Latest: State, job search group work to hire Flint residents

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2016 5:13 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on Flint's water crisis (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

The state is working with a job search assistance organization to hire 81 Flint residents to work at sites where bottled water, filters and other items are available for people affected by the city's lead-tainted water.

Gov. Rick Snyder's office said Wednesday that the hires through Michigan Works! initially will help distribute water.

They will be trained by Michigan National Guard members who are managing the sites. The full-time, paid positions are temporary.

The partnership also plans to provide employment opportunities for Flint residents as part of a federal jobs training program.

In 2014, Flint switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River to save money. The river water caused lead to leach from aging pipes into some homes. Tests have shown high lead levels in some Flint children.

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2 p.m.

A spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder says the Republican is "fully committed" to remaining in office and a top Democrat's call for Snyder to resign over Flint's water crisis is "unfortunate."

Ari Adler said Wednesday that House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (GREYE-muhl) "chose to focus his efforts on a politically charged press conference" instead of attending a briefing with staff from the governor's office on addressing the Flint emergency.

Adler says Snyder wants to fix Flint's water problems and problems within state government that caused it.

The city, which switched its water source in 2014 while under state financial management, is under a state of emergency. Lead from aging pipes leached into drinking water, and a Legionnaires' disease outbreak potentially linked to the Flint River caused nine deaths.

Snyder is in his sixth year in office and cannot run again in 2018 due to term limits.

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11:30 a.m.

The top Democrat in the Michigan House is the first state lawmaker to call for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's resignation over Flint's lead-contaminated water crisis.

House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (GREYE-muhl) said Wednesday that Snyder should step down because of "actions of negligence and indifference, and a culture he has created that lacks transparency and accountability."

The city, which switched its water source in 2014 while under state financial management, is under a state of emergency. Lead from aging pipes leached into drinking water, and a Legionnaires' disease outbreak potentially linked to the Flint River caused nine deaths.

A spokesman for Snyder could not immediately be reached. The governor, who has apologized, has refused to resign and says he is committed to fixing the problem.

Also Wednesday, a document shows that Michigan blocked Flint from switching back to Detroit's water system under the terms of a $7 million loan.

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9:10 a.m.

A document shows that the state of Michigan blocked Flint from switching to a better water source under the terms of a $7 million loan to transition the city from state management.

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon said Wednesday that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's administration forced the "dirty water deal" despite it knowing of serious problems with the Flint River water. It obtained the document through a public records request.

The city council voted in March 2015 to "do all things necessary" to stop using the Flint River and reconnect to Detroit's Lake Huron water, but the state-appointed emergency manager said no. The loan agreement a month later said Flint needed state permission to switch.

State spokesman Terry Stanton says provisions were added to keep Flint on "solid financial footing."

The improperly treated Flint River water has caused lead to leach from aging pipes.