department approved of the split. These communications also shed some new light on moves behind the scenes to determine where Flint would get its water while the Karegnondi project was under construction.
- Another nugget that was revealed: Snyder’s office quietly rejected a routine request for a Lead Poisoning Awareness and Prevention Week proclamation as Flint’s lead contamination crisis began to make national news.
- Snyder shook up his communications team yesterday amid the Flint water crisis, reassigning his communications director and press secretary. Snyder will testify before Congress on March 17 about the water crisis in Flint.
- Columnist Daniel Howes tells how the emails show top Snyder aide Dennis Muchmore waging a losing battle to get the state to take action about Flint's water problems. “If we procrastinate much longer in doing something direct, we’ll have real trouble,” he wrote last March.
- We're keeping you up-to-date on all the Flint water crisis developments here.
The political machine
- The Flint water crisis was the main theme of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' speech during a campaign stop in Flint yesterday, vowing never to allow such a travesty happen again anywhere. Hear more of what he had to say.
- On the other side of the aisle, the five remaining Republican candidates had a fiery debate ahead of Super Tuesday where accusations and attacks were thrown around, mostly between Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. But were they telling the truth? Here's some fact checking to keep them in check.
- The fun is headed to Michigan, with debates next week in Detroit and in Flint and the primary on March 8. And for the people with lots of cash and lots of influence, it's a good time to put that to use. Mega-donors gave more than $1.12 million to outside groups supporting the 2016 presidential candidates in January alone. There were some big names on the list, but who made the biggest donation? If you've spent any time in downtown Detroit recently, you can probably guess.
- Evenflo is recalling over 56,000 child safety seats because curious children can loosen the internal harness, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.
- Speaking of bad products, a woman whose family controls several western Pennsylvania cheese-making firms will plead guilty — along with two of her companies — to charges that their grated cheese had too much wood pulp and too little cheese.
- Looking for something to do this weekend? Relive some good times with the Red Wings vs. Avalanche alumni game at Coors Field in Colorado. All your favorites from the back-to-back Stanley Cup years will be there. And on Saturday, the current teams will play an outdoor game.
- If hockey isn't your thing, you can always check out a movie. Adam Graham and Tom Long have been hard at work reviewing them for you: Eddie the Eagle | Gods of Egypt | The Amazing Nina Simone | A War
- It's actually a huge weekend for movies because Sunday is the Academy Awards! Join in the conversation as we live tweet the highlights (and of course, all the red carpet photos). How are you feeling about the Oscars' diversity issue?
- Would you rather check out the "Oscars of custom cars"? Autorama runs Friday through Sunday at Cobo Center with some amazing hot rods, rat rods and more.
- Maybe you want to do some cooking. Here are some fun recipes to try with a common theme: Homemade Lärabars | Szechuan Shrimp and Ruby Grapefruit Salad | Orange and Rosemary Polenta Cake | Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs | Citrus Pie | Citrus Brined Roast Chicken with Crispy Garlic Yucca | Chicken Flautas with Pickled Jalapeno Pico de Gallo
- If you're looking for a new restaurant to try, Molly Abraham recommends Dearborn's latest, Bangkok 96.
It's spring in Lakeland
- Spring training is ramping up and here are some of the big story lines from Lakeland: K-Rod ready to reverse the curse on Tigers closers | Iglesias on 2016: ‘It's not about me, it's about the team’ | Tigers' Sanchez: Arm inflammation 'not a big deal'
- This is really cool: Marchant Stadium is getting a 40 million-plus face-lift which will be ready by spring training next year. Lynn Henning offers up a look at what's going on behind the scenes.
Like hitting the lottery
- You know that feeling when you put on an old coat and you reach into the pocket and pull out a $20 bill? That's kind of what happened with the city of Detroit. Except it was $50 million in unspent bonds from decades ago.
Money you'd rather not have
- Detroit is paying $100,000 to settle a case with a dog owner who sued after a police officer fatally shot his pet last year.
The lighter side
- An acetate record cut by the Beatles before the Liverpool band hit stardom is going to auction. Can you guess how much it's expected to bring in?
- When she lost two people who were close to her in a short amount of time, Wendy Shepherd went looking for something to help her deal with the grief. That's when she discovered "the mood scarf." Maybe it can help you, too.
- Mary Courtemanche hadn’t planned on giving birth along the shoulder of a freeway in Bay County. But snarled traffic following a severe winter storm and heavy snowfall changed that. That's how Josie Courtemanche made her grand entrance Thursday morning in a SUV on southbound Interstate 75 in Monitor Township.
Detroit News at noon is a daily news roundup of the biggest stories from www.detroitnews.com. Get more anytime by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram (@detroitnews) and Snapchat (search for Detroitnews).